Welcome to The Hill’s Convention Report, your daily rundown on all the latest news in the 2020 presidential, Senate and House races. Did someone forward this to you? Click here to subscribe.
We’re Julia Manchester, Max Greenwood and Jonathan Easley. Here’s what we’re watching today on the campaign trail.
LEADING THE DAY:
Democrats on the second night of the virtual convention will seek to cast Joe BidenJoe BidenOvernight Defense & National Security — Milley becomes lightning rod Democrats hope Biden can flip Manchin and Sinema On The Money — Presented by Wells Fargo — Democrats advance tax plan through hurdles MORE as the leader the U.S. needs to restore honesty within the government and steer the country out of the coronavirus pandemic, economic downturn and racial turmoil the nation faces.
Along the way, they’ll officially nominate Biden to be the Democratic presidential candidate.
The theme for Tuesday is “Leadership Matters,” and two former Democratic presidents — Jimmy CarterJimmy CarterAmerica needs a new strategy for Pacific Island Countries Afghanistan and the lessons that history does not offer What's at stake — and in play — for the midterms MORE and Bill ClintonWilliam (Bill) Jefferson ClintonBusiness coalition aims to provide jobs to Afghan refugees Biden nominates ex-State Department official as Export-Import Bank leader Obamas, Bushes and Clintons joining new effort to help Afghan refugees MORE — will testify on Biden’s behalf.
A host of other prominent Democrats will also step in to make the case that Biden will restore U.S. integrity at home and abroad.
Once again, one of the nation’s leading progressives will be a featured speaker. Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-CortezAlexandria Ocasio-CortezConservative group files ethics complaint over Ocasio-Cortez appearance at Met Gala If .5 trillion 'infrastructure' bill fails, it's bye-bye for an increasingly unpopular Biden The Hill's Morning Report - Presented by National Industries for the Blind - Schumer: Dem unity will happen eventually; Newsom prevails MORE (D-N.Y.) will address the convention, although only for a brief segment.
Other big names to watch for tonight: Biden’s wife Dr. Jill Biden, Senate Minority Leader Charles SchumerChuck SchumerCEOs urge Congress to raise debt limit or risk 'avoidable crisis' If .5 trillion 'infrastructure' bill fails, it's bye-bye for an increasingly unpopular Biden The Hill's Morning Report - Presented by National Industries for the Blind - Schumer: Dem unity will happen eventually; Newsom prevails MORE (D-N.Y.) and former Secretary of State John KerryJohn Kerry9/11 and US-China policy: The geopolitics of distraction Australia's duty to the world: Stop mining coal Overnight Energy & Environment — Effort to repeal Arctic refuge drilling advances MORE.
Reviews for the first night of programming were mixed and TV ratings were down from 2016.
There were no real hiccups to speak of ,and the programming was generally slick. Democrats benefit from drawing on celebrity star wattage that the GOP generally does not have.
But the programming is definitely suffering from the lack of excitement and unpredictability that comes with a live convention.
In an effort to shake it up tonight, the Democrats will have a segment they’re calling “Roll Call Across America,” as a substitute for what would have been the roll call of votes playing out on the floor to officially nominate Biden.
The 30-minute segment will feature videos from every state and territory, taking viewers from a middle school teacher in Arizona to a gun safety activist in Florida to state Sen. Nikema Williams in Georgia, who is vying to replace the late Rep. John LewisJohn LewisBudowsky: High stakes drama for Biden, Manchin, Sinema Stacey Abrams backs Senate Democrats' voting rights compromise Senate Democrats unveil new voting rights bill MORE (D-Ga.) in Congress.
Democrats will also feature a twist on the traditional keynote speech, which this year will be given by a group of 17 rising Democratic stars, led by former Georgia state senator and gubernatorial candidate Stacey Abrams.
Democrats are also expected to make their policy platform official. Read The Hill’s takeaways from Biden’s policy platform HERE.
