The Hill's Morning Report — Presented by T-Mobile — House, Senate leaders named as Pelosi lobbies for support to be Speaker

 

 

 

Welcome to The Hill's Morning Report and it’s Thursday! 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!) On Twitter, find us at @joneasley and @asimendinger.

Hill.TV’s “Rising” program, starting at 8 a.m., features interviews with Reps. John YarmuthJohn Allen YarmuthKaren Bass's star rises after leading police reform push Ex-CBO director calls for more than trillion in coronavirus stimulus spending Rep slams 'vulgar images' and 'racist words' that disrupted virtual youth anti-violence event MORE (D-Ky.) and Raul Grijalva (D-Ariz.). Katherine Zimmerman, a research fellow at the American Enterprise Institute, swings by to discuss Yemen and the Gaza Strip. http://thehill.com/hilltv

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New and familiar leaders are ready to step forward in Congress, creating intriguing power dynamics that will shape the rest of President TrumpDonald John TrumpKimberly Guilfoyle reports being asymptomatic and 'feeling really pretty good' after COVID-19 diagnosis Biden says he will rejoin WHO on his first day in office Lincoln Project offers list of GOP senators who 'protect' Trump in new ad MORE’s first term.

Incoming members of next year’s Congress made their leadership selections on Wednesday, with the exception of House Democrats, who may turn to Minority Leader Nancy PelosiNancy PelosiSupreme Court expands religious rights with trio of rulings Congress must act now to fix a Social Security COVID-19 glitch and expand, not cut, benefits Democrats see victory in Trump culture war MORE (D-Calif.) to be Speaker later this month, despite intraparty opposition.

The results:

> House Republicans overwhelmingly elected Rep. Kevin McCarthyKevin Owen McCarthyOn The Money: Breaking down the June jobs report | The biggest threats facing the recovery | What will the next stimulus bill include? McCarthy to offer bill withholding funds from states that don't protect statues McCarthy calls on Pelosi to condemn 'mob violence' after toppling of St. Junipero Serra statue MORE (R-Calif.) as their new leader to replace retiring Speaker Paul RyanPaul Davis RyanBush, Romney won't support Trump reelection: NYT Twitter joins Democrats to boost mail-in voting — here's why Lobbying world MORE (R-Wis.).

McCarthy, who speaks regularly with Trump and forged a relationship with the right flank ahead of the leadership election, will guide Republicans in the House as they adjust to life in the minority for the first time since 2010.

The California Republican defeated Freedom Caucus co-founder Jim JordanJames (Jim) Daniel JordanHow conservative conspiracy theories are deepening America's political divide GOP-Trump fractures on masks open up Democrats start cracking down on masks for lawmakers MORE (R-Ohio) 159 - 43 to earn the top spot.

The margin of victory for McCarthy was significant, as a more robust challenge may have required that he cut a deal with House conservatives by giving Jordan the top spot on the House Judiciary Committee.

Now, it seems that decision will be left to the Republican Steering Committee.

Scott Wong has a deep dive here into McCarthy, the GOP conference he’ll oversee and the down-ballot House GOP winners (The Hill).

Majority Whip Steve ScaliseStephen (Steve) Joseph ScaliseCheney clashes with Trump The Hill's Morning Report - Republicans shift, urge people to wear masks GOP-Trump fractures on masks open up MORE (R-La.) will become the No. 2 Republican in the House.

Rep. Liz CheneyElizabeth (Liz) Lynn CheneyBiggs, Massie call on Trump to remove troops from Afghanistan Russian bounties revive Trump-GOP foreign policy divide The Hill's Morning Report - Trump lays low as approval hits 18-month low MORE (R-Wyo.), the daughter of former Vice President Dick Cheney, will succeed GOP Conference Chairwoman Cathy McMorris RodgersCathy McMorris RodgersGOP lawmakers voice support for Israeli plan to annex areas in West Bank Trio of GOP lawmakers asks Zoom to clarify China ties after it suspends accounts Bipartisan senators call for investigation of TikTok's child privacy policies MORE (R-Wash.), who opted not to run for a fourth term in leadership. As the No. 3 Republican in the House, Cheney will be the highest-ranking woman in GOP leadership.

