McCain also was criticized for missing a hearing on the attacks and said he would attend both of the Senate Intelligence panels' classified hearings on the Libya attacks.

ADVERTISEMENT
His absence from a Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee hearing on Wednesday raised eyebrows among some of his colleagues — including Sen. Susan CollinsSusan CollinsGOP leader tempers ObamaCare expectations Dems plot recess offensive on ObamaCare Senate takes lead on Trump’s infrastructure proposal MORE (R-Maine), the panel’s ranking member — and the White House. The former GOP presidential candidate has been a strong critic of the administration’s handling of the attack, which killed the U.S. ambassador to Libya and three other Americans.

McCain told The Hill that missing the Wednesday hearing was accidental. "It was a scheduling mistake," McCain said as he walked into the Senate Intelligence hearing.


TOMORROW’S AGENDA TODAY: President Obama meets with Senate Majority Leader Harry ReidHarry ReidGOP frustrated by slow pace of Trump staffing This week: Congress awaits Comey testimony Will Republicans grow a spine and restore democracy? MORE (D-Nev.), Senate Minority leader Mitch McConnellMitch McConnellFive goals for Republicans this summer GOP leader tempers ObamaCare expectations Week ahead: Senate faces difficult path to consensus on healthcare MORE (R-Ky.), Speaker John BoehnerJohn BoehnerTrump aide: Boehner is the disaster Boehner: Tax reform is 'just a bunch of happy talk' Lobbying World MORE (R-Ohio) and House Minority leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) at 10:15 a.m. at the White House.


TWEET OF THE DAY: “I was the first Democratic woman elected to the Senate in her own right. The 16th women to serve in the Senate in all of American history.” — Sen. Barbara MikulskiBarbara MikulskiBipartisan friendship is a civil solution to political dysfunction Dems press for paycheck fairness bill on Equal Pay Day After 30 years celebrating women’s history, have we made enough progress? MORE (D-Md.)


BATTLE FOR THE HOUSE:

Kelly Ward, a Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee veteran, will serve as the committee's chairwoman for the 2014 cycle, DCCC Chairman Steve Israel (D-N.Y.) announced on Thursday. Two other DCCC staffers are receiving promotions for the 2014 cycle: Jesse Ferguson, communications director for the 2012 cycle, will remain in that role but has also been named deputy executive director. And the committee's current national finance director, Missy Kurek, will be deputy executive director for finance for the 2014 cycle.


ARIZONA: Rep. Ron BarberRon BarberGiffords to lawmakers avoiding town halls: 'Have some courage' Ten House seats Dems hope Trump will tilt House conducts moment of silence for Tucson shooting anniversary MORE (D) is up 709 votes over Republican rival Martha McSally, the Phoenix New Times reports. There are about 1,550 early ballots to be counted in Pima County, where Barber is expected to have an advantage.

CALIFORNIA: Democrat Ami BeraAmi BeraDems, not trusting Trump, want permanent ObamaCare fix Independent investigation into Russian interference needed House Democrats identify vulnerable incumbents for 2018 cycle MORE has expanded his lead over Rep. Dan Lungren (R) by more than 3,800 votes, the Elk Grove Citizen News reports, with another vote tally update expected late Thursday evening.

FLORIDA
: Rep. Allen West (R-Fla.) shot down an invitation to run for office in Georgia.

LOUISIANA: Conservative radio host Mark Levin has endorsed Rep. Jeff Landry (R-La.) in his runoff election against Rep. Charles BoustanyCharles BoustanyDemocrats, Republicans must work together to advance health care Lobbying World Former GOP rep joins K Street lobbying firm Capitol Counsel MORE Jr. (R-La.), a boost to the Tea Party favorite ahead of their early December election.

NORTH CAROLINA: Rep. Mike McIntyre's (D) lead has grown to 438 votes over Republican David Rouzer, the Fayetteville Star News reports. Results are expected to be certified on Friday and a recount is possible.

TENNESSEE
: Records released from Rep. Scott DesJarlais's (R-Tenn.) 2001 divorce appear to confirm previous reports that DesJarlais had sexual relationships with patients while a practicing physician in Tennessee. The Chattanooga Times Free Press obtained the documents, which reveal that DesJarlais, who opposes abortion rights, supported his ex-wife in obtaining two abortions before their marriage.


SENATE SHOWDOWN:

Sen. Michael BennetMichael BennetSenators introduce lifetime lobbying ban for lawmakers Undocumented activist living in church gets stay of removal Overnight Regulation: Senate confirms SEC pick | House GOP passes 'comp time' bill | MORE (D-Colo.) said he had not yet decided whether he'll be taking the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee chairmanship offered to him earlier this week by Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.).


IN CASE YOU MISSED IT:

Sen. Marco RubioMarco RubioReport: VA drug thefts not going away Senate panel could pass new Russia sanctions this summer McConnell on Trump: 'We could do with a little less drama' MORE (R-Fla.) said the Republican Party needs to improve its message on illegal immigration in order to appeal to more Hispanic voters. "It's really hard to get people to listen to you ... if they think you want to deport their grandmother," he said. "You can be for legal immigration. You don't have to be for amnesty, but you also have to realize that these people are human beings."


Please send tips and comments to Emily Goodin, egoodin@thehill.com; Cameron Joseph, cjoseph@thehill.com; Alexandra Jaffe, ajaffe@thehill.com, and Justin Sink, jsink@thehill.com

Follow us on Twitter: @hillballotbox, @emilylgoodin, @cam_joseph, ‏@ajjaffe, @JTSTheHill

You can sign up to receive this overnight update via email on The Hill’s homepage.