Iron County Progressive

 NEW: Senate Democratic Leader Makes the Case for President Biden’s Infrastructure Deal

MADISON –– Thanks to the leadership of President Joe Biden in partnership with Governor Evers and congressional Democrats, America is on the move again and is projected to reach the highest levels of growth in nearly four decades. That’s why, in an interview with WDIO News (ABC Superior), Wisconsin State Senate Democratic Leader Janet Bewley endorsed President Biden’s bipartisan infrastructure deal, sharing that rural Wisconsin communities would benefit immensely from Biden’s historic legislation.

Senator Bewley noted that rural Wisconsin still requires additional federal support to fully access reliable broadband. The bipartisan infrastructure deal will deliver high-speed internet to every neighborhood across the state, including in rural Wisconsin. President Biden’s legislation builds on Governor Evers’ record investment in broadband in the most recent state budget and the $129 million in federal funds Gov. Evers directed to expand access for even more Wisconsinites. 


Here’s a look at what the Biden-Harris administration’s Build Back Better agenda is delivering for Wisconsin:

Where We’re At: The American Rescue Plan continues to build back better in communities across the state. Here’s how:

  • Middle-class tax cuts for working families slash child poverty rates, reduce food insecurity, and drive economic growth
  • The U.S. economy added nearly 750,000 jobs each month over the last three months and the unemployment rate continues to drop, reaching 5.2% in August — the lowest it has been in eighteen months

Where We’re Going: The bipartisan infrastructure deal will build on this progress by: 

  • Creating more than 880,000 more jobs by 2030, while increasing per-capita income, consumer spending, and the national GDP
  • Protecting critical labor standards on construction projects as workers rebuild roads and bridges, improve drinking water infrastructure, upgrade broadband connectivity, and transform our transportation infrastructure
  • Buying American to ensure all taxpayer-funded projects are built with American iron, steel, manufactured products, and construction materials
  • Permanently expanding the child tax credit to reduce child poverty to less than 10% in most states, including Wisconsin

In totality, President Biden’s American Rescue Plan, bipartisan infrastructure deal, and rest of the Build Back Better agenda will provide relief for working families, deliver one of the biggest middle-class tax cuts ever, and generate sustainable economic growth over the long term — all while creating upwards of two million jobs per year over the next decade. 

 Why Did Wisconsin Republicans Vote Against President Biden’s Expanded Child Tax Cut? 

MADISON, Wis. — Today, as the third round of payments from President Biden’s middle-class tax cuts hit bank accounts, Wisconsin parents are breathing a little bit easier as the expanded Child Tax Credit helps pay for food, child care, and the cost of raising children. Across the country, Biden’s middle-class tax cuts are an essential lifeline for families – in fact, in an August study, just one payment reduced financial anxiety for 56% of families surveyed. 

As families across the state celebrate these expanded benefits, made possible by President Biden’s American Rescue Plan, many are left wondering why every single Wisconsin Republican voted against this critical relief. 

“Wisconsin Republicans proved once again that their allegiance to their party overlords and wealthy donors knows no bounds,” said Democratic Party of Wisconsin Rapid Response Director Julia Hamelburg. “Childhood poverty is not a partisan issue but the Wisconsin GOP has somehow come out against alleviating starvation for children. The American Rescue Plan is delivering millions in relief to Wisconsin families and helping parents put food on the table. Voting against this plan to help Wisconsin’s working families is not only morally wrong, it’s politically disastrous.”

Here’s how making the Child Tax Credit permanent would help Wisconsin:

  • Increases the existing tax benefit from $2,000 up to $3,000 per child ($3,600 for children under age 6)
  • Provides payments to the parents of 1,158,000 children in Wisconsin – including low-income families who previously did not receive the full benefits. 
  • Reduces the childhood poverty rate in the state to less than 4% and helps raise 46,000 Wisconsin children out of poverty. 
  • Returns half of families’ spending on child care for children under the age of 13 through a tax credit – they can receive up to $4,000 in credit for one child or $8,000 for two or more children

Here’s how the expanded Child Tax Credit is already helping parents across the country:

CNBC: Expanding the child tax credit would reduce child poverty to less than 10% in most states, study finds

Forbes: How Monthly Child Tax Credit Payments Are Impacting Americans’ Finances

  • “The new monthly child tax credit payments have made a significant impact on millions of families. According to the Census Bureau Household Pulse Survey, compared to the prior period before the disbursement of the first child tax credit payments, the number of families with kids earning $50,000 or less who didn’t have enough to eat declined by more than seven percentage points.”
  • “Natalie Foster, the co-chair of the Economic Security Project, says the new child tax credit is making a difference and reducing poverty for families. Foster says families use the payments to pay bills, buy groceries and get kids ready for school. ‘Across the board, it is a lifeline for families struggling during the pandemic and crucial to the efforts to rebuild,’ says Foster.”


