Welcome to The Hill’s Morning Report. Happy Thursday! 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.
President TrumpDonald TrumpBaldwin calls Trump criticism following 'Rust' shooting 'surreal' Haley hits the stump in South Carolina Mary Trump files to dismiss Trump's lawsuit over NYT tax story MORE seized on House Democratic foes, including four female freshman lawmakers of color whom he assailed by name, to animate his base and try to persuade voters that any Democratic nominee he faces is a “danger” to the country and to the economic gains he said his administration produced.
“The choice for every American has never been more clear,” Trump said during a rally in Greenville, N.C., on Wednesday night. “These are bad people.”
Following days of intense national criticism, a House vote on Tuesday to condemn his “racist comments” and Wednesday’s House vote to kill the first articles of impeachment filed against the president under the new Democratic majority, Trump plowed deeper into the race-saturated nationalist themes he believes will carry him to victory next year.
With exaggerated “thank yous” to House Democrats who joined Republicans to table a measure on impeachment sponsored by Rep. Al GreenAlexander (Al) N. GreenIlhan Omar to Biden: 'Deliver on your promise to cancel student debt' Deportations of Haitians spark concerns over environmental refugees The Hill's Morning Report - Presented by Alibaba - Gears begin to shift in Congress on stalled Biden agenda MORE (D-Texas), Trump relished his opportunities to play to a cheering crowd while pointing to evident divisions between progressive and moderate Democrats who control the House.
The Hill: The House voted 332-95 to table articles of impeachment.
The New York Times: 95 Democrats signaled their support for impeachment, while 137 opposed it — a dramatic split signaling trouble ahead for a divided party. The measure highlighted the rifts between progressives who want to challenge Trump more aggressively and moderate Democrats who want to focus on a policy agenda that includes improving health coverage and raising wages for working people.
Trump repeated his criticisms of House progressives — Reps. Ilhan OmarIlhan OmarDemocratic caucus chairs call for Boebert committee assignment removal War of words escalates in House Mace chief of staff steps down during turbulent week MORE (D-Minn.), Alexandria Ocasio-CortezAlexandria Ocasio-CortezWar of words escalates in House McCarthy faces headaches from far-right House GOP Noncitizen voting doesn't pass this test MORE (D-N.Y.), Rashida TlaibRashida Harbi TlaibPelosi: Democrats can't allow 'indecent' Boebert comments to stand Omar, Muslim Democrats decry Islamophobia amid death threats September video shows Boebert made earlier comments suggesting Omar was a terrorist MORE (D-Mich.) and Ayanna PressleyAyanna PressleyMcCarthy faces headaches from far-right House GOP House progressives urge Garland to intervene in ex-environmental lawyer Steven Donziger's case GOP eyes booting Democrats from seats if House flips MORE (D-Mass.) — inaccurately saying he quoted statements from the lawmakers, nicknamed “the squad,” to describe them as “radical” and extreme in their views.
“Send them back. Send them back,” the crowd chanted, echoing a tweet the president wrote on Sunday about the representatives, which urged them to “go back” to where they came from. All four are U.S. citizens. Omar was born in Somalia, a fact Trump emphasized during his remarks. At Trump’s mention of her name, the crowd booed.
“That's why I said, ‘Hey, if they don't like it, let them leave,” Trump said. “They don’t love our country.”
“They’re so angry,” he added.
If there was any lingering doubt that the president would play to voters’ racial and socioeconomic anxieties during his reelection bid, Wednesday night’s venomous 92-minute speech put the question to rest.
Republican political advisers say Trump wants to turn the left-leaning firebrands in Speaker Nancy PelosiNancy PelosiCongress averts shutdown after vaccine mandate fight On The Money — Congress races to keep the lights on House sets up Senate shutdown showdown MORE’s (D-Calif.) caucus into the face of the Democratic Party.
“They don’t have enthusiasm, they’re just fighting with one another,” the president said. “We have all the enthusiasm.”
