The Hill's Morning Report — Sponsored by PhRMA — Immigration drama grips Washington


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Hill.TV’s “Rising” program, starting at 8 a.m., today features budget expert Rep. John YarmuthJohn Allen YarmuthDem lawmaker: Trump finally got his 'largest audience ever' in London protests Dems struggle with unity amid leadership tensions Overnight Health Care: Pfizer delaying price hikes after Trump criticism | Dems focus on health care in Supreme Court fight | Feds won’t reunite all 102 detained children by deadline | VA nominee headed to Senate floor vote MORE (D-Ky.); the special inspector general for Afghanistan reconstruction, talking about U.S. investments in that country; and actor and comedian Michael Aronin, one of the stars of a 2017 film, “Special Unit,” cast almost entirely with disabled performers.

In memoriam … Conservative columnist and Fox News commentator Charles Krauthammer, 68, died on Thursday. In his clear-eyed fashion, he previewed the news himself earlier this month. His fans were everywhere.

Dramatic votes. House floor maneuvers. Protests. Trips to the border.

Immigration issues gripped Washington on Thursday. Nothing was resolved. Today, President TrumpDonald John TrumpNFL freezes policy barring players from protesting during anthem McConnell spokesman on Putin visit: 'There is no invitation from Congress' Petition urges University of Virginia not to hire Marc Short MORE will return to a familiar narrative about criminal immigrants and gang members in a speech at the White House.

Here’s the tick-tock and fallout from a frantic 24 hours:

The House

Trump fumed over these outcomes.

The Senate

The White House

The executive order Trump signed to stop his administration’s policy of separating children from their families has done nothing to quell the outrage over the plights of the more than 2,000 children who have already been separated.

In Texas and other border communities, and in Washington, the administration is reckoning with the real-world logistics of unwinding the family separation policy, along with ferocious political blowback.

The Associated Press: Confusion swirls on border after Trump reversal on families.

Reuters: Trump policy beset by confusion.

Takeaway: The plight of all of these separated children will dog the administration until the last case is resolved. The issues complicate the already emotional debates about newly arriving migrants, asylum seekers, border security, Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals recipients, and 11 million illegal immigrants already in the country who face deportation.



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As a Medicare Part D Cliff looms for seniors, the program’s successful structure is also in jeopardy. Congress can act now to protect seniors from the donut hole suddenly increasing by more than $1,200, and secure the program for the future by fixing changes that undermine its successful competitive structure.



CONGRESS: Republican lawmakers appear no closer to a consensus than they were early this week, or early this year, despite Speaker Ryan’s assurances that leaders presented “pretty darn good immigration measures” for House consideration. If there’s a Plan D, it’s a mystery, other than to come back at it next week. Here’s some of the latest coverage at

House GOP – immigration: House Republicans postponed until next week a planned vote on a leadership-backed immigration bill (The Hill).

> A separate conservative GOP immigration bill failed in the House on Thursday by a vote of 193-231, and its rejection was expected (The Hill). Not one Democrat backed the bill and 41 Republicans — many in tough reelection races — voted "no." Noteworthy: Rep. Cathy McMorris RodgersCathy McMorris RodgersThe Hill's Morning Report — Sponsored by Better Medicare Alliance — Dramatic battle looms after Kennedy’s retirement Immigration overhaul on life support in the House Vulnerable House GOP leader takes lead on family separations bill MORE (Wash.), the No. 4-ranked House Republican who is a Democratic target this fall, rejected the measure.

> A House panel rejected an amendment that would have barred separation of migrant children from parents and relatives when apprehended at the border (The Hill).

> Senate - immigration: The Hill: Four leading senators plan to meet next week on immigration issues. Senate Republicans say some kind of measure to address the border crisis involving migrant families is needed, but obstacles have piled up.

Senate - clean water: The Hill: The Senate turned aside a conservative’s bid to block a landmark Obama-era water pollution rule.

House – farm bill: The Hill: The House approved a five-year farm bill, following months of legislative drafting complicated by unrelated snags before a final vote tied to immigration. The measure imposes controversial new work requirements on food stamp beneficiaries.

House - budget: The Hill: The House Budget Committee approved, with a party-line vote, a budget resolution for the 2019 fiscal year, advancing the measure two months after its legal deadline and well into the appropriations process it’s meant to precede. 

Trade issues: Turkey imposed tariffs on $1.8 billion of U.S. goods on Thursday in retaliation for the Trump administration’s tariffs on aluminum and steel (Bloomberg) … Trump jabbed first and now the world hits back in trade fight (The Associated Press) ...

