The Hill's Morning Report — Sponsored by PhRMA — Outcry raises pressure on GOP for immigration fix




Welcome to The Hill's Morning Report, and happy Monday! Our daily email gets you up to speed on the most important developments in politics and policy, plus trends to watch, co-created by Jonathan Easley and Alexis Simendinger. (CLICK HERE to subscribe!)

We hope all the dads out there enjoyed a relaxing Father’s Day!

Hill.TV’s “Rising” program starting at 8 a.m.: James ClapperJames Robert ClapperWrong for Democrats to call for more Kavanaugh investigations The Hill's Morning Report — Where the Kavanaugh nomination stands Hillicon Valley: 50M affected by Facebook hack | Google CEO to testify on Capitol Hill | Tesla shares slump after SEC sues | House Intel votes to release Russia probe transcripts | Dem holds up passage of key intel bill MORE, former director of national intelligence, discusses the Russian attempt to influence the 2016 U.S. election as well as his new book, “Facts and Fears: Hard Truths From a Life in Intelligence.”

Also this week: Rep. Ro KhannaRohit (Ro) KhannaTech giant faces crucial decision over Saudi ties GOP leaders hesitant to challenge Trump on Saudi Arabia Silicon Valley tested by Saudi crisis MORE (D-Calif.), professor and commentator Melissa Harris-Perry, and a look at the common cause between the American Civil Liberties Union and Citizens United. http://thehill.com/hilltv


The Trump administration is facing an outpouring of anger and new demands that it end the policy of separating migrant families that cross into the U.S. illegally.

The Associated Press: Nearly 2,000 children have been separated from their families over the past six weeks.

The Associated Press: Inside the border patrol facility where hundreds of children wait in a series of cages.

The outcry started with Democrats and advocacy groups, but has spread to religious leaders, doctors groups, Republicans and even some within the administration.

First lady Melania TrumpMelania TrumpThe Hill's 12:30 Report — Trump seizes on immigrant 'caravan' for midterms | WHCA criticizes Trump for praising lawmaker who assaulted reporter | Trump takes harder line on Saudis CNN's Acosta sends private message to former Melania Trump aide: 'F--- you' Trump submits 2017 federal income tax returns MORE released a rare statement through a spokeswoman on Sunday announcing her opposition to the policy.

            “Mrs. Trump hates to see children separated from their families and hopes both sides of the aisle can finally come together to achieve successful immigration reform. She believes we need to be a country that follows all laws, but also a country that governs with heart.”

White House counselor Kellyanne ConwayKellyanne Elizabeth ConwayTrump and Kellyanne Conway's husband spar about columnist Hatch mocks Warren over DNA test with his own results showing '1/1032 T-Rex' Conway responds to Warren DNA test: 'Junk science' that 'really doesn't interest me' MORE and Republican Sen. Susan CollinsSusan Margaret CollinsManchin wrestles with progressive backlash in West Virginia Conservatives bankrolled and dominated Kavanaugh confirmation media campaign The Hill's Morning Report — Presented by the Coalition for Affordable Prescription Drugs — Health care a top policy message in fall campaigns MORE (Maine) similarly described the practice as inhumane. Former first lady Laura Bush called it “cruel” and “immoral.”

The Associated Press: Family separation policy dividing Republicans.

So will anything be done about it?

President TrumpDonald John TrumpFive takeaways from Gillum and DeSantis’s first debate GOP warns economy will tank if Dems win Gorbachev calls Trump's withdrawal from arms treaty 'a mistake' MORE says he “hates” the policy. He’s blaming Democrats, even though it’s his administration that is enforcing a policy it created as a deterrent.



The Washington Post reports that Trump views the policy as negotiating leverage to get his other immigration demands, in particular a border wall.

Against that backdrop, the president heads to Capitol Hill on Tuesday to discuss immigration with House Republicans.

House Speaker Paul RyanPaul Davis RyanPelosi, Schumer: Trump 'desperate' to put focus on immigration, not health care Trump urges Dems to help craft new immigration laws: ‘Chuck & Nancy, call me!' Sanders, Harris set to criss-cross Iowa MORE (R-Wis.) is under pressure to bring two immigration bills addressing the plight of “Dreamers” to the floor — one sponsored by House Judiciary Committee Chairman Bob GoodlatteRobert (Bob) William GoodlatteRosenstein to appear for House interview next week Fusion GPS co-founder pleads the Fifth following House GOP subpoena House Judiciary chairman threatens to subpoena Rosenstein MORE (R-Va.) and a second “compromise bill” that would end the practice of separating families at the border.