BREAKING POSTAL SERVICE NEWS:
Postmaster General Louis DeJoyLouis DeJoyWatchdog says USPS regularly cheats workers of pay FreedomWorks misfires on postal reform Postal Service to slow certain mail deliveries starting in October MORE has suspended his proposed operational changes until after the election, saying he wants to avoid “even the appearance of any impact on election mail.” That move came hours before more than a dozen states announced a lawsuit against the Postal Service over delays.
In a statement, DeJoy said the Postal Service is “ready today to handle whatever volume of election mail it receives this fall.” He announced an expansion of a leadership task force on election mail to “enhance our ongoing work and partnership with state and local election officials in jurisdictions throughout the country.”
Defending the U.S. Postal Service has become a top priority for Democrats. The issue was on display at last night’s convention and will be the subject of several votes and hearings on Capitol Hill in the coming days.
The House has been called back from recess to vote on a bill to reverse changes that Democrats say were designed to slow mail delivery.
Speaker Nancy PelosiNancy PelosiDemocrats hope Biden can flip Manchin and Sinema Overnight Hillicon Valley — Scrutiny over Instagram's impact on teens Democrats suffer blow on drug pricing as 3 moderates buck party MORE (D-Calif.) said DeJoy’s announcement is “necessary but insufficient” and that Democrats will move ahead with the vote.
“Postmaster General DeJoy’s announcement of what may be a temporary pause in operational changes delaying the mail is a necessary but insufficient first step in ending the President’s election sabotage campaign. This pause only halts a limited number of the Postmaster’s changes, does not reverse damage already done, and alone is not enough to ensure voters will not be disenfranchised by the President this fall.” - Pelosi
DeJoy will testify before the House Government and Oversight Committee next week.
In his statement, DeJoy insisted that he’s only seeking to make the Postal Service, which loses billions of dollars annually, more efficient. But his changes had become a major problem for the Trump administration, and DeJoy said he wanted to assure Americans that retail hours will not change, mail processing equipment will remain in place, overtime will be approved and no mail processing facilities will be closed.
Election watchers are expecting tens of millions of mail and absentee ballots in November because of the coronavirus, and there are fears the Postal Service, which has been running red ink for years, will not be able to handle the volume.
DeJoy will still be testifying before Congress next week, where he’ll probably be asked about this — The New York Times reports DeJoy received between $1.2 million and $7 million last year from a company that does business with the Postal Service.
Oh and by the way...Trump has returned his absentee ballot in Florida.
Don’t forget about the primaries...
All eyes may be on the Democratic National Convention this week, but voters are casting ballots today in primaries in Alaska, Florida and Wyoming. Here’s a rundown of what we’re watching:
- Alaska: Don’t expect any big surprises here. Sen. Dan SullivanDaniel Scott SullivanGOP senators unveil bill designating Taliban as terrorist organization More Republicans call on Biden to designate Taliban as terrorist group Overnight Energy: Judge blocks permits for Alaska oil project MORE (R) isn’t facing a primary challenge and Democrats are expected to nominate independent Al Gross in the Senate race. Gross still has some competition in the primary, but he’s seen as the heavy favorite to win; he boasts a larger war chest than any of his opponents and has the backing of the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee (DSCC). In the race for Alaska’s lone House seat, 24-term Rep. Don YoungDonald (Don) Edwin YoungRepublicans are the 21st-century Know-Nothing Party OVERNIGHT ENERGY: Biden suspends Arctic oil leases issued under Trump | Experts warn US needs to better prepare for hurricane season | Progressives set sights on Civilian Climate Corps Overnight Energy: Biden admin backs Trump approval of major Alaska drilling project | Senate Republicans pitch 8 billion for infrastructure | EPA to revise Trump rule limiting state authority to block pipelines MORE (R) is favored to beat out a crowded primary field, while independent Alyse Galvin is expected to win the Democratic nomination for Young’s seat.
