The Hill's Morning Report - Presented by Better Medicare Alliance - Trump's impeachment plea to Republicans




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. Alexis Simendinger and Al Weaver are the up-early co-creators. Find us @asimendinger and @alweaver22 on Twitter and CLICK HERE to subscribe!

President TrumpDonald John TrumpPolice say man dangling off Trump Tower Chicago demanding to speak with Trump Fauci says he was 'absolutely not' surprised Trump got coronavirus after Rose Garden event Biden: Trump 'continues to lie to us' about coronavirus MORE directed his ire at congressional Republicans on Monday and urged them to “stick together” in the face of “vicious” attacks by Democrats as their impeachment inquiry steamrolls forward this week. 


“The two things they have: They’re vicious, and they stick together,” Trump told reporters about Democrats as he convened a Cabinet meeting. “They don’t have [Sen. Mitt RomneyWillard (Mitt) Mitt RomneyThe Memo: Trump's second-term chances fade Romney slams Trump for refusing to denounce QAnon on national television Overnight Defense: Pentagon IG to audit use of COVID-19 funds on contractors | Dems optimistic on blocking Trump's Germany withdrawal | Obama slams Trump on foreign policy MORE (R-Utah)] in their midst. They don’t have people like that” (The Hill).  


Trump comments were in reference to critical comments by Romney, a longtime nemesis of the president who Trump has repeatedly fired back at in recent weeks. However, the criticisms within the GOP have come from other corners of the party as some have grown uneasy about defending the president on certain topics.   


“Republicans have to get tougher and fight,” Trump continued. “We have some that are great fighters, but they have to get tougher and fight because the Democrats are trying to hurt the Republican Party for the election, which is coming up, where we’re doing very well” (The Washington Post).


Republicans attempted to do some damage on Monday in support of Trump, but the House rejected a privileged resolution to censure House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam SchiffAdam Bennett SchiffCensoring the Biden story: How social media becomes state media Porter raises .2 million in third quarter Schiff: If Trump wanted more infections 'would he be doing anything different?' MORE (D-Calif.), a move Trump supported. Unsurprisingly, the resolution was voted down, 218-185 (The Hill).


The resolution, introduced by Rep. Andy Biggs (R-Ariz.), chairman of the House Freedom Caucus, called for Schiff’s resignation and said that his comments about Trump’s July 25th phone call with Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelensky were an “egregiously false and fabricated retelling” and “had no relationship to the call itself.” 


Meanwhile, Speaker Nancy PelosiNancy PelosiPush to expand Supreme Court faces Democratic buzzsaw Schumer labels McConnell's scheduled coronavirus stimulus vote as 'a stunt' Pelosi: White House made 'unacceptable changes' to testing language during negotiations on coronavirus stimulus MORE (D-Calif.) continued her offensive against the president. Her office released a “fact sheet” detailing the allegations against Trump as part of the inquiry, saying that he “betrayed his oath of office, betrayed our national security and betrayed the integrity of our elections for his own personal political gain” (The Hill).


As for the inquiry, House investigators will depose their highest profile subject of the week today as William Taylor, the chargé d'affaires for Ukraine and a U.S. diplomat, appears on Capitol Hill to testify behind closed doors. Democrats are interested in Taylor due to his exchanges with a pair of diplomats which showed that he was worried the Trump administration was withholding military aid to Ukraine to convince its government to conduct political investigations on Trump’s behalf.


After Taylor’s testimony, investigators will host only two more witness interviews during the remainder of the week as they mourn the death of former Oversight and Reform Committee Chairman Elijah CummingsElijah Eugene CummingsWomen of color flex political might Black GOP candidate accuses Behar of wearing black face in heated interview Overnight Health Care: US won't join global coronavirus vaccine initiative | Federal panel lays out initial priorities for COVID-19 vaccine distribution | NIH panel: 'Insufficient data' to show treatment touted by Trump works MORE (D-Md.). Cummings will lie in state at the Capitol on Thursday before his funeral in Baltimore on Friday.


No witnesses will appear before investigators on either day, and the last interview of the week will take place on Wednesday when Laura Cooper, a top Pentagon official, is expected to testify (The Hill). Philip Reeker, the acting assistant secretary of State for European and Eurasian affairs, is scheduled to be deposed on Saturday (ABC News).


The Washington Post: Nearly half a dozen Democrats consider bids to replace Cummings as House Oversight chairman.


CNN: Democrats see impeachment proceedings taking longer than some initially expected.


