The Hill's Morning Report - Presented by Facebook - Dems to GOP: Where is your COVID-19 bill?


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Welcome to The Hill’s Morning Report. It is Wednesday. We get you up to speed on the most important developments in politics and policy, plus trends to watch. Alexis Simendinger and Al Weaver are the daily co-creators, so find us @asimendinger and @alweaver22 on Twitter and recommend the Morning Report to your friends. CLICK HERE to subscribe!

Total U.S. coronavirus deaths reported each morning this week: Monday, 140,534. Tuesday, 140,909. Wednesday, 142,068.

Consensus is eluding Senate Republicans, who began drafting another massive coronavirus relief package this week as the Trump administration and lawmakers face a tight timeline, a $1 trillion goal, and an abundance of ideas about what Americans and the economy need before the November elections. 

The Senate GOP conference has been meeting around the clock as it races toward making a proposal. However, as The Hill’s Jordain Carney writes, the talks have not yielded anything meaningful yet as lawmakers remain all over the map on myriad issues, including what to do about unemployment benefits, whether to include a payroll-tax cut and the overall price tag of the bill. 

The looming proposal is unlikely to receive unanimous support from within the conference, as Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellBiden's climate plans can cut emissions and also be good politics Acting Defense secretary makes surprise trip to Somalia As Biden administration ramps up, Trump legal effort drags on MORE (R-Ky.) noted on Tuesday. The comments came after a meeting where 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 and White House chief of staff Mark MeadowsMark Randall MeadowsThe Hill's 12:30 Report: Trump holds his last turkey pardon ceremony Overnight Defense: Pentagon set for tighter virus restrictions as top officials tests positive | Military sees 11th COVID-19 death | House Democrats back Senate language on Confederate base names Trump administration revives talk of action on birthright citizenship MORE briefed lawmakers, with the marathon talks carrying on throughout the day. 

“We’ve got some people who are going to balk at how much it is, probably going to balk at some of the specific provisions within it, and you know we won’t have everybody, but you want to try to get as many as you can,” Sen. John ThuneJohn Randolph ThuneRepublicans ready to become deficit hawks again under a President Biden Democrats brush off calls for Biden to play hardball on Cabinet picks Overnight Defense: Pentagon set for tighter virus restrictions as top officials tests positive | Military sees 11th COVID-19 death | House Democrats back Senate language on Confederate base names MORE (S.D.), the No. 2 ranking Republican, told The Hill. 

NBC News: “What in the hell are we doing?” Senate Republicans clash over coronavirus relief.

The Washington Post: White House, GOP in disarray over coronavirus spending plan as deadline nears on expiring emergency aid.

Among the most contentious issues remains the future of unemployment benefits as the $600 per week add-on that was included in the CARES Act in March expires at the end of the month.  

“They’re thinking about doing 70 percent of the amount,” Trump said, indicating plans to knock the total down to around $175 or $200 from the $600 in added unemployment benefit enacted four months ago. “The amount would be the same, but doing it in a little bit smaller initial amounts so that people are going to want to go back to work as opposed to making so much money that they really don’t have to.” 

NPR and CNBC: $600 federal unemployment boost expires at the end of this week for recipients in most states even though the expiration date is July 31.

Keeping the price tag for the package around $1 trillion, as Mnuchin had hoped, has also proved to be a challenge, according to The Hill’s Alexander Bolton. A number of proposals now being pushed by administration officials, GOP lawmakers and Democrats could easily push the next COVID-19 relief bill beyond the $2 trillion mark, lawmakers and aides acknowledge.  

Some Senate Republicans are already complaining that the price tag and the process have gotten out of control even as McConnell tries to put a hard cap on the size of the legislation.  

“It’s already spiraled out of control,” said Sen. Ron JohnsonRonald (Ron) Harold JohnsonLoeffler isolating after possible COVID-19 infection Rick Scott tests positive for coronavirus GOP Rep. Dan Newhouse tests positive for COVID-19 MORE (R-Wis.) following the conference’s meeting with Mnuchin, Meadows and National Economic Council Director Larry KudlowLarry KudlowMORE.