It doesn’t look like there’s a path to 218 votes for either bill in the House. Some interesting developments to watch in the Senate, per The Hill’s Jordain Carney:



Health and Human Services Deputy Secretary Eric Hargan issued a statement Sunday, defending his agency’s reliance on temporary shelters for unaccompanied migrant children:

“We need fewer media stunts and more real solutions. We welcome additional elected officials to visit these facilities, and it is my sincere hope that after their visit, members of Congress heed the call of the Trump administration to close dangerous loopholes in U.S. immigration laws that are the root cause of this issue.”

Takeaway: The GOP is sweating the optics, politics and uncertain utility of the Trump policy. With legislation to address the matter looking remote, the question is whether the political pressure will become so extreme as to force the administration to end the practice.

The Hill: House GOP caught in immigration limbo.

The New York Times: Seizing children from their parents at the border is immoral. Here’s what you can do about it.


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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. 


INVESTIGATIONS: Department of Justice Inspector General Michael Horowitz and FBI Director Christopher Wray will testify before the Senate Judiciary Committee today about the bombshell report on the FBI’s actions pertaining to the criminal investigation into Hillary ClintonHillary Diane Rodham ClintonSanders thanks Iowa voters for giving momentum to progressive agenda Manchin wrestles with progressive backlash in West Virginia Arizona newspaper backs Democrat in dead heat Senate race MORE ahead of the 2016 presidential election.

The report slammed former FBI Director James ComeyJames Brien ComeyFormer FBI lawyer speaks with House lawmakers on Rosenstein, 2016 Emmet Flood steps in as White House counsel following McGahn departure McGahn departs as White House counsel MORE’s handling of the probe.  Democrats on the committee will be looking to highlight the impact he might have had on the outcome of the election.

Nate Silver: Comey probably cost Clinton the election.

The report also detailed the explosive anti-Trump private messages sent between FBI agent Peter Strzok, who was briefly on the special counsel team, and former FBI lawyer Lisa Page. Lawmakers were preparing to subpoena Strzok, but Strzok’s lawyer announced Sunday that he’d make himself available to testify. Republicans say the report is evidence of political bias at the bureau and are using it to demand an end to special counsel Robert MuellerRobert Swan MuellerSasse: US should applaud choice of Mueller to lead Russia probe MORE’s investigation.

They ought to wrap it up.” — Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellEx-lawmaker urges Americans to publicly confront officials Manchin wrestles with progressive backlash in West Virginia Democrats slide in battle for Senate MORE (R-Ky.)

“If this was in a court of law, they would throw this case out. I think the Mueller investigation has got to stop.” — House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthyKevin Owen McCarthyMaxine Waters gets company in new GOP line of attack The Hill's Morning Report — Presented by the Coalition for Affordable Prescription Drugs — GOP faces ‘green wave’ in final stretch to the midterms Conservatives fear Trump will cut immigration deal MORE (R-Calif.).

The president’s legal team is going further, with attorney Rudy Giuliani demanding the special counsel be investigated.

"It's crying out for someone to investigate the investigators. There should be a full and complete [inspector general] report and grand jury investigation of what happened here.” — Giuliani.

House Oversight and Government Reform Committee Chairman Trey GowdyHarold (Trey) Watson GowdyRosenstein to appear for House interview next week House GOP sets deposition deadline for Fusion GPS co-founder Collusion bombshell: DNC lawyers met with FBI on Russia allegations before surveillance warrant MORE (R-S.C.) is barreling toward another showdown with the FBI and Justice Department, saying the House will take action if the agencies don’t comply with his subpoenas for documents pertaining to the Russia investigation.

We're going to get compliance or the House of Representatives is going to use its full arsenal of constitutional weapons to gain compliance.” — Gowdy

Here’s a breakdown of the weekend developments around the myriad investigative threads:




Jonathan Turley: Trump must resist the temptation to pardon Manafort.


  • Former Trump attorney Michael Cohen: Federal investigators are piecing together shredded documents they found when they raided Cohen’s residences. They’re also reassembling electronic communications from encrypted apps on cell phones they recovered (Politico).


Need a cue card to keep up with the current status of Mueller’s investigation? Reuters offers a handy recap here.