Over in the Senate, Majority Leader Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellPush to expand Supreme Court faces Democratic buzzsaw Schumer labels McConnell's scheduled coronavirus stimulus vote as 'a stunt' Pelosi gives White House 48-hour deadline for coronavirus stimulus deal MORE (R-Ky.) has told GOP colleagues there will likely be a Senate trial if the House passes articles of impeachment, although he has left open the possibility that the president’s defense team could make a motion to dismiss them at any time, according to The Hill’s Alexander Bolton


McConnell, however, argued in the 1999 impeachment trial of former President Clinton that a motion to dismiss was a "terrible idea,” making it difficult for him to champion any motion to dismiss a Senate trial of articles against the president. It may be why McConnell says if the trial is dismissed, such an action should be initiated by the president's team and not by him.





INTERNATIONAL: Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin NetanyahuBenjamin (Bibi) NetanyahuMORE on Monday officially informed President Reuven Rivlin that he failed in his attempts to pull together a unity government following Israel’s Sept. 17 election. Rivlin is likely to turn to Benny Gantz, leader of the largest political party in Parliament, to try to form the next Israeli government (The Washington Post). Wondering what happens next? Spoiler alert: A March election is one of the possibilities (The Jerusalem Post).





> Syria: A temporary cease-fire between Turkey and Syrian Kurds ends late tonight. President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan recently said Turkey wants nuclear warheads (The New York Times) and he meets today in Russia with President Vladimir PutinVladimir Vladimirovich PutinBlessing for Trump: a campaign devoid of foreign policy Armenia-Azerbaijan conflict adds to Putin's headaches, West's worries Trump's hunt for foreign policy wins hits Russian wall MORE to seek help to create buffer territory in Syria (The Wall Street Journal). ...Before departing, Erdoğan warned that his military forces will resume strikes in Syria if the Kurds have not vacated the safe zone he seeks to create. “If the promises given to us by America are not kept, we will continue our operation from where it left off, this time with a much bigger determination,” he said (Reuters) ...The United States will leave some troops in northeastern Syria to secure oil fields from the Islamic State, Defense Secretary Mark EsperMark EsperOvernight Defense: Pentagon IG to audit use of COVID-19 funds on contractors | Dems optimistic on blocking Trump's Germany withdrawal | Obama slams Trump on foreign policy House Democrat optimistic defense bill will block Trump's Germany withdrawal Overnight Defense: Famed Navy SEAL calls Trump out | Yemen's Houthi rebels free two Americans | Marines fire commander after deadly training accident MORE and Trump told reporters on Monday during separate appearances. The president previously said he would bring U.S. forces “home” from Syria and repeatedly asserts ISIS has been defeated (The Associated Press). The decision to leave more than 20 percent of the U.S. force in Syria behind was the second time in less than a year that Trump announced a complete withdrawal, only to walk it back (The Washington Post). ...ISIS killed two Iraqi security forces in the oil fields in northern Iraq (Reuters). ...A bipartisan group of senators on Monday met and urged that “Congress must come together to maintain an adequate [number of] U.S. troops in Syria, ensure air support, and impose sanctions against Turkey,” tweeted Sen. Chris Van HollenChristopher (Chris) Van HollenDemocratic senators offer bill to make payroll tax deferral optional for federal workers Senators push for Turkey sanctions after reports Ankara used Russian system to detect US-made jets Lawmakers step up push for administration to make payroll tax deferral optional for federal workers MORE (D-Md.) 


> Brexit: On Monday, House of Commons Speaker John Bercow blocked a vote on a Brexit withdrawal deal, citing parliamentary rules. The government will try today to implement a Brexit bill through Parliament before an Oct. 31 deadline. There’s also talk of amending the Brexit-implementing legislation, including a clause that would give voters a second referendum (The Associated Press). The bill faces two votes today, with lawmakers first being asked to approve it in principle, followed by a vote on the government’s three-day schedule for debate and possible amendments. While many analysts expect the bill to be approved, lawmakers may reject the compressed timetable (The Associated Press).


> Canada election: Prime Minister Justin TrudeauJustin Pierre James TrudeauTrudeau: Canada preparing for potential 'disruptions' after US election Trump's COVID 'October surprise' might make him a better candidate — and person 'Get well' messages pour in from foreign capitals after Trump positive coronavirus test MORE’s Liberals held onto power in the election on Monday but were reduced to a minority government that will need the support in Parliament of a smaller left-leaning party (Reuters). 