Meanwhile, the process is a waiting game for Democrats as they prepare for the GOP’s proposal. Senate Minority Leader Charles SchumerChuck SchumerUS national security policy in the 117th Congress and a new administration Voters say Biden should make coronavirus vaccine a priority: poll New York City subway service could be slashed 40 percent, officials warn MORE (D-N.Y.), who along with Speaker Nancy PelosiNancy PelosiGovernors take heat for violating their own coronavirus restrictions Spending deal clears obstacle in shutdown fight Ocasio-Cortez, Cruz trade jabs over COVID-19 relief: People 'going hungry as you tweet from' vacation MORE (D-Calif.) met with Mnuchin and Meadows on Tuesday afternoon, declared that Republicans are “in shambles.” 

"They're all in disarray — you hear different Republicans say different things — and we can't negotiate on a vague concept. That's not how it's going to work," Schumer told reporters. "We need a specific bill” (The Hill).

The Hill: McConnell previews some GOP coronavirus relief bill provisions.

The Hill: White House doubles down on payroll tax cut opposed by GOP senators.

The Associated Press: GOP splits as virus aid package could swell past $1 trillion. 




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CONGRESS: Rep. Liz CheneyElizabeth (Liz) Lynn CheneyPressure grows from GOP for Trump to recognize Biden election win Trump: Liz Cheney's election remarks sparked by push to bring US troops home Biden's lead over Trump surpasses 6M votes as more ballots are tallied MORE (R-Wyo.) found herself in the crosshairs of House conservatives on Tuesday as they loudly aired grievances against her during a conference meeting on Tuesday morning. 

As The Hill’s Juliegrace Brufke details, Reps. Matt GaetzMatthew (Matt) GaetzGaetz: Trump 'should pardon everyone' including himself to quash liberal 'bloodlust' Florida passes 850k coronavirus cases Florida GOP Rep. Mike Waltz tests positive for COVID-19 MORE (R-Fla.), Thomas MassieThomas Harold MassieCheney seeks to cool tensions with House conservatives House in near-unanimous vote affirms peaceful transfer of power Ron Paul hospitalized in Texas MORE (R-Ky.), Chip RoyCharles (Chip) Eugene RoyThe Hill's Morning Report - Too close to call Chip Roy fends off challenge from Wendy Davis to win reelection in Texas Democrats seek wave to bolster House majority MORE (R-Texas) and Jim JordanJames (Jim) Daniel JordanCheney, top GOP lawmakers ask Trump campaign for proof of election fraud New RSC chairman sees 'Trumpism' as future Sunday shows preview: Biden team gears up for transition, Trump legal battles continue and pandemic rages on MORE (R-Ohio) engaged in a heated back-and-forth with Cheney, the No. 3 House Republican, in full view of the House GOP conference over a series of perceived slights. Headlining the complaints were her endorsement of Massie’s primary challenger, her support for Anthony FauciAnthony FauciUS COVID-19 cases reach past 13 million Fauci: Pandemic likely won't improve by Christmas, New Year's Vaccine skepticism emerges as early test for Biden MORE and her public breaks with the president as speculation rages that she is setting herself up for a post-Trump Republican Party. 

Following the meeting, Gaetz took his disagreement public, calling for Cheney’s ouster as House GOP conference chairwoman, which Donald TrumpDonald John TrumpBiden adds to vote margin over Trump after Milwaukee County recount Krebs says allegations of foreign interference in 2020 election 'farcical'  Republicans ready to become deficit hawks again under a President Biden MORE Jr. backed in a tweet of his own (The Hill). Cheney fired back at the president’s eldest son, noting that he is not a part of the House Republican Conference (The Hill).

Despite the complaints, Cheney still enjoys the support of many rank-and-file members. 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.) expressed his support for her as conference chairwoman later on Tuesday, telling reporters they are “honored” to have her in the post. 

“It was a premeditated hit job,” one House GOP member told the Morning Report. “She’s well respected, and the Freedom Caucus went too far.” 

The Bottom Line: The pile-on from the House Freedom Caucus (HFC) comes as the group’s influence has dwindled during the GOP’s time in the minority. In the majority, the caucus could gum up legislation and make life miserable for leadership. Today, the group is a minority of the minority and is having trouble finding its way without the power it enjoyed. Adding to the problems, the HFC is also going through a transitional period in leadership after Meadows departed Congress in March. As a second GOP member put it, “They are irrelevant.”