CONGRESS:  House GOP leadership: Some disgruntled GOP House members say they’re considering removing Speaker Ryan from his leadership post before his planned exit next year by organizing a motion to vacate the chair, Rep. Steve KingSteven (Steve) Arnold KingSanders thanks Iowa voters for giving momentum to progressive agenda Sanders: Trump setting 'terrible example' for our children Sanders, Harris set to criss-cross Iowa MORE (R-Iowa) said (Breitbart).

Senate GOP leadership: The Hill: McConnell is signaling to colleagues that he’ll loosen his grip on floor debate to quell mounting frustration within the GOP conference over the lack of votes on amendments.

Senate v. Trump’s deal with China’s ZTE: The Hill: The Senate is on a collision course with the administration over its decision to rescue Chinese telecommunications giant ZTE. Today, senators are expected to pass legislation to block the deal, despite Trump’s opposition to congressional involvement.

House GOP – opioids: The Hill: The House is on track to pass more than 70 bills dealing with the national opioid epidemic, an emotional issue nationwide and among voters. Some public health advocates, who applaud steps taken by the House, believe more federal work, plus additional funding, are necessary.

House GOP recriminations: The Hill: One retiring GOP lawmaker laments that colleagues “lose their soul” while in Congress. Tea Partier Rep. Raúl Labrador (Idaho) told Politico magazine in a recent interview that “week after week, I realized that most of the people here just want to keep their jobs and hold on to power. And it’s one of the reasons I haven’t fit into this place very well.”

> Labrador is not the only conservative House member who is second-guessing Washington. Rep. Mark SanfordMarshall (Mark) Clement SanfordOvernight Defense — Presented by The Embassy of the United Arab Emirates — Haley shocks Washington with resignation | Turkish officials reportedly conclude Saudis killed journalist | Trump eyes second Kim summit after midterms GOP on timing of Haley’s announcement: 'Unusual' and 'odd' On The Money: House passes 4B spending bill to avert shutdown | Trump 'not happy' after Fed's latest rate hike | Trump says he refused meeting with Trudeau MORE (R-S.C.), who lost his Republican primary last week and felt the sting of Trump’s Twitter condemnation and enthusiasm for his opponent, told Rolling Stone the president’s impact on the Republican Party is akin to a “cancerous growth.”


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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. 


INTERNATIONAL: North Korea: The Hill: Trump says North Korea no longer poses a nuclear threat, and he asserts the U.S. achieved “everything” as part of the Singapore joint statement, but North Korea has taken no verifiable steps toward dismantling its nuclear weapons program in the aftermath of the June 12 summit. What’s next?

Public Opinion: A new ABC News/Washington Post poll finds Americans remain skeptical (but less so than in the past) when it comes to whether North Korea intends to denuclearize after the Trump-Kim meeting.

>The Japan Times: North Korea has yet to dismantle missile facilities despite Trump’s claims. North Korea does not appear to have begun work to dismantle any of its six known missile launch and engine test facilities and two ejection test stands, according to an analysis of recent satellite photos, despite a claim by Trump that the country’s leader, Kim Jong Un, had told him it was “already destroying” a major testing site.

>The Hill: The president’s announcement in Singapore that the United States would freeze large-scale joint military exercises with South Korea while negotiating with Pyongyang rattled defense officials. Trump claims credit for the decision.

>The Associated Press: Trump seeks public approval in wake of his North Korea meeting with Kim.

>The Hill: It falls to Secretary of State Mike PompeoMichael (Mike) Richard PompeoSaudis say journalist killed in ‘fight’ at consulate; 18 detained Pompeo asks Mexico to help tackle migration ‘crisis’ Trump: 'FAKE NEWS' that Pompeo heard tape of Saudi journalist's death MORE to transform a vague bilateral statement signed nearly a week ago into an irreversible, verifiable agreement that results in the dismantling of North Korea’s nuclear capabilities. He has his work cut out for him.

Trade Issues: The Hill: China calls for global retaliatory actions in response to Trump’s tariffs on Chinese goods and European, Canadian and Mexican imports. Beijing accuses the president of sparking a trade war. China's ministry of commerce urged countries to take “joint actions” against the United States.

>The New York Times: Trump’s tariffs policy, molded by nostalgia, picks winners and losers.

>The Associated Press: China retaliates against U.S. with tariffs on soybeans, electric cars and fish.

>Reuters: China’s tariffs on U.S. oil would disrupt $1 billion monthly business.