Johnson Brags About Changing 2017 Tax Bill To Benefit Himself and His Biggest Donors, Tax Cut He Opposed for Wisconsin Families Continues to Have Positive Impact

Madison, Wis. — As Wisconsin families continue to feel the positive impact of the historic middle class tax cuts passed by President Biden and Congressional Democrats, Ron Johnson, who voted against tax cuts that will help roughly 1,000,000 Wisconsin children, stating it would be “social or economic engineering,” instead continues to brag about the tax break he spearheaded in the 2017 GOP tax scam bill that benefited himself and his two biggest donors.

“But I still thought, well, the successful, the larger pass-throughs, also need to be treated fairly. So kind of held out, in the end we got some measure of accommodation, but it wasn’t permanent.” — Ron Johnson on WTMJ’s Money Talks, 9/11/21

Johnson has been facing harsh criticism following reports revealing that the provision in 2017 GOP tax scam he continues to tout not only benefited the company he owned at the time, it also gave his two of his biggest campaign donors more than $200 million in tax breaks

“Ron Johnson tried to kill tax cuts for hard working Wisconsin families after working overtime to change the 2017 GOP tax scam bill that gave himself and his wealthiest donors hundreds of millions of dollars in massive tax handouts; we know exactly where his loyalties are,” Democratic Party of Wisconsin Senate Communications Advisor Philip Shulman said. “Wisconsinites know they can’t trust Ron Johnson to stand up for them and will hold him accountable next November.”


Weekly News From Your Wisconsin Democratic Party Chair






Democracy is under attack—and you are among the front-line fighters defending it.


Here in Wisconsin, Republican legislators led by Robin Vos are using taxpayer funds to pour money into a sham “investigation,” overseen by conspiracy theorists, intended to give credence to false beliefs about 2020—and, in turn, to build GOP support for suppressing votes or stealing the election in 2022. It’s just one of four different conspiracy-theory-driven “investigations.”


The truth, as has been obvious for months and months, is that Wisconsin’s 2020 election was legitimate, overseen by thousands of local election administrators and volunteers across the state. But that truth is inconvenient for Trump and the Republican operatives dedicated to the Big Lie, so they’re trying to undermine it. 


Fortunately, democracy has great allies in Wisconsin.


We’ve got a governor who has vowed to veto any bill making it harder for people to vote—and has already made good on that promise, repeatedly. We’ve simply got to re-elect Governor Evers in 2022.


We’ve got enough great Democrats in the state legislature to sustain Governor Evers’s vetoes—thanks to the success of the Save The Veto campaign last year, and the work done by dozens of Democratic candidates, win or lose, in 2020. We’ve got to add to their ranks in the 2022 elections, which will be the first conducted under new, likely much fairer maps. 


We’ve got a terrific voter protection team at the Democratic Party of Wisconsin. We’ve never operated such a department year-round before, but the threats to democracy make it a necessity. Our team launched in early 2020 in partnership with Stacey Abrams and her great group Fair Fight, and has earned its reputation as a national model. 


(By the way—Stacey Abrams will be speaking in Milwaukee next Wednesday as part of her national tour, and we can offer a 50% discount on tickets to WisDems members! See below for more information.) 


And most critically, we have you. As Wisconsin Democrats, we’ve known tremendous ups and perilous downs. We’ve had to find the strength to keep fighting when all seemed lost. And we’ve never given up. Your determination to ensure that government of the people, by the people, and for the people never perishes is the fuel for everything our party achieves.


Thanks for all you do. Let’s keep fighting. 






Dr. Biden In Wisconsin To Celebrate Public Education


Wednesday, First Lady Dr. Jill Biden visited Milwaukee! During her visit to a local elementary school, Dr. Biden discussed the importance of childrens’ safe return to schools. As a teacher for nearly 30 years, Dr. Biden deeply understands the value of in-person learning and recognizes the work that President Biden, Gov. Evers, and Democrats in Congress have done to keep students and teachers safe as they return to the classroom.


During the event, Dr. Biden also discussed how President Biden’s American Rescue Plan continues to deliver for Wisconsin’s parents, children, teachers, and schools, highlighting the third round of payments from President Biden’s expanded Child Tax Credit hitting parents’ bank accounts this week.

You can read about the First Lady’s visit and discussion with Milwaukee parents and teachers here.




Third Payments of President Biden’s Expanded Child Tax Credit


This week, parents across the state saw the third round of President Biden’s expanded Child Tax Credits. This middle-class tax cut is helping parents breathe a little bit easier at the end of each month and is further proof that President Biden and Democrats in Congress are delivering for working families. After just one round of the credits, 56% of US families felt reduced financial anxiety and 3.3 million more kids nationwide had enough to eat.


