The Hill's Morning Report — Sponsored by CVS Health — Big night for women in primary elections

 

 

 

Welcome to The Hill's Morning Report, and happy Wednesday! This daily email, a successor to The Hill’s Tipsheet, is reported by Jonathan Easley and Alexis Simendinger to get you up to speed on the most important developments in politics and policy, plus trends to watch. (CLICK HERE to subscribe!)



There are no women currently in the Pennsylvania congressional delegation. That’s guaranteed to change in November.

 

Pennsylvania candidates faced off for the first time under the new congressional map last night after the state’s Supreme Court struck down the old map, ruling that it had been gerrymandered by Republicans.

 

The redrawn map gives Democrats several new pick-up opportunities as they seek to flip 23 seats and win a majority in the House. Here’s a quick rundown of the key primary races from Tuesday.

 

Pennsylvania Senate: Rep. Lou BarlettaLouis (Lou) James BarlettaElection Countdown: Latest on the 2018 Senate money race | Red-state Dems feeling the heat over Kavanaugh | Dem doubts about Warren | Ocasio-Cortez to visit Capitol Hill | Why Puerto Ricans in Florida could swing Senate race Midterm turnout surges for both parties Poll: Incumbent Dem leads Pennsylvania Senate race by 15 MORE (R), a close ally of President TrumpDonald John TrumpWSJ: Trump ignored advice to confront Putin over indictments Trump hotel charging Sean Spicer ,000 as book party venue Bernie Sanders: Trump 'so tough' on child separations but not on Putin MORE, will face off against Sen. Bob CaseyRobert (Bob) Patrick CaseyOvernight Health Care: Trump officials explore importing prescription drugs | Key ObamaCare, drug pricing regs under review | GOP looks to blunt attacks on rising premiums | Merck to lower some drug prices Dems pressure GOP to take legal action supporting pre-existing conditions Congress should build upon the ABLE Act, giving more Americans with disabilities access to financial tools MORE Jr. (D). Casey is one of 10 Senate Democrats up for reelection in states Trump carried in 2016.

 

Pennsylvania’s 1st District: Multimillionaire philanthropist Scott Wallace (D), a former aide to former Pennsylvania Sen. Arlen Specter, plowed millions of his own money into his campaign and it paid off. He’ll face GOP Rep. Brian FitzpatrickBrian K. FitzpatrickOvernight Energy: Proposed rule would roll back endangered species protections | House passes Interior, EPA spending | House votes to disavow carbon tax House votes to disavow carbon tax GOP group hits Pennsylvania Dem over foundation donations MORE in the general election. Hillary ClintonHillary Diane Rodham ClintonBernie Sanders: Trump 'so tough' on child separations but not on Putin Anti-Trump protests outside White House continue into fifth night Opera singers perform outside White House during fourth day of protests MORE won the newly redrawn district by 2 points in 2016.

 

Pennsylvania’s 4th District: Backed by national women’s groups, state Rep. Madeleine Dean cruised to victory over former Rep. Joe Hoeffe in the Democratic primary. She will be favored to defeat Republican Daniel David, who ran unopposed in the GOP primary.

 

Pennsylvania’s 5th District: Attorney Mary Gay Scanlon (D) will meet Republican Pearl Kim, a former state deputy attorney general, in the November election to replace former Rep. Pat MeehanPatrick (Pat) Leo MeehanOvernight Energy: Pruitt taps man behind 'lock her up' chant for EPA office | Watchdog to review EPA email policies | Three Republicans join climate caucus Three Republicans join climate change caucus Pennsylvania GOP to use Meehan donation to support female candidates MORE (R). Meehan resigned amid sexual misconduct allegations.

 

Pennsylvania’s 7th District: Allentown solicitor Susan Wild won the Democratic nomination and will face Marty Nothstein in November. Democrats believe they can win the seat last held by former Rep. Charlie DentCharles (Charlie) Wieder DentLots of love: Charity tennis match features lawmakers teaming up across the aisle Ex-lawmakers see tough job market with trade groups Dem, GOP groups prepare spending blitz for midterms MORE (R), who recently resigned. There will be a special election later this summer to fill the rest of Dent's term.

 

Pennsylvania’s 14th District: There will be no comeback for Republican state Rep. Rick Saccone, who lost the special election for the old 18th District to now-Rep. Conor Lamb (D) in March. Republican Guy Reschenthaler, a state senator and Iraq War veteran, defeated Saccone in the primary and will face Democrat Bibiana Boerio in the general election.