Paul Kane & Rachael Bade, The Washington Post: House conservatives challenge Liz Cheney, question her loyalty to Trump.



> Capitol clash: Reps. Alexandria Ocasio-CortezAlexandria Ocasio-CortezTrump will soon be out of office — but polarization isn't going anywhere Trump tweets Thanksgiving criticism of NFL QBs for kneeling Kamala Harris, Stacey Abrams among nominees for Time magazine's 2020 Person of the Year MORE (D-N.Y.) and Ted YohoTheodore (Ted) Scott YohoHere are the 17 GOP women newly elected to the House this year Ocasio-Cortez after Yoho confrontation: 'I won't be so nice next time' Overnight Defense: US, India to share satellite data | Allegations of racism at Virginia Military Institute | Navy IDs 2 killed in Alabama plane crash MORE (R-Fla.) were at the center of attention on Tuesday after The Hill’s Mike Lillis reported on a heated encounter between the two on the east front steps outside the House chamber on Monday night where Yoho, a member of the House Freedom Caucus, called his colleague a “f---ing bitch.” 

The exchange started when Yoho told the progressive New York City member she was  "disgusting" for recently suggesting that poverty and unemployment are driving a spike in crime in New York City during the coronavirus pandemic. 

“You are out of your freaking mind,” Yoho told her, with Ocasio-Cortez telling him he was being “rude.” Shortly after, with Ocasio-Cortez out of earshot, Yoho muttered the vulgar term while walking toward the House office buildings. 

Ocasio-Cortez, a frequent target of GOP attacks, said that while she usually gets along with Republican lawmakers, this type of encounter was a first.

“In all these intense news cycles, I have never, ever been treated that way by another member before,” she said. “I'm frankly quite taken aback.” 

> Defense bill: The House passed the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) by a veto-proof majority, 295-125, on Tuesday only hours after the White House issued a veto threat over the renaming of military installations named after Confederate figures.

The bill earned the support of 108 Republicans, though some who voted in favor could change their votes to support a veto. The 125 “no” votes included 43 Democrats. As The Hill’s Rebecca Kheel writes, the $740.5 billion defense bill covers topics of all stripes, including a 3 percent pay raise for troops and the creation of a $3.6 billion fund to counter China in the Indo-Pacific region. It also sets aside $1 billion for the Pentagon to deal with pandemic preparedness amid the coronavirus crisis.  

The Senate is expected to pass its version of the NDAA later this week. The upper chamber’s bill would require that bases and other property be renamed in three years, while the House’s version would force them to be renamed within a year. 


CORONAVIRUS: Trump on Tuesday, while reading from prepared notes during a 25-minute White House briefing, said the coronavirus in the United States “will probably, unfortunately, get worse before it gets better.” He also persisted in saying COVID-19 will “disappear” (The Hill). 

The president, eager to reclaim some of the large television and social media viewership he captured in April during lengthier, free wheeling briefings, assured the public that while he understands people will judge him in November based on his handling of the coronavirus crisis, “We’re going to get it taken care of.” 

Trump, who appeared without Vice President Pence or any of the government’s top public health experts, denied that he’d ever been opposed to masks as a precaution against infection, pulling one out of his pocket for the cameras. “I’m getting used to the mask,” he said, arguing he’s worn face coverings in elevators to help protect his masked security detail and in settings where he cannot practice social distancing. 

“I have no problem with masks,” Trump emphasized after months of telling the public he would not wear a face covering because he tests negative for COVID-19 so often. “Whether you like the mask or not, they have an impact,” he added a day after tweeting a black and white photograph of himself wearing what he called a “patriotic” mask. “It helps. It helps” (The Associated Press). 

As The Hill’s Niall Stanage writes, Trump has changed his tack to try to re-engage with the battle against the coronavirus after a lengthy period when he played down the threat.

Trump said he’ll continue to hold regular press briefings about COVID-19 and the federal response, adding the next one will focus on the U.S. economy.

