The Hill's Morning Report - Presented by Better Medicare Alliance - Dems unveil impeachment measure; Vindman splits GOP

 

 

 

Welcome to The Hill’s Morning Report. Happy hump day! 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!



**** The Washington Nationals live to fight another day after pulling off a huge 7-2 win against the Houston Astros in Game 6 of the World Series in Houston. ****



Allies of President TrumpDonald John TrumpLev Parnas implicates Rick Perry, says Giuliani had him pressure Ukraine to announce Biden probe Saudi Arabia paid 0 million for cost of US troops in area Parnas claims ex-Trump attorney visited him in jail, asked him to sacrifice himself for president MORE and Republican lawmakers engaged in a public spat Tuesday over Lt. Col. Alexander Vindman’s appearance before House investigators as he provided damaging testimony about the president’s July 25 phone call with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky.

 

Vindman, who was among the administration officials listening to the conversation, told investigators about his concerns at the time regarding Trump’s pressure on Ukraine to investigate former Vice President Joe BidenJoe BidenLev Parnas implicates Rick Perry, says Giuliani had him pressure Ukraine to announce Biden probe Ex-Obama official on Sanders-Warren feud: 'I don't think it played out well for either of them' Parnas says he doesn't think that Joe Biden did anything wrong regarding Ukraine MORE and his son Hunter Biden. He said he reported his misgivings to a lawyer with the White House National Security Council. 

 

The Tuesday testimony set off a tweetstorm from Trump, who tried to discredit Vindman as a “Never Trumper witness.” 

 

Rep. Liz CheneyElizabeth (Liz) Lynn CheneyThe Hill's 12:30 Report: Senate receives impeachment articles as trial opens Liz Cheney decides against Senate bid in Wyoming Juan Williams: Trump replays past mistakes in Iranian crisis MORE (R-Wyo.) and Sen. John ThuneJohn Randolph ThuneSenate to vote on Trump's Canada, Mexico trade deal Thursday Senate braces for Trump impeachment trial Republicans face internal brawl over impeachment witnesses MORE (R-S.D.) were among the lawmakers who slammed conservative attacks against Vindman, an active-duty service member who is a recipient of the Purple Heart, arguing he is a “patriot” (The Hill).

 

The Washington Post: President’s main defense tactic: Smear witnesses.

 

Vindman’s appearance was the latest turn in the process for Democrats, who are preparing to hold their first vote on the ongoing inquiry on Thursday. Democrats released the resolution on Tuesday, which outlined the next phase of the inquiry to bring their case before the public after weeks of closed-door witness testimony.  

 

The resolution, unveiled by House Rules Committee Chairman Jim McGovern (D-Mass.), sets up procedures for open hearings and the release of witness testimony by the House Intelligence Committee. It also allows Republicans to request witness testimony and documents, similar to previous impeachment inquiries, although Democrats on the Intelligence panel can block those requests (The Hill).

 

With the vote looming, only five Democrats remain opposed to the impeachment effort, with two more announcing their support for the inquiry on Tuesday — Reps. Ron KindRonald (Ron) James KindTreasury watchdog to investigate Trump opportunity zone program How the 31 Democrats in Trump districts voted on impeachment Nearly all Democrats expected to back articles of impeachment MORE (D-Wis.) and Joe CunninghamJoseph CunninghamHouse Democrats launch effort to register minority voters in key districts The Hill's 12:30 Report: Pelosi plans to send impeachment articles next week The lawmakers who bucked their parties on the war powers resolution MORE (D-S.C.) — meaning the resolution is expected to pass easily. 

 

The New York Times: White House Ukraine expert sought to correct a transcript of the Trump call.

 

Politico: Democrats’ internal squabbles overshadow damning testimony.

 

Reuters: Republicans seek whistleblower's identity in impeachment inquiry. 

 

CNN: House committees have asked Mulvaney aide Rob Blair for testimony.