Trump voiced disdain for Democratic presidential contenders, as well, reprising his “Sleepy Joe” mockery of former Vice President Joe BidenJoe BidenManchin to vote to nix Biden's vaccine mandate for larger businesses Congress averts shutdown after vaccine mandate fight Senate cuts deal to clear government funding bill MORE and his “Pocahontas” nickname for Sen. Elizabeth WarrenElizabeth WarrenWarren calls on big banks to follow Capital One in ditching overdraft fees Crypto firm top executives to testify before Congress Massachusetts Gov. Charlie Baker won't seek reelection MORE (D-Mass.). He called Sen. Kamala HarrisKamala HarrisPolitics must accept the reality of multiracial America and disavow racial backlash Symone Sanders to leave the White House at the end of the year Bidens to attend Kennedy Center Honors following Trumps' absence MORE (D-Calif.) the “new one” who “knocked the hell out of Biden” during the June debate, and called out Sen. Bernie SandersBernie SandersGOP ramps up attacks on SALT deduction provision Symone Sanders to leave the White House at the end of the year Briahna Joy Gray says Chris Cuomo will return to CNN following scandal MORE (I-Vt.) as “desperate” this cycle, adding that he “missed his time” with his presidential primary loss in 2016.
“It’s a sad situation,” Trump said about Sanders. “But I think they’re all sad when you get right down to it.”
Trump exaggerated the pronunciation of South Bend, Ind., Mayor Pete ButtigiegPete ButtigiegThe Hill's 12:30 Report: Biden to announce increased measures for omicron Pressed on 2024, Buttigieg says 'we are squarely focused on the job at hand' The Hill's Morning Report - Presented by Facebook - Biden talks up bright side beneath omicron's cloud MORE’s name and said the mayor could not skillfully represent the United States with President Xi Jinping of China, Kim Jong UnKim Jong UnNorth Korea bans leather coats after Kim starts new fashion trend Belarus and Russia must resolve the migrant crisis on their own North Korea's Kim makes first public appearance in month MORE of North Korea or President Vladimir PutinVladimir Vladimirovich PutinOvernight Defense & National Security — Quick vote on defense bill blocked again Kremlin claims Ukraine may try to win back rebel-controlled regions by force Blinken threatens coordinated sanctions on Russia over Ukraine MORE of Russia.
The rally — which took place in a North Carolina county Trump lost in 2016 and the district of Democrat Rep. G.K. ButterfieldGeorge (G.K.) Kenneth ButterfieldDeFazio becomes 19th House Democrat to retire Overnight Defense & National Security — Biden officials consider more Ukraine aid Biden, first lady have 'Friendsgiving' meal with military troops MORE — was originally expected to coincide with the scheduled testimony of former special counsel Robert MuellerRobert (Bob) MuellerAn unquestioning press promotes Rep. Adam Schiff's book based on Russia fiction Senate Democrats urge Garland not to fight court order to release Trump obstruction memo Why a special counsel is guaranteed if Biden chooses Yates, Cuomo or Jones as AG MORE. However, Mueller’s appearance on Capitol Hill was postponed until next week. Trump called the Russia investigation and its years of controversy “bullshit.”
The Hill: Trump blasts Reps. Omar, Ocasio-Cortez, Tlaib, Pressley.
The Hill: Here are the 95 Democrats who voted to support impeachment …
The Hill: And the 137 Democrats who voted to table the impeachment resolution.
The Associated Press: Trump leaning on issue of race to win a second term in 2020.
Omar quotes Maya Angelou in a tweeted response to Trump’s rally: “like air, I’ll rise.”
LEADING THE DAY
CONGRESS: The feuding between progressive and moderate Democrats shows no sign of letting up as progressives warned Wednesday that they are prepared to sink a minimum wage bill if moderates adopt a Republican amendment ahead of the final vote, expected Thursday.
Questions remain what the amendment will be, given that GOP lawmakers are not expected to introduce their measure — known as a motion to recommit — until just before the vote, but progressives are standing tall and demanding that there are no changes. More than anything, progressives are trying to avoid a second loss at the hands of moderates after the $4.6 billion border supplemental three weeks ago (The Hill).
