The Hill's Morning Report - Harris, Warren rise and Biden tumbles after debates




Welcome to The Hill’s Morning Report. Happy Tuesday! Our newsletter gets you up to speed on the most important developments in politics and policy, plus trends to watch. Co-creators are Alexis Simendinger and Al Weaver (CLICK HERE to subscribe!). On Twitter, find us at @asimendinger and @alweaver22.

Sen. Kamala HarrisKamala Devi HarrisWarren overtakes Biden in Iowa for first time: poll Iowa GOP swipes at 2020 Democrats' meat positions as candidates attend annual Steak Fry Warren avoids attacks while building momentum MORE’s (D-Calif.) strong debate performance last week launched her into the top tier of the Democratic primary race as former Vice President Joe BidenJoe BidenUkrainian official denies Trump pressured president Trump goes after New York Times, Washington Post: 'They have gone totally CRAZY!!!!' Warren overtakes Biden in Iowa for first time: poll MORE took a major hit and saw his lead almost entirely evaporate.


According to a CNN poll released late Monday afternoon, Harris more than doubled her support since May, jumping to 17 percent from 8 percent after Thursday’s debate in Miami, where she was onstage alongside Biden and Sen. Bernie SandersBernie SandersWarren overtakes Biden in Iowa for first time: poll The polls are asking the wrong question Sanders unveils plan to eliminate Americans' medical debt MORE (I-Vt.). Meanwhile, Biden now finds himself at 22 percent among registered voters who are Democrats or Democratic-leaning independents after his 14-point lead over Sanders plummeted to 5 points over Harris. 


Sen. Elizabeth WarrenElizabeth Ann WarrenWarren overtakes Biden in Iowa for first time: poll Warren avoids attacks while building momentum Sanders unveils plan to eliminate Americans' medical debt MORE (D-Mass.) sits at 15 percent, while Sanders rakes in 14 percent. No one else in the 25-candidate primary field hits 5 percent. 


The poll is the second to show Harris on the rise, but the first that firmly puts her in the top tier. It’s also not the only metric that shows her evident ascent. According to Mike Lillis and Cristina Marcos, Harris is now leading the pack in the fight for endorsements from the Congressional Black Caucus (CBC) after challenging Biden last week to explain his Senate record on race and opposition to school busing.


Endorsements from CBC members, a valuable commodity, have taken on special significance this presidential cycle, as President TrumpDonald John TrumpAlaska Republican Party cancels 2020 primary Ukrainian official denies Trump pressured president Trump goes after New York Times, Washington Post: 'They have gone totally CRAZY!!!!' MORE has injected issues of race into the election in unprecedented fashion and the crowded Democratic field is fighting to attract support among black voters, who will prove crucial in early primary states such as South Carolina, Alabama and Arkansas.


While Rep. James Clyburn (D-S.C.), the highest-ranking CBC member, has withheld his endorsement, many others are weighing in left and right. Harris recently won the support of Rep. Bobby RushBobby Lee RushHouse Democrats blur lines on support for impeachment Congress mobilizes on cyber threats to electric grid CBC lawmakers rip Justice Democrats for targeting black lawmakers for primaries MORE (D-Ill.) and Rep. Frederica WilsonFrederica Patricia WilsonTen notable Democrats who do not favor impeachment Assault weapons ban picks up steam in Congress Democratic rep reconsiders wearing trademark hats because of 'racists who taunt me' MORE (D-Fla.).


While the top four aspirants have separated themselves, the rest of the Democratic field continues look for openings, and some are firing at one another.


Rather than going after front-runners, some candidates who made some of the sharpest attacks in last week’s debates linger on the undercard. As Reid Wilson reports, debate experts say that’s a healthy strategy to try to stand out from the crowd. 


With many more debates ahead, a lesser-known candidate can stand taller by taking on the contender who’s an inch rather than a foot taller. The lesson ahead of the second round of debates at the end of the month in Detroit is that no presidential contender in the shifting Democratic primary is seen as safe.


While candidates are looking ahead to July 30 and July 31 in Detroit, some are looking down the road to the following debate in mid-September, when the threshold rises for candidate inclusion. According to the Democratic National Committee (DNC), candidates must hit 2 percent in four polls and have 130,000 unique donors, including 400 unique donors from 20 states. The polling and unique donor figures are doubled from the Miami and Detroit debates, forcing campaigns to make a two-month push to ensure their spot at the third debate.