> Anthony Fauci: The government’s leading infectious disease expert was not invited to join Trump at the White House briefing on Tuesday, but the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases takes calls from senators and governors and grants plenty of interviews to describe the U.S. surge in infections and deaths nationwide this month. He hammered home to The New York Times: It’s clear what’s going on. Young people are saying to themselves: `Wait a minute. I’m young, I’m healthy. The chances of my getting seriously ill are very low. And in fact, it is about a 20 to 40 percent likelihood that I won’t have any symptoms at all. So why should I bother?’ What they’re missing is something fundamental: By getting infected themselves — even if they never get a symptom — they are part of the propagation of a pandemic. They are fueling the pandemic. We have to keep hammering that home, because, as much as they do that, they’re completely relinquishing their societal responsibility.”

> The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, with which Trump has clashed in the past, released data on Tuesday showing that the reported number of people infected with COVID-19 in parts of this country is actually two to 13 times higher (The New York Times). 

> West Coast: After bending its coronavirus curve, California is poised to take over from New York as the record-holder among states with the highest number of coronavirus cases. It has recently been reporting about 9,000 new cases each day (CNN). California Health and Human Services Secretary Mark Ghaly said on Tuesday, “If the data trends continue to such a place that we don’t think we will get [to recovery], we will return to dimming in some areas of the state. We will always have our finger on the dimmer switch. We are not afraid to use it, and we will continue to be guided by data” (Deadline).

> Texas: The University Interscholastic League, the organization that governs high school sports in Texas, ruled on Tuesday that the size of public high schools will determine when football, volleyball, tennis and cross country can resume in the midst of the coronavirus crisis. Smaller schools can start practicing in August. Larger schools must wait until September, the league said (Texas Tribune).

> Virus science: The backbone of what scientists hope will become a successful vaccine for use with the novel coronavirus is … another family of common viruses. Adenoviruses, which cause a wide range of relatively tame illnesses in people of all ages, are used with Ebola vaccines, and some researchers hope they can one day become the bulwark of a cancer vaccine. At least five vaccine candidates for COVID-19 are built on the backs of adenoviruses, a common family of pathogens that are often used as vehicles for delivering a variety of therapies to human cells. A sixth candidate uses a near relative of the family (The Hill). … An estimated 4 in 10 people infected by the highly contagious coronavirus do not ever have symptoms, creating a “silent spread” risk that scientists believe must be controlled if the world hopes to eventually halt the spread of the pathogen. “For control, to actually keep the virus from coming back, we’re going to have to deal with this issue,” said Rein Houben, a disease tracker at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine (The Associated Press).



POLITICS & CAMPAIGNS: GOP strategists around the country are concerned that the president’s vocal opposition to mail-in voting is resonating with Republicans, imperiling years-long efforts by the party to sign people up to vote by mail.  

As Reid Wilson writes, expanded mail-in voting has become a pillar of modern political campaigns, enabling both parties to lock down millions of votes days and weeks before Election Day and to narrow their focus onto those who have not yet voted, conserving precious time and resources in the closing days of an election. 

"Whether we like it or not, increased vote-by-mail is going to be a reality this fall,” said Phil Cox, a former head of the Republican Governors Association. “Successful campaigns will need an integrated mail-in ballot strategy that blends messaging, modeling, and targeting. Anything short of that will be conceding votes.”

The New York Times: Trump’s Tulsa rally didn’t draw a big crowd. But it cost a lot.

Bangor Daily News: Maine brewery cancels Trump campaign event, saying it was misled over details.

The Hill: Pandemic imperils redistricting reform efforts.

The Associated Press: Trump aims to bar those in U.S. illegally from reapportionment. 

> Biden spends: Former Vice President Joe BidenJoe BidenBiden adds to vote margin over Trump after Milwaukee County recount Krebs says allegations of foreign interference in 2020 election 'farcical'  New DOJ rule could allow executions by electrocution, firing squad MORE’s campaign is set to spend at least $15 million on a new ad buy in the coming week on the heels of another strong month of fundraising for his operation. 

According to The Hill’s Max Greenwood, the upcoming ad buys are expected to exceed the $15 million the campaign spent over the past five weeks, with ads continuing to air in a number of key battleground states. The ads will feature in Arizona, Florida, Michigan, North Carolina, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin but will seek to expand its reach in the aforementioned states by placing buys in more media markets. 

