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The Hill's Morning Report: Trump walks back from 'send her back' chants

 

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Less than 24 hours after President TrumpDonald John TrumpPennsylvania Supreme Court strikes down GOP bid to stop election certification Biden looks to career officials to restore trust, morale in government agencies Sunday shows preview: US health officials brace for post-holiday COVID-19 surge MORE expressed happiness about his scripted take-down of four Democratic freshman lawmakers during a reelection rally in North Carolina, he attempted to distance himself from the crowd’s “send her back” chant aimed at Somali-born Rep. Ilhan OmarIlhan OmarMeet the three Democrats who could lead foreign affairs in the House Biden Cabinet picks largely unify Democrats — so far GOP congresswoman-elect wants to form Republican 'Squad' called 'The Force' MORE (D-Minn.), whom Trump on Sunday urged to “go back” to her country.

 

“I felt a little bit badly about it,” the president told reporters Thursday in the Oval Office. “I would say that I was not happy with it. I disagreed with it. But, again, I didn’t say that. They did.”

 

The president’s sudden disavowal of his Greenville, N.C., supporters and their public echo of his Sunday tweet evolved after Republican lawmakers met privately with Vice President Pence to air misgivings that “send her back” was a divisive and politically damaging GOP rallying cry if it caught on elsewhere heading into the 2020 campaign cycle.

 

“We cannot be defined by this,” North Carolina conservative Rep. Mark WalkerBradley (Mark) Mark WalkerNorth Carolina's Mark Walker expected to announce Senate bid Lara Trump mulling 2022 Senate run in North Carolina: report House GOP votes to keep leaders in place MORE told reporters. “That does not need to be our campaign call.”

 

The Associated Press: Trump falsely claims he tried to stop “send her back” chant.

 

The New York Times editorial board: The real meaning of “send her back!” It’s become the message of Donald Trump’s presidency.

 

Walker was not the only Republican who recoiled without criticizing the president. House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthyKevin Owen McCarthyTop Republicans praise Trump's Flynn pardon Richmond says GOP 'reluctant to stand up and tell the emperor he wears no clothes' Sunday shows preview: Biden transition, COVID-19 spike in spotlight MORE (R-Calif.) said at a news conference that the chants “have no place in our party and no place in this country.” Rep. Tom EmmerThomas (Tom) Earl EmmerA louder voice for women everywhere GOP sees path to House majority in 2022 House GOP votes to keep leaders in place MORE (Minn.), head of the House Republicans’ campaign committee, told reporters at a Christian Science Monitor breakfast that “there’s no place for that kind of talk.”

 

As Niall Stanage reports, the president’s excoriating and personal slams against the liberal lawmakers, joined by the Greenville crowd’s reaction, elevated fears about Trump’s brand of race-tinged nationalism and the coarseness of the nation’s political jousts. Lawmakers and commentators on Thursday agonized publicly about the potential that political speech could spark violence.

 

The Hill: Rank-and-file Democratic lawmakers called for increased security following the Trump rally’s “send her back” chants.

 

The Hill: The House is ending a rollicking, exhausting, unprecedented week, one that included a party-line vote to condemn the president’s “racist comments” and another to table articles of impeachment filed by a Texas Democrat.

 

In comments on social media, the president’s supporters piled on, agreeing with Trump’s assertions that the four freshman Democrats, self-nicknamed “the squad,” are dangerous “extremists.”

 

Sen. Lindsey GrahamLindsey Olin GrahamBiden's Cabinet a battleground for future GOP White House hopefuls Republicans ready to become deficit hawks again under a President Biden Let's give thanks to Republican defenders of democracy MORE (R-S.C.) advised “everybody should ramp it down,” but he also suggested that overheated rhetoric from the House Democrats invited Trump’s response, calling it a “two-way street” (The Hill). Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellMcConnell halts in-person Republican lunches amid COVID-19 surge Biden and reproductive health rights Biden's Cabinet a battleground for future GOP White House hopefuls MORE (R-Ky.) said during a Thursday morning interview with Fox Business that Trump was “on to something” when he castigated Omar and Reps. Alexandria Ocasio-CortezAlexandria Ocasio-CortezClub for Growth to launch ad blitz in Georgia to juice GOP turnout Trump will soon be out of office — but polarization isn't going anywhere Trump tweets Thanksgiving criticism of NFL QBs for kneeling MORE (D-N.Y.), Rashida TlaibRashida Harbi TlaibBiden Cabinet picks largely unify Democrats — so far Democrats brush off calls for Biden to play hardball on Cabinet picks GOP congresswoman-elect wants to form Republican 'Squad' called 'The Force' MORE (D-Mich.) and Ayanna PressleyAyanna PressleyGOP congresswoman-elect wants to form Republican 'Squad' called 'The Force' Pelosi faces caucus divisions in Biden era Record number of Black women elected to Congress in 2020 MORE (D-Mass.).

