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 BarlettaPoll: Democrats hold big leads in Pennsylvania Senate, governor races Obama to hit campaign trail in Pa. for gubernatorial, Senate candidates Poll: Pennsylvania Democrats surging with double-digit leads MORE (R), a close ally of President TrumpDonald John TrumpGrassley: Dems 'withheld information' on new Kavanaugh allegation Health advocates decry funding transfer over migrant children Groups plan mass walkout in support of Kavanaugh accuser MORE, will face off against Sen. Bob CaseyRobert (Bob) Patrick CaseyPoll: Democrats hold big leads in Pennsylvania Senate, governor races The Hill's Morning Report — Sponsored by United Against Nuclear Iran — Kavanaugh, accuser say they’re prepared to testify Trump: 'Good news' that Obama is campaigning again 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. FitzpatrickSinema, Fitzpatrick call for long-term extension of Violence Against Women Act Dems seek to rebuild blue wall in Rust Belt contests Congress prepares to punt biggest political battles until after midterms MORE in the general election. Hillary ClintonHillary Diane Rodham ClintonGraham: There's a 'bureaucratic coup' taking place against Trump Fox News poll shows Dems with edge ahead of midterms Poll: Democrats in position to retake the House 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 MeehanUS athletics watchdog closes probe into GOP House hopeful Dems eyeing smaller magic number for House majority Overnight Energy: Pruitt taps man behind 'lock her up' chant for EPA office | Watchdog to review EPA email policies | Three Republicans join climate caucus 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 DentGOP House candidate placed on leave from longtime position after sexual misconduct allegation Election handicapper moves GOP leader's race to 'toss-up' The Hill's 12:30 Report 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 AshfordWhite men now the minority in pool of House Democratic candidates: analysis Pelosi sees defections from an unusual quarter — the left Ex-Dem lawmaker: Russians hacked my email in 2016 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 ManafortDem warns Trump: 'Obstruction of justice' to fire Rosenstein Ex-White House official revises statement to Mueller after Flynn guilty plea: report Former White House lawyer sought to pay Manafort, Gates legal fees: report 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) HaleyNational security leaders: Trump's Iran strategy could spark war AP: Trump polled staff on board Air Force One over whether to fire Rosenstein Haley dismisses Iran's accusations over military parade attack 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 McCainTrump hits McCain on ObamaCare vote GOP, White House start playing midterm blame game Arizona race becomes Senate GOP’s ‘firewall’ MORE (R-Ariz.) but none raised the issue with him on Tuesday.

 

Senate rules: The Hill — Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellGrassley: Dems 'withheld information' on new Kavanaugh allegation Kavanaugh accuser set to testify Thursday McConnell told Trump criticism of Kavanaugh accuser isn't helpful: report 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 JordanGOP set to move 4B spending bill despite Trump criticisms Hillicon Valley: Trump cyber strategy lets US go on offense | AT&T urges court to let Time Warner merger stand | Conservatives want wife of DOJ official to testify | Facebook, nonprofits team up to fight fake news | DC camera hacker pleads guilty FBI memos detail ‘partisan axes,’ secret conflicts behind the Russia election meddling assessment MORE (R-Ohio) has been talked about as a possible successor to House Speaker Paul RyanPaul Davis RyanDems see Kavanaugh saga as playing to their advantage How does the 25th Amendment work? Sinema, Fitzpatrick call for long-term extension of Violence Against Women Act 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.



SPONSORED CONTENT

Sponsored by CVS Health

Learn how our pharmacists are going well beyond providing medicine to helping make it more affordable by using digital tools to identify prescription savings for consumers. Read More



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 WarnerKey House Dem's objections stall intel bill as deadline looms Russia docs order sets Trump on collision with intel community Hillicon Valley: North Korean IT firm hit with sanctions | Zuckerberg says Facebook better prepared for midterms | Big win for privacy advocates in Europe | Bezos launches B fund to help children, homeless MORE (Va.), Heidi HeitkampMary (Heidi) Kathryn HeitkampGOP plays defense on ObamaCare’s pre-existing conditions Doug Jones to McConnell: Don't 'plow right through' with Kavanaugh Heitkamp knocks GOP challenger for 'disturbing' comments on Kavanaugh allegations MORE (N.D.) and Bill NelsonClarence (Bill) William NelsonNelson campaign to donate K from Al Franken group to charity Political shenanigans mask true problems in Puerto Rico The Hill's Morning Report — Sponsored by United Against Nuclear Iran — The Hill interviews President Trump 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 DonnellyDoug Jones to McConnell: Don't 'plow right through' with Kavanaugh The Memo: Tide turns on Kavanaugh McCaskill to oppose Kavanaugh nomination 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 PompeoRosenstein report gives GOP new ammo against DOJ Pompeo rejects ‘good cop, bad cop’ characterization of Russia strategy Pompeo: 'Enormous mistake' for Iran to blame US, allies for attack on military parade MORE is lifting the hiring freeze on the Foreign and Civil services imposed by his predecessor, Rex TillersonRex Wayne TillersonSunday shows preview: Trump sells U.N. reorganizing and Kavanaugh allegations dominate Pompeo working to rebuild ties with US diplomats: report NYT says it was unfair on Haley curtain story 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 PruittGovernment watchdog probing EPA’s handling of Hurricane Harvey response Wheeler won’t stop America’s addiction to fossil fuels Overnight Energy: Trump rolls back methane pollution rule | EPA watchdog to step down | China puts tariffs on US gas 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 HoyerDemocrats opposed to Pelosi lack challenger to topple her Dems' confidence swells with midterms fast approaching Trump's Puerto Rico tweets spark backlash 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 WarrenDemocrats opposed to Pelosi lack challenger to topple her More Massachusetts Voters Prefer Deval Patrick for President than Elizabeth Warren Trump's trade war — firing all cannons or closing the portholes? MORE (D-Mass.), Bernie SandersBernard (Bernie) SandersFive takeaways from Cruz, O'Rourke's fiery first debate Ben & Jerry’s co-founders announce effort to help 7 Dem House challengers Dems look to Gillum, Abrams for pathway to victory in tough states MORE (I-Vt.), Cory BookerCory Anthony BookerEx-White House official revises statement to Mueller after Flynn guilty plea: report CNN editor: Booker's 'groping incident' 'different' from Kavanaugh allegation Poll: Most Massachusetts voters don't think Warren should run for president in 2020 MORE (D-N.J.) and Amy KlobucharAmy Jean KlobucharSenate Democrats increase pressure for FBI investigation of Kavanaugh Election Countdown: Trump confident about midterms in Hill.TV interview | Kavanaugh controversy tests candidates | Sanders, Warren ponder if both can run | Super PACs spending big | Two states open general election voting Friday | Latest Senate polls GOP in striking distance to retake Franken seat 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 PaulsenHow the Trump tax law passed: Breaking the gridlock  Election Countdown: What to watch in final primaries | Dems launch M ad buy for Senate races | Senate seats most likely to flip | Trump slump worries GOP | Koch network's new super PAC Dem leads GOP incumbent in Minnesota congressional race: poll MORE (R-Minn.) and Suzan DelBeneSuzan Kay DelBeneRecord numbers of women nominated for governor, Congress Hillicon 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 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 Jr. to Dem Senator: 'You admitted to hitting your wife so hard it gave her a black eye!' Melania Trump's spokeswoman gets Hatch Act warning for #MAGA tweet Pamela Anderson claims she convinced Melania Trump to stop wearing fur 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.”