“The Progressive Caucus is eager for a strong floor vote raising the minimum wage to $15 an hour. We are deeply grateful to the organizers, activists and working people across the country who fought for years to make this vote a reality," said Rep. Mark PocanMark William PocanWith Build Back Better, Dems aim to correct messaging missteps Dems brace for score on massive Biden bill House passes trillion infrastructure bill, advances social spending plan MORE (D-Wis.) and Rep. Pramila JayapalPramila JayapalDemocratic caucus chairs call for Boebert committee assignment removal Five reasons for Biden, GOP to be thankful this season 91 House Dems call on Senate to expand immigration protections in Biden spending bill MORE (D-Wash.) said in a statement. “It would be a disservice to these families — who put their paychecks on the line to fight for dignity in the workplace — to do anything less than what we’ve promised: a clean vote to raise the minimum wage, for all workers across the country."
Progressive lawmakers are also wary of moderates because they have voted for some of the GOP measures of this kind in the past, which are used to try to divide Democrats on certain issues.
> Budget/debt ceiling: Democratic lawmakers have grown optimistic that a two-year deal to raise the budget caps for military and domestic spending and the debt ceiling will be done by Friday, allowing the House to vote on a package next week before they leave town for the August recess.
Pelosi told reporters that a deal is in sight as she continues to negotiate with Treasury Secretary Steven MnuchinSteven MnuchinThe Hill's Morning Report - Presented by Facebook - Biden to tackle omicron risks with new travel rules Mnuchin and McConnell discuss debt limit during brief meeting Major Russian hacking group linked to ransomware attack on Sinclair: report MORE, the lead negotiator for the administration, who she and Senate Minority Leader Charles SchumerChuck SchumerProgressive groups urge Schumer to prevent further cuts to T plan Collins says she supports legislation putting Roe v. Wade protections into law Biden should seek some ideological diversity MORE (D-N.Y.) spoke to shortly before her press conference on Wednesday (The Hill).
As Andrew Taylor from The Associated Press writes:
“Also driving the negotiations is the threat of cuts averaging 10% to agency accounts, reversing recent gains for the Pentagon and hard-won increases in domestic programs favored by Democrats. Those cuts are the final leftovers of a failed 2011 budget and debt deal negotiated by former President Barack ObamaBarack Hussein ObamaPolitics must accept the reality of multiracial America and disavow racial backlash To empower parents, reinvent schools Senate race in Ohio poses crucial test for Democrats MORE and then-Speaker John BoehnerJohn Andrew BoehnerFeehery: The next Republican wave is coming Rift widens between business groups and House GOP Juan Williams: Pelosi shows her power MORE that used the threat of the automatic cuts to try to prompt additional progress on the deficit.”
The two sides are not expected to agree to any short-term deal and are unlikely to vote on a clean debt ceiling package by the end of next week, something Mnuchin suggested in a recent letter to congressional leaders in lieu of a budget caps deal.
Politico: Senate Republicans pray Trump will take budget deal.
The Associated Press: House Democrats, GOP unite to repeal Obama health care tax.
> Legislative filibuster: Talk of nixing the legislative filibuster is gaining steam among Senate Democrats, especially after Schumer opened the door to getting rid of the higher threshold if Democrats retake the Senate next year and win the presidency, telling reporters that "nothing is off the table."
Progressives view keeping the filibuster as a death knell for major priorities like “Medicare for All” and climate change legislation, but it remains unknown what the appetite is within the conference as a whole to make the change. Striking the legislative filibuster would require 51 votes (The Hill).
The Hill: Democrats warm to idea of studying reparations.
The Hill: House votes to block Trump’s arms sale to Saudi Arabia.
The Hill: The House voted on Wednesday night to hold Attorney General William BarrBill BarrJan. 6 panel recommends contempt charges for Trump DOJ official Appeals court questions Biden DOJ stance on Trump obstruction memo Michael Cohen officially released from prison sentence MORE and Commerce Secretary Wilbur RossWilbur Louis RossBannon's subpoena snub sets up big decision for Biden DOJ House panel, Commerce Department reach agreement on census documents China sanctions Wilbur Ross, others after US warns of doing business in Hong Kong MORE in criminal contempt of Congress for flouting subpoenas. The two Cabinet members wrote to Pelosi before the vote seeking without success to delay it to continue negotiations. The White House in a statement assailed the House Democrats’ action as “ridiculous and yet another lawless attempt to harass” Trump and the administration. Ross called the House vote a “PR stunt” that was “unnecessary.”
