The Hill's 12:30 Report - Presented by Facebook - Texas Dems flee to Washington

 

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The Hill's 12:30 Report: Texas Dems flee to DC | Dems edge closer to infrastructure deal | Inflation spikes | Newsom loses court fight | New Gov candidates in KY, Iowa | Biden to deliver voting rights speech | Olivia Rodrigo to visit White House

 

NEWS OF THE MORNING

Texas Democrats turn to DC in last gasp: 

Texas House Democrats have fled to Washington to block a vote on election overhaul legislation that’s front and center on Gov. Greg Abbott’s (R) agenda, a dramatic last-ditch effort to stop a bill they see as directly targeting minority voters. Some members plan to meet Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) Tuesday, and legislators tell us they have a clear message for D.C. Democrats: Help us, you’re our only hope.

“The clock is ticking for us. We really need Congress to act and to pass H.R. 1 [the For the People Act],” state Rep. Alex Dominguez (D) told your author this morning. “If [Congress doesn’t], not only will this bill take effect in Texas, similar bills will take place in other states.” 

And therein lies the truth of the matter: Denying Republicans a quorum will force the GOP to make minor changes to the election overhaul bill at best. At worst, it just delays inevitable passage. Remember, back in 2003, when Democrats fled a Tom DeLay-backed mid-decade redistricting bill, the legislation passed anyway.

It’s Tuesday. I’m Reid Wilson, filling in for Cate with a quick recap of the morning and what’s coming up. Send comments, story ideas and events for our radar to cmartel@thehill.com — and follow along on Twitter @CateMartel and Facebook.

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It's been 25 years since comprehensive internet regulations passed. See why we support updated regulations on key issues, including:

 

- Protecting people's privacy
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IN WASHINGTON

Progress on the Dem-only infrastructure bill:

Via The Hill’s Jordain Carney, Democrats are getting closer to a deal on a $3 trillion to $4 trillion infrastructure package they would pass via reconciliation. Senate Majority Leader Chuck SchumerChuck SchumerAn August ultimatum: No recess until redistricting reform is done Biden to meet with 11 Democratic lawmakers on DACA: report Schumer's moment to transform transit and deepen democracy MORE met for two hours with Budget Committee chairman Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) on Monday night. Sen. Mark Warner (D-Va.) is emerging as a key player in the negotiations as Democrats narrow in on a topline funding figure. 

And/but: A spanner in the works for the smaller, bipartisan infrastructure bill. The 11 Republicans engaged in negotiations over the $1.2 trillion spending package still want details on pay-fors. Sen. Mike Rounds (R-S.D.), one of the negotiators, said he wasn’t sure any pay-fors are locked in yet. “I think that’s still a matter for discussion,” he said. (The Hill)

Inflation up 5.4 percent:

Via The Hill’s Sylvan Lane, Consumer prices rose 0.9 percent in June, and the consumer price index jumped at an annual rate of 5.4 percent last month, both higher than economists had expected. The annualized inflation increase is the highest since August 2008. Energy and gas prices were way up, and food costs are increasing too. (The Hill

Historical context: The Republican National Committee is sending out a steady stream of emails blasting the Biden administration for rising inflation. But Biden has a long way to go before he invites comparisons to Jimmy Carter, or even George H.W. Bush. See the historical chart from the Federal Reserve of St. Louis here.

Jill BidenJill BidenThe Hill's Morning Report - Presented by Facebook - Biden sets new vaccine mandate as COVID-19 cases surge First lady leaves Walter Reed after foot procedure Biden backs effort to include immigration in budget package MORE TO LEAD US OLYMPIC DELEGATION:

Via The Hill’s Morgan Chalfant, First lady Jill Biden is headed to Tokyo to lead the U.S. delegation to the opening ceremony of the Olympic Games. It’s her second chance to lead a delegation, after she and then-Vice President BidenJoe BidenCDC chief clarifies vaccine comments: 'There will be no nationwide mandate' Overnight Defense: First group of Afghan evacuees arrives in Virginia | Biden signs Capitol security funding bill, reimbursing Guard | Pentagon raises health protection level weeks after lowering it Biden urges local governments to stave off evictions MORE traveled to Vancouver to kick off the 2010 games. (The Hill

 

Jill Biden will lead the U.S. Olympic delgation



IN THE STATES

Gavin Newsom, not a Democrat:

CALIFORNIA: Gov. Gavin Newsom’s name will appear on the recall ballot in September without identifying him as a Democrat, after a judge ruled he missed an official deadline to designate his party affiliation. The judge said Newsom’s argument that the missed deadline was a good-faith error wasn’t enough to supersede crystal clear election law. (LA Times)

Thought bubble: This isn’t the first time Newsom has been the victim of a self-inflicted wound. As we’ve written before, he has tremendous advantages that former California Gov. Gray Davis didn’t in 2003, but he still needs to run a near-flawless campaign to survive.