 

The impeachment effort continues today with interviews behind closed doors with Catherine Croft, a top State Department adviser on Ukraine issues, and Christopher Anderson, a former aide to Kurt VolkerKurt VolkerGOP chairmen seek interview with Obama officials as part of Biden-Ukraine probe Push to investigate Bidens sets up potential for Senate turf war Senate confirms Brouillette to replace Perry as Energy secretary MORE.

 

The Washington Post: Today’s witnesses are expected to tell the House that Trump nurtured a dark view of Ukraine distinct from perspectives shared by State Department advisers.

 

Over in the Senate, lawmakers say they now expect the timeline for the House impeachment process to slide past Thanksgiving and into December, according to reporting by Alexander Bolton

 

The timeline is going to make it tougher to get necessary work in Congress finished before the end of the year. It also raises the possibility of a Senate impeachment trial overlapping with next year's primaries, something Senate Democrats say they hope to avoid. 

 

The Hill: Gordon Sondland emerges as key target after Vindman testimony.

 

FiveThirtyEight: Why Democrats are moving quickly faced with a timeline that could stretch into 2020.

 

Elsewhere, Democrats are looking for a permanent replacement for the late Rep. Elijah CummingsElijah Eugene CummingsGOP leaders encourage retiring lawmakers to give up committee posts Pelosi taps Virginia Democrat for key post on economic panel Democratic challenger on Van Drew's party switch: 'He betrayed our community' MORE (D-Md.) atop the House Oversight and Reform Committee, with multiple lawmakers vying to chair the panel. 

 

Rep. Stephen LynchStephen Francis LynchElection security, ransomware dominate cyber concerns for 2020 Hillicon Valley: Groups file appeal over net neutrality ruling | Lawmakers raise concerns over foreign apps | Payroll data stolen from Facebook House Democrat questions Google, Apple over handling of foreign-linked apps MORE (D-Mass.) became the latest Democratic lawmaker to announce a bid to replace the former Maryland lawmaker, with others — including Reps. Jackie SpeierKaren (Jackie) Lorraine Jacqueline SpeierPoll: 69 percent of Americans say they are watching impeachment closely The Hill's Morning Report — Impeachment face-off; Dems go after Buttigieg in debate Democrats rally behind Pelosi on delay of articles MORE (D-Calif.) and Gerry ConnollyGerald (Gerry) Edward ConnollyTrump, Democrats set for brawl on Iran war powers Overnight Defense: Iran crisis eases as Trump says Tehran 'standing down' | Dems unconvinced on evidence behind Soleimani strike | House sets Thursday vote on Iran war powers Democrats 'utterly unpersuaded' by evidence behind Soleimani strike MORE (D-Va.) — either already running or talking to fellow lawmakers about doing so to fill the role on a permanent basis (Roll Call). Additionally, members of “the squad” are pressing Rep. Jamie RaskinJamin (Jamie) Ben RaskinThe Hill's Morning Report - Trump trial questions; civil Democratic debate House poised to hand impeachment articles to Senate House to vote Wednesday on sending articles of impeachment to Senate MORE (D-Md.) to run for the post (The Hill).

 

Rep. Carolyn MaloneyCarolyn Bosher MaloneyPelosi taps Virginia Democrat for key post on economic panel Five lingering questions as impeachment heads to Senate House Dems demand answers regarding holding of Iranian-Americans at border MORE (D-N.Y.), the most senior member of the Oversight panel, is taking the lead on an interim basis. Whoever secures the top spot will spearhead one of the three committees currently leading the impeachment investigation.

 

 

 





LEADING THE DAY

POLITICS: Joe Biden’s campaign has long focused on the Feb. 29 South Carolina primary, seeing it as early state terra firma. The former vice president continues to be the overall front-runner to win the Palmetto State’s primary, but there’s a fresh complication in that plan.

 

Nearly a fifth of African American voters in the state are undecided about which Democratic presidential candidate to back in the primary, an issue for Biden. He’s counting on black support to pull him across the finish line, and his team is uncertain about how solid that backing will turn out to be (The Hill).

 

Bloomberg: Biden in danger of humiliating loss in Iowa, top Democrats warn.