POLITICS: 2020 Democratic presidential candidates are shifting and massaging their positions on “Medicare for All” as they battle for the nomination and as the topic becomes a major talking point on the campaign trail and the race for the party’s nomination. 


South Bend, Ind., Mayor Pete ButtigiegPete ButtigiegButtigieg says it's time to 'turn the page' on Trump administration Sunday shows preview: Coronavirus cases surge in the Midwest; Trump hits campaign trail after COVID-19 Biden town hall questioner worked as speechwriter in Obama administration: report MORE praised “Medicare for All” earlier this year, but now, in a bid to be the preferred candidate of more moderate voters, he has found himself on the offensive against Sen. Elizabeth WarrenElizabeth WarrenPush to expand Supreme Court faces Democratic buzzsaw Georgia senator mocks Harris's name before Trump rally: 'Kamala-mala-mala, I don't know' Warren, Porter to headline progressive fundraiser supporting seven swing state candidates MORE (D-Mass.) over the issue. Their issues were highlighted in last week’s Democratic debate as the two sparred extensively over Warren’s plan and Buttigieg’s support for a public option, which Warren argues does not go far enough. 


The Massachusetts senator has expressed openness to "different pathways" on the issue earlier this year, but has since tried to avoid being outflanked on the left by Sen. Bernie SandersBernie SandersPush to expand Supreme Court faces Democratic buzzsaw Senate Democrats seek to alleviate public concern about some results not being available on election night Georgia senator mocks Harris's name before Trump rally: 'Kamala-mala-mala, I don't know' MORE (I-Vt.), having sought to sell her full-scale “Medicare for All” proposal (The Hill).


The Hill: Buttigieg closes on Biden, Warren in Iowa: poll.


The Hill: Sen. Michael BennetMichael Farrand BennetDemocrats sense momentum for expanding child tax credit OVERNIGHT ENERGY: House Democrats tee up vote on climate-focused energy bill next week | EPA reappoints controversial leader to air quality advisory committee | Coronavirus creates delay in Pentagon research for alternative to 'forever chemicals' Senate Democrats demand White House fire controversial head of public lands agency MORE (D-Colo.): Warren “not being honest about” her “Medicare for All” plan.


The Associated Press: Sen. Amy KlobucharAmy KlobucharSenate Democrats seek to alleviate public concern about some results not being available on election night Washington flooded with Women's March protesters ahead of Barrett confirmation vote Supreme Court battle turns into 2020 proxy war MORE (D-Minn.) tries to turn debate spotlight into momentum. 





> Gabbard vs. Clinton: Rep. Tulsi GabbardTulsi GabbardHarris faces biggest moment in spotlight yet Ocasio-Cortez slams Tulsi Gabbard for amplifying ballot harvesting video Republicans call on DOJ to investigate Netflix over 'Cuties' film MORE (D-Hawaii) has attracted a wave of new publicity for her presidential campaign in the aftermath of an attack from Hillary ClintonHillary Diane Rodham Clinton Rally crowd chants 'lock him up' as Trump calls Biden family 'a criminal enterprise' Undecided voters in Arizona wary of Trump, crave stability Push to expand Supreme Court faces Democratic buzzsaw MORE, who accused her of being an agent of the Russians who may launch a third party bid if she loses the Democratic presidential nod. 


The Hawaii Democrat fired back swiftly at Clinton's attack, winning attention in the process that could be valuable for her struggling bid. Gabbard’s campaign has continued to struggle in recent weeks, having remained in the lower tier of candidates in polling and delivered an uninspiring debate performance last week. 


The recent surge in attention could also be valuable as she pushes to qualify for the fifth Democratic debate on Nov. 20 in Georgia. She has until Nov. 13 to do so. 


Some Democrats were irritated with Clinton's attack, wondering why she was elevating a candidate many establishment Democrats dislike — in part because of Gabbard's visit in 2017 with Syrian President Bashar al-Assad (The Hill). 


The Associated Press: Facebook ramps up election security efforts ahead of 2020.


The Hill: Former Housing and Urban Development Secretary Julián Castro says he will drop out of the 2020 race if he doesn't raise $800,000 in next 10 days.


The Associated Press: Democrats’ 2020 race has a new shadow: Hillary Clinton.


> Senate map: Nearly a year out from election day, both parties are looking to expand the list of competitive Senate contests outside of Arizona, Colorado, Maine and Alabama, to name a few.