> The leadership elections for Democrats are expected Nov. 28.

Pelosi remains the prohibitive favorite, although rebellious Democrats within the conference say they’ll line up enough votes to prevent the veteran lawmaker from being Speaker for a second time in her House career.

The Hill: Pelosi and opponents voice confidence over Speakership battle.

The Hill: Insurgents seek female challenger to Pelosi for Speaker.

The Washington Post: Pelosi lacks vote for Speaker, for now.

Still, there is no challenger in sight at the moment, although Rep. Marcia FudgeMarcia Louise FudgeThe Hill's Coronavirus Report: Teachers' union President Randi Weingarten calls Trump administration plan to reopen schools 'a train wreck'; US surpasses 3 million COVID-19 cases Ethics Committee reviewing Rep. Sanford Bishop's campaign spending The Hill's Morning Report - Trump's public standing sags after Floyd protests MORE (D-Ohio) says she’s “thinking about it” (Cleveland.com).

On Wednesday, Pelosi met with Democrats in the Problem Solvers Caucus, a group of lawmakers who have said they will not support any nominee for Speaker unless the candidate commits in writing to changing House rules with the aim of empowering rank-and-file lawmakers and breaking partisan gridlock.

“We had a positive and constructive meeting, and will continue to work together to develop changes to the rules that will break the gridlock in Washington and deliver results for hard-working Americans.” – Pelosi

One other interesting note ...

If Californians McCarthy and Pelosi lead their respective caucuses, it will be the first time in history that the House is controlled by leaders from the same state.

This cycle, Democrats have so far flipped four GOP-controlled California House seats and they might add two more to that total – in the GOP stronghold of Orange County, no less – once the vote-counting is complete.

These are grim times for California Republicans but McCarthy’s ascension is a rare bright spot.

The Hill: Democratic gains erasing House GOP in California.

> As expected, Senate Republicans re-elected Majority Leader Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellLincoln Project offers list of GOP senators who 'protect' Trump in new ad State and local officials beg Congress to send more election funds ahead of November Teacher's union puts million behind ad demanding funding for schools preparing to reopen MORE (R-Ky.), who will oversee a 53-47 majority, barring late surprises in Florida and Mississippi.

There were a handful of Senate leadership promotions, showcasing states Republicans bank on within their base. Sen. John ThuneJohn Randolph ThuneClash looms over next coronavirus relief bill Trump second-term plans remain a mystery to GOP Republicans fear backlash over Trump's threatened veto on Confederate names MORE (R-S.D.) was elected to serve as Senate Republican Whip, making him the No. 2 Republican and positioning him to possibly succeed McConnell one day.

Rounding out the top five: Sen. John BarrassoJohn Anthony BarrassoCourt upholds protections for Yellowstone grizzly bears OVERNIGHT ENERGY: Trump nominates controversial, longtime acting head of BLM as director | Ernst sinks vote on Trump EPA nominee | Massive dust storm from Africa hits Texas, Louisiana Ernst sinks vote on Trump EPA nominee MORE (R-Wyo.) will serve as Senate Republican Conference chairman. Sen. Roy BluntRoy Dean BluntState and local officials beg Congress to send more election funds ahead of November Clash looms over next coronavirus relief bill Senate Democrats urge Pompeo to ensure Americans living overseas can vote in November MORE (R-Mo.) will be the Policy Committee chairman. Sen. Joni ErnstJoni Kay ErnstLincoln Project offers list of GOP senators who 'protect' Trump in new ad The Hill's Campaign Report: Democratic Unity Taskforce unveils party platform recommendations Trump renews culture war, putting GOP on edge MORE (R-Iowa) has been elected vice chairwoman of the GOP conference, making her the top-ranking Republican woman in the Senate.