 

McConnell said they want to recast America “into a socialist country” with liberal policies that would cost jobs and end private health insurance, and which he said are supported by Speaker Nancy PelosiNancy PelosiClub for Growth to launch ad blitz in Georgia to juice GOP turnout Governors take heat for violating their own coronavirus restrictions Spending deal clears obstacle in shutdown fight MORE (D-Calif.) and Senate Minority Leader Charles SchumerChuck SchumerProtect America's houses of worship in year-end appropriations package Club for Growth to launch ad blitz in Georgia to juice GOP turnout Inequality of student loan debt underscores possible Biden policy shift MORE (D-N.Y.). “We’re going to have a big choice next year.”

 

In Minnesota on Thursday afternoon, Omar’s supporters offered their own take. “Welcome home Omar!” they chanted and cheered as the congresswoman arrived at the Twin Cities airport, television news cameras circling behind glass doors, awaiting her appearance.

 

Hours later, she tweeted: “Home sweet home!”

 

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LEADING THE DAY

CONGRESS: The House voted Thursday to raise the minimum wage to $15 by 2025, with lawmakers largely voting along party lines as progressives and centrist Democrats came away with wins in the legislation. 

Progressives won the battle for the bill to have the $15 wage enacted nationwide, while centrists were able to extend the phase-in for the wage from five years to six years. Centrists also came on board to back the bill due to an amendment requiring a study of the economic impact in the early stages of the wage hike’s implementation. 

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The legislation, which was the first vote to raise the federal minimum wage since 2007, won the support of three Republicans — Reps. Brian FitzpatrickBrian K. FitzpatrickDivided citizenry and government — a call to action for common ground OVERNIGHT ENERGY: Down ballot races carry environmental implications | US officially exits Paris climate accord  Fitzpatrick wins reelection in Pennsylvania MORE (Pa.), Francis RooneyLaurence (Francis) Francis RooneyTime to concede: The peaceful transition of power is an American tradition House GOP lawmaker: Biden should be recognized as president-elect Most Republicans avoid challenging Trump on election MORE (Fla.) and Chris SmithChristopher (Chris) Henry SmithWoman tased, arrested for trespassing for not wearing mask at Ohio football game China sanctioning Rubio, Cruz in retaliatory move over Hong Kong China sanctions Cruz, Rubio, others over Xinjiang legislation MORE (N.J.), while six Democrats — Reps. Anthony Brindisi (N.Y.), Joe CunninghamJoseph CunninghamGOP Rep. Dan Newhouse tests positive for COVID-19 Colorado Democrat Ed Perlmutter tests positive for coronavirus Bustos tests positive for COVID-19 MORE (S.C.), Kendra HornKendra Suzanne HornWhat should Biden do with NASA and the Artemis Program? Here are the 17 GOP women newly elected to the House this year Rundown of the House seats Democrats, GOP flipped on Election Day MORE (Okla.), Ben McAdams (Utah), Kurt SchraderWalter (Kurt) Kurt SchraderHouse members race to prepare for first-ever remote votes The 14 Democrats who broke with their party on coronavirus relief vote House votes to condemn Trump Medicaid block grant policy MORE (Ore.) and Xochitl Torres Small (N.M.) — voted “no.” 

The Congressional Budget Office projects that the hike would cost the U.S. 1.3 million jobs by 2024, but that it would lift 1.3 million individuals out of poverty. 

 

Despite the legislation’s passage, the bill is likely dead-on-arrival in the Republican-led Senate (The Hill). 

The Washington Post: House Democrats move to tamp down internal feud, delete tweets that sparked infighting. 