Reuters: Schumer asks FBI, FTC to probe Russia’s FaceApp over security concerns.
Roll Call: Dems appear stymied on a top priority: climate legislation.
The Associated Press: Sen. Rand PaulRandal (Rand) Howard PaulGOP anger with Fauci rises Congress's goal in December: Avoid shutdown and default Cotton swipes at Fauci: 'These bureaucrats think that they are the science' MORE (R-Ky.) blocks bill to boost 9/11 victims fund.
MORE 2020 POLITICS & CAMPAIGNS: Senate Republicans received a boost Wednesday as Secretary of State Mike PompeoMike PompeoNo time for the timid: The dual threats of progressives and Trump Psaki: Sexism contributes to some criticism of Harris Mnuchin, Pompeo mulled plan to remove Trump after Jan. 6: book MORE left the door ajar to leaving the State Department to run for the Senate in Kansas, raising hopes that the party can keep the seat in GOP hands next year.
Pompeo admitted in a radio interview with KCMO in Kansas City that he has spent time thinking about a possible run, albeit not as much as some other GOP politicos, and that he will “always leave open the possibility that something will change.” The comments came months after he said publicly that he had ruled out a run (The Hill).
“I do see this from time to time,” Pompeo said of rumors that he could run. “There is a lot more people talking about this and spending time on it than Susan and I are spending time thinking about it. Look, we love Kansas, but I am very focused on my mission serving America and President Trump as the secretary of State. That’s my mission and as I think I’ve said a couple of times, I intend to do this so long as President Trump wants me to be engaged in this activity.”
“I would have never dreamed that I’d be the secretary of State even a year before I became the director of the CIA, a year before that,” he continued. “And so, I always leave open the possibility that something will change and my path in life will change, too, but my mission set is really very clear.”
Talk of a Pompeo run has heated up since Kris Kobach announced a run to replace retiring Sen. Pat RobertsCharles (Pat) Patrick RobertsMcConnell gets GOP wake-up call Bob Dole, Pat Roberts endorse Kansas AG Derek Schmidt for governor Ex-Sen. Cory Gardner joins lobbying firm MORE (R-Kan.). Kobach is considered unelectable by national Republicans after his loss in the Kansas governor race in 2018.
> “Medicare for All”: Sanders took aim at Biden on Wednesday as he issued a passionate defense of Medicare for All and tried to draw a line in the sand between the two heavyweights in the 2020 Democratic primary field.
In his speech, Sanders called for his Democratic primary opponents to reject campaign contributions from health insurance and drug companies. The remark was viewed as a veiled shot at Biden, who has held large-dollar fundraisers with wealthy contributors from the health care industry.
“Now is not the time for tinkering around the edges, and now is not the time for taking money and large campaign contributions from the insurance companies and drug companies,” Sanders said at George Washington University.
The comments also came days after Biden laid down his marker on health care, calling for the preservation and expansion of the Affordable Care Act, namely by creating a public option to allow consumers to sign up for Medicare if they are unhappy with their private insurance.
The Wall Street Journal Editorial Board: Biden goes halfway to BernieCare.
ABC News: Sanders accepted pharma executives’ donations prior to new pledge.
The Wall Street Journal: 2020 spotlight shines on lawmakers in early primary states.
The Los Angeles Times: The next Democratic debate will have a new face: Montana Gov. Steve BullockSteve BullockDark money group spent 0M on voter turnout in 2020 In Montana, a knock-down redistricting fight over a single line 65 former governors, mayors back bipartisan infrastructure deal MORE.
Mark Leibovich, The New York Times Magazine: Buttigieg is still figuring this out.
Rahm Emanuel: No, the Democratic Party has not lurched left.