According to CBS News, Biden, Harris, Warren, Sanders, South Bend, Ind., Mayor Pete ButtigiegPeter (Pete) Paul ButtigiegWarren overtakes Biden in Iowa for first time: poll The polls are asking the wrong question Booker aide sounds alarm about campaign's funding MORE, former Rep. Beto O'RourkeBeto O'RourkeO'Rourke gun confiscation talk alarms Democrats NRA deems O'Rourke 'Salesman of the Month' after Arizona gun store sells out of AR-15s during 'Beto Special' MSNBC 'Climate in Crisis' special draws 1.3M viewers in 8 pm timeslot MORE (D-Texas) and Andrew YangAndrew Yang2020 Democrats defend climate priorities in MSNBC forum Yang: 'Cancel culture' has become source of 'fear' for Americans Hundreds of thousands turn out in New York, other major cities for climate marches MORE have all reached the 130,000-donor mark, while others have noted the gains they made in donor numbers after last week’s debate. 


In other debate news, Democrats are continuing to clamor for a debate focused on climate change, an idea that has received pushback from the DNC even though it is ready to consider the idea. According to HuffPost, the DNC voted unanimously at an executive committee gathering in Pittsburgh on Saturday to refer the proposal to an internal committee, which will consider the idea and make a recommendation. If one is made, the DNC could vote in full on the idea on Aug. 23. 


The possibility of a climate change debate has been brought up repeatedly by Washington Gov. Jay InsleeJay Robert Inslee2020 Democrats defend climate priorities in MSNBC forum Overnight Energy: Trump officials formally revoke California emissions waiver | EPA's Wheeler dodges questions about targeting San Francisco over homelessness | 2020 Dems duke it out at second climate forum Yang floats nominating Inslee as 'climate czar' MORE (D), who has centered his campaign squarely on the topic. 


The New Yorker: Will Hunter Biden jeopardize his father’s campaign?


Gerald F. Seib: Democrats push left, but need moderate swing states.


The Washington Post: Democrats convulse over race as debate exchange reverberates. 


The Associated Press: Top advisers leave Hickenlooper’s struggling 2020 campaign.


Elsewhere on the political scene … Lynne Homrich, a GOP candidate for Georgia’s 7th congressional district, posted a $500,000 haul in the second fundraising quarter in a bid to separate herself from the GOP field of seven candidates. The winner will vie to replace retiring Rep. Rob WoodallWilliam (Rob) Robert WoodallHere are the lawmakers who aren't seeking reelection in 2020 House Democrats target 2020 GOP incumbents in new ad The House Republicans and Democrats not seeking reelection in 2020 MORE (R-Ga.) in what is considered a toss-up race. 





CONGRESS: There’s trouble in paradise between Speaker Nancy PelosiNancy PelosiTimeline: The Trump whistleblower complaint DC statehood push faces long odds despite record support Ukraine could badly damage both Donald Trump and the Democrats MORE (D-Calif.) and Senate Minority Leader Charles SchumerCharles (Chuck) Ellis SchumerSchumer, Pelosi push Trump to back universal background check bill Sinema says she would back Kennedy in race against Markey Democrats threaten to withhold defense votes over wall MORE (D-N.Y.) after the House was forced to take up the Senate’s compromise border supplemental last week, exhibiting a rare moment of discord between the two Democratic leaders.


As Mike Lillis and Alexander Bolton report, the relationship between the two leaders is being tested after the episode and as the two ready for high-level negotiations in the coming months, including on a potential spending caps deal and the debt ceiling. 


“This seems to be the only time I can remember in the last two years or three years where Sen. Schumer and Speaker Pelosi were not on the same page,” said a House aide, adding that there was a broad feeling among House Democrats that Schumer had undercut their position. 


“I don’t think it will be repeated again,” the aide said, pointing to the looming spending and debt ceiling talks. “The things coming down the pipeline are much bigger, more fundamental issues.”


The Senate voted on the border bill 84-8, including 30-1 out of the Senate Appropriations Committee, effectively kneecapping Pelosi and progressive lawmakers from pushing for more restrictions in the bill. 





> House Dems visit border: Tensions were high between House Democratic lawmakers and border patrol agents in Clint, Texas, on Monday as they continued to decry conditions at the facility where migrants are being held (The Hill). 


21 House Democrats, including Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-CortezAlexandria Ocasio-CortezOcasio-Cortez reveals new policies for campaign aides with children Kennedy launches primary challenge against Markey The Memo: 'Whistleblower' furor gains steam MORE (D-N.Y.), toured the facility, where lawmakers were forced to relinquish their phones and not allowed to take pictures. They questioned whether what they saw was the real conditions or a sanitized version. 


"There was definitely some bad blood between the members and the agents," said Rep. Nanette Barragán (D-Calif.), pointing to one incident in particular when one border patrol agent tried to take a selfie with Ocasio-Cortez in the background.


Additionally, they were greeted by protesters who chanted “Trump 2020” and became the subject of highly personal attacks. For example, they made derogatory references toward Rep. Rashida TlaibRashida Harbi TlaibMarkey fundraises ahead of Kennedy primary challenge The Hill's Campaign Report: De Blasio drops out | Warren gains support from black voters | Sanders retools campaign team | Warning signs for Tillis in NC Omar says she hopes Netanyahu not reelected MORE (D-Mich.) over her Muslim faith. One man yelled for her to "go back to [her] country." Tlaib was born in Detroit. 