 

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> Budget/debt ceiling: As Pelosi and Treasury Secretary Steven MnuchinSteven Terner MnuchinBiden's Treasury pick will have lengthy to-do list on taxes On The Money: Initial jobless claims rise for 2nd week | Dow dips below 30K | Mnuchin draws fire for COVID-19 relief move | Manhattan DA appeals dismissal of Manafort charges Mnuchin to put 5B in COVID-19 relief funds beyond successor's reach MORE close in on a deal to raise the spending caps and debt ceiling, one major potential roadblock lies ahead: the president.

With an agreement nearing the finish line, Senate Republicans are worried that Trump could scuttle any deal. They want a firm commitment that he will support the bill after past dealings ahead of key spending deadlines, including the December deal the Senate thought they had secured. Trump refused to sign a short-term resolution at the time despite assurances from Pence to the Senate GOP that he would, leading to a 35-day partial government shutdown.  

"Oh absolutely," said Senate Appropriations Committee Chairman Richard ShelbyRichard Craig ShelbySpending deal clears obstacle in shutdown fight Trump, Pelosi barrel toward final border wall showdown On The Money: Push for student loan forgiveness puts Biden in tight spot | Trump is wild card as shutdown fears grow | Mnuchin asks Fed to return 5 billion in unspent COVID emergency funds MORE (R-Ala.) when asked if he needs a public assurance from Trump. "I think the leader would want that, too." 

"We've got to get the president on board," Shelby added.

 

With an agreement close that could potentially add $2 trillion to the deficit over a decade, Niv Elis writes that members of both parties are short on solutions for addressing the debt. 

The potential deal would increase spending for 2020 and 2021 by an estimated $250 billion to $300 billion over those two years, and it would entrench a higher spending path because there are no legal spending limits in place after those years. While budget watchers have raised alarms that the deficit is on an unsustainable path, members of Congress have only stopped pointing fingers long enough to throw up their hands. Democrats blame Republicans for passing $1.9 trillion in deficit-financed tax cuts and demanding huge increases to defense spending. Republicans blame Democrats for demanding dollar-for-dollar increases to domestic spending to match defense increases. 

 

The New York Times: As Washington seeks budget deal, negotiators try to sideline Mick MulvaneyMick MulvaneyMick Mulvaney 'concerned' by Giuliani role in Trump election case On The Money: Senate releases spending bills, setting up talks for December deal | McConnell pushing for 'highly targeted' COVID deal | CFPB vet who battled Trump will lead Biden plans to overhaul agency Consumer bureau vet who battled Trump will lead Biden plans to overhaul agency MORE.

 

> Mueller testimony: House lawmakers are gearing up for their highly anticipated public hearing with former 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 on Wednesday. 

Democratic members and staff on the House Judiciary and Intelligence committees in recent days have held closed-door meetings as they lay out their game plans in advance of Mueller’s testimony, which was delayed by a week after the initial hearing was set for July 17. Lawmakers say they’re painstakingly planning their questions with guidance from the committees in order to maximize their time with Mueller, keeping their specific lines of questioning close to the vest. 

On the Republican side, they are holding mock hearings to prepare. Many GOP lawmakers on the committees are Trump loyalists and are expected to try to poke holes in the investigation’s credibility, as they’ve tried to do for months (The Hill). 

 

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ADMINISTRATION: In another escalation of U.S.-Iran tensions, Trump said Thursday that a U.S. Navy ship “destroyed” an Iranian drone in the Strait of Hormuz after the aircraft threatened the ship (The Hill).

 

“This is the latest of many provocative and hostile actions by Iran against vessels operating in international waters. The United States reserves the right to defend our personnel, facilities and interests,” the president said.

 

The drone incident would appear to fit a pattern of harassing behavior by Iranian forces in the Gulf region that predates the Trump administration. U.S. military officials have tried not to further inflame the situation. It was not clear late Thursday whether the unmanned aircraft was armed, or how the Navy brought it down.

 

Iran on Friday denied Trump’s assertion that the United States destroyed one of its drones, saying all of its unmanned planes were safe. There was no sign of a major Gulf clash, despite fears both sides could blunder into war (Reuters).