IN FOCUS/SHARP TAKES
WHITE HOUSE & ADMINISTRATION: At the Labor Department, Patrick Pizzella took over as acting secretary following Alexander AcostaAlex Alexander AcostaOn The Money: Trump slams relief bill, calls on Congress to increase stimulus money | Biden faces new critical deadlines after relief package | Labor rule allows restaurants to require broader tip pooling Labor rule allows restaurants to require broader tip pooling Federal litigator files complaint alleging Labor secretary abused his authority MORE’s resignation last week. Conservatives and business groups expect Pizzella to pursue a deregulatory, anti-union agenda at the department, a dynamic that alarms Democratic lawmakers and organized labor (The Hill). … Who is Pizzella, 65, and what do the president’s advisers want him to do that Acosta would not? (The New York Times).
> U.S. sanctions on Russia: The Trump administration has long insisted it would impose additional sanctions on Russia following the 2018 poisoning in Great Britain of Sergei Skripal and his daughter, Yulia, as required by a 1991 law aimed at eliminating chemical and biological weapons. Skripal, a former Russian spy, was exposed to a lethal nerve agent by two officers from Russia’s military intelligence agency and survived. But after the Trump administration assured lawmakers months ago that Russia’s actions would trigger a second round of U.S. punishment, nothing happened.
The State and Treasury departments finalized a package of proposed additional sanctions last spring, but the White House and senior officials have not approved the recommendations, sources told Morgan Chalfant. The administration has publicly held Russia accountable, a State Department spokesperson said when asked for a status report.
A year ago while traveling in the United Kingdom, Trump boasted that in response to the “horrible” Skripal poisoning, the United States expelled 60 Russian diplomats, officials and staff from the United States. “We have been far tougher on Russia than anybody—anybody,” the president said.
> U.S. troops to Saudi Arabia: The United States plans to send about 500 more troops to Saudi Arabia in a show of force against Iran, the Defense Department said on Wednesday. In June, the administration announced it would send 1,000 additional troops to the Middle East but did not specify which countries would receive them. The forces going to Saudi Arabia are part of that deployment. Congress awaits details of the deployment from the administration next week (CNN).
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WHERE AND WHEN
Hill.TV’s “Rising” at 9 a.m. ET features Rep. Al Green (D-Texas), who will talk about his ongoing push to impeach the president; and Stephen Auth, executive vice president at Federated Investors, to discuss his book, “The Missionary of Wall Street.” Find Hill.TV programming at http://thehill.com/hilltv or on YouTube at 10 a.m.
The House meets at 9 a.m.
The Senate convenes at 10 a.m. and resumes consideration of the nomination of Clifton L. Corker to be a federal judge for the Eastern District of Tennessee.
The president and first lady Melania TrumpMelania TrumpBidens to attend Kennedy Center Honors following Trumps' absence The Hill's 12:30 Report: Biden's message on the 'omicron' variant Jill Biden unveils traditional White House holiday décor MORE will host a photo opportunity with members of Team USA for the 2019 Special Olympics World Games at noon. The president meets with Prime Minister Mark Rutte of the Netherlands for 90 minutes this afternoon at the White House.
Pompeo departs for travel through Sunday to Buenos Aires, Argentina; Guayaquil, Ecuador; Mexico City, Mexico; San Salvador, El Salvador; and Orlando, Fla.
The Aspen Security Forum runs through Saturday in Aspen, Colo., with current and former federal officials analyzing a range of security topics. Information HERE.
The Smithsonian Institution for a final time tonight transforms the east face of the Washington Monument into a 363-foot Saturn V rocket to salute the 50th anniversary this week of the Apollo 11 lunar mission. View the high-tech projection show on the Mall from 9:30 p.m. to 11:30 p.m. Information is HERE.
The Hill invites you to two live events: July 24 features the third annual Latina Leaders Summit at the Conrad Washington, D.C., with leaders from across the country, including Rep. Nanette Diaz Barragán (D-Calif.), Del. Jenniffer González-Colón (R-Puerto Rico) and Rep. Grace NapolitanoGraciela (Grace) Flores NapolitanoA law hindering treatment for severe mental illness must be repealed Trump signs bill authorizing memorial to fallen journalists We can't ignore COVID-19's impact on youth mental health MORE (D-Calif.). They’ll discuss paths to elective office and the next generation of Latina leaders. Information is HERE. … On July 25, The Hill presents “Policy Prescriptions: Lowering Drug Prices” at 1777 F Street NW, Washington, D.C., with Sens. Mike BraunMichael BraunManchin to vote to nix Biden's vaccine mandate for larger businesses GOP fears boomerang as threat of government shutdown grows Overnight Defense & National Security — Senate looks to break defense bill stalemate MORE (R-Ind.) and Tammy BaldwinTammy Suzanne BaldwinWisconsinites need infrastructure that is built to last Wisconsin senators ask outsiders not to exploit parade attack 'for their own political purposes' Senate Democrats call on Biden to push for COVID-19 vaccine patent waivers at WTO MORE (D-Wis.), who will discuss how to lower patient drug prices. Sign up HERE.