 

The New York Times: Biden needs to deliver his message. Words keep getting in the way.

 

The Hill: Montana Gov. Steve BullockSteve BullockBrent Budowsky: Bloomberg should give billion to Democrats Key moments in the 2020 Democratic presidential race so far Kamala Harris dropped out, but let's keep her mental health plan alive MORE (D) blasts Biden for being open to super PAC funding.

 

> Alabama: Former Attorney General Jeff SessionsJefferson (Jeff) Beauregard SessionsICE subpoenas Denver law enforcement: report Bottom Line DOJ inquiry tied to Clinton, touted by Trump winds down with no tangible results: report MORE is making calls to members of the Alabama congressional delegation to discuss a possible Senate run, the strongest indication yet that he could join the GOP primary race just before next week’s filing deadline.

 

As Scott Wong and Olivia Beavers report, Sessions has spoken to multiple members of the delegation, including conservative Rep. Mo BrooksMorris (Mo) Jackson BrooksRepublican group asks 'what is Trump hiding' in Times Square billboard Conservative group hits White House with billboard ads: 'What is Trump hiding?' Trump takes pulse of GOP on Alabama Senate race MORE (R-Ala.), to garner reactions to a potential Senate bid. Brooks has already endorsed GOP state Rep. Arnold Mooney in the primary race.

 

Sessions, who would be favored if not for Trump’s anger about his recusal in the Russia investigation, also called Rep. Bradley ByrneBradley Roberts ByrneGOP lawmaker offers resolution to censure Pelosi for holding articles of impeachment GOP rep releases campaign ad ripping Kaepernick, 'The Squad' GOP rep rails against Democrats for rejecting Republican impeachment amendment MORE (R-Ala.) last week, who is already in the primary race and vying to take on Sen. Doug Jones (D-Ala.). Byrne declined to discuss the nature of the short phone call or get into any specifics, saying only that he would not drop out of the race if Sessions decides to join it.

 

“Jeff and I talked last week,” Byrne said. "I won’t reveal the details of that conversation, but I am not leaving the race. I have qualified, and I am in it to the end no matter who is in or out.”

 

The Hill: North Carolina ruling could cost GOP House seats. 

 

The Hill: George PapadopoulosGeorge Demetrios PapadopoulosTrump rails against Fox News for planning interviews with Schiff, Comey How to shut down fake Republican outrage over 'spying' on Trump Five takeaways on Horowitz's testimony on Capitol Hill MORE launches campaign to run for former Rep. Katie HillKatherine (Katie) Lauren HillGOP leaders encourage retiring lawmakers to give up committee posts Pelosi announces Porter, Haaland will sit on Oversight panel Saagar Enjeti rips Sanders's decision to revoke Young Turks founder's endorsement MORE's (D-Calif.) congressional seat.

 

 

 

 

> Suburban problems: The president is facing a slump among voters who sent him to the White House, with polls showing that his numbers have slipped substantially among suburban voters, who backed Trump by a 49 percent to 45 percent margin over Hillary ClintonHillary Diane Rodham ClintonFormer Vermont Governor: Sanders 'will play dirty' NYT: Justice investigating alleged Comey leak of years-old classified info New Hampshire state lawmaker switches support from Warren to Klobuchar MORE, according to exit polls conducted across the country in 2016.

 

According to a new Grinnell College poll conducted by the Iowa-based pollster Ann Selzer, just 32 percent of all suburban voters now say they would definitely vote to reelect Trump. Another 14 percent said they would consider someone else, and 51 percent said they would definitely vote for a candidate other than Trump (The Hill).

 

The New York Times: The Trump campaign is seeking “hidden” women voters. Impeachment won’t help.

 

The Associated Press: Trump’s Rust Belt revival is fading. Will it matter in 2020?

 

The Hill: Trump neck-and-neck with Biden, Warren, Sanders in Arizona: poll.

