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The Hill's Morning Report — Presented by PhRMA — Congress faces crush of November deadlines

The Hill's Morning Report — Presented by PhRMA — Congress faces crush of November deadlines
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No matter which party controls the House and Senate in January, Washington will face a crush of November deadlines in a deeply polarized environment in which the 2020 presidential election will be officially underway.

Here’s what’s on the docket in the weeks ahead:

> Nov. 5: The U.S. says it will impose new economic sanctions on Iran. Iranian President Hassan Rouhani has warned his people that hard times are ahead. The Trump administration is pressuring governments around the world to cut ties with Tehran, although it’s unclear at this point the extent to which allies will go along. 

“On Monday, …  all of the sanctions that had been relieved by the Obama administration will return.” — Secretary of State Mike PompeoMichael (Mike) Richard PompeoTrump: NY Times report on North Korean missile bases inaccurate Pompeo accuses Newsweek of 'helping' Iran 'spread lies' Overnight Defense — Presented by Raytheon — Trump's Armistice Day trip marked by controversy | US ends aerial refueling to Saudi coalition in Yemen | Analysts identify undeclared North Korean missile bases MORE, during an interview Thursday

The New York Times: As sanctions loom, U.S. push against Iran faces steep obstacles.

> Nov. 6: Election Day. Analysts think Democrats are likely to win a majority in the House, while Republicans are expected to maintain or possibly expand their 51-49 majority in the Senate. As soon as the outcome is known, maneuvering will begin around the fall’s unfinished legislative business and the agenda ahead for 2019.

Also on Election Day, the president faces a deadline to decide whether to impose a new round of sanctions on Moscow over the poisoning of an ex-Russian spy in Britain earlier this year.

> Nov. 7: The calendar turns from the 2018 midterm elections to the 2020 presidential contests. A large field of potential Democratic candidates will set out in earnest to win the right to take on Trump.

Also this week, both parties jump into leadership elections for the 116th Congress, likely in mid-November. Fierce behind-the-scenes jockeying has been evident for months.

Politico: House Minority Leader Nancy PelosiNancy Patricia D'Alesandro PelosiGraham backs bill to protect Mueller Clyburn says some critics are using race to oppose his leadership bid Congress can unite on global affairs MORE’s (D-Calif.) stealth campaign among Democrats for Speaker.

> Nov. 11: President TrumpDonald John TrumpDeath toll in Northern California wildfire rises to 48: authorities Graham backs bill to protect Mueller Denham loses GOP seat in California MORE and Russian President Vladimir Putin meet in Paris.

> Nov. 29: Trump and Chinese President Xi Jinping will meet at a G-20 summit in Buenos Aires, Argentina. The U.S.-China trade war will be center stage during their talks.

The markets want to see the tariffs standoff resolved. On Thursday, stocks bounced after the president tweeted about a phone call with Xi.

Reuters: Global shares rally as Trump report fans U.S.-China trade deal hopes.

> Dec. 7: The continuing resolution that is the stopgap measure to fund roughly a quarter of the government’s operations expires at midnight. The lame-duck Congress has just a few weeks to avert a partial shutdown with new appropriations or come to some agreement to punt any remaining policy impasses into 2019.

The lobbying and advocacy organization CGCN Group had this to say in a memo sent to clients this week:

The president has already received the appropriations he was hoping for related to defense, troops, veterans and other appropriations priorities. The last item he would like to see funded is the border wall. With Justice and Homeland Appropriations in the second minibus, we think there is a strong chance the president pushes the wall issue aggressively; potentially to the point of shutdown.” — CGCN Group

Before Jan. 3, when the new Congress officially convenes, a lame-duck session will be jammed with all manner of unfinished business, including judicial confirmations, a pending farm bill and possible attempts by Republicans to pass criminal justice reform or another round of tax cuts.