Florida Gov. Rick Scott (R) was in Washington today for orientation, even as his race against Sen. Bill NelsonClarence (Bill) William NelsonNASA names DC headquarters after agency's first Black female engineer Mary W. Jackson NASA, SpaceX and the private-public partnership that caused the flight of the Crew Dragon Lobbying world MORE (D-Fla.) remains in recount limbo.

> And Senate Democrats re-elected Sen. Charles SchumerChuck SchumerA renewed emphasis on research and development funding is needed from the government Data shows seven Senate Democrats have majority non-white staffs Trump may be DACA participants' best hope, but will Democrats play ball? MORE (N.Y.) as leader.

Sen.-elect Kyrsten Sinema (D-Ariz.), who separated herself from Schumer while running for Senate, responded:

“I look forward to working with my colleagues to cut through the dysfunction and deliver results for Arizona. Had there been a challenger for Minority Leader, I would have considered new leadership and a fresh perspective.”

Still, Sinema’s smile was wide seated next to Schumer during a photo op, where she was joined by another newly elected female senator from the southwest, Rep. Jacky RosenJacklyn (Jacky) Sheryl RosenUS lawmakers call on EU to label entire Hezbollah a terrorist organization The Hill's Coronavirus Report: Mnuchin sees 'strong likelihood' of another relief package; Warner says some businesses 'may not come back' at The Hill's Advancing America's Economy summit The Hill's Coronavirus Report: CDC Director Redfield responds to Navarro criticism; Mnuchin and Powell brief Senate panel MORE (D-Nev.).

 

 

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LEADING THE DAY

CONGRESS: “Did I hear the word `bipartisan?’” Trump asked Wednesday at the White House while endorsing a long-stalled criminal justice reform compromise titled the First Step Act. Surrounded by lawmakers and cameras, the president offered a brief salute to compromise between the political parties during an afternoon otherwise marked by wary partisan strategizing inside the Capitol.

Trump’s endorsement now sets off a lobbying frenzy, as outside groups and senators work to lock up votes (The Hill).

SENATE:

Appropriations: Shifting to a topic of partisan discord, McConnell promised once again on Wednesday that the rifts and clashes over a wall and other funding decisions won’t prompt a government shutdown before the end of the year (Bloomberg).

However, the White House is urging House Republicans to jam Democrats over government funding by tethering border security and wall appropriations to emergency spending that would address natural disasters, such as the California wildfires (Politico).

Senate Republicans and Trump will meet this afternoon at the White House to discuss pending appropriations and close to $2 billion the Senate would include for the wall at the southern border (The Hill).

Schumer, a veteran of lively debates with Trump over immigration, border security and continuing resolutions, hopes the president can be kept out of lawmakers’ negotiations if anyone wants to complete a bipartisan accord before a Dec. 7 deadline (The Hill).

Senate - special counsel: A measure designed to protect special counsel Robert MuellerRobert (Bob) MuellerCNN's Toobin warns McCabe is in 'perilous condition' with emboldened Trump CNN anchor rips Trump over Stone while evoking Clinton-Lynch tarmac meeting The Hill's 12:30 Report: New Hampshire fallout MORE’s Russia probe was blocked in the Senate on Wednesday (The Hill). … Retiring Sen. Jeff FlakeJeffrey (Jeff) Lane FlakeCheney clashes with Trump Sessions-Tuberville Senate runoff heats up in Alabama GOP lawmakers stick to Trump amid new criticism MORE (R-Ariz.) said he will withhold his votes on pending judicial nominees — confirmations that are a priority for McConnell and the White House — unless senators can cast votes on the Mueller protection legislation (The Hill).