IOWA: Deirdre DeJear (D), who lost a close race for Iowa Secretary of State in 2018 before becoming a top advisor to then-Sen. Kamala Harris, is back. DeJear has filed papers to explore a run against Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds (R) in 2022. She’s not the only Democrat in the race, but she is the only Democrat running so far who has a national fan base. And hey, maybe her buddy the VP is looking for an excuse to go back to Iowa. (Des Moines Register

KENTUCKY: Auditor Mike Harmon (R) is the first Republican to announce a challenge to Gov. Andy Beshear (D) in 2023. He won’t get the primary field to himself – Reps. Andy Barr (R) and James Comer (R), Agriculture Commissioner Ryan Quarles (R) and Kelly Craft, former President Trump’s ambassador to Canada and the U.N., have all been mentioned as potential candidates. (Lexington Herald-Leader)

 

Virginia Republican Governor hopeful Youngkin

 

VIRGINIA: Republican gubernatorial nominee Glenn Youngkin is skipping a traditional debate hosted by the Virginia Bar Association. His stated reason: He objects to the Bar’s choice of moderator, PBS NewsHour managing editor Judy Woodruff. Woodruff’s sin was donating $250 to the Haitian disaster relief fund run by the Clinton Foundation in 2010 (a fundraising campaign that was spearheaded by former Presidents Clinton and George W. Bush). (Richmond Times-Dispatch)

LATEST WITH THE CORONAVIRUS

Third jab’s a charm?

U.S. officials met privately with Pfizer executives on Monday pushing for fast authorization of a booster shot, as top health experts say those extra doses aren’t necessary at the moment. Israel has started administering third doses of the Pfizer-BioNTech mRNA vaccine to some at-risk patients. Anthony Fauci isn’t sold yet, and Pfizer is gathering more information on the amount of antibody response in those who receive a third dose.

Via the New York Times’s Sheryl Gay Stolberg and Sharon LaFraniere, “It was an interesting meeting. They shared their data. There wasn’t anything resembling a decision,” Fauci told the New York Times.

 

Delta variant is pushing booster shot recommendations

 

CASE NUMBERS:

Coronavirus cases in the U.S.: 33,892,364 people have tested positive for the coronavirus. 

U.S. death toll: The virus has killed 607,486 people.

Breakdown of the numbers: https://cnn.it/2UAgW3y

VACCINATION NUMBERS:

Total number of vaccinations administered in the U.S.: 335 million shots have been given. 

Seven-day average of doses administered: An average of 527,353 million doses 

For context: The U.S. population is roughly 331 million. 

Breakdown of the numbers: https://bloom.bg/3iVTPLH

 

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2021 is the 25th anniversary of the Telecommunications Act of 1996, the last major update to internet regulation. It's time for an update to set clear rules for addressing today's toughest challenges.

 

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NOTABLE TWEETS:

Good 4 U - Olivia Rodrigo's visiting White House to promote vaccines:

 

Olivia Rodrigo is coming to the White House

 

Hyperlink: https://bit.ly/3krRTgL

ON TAP:

President Biden heads to Philadelphia to deliver an address on voting rights at the National Constitution Center this afternoon. Vice President Harris has no public events. The House holds a pro forma session today. The Senate is back this morning, considering the nomination of Uzra Zeya to serve as Under Secretary of State for Civilian Security, Democracy and Human Rights. 

Today at 1 p.m., The Hill makes its next virtual stop on our Small Business Recovery road trip in Minneapolis. What support do minority-owned firms in the city still urgently need, and what opportunities at the federal and local levels are being created to help these businesses recover and thrive long-term? Feat. Rep. Angie Craig (D-Minn.), Minneapolis Mayor Jacob FreyJacob FreyMinneapolis voters to decide on agency to replace police department Minnesota officials push for targeted small business grants The Hill's 12:30 Report - Presented by Facebook - Texas Dems flee to Washington MOREand more. RSVP. https://bit.ly/2Trjkfl

2 p.m. EST: U.S. Postal Service Inspector General Tammy Whitcomb testifies on the agency’s 2022 budget before a Senate subcommittee. 

2:30 p.m. EST: The Senate Judiciary Subcommittee on Competition Policy, Antitrust and Consumer Rights holds a hearing on anticompetitive conduct in the prescription drug market.

Connectivity is central to how we live, work, and play. Yet millions of Americans lack access to the benefits of this technology and are being left behind. On July 14 at 1 p.m.Sen. Ben Ray Luján, Rep. Bob Latta, FCC Commissioner Geoffrey Starks, San Jose Mayor Sam Liccardo, and more will join to discuss today’s challenges while preparing for the future of an ultra-connected world. RSVP. https://bit.ly/2SVxWn2 

As cities look to re-build in a more inclusive and resilient manner, what role can micro businesses play? On Thursday, July 15 at 1 p.m.Miami-Dade County Mayor Daniella Levine Cava, Montgomery Mayor Steven Reed, Baltimore Mayor Brandon Scott, Dayton Mayor Nan Whaley, and more will join for a virtual conversation on how micro-businesses could re-energize our cities. RSVP. https://bit.ly/3qGzcab

NOW FOR THE FUN STUFF...:

Today is National French Fry Day.

Nothing stops the mail:

The Senate has passed a measure honoring members of the 6888th Central Postal Directory Battalion, credited with solving a massive mail crisis for American servicemembers in Europe near the end of World War II, with the Congressional Gold Medal. The Six Triple Eight, as they were known, was the only battalion of Black women deployed to Europe during the war. Based in England, they cleared a backlog of 17 million pieces of mail twice as fast as expected. (AP)

Seven members of the 6888th are still around. Think any of them might be available to oversee USPS for a while?

And to brighten your afternoon, here’s a cat making a phone call: https://bit.ly/3jOxzG0 

 

Cat on Instagram

 

^ Make sure you have your sound on for this.