The Associated Press: Sen. Elizabeth WarrenElizabeth WarrenThomas Piketty says pandemic is opportunity to address income inequality The Memo: Biden faces tough road on pledge to heal nation Disney laying off 32,000 workers as coronavirus batters theme parks MORE’s (D-Mass.) new role: Key Joe Biden policy adviser.

Politico Magazine: Delaware beer distributor: I wore a wire to probe Biden’s fundraising.

The Kansas City Star: Sen. Pat RobertsCharles (Pat) Patrick RobertsTrump's controversial Fed nominee stalled after Senate setback Business groups scramble to forge ties amid race for House Agriculture chair Republicans hold on to competitive Kansas House seat MORE (R-Kan.) picks preferred successor, endorses Rep. Roger MarshallRoger W. MarshallThe Hill's Morning Report - Too close to call Marshall wins Kansas Senate race Live updates: Democrats fight to take control of the Senate MORE (R-Kan.) over Kris Kobach in Senate race. 


ADMINISTRATION: The White House as soon as this week may unveil one or more executive orders aimed at lowering drug prices, The Hill’s Peter Sullivan reports. One idea under discussion is to link some U.S. drug prices to lower prices paid overseas. Many Republicans and drug companies oppose the idea, fearing price controls and violations of free market principles. 

Trump’s expected executive action tackles an unresolved issue important to voters about 15 weeks before Election Day. Democrats have been pounding Republicans on health care themes, pointing to the administration’s determination to overturn the Affordable Care Act. 

> Trump and Maxwell: The president on Tuesday offered warm words to Ghislaine Maxwell, the longtime companion of Jeffrey Epstein.

Epstein died in jail while awaiting trial in an incident later determined to be suicide. Maxwell stands accused of recruiting and facilitating the abuse of underage girls by Epstein.  

“I just wish her well, frankly,” Trump said when asked about the 58-year-old British socialite who was Epstein’s romantic partner and was known to Trump in New York and Florida. Maxwell was denied bail last week and will remain behind bars as she awaits trial on charges she recruited girls for the financier to sexually abuse more than two decades ago (The Associated Press).

> The Justice Department on Tuesday accused two Chinese hackers of stealing hundreds of millions of dollars of trade secrets from companies across the world and more recently targeting firms developing a vaccine for the coronavirus (The Associated Press).

> Department of Homeland Security (DHS): The federal government continued to argue with elected officials in Portland, Ore., Chicago and other major U.S. cities about the government’s authority to send federal law enforcement agents to intervene in urban protests and demonstrations. Portland’s unrest has continued for 54 consecutive days (The New York Times). Acting DHS Secretary Chad WolfChad WolfBiden picks first Latino to lead Homeland Security Republican senators urge Trump to label West Bank goods as 'Made in Israel' Judge says acting DHS secretary appointment unlawful, invalidates DACA suspension MORE on Tuesday said federal agents in Portland “will not retreat” (The Hill).

Instead of tamping down the turmoil, the presence of federal agents in Portland — and particularly allegations they have whisked people away in unmarked cars without probable cause — has given new momentum and a renewed focus to protests that had started to devolve into smaller, chaotic crowds. The use of federal agents against the will of local officials has also set up the potential for a constitutional crisis — and one that could escalate if Trump sends federal agents elsewhere, as he says he plans to do (The Associated Press). In Chicago on Tuesday evening, fourteen people were injured during a shootout at a funeral as the city reels from a surge in gun violence. Seventy people were shot in Chicago over the weekend and 15 were struck by gunfire on Monday (NBC News).

> Trump and his resorts: U.S. Ambassador to Great Britain Robert Wood Johnson IV, the New York Jets owner, told multiple colleagues more than two years ago that Trump asked him to see if the British government could help steer the world-famous and lucrative British Open golf tournament to the Trump Turnberry resort in Scotland.