Senate – Saudis: Saudi Arabia has released findings from its investigation into the murder of U.S.-based Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi. Eleven people have been indicted and prosecutors in Saudi Arabia say they’ll seek the death penalty for five people involved (The Washington Post). Senators are poised to put U.S.-Saudi relations back under the microscope. Outgoing Senate Foreign Relations Committee Chairman Bob CorkerRobert (Bob) Phillips CorkerCheney clashes with Trump Sessions-Tuberville Senate runoff heats up in Alabama GOP lawmakers stick to Trump amid new criticism MORE (R-Tenn.) said he is not expecting a sanctions bill to be taken up any time soon. But he wants administration officials to testify about what they know about Khashoggi’s death. … Meanwhile, three senators expect to reintroduce a resolution that would end the current U.S. policy of military support for Saudis fighting in Yemen. (The Hill).

Senate – sexual harassment: Congress may vote on a sexual harassment bill in the lame-duck session, McConnell announced (The Hill). Lawmakers are being lobbied by former congressional staff members, who want to see action this year.

HOUSE:

House oversight – financial institutions: The central bank’s top financial regulatory official on Wednesday defended the Fed’s plans to ease strict Wall Street banking rules adopted after the financial crisis a decade ago. Randal Quarles, the Fed vice chairman of supervision, spoke carefully during testimony before the House Financial Services Committee while describing his efforts to loosen critical capital and leverage rules (The Hill). Quarles downplayed the risk of another financial crisis resulting from the Fed’s newest regulatory flexibility extended to banks (Washington Examiner).

House – Medicare: Progressive Democrats want a vote in the House next year on “Medicare for all” legislation, posing a potential headache for Democratic leaders who want to focus on bolstering the Affordable Care Act as well as continued insurance coverage for patients with preexisting conditions. Rep. Pramila JayapalPramila JayapalDemocrats fear US already lost COVID-19 battle Progressive lawmakers call for conditions on Israel aid Hillicon Valley: Democrats introduce bill banning federal government use of facial recognition tech | House lawmakers roll out legislation to establish national cyber director | Top federal IT official to step down MORE (D-Wash.), lead sponsor of the House legislation moving forward, told supporters Tuesday night that just expressing support is not enough. The bill’s sponsors want their colleagues on record with their votes. "When we have that majority we need to make sure that we put it to use," she said (The Hill).

 

 

IN FOCUS/SHARP TAKES

CAMPAIGNS & POLITICS: Michael Avenatti, who was preparing to run for the Democratic presidential nomination, has been arrested for alleged domestic violence (ABC News). He denied the charges in a video posted by KABC.

"I have never struck a woman. I never will strike a woman. I have been an advocate for women's rights my entire career and I'm going to continue to be an advocate. I'm not going to be intimidated from stopping what I'm doing. I am looking forward to a full investigation at which point I am confident that I will be fully exonerated.” - Avenatti

Avenatti became a media sensation while representing Stormy Daniels and while attacking the president on Twitter and cable news. Earlier this month, the Senate Judiciary Committee referred Avenatti and a client, Julie Swetnick, to the Justice Department for investigation after allegations they made false claims of rape against Brett KavanaughBrett Michael KavanaughSupreme Court sides with religious schools in discrimination suits Romney, Collins, Murkowski won't attend GOP convention Susan Collins signals she won't campaign against Biden MORE, now a Supreme Court associate justice .

> Florida’s Scott, who leads incumbent Nelson by about 12,500 votes in the Senate race, has recused himself from the ballot recounts in his home state (Tampa Bay Times).

Trump nonetheless continues to insert himself into the Florida situation, making unsubstantiated allegations of fraud and attacking embattled Broward County Elections Supervisor Brenda Snipes, even as it appears the Republicans will prevail in the Senate and governor’s races.

Meanwhile, the Florida Department of State has flagged for prosecutors “irregularities” in some ballots tied to the state Democratic Party (Politico).

The New York Times: Sloppy signatures may disqualify thousands of votes. A judge ruled Thursday that voters would have until Saturday to resolve mismatches.