As Reid Wilson writes, campaign finance reports show that several newcomer candidates are building impressive war chests, and the totals have strategists on both sides examining a battlefield that looks wider now than initially expected.   


In Arizona and Colorado, Democratic challengers flexed their financial muscle and posted strong fundraising quarters, while candidates in Iowa and Maine have national Democrats optimistic about their chances in both states. 


“These are better Democratic opportunities in this cycle than they were in the past. And we have to be prepared to take advantage of that,” said J.B. Poersch, who heads the Senate Majority PAC, the largest outside group that backs Democratic candidates. 


The Wall Street Journal: Secretary of State Mike PompeoMichael (Mike) Richard PompeoPompeo warns any arms sales to Iran will result in sanctions as embargo expires Trump turns his ire toward Cabinet members Azerbaijan accuses Armenia of missile strike that killed at least 13 MORE to make another Kansas visit as GOP courts him for Senate.

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!


Warren had better have a plan — she needs one to win in November, by Albert Hunt, opinion contributor, The Hill. https://bit.ly/33SGBWW 


How Turkey sees its Syria invasion, by Ilan Berman, opinion contributor, The Hill.  https://bit.ly/31xrUXV 


The Health Insurance Tax would impact seniors on Medicare Advantage (MA). MA keeps costs low, provides additional benefits & protects seniors. Co-sponsor H.R. 1398 & S. 172. Talk to leadership. Learn more.


Hill.TV’s “Rising” program features Rep. Jody HiceJody Brownlow HiceIRS closes in on final phase of challenging tax season House rebuffs GOP lawmaker's effort to remove references to Democrats in Capitol Pelosi must go — the House is in dire need of new leadership MORE (R-Ga.) to react to the latest impeachment inquiry news; Emma Vigeland, a correspondent with The Young Turks,  to discuss Warren's “Medicare for All” plan; Mark Geist, a former United States Marine, to talk about the launch of Operation 11/11, a new initiative providing virtual consults across multiple specialties to all veterans on Veterans Day; and Waad al-Kateab and Edward Watts, the directors of the documentary “For Sama.”  Watch at 9 a.m. ET at http://thehill.com/hilltv, or on YouTube at 10 a.m. at Rising on YouTube.


The House meets at 10 a.m.


The Senate convenes at 10 a.m. and may consider fiscal year 2020 spending bills, and the nomination of Andrew Bremberg to be U.S. representative to the Office of the United Nations and other International Organizations in Geneva.


The president will have lunch with Pompeo.


Vice President Pence tonight delivers the keynote address at the Heritage Foundation’s Honors Gala in Washington. 


Pompeo speaks at 9 a.m. at the Heritage Foundation President’s Club Meeting in Washington about “Trump Administration Diplomacy: The Untold Story.” At 10:30 a.m., he meets with Slovak Foreign Minister Miroslav Lajcak at the State Department. At noon, Pompeo meets with Moroccan Foreign Minister Nasser Bourita. The secretary heads to the White House for a 12:45 p.m. lunch with Trump. Back at the department, Pompeo meets with Metropolitan Hilarion of Volokolamsk at 3:30 p.m. and he’ll wrap up the day with a speech at 7 p.m. at the the Susan B. Anthony Pro-Life Leaders’ Summit in Washington.


Treasury Secretary Steven MnuchinSteven Terner MnuchinSchumer labels McConnell's scheduled coronavirus stimulus vote as 'a stunt' Pelosi: White House made 'unacceptable changes' to testing language during negotiations on coronavirus stimulus Mnuchin joins Israeli delegation in Bahrain to formally normalize relations MORE testifies at 10 a.m. before the House Financial Services Committee about affordable housing, along with Housing and Urban Development Secretary Ben CarsonBenjamin (Ben) Solomon CarsonBuilding the Dream: We're in This Together The Hill's Morning Report - Sponsored by JobsOhio - Showdown: Trump-Biden debate likely to be nasty Ben Carson notes reveal he's 'not happy' with White House official: report MORE. The hearing will be livestreamed.


