'Here & Now' Highlights: US Rep. Gwen Moore, Sen. Mark Spreitzer

Here's what guests on the Feb. 16, 2024 episode said about emergency aid to Ukraine and Israel, and what remains unclear despite the approval and signing of the Evers redistricting maps.

By Frederica Freyberg | Here & Now

February 19, 2024

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Frederica Freyberg sits at a desk on the Here & Now set and faces a video monitor showing an image of Gwen Moore.

Frederica Freyberg and U.S. Rep. Gwen Moore (Credit: PBS Wisconsin)

Federal lawmakers have had foreign policy on their agenda, with Democratic U.S. Rep. Gwen Moore supporting emergency funding for Ukraine and conditional funding for Israel. State lawmakers have had redistricting on their agenda, with Democratic state Sen. Mark Spreitzer saying the legislative voting maps passed mostly by Republicans should have had a public hearing.

U.S. Rep. Gwen Moore

  • The U.S. House of Representatives has yet to take up a $95 billion emergency funding package that would give aid to Ukraine as it fights Russia’s invasion, as well as to Israel as it wages war against Hamas in Gaza. The funding package is a stand-alone bill after immigration reform measures were stripped out of it in the U.S. Senate, but still doesn’t have full support. Moore is supportive of both expenditures, but with conditions put on Israel
  • Moore: “I think Joe Biden has really indicated very clearly that he wants Benjamin Netanyahu to sort of listen to our counsel a little bit more. And if we provide them with weapons, they ought to be used defensively, and that we ought to be more strategic in seeking out Hamas militants as opposed to carpet bombing the entire population. The situation is very dire.”
  • On the domestic issue of immigration reform, Moore supported the bipartisan bill proposed in the U.S. Senate that failed under primarily Republican opposition. That outcome was fueled by the similar partisan positions that led to the House impeaching U.S. Department of Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas by one vote. Moore opposed the impeachment and described Wisconsin Republican Rep. Mike Gallagher’s vote – which was also no and helped block a previous impeachment attempt before announcing he wouldn’t run for re-election – as telling of the current climate.
  • Moore: “I think Mike Gallagher’s vote really is indicative of the pressure that all of these Republicans are experiencing to do what Donald Trump wants them to do. And Mike Gallagher, someone who apparently has ambitions beyond the House of Representatives decided to just take an exit. He voted against the ‘Big Lie’ and not certifying the election. I noted that earlier in the 118th Congress. And, you know, he’s thoughtful and he has courage. I think it demonstrates the great cowardice that we’re experiencing here in the House.”


State Sen. Mark Spreitzer

  • In a move described as hedging their bets, Republican legislative leaders forwarded Gov. Tony Evers’ redistricting maps – with no changes. After rejecting Republican-drawn maps, the Wisconsin Supreme Court has before it four versions of maps that met criteria for adoption, with Evers’ being most beneficial to Republicans. Lawmakers passed the maps, with a majority of Democrats voting against them, skeptical of Republican’s intentions. Spreitzer said he wanted the bill to go to committee to publicly hammer out questions.
  • Spreitzer: “We had a question about whether the bill itself was a clean bill because it doesn’t cause the map to take effect until this fall’s election. Right now, we have a map that is unconstitutional that the Wisconsin Supreme Court has said can’t be used for any future elections. And there’s a recall effort against Speaker Robin Vos. There’s a special election that’s needed in the 4th Senate district. And so there’s some unanswered questions if this bill is signed into law about what map those elections are held on and what map exists between now and November. Those questions could be answered by going back to the state Supreme Court and trying to get clarity.


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