 

More politics: Starting Wednesday, the presidential candidates begin filing in Concord, N.H., for the first-in-the-nation presidential primary (New Hampshire Union Leader) … The Trump campaign will host a “Halloween Witch Hunt Party” in Manheim, Pa., tonight, featuring “Matt and Mercedes Schlapp, Diamond and Silk, and other special guests.” 



IN FOCUS/SHARP TAKES

INTERNATIONAL: China: A “phase one” trade agreement between the United States and China — which Trump hoped would be worked out by mid-November when he meets with President Xi Jinping in Chile at a global summit — may not be ready, U.S. officials said on Tuesday. They insist progress is being made after a 16-month trade war, even if an agreement is not wrapped up with Beijing in time for the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation forum in a few weeks (Reuters). 

 

 

 

 

> U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA): The Trump administration wants Congress to give it the authority to tell global auto companies in which states and in what ways they can make cars and parts under the duty-free provisions of the new version of the North American Free Trade Agreement. The USMCA is pending ratification in Congress as this legislative provision was floated. The proposed market intervention has alarmed auto companies, free-trade Republicans and Democratic lawmakers who believe Trump seeks to use the hemispheric trade accord to steer new plants and jobs to particular states that could benefit his bid for reelection in 2020 (Bloomberg).

 

> Turkey: House Republicans on Tuesday broke from Trump for a second time this month to condemn his foreign policy in Syria. The House voted 403-16 to levy sanctions against Turkey for its attack on Syrian Kurds, with 176 Republicans voting in support and just 15 in opposition (The Hill).

 

> Brexit: Following more than three years of false starts and disagreements during which the United Kingdom sought an orderly withdrawal from the European Union, British voters face yet another general election before the end of the year. The House of Commons voted on Tuesday to authorize an election on Dec. 12 and it is expected to become law today. Prime Minister Boris Johnson hopes electing a new crop of lawmakers will give his Conservative Party a majority that can break the Brexit stalemate by a new Jan. 31 deadline (The Associated Press).

 

> Lebanon: Western-backed Prime Minister Saad Hariri of Lebanon announced on Tuesday he will step down after hitting a “dead end” while trying to resolve the crisis of anti-government demonstrations that have paralyzed the country for two weeks (The Associated Press). Hariri’s resignation was sought by the demonstrators, but it does not resolve a growing economic and political crisis. The Associated Press explains the complex background in Lebanon and future uncertainties HERE.  

 

> Hong Kong: Chief Executive Carrie Lam warned residents of Hong Kong on Tuesday that there can be no political solution until violent protests end in the semi-autonomous Chinese territory (The Associated Press). She warned of recessionary impacts from the pro-democracy demonstrations and dismissed a “rumor” that she will be replaced by an impatient Beijing (Bloomberg).

 

> Chile: As thousands of protesters marched in central Santiago on Tuesday, a move to meet one of their demands — replacing Chile’s dictatorship-era constitution — appeared to gather support in the country’s congress. It was the 12th day of demonstrations that began with youth protests over a subway fare hike and exploded into a leaderless national movement demanding greater equality and better public services in a part of Latin America long hailed as an economic success (The Associated Press).

 

> Cuba: As Russian President Vladimir PutinVladimir Vladimirovich PutinThe Hill's Morning Report - Dems to lay out impeachment case to senators next week Overnight Defense: Foreign policy takes center stage at Democratic debate | House delivers impeachment articles to Senate | Dems vow to force new vote on Trump's border wall Putin names successor to Medvedev as Russian prime minister MORE met near Moscow on Tuesday with Cuban President Miguel Díaz-Canel, foreign policy analysts noted a significant new warming between the two old allies, prompted in part by the Trump administration’s reversal of former President Obama’s opening to Cuba. Díaz-Canel described relations with Moscow as a top priority in Havana. “We observe the growing role of Russia that resists the U.S. attempts at domination,” he said (The Associated Press).



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!