- Florida: There are a few unknowns in the Sunshine State primaries. Rep. Ross SpanoVincent (Ross) Ross SpanoGOP keeps control of Florida House seat held by Rep. Ross Spano 10 bellwether House races to watch on election night The Hill's Morning Report - Jill Biden urges country to embrace her husband MORE (R), whose campaign finances have long been under investigation, is facing an aggressive primary challenge from Lakeland City Commissioner Scott Franklin. Both candidates have won the support of prominent Republicans; Sen. Marco RubioMarco Antonio RubioOvernight Defense & National Security — Milley becomes lightning rod Joint Chiefs Chairman Milley becomes lightning rod on right GOP senators unveil bill designating Taliban as terrorist organization MORE (R-Fla.) is backing Spano while Rep. Matt GaetzMatthew (Matt) GaetzWashington ramps up security ahead of Sept. 18 rally Police brace for Capitol rally defending Jan. 6 mob Watchdog group seeks ethics probe over McCarthy's Jan. 6 comments MORE (R-Fla.) has endorsed Franklin. There are also two competitive GOP primaries in Florida’s 3rd and 19th Districts, where droves of candidates are vying to replace retiring Reps. Ted YohoTheodore (Ted) Scott YohoOcasio-Cortez on Taylor Greene: 'These are the kinds of people that I threw out of bars all the time' Ocasio-Cortez: 'No consequences' in GOP for violence, racism 7 surprise moments from a tumultuous year in politics MORE (R) and Francis RooneyLaurence (Francis) Francis RooneyGOP leader taking proxy voting fight to Supreme Court Pricing carbon can help solve the infrastructure funding dilemma Allies of GOP leader vow to oust Liz Cheney MORE (R).
- Wyoming: Rep. Liz CheneyElizabeth (Liz) Lynn CheneyThird Republican drops out of race to replace Cheney after Trump endorses challenger Overnight Energy & Environment — Effort to repeal Arctic refuge drilling advances McCarthy-allied fundraising group helps Republicans who voted to impeach Trump MORE (R), who has faced criticism from within her own party at times for breaking with Trump, is facing a primary challenge from Blake Stanley, though she’s expected to coast to victory on Tuesday. Meanwhile, 10 Republicans are competing to succeed retiring Sen. Mike EnziMichael (Mike) Bradley EnziWhat Republicans should demand in exchange for raising the debt ceiling Senate votes to end debate on T infrastructure bill The Hill's 12:30 Report - Presented by AT&T - Biden celebrates monstrous jobs report MORE (R). Former Rep. Cynthia Loomis (R) is seen as the frontrunner to succeed the longtime senator, though there’s the slight possibility of an upset by Air Force veteran Bryan Miller, who unsuccessfully primaried Enzi in 2014.
A new report from the Senate Intelligence Committee details new information about Russian efforts to compromise the 2016 election by reaching top Trump campaign officials.
The 950-page report, the fifth volume of the series, has new revelations about a Russian intelligence officer who was close to former Trump campaign chairman Paul ManafortPaul John ManafortDOJ investigating one-time Trump campaign adviser over alleged ties to Qatar: report Foreign lobbyists donated over M during 2020 election: report Former Mueller prosecutor representing Donoghue in congressional probes: report MORE. The Senate panel found that Manafort shared internal campaign information with Konstantin KilimnikKonstantin KilimnikTreasury: Manafort associate passed 'sensitive' campaign data to Russian intelligence FBI offers 0K reward for Russian figure Kilimnik Putin is no ordinary threat to America MORE, who may have had ties to the hacking of Democratic emails, Jordain Carney reports.
Manafort is serving out his 7 ½ year sentence after pleading guilty to conspiracy charges and being convicted on charges pertaining to his foreign lobbying efforts that were uncovered as part of special counsel Robert MuellerRobert (Bob) MuellerSenate Democrats urge Garland not to fight court order to release Trump obstruction memo Why a special counsel is guaranteed if Biden chooses Yates, Cuomo or Jones as AG Barr taps attorney investigating Russia probe origins as special counsel MORE’s investigation.