The White House, meanwhile, is bracing for a potential staff exodus or more upheaval in the Cabinet after Election Day. Attorney General Jeff SessionsJefferson (Jeff) Beauregard SessionsGraham backs bill to protect Mueller Democrats in murky legal water with Whitaker lawsuits Whitaker’s past business dealings under scrutiny MORE is among those whose future is cloudy. Washington is also on edge for new revelations from special counsel Robert MuellerRobert Swan MuellerSasse: US should applaud choice of Mueller to lead Russia probe MORE, who has worked largely unseen in the runup to next week’s elections.



LEADING THE DAY

CAMPAIGNS & POLITICS: The final sprint to Nov. 6 is on.

The Hill: Toss-up races dominate battle for Senate.

Marist: Democrats lead generic congressional ballot by 9 points.

Trump will spend Friday in West Virginia, where Sen. Joe ManchinJoseph (Joe) ManchinMellman: The triumph of partisanship Senate GOP readies for leadership reshuffle Schumer’s headaches to multiply in next Congress MORE (D) appears to have a small lead on Republican Patrick Morrisey. Can the president help pull Morrisey across the finish line? It’s not looking good for him right now.

The Washington Post: GOP super PAC scales back spending on West Virginia Senate.

The Hill: Takeaways from the West Virginia Senate race.

From there, Trump will hold campaign rallies in Montana, Florida, Tennessee, Georgia, Missouri, Indiana and Ohio between now and Election Day. There are key Senate or governors seats up for grabs in all of those states.

“We can’t take a chance of something going awry on Tuesday,” Trump told a cheering crowd in Missouri on Thursday night. “That’s why I’m coming again on Monday!”

Vice President Pence, meanwhile, will also be in the Show Me State today, where Republican Josh Hawley is trying to oust Sen. Claire McCaskillClaire Conner McCaskillMellman: The triumph of partisanship The Memo: Dem hopes for 2020 grow in midterms afterglow Schumer’s headaches to multiply in next Congress MORE (D) in a state Trump and Pence won easily in 2016.

The Hill: During his Thursday rally in Missouri, Trump described a conspiracy theory involving Chinese enemies and U.S. birthright citizenship.

The president is trying to keep voters’ focus on immigration and the migrant caravan working its way through Mexico toward the southern border. It will not reach the United States for many weeks — well past when U.S. voters cast their ballots.

The president’s immigration rhetoric and his threat to issue an executive order reversing birthright citizenship embedded in the Constitution has split Republicans ahead of Nov. 6.

The Hill: GOP infighting spills into public view.

The Hill: Trump keeps spotlight on immigration, punts on asylum changes.

As top Democratic surrogates for progressive candidates, former President Obama and former Vice President Joe BidenJoseph (Joe) Robinette BidenCastro takes steps toward likely 2020 bid Election Countdown: Lawsuits fly in Florida recount fight | Nelson pushes to extend deadline | Judge says Georgia county violated Civil Rights Act | Biden, Sanders lead 2020 Dem field in poll | Bloomberg to decide on 2020 by February What midterm exit polls tell us about 2020 MORE, also have key Senate and governor races in their sights.

Obama is in Georgia today for Democrat Stacey Abrams, who is in a tight race for governor against Republican Brian Kemp. Oprah Winfrey campaigned for Abrams on Thursday, going door to door for the Democrat.

Reuters: TV titans Trump, Oprah go head to head on campaign trail

The New York Times: Trump warns vaguely about Abrams’s “past,” calls her “unqualified.”

This weekend, Obama heads to Indiana for Sen. Joe DonnellyJoseph (Joe) Simon DonnellyMellman: The triumph of partisanship The Memo: Dem hopes for 2020 grow in midterms afterglow Schumer’s headaches to multiply in next Congress MORE (D), whose race against Republican Mike Braun is headed for a photo finish.

Biden, meanwhile, will split his time this weekend between North Dakota, where Sen. Heidi HeitkampMary (Heidi) Kathryn HeitkampMellman: The triumph of partisanship GOP nerves on edge after Sinema takes lead over McSally Pro-Israel organizations should finally seek payback against Iran deal Dems MORE (D) trails Rep. Kevin CramerKevin John CramerHow President Trump won last night The Hill's Morning Report — Split decision: Dems take House, GOP retains Senate majority Cramer ousts Heitkamp in critical North Dakota Senate race MORE (R) by double-digits in some polls, and Ohio, where Democrat Richard CordrayRichard Adams CordrayKasich to return to New Hampshire for post-midterms visit Warren? Biden? Sanders? Dems have different answers on 2020 after 2018 The Hill's Morning Report — Split decision: Dems take House, GOP retains Senate majority MORE and Republican Mike DeWine are in a close race for the governor’s mansion.