 

Trump’s unusual disclosure of the drone incident follows accusations that some White House officials have sought to antagonize Iranian officials. In May, national security adviser John BoltonJohn BoltonPressure grows from GOP for Trump to recognize Biden election win Sunday shows - Virus surge dominates ahead of fraught Thanksgiving holiday Bolton calls on GOP leadership to label Trump's behavior 'inexcusable' MORE, rather than the Defense Department, released a statement that the United States was sending a bomber task force and a naval strike group led by an aircraft carrier to the region (The Washington Post). 

 

Meanwhile, state media reported Thursday that Iran seized a foreign oil tanker on Sunday that it claimed was carrying "smuggled fuel.” The semi-official Fars News Agency released video that purported to show the tanker, saying it was ambushed by Islamic Revolutionary Guard forces with 12 people aboard. The U.S. State Department demanded the release of the tanker and its crew (AlJazeera).

 

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> Labor Department: Trump tweeted on Thursday that he will nominate Eugene Scalia, son of the late Justice Antonin Scalia, to be secretary of Labor, to succeed Alexander AcostaAlex Alexander AcostaFederal litigator files complaint alleging Labor secretary abused his authority Appeals court to review legality of Epstein plea deal Appeals court finds prosecutors' secret plea agreement with Epstein didn't break law MORE, who resigned last week. Scalia, 55, is a partner at the law firm Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher and is a member and former co-chairman of its Labor and Employment Practice Group. He also co-chairs the firm’s Administrative Law and Regulatory Practice Group.

The younger Scalia served as the Labor Department solicitor from 2002 to 2003 after his appointment by former President George W. Bush (The Hill).  

> Defense Department: Trump on Thursday said he “will be asking” the Pentagon to examine a federal contract with Amazon for cloud computing services “to see what’s going on.” Trump, who frequently assails Amazon founder Jeff BezosJeffrey (Jeff) Preston BezosElon Musk passes Bill Gates to become world's second-richest person in Bloomberg rankings How space exploration will help to address climate change Bezos makes first donations from billion Earth Fund MORE because of his ownership of The Washington Post, told reporters Thursday that he’s “getting tremendous complaints about the contract” from competitors Microsoft and Oracle. “Great companies are complaining about it,” the president asserted. The contract, which the Pentagon is poised to award in August, is valued at $10 billion (Bloomberg).

 

> Department of Homeland Security: The administration gutted a federal program aimed at detecting weapons of mass destruction, according to an investigation by the Los Angeles Times.

 

> Environmental Protection Agency: The administration halted regulatory inspections of power and chemical plants that are conducted on a surprise basis (The Hill).

 

> Justice Department: Deputy Attorney General Jeffrey Rosen and acting Director of the Bureau of Prisons Hugh Hurwitz, accompanied by other administration officials, at 11 a.m. will unveil results of the bipartisan criminal justice reform law known as the “First Step Act,” signed by Trump in December.

 

According to the group Americans for Prosperity, more than 2,000 inmates will reenter society today, their sentences completed, helped by the new law.

 

Today, thousands of people who served their time and earned a second chance are returning to their communities and families,” said Americans For Prosperity board member Mark Holden in a statement. “Now, it’s on all of us to unite around tearing down employment barriers and other obstacles to help these folks, and those who follow, successfully rejoin society.”

 

Holden appealed to Congress and the administration to “equip the more than 10,000 people who are released from prison every week with the tools and training needed to improve their lives.”  



IN FOCUS/SHARP TAKES

2020 POLITICS:  Former Vice President Joe BidenJoe BidenPennsylvania Supreme Court strikes down GOP bid to stop election certification Biden looks to career officials to restore trust, morale in government agencies Biden transition adds new members to coronavirus task force MORE and Sen. Kamala HarrisKamala HarrisBiden transition adds new members to coronavirus task force Club for Growth to launch ad blitz in Georgia to juice GOP turnout Biden's political position is tougher than Trump's MORE (D-Calif.) are poised to do battle on the debate stage once again as they were paired together for the second night of the second debate in less than two weeks. 

 

CNN made the announcement during a live draw to determine who would take part in which debate on July 30 and July 31 in Detroit. Biden and Harris will headlining the second night after their heated clash in Miami over the former vice president’s record on civil rights and busing.  