And there is still one other Senate race to be decided.

Lisa Hagen writes that backlash against Sen. Cindy Hyde-Smith’s (R) “public hanging” joke impacted the Senate runoff race in Mississippi, prompting Republican concerns about their chances of retaining the deep-red seat (The Hill).

Trump is reportedly weighing a trip to Mississippi to boost Hyde-Smith (Politico).

More from campaigns and politics … California, New Jersey Republicans concede, Utah representative sues (Reuters) … Prospective 2020 candidates aren't yet asking donors and fundraisers to write checks for their campaigns —or even asking for their support. Instead, they’re participating in “friend-raisers” (The Hill) … Former first lady Michelle ObamaMichelle LeVaughn Robinson ObamaBudowsky: Biden-Duckworth would be America's team Democrats debate Biden effort to expand map against Trump Michelle Obama presents Beyoncé with Humanitarian Award at BET Awards: 'You inspire all of us' MORE is taking shots at Trump in her newly-published book (The Hill) … Pot legalization advocates are preparing a wave of new ballot measures and legislative pushes after big wins in three purple and red states this year (The Hill) … Democrats picked up hundreds of state legislative seats last Tuesday, but it was hardly a wave — underscoring just how far the party needs to progress before the next round of redistricting begins with the 2020 Census (The Hill).

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

Time to pass the First Step Act, by Adam Brandon, opinion contributor, The Hill. http://bit.ly/2FmnGwl

Politics in Washington will change but Trump never will, by Katrina Pierson, opinion contributor, The Hill. http://bit.ly/2PWDBWw

WHERE AND WHEN

The House convenes at 10 a.m., and begins legislative business at noon.

The Senate meets at 10:00 a.m. and later turns to a motion to discharge a joint resolution of disapproval covering certain defense exports to Bahrain. The Senate Finance Committee meets at 10 a.m. to consider the nominations of Andrew M. Saul to be Social Security commissioner; Gail S. Ennis to be Social Security Administration inspector general; and Gordon Hartogensis to be director of the Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation.

The president will speak at a conference of veterans and military families at the Marine Barracks in Washington also attended by first lady Melania TrumpMelania TrumpStatue of Melania Trump set on fire in Slovenia The Memo: Trump gambles on school push The Hill's 12:30 Report - Presented by Facebook- Schools weigh reopening options MORE. At 2:45 p.m., the president will meet at the White House with Senate GOP leaders.

Vice President Pence is in Asia, where he delivered remarks at the 6th U.S.-ASEAN Summit in Suntec City, Singapore. He conversed briefly there with Russian President Vladimir Putin. He meets with President Moon Jae-in of South Korea and participates in an East Asia Summit lunch. Pence participates in the 13th East Asia Summit plenary session, and then joins Karen PenceKaren Sue PenceThe Hill's 12:30 Report - Presented by Facebook- Schools weigh reopening options Pence and his wife voted by mail in Indiana GOP primary using old address The Hill's 12:30 Report: Senate unveils police reform bill as House works on its own bill MORE in meeting with the U.S. Embassy staff and families in Singapore.

Secretary of State Mike PompeoMichael (Mike) Richard PompeoHillicon Valley: Facebook civil rights audit finds 'serious setbacks' | Facebook takes down Roger Stone-affiliated accounts, pages | State and local officials beg Congress for more elections funds The Hill's 12:30 Report- Presented by Facebook - Trump threatens schools' funding over reopening Pompeo: State Department 'will work with Congress' on pledged funding to WHO MORE meets this morning with Mexican Foreign Secretary-Designate Marcelo Ebrard in Houston.