The Memo: Obama fights for his legacy in the midterms.

While much of the focus in recent days has been on Republican infighting, Democrats aren’t all on the same page either.

The Hill: Vulnerable Senate Dems throw their party under the bus.

Looking down ballot to the House, the nonpartisan Cook Political Report released a new analysis on Thursday forecasting greater gains and a near-certain majority for Democrats.

 

 

If Democrats win the House, look for some of Trump’s chief antagonists to ascend to the top rungs of party leadership.

CNN: Rep. Adam SchiffAdam Bennett SchiffIncoming N.J. Dem lawmaker says she won't vote for Pelosi as Speaker Whitaker saying he won’t cut Mueller funding: report Incoming Intelligence chair wants to release interviews to aid Mueller probe MORE (D-Calif.) says the House Intelligence Committee will ramp up investigations into Trump if Democrats take the House.

Bloomberg: What if Rep. Maxine WatersMaxine Moore WatersDem running for president says party misaligned with America Trump’s hard lesson for Republicans: Fight back Dems find easy target in Trump commerce chief MORE (D-Calif.) takes over the House Financial Services Committee?

Perspectives and Analyses

Ross Douthat: The conservative case for a split decision in the midterms.

A.B. Stoddard: 10 known unknowns ahead of the midterms.

Karl Rove: Republicans show strength in early voting.

Jim Grossfield: Women bolster Midwestern prospects for Democrats.

 

IN FOCUS/SHARP TAKES

WHITE HOUSE & ADMINISTRATION: China: Trump said he spoke with Xi on Thursday about U.S.-China trade differences and described the conversation as “very good.” The two leaders will meet later this month on the sidelines of the G-20 summit in Buenos Aires, Argentina (The Hill).

  

 

> But within hours of Trump’s tweet, the Justice Department took aim at a Chinese firm it accused of unfair practices, part of a U.S. campaign to keep the pressure on Beijing (Reuters).

 

 

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Education Department: New guidelines dealing with campus sexual assault cases would allow accused students to cross-examine their accusers (The Wall Street Journal).

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Minimum wage: White House national economic adviser Larry Kudlow said on Thursday that he opposes raising the federal minimum wage, as promoted by Democrats, believing it harms small businesses and hinders job creation. The best way to raise wages is by reducing taxes, he argued (The Hill).

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United Nations: To succeed Nikki HaleyNimrata (Nikki) HaleyTrump taps retired general for ambassador to Saudi Arabia Trump eyes post-midterm shakeup U.S. think tank identifies 13 undeclared missile bases in North Korea MORE as U.S. ambassador to the United Nations later this year, Trump decided to offer the position to State Department spokeswoman Heather Nauert, a former Fox News journalist. She met with Trump in the Oval Office on Monday (Fox News).

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Department of Homeland Security: For the role of inspector general at the large and complex department, the president nominated Joseph Cuffari, currently a policy adviser to Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey (R) and a former aide to former Gov. Jan Brewer (R). Inspectors general serve as internal watchdogs and are supposed to operate independently of politics. Cuffari served in the U.S. Air Force for more than four decades (Arizona Central).

 

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.

OPINION

The birthright citizenship debate explained, by Scott Bomboy, editor-in-chief of the National Constitution Center, opinion contributor, The Hill. https://bit.ly/2DhZAky

Americans cannot afford to get sick, and limited health plans could make things worse, by David Blumenthal, opinion contributor, The Hill. https://bit.ly/2CW4QcH

 

WHERE AND WHEN

The House and Senate will convene after Election Day.