>The Wall Street Journal: Trade fears threaten the best year in commodities since 2002.

>The Wall Street Journal: Trade fight squeezes U.S. companies working in China.

>The Des Moines Register: The costs of tariffs begin to add up for Iowa farmers.

Russia: The Federation of American Scientists will publish satellite images today that the group says show a Russian nuclear weapons storage facility in the Baltic coast enclave between Poland and Lithuania being deepened and then covered with a new concrete roof in recent months (The Guardian).

German government: The Guardian: Is Angela Merkel’s long tenure as German chancellor nearing a frustrated end? She is doubted at home, and has been bypassed abroad. Divisions over immigration within Germany’s coalition government may be near a breaking point today.





POLITICS & CAMPAIGNS: The Trump family is hitting the gas on fundraising ahead of the 2018 midterm elections.

The president will headline a fundraiser for pro-Trump outside group America First Action at the Trump International Hotel in Washington, D.C. on Tuesday (Politico).

Trump’s daughter Ivanka TrumpIvana (Ivanka) Marie TrumpAttacks on public figures are growing The Hill's 12:30 Report: Trump sends Pompeo to meet Saudi king | How Trump could work with a Dem House | Trump heads to Florida to view hurricane damage Watchdog files Hatch Act complaint against Sanders for picture with Kanye in MAGA hat MORE will join McCarthy for a swing through California for fundraising events aimed at protecting the GOP majority in the House (The Hill).

And the president’s reelection campaign is raising money off a contest to meet the president at Wednesday’s campaign rally in Duluth, Minn.

From the campaign trail … The Supreme Court will decide whether to strike down a voter map for the first time as an unconstitutional partisan gerrymander (The Hill) … House Rules Committee Chairman Pete SessionsPeter Anderson SessionsO'Rourke's rise raises hopes for Texas Dems down ballot Election Countdown: O'Rourke goes on the attack | Takeaways from fiery second Texas Senate debate | Heitkamp apologizes for ad misidentifying abuse victims | Trump Jr. to rally for Manchin challenger | Rick Scott leaves trail to deal with hurricane damage Credit union group to spend .8 million for vulnerable Dem, GOP incumbents MORE (R-Texas) reelection race is rated a toss-up (Cook Political Report) … The proposal to split California in three would give Democrats more seats (The Hill) … The next Democratic National Convention will take place in July before the 2020 Olympics (The Hill).

  WHITE HOUSE & ADMINISTRATION:  West Wing: The Hill’s MEMO: Trump’s media game puts the press on a back foot.

EPA: The Hill: The president, who has continued to praise Administrator Scott PruittEdward (Scott) Scott PruittMcConnell and wife confronted by customers at restaurant EPA puts science ‘transparency’ rule on back burner Tucker Carlson says he 'can't really' dine out anymore because people keep yelling at him MORE’s deregulatory results at the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), now says he’s unhappy with some actions his Cabinet member has taken.

>The Hill: Two GOP senators from Iowa are increasingly critical of Pruitt following his wavering stance on ethanol.

> The federal Office of Government Ethics (OGE) requested that the EPA inspector general expand its ongoing probes involving Pruitt to include a flurry of news reports and allegations involving the administrator’s instructions to senior aides to conduct personal business on his behalf. The OGE seeks the inspector general findings in order to make recommendations to Trump about potential ethics violations.

Pentagon’s cyber attack offense: The New York Times reports the Pentagon has empowered the U.S. Cyber Command to take a more aggressive posture on the offensive, trying to counter attackers as they enter U.S. networks. The change in approach was not formally debated inside the White House before it was initiated.

International telecom security: The Hill: Hackers seek to penetrate the undersea telecommunications infrastructure that carries the bulk of the world’s intercontinental electronic communications. One Russian company sanctioned by the Treasury Department is alleged to have provided such support for Moscow’s security and intelligence service, the FSB.

CFPB nominee: The New York Times: Trump will nominate Kathy Kraninger to lead the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB), triggering immediate opposition from consumer advocates. The Office of Management and Budget (OMB) employee, whose specialty is homeland security, has never worked as a financial regulator or inside the financial services industry, and is close to OMB Director Mick MulvaneyJohn (Mick) Michael MulvaneyOn The Money: Mnuchin pulls out of Saudi summit | Consumer bureau to probe controversial blog posts on race | Harris proposes new middle-class tax credit Consumer bureau to probe top Trump official's past racial comments On The Money: Deficit hits six-year high of 9 billion | Yellen says Trump attacks threaten Fed | Affordable housing set for spotlight in 2020 race MORE, who cannot continue to lead the agency as its acting director. CFPB, created as part of the 2010 Dodd-Frank law to function as an independent watchdog, is a favorite target for proposed elimination by the financial sector and the GOP.