The Washington Post: Lawmakers condemn “vulgar” posts in secret border agent Facebook group.


The Associated Press: Rep. Joaquin CastroJoaquin CastroJulián Castro: It's time for House Democrats to 'do something' about Trump RNC reports record .5 million fundraising haul for August Hispanic Democrats announce 'Latina Prosperity Principles' MORE (D-Texas) says there will likely be a congressional investigation into the Facebook posts.


The Daily podcast, The New York Times (26 minutes): Inside the migrant detention center in Clint, Texas. 


> Huawei: The president’s decision to lift the ban on U.S. companies selling products to Chinese telecommunications company Huawei has left many lawmakers and industry officials deeply concerned over the national security implications of the move (The Hill). 


The backlash on Capitol Hill has been swift and bipartisan, with some members of Congress vowing to take legislative steps to keep existing restrictions against Huawei in place.


“Huawei is one of few potent levers we have to make China play fair on trade," Schumer said in a statement. "If President Trump backs off, as it appears he is doing, it will dramatically undercut our ability to change China’s unfair trade practices.”


Some Republicans shared Schumer’s sentiment. Sen. Tom CottonThomas (Tom) Bryant CottonZuckerberg woos Washington critics during visit Zuckerberg to meet with lawmakers to discuss 'future internet regulation' 2020 Democrats raise alarm about China's intellectual property theft MORE (R-Ark.) tweeted over the weekend that the telecom company “is not only an arm of the Chinese Communist Party, but also a close partner of the People’s Liberation Army.”


WHITE HOUSE & INTERNATIONAL: Trump's tariffs truce with Chinese President Xi Jinping over the weekend hit the pause button between the world's largest economies, quieting some global concerns about the potential wreckage of a prolonged trade war. Trump on Monday said U.S.-China talks have “already begun.” But the agreement between the two leaders to resume negotiations may do little to bring the U.S. and China closer to a deal (The Hill).


> Iran: The United States issued a warning to Tehran on Monday in the wake of the country’s breach of an agreed-upon ceiling on enriched uranium, part of the nuclear pact negotiated in 2015 under the Obama administration with Iran and international partners (The Hill).


They’re playing with fire,” Trump said of Tehran (The Hill).


The president spoke on Monday with French President Emmanuel MacronEmmanuel Jean-Michel MacronPolice unleash tear gas as protesters take to the street in Paris Clarence Thomas, Joe Manchin, Rudy Giuliani among guests at second state visit under Trump Budowsky: Donald, Boris, Bibi — The right in retreat MORE about the situation and today, France warned Iran against further breaches of the nuclear deal (Reuters). France has sought to keep in place the nuclear deal with Iran, from which Trump withdrew the United States in 2018.


Iran’s action does not by itself give the country material to produce a nuclear weapon, but signaled that “Iran is moving to abandon the restriction and restore the far larger stockpile that took the United States and five other nations years to persuade Tehran to send abroad” (The New York Times).


> Mexico and immigration: Trump said raids and deportations by Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) will happen after Independence Day.


"After July 4, a lot of people are going to be brought back out" of the United States, the president told reporters on Monday (The Hill).


“People that come up [across the southern border] may be here for a short while, but they're going to be gone, they're going back to their countries,” the president said. “They go back home. ICE is going to be apprehending them and bringing them back. And we have a very good system for that, and it's been very effective, and it will be very effective."


Trump also said U.S. tariffs on all imports from Mexico, which he threatened last month, are on hold “now” because he said the Mexican government is cooperating with the United States to slow the migrant surge from Central America across its border with Guatemala. “It’s cut way down,” the president said. “The numbers are way down for the last week.”


The Department of Homeland Security recently projected that the administration’s combined efforts in June reduced the number of migrants crossing the U.S.-Mexico border by 25 percent (CNN).


> North Korea: For the United States, the challenges of new talks with Pyongyang remain unchanged. Secretary of State Mike PompeoMichael (Mike) Richard PompeoBolton replacement inherits tough challenges — including Trump Saudi Arabia says it will take 'appropriate' action if Iran's role in attacks confirmed Clarence Thomas, Joe Manchin, Rudy Giuliani among guests at second state visit under Trump MORE and U.S. envoy Steve Biegun have been given two to three weeks to start new talks with their North Korean counterparts aimed at making a breakthrough in stalled denuclearization negotiations (The Washington Post).


> Hong Kong demonstrations: Police in Hong Kong fired tear gas early today to disperse hundreds of defiant protesters, some of whom stormed and ransacked the city’s legislature on the anniversary of the city’s 1997 return to Chinese rule. The demonstrators gathered around a council building in the former British colony’s financial district in a direct challenge to authorities in Beijing (Reuters).