 

Sen. Elizabeth WarrenElizabeth WarrenInequality of student loan debt underscores possible Biden policy shift Thomas Piketty says pandemic is opportunity to address income inequality The Memo: Biden faces tough road on pledge to heal nation MORE (D-Mass.) and Sen. Bernie SandersBernie SandersClub for Growth to launch ad blitz in Georgia to juice GOP turnout Inequality of student loan debt underscores possible Biden policy shift In defense of incrementalism: A call for radical realism MORE (I-Vt.) will take center stage on the first night. Among those joining the two senators on night one are South Bend, Ind., Mayor Pete ButtigiegPete Buttigieg'Biff is president': Michael J. Fox says Trump has played on 'every worst instinct in mankind' Buttigieg: Denying Biden intelligence briefings is about protecting Trump's 'ego' Biden's win is not a policy mandate — he should govern accordingly MORE, Sen. Amy KlobucharAmy KlobucharHillicon Valley: YouTube suspends OANN amid lawmaker pressure | Dems probe Facebook, Twitter over Georgia runoff | FCC reaffirms ZTE's national security risk Democrats urge YouTube to remove election misinformation, step up efforts ahead of Georgia runoff YouTube temporarily suspends OANN account after spreading coronavirus misinformation MORE (D-Minn.), and former Rep. Beto O’Rourke (D-Texas). Alongside them will be Montana Gov. Steve BullockSteve BullockOVERNIGHT ENERGY: Down ballot races carry environmental implications | US officially exits Paris climate accord  GOP Rep. Greg Gianforte wins Montana governor's race Senate control in flux as counting goes forward in key states MORE (D), the only candidate who did not appear at the first debate in Miami. 

 

Alongside Biden and Harris on the second night will be Sen. Cory BookerCory BookerDangerously fast slaughter speeds are putting animals, people at greater risk during COVID-19 crisis Senate Democrats reelect Schumer as leader by acclamation  Hill associations push for more diversity in lawmakers' staffs MORE (D-N.J.), former Housing and Urban Development Secretary Julián Castro and Sen. Michael BennetMichael Farrand BennetDemocratic senators urge Facebook to take action on anti-Muslim bigotry Hickenlooper ousts Gardner in Colorado, handing Democrats vital pickup Lobbying world MORE (D-Colo.) (The Hill). 

 

According to a new NBC News/SurveyMonkey poll, Biden continues to lead the field, taking 25 percent. He is followed by Warren and Sanders with 16 percent, and Harris’s 14 percent backing. Buttigieg sits fifth with 8 percent, while no other candidate polls higher than 3 percent. 

 

In the same poll, Trump’s approval rating reaches 48 percent, with 51 percent disapproving. 

 

> Medicare for All vs. ObamaCare: The fight over health care has taken center stage in the Democratic primary, and Democrats are struggling over just how far to the left the party needs to shift to defeat the president. 

 

Sanders and Biden are escalating their fights, slamming each other as being either too radical or too timid on "Medicare for All" and the Affordable Care Act, respectively. But even the moderate candidates have embraced policies that were previously deemed far too liberal, and some lawmakers are cautioning against going further to risk alienating the mainstream Democratic voters that are key to winning the White House and taking back the Senate. 

 

"I understand the appeal of Medicare for All, but folks supporting it should be clear that it means getting rid of ObamaCare, and I'm not for that," Biden said announcing his plan.   “I knew the Republicans would do everything in their power to repeal ObamaCare. They still are. But I’m surprised that so many Democrats are running on getting rid of it.

 

Health care was the issue that helped propel Democrats to win the House in 2018, and some Democrats are worried that the back-biting and intraparty criticisms will harm their efforts to win the White House. They hope the attacks will calm down (The Hill).

 

“My hope is that we don't lose focus of the here and now,” said Sen. Chris MurphyChristopher (Chris) Scott MurphyRepublicans ready to become deficit hawks again under a President Biden Democrats brush off calls for Biden to play hardball on Cabinet picks Biden decides on pick for secretary of State MORE (D-Conn.). “Frankly, my constituents are focused on making sure that they don't lose their health care in the next year. They're not as concerned with the debate within the Democratic presidential field about, you know, what the 10 to 20 year future of American health care looks like.” 

 

Sean Sullivan, The Washington Post: Labor fight roils Sanders campaign, as workers demand the $15 hourly pay the candidate has proposed for employees nationally.

 

The New York Times: Anxious Democratic governors urge 2020 field not to veer too far left.