You’re invited to The Hill's upcoming newsmaker event, Innovation Runway: The Cutting Edge of Aviation, at the Newseum on Wednesday at 8 a.m. Sen. Ted CruzRafael (Ted) Edward CruzConservatives seize on New York Post story to push Section 230 reform Changing suburbs threaten GOP hold on Texas Hillicon Valley: Trump refuses to condemn QAnon | Twitter revises its policy, lets users share disputed article | Google sees foreign cyber threats MORE (R-Texas), Rep. Rick LarsenRichard (Rick) Ray LarsenDemocratic lawmaker calls for stronger focus on trade leverage to raise standards The Hill's Morning Report - Presented by Facebook - Biden, Harris launch Trump offensive in first joint appearance The Hill's 12:30 Report: Biden, Harris's first day as running mates MORE (D-Wash.) and Daniel Elwell, deputy administrator of the Federal Aviation Administration, will discuss changes in American aviation that affect consumers and the nation. Information is HERE


The Center for American Progress hosts Sen. Tom UdallThomas (Tom) Stewart UdallOVERNIGHT ENERGY: Pendley says court decision ousting him from BLM has had 'no impact' | Court strikes down Obama-era rule targeting methane leaks from public lands drilling | Feds sued over no longer allowing polluters to pay for environmental projects  Pendley says court decision ousting him from BLM has had 'no impact' LWCF modernization: Restoring the promise MORE (D-N.M.) at 10 a.m. to speak about a new policy proposal tied to “Confronting the Nature Crisis” and conservation. He’ll be joined by Rep. Deb HaalandDebra HaalandHispanic caucus report takes stock of accomplishments with eye toward 2021 Rep. Robin Kelly enters race for Democratic caucus vice chair OVERNIGHT ENERGY: Democrats push resolution to battle climate change, sluggish economy and racial injustice | Senators reach compromise on greenhouse gas amendment stalling energy bill | Trump courts Florida voters with offshore drilling moratorium MORE (D-N.M.) for a moderated discussion livestreamed HERE.


State Watch: Four large drug companies reached a last-minute $260 million legal settlement on Monday over their role in the U.S. opioid addiction epidemic, striking a deal with two Ohio counties to avert the first federal trial over the crisis (Reuters). The proposed settlement halted a massive trial just before it was set to begin. But the settlement nets only a fraction of what the counties were seeking, and it's unclear what the impact will be on the lawsuits filed by tribes, cities, other counties and states other than Ohio that are seeking damages tied to the opioid epidemic (The Hill).


Student loans: Democrats are pressuring the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau to escalate a turf battle with the Education Department over policing the student lending market. Advocates also want the independent agency to investigate the Education Department’s management of a loan forgiveness program that has rejected 99 percent of applicants (The Hill).


Lobbying: In July, 31-year-old think tank researcher Shai Akabas did something that hoards of well-funded lobbyists and power players in Washington seldom achieve: He got Congress to move. Akabas, the director of economic policy at the Bipartisan Policy Center, released an analysis of what he calls “The X Date,” the day the Treasury Department runs out of legal authority to pay its bills. Akabas’s analysis showed that lawmakers could not wait until autumn, and lawmakers agreed to act over the summer (The Hill).


Immigration: Trump finds himself boxed in by law and political crosswinds as White House aides presented him with a list of potential picks for acting secretary at the Department of Homeland Security weeks after Kevin McAleenan departed (Politico). ...The Justice Department on Monday issued amended regulations that would mandate DNA collection for almost all migrants who cross between official entry points and are held even temporarily by the United States. The administration is planning to collect DNA samples from asylum-seekers and other migrants to add to a massive FBI database used by law enforcement hunting for criminals (The Associated Press).


Baseball: The World Series is set to begin tonight as the Washington Nationals take on the Houston Astros in Game 1 of the Fall Classic. The Nationals, who have been off for a full week after sweeping the St. Louis Cardinals in the NLCS, will look to keep their scorching hot play, having won 18 of their last 20 contests. Washington will turn to ace Max Scherzer, while Houston will hand the ball to Gerrit Cole. First pitch from Houston is at 8:08 p.m.


And finally … The U.S. Army is creating a modern version of the World War II “Monuments Men,” emulating a team of experts who traced and recovered millions of European art treasures looted by the Nazis. The new unit, to be based in Fort Bragg, N.C., will be trained to help protect antiquities and historically significant sites in war zones and will pull together commissioned officers of the Army Reserves who are museum directors or curators, archivists, conservators and archaeologists in addition to new recruits with those qualifications (The New York Times).


“In conflict, the destruction of monuments and the looting of art are not only about the loss of material things, but also about the erasure of history, knowledge and a people’s identity,” Richard Kurin, an anthropologist at the Smithsonian, said at the Monday announcement. “The cooperation between the Smithsonian and the U.S. Army aims to prevent this legal and moral crime of war.”