OPINION

Trump without the Trumpiness would win reelection in a landslide, by Washington Post columnist David Von Drehle. https://wapo.st/2BW5WDv

 

A California gubernatorial candidate’s campaign strategy? Lie on Facebook, by Jon Healey, deputy editorial page editor, The Los Angeles Times. https://lat.ms/31WaEff



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WHERE AND WHEN

Hill.TV’s “Rising” program features Sen. Mark WarnerMark Robert WarnerHillicon Valley: Apple, Barr clash over Pensacola shooter's phone | Senate bill would boost Huawei alternatives | DHS orders agencies to fix Microsoft vulnerability | Chrome to phase out tracking cookies Senators offer bill to create alternatives to Huawei in 5G tech Sen. Warner calls on State Department to take measures to protect against cyberattacks MORE (D-Va.), to discuss impeachment and the Augmenting Compatibility and Competition by Enabling Service Switching (ACCESS) Act; David Sirota, a senior adviser and speechwriter for Sen. Bernie SandersBernie SandersEx-Obama official on Sanders-Warren feud: 'I don't think it played out well for either of them' Former Vermont Governor: Sanders 'will play dirty' Hill.TV's Krystal Ball rips Warren over feud with Sanders MORE (I-Vt.) and his campaign, on the latest campaign news and polls; and David Pakman, host of  “The David Pakman Show,” to talk about Sen. Elizabeth WarrenElizabeth Ann WarrenEx-Obama official on Sanders-Warren feud: 'I don't think it played out well for either of them' Former Vermont Governor: Sanders 'will play dirty' Hill.TV's Krystal Ball rips Warren over feud with Sanders MORE’s (D-Mass.) time spent defending big corporations. Watch at 9 a.m. ET at http://thehill.com/hilltv or on YouTube at 10 a.m. at Rising on YouTube.

 

The House will convene at 10 a.m. House Homeland Security Committee Chairman Bennie ThompsonBennie Gordon ThompsonHillicon Valley: Trump turns up heat on Apple over gunman's phone | Mnuchin says Huawei won't be 'chess piece' in trade talks | Dems seek briefing on Iranian cyber threats | Buttigieg loses cyber chief House Democrats request briefings on Iranian cyber threats from DHS, FCC Democrats sound election security alarm after Russia's Burisma hack MORE (D-Miss.) set a deadline today for outgoing acting Homeland Security Secretary Kevin McAleenan, who resigned earlier this month, and acting National Counterterrorism Center Director Russell Travers to respond to subpoenas as part of a hearing on terrorist threats to the United States. McAleenan and FBI Director Christopher Wray are expected to testify. Separately, the House Rules Committee holds a hearing at 3 p.m. on a resolution that formalizes the impeachment inquiry against the president.

 

The Senate meets at 10 a.m. Senators will receive a requested briefing from the administration today about U.S. policy in Syria (The Hill).

 

The president will have lunch with Vice President Pence. Trump will present the Medal of Honor to U.S. Army Master Sgt. Matthew Williams for conspicuous gallantry in 2008 while serving as a weapons sergeant in support of Operation Enduring Freedom.

 

Pence will dine with Trump for lunch. At 3:30 p.m., Pence will meet in his ceremonial office with CEOs from the Organization for International Investment.

 

Treasury Secretary Steven MnuchinSteven Terner MnuchinOn The Money — Presented by Wells Fargo — Senate approves Trump trade deal with Canada, Mexico | Senate Dems launch probe into Trump tax law regulations | Trump announces Fed nominees Senate Democrats launch investigation into Trump tax law regulations Treasury watchdog to investigate Trump opportunity zone program MORE spoke at 3 a.m. ET in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, at the Future Investment Initiative conference, nicknamed “Davos in the desert.” The secretary skipped the global gathering last year following the killing of U.S.-based journalist Jamal Khashoggi at the Saudi Consulate in Istanbul. Mnuchin is traveling through Nov. 5 with additional stops in the United Arab Emirates, India and Qatar.

 

Secretary of State Mike PompeoMichael (Mike) Richard PompeoPompeo under pressure over threats to Yovanovitch Regardless of how the Iraqis feel, the US should leave Democrats clash at debate over keeping US troops in Mideast MORE will receive the Hudson Institute’s 2019 Herman Kahn Award in New York City and deliver remarks at 7:45 p.m. 