The Morning Report is created by journalists Jonathan Easley jeasley@thehill.com & Alexis Simendinger asimendinger@thehill.com. Suggestions? Tips? We want to hear from you! Share The Hill’s reporting and newsletters, and encourage others to SUBSCRIBE!



Seniors will lose out with Trump’s drug plan. Here’s how, by philanthropist Gary West, San Diego Union-Tribune. https://bit.ly/2tcdywZ

Summit in Singapore marks only progress on long road to victory, by former National Security Agency Director Michael Hayden, The Hill. https://bit.ly/2LXoHcM

Should Trump forsake human rights in pursuit of a deal with Kim?, by Marvin Hier and Abraham Cooper, The Hill. https://bit.ly/2K0WXqc



The House is not in session.

The Senate returns to work at 3 p.m. to complete action on the 2019 defense programs and policy bill and begin work on 2019 federal spending legislation. The Senate Judiciary Committee meets at 2 p.m. to hear testimony from Department of Justice Inspector General Horowitz and FBI Director Wray about Thursday’s blockbuster investigative report on Justice Department and FBI actions in advance of the 2016 presidential election.

The president this morning speaks in the East Room about the moon, Mars and worlds beyond, at the start of a National Space Council meeting, which begins at noon and will be livestreamed at WH.gov. Vice President Pence, who is the council’s chairman, will deliver closing remarks. Later, the president will sign the Project Safe Neighborhoods Grant Program Authorization Act of 2018. In the afternoon, Trump meets at the White House with Sens. Richard ShelbyRichard Craig ShelbyDisasters become big chunk of U.S. deficit Lawmakers, Wall Street shrug off Trump's escalating Fed attacks Florida politics play into disaster relief debate MORE (R-Ala.), chairman of the Senate Appropriations Committee, and Shelley Moore CapitoShelley Wellons Moore CapitoThe Hill's Morning Report — Presented by PhRMA — Dem path to a Senate majority narrows GOP shrugs off dire study warning of global warming Overnight Health Care — Presented by the Coalition for Affordable Prescription Drugs — Senators face Wednesday vote on Trump health plans rule | Trump officials plan downtime for ObamaCare website | Lawmakers push for action on reducing maternal deaths MORE (R-W.Va.), a member of the panel.

The vice president hosts a reception this evening at his residence for members of an advisory group working with the National Space Council.

Secretary of State Pompeo speaks about economic diplomacy at the Detroit Economic Club in Michigan at midday, and this evening meets with Honduran President Juan Orlando Hernández at the Department of State.

The Supreme Court, nearing the end of the term this month, meets at 9:30 a.m. and rulings are likely at 10 a.m. SCOTUSblog begins live-blogging at 9 a.m. here.


> Supreme Court justices released their financial disclosure reports for 2017. One justice reported an unusual gift, and one had an interesting side job tied to a prestigious architecture prize, by Amy L. Howe, Howe on the Court blog.

> Legality of Trump’s third travel ban questioned because of `sham’ waiver policy described by former consular officials, by Jeremy Stahl, Slate magazine.

> `There’s no stopping him.’ Trump insists on a Putin summit, by Susan Glasser, The New Yorker.


And finally … Ragged basketball for charity … Jimmy Kimmel vs. Sen. Ted CruzRafael (Ted) Edward CruzGOP warns economy will tank if Dems win Ex-lawmaker urges Americans to publicly confront officials O'Rourke on calling Cruz 'Lyin' Ted': 'That wasn't the best phrase for me to use' MORE (R-Texas) in the “Blobfish Basketball Challenge” needed two hours to wind up 11-9 Saturday in Houston at Texas Southern University. Winner? Sen. Cruz. Real Winner? Charity, and TV ratings (to be broadcast tonight on "Jimmy Kimmel Live!").

The one-on-one match included lots of political trash-talking by the late-night host. The charities: Cruz picked Generation One Texas, which fights poverty, and Kimmel selected the Texas Children’s Hospital. In the end, the ideological combatants promised to donate $10,000 to both charities, and both men encouraged the public to donate, too (The Texas Tribune).