The Well News hosts a 9 a.m. moderated panel discussion called “Legislating from the Middle” with members of Congress about efforts to build consensus on Capitol Hill. Lawmakers from the Blue Dog Coalition, the New Democrat Coalition and the Tuesday Group will participate. Information HERE.
The Washington Post hosts a live event to interview presidential candidate Sen. Cory BookerCory BookerMaternal and child health legislation must be prioritized now Poll: Harris, Michelle Obama lead for 2024 if Biden doesn't run Five reasons for Biden, GOP to be thankful this season MORE (D-N.J.) at 9 a.m. Information HERE.
National Republican Congressional Committee Chairman Rep. Tom EmmerThomas (Tom) Earl EmmerGOP beginning to jockey for post-election leadership slots Sunday shows preview: New COVID-19 variant emerges; supply chain issues and inflation persist GOP blaming Democrats for 'chaos' in new ad MORE (R-Minn.) will be interviewed by reporters from 8 a.m.-9 a.m. during an event sponsored by The Christian Science Monitor in Washington.
➔ Notre Dame: The famous cathedral in Paris came far closer to collapsing in April than anyone knew (The New York Times event reconstruction). … Restoring the cathedral, a July progress report in photographs (TIME).
➔ Federal Reserve: In Donald Trump vs. Jay Powell, new battle lines are being drawn (Bloomberg Businessweek).
➔ Housing: For buyers and renters, housing costs are vastly outstripping income, a new study based on census data going back to 1960 confirmed with some eye-popping statistics. “The Midwest might be the last region homeowners can realistically afford,” the study said (The Hill). … The U.S. housing market is stuck in a rut, even as mortgage rates fall. Weak housing and manufacturing are holding back the economy, offsetting strong consumer spending, the Commerce Department reported on Wednesday (Reuters).
➔ Ebola: The outbreak of the deadly disease in the Congo is a global health emergency, the World Health Organization declared Wednesday after the virus spread this week to a city of 2 million people. It’s only the fifth such declaration in history. Health workers continue to worry about regional spread of Ebola after the first confirmed case in Goma in northeastern Congo indicated infection at a regional crossroads on the Rwandan border near an international airport (The Hill and The Associated Press).
And finally … It’s Thursday, which means it’s time for this week’s Morning Report Quiz! Inspired by the Apollo 11 lunar mission 50 years ago, we’re eager for some smart guesses about the moon, NASA and the global fascination with outer space.
Email your responses to email@example.com and/or firstname.lastname@example.org, and please add “Quiz” to subject lines. Winners who submit correct answers will enjoy some richly deserved newsletter fame on Friday.
How many astronauts have walked on the surface of the moon?
How many Apollo missions successfully landed astronauts on the moon and brought them back to Earth?
Which of these innovations exist as a result of the Apollo era, thanks to NASA scientists and those working with them?
1) Freeze-dried foods
2) Silver foil “space blankets”
3) Cordless vacuum cleaners
4) All of the above
During the Apollo 11 mission, “Eagle” referred to …?
1) Former NASA flight commander Gene Kranz
2) U.S. flag planted on the moon
3) Small module that transported two astronauts to the moon’s surface
4) NASA mission control headquarters in Houston
What inspired President Kennedy to announce in 1961 that the United States would go to the moon?
1) Federal budget surplus that the White House wanted to spend
2) Desire to create more jobs in Texas and Florida
3) History-making Soviet strides with the Sputnik satellite and cosmonaut Yuri Gagarin’s orbit of the Earth
4) 1961 sci-fi TV show “A for Andromeda”