 

Axios: Where Trump’s Facebook ad spending goes.

 

> Warren rolled out her plan to take on Wall Street on Thursday, and despite her tough words for the financial sector, the industry isn’t sweating her rise in the polls.

 

As Ben White at Politico writes

 

“Most of them don’t love Warren’s economic and regulatory policies. But they generally understand them and appreciate that the Democratic presidential candidate declared herself a “capitalist to my bones” and believer in free markets, albeit with strong cops on the beat.”

 

“Many bankers view Warren — a former Republican who’s made her policies clear for years — as the safer presidential choice if the progressive wing wins out in the Democrats’ internal war. If it comes down to Warren or Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), an avowed democratic socialist who continues to make personal feuds with bankers a centerpiece of his campaign, many of them would swallow hard and take Warren.”

 

The Hill: Gallup: Trump averages highest approval rating of his presidency in second quarter. 

 

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OPINION

Trump knows what he's doing with those tweets — setting his 2020 strategy, by Margaret Carlson, opinion contributor, The Hill. https://bit.ly/32x2DyJ 

 

No presidential candidate can unite the country, by B.J. Rudell, opinion contributor, The Hill. https://bit.ly/2XZljnh 



WHERE AND WHEN

Hill.TV’s “Rising” at 9 a.m. ET features NASA Administrator Jim BridenstineJames (Jim) Frederick BridenstineWhat should Biden do with NASA and the Artemis Program? The Hill's 12:30 Report: Biden increases Electoral College win The Hill's Morning Report - Trump battles ballots; vaccine news boosts markets MORE, talking about the Apollo 11 50th anniversary; Rep. David CicillineDavid Nicola CicillineHouse Democrats pick Aguilar as No. 6 leader in next Congress Nominated for another Speaker term, Pelosi says it's her last Katherine Clark secures No. 4 leadership spot for House Democrats MORE (D-R.I.), with his takeaways from this week’s House antitrust hearing with major tech firms, including Amazon; and Doug Duncan, Fannie Mae senior vice president and chief economist, with a take on the state of the economy. Find Hill.TV programming at http://thehill.com/hilltv or on YouTube at 10 a.m.

 

The House meets in a pro forma session at 9:30 a.m. and lawmakers return to work next week hoping to wrap up business before beginning a lengthy August recess.

 

The Senate convenes Monday at 3 p.m. to consider the nomination of Mark Esper to be secretary of Defense. The Senate’s vote on the nominee is schedule with notable speed; Esper’s confirmation hearing before the Senate Armed Services Committee took place this week.

 

The president and first lady Melania TrumpMelania TrumpUSAID administrator tests positive for COVID-19 The Hill's Morning Report - Presented by the UAE Embassy in Washington, DC - COVID-19 fears surround Thanksgiving holiday The Hill's 12:30 Report: Trump holds his last turkey pardon ceremony MORE will pose for photos commemorating the 50th anniversary of the Apollo 11 Moon landing before departing for their property in Bedminster, N.J. The president will headline a reelection fundraiser there at 5 p.m. (InsiderNJ).

 

Pence on Saturday will head to NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Cape Canaveral, Fla., to salute the 50th anniversary of the Apollo 11 mission to the moon.

 

Secretary of State Mike PompeoMichael (Mike) Richard PompeoBiden looks to career officials to restore trust, morale in government agencies Biden faces challenges, opportunities in Middle East O'Brien on 2024 talk: 'There's all kinds of speculation out there' MORE is speaking at the Western Hemisphere Counterterrorism Ministerial in Buenos Aires, Argentina. He’ll continue traveling through Sunday to Guayaquil, Ecuador; Mexico City, San Salvador, El Salvador; and Orlando, Fla.

 

The Aspen Security Forum continues through Saturday in Aspen, Colo. Treasury Under Secretary for Terrorism and Financial Intelligence Sigal Mandelker speaks at 11:30 ET. Information 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 NapolitanoWe can't ignore COVID-19's impact on youth mental health Hispanic Caucus asks for Department of Labor meeting on COVID in meatpacking plants Hispanic Caucus requests meeting with private detention center CEOs 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 BraunRepublicans ready to become deficit hawks again under a President Biden Meadows meets with Senate GOP to discuss end-of-year priorities McConnell reelected as Senate GOP leader MORE (R-Ind.) and Tammy BaldwinTammy Suzanne BaldwinSenate Democrats reelect Schumer as leader by acclamation  Next Congress expected to have record diversity Infrastructure, energy investments urgently needed to create U.S. jobs MORE (D-Wis.), who will discuss how to lower patient drug prices. Sign up HERE.

