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The Hill’s Morning Report — Trump pushes Mexico for ‘significantly more’ as tariffs loom

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***  Happy 60th birthday to Vice President Pence! ***


U.S. and Mexican officials were unable to strike a deal on Thursday to stave off a new round of tariffs that are set to be imposed on Monday as President Trump prepares to declare a new national emergency and follow through with his threat. 

{mosads}News of no deal and a potential new emergency declaration came after two days of negotiations between U.S. and Mexican officials passed, despite new proposals by Mexico that would increase their footprint along the southern border and give the U.S. an increased ability to deport Central American migrants who seek asylum.

Vice President Pence told reporters that the meetings yielded progress, but that the two sides were still far apart as Mexico needs to do “significantly more” to secure a deal. He declined to mention any specifics.

“Progress was made. The Mexican delegation brought forward proposals, but as the president said last night, it was not nearly enough,” Pence said. “We made it clear at the White House that Mexico must do significantly more to end this crisis of illegal immigration. We called on them to take even more steps, more decisive action.”

“At this point, the tariffs are going to be imposed on Monday. We made that very clear to the Mexican delegation,” Pence said. “But discussions are going to continue in the days ahead and our hope is that Mexico will respond. And the president is fully prepared not just to impose the 5 percent tariffs, but to increase those tariffs in the months ahead, but we hope for better.”

According to Rafael Bernal and Jordan Fabian, the president says his newly drawn up national emergency declaration is a necessity due to “the failure of the Government of Mexico to take effective action to reduce the mass migration of aliens illegally crossing into the United States through Mexico.”  

The draft document shows that the White House is concerned the tariffs might not be legal under the emergency declaration from February, forcing the need for a new one. However, the White House has not decided to move forward with the new declaration.

With a new round of tariffs potentially hitting in days, Mexican officials offered to deploy nearly 6,000 national guard troops to their Guatemalan border to stem the flow of Central American migrants to the U.S. Additionally, they are also trying to strike a deal that would make wholesale changes to asylum and give the U.S. the ability to deport Guatemalans seeking asylum to Mexico, and Hondurans and Salvadorans to Guatemala (The Washington Post). 

A major question around a potential deal still centers around the president, who was absent from negotiations on Wednesday and Thursday as he remained in the United Kingdom, Ireland and France, but kept an eye on negotiations. Before leaving for France on Thursday morning, Trump warned that Mexico would have to “step up to the plate” in negotiations, which Pence indicated later Thursday they had not.

{mossecondads}It also remains an open question what happens when the Senate returns on Monday if the tariffs go into effect. Senate Republicans vocalized their opposition to the administration throughout the week, including on Tuesday to White House officials. Trump, however, dared the Senate GOP to oppose him on the issue, saying it would be “foolish” on their part, adding on Thursday morning that they “have no idea what they’re talking about” on the new round of tariffs. 

According to one Senate GOP aide, there’s a “very good chance” a resolution of disapproval gets brought to the Senate floor in response to the president. Nevertheless, some in the party back the president’s negotiating techniques. Sen. Kevin Cramer (R-N.D.) told The Hill that he is encouraged by the steps being taken by the administration, including the direction of the negotiations, saying he is “confident POTUS won’t take his foot off of Mexico’s throat without getting more measurable concessions.” He added that Mexico is making “substantive commitments” as they inch toward a possible agreement.

While trade has remained front and center for the president, he was also dealing with myriad issues as he wrapped up his overseas trip, which included discussing climate change with Prince Charles, playing kingmaker in the race to replace British Prime Minister Theresa May and marking the 75th anniversary of the D-Day invasion at Normandy with French President Emmanuel Macron.

The Hill: Six notable moments from Trump’s Europe trip.

The Washington Post: ‘These boys were on a holiday’: Trump family members promote themselves, and businesses, on European trip.




POLITICS & CAMPAIGNS: Former Vice President Joe Biden made waves Thursday night when he reversed his position on the Hyde Amendment just over a day after reiterating that his support for the four-decades old provision that bans federal funding for abortion.

“If I believe health care is a right, as I do, I can no longer support an amendment that makes that right dependent on someone’s ZIP code,” he said at a Democratic National Committee gala in Atlanta, telling attendees the reversal is due to new laws at the state level enacted by Republican governors.

“I can’t justify leaving millions of women without the access to care they need, and the ability to exercise their constitutionally protected right,” he said.

“[C]ircumstances have changed. I’ve been working through the final details of my health care plan like others in this race, and I’ve been struggling with the problems that Hyde now presents,” he said.

Biden had been under siege in recent days from other 2020 Democrats and progressive groups for his continued support. Some of those critics welcomed Biden’s change of heart.