 

There was also an interesting primary out west…

 

Nebraska’s 2nd District: Liberal Kara Eastman edged out former Rep. Brad AshfordJohn (Brad) Bradley AshfordEx-Dem lawmaker: Russians hacked my email in 2016 In 2018 midterms, Democrats must stop sidelining abortion Election fears recede for House Republicans MORE (D) by about one thousand votes. Ashford is a former Blue Dog Democrat, while Eastman has support from progressives. She will go up against freshman Rep. Don Bacon (R), who defeated Ashford in 2016.



 

 



LEADING THE DAY

***BREAKING*** Three consequential stories pertaining to the Russia investigation: The Justice Department and FBI have opened investigations into Cambridge Analytica, the data firm used by the Trump campaign (The New York Times)...Trump’s attorney Rudy Giuliani says the president will use the one-year anniversary of the Mueller probe on Thursday to call for an end to the investigation (Bloomberg)...Judge rejects former Trump campaign manager Paul ManafortPaul John ManafortFailings by WhatsApp, Signal and others highlight the need to take back our privacy The Hill's Morning Report — Trump and Congress at odds over Russia The Hill's 12:30 Report — Trump eyes second Putin summit MORE’s motion to dismiss charges (Reuters).

 

INTERNATIONAL: North Korea: The Hill — A June 12 meeting in Singapore between Trump and Kim Jong Un was thrown into limbo on Wednesday after North Korea denounced military exercises between South Korea and the United States as a provocation and called off high-level talks with Seoul. The North's Korean Central News Agency said the Max Thunder drills between the South Korean and U.S. air forces are a rehearsal for invasion of the North.

 

Reuters: North Korean official says country will rethink U.S. summit if pressured to abandon nuclear program.

 

White House reaction: The Trump administration is continuing to prepare for a June meeting with Kim. “We are aware of the South Korean media report. The United States will look at what North Korea has said independently, and continue to coordinate closely with our allies,” said press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders.

 

>Reuters: For North Korea, Trump national security adviser John Bolton — a known quantity in Pyongyang dating back to the Bush era — has become an issue.

>Reuters: Separately on Tuesday, North Korea said it would join international “efforts for a total ban on nuclear tests.” The government, which is believed to have tested six nuclear weapons, has said it will dismantle its only known nuclear test site this month ahead of the meeting with the United States on June 12.

 

Israel: Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and the U.S. defended Israel’s decision to kill dozens of Palestinian demonstrators at the Gaza border as the U.S. opened its embassy in Jerusalem.

 

>CBS News: Netanyahu defended the Israeli response to protests in Gaza and blamed Hamas for the deaths and violence.

>The Hill: Nikki HaleyNimrata (Nikki) HaleyTrump was right to ditch UN’s plan for handling migrants The Hill's Morning Report — Trump and Congress at odds over Russia Overnight Defense: Trump tries to quell Russia furor | GOP looks to reassure NATO | Mattis open to meeting Russian counterpart MORE, the U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, lauded Israel for its “restraint.” She blamed Hamas for making the "lives of Palestinians miserable."

>The Hill: The U.S. blocked the adoption of a United Nations Security Council resolution drafted by Kuwait calling for a probe into the violence that broke out on the Gaza border.

>The Hill: The Palestinians recalled their envoy from Washington to protest the move of the U.S. Embassy in Israel from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem.

 

Ben Shapiro — News media’s anti-Trump, anti-Israel fervor.

Dana Milbank — Nothing says ‘peace’ like 58 dead Palestinians.

Iran: The Hill — The U.S. adds the head of Iran’s central bank to a sanctions list.

The Hill — Trump’s decision to exit the nuclear deal with Iran could have broad economic consequences for U.S. allies as the administration reimposes sweeping sanctions on Iran, which were lifted in 2015. European nations are seeking to fend off U.S. penalties.

Reuters: Europe and Iran sought a common front on Tuesday to save the nuclear deal without the United States, although some diplomats doubted privately it can survive the reimposition of U.S. sanctions ordered by Trump.

 

CONGRESS: The president gave Republican senators a midterm elections pep talk at a closed-door meeting on Tuesday, The Hill’s Alexander Bolton reports. Trump expressed confidence in the face of daunting political headwinds.