 

Economic indicators: The Bureau of Economic Analysis at 8:30 a.m. reports on gross domestic product by industry for the first quarter of 2019.

 

OZY Fest, this weekend’s music-ideas-comedy-food festival in New York City’s Central Park, will include appearances by some politicians and presidential candidates. Featured on the festival agenda: former Rep. Beto O’Rourke (D-Texas), Sen. Kirsten GillibrandKirsten GillibrandDemocratic senators urge Facebook to take action on anti-Muslim bigotry Social media responds to Harris making history: 'I feel like our ancestors are rejoicing' Ocasio-Cortez says she doesn't plan on 'staying in the House forever' MORE (D-N.Y.), former Ohio Gov. John Kasich (R), and former Georgia gubernatorial candidate Stacey Abrams (D). Information HERE.



ELSEWHERE

Locked up: Financier Jeffrey Epstein, arrested this month on charges of sex trafficking and conspiracy with underage girls, was denied bail on Thursday when a judge agreed with federal prosecutors in New York that Epstein is a danger to the community and a flight risk and should remain in detention until trial (The Associated Press).

 

State Watch: The Florida prison system is under investigation after prison employees beat an inmate on Saturday at Lake Correctional Institution in Clermont, Fla. The beating was surreptitiously recorded by other inmates and uploaded to YouTube. The official explanation about what took place was contradicted by the video, sparking allegations of abuse and a cover-up. On Monday, screenshots of a private group chat among several Florida prison officers revealed their boasts about the violence. “That [inmate] looks like beetle juice,” one officer said (Florida Times-Union). … The Florida prison system is the subject of a recent six-month investigation, “Wasted Minds,” by GateHouse Media. Reporters found that education — which is viewed by experts as a potent antidote to recidivism — has been overtaken by vocational programs in the Florida prison system. The state’s incarceration model is described as “punish and contain.”

 

Supreme Court: On Monday, the body of former Justice John Paul Stevens, who died this week at age 99, will lie in repose at the court. The public can file past to honor Stevens, who served on the bench for 35 years, from 10:30 a.m. to 8 p.m. On Tuesday, the former judge is to become the 13th justice to be buried at Arlington National Cemetery in Virginia (The Associated Press).

 

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THE CLOSER

And finally …   Bravo to winners of this week’s Morning Report Quiz! 

 

‍The news coverage marking this week’s 50th anniversary of the Apollo 11 lunar mission helped NASA-savvy puzzle masters. Kudos to Jonathan S. Berck, Patrick Kavanagh, Tom Chabot, Charlie Seymour Jr., Donna Nackers, Marilyn Dattilo, Linda Hall Daschle (former deputy administrator at the Federal Aviation Administration), David E. Letostak, Candi Cee, Lorraine Lindberg, Robert Fowler, William Mattingly, Carol Katz, R. Milton Howell, Dan Ebert, Larry Collins, Laura Truitt, Scott Wilbur, Jamie Danesi, Jack Barshay, John Donato, Norm Roberts, Glen Clark, David Straney, Greg Stetson, Ki Harvey, Rich Davis, Rich Gruber, Jerry Kovar, Tim Aiken, Noel St. Pre, Renee Rodriguez and Kathleen Kovalik.

 

They knew that 12 astronauts walked on the surface of the moon.

 

Six Apollo missions successfully landed astronauts on the moon and brought them back to Earth.

  

NASA’s Apollo era perfected innovations and inventions used today, including some freeze-dried foods, silver “space blankets” and cordless vacuum cleaners, so the correct answer was “all of the above” (NASA and UPI).

 

During the Apollo 11 mission, “Eagle” was the module that transported two astronauts to the moon’s surface: “The Eagle has landed.”

 

The primary catalyst behind President Kennedy’s announcement that astronauts would head to the moon was his eagerness to beat the Soviet Union after it embarrassed the United States with its Sputnik prowess and cosmonaut Yuri Gagarin’s orbit of the Earth (NASA History Office and CNET).  

 

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