“Happy to see Joe Biden embrace what we have long known to be true: Hyde blocks people—particularly women of color and women with low incomes—from accessing safe, legal abortion care,” tweeted Leana Wen, the president of Planned Parenthood.

> 2020 Democrats are ramping up media appearances and churning out policy proposals in a push to ready themselves for two big moments at the end of the month that could be make or break campaigns.

As Niall Stanage writes, along with the media appearances and proposals, Democratic candidates are also sharpening their attacks on each other in advance of the first debates on June 26 and 27 and, only days later, the end of the second quarter fundraising period on June 30. The two events are likely to separate the contenders from those who might not cut it in the 2020 fight for the Democratic nomination. 

Over the past week, the attacks have taken on a sharper tone, with Biden taking on many of the barbs over the past week from progressive corners of the party, even though many candidates have been reluctant to namecheck him personally.

The New York Times: Democratic candidates go after Joe Biden, but not by name:

“The leading Democratic presidential contenders have begun criticizing Joseph R. Biden Jr. for, among other things, being too old, too moderate, too fixated on President Trump and too delusional about the state of the Republican Party. But you’d be forgiven if you missed it, because they almost never mention Mr. Biden by name.   

“Welcome to the season of the velvet fist.  

“As the first Democratic debate nears, and Mr. Biden carefully nurtures his lead in the polls, his opponents have begun the delicate footwork of going on the attack without appearing as the aggressor. Turning to euphemisms, translucent critiques and at times all but winking, they are hoping the voters and news media will pick up on their implicit message in a way that doesn’t also sully them in the process.” 

> Montana Gov. Steve Bullock is the latest candidate to complain about the Democratic National Committee’s (DNC) debate rules and prerequisites after the party confirmed that open-ended ABC News/Washington Post polls, which the DNC had included as one of the pre-approved polls toward reaching the debate stage, will not be counted toward a candidate reaching the polling threshold. Bullock is the only Democrat at risk due to the new change.



Bullock is in danger of missing the debate stage, in part because the ABC News/Washington Post poll where Bullock registered 1 percent was the governor’s third poll where he registered in polling, making him eligible for the debate stage. However, with the June 12 deadline to qualify for the debates staring them down, Bullock is now scrambling for another poll to put him on the debate stage as he has not reached the 65,000 donor prerequisite and is firing back at the DNC in the process (The Hill). 

“While Governor Bullock was expanding Medicaid to one in ten Montanans despite a nearly 60% Republican legislature, the DNC was making arbitrary rules behind closed doors. The DNC’s unmasking of this rule unfairly singles out the only Democratic candidate who won a Trump state — and penalizes him for doing his job,” said Jenn Ridder, Bullock’s campaign manager, in a statement.

The Associated Press: DNC chairman: Debate rules fair despite candidate complaints.

Reuters: Former Rep. Beto O’Rourke (D-Texas) falls as Biden, Sanders pace Dem field.

The New York Times: Democrats take aim at Silicon Valley. They take its cash, too.

ABC News: 20 presidential candidates qualify for first DNC debates, reaching limit.

The Washington Post: Democrats narrow presidential debate rules days before deadline to qualify.

Elsewhere in political news … Businessman John James, who lost to Sen. Debbie Stabenow (D-Mich.) by a 6-point margin in November, announced Thursday that he will run in 2020 against Sen. Gary Peters (D-Mich.), who is one of two Senate Democrats running in states Trump won in 2016. The move is a blow to the National Republican Congressional Committee (NRCC), who had hoped he would run for the House instead (M-Live) … Rep. Eric Swalwell (D-Calif.) reserved small cable buys in Iowa, New Hampshire and Nevada between June 8 and 13 (Medium Buying).


CONGRESS & INVESTIGATIONS: The president’s request for humanitarian assistance at the U.S.-Mexico border remains stuck in limbo on Capitol Hill despite hopes on the Republican side that they can pass a bill this month.

As Jordain Carney writes, Senate Republicans argue that the Department of Health and Human Services is running out of funding to take care of unaccompanied migrant children, especially after no humanitarian aid was included in the $19.1 billion disaster assistance package the president signed Wednesday.

While both sides have suggested they support humanitarian aid, as long as it isn’t attached to controversial border provisions, negotiations appear to be at a standstill.

The White House was hopeful to slip its $4.5 billion request for border money into the disaster aid package, with $3.3 billion in humanitarian assistance. About $1.1 billion would go have gone toward operations such as expanding the number of detention beds and providing more investigative resources, something Democrats were unwilling to budge on.   

> House Democrats are sensing a political opportunity as Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) repeatedly refers to himself as the “Grim Reaper” and the operator of the “legislative graveyard,” and believe it could be an opening as the Senate refuses to take up the vast majority of their bills and focuses on judicial and administration nominees.



