Reps in the News: Walker Speaks Out for First Time Since Election

Governor Scott Walker

Gov. Walker spoke with reporters on Nov. 15 for the first time since his failed re-election bid, weighing in on his loss, lame duck proposals in the state Legislature and his stalled proposal to offer tax incentives to consumer products company Kimberly-Clark Corp. Unofficial results show 59 percent of eligible voters cast ballots, which set a new record for a mid-term election in Wisconsin. Turnout was especially strong for Democrats in Dane and Milwaukee counties.

When asked whether he would propose and sign any major legislation before leaving office, the governor said there’s not much left for him to do. “What have we not done?” Walker said. “I may have reformed myself out of a job.”

GOP lawmakers have discussed taking up some new proposals during a lame duck session, including changes that would limit Democratic Gov.-elect Tony Evers’ power when he takes office. Walker called those changes “reasonable” and said he would support them.

The governor also used his first post-election public appearance to urge state lawmakers to pass his proposed tax incentive package for Kimberly-Clark Corp. The “Foxconn-style” deal is projected to cost the state about $70 million over 15 years, and is aimed at preserving about 400 jobs at a Fox Valley plant.



Congressman Mike Gallagher

Rep. Gallagher says Congress needs to change. The Republican representative for Wisconsin’s 8th Congressional District, which covers the northeastern part of the state, wrote that – and more – in a piece in The Atlantic, titled “How to Salvage Congress.”

The first paragraph reads:  “If you are among the 11 percent of Americans who believe that everything in Congress is going swimmingly, then save some time and stop reading right now. (But first, please share whatever experimental drugs you are on.) But if you are among the 87 percent of people who are concerned about what is going on in Congress, then I have an important message for you: It’s much worse than you think.”

In an interview with Wisconsin Public Radio, Gallagher said Congress has ceded too much authority to the executive branch and to party leadership. He outlined a series of proposals for Congress to regain its influence including having members of congressional committees choose their own chairs; changing the congressional calendar to make members work five days a week in Washington instead of flying back every two or three days to their districts; and simplifying the committee structure so issues do not overlap.

“My hope and my intent with the piece was not to criticize, but to offer constructive proposals for the 116th Congress, which is starting in January and can work better and learn from the mistakes of the past,” Gallagher told WPR.

Gallagher will begin his second term in office in January. He won November’s mid-term election with nearly 64 percent of the vote.

Unlike his first term in Congress, Gallagher will now be among the House’s minority party, a change that he worries could lead to gridlock.

“I worry that some of my Democratic colleagues will just be motivated by reflexive opposition to the White House and then the White House in turn will respond; and we’ll just get two years of people throwing bombs at each other on Fox News and MSNBC,” Gallagher said.



Senator Tammy Baldwin

On Nov. 14 the U.S. Senate passed the Coast Guard Reauthorization legislation, which included a number of measures Sen. Baldwin worked to secure in the bipartisan legislation to support the nation’s Coast Guard, help Wisconsin’s coastal economy, and protect the Great Lakes from pollution and the spread of harmful invasive species. Baldwin authored improvements to the Vessel Incidental Discharge Act (VIDA), which was included in the final Coast Guard Reauthorization, in order to protect U.S. waters, businesses and communities from invasive species. Earlier versions of the legislation included provisions that would have rolled back progress made in the fight against invasive species in the Great Lakes, and protections for water quality.

“After working with my colleagues on both sides of the aisle to make the final Coast Guard reauthorization better, I will support this bipartisan legislation because it helps protect our Great Lakes from the spread of harmful invasive species and supports our coastal economy in Wisconsin,” Baldwin said.

“Once again, Sen. Baldwin has made safeguarding the Great Lakes a top priority,” said Mary Jean Huston, state director for The Nature Conservancy in Wisconsin. “What was once a very concerning proposal is now much improved by the Senator. The bill will ensure that science drives our response to invasive species threats, and that Wisconsin has tools to prevent invasive species from spreading in the Great Lakes.”

Source:  Baldwin press release


President Donald Trump

President Trump is seething, publicly and privately, almost two weeks after mid-term elections in which he at first believed he had scored a moral victory. Democrats have run up the score in the House of Representatives and the political world has turned its focus to ominous signs for the president’s reelection hopes. In response, Trump has hit out on Twitter, in impromptu comments to reporters, and in a Sunday TV interview.

Behind the scenes, it’s no better. “The issue was not election night. But 10 days later, we are still seeing the fallout and losing races,” said one source familiar with the president’s thinking. Other sources who spoke with The Hill described a similar atmosphere.

The president’s souring mood has been evident on Twitter, where initial proclamations of victory have given way to familiar complaints about unfair treatment by the media.

In a Fox News Sunday interview with Chris Wallace, Trump sought credit for some victories while arguing that GOP defeats showed only that Republican candidates could not match his appeal to voters.

“I have people that won’t vote unless I’m on the ballot, okay? And I wasn’t on the ballot,” Trump told Wallace.


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