Oliver Beavers has the story HERE.
MARK YOUR CALENDARS:
We’re 6 days from the beginning of the Republican National Convention, 42 days from the first presidential debate and 77 days out from Election Day.
The Democratic National Convention’s main programming is slated to start tonight at 9 p.m. and will run until 11 p.m. Here’s a look at the speaker lineup (exact times TBD):
- Former Acting U.S. Attorney General Sally YatesSally Caroline YatesSally Yates: I never thought that I'd be saying, 'Yeah, go Liz Cheney' ABC lands first one-on-one TV interview with Garland since confirmation Appointing a credible, non-partisan Jan. 6 commission should not be difficult MORE
- Senate Minority Leader Chuck SchumerChuck SchumerCEOs urge Congress to raise debt limit or risk 'avoidable crisis' If .5 trillion 'infrastructure' bill fails, it's bye-bye for an increasingly unpopular Biden The Hill's Morning Report - Presented by National Industries for the Blind - Schumer: Dem unity will happen eventually; Newsom prevails MORE
- Former Secretary of State John Kerry
- Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez
- Rep. Lisa Blunt Rochester
- Former President Bill Clinton
- Democratic National Committee Chairman Tom PerezThomas PerezClinton’s top five vice presidential picks Government social programs: Triumph of hope over evidence Labor’s 'wasteful spending and mismanagement” at Workers’ Comp MORE
- Former President Jimmy Carter and former first lady Rosalyn Carter
- Sen. Chris CoonsChris Andrew CoonsSenate Democrats to Garland: 'It's time to end the federal death penalty' Hillicon Valley: Cryptocurrency amendment blocked in Senate | Dems press Facebook over suspension of researchers' accounts | Thousands push back against Apple plan to scan US iPhones for child sexual abuse images Democrats press Facebook over suspension of researchers' accounts MORE
- Lawyer and activist Ady Barkan
- Former second lady Dr. Jill Biden
THE 19TH AMENDMENT TURNS 100
Women across America are celebrating the centennial of the 19th Amendment’s passage today,
Hillary ClintonHillary Diane Rodham ClintonPennsylvania GOP authorizes subpoenas in election probe We must mount an all-country response to help our Afghan allies Biden nominates ex-State Department official as Export-Import Bank leader MORE, the first woman to lead a major party ticket, took to Twitter, sharing a photo of her mom, who was born the day of the amendment was passed.
The ratification of the 19th Amendment was both an enormous victory & an incomplete one.— Hillary Clinton (@HillaryClinton) August 18, 2020
100 years on, I’m thinking of my mom, who was born the day of its passage in Congress.
If she were still with us, she’d urge us to keep going—“lifting as we climb.” https://t.co/MJDw5iTJAW pic.twitter.com/9qmmY55bZx
Sen. Kamala HarrisKamala HarrisLive coverage: California voters to decide Newsom's fate Florida woman faces five years in prison for threatening to kill Harris Australia's COVID overreaction could come to US MORE, the first Black and Asian American vice presidential nominee, celebrated the day on Twitter, but added women of color did not get the right to vote until half a century later.
100 years ago today the 19th Amendment was ratified, but many Black women and women of color were unable to exercise their constitutional right for decades.— Kamala Harris (@KamalaHarris) August 18, 2020
I would not be the Democratic candidate for Vice President without those who fought and paved the way before me. Vote.
Meanwhile, at the White House, Trump made news celebrating the amendment’s centennial, offering a pardon to the iconic suffragette Susan B. Anthony.
The move comes well over a 100 years after Anthony was found guilty in 1873 by a completely male jury for having illegally voted in the November 1872 presidential election and was fined $100.