The president will hold a rally in Huntington, W.Va., at 4 p.m. for GOP candidates and another near Indianapolis along with Pence at 7 p.m. (WTHR.com). Trump will remain overnight in Indianapolis.

Pence will also stump for GOP candidates in Kansas City, Mo., and speak at a CPAC 365 fundraising event.

Obama will be in Miami to campaign for Democrats Andrew Gillum, the Tallahassee mayor who is running for governor, and Florida Sen. Bill NelsonClarence (Bill) William NelsonOvernight Defense — Presented by Raytheon — First lady's office pushes for ouster of national security aide | Trump taps retired general as ambassador to Saudis | Mattis to visit border troops | Record number of female veterans to serve in Congress Election Countdown: Lawsuits fly in Florida recount fight | Nelson pushes to extend deadline | Judge says Georgia county violated Civil Rights Act | Biden, Sanders lead 2020 Dem field in poll | Bloomberg to decide on 2020 by February Nelson seeks to push back recount deadlines in latest lawsuit MORE, challenged by Republican Gov. Rick Scott. Obama will also campaign in Georgia for Abrams, who is running for governor against Kemp.

Sen. Cory BookerCory Anthony BookerPavlich: Where is Brett Kavanaugh’s apology? Poll: Biden and Sanders lead 2020 Dem field, followed by Beto O'Rourke Dems find easy target in Trump commerce chief MORE (D-N.J.) is campaigning in North Dakota for Heitkamp (D), who is in a tight race against Cramer.

The Bureau of Labor Statistics releases the government’s employment report for October at 8:30 a.m. Market expectations are for a strong showing on jobs that could continue to encourage Federal Reserve interest rate hikes (Reuters).

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ELSEWHERE

> Tech: The inventor of the World Wide Web, Tim Berners-Lee, says Facebook and Google are two tech giants that have grown so dominant he thinks they will need to be broken up unless consumer trends or market competition have the same effect (Reuters). … Instagram, Facebook’s image-sharing app, is now rife with hoax theories and propaganda in ways that have attracted lots of negative attention in Washington and in the news media (The Hill). … Google employees and contractors worldwide staged brief walkouts on Thursday amid complaints of sexism, racism and unchecked executive power in their workplaces (Reuters).

> Election-sensitive stocks: A sector-by-sector barometer of how the midterm elections may impact corporate stocks (Reuters). 

> Pediatric virus deaths: A respiratory virus killed at least nine children and one young adult with compromised immune systems who were undergoing medical care in New Jersey, and the virus has been detected in Pennsylvania (The Associated Press). … Understanding adenovirus (NBC News).

> Marijuana: The first FDA-approved cannabis-based drug is now available by prescription in the United States (CNN).

> Buried treasures: A fragment of Martha Washington’s dishware was dug up at Arlington National Cemetery in Virginia (The Washington Post), and students uncover an ancient ax stone at Virginia’s Mount Vernon (The Washington Post).

 

THE CLOSER

And finally …    Congratulations to winners of this week’s Morning Report Quiz! Inspired by Daylight Saving Time, which requires our attention on Sunday, we looked for smart guesses about how and why we bend time twice a year. (We relied on a recent Washington Post article to supply the necessary facts and trivia.)

We thought this week’s first question about the historical inspiration for daylight saving time might trip up a few readers. But Milt Mungo, Heather Ciandella, Norm Roberts, Mary Vita P. Treano, Cheryl Gibson, William Mattingly, Frank Hatfield, Susan Widmer, BJ Taylor, William Chittam, David Holdridge, Bruce Keener, Ray Fleming and Sandy Sycafoose knew or guessed that we can blame this clock-resetting ritual on the Germans, who during World War I shifted their clocks to save electricity. The idea caught on from there.

Daylight saving time was introduced in the United States in 1918.

Hawaii and Arizona do not observe daylight saving time.

The European Parliament will vote by spring on abolishing the practice.

And researchers found that “springing ahead” one hour in March, thus losing sleep and increasing stress, contributes to unhealthy side effects, such as more car accidents, suicides and increased risk of heart attacks. Thus, the answer we had in mind was “all of the above.”