The ambassador’s deputy, Lewis A. Lukens, advised Johnson it would be an unethical use of the presidency for private gain and Johnson should drop the idea. But a few weeks later, the ambassador raised it with the secretary of state for Scotland, David Mundell. Johnson’s efforts were unsuccessful. The Trump family owns two resorts in Scotland and one in Ireland, which have lost money under the president’s ownership (The New York Times).

> On Tuesday, the president announced he will award the Presidential Medal of Freedom to former Kansas Rep. Jim Ryun (R), 73, a legendary track and field competitor and Olympic middle-distance runner who won a silver medal in 1968 (Wichita Eagle).

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! 


The U.S. has a stronger hand in its tech battle with China than many suspect, by David Ignatius, columnist, The Washington Post. https://wapo.st/3fUn3rO  

Trump needs to stop making fun of Joe Biden’s mental lapses, by Marc A. Thiessen, columnist, The Washington Post. https://wapo.st/3eR0YsI 

Nothing can justify the attack on Portland, by Quinta Jurecic and Benjamin Wittes of Lawfare, legal opinion contributors, The Atlantic. https://bit.ly/2BkWOM5



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The House meets at 9 a.m.

The Senate convenes at 10 a.m. and resumes consideration of the National Defense Authorization Act for fiscal 2021. The Senate Environment and Public Works Committee holds a 10 a.m. hearing with experts on how to halt the spread of zoonotic diseases (which is how COVID-19 began as a leap from animals to humans). 

The president will participate in the ceremonial swearing-in of Office of Management and Budget Director Russell Vought at 12:30 p.m. He’ll have lunch with Vice President Mike PenceMichael (Mike) Richard PenceTrump set for precedent-breaking lame-duck period Trump pardons Michael Flynn O'Brien on 2024 talk: 'There's all kinds of speculation out there' MORE and receive his intelligence briefing. At 3:15 p.m. in the East Room, Trump will deliver a speech about “Operation Legend” and his efforts to curb what he calls “violent crime in American cities.” 

Secretary of State Mike PompeoMichael (Mike) Richard PompeoBiden faces challenges, opportunities in Middle East O'Brien on 2024 talk: 'There's all kinds of speculation out there' Israeli military instructed to prepare for Trump strike on Iran: report MORE is in Denmark this morning sat down with Danish Prime Minister Mette Frederiksen in Copenhagen. Pompeo also met at midday with Danish Foreign Minister Jeppe Kofod, Faroese Minister for Foreign Affairs and Culture Jenis Av Rana, and Greenlandic Minister for Foreign Affairs and Energy Steen Lynge. The secretary attends a working lunch and joint press conference with Kofod. In the afternoon, Pompeo meets with staff and families from the U.S. Embassy in Copenhagen.

Economic indicator: The National Association of Realtors (NAR) at 10 a.m. releases data on existing home sales in June. The NAR expects to see a strong rebound following a nearly 10 percent drop-off in May. 

The Washington Post Live hosts a streamed conversation about the global economy at 9:15 a.m. with European Central Bank President Christine Lagarde. Information is HERE.

INVITATION: The Hill Virtually Live event Thursday at 1 p.m. “Diabetes and the COVID Threat,” focuses on effective diabetes care during the COVID-19 crisis, with Reps. Diana DeGetteDiana Louise DeGetteBipartisan lawmakers call for expedited diabetes research The Hill's Morning Report - Presented by the UAE Embassy in Washington, DC - Dems push McConnell on COVID-19 relief; Grassley contracts COVID-19 Overnight Health Care: Schumer, Pelosi want Heroes Act as 'starting point' in new COVID-19 relief talks | Labs warn of possible delays in test results amid surge in demand | Federal government partners with pharmacies for coronavirus vaccine distribution MORE (D-Colo.) and Tom ReedTom ReedDemocrats face increasing pressure to back smaller COVID-19 stimulus Bipartisan lawmakers call for expedited diabetes research The Hill's Morning Report - Presented by the UAE Embassy in Washington, DC - Dems push McConnell on COVID-19 relief; Grassley contracts COVID-19 MORE (R-N.Y.), the co-chairs of the Congressional Diabetes Caucus, plus a panel of health experts. Moderator: The Hill's Editor at Large Steve Clemons. Registration HERE.

The Hill’s Coronavirus Report has updates and exclusive video interviews