 

The Federal Reserve will release a policy statement at 2 p.m. and Fed Chairman Jerome Powell will take questions from the news media at 2:30 p.m.

 

Economic indicator: The Bureau of Economic Analysis at 8:30 a.m. will report on gross domestic product (GDP) in the third quarter. Analysts are expecting GDP under 2 percent.

 

The National Archives hosts “Women in Leadership,” focused on women currently serving in Congress, at 7:15 p.m. at the McGowan Theater in Washington. For a discussion of current issues, the panel features Sens. Shelley Moore CapitoShelley Wellons Moore CapitoDemocrat Richard Ojeda announces Senate bid after dropping out of presidential race Spending bill to address miners' health care, pensions Manchin warns he'll slow-walk government funding bill until he gets deal on miners legislation MORE (R-W.V.) and Tammy BaldwinTammy Suzanne BaldwinLawmakers introduce bill to bolster artificial intelligence, quantum computing Trump's China deal is a gift to Wall Street and Beijing Stock buybacks point AT&T in the wrong direction MORE (D-Wis.), and Reps. Debbie Lesko (R-Ariz.) and Brenda LawrenceBrenda Lulenar LawrenceHouse Democrat walks back remark favoring censure over impeachment Jane Fonda calls for protecting water resources at weekly DC climate protest DCCC adds senior staffers after summer departures MORE (D-Mich.). Information is HERE.

 

The Humane Rescue Alliance (HRA) in Washington today will waive adoption fees for some animals. If you’ve been thinking about getting a new pet, particularly a cat, today is the day! The HRA says it has sudden maintenance to address this week and an urgent need today to place as many dogs and cats as possible to clear some space (WTOP). Information is HERE



ELSEWHERE

Wildfires: Californians on Wednesday found themselves challenged by roaring winds, darkness from continued blackouts and multiple wildfires at both ends of the state. Pacific Gas & Electric said Tuesday’s blackouts would affect about 1.5 million people in some 30 counties including the Sierra foothills, wine country and San Francisco Bay Area. The National Weather Service called an extreme red flag warning for much of Southern California through Thursday evening, with some wind gusts reaching 80 mph. Gov. Gavin NewsomGavin Christopher NewsomAnti-vaccine protester charged after allegedly throwing menstrual blood at California lawmakers California could become next no-kill state as governor puts budget funds toward ending euthanizing California governor proposes 2 billion budget MORE (D) has criticized PG&E for its implementation of and communications about the rolling blackouts, which have extended for days for millions of weary residents and businesses (The Associated Press).

 

Abortion: U.S. District Judge Myron Thompson issued a preliminary injunction on Tuesday temporarily blocking Alabama’s near-total abortion ban from taking effect next month and called the law — part of a wave of new abortion restrictions by conservative states — clearly unconstitutional. The law would make performing an abortion a felony in almost all cases (The Associated Press).

 

Lobbying & diversity: Eight of the top 10 corporations that spend heavily on lobbying employ men to lead their in-house teams. Trade associations, lobbying shops and law firms are working to diversify their ranks amid pressure from some members of Congress who believe changes are overdue (The Hill).

 

Revenge porn & the law: A renewed debate about the absence of a federal law to address “revenge porn,” or nonconsensual pornography, is swirling in the Capitol as congresswoman Hill resigned this week under an ethics probe and while explicit photographs of her circulated online and in the news media during a bitter divorce. Forty-six states and the District of Columbia currently have laws banning “revenge porn” (The Hill).



THE CLOSER

And finally … We end this newsletter where it began: There will be a Game 7. Up against the wall, the Washington Nationals came through on Tuesday night with a big win. Stephen Strasburg tossed 8-⅓ innings of 2-run ball, and Anthony Rendon delivered 3 hits and 5 RBIs. 

 

First pitch tonight in Houston is slated for 8:08 p.m. Weather