 

Takeaway: Senators have told the press that the White House should apologize for the official who disparaged ailing Sen. John McCainJohn Sidney McCainObama, Bush veterans dismiss Trump-Putin interpreter subpoena Controversial Trump judicial nominee withdraws Trump vows to hold second meeting with Putin MORE (R-Ariz.) but none raised the issue with him on Tuesday.

 

Senate rules: The Hill — Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellSunk judicial pick spills over into Supreme Court fight Hillicon Valley: Trump's Russia moves demoralize his team | Congress drops effort to block ZTE deal | Rosenstein warns of foreign influence threat | AT&T's latest 5G plans On The Money: Trump 'ready' for tariffs on all 0B in Chinese goods | Trump digs in on Fed criticism | Lawmakers drop plans to challenge Trump ZTE deal MORE (R-Ky.), who joined his conference in a meeting in the Capitol with the president on Tuesday, suggested he’s not going to change filibuster rules as they apply to the president’s nominees. “The attitude of the Democrats seems to be better. That’s the best way to solve the problem, to get back to some degree of normalcy,” he said.

 

House leadership race: The Hill — Rep. Jim JordanJames (Jim) Daniel JordanMore than 100 ex-Ohio State students share allegations of sexual misconduct by doctor: AP The Hill's Morning Report — Russia furor grips Washington Freedom Caucus members see openings in leadership MORE (R-Ohio) has been talked about as a possible successor to House Speaker Paul RyanPaul Davis RyanInterior fast tracks study of drilling's Arctic impact: report Dems unveil slate of measures to ratchet up pressure on Russia National Dems make play in Ohio special election MORE (R-Wis.), although most GOP lawmakers don't believe the former Freedom Caucus chairman can amass the 218 votes needed. But if Republicans get wiped out in the November midterms, Jordan’s fortunes with his colleagues could change.

 

Tax lobbying: The Hill — The alcohol industry is pressing Congress to make permanent the excise tax relief the sector secured in the new tax law.

 

Farm bill, puppies and animal welfare: Lawrence (Kansas) Journal-World — A potential farm bill provision is under fire based on concerns about state preemption tied to agriculture products and even puppy mills.

Humane Society of America lobbies Congress on farm bill issues, including puppy mills.



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IN FOCUS/SHARP TAKES

WHITE HOUSE & ADMINISTRATION: Gina Haspel will be the next director of the CIA and the first woman to ever hold the post.

 

Three Democrats – Sens. Mark WarnerMark Robert WarnerSenate panel advances Trump IRS nominee Bipartisan bill would bring needed funds to deteriorating National Park Service infrastructure Senate Dems press for info on any deals from Trump-Putin meeting MORE (Va.), Heidi HeitkampMary (Heidi) Kathryn HeitkampPolling analyst: Same Dems who voted for Gorsuch will vote for Kavanaugh Dems pressure GOP to take legal action supporting pre-existing conditions Election Countdown: Senate, House Dems build cash advantage | 2020 Dems slam Trump over Putin presser | Trump has M in war chest | Republican blasts parents for donating to rival | Ocasio-Cortez, Sanders to campaign in Kansas MORE (N.D.) and Bill NelsonClarence (Bill) William NelsonPolling analyst: Same Dems who voted for Gorsuch will vote for Kavanaugh Election security bill picks up new support in Senate Senators share their fascination with sharks at hearing MORE (Fla.) – announced Tuesday they would support her nomination. Heitkamp and Nelson are up for reelection in states Trump carried in 2016, as is Sen. Joe DonnellyJoseph (Joe) Simon DonnellyPolling analyst: Same Dems who voted for Gorsuch will vote for Kavanaugh Pollster: Kavanaugh will get Dem votes Dems pressure GOP to take legal action supporting pre-existing conditions MORE (D-Ind.), who said he’d back Haspel a day earlier.

 

The Hill: Warner vote clears path for Haspel nomination.

 

The Democratic support essentially clinches the confirmation for Haspel, who could see a floor vote as early as this week. Haspel had to overcome questions about her involvement with detention and interrogation programs in the years after Sept. 11.

 

Elsewhere within the administration…

 

The Hill: Secretary of State Mike PompeoMichael (Mike) Richard PompeoHillicon Valley: Trump's Russia moves demoralize his team | Congress drops effort to block ZTE deal | Rosenstein warns of foreign influence threat | AT&T's latest 5G plans Dem lawmaker calls on Pompeo to keep export restrictions on 3D gun-printing software Questions mount over Trump-Putin discussions MORE is lifting the hiring freeze on the Foreign and Civil services imposed by his predecessor, Rex TillersonRex Wayne TillersonThe Memo: Putin furor sparks new questions on Kelly’s future US steps up its game in Africa, a continent open for business Matt Drudge shares mock ‘Survivor’ cover suggesting more White House officials will leave this summer MORE. Pompeo has been on the job for only three weeks but morale at Foggy Bottom is up considerably under his leadership.

 

Morale is not great at the Environmental Protection Agency under Administrator Scott PruittEdward (Scott) Scott PruittOvernight Energy: Court rejects new effort to stop kids' climate lawsuit | Baltimore is latest city to sue over climate change | EPA staffers worried about toxic chemical in Pruitt's desk Pruitt staffers worried about toxic chemical in his desk Andrew Wheeler must reverse damage to American heartland MORE. He’s returning to Capitol Hill this morning, the first time senators will question the administrator at a hearing since the deluge of spending and ethics controversies began in March (The Hill).

 

Already at the center of a dozen investigations, Pruitt learned his emails are now being examined by the EPA watchdog (Politico).

 

Even Republican lawmakers are piling on the embattled Cabinet member.

 

 

 

The Washington Post: The Department of Homeland Security prepares to hold immigrant children on military bases.

The Hill: Trump administration eliminates top cyber post.

 

POLICY: A brief roundup…

 

Health Care:

 

The Hill: The ObamaCare wars are back, with each party seeking to blame the other for expected cost hikes on the exchanges.

The Hill: Republicans are pressuring the Trump administration to defund Planned Parenthood or reinstate Reagan era restrictions before the midterm elections.

NBC News: Nation’s most restrictive abortion law challenged in court.

 

Immigration:

 

The Hill: Frustrated Trump tells lawmakers he wants action on border wall, immigration.

The Hill: Appeals court skeptical of allowing Trump to end the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program.

Democratic whip Steny HoyerSteny Hamilton HoyerDems unveil slate of measures to ratchet up pressure on Russia House leaders clash over resolution backing ICE Hoyer calls on GOP to bring up election security amendment MORE (Md.): Democrats are open to funding the wall in exchange for a deal on DACA.

 

Trade:

 

The Hill: Boeing trade case sets up U.S. to impose tariffs on the European Union.

The Wall Street Journal: Mexico doesn’t see North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA)  talks wrapping up before deadline.

The Hill: U.S. businesses asked the U.S. trade representative for protections from Trump’s tariffs aimed at China. The executives lobbied the administration during the first of three days of planned hearings.

 

CAMPAIGNS: The Democratic presidential candidates have begun their 2020 auditions. The field will be massive and several of those potential candidates spoke at the Center for American Progress Ideas Conference in Washington on Tuesday, including Sens. Elizabeth WarrenElizabeth Ann WarrenOn The Money: Trump 'ready' for tariffs on all 0B in Chinese goods | Trump digs in on Fed criticism | Lawmakers drop plans to challenge Trump ZTE deal On The Money: Trump rips Fed over rate hikes | Dems fume as consumer agency pick refuses to discuss border policy | Senate panel clears Trump IRS nominee Dems fume as Trump's consumer bureau pick refuses to discuss role in border policy MORE (D-Mass.), Bernie SandersBernard (Bernie) SandersBernie Sanders: Trump 'so tough' on child separations but not on Putin Bernie Sanders tells Kansas crowd: This 'sure doesn’t look' like a GOP state The Hill's Morning Report — Trump and Congress at odds over Russia MORE (I-Vt.), Cory BookerCory Anthony BookerBooker calls on Kavanaugh to recuse himself on Trump-related cases Anti-Trump protesters hold candlelight vigil by White House House backs resolution expressing support for ICE MORE (D-N.J.) and Amy KlobucharAmy Jean KlobucharGOP seeks separation from Trump on Russia Hillicon Valley: EU hits Google with record B fine | Trump tries to clarify Russia remarks | Sinclair changing deal to win over FCC | Election security bill gets traction | Robocall firm exposed voter data Election security bill picks up new support in Senate MORE (D-Minn.).

 

The key takeaway from The Hill’s Niall Stanage - Warren stole the show.

 

Meanwhile, national Democrats have launched a last-minute spending spree ahead of the June 5 primary elections in California to ensure they’re not shut out of what they view as winnable races.

 

Ford O’Connell: The two topics that will help the GOP keep a majority in the House.

 

The Hill’s Lisa Hagen and Ben Kamisar report on the Democratic push in three Southern California districts that Hillary Clinton won in 2016. The fear is that the divided fields could cost the party in the jungle primaries, in which the top two finishers move on, regardless of party.



OPINION

The Senate should confirm Gina Haspel as CIA director, by Jen Kerns, opinion contributor to The Hill. https://bit.ly/2jXXCtW

 

An immigration policy proposal, by former White House chiefs of staff Mack McLarty and Jack Watson, opinion contributors to The Hill. https://bit.ly/2IL5LQp



WHERE AND WHEN

NAFTA and North American Competitiveness: A U.S.-Canada Conversation at 8 a.m. at the Newseum, sponsored by the Canadian American Business Council. Panelists include Reps. Erik PaulsenErik Philip PaulsenGOP looks to blunt Dems’ attacks on rising premiums Overnight Health Care: Kentucky gov cancels Medicaid dental, vision benefits | Collins voices skepticism court will overturn Roe v. Wade | Dems press 'middlemen' on drug costs July vote to repeal medical device tax may bolster vulnerable GOP lawmaker MORE (R-Minn.) and Suzan DelBeneSuzan Kay DelBeneHillicon Valley: Deal reached on ZTE, but lawmakers look to block it | New encryption bill | Dems push Ryan for net neutrality vote | Google vows it won't use AI for weapons Lawmakers renew push to preempt state encryption laws Trade experts, lawmakers say NAFTA deal within reach MORE (D-Wash.), both members of the House Ways and Means Committee. Moderator is Bob Cusack, editor-in-chief of The Hill.

 

The House meets at 10 a.m. for morning hour and at noon for legislative business.

 

The Senate meets at 9:30 a.m. and resumes consideration of Mitchell Zais, nominee to be Education deputy secretary. The Senate Intelligence Committee expects to vote on the nomination of Gina Haspel to be CIA director. The Judiciary Committee holds a hearing about the shuttered U.K.-based political consulting firm Cambridge Analytica, and the future of data privacy.

 

The president meets with President Shavkat Mirziyoyev of Uzbekistan during a working lunch. This afternoon, Trump participates in a photo opportunity with the White House News Photographers’ Association award recipients, after which he hosts the California Sanctuary State roundtable.

 

First lady Melania TrumpMelania TrumpTrump, Pence offer condolences to families of Missouri boat tour victims Avenatti says Cohen's Trump recording 'is not the only tape' NYT: Cohen taped Trump on payment to ex-Playboy model MORE remains hospitalized at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center. The president made his second visit in as many days on Tuesday and told reporters that his wife is “doing really, really well” following treatment for an unspecified kidney ailment. She is expected to be discharged soon.

 

 

 



ELSEWHERE

> Twitter to implement changes meant to crack down on trolls, by Ali Breland, The Hill https://bit.ly/2rMjcGf



THE CLOSER

And finally … “I think your soul is your relationship with other people,” journalist and novelist Tom Wolfe once said. He died Monday in New York at age 88.

 

In an obituary, The New York Times observed that the man known for his white suits and faux spats was a keen observer and journalistic innovator: “His talent as a writer and caricaturist was evident from the start in his verbal pyrotechnics and perfect mimicry of speech patterns, his meticulous reporting, and his creative use of pop language and explosive punctuation.”

 

The Washington Post’s David Von Drehle, eulogizing and confiding, concludes that there was only one: “Wolfe made writing of the most difficult order look deceptively easy, and luminously fun, to the delight of readers and the embarrassment of all who tried to copy him.”

 

Twenty years ago, with his 1987 satirical novel “Bonfire of the Vanities” still a part of New York literary conversations, Wolfe sat down with CBS’s “60 Minutes” and observed that business executives, at least at that moment, left a small footprint in American society.

 

“I think it would be wonderful if business leaders would weigh into not only political questions, but moral questions,” he told CBS. “Right now, they’re afraid to do it.”