As Mike Lillis writes, while McConnell’s firewall has frustrated Democrats, they are pressing forward with a slew of proposals on health care, climate change and gun control, among others. Democrats are playing the long game and are confident the Senate’s inaction will backfire on Republican candidates to the Democrats’ across-the-board advantage in 2020. It’s a dynamic they intend to play up on the campaign trail. 

“He’s an issue in this campaign,” Rep. Jim McGovern (D-Mass.), chairman of the House Rules Committee, said of McConnell.

Paul Kane: Pelosi faces twin challenge on Trump impeachment — tamp down talk and give nation a tutorial on the process.

The Morning Report is created by journalists Alexis Simendinger and Al Weaver. We want to hear from you! Email: and We invite you to share The Hill’s reporting and newsletters, and encourage others to SUBSCRIBE!


Trump’s wild ride has Powell scrambling to keep economy on track, by Mark Zandi, opinion contributor, The Hill. 

Who is allowed to sue Trump for the wall? By Steven Mulroy, opinion contributor, The Hill.


Hill.TV’s “Rising” program, starting at 8 a.m., features former Homeland Security Secretary Tom Ridge to discuss immigration and the 2020 race, North Carolina State School Superintendent Mark Johnson to talk about the Say Something Anonymous Reporting System application, and Bob Cusack, editor-in-chief of The Hill, to weigh in on tariffs and possible testimony by special counsel Robert Mueller.

The House returns on Monday at noon.

The Senate convenes on Monday at 3 p.m.

The president and first lady Melania Trump depart Ireland at 9 a.m. and arrive at Joint Base Andrews at 4:25 p.m.

The Bureau of Labor Statistics will report on U.S. employment in May at 8:30 a.m.

Attorney General William Barr will give remarks at the FBI’s National Academy graduation ceremony in Quantico, Va. at 10 a.m.


Energy: Former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg announced Thursday that he will donate $500 million to close the remaining coal plants in the U.S. by 2030 in an effort to help combat climate change. “I’m committing $500 million to launch @BeyondCarbon the largest-ever coordinated campaign to tackle the climate crisis our country has ever seen. This is the fight of our time,” Bloomberg tweeted. The initiative aims to steer the country back on the path to a completely clean energy economy “and ensure that after the 2020 election, the next Administration inherits a country already well on the way to a full clean energy economy” (The Hill). 

Military: A West Point cadet was killed Thursday after a vehicle loaded with cadets on summer training overturned in rough, wooded terrain, injuring several others. The vehicle overturned Thursday morning as it was headed to a land navigation. 21 cadets and soldiers were injured in the incident, which drew the attention of the president and vice president. “So sorry to hear about the terrible accident involving our GREAT West Point Cadets. We mourn the loss of life and pray for the injured. God Bless them ALL!” Trump tweeted (The Associated Press). 

NBA Finals: The Golden State Warriors Mark Stevens, a part owner of the team, was banned from attending games and team activities for a full year and fined $500,000 for pushing Toronto Raptors’ guard Kyle Lowry and directing “obscene” language at him during Game 3 of the NBA Finals on Wednesday night. Lowry was chasing after a loose ball that landed in the front row near where Stevens was seated. Lowry immediately indicated that Stevens shoved him. Los Angeles Lakers’ star LeBron James bashed Stevens on Twitter, arguing that Lowry would be arrested if he walked into Stevens’s office and shoved him (ESPN).


And finally … Congratulations to this week’s Morning Report Quiz winners!.

Here are the triumphant trivia masters who know a lot about Sir Elton John: Lorraine Lindberg, Ki Harvey, Tim Aiken, William Chittam, John van Santen, Stephen Richard Staronka, Allyson Foster, Randall S. Patrick, Michael Beav, Donna Nackers, Dan Hebert, and Aaron Gebert. 

“Candle in the Wind” was the song John rewrote and performed at the funeral for Princess Diana in 1997.

“It’s gonna be a long, long time” is part of the official title of “Rocket Man,” a line that is sung 12 times during the song.

“Can You Feel The Love Tonight” topped “Circle of Life” and “Hakuna Matata” to win “best original song” at the 67th Academy Awards. All three songs were nominated

[Eagle-eyed Quizzers corrected one of our questions: We asked which English football team Elton John was a part owner of. We mistakenly included West Ham as an option instead of Watford, who John has supported for decades. We apologize for the error.]


Tags Bob Cusack Border wall Debbie Stabenow Donald Trump Emmanuel Macron Eric Swalwell Gary Peters Joe Biden Kevin Cramer Melania Trump Michael Bloomberg Mitch McConnell Morning Report Robert Mueller Senate Steve Bullock Theresa May Trump UK trip William Barr

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