The New York Times: Hong Kong protesters are increasingly at odds with one another. 


At the White House on Monday, Trump told reporters, “I hope it gets solved. ... It's very sad to see."

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Gender politics and the 2020 Democratic primary: A test case in lessons learned? by Jessica Tarlov, opinion contributor, The Hill. 


John Roberts shows the nation he can steer the Supreme Court ship, by Lawrence Friedman, opinion contributor, The Hill. 


Hill.TV’s “Rising” program features U.S.-sanctioned Russian oligarch Oleg Deripaska a key figure in former special counsel Robert MuellerRobert (Bob) Swan MuellerLewandowski says Mueller report was 'very clear' in proving 'there was no obstruction,' despite having 'never' read it Fox's Cavuto roasts Trump over criticism of network Mueller report fades from political conversation MORE’s probe, in the first of a three-part series; plus Marie Newman (D), a congressional candidate from Illinois, to discuss her primary bid against Rep. Dan Lipinski (D-Ill.), and Brenda Choresi Carter, director of the Reflective Democracy Campaign, to discuss the gender gap at 9 a.m. ET at or on YouTube at 10 a.m. at Rising on YouTube.


The House will get back to work on July 9.  


The Senate is in recess until July 8.


The president has no public events on his schedule.


Vice President Pence flies to Manchester, N.H., for a roundtable discussion with patients at the Granite Recovery Center headquarters where he’ll speak about the opioid crisis and illegal drug flow in New Hampshire at 1 p.m. He’ll then return to Washington.


Economic indicators: The Bureau of Economic Analysis releases a report at 8:30 a.m. describing foreign direct investment in the United States last year.  


State Watch: Oregon voters won’t have to put a postage stamp on ballots when they mail them back to elections officials, under a bill approved during the closing hours of the 2019 legislative session. Gov. Kate Brown (D) is expected to sign the measure. Vote-by-mail became the standard in Oregon in 1998 and the new bill would make voting free (The Oregonian). 


Supreme Court: Decisions handed down during the high court’s recently concluded term show the right-leaning justices do not see eye to eye on some of the highest-profile cases. While Justices Neil GorsuchNeil GorsuchTrump judicial picks face rare GOP opposition Justice Gorsuch is wrong — 'originalist' judges make stuff up too Supreme Court comes to Trump's aid on immigration MORE and Brett KavanaughBrett Michael KavanaughTrump goes after New York Times, Washington Post: 'They have gone totally CRAZY!!!!' Trump decries whistleblower story as 'another media disaster' The Hill's Morning Report — Trump's new controversy MORE, appointed by Trump, shifted the high court to the right, the newest members and Chief Justice John Roberts surprised court watchers by occasionally forging unlikely alliances with their liberal counterparts on the bench (The Hill). … Meanwhile, Justice Ruth Bader GinsburgRuth Bader GinsburgNo, Justice Ginsburg, we don't need a constitutional amendment to protect equal rights for women New two-story mural of Ruth Bader Ginsburg unveiled in DC Supreme Court comes to Trump's aid on immigration MORE talks about gender equality, her life and the law tonight with two of her former clerks at Georgetown Law’s Hart Auditorium in Washington from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m., followed by a conversation among legal experts moderated by CNN legal analyst and Supreme Court biographer Joan Biskupic. Information is HERE.





And finally…    If you’re thinking about visiting Washington, D.C., for Fourth of July festivities, we have some news you can use.


Check the day’s program of activities, list of road closures and information about public transportation, a weather forecast and the various access points if you want to view the parade, Trump’s Lincoln Memorial speech, the Blue Angels flyover, a concert at the U.S. Capitol and of course the 35 minutes of spectacular fireworks launched near the Potomac River (WTOP).


And speaking of the river, the Metropolitan Police Department announced watercraft restrictions on Thursday HERE.


The U.S. National Park Police will have safety advisories on the Fourth of July available via text for visitors who sign up to get them. WJLA has a useful Fourth of July guide that includes that information HERE.


The president has been talking for a year about his vision for a big national bash on Independence Day. He will display U.S.-manufactured tanks on the mall (The Washington Post). 


“I'm going to say a few words and we're going to have planes going overhead, the best fighter jets in the world,” Trump told reporters on Monday from the Oval Office. “And we're going to have some tanks stationed outside. … We have the brand-new Sherman tanks, and we have the brand-new Abram tanks. And we have some incredible equipment, military equipment on display. Brand-new. And we're very proud of it.”


According to a new Monmouth University Poll, 52 percent of Americans approve of Trump’s plans to deliver a national address on Thursday, but about 80 percent of poll respondents contacted in mid-June said they had no idea the president planned to speak.