This is great news, and it’s just the first step in creating a better future for Wisconsin’s children. It is crucial that the U.S. Senate and Congress pass President Biden’s overwhelmingly popular Build Back Better plan, which would make this expanded credit permanent. To learn more about the importance of making the Child Tax Credit permanent, read Chair Wikler’s opinion piece from last month.


Holding #RadicalRebecca Kleefisch Accountable


We are holding Scott Walker’s former lieutenant governor Rebecca Kleefisch accountable for her radical agenda as she campaigns for governor. This week, we held a press conference where Wisconsin teachers spoke out against Kleefisch’s record of defunding public education.

While Gov Evers has held up his promise to be the Education Governor, Kleefisch’s proposals would wreck years of work investing in our schools. Watch the full event here.


Wisconsinites will only find out the truth about #RadicalRebecca if all of us help spread the word. Find resources explaining why #RadicalRebecca is wrong for Wisconsin in our social media toolkit, found here!






Celebrating Citizenship Day & Lifting Up Grassroots Leaders: An Interview with Alex Tran


In celebration of Constitution and Citizenship Day on September 17, Alex Tran spoke with MJ Wong Engel, AAPI Coalitions Manager, about her experience teaching citizenship classes with Migration Advocacy of Brown County WI, a coalition of concerned citizens working to provide needed advocacy assistance for immigrants and refugees. Alex is a community advocate and leader in Green Bay. She is a board member of the AAPI Caucus and the first woman of color to be elected to the Brown County Board of Supervisors. The interview has been condensed and edited for clarity.





MJ: You are an activist who wears a lot of different hats! Can you take a moment to share a little bit about your path as a progressive advocate?


AT: I’m a refugee and came here in 1983 with my dad. Growing up I wasn’t really involved politically, [but] I always knew that I loved politics. My high school social studies teacher submitted my name to this program called the National Young Leadership Conference in DC. We got to pretend we were elected officials, and I loved it. I loved the political process.


Growing up in Green Bay, everyone around me was conservative. Then I went to Madison and it totally changed my mindset about everything I thought that I knew. I became more progressive and open-minded. That was my transition from conservative to progressive. 


I decided to run for office in 2018 because there were some issues in the community that I wanted to address, but I didn’t have the proper connections and didn’t know how to go about it, so I decided to run for office. I know what’s important to me: helping my community and making a difference. 


Having been a refugee myself, I understand how difficult the process can be, coming to a foreign country and not knowing the language at all. When we first came, things were a lot more difficult and there weren’t a lot of resources available. We learned the process the hard way and I didn’t want anyone else to go through that either. I want to make it easier for them.


I got involved with Migration Advocacy through my friend, H, one of the co-founders of the organization. He said, “You know what it’s like, want to get involved?” A group of us run classes for students twice a week. The majority of our students are from Somalia and many of them are learning the English language for the first time. I had one student who didn’t know how to read or write in her native language, but she was adamant on passing the citizenship test so she learned to read and write English. She wanted to become a part of this community. I wouldn’t be surprised if she ran for office someday. I’m really proud of her!


MJ: What drives your passion for the work you do with citizenship classes and advocacy?


AT: [The] majority of us are immigrants in this country. We are all trying to make a life for our families. These people came from war zones. I myself was a child of the war. [Refugees in Wisconsin are] making an effort to make a new life for themselves and their children, future generations. 


Having been a refugee I know what it’s like to be in a foreign land. It’s a difficult process and I’m here to help make it a lot easier for them in whatever way I can. To see them pass the test and to see how excited they are feels like Christmas, like getting presents. Many of our students  work in the meatpacking factory, doing really hard labor and long hours; yet, they make this effort to become American citizens, which is really admirable to see!


I remember the day we became citizens. You feel legitimate in some way. You’re officially an American, your freedom is not to be taken for granted, it’s guaranteed. It makes you want to make sure it stays that way for future generations.


Want to get involved? Wisconsin’s Department of Children and Families has a great guide to ways to assist refugees, including a link to a PDF listing DCF’s partner agencies all over the state. A few of them include Lutheran Social Services of WI & Upper WI, Jewish Social Services, International Institute of Wisconsin, and World Relief



The Rural Power Up Initiative is being developed by the Rural Caucus and supported by WisDems staff. The goal of this initiative is to enhance collaboration between rural communities and strengthen the organizing power of our rural counties ahead of the 2022 election.

Rural Caucus Chair Nate Timm is working to schedule trainings around the state on the three components of the Rural Power Up Strategy: the formation of multi-county collaboratives, the development of values-based messaging, and the solidification of a rural community contact network. These strategies and tactics have been based on the feedback and insight of rural leaders, members of our Rural Advisory Council, and local experts.






Paid for by the Democratic Party of Wisconsin, Ben Wikler, Chair


Our mailing address is:

15 N. Pinckney St., Ste 200, Madison, Wisconsin 53703