Interior Secretary Ryan ZinkeRyan Keith ZinkeOVERNIGHT ENERGY: Senior Interior official contacted former employer, violating ethics pledge: watchdog | Ag secretary orders environmental rollbacks for Forest Service | Senate advances public lands bill in late-night vote Senior Interior official contacted former employer, violating ethics pledge: watchdog Overnight Energy: Trump officials may pursue offshore drilling after election, report says | Energy regulators to delay projects pending appeals | EPA union calls for 'moratorium' on reopening plans MORE is in wildfire-ravaged California for a second day (Politico).

The Hill hosts a “Leadership in Action” newsmaker event to discuss the upshot of November’s elections, from 7:45-9:30 a.m., with Reps.-elect Veronica Escobar (D-Texas), Joe Neguse (D-Colo.), Donna Shalala (D-Fla.), and Dan Meuser (R-Penn.), as well as co-chairs of the bipartisan Problem Solvers Caucus, Reps. Josh GottheimerJoshua (Josh) GottheimerNew Jersey incumbents steamroll progressive challengers in primaries The Hill's Campaign Report: Primary Day in New Jersey What to watch in New Jersey's primaries on Tuesday MORE (D-N.J.) and Tom ReedThomas (Tom) W. ReedThe Hill's Coronavirus Report: Rep. Rodney Davis says most important thing White House can do on COVID-19 is give consistent messaging; US new cases surpass 50k for first time The Athletic lays off 46 staffers as pandemic hits media industry A quiet, overlooked revolution in congressional power MORE (R-N.Y.). Location: Top of the Hill Banquet and Conference Center. Info HERE. Watch the livestream HERE.

Economic reports released at 8:30 a.m.: U.S. retail sales for October; U.S. import prices for October; U.S. jobless claims, expected to remain low.

The Washington Post hosts a live-streamed newsmaker event, from 4:30-6 p.m., to discuss a history-making election year for women. Guests include Mercedes Schlapp, White House director of strategic communications; Reps.-elect Veronica Escobar (D-Texas); Chrissy Houlahan (D-Pa.); Ilhan Oman (D-Minn.); Ayanna Pressley (D-Mass.); and Jennifer Wexton (D-Va.). Location: The Washington Post. Info HERE.

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ELSEWHERE

> Wildfires: California’s death toll has risen to 56, with at least 297 people listed by authorities as missing, as searchers continue looking for human remains in northern California, where the town of Paradise was incinerated last week by a fire that broke records for its destructive costs and lethality (NBC News).

> Administration policies: The Department of Justice filled 20 pages in a memo defending the constitutionality of Trump’s appointment of Matthew Whitaker, formerly a senior staff member without Senate confirmation, as acting attorney general following the forced resignation of Attorney General Jeff SessionsJefferson (Jeff) Beauregard Sessions Senate outlook slides for GOP Supreme Court blocks order that relaxed voting restrictions in Alabama Justice Dept. considering replacing outgoing US attorney in Brooklyn with Barr deputy: report MORE (The Hill). … It’s official — National security adviser John Bolton’s top deputy Mira Ricardel is out after clashing with first lady Melania Trump (The Hill). …Also out: Veterans Affairs official departed the department as members of the House prepare for a hearing about delayed GI Bill benefits (NBC News). … Trump’s Environmental Protection Agency seeks to limit pollution from commercial trucks, targeting the smog-causing pollutant nitrogen oxide (The Wall Street Journal). … An expert panel assembled by Trump voted Wednesday to urge him to elevate cybersecurity as a U.S. priority. The National Security Telecommunications Advisory Committee recommends the creation of a federal cybersecurity council with staff (The Hill).

> Amazon blowback: Amazon was wooed by cities across the nation as it sought a new home for its headquarters. But now that Jeff Bezos’s company has settled on New York City and the Washington, D.C., suburbs, the blowback over government subsidies for the supremely profitable company has been fierce (The Hill). Amazon is reaping about $2 billion from taxpayers. Opposition to that largesse has made strange bedfellows out of New York City Democrats Mayor Bill de Blasio (D) and New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo, as well as progressive star and self-described democratic socialist Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, plus the conservative National Review magazine, the Koch network and Fox News Channel host Tucker Carlson … Five ways the new Amazon headquarters will impact northern Virginia (The Hill) … How Amazon’s headquarters will stress the housing markets in New York and Washington (The Atlantic).