Stocks set for worst week in three months on trade war worries (Reuters).




CAMPAIGNS & POLITICS: Trump is in full campaign mode following his rally this week in Minnesota, a state he’d love to turn red in 2020.

The president’s next stop is another swing state he lost narrowly in 2016. He’ll stump for Sen. Dean HellerDean Arthur HellerSenate Dems build huge cash edge in battlegrounds Jacky Rosen hits Dean Heller over health care in first negative ad GOP moderates hint at smooth confirmation ahead for Kavanaugh MORE (R) in Nevada on Saturday. Heller is among the most vulnerable Republican senators up for reelection in 2018.

And the president used his influential twitter account to endorse Republican Henry McMaster for governor in South Carolina. Trump heads to Columbia to campaign for McMaster on Monday.

> Republicans would love to be focusing on their tax-cuts bill and the economy this election season, but that’s been swamped by immigration. Six months in, The Hill’s Naomi Jagoda takes a look at whether the law will be an asset or an anchor for Republicans in the fall (The Hill).

> And The New York Times sits down with Faith and Freedom Coalition president Ralph Reed to explain why Christians are unlikely to ever abandon Trump. The entire interview is worth a read, but here is one critical quote:

“Mr. Trump won 81 percent of the evangelical vote in 2016, which was the highest share won by any presidential candidate in the history of modern polling. I think it is entirely possible that in 2020 his support could be even higher because of his record on judges, protecting life and religious freedom and defending Israel. There is one way for that support to drop precipitously, and that is if he were to betray his commitments on these critical issues. I don’t expect that to happen.” – Reed.

More from the campaign trail … Trump’s attorney Rudy Giuliani has infuriated Republicans by backing an obscure challenger to Rep. Clay HigginsGlen (Clay) Clay HigginsHouse backs resolution expressing support for ICE House GOP reverses, cancels vote on Dem bill to abolish ICE The Hill's Morning Report — Sponsored by PhRMA — Immigration drama grips Washington MORE (R-La.) … Giuliani’s girlfriend works for the challenger (Politico) … Did former GOP strategist Steve Schmidt resign from the party and become a Democrat so he could advise Starbucks chairman Howard Schultz’s potential presidential campaign? … connecting the dots (CALmatters) … Sen. Claire McCaskillClaire Conner McCaskillOvernight 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 The Hill's Morning Report — Trump’s walk-back fails to stem outrage on Putin meeting MORE (D-Mo.) has airplane issues again (The Hill).



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As a Medicare Part D Cliff looms for seniors, the program’s successful structure is also in jeopardy. Congress can act now to protect seniors from the donut hole suddenly increasing by more than $1,200, and secure the program for the future by fixing changes that undermine its successful competitive structure.



ADMINISTRATION & WHITE HOUSE: Trump wants to remake the entire federal government, according to a detailed plan released Thursday by the Office of Management and Budget. Congress would have to agree to consolidate the Education and Labor departments, move food and nutrition services from the Agriculture Department to the Department of Health and Human Services, and reshape the U.S. Census Bureau, among other ideas (Education Week).

The New York Times: Trump’s plan for government overhaul targets the safety net.

Consumer Financial Protection Bureau: The Hill: A federal district judge ruled Thursday that the structure of the CFPB violates the Constitution, countering a January ruling from a federal appeals court. Judge Loretta Preska of the Southern District of New York ruled that the CFPB’s creation as an independent agency with a director that could only be dismissed for wrongdoing was unconstitutional. Meanwhile acting CFPB chief Mick MulvaneyJohn (Mick) Michael MulvaneyOn 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 Trump pick to head watchdog agency is who consumers need Dems fume as Trump's consumer bureau pick refuses to discuss role in border policy MORE has emerged as a key proponent for Kathy Kraninger, nominated this week to be the bureau’s full-time director. Mulvaney, who also serves as Office of Management and Budget director, hopes to quiet the concerns in the Senate and among stakeholders about Kraninger’s credentials.

White House and Ethics: Ethics watchdogs had assailed Donald Trump and White House senior adviser Jared KushnerJared Corey KushnerGeorge Will charges that Trump colluded with Putin DNC claims Secret Service blocked attempt to deliver lawsuit against Kushner On The Money: US files complaints at WTO | House leaders get deal to boost biz investment | Mnuchin says US will consider Iran sanctions waivers | FCC deals blow to Sinclair-Tribune merger MORE, the president’s son-in-law, for retaining stakes in their family businesses while the companies were financially entangled in New Jersey. The New York Times reports that Kushner Cos. and the Trump Organization recently dropped plans for the Trumps to manage an oceanfront hotel that the Kushners are building at the Jersey shore. The companies also terminated an arrangement that would have seen the Trumps managing a hotel outside New York City in Kushner’s childhood hometown, Livingston, N.J.


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Six months in, the GOP tax bill is an utter flop, by Damon Silvers, policy director for the AFL-CIO and opinion contributor with The Hill.

The cyber security sector is booming, but so are our enemies, by Morgan Wright, opinion contributor with The Hill.


The House convenes at 9 a.m. today.

The Senate will reconvene at 3 p.m. on Monday.            

The president confirms newly appointed ambassadors at a ceremony at 12:15 p.m. Trump will give a speech about the impacts of illegal immigration at the White House in the afternoon. In the evening, the president and first lady will attend the U.S. Marine Corps Evening Parade at the Marine Barracks in Washington, D.C.

Vice President Pence will have lunch with Supreme Court Associate Justice Clarence Thomas, and in the afternoon, he’ll speak by phone with the president-elect of Colombia, Ivan Duque.

Secretary of State Mike PompeoMichael (Mike) Richard PompeoSenate GOP attempts to wave Trump off second Putin summit Graham would consider US-Russia military coordination in Syria White House: Trump 'disagrees' with Putin's request to question Americans MORE speaks this morning about the administration’s promotion of  “global economic prosperity” as part of the Commerce Department’s SelectUSA Initiative, which is a three-day event to attract foreign business investment. Pompeo’s remarks will be streamed live on from the Gaylord National Resort and Convention Center, National Harbor, Md. Later, he hosts a working lunch for King Abdullah II of Jordan at the State Department.


> Supreme Court: Internet retailers can be required to collect sales taxes in states where they have no physical presence, The New York Times. In a 5-4 ruling, the court overturned a 1992 court precedent (The Hill).

> How Michael Jackson changed dance history ( A 1988 video “introduced a dance trick in which Jackson … leans forward at about 45 degrees. The move was aided by patented shoes with bolts that lodged the heel into the floor.”

> Koko, the talented lowland gorilla who forged bonds with humans and kittens, died in her sleep earlier this week at age 46, the Gorilla Foundation announced. Born at the San Francisco Zoo in 1971, Koko was for decades a media sensation, contributing to the study of primate language, empathy and understanding among species. “Her impact has been profound, and what she has taught us about the emotional capacity of gorillas and their cognitive abilities will continue to shape the world,” the foundation said in a statement (The Washington Post). 



And finally … Smart news consumers who’ve been listening to this week’s emotional immigration debate responded to the Morning Report Quiz and matched five speakers with their statements referencing “heart.” (A missing bit of copy in the quiz yesterday prompted The Hill to email a “corrected” version of the newsletter; we apologize for any confusion.)  

The answers:

  1. “I appreciate the need to enforce and protect our international boundaries, but this zero tolerance policy is cruel. It is immoral. And it breaks my heart.” -- Former first lady Laura Bush
  2.  “We need to be a country that follows all laws, but also a country that governs with a heart.”  -- First lady Melania Trump
  3. “There’s no doubt the images that we’ve seen of children and children being separated from their parents are heartbreaking. They were heartbreaking when Obama was president.”  -- Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas
  4. "Mr. President, have a heart for a change. Take that goddamn pen of yours and do away with this horrendous, inhumane policy of yours that rips children from the arms of their parents." -- Senate Minority Leader Charles SchumerCharles (Chuck) Ellis SchumerDemocrats slam Trump for considering Putin’s ’absurd’ request to question Americans Judge Kavanaugh confounds the left This week: GOP mulls vote on ‘abolish ICE’ legislation MORE (D-N.Y.)
  5. "You have people that want absolute security and safety, and you have people that do look at the children, and then you have people like me, and I think most of the people in this room, that want both. We want the heart, but we also want strong borders, and we want no crime. We don't want crime in this country. We don't want people coming in." -- President Trump

✅ This week, who-said-what was clear to these readers, and hat tips to all: Craig S. Corker, Liz Mair, Alla Yun, Dallas “Rob” Sweezy, Nancy Stenberg, Dara Umberger, Rachel Roberts, Jess Gravitt, Barbara Werling, Ashley Cummins, Cheryl Gibson, Gary Breakfield, Ricardo Duran, Mary Brule, John Dziennik Jr., Tami Allen, Greg Stetson and Denise Scovel.