> Tech: How Facebook leaders delayed, denied, deflected in a crisis (The New York Times). … Employee morale at Facebook has taken a tumble along with the company’s stock price (The Wall Street Journal) … The Department of Justice has subpoenaed Snapchat for information about its initial public offering (Reuters) … Uber posted a $1 billion loss in the latest quarter as growth in bookings slowed (Reuters). Apple’s stock has fallen into bear market territory over concerns it will suffer a decline in iPhone sales (CNBC).

 

 

THE CLOSER

And finally … It’s Thursday, which means it’s time for this week’s Morning Report Quiz! Inspired by an art auction headline this week, we’re eager for some smart guesses about paintings and art.

Email your responses to jeasley@thehill.com or asimendinger@thehill.com, and please add “Quiz” to subject lines. Winners who submit five correct answers will enjoy some richly deserved newsletter fame on Friday.

On Tuesday night, a 1929 painting sold at auction for nearly $92 million, surprising some art experts with its sky-high price. Which painting was it?

  1. “Chop Suey,” by Edward Hopper
  2. “Woman as Landscape,” by Willem de Kooning
  3. “Le Principe du Plaisir,” by René Magritte
  4. “Composition with Red Strokes,” by Jackson Pollock

Recent presidents have welcomed their predecessors and former first ladies back to the White House for official “hangings” of presidential portraits completed after they left office. Former President Obama and Michelle Obama have not yet appeared at 1600 Pennsylvania Ave. for that purpose, although popular paintings of the Obamas hang in the National Portrait Gallery. But thinking back to those White House unveiling events of yore, which former first lady quipped with gentle sarcasm in the East Room that “nothing makes a house a home like having portraits of its former occupants staring down at you from the walls”?

  1. Laura Bush
  2. Pat Nixon
  3. Hillary ClintonHillary Diane Rodham ClintonHillicon Valley: Facebook civil rights audit finds 'serious setbacks' | Facebook takes down Roger Stone-affiliated accounts, pages | State and local officials beg Congress for more elections funds OVERNIGHT ENERGY: Sanders-Biden climate task force calls for carbon-free power by 2035 | Park Police did not record radio transmissions during June 1 sweep of White House protesters | Court upholds protections for Yellowstone grizzly bears GOP Miami mayor does not commit to voting for Trump MORE
  4. Jacqueline Kennedy

Former President George W. Bush surprised many by taking up painting as a hobby after leaving Washington. By 2017, he earned kudos for 98 portraits he painted of wounded veterans, part of a gallery exhibit and published as a fund-raising coffee table book titled “Portraits of Courage.” In 2013, Romanian hacker Guccifer released images of Bush’s earliest work, pulled from family emails. What was the subject matter Bush painted, revealed via those emails, that caught the public’s attention?

  1. Bowls of fruit and flowers
  2. The Washington Monument as seen from the Truman balcony
  3. Portrait of his mother
  4. Self-portrait in a bathtub

In October, we learned that Trump decorated a private space near the Oval Office with a print of a contemporary painting in which his image is featured. In that work, with whom does Trump appear, and what are they all doing?

  1. Members of his Cabinet, meeting at the White House
  2. New York business associates, gathered at Trump Tower
  3. Former Republican U.S. presidents, around a table in a bar scene
  4. His grandchildren, accompanying him in a golf cart

Second lady Karen Pence was in Japan with Vice President Pence this week and championed a $54,000 U.S. grant to a teacher at Tsukuba University for the study of an offshoot of artistic endeavor. For what type of study is the grant designated?

  1. Calligraphy
  2. Art therapy
  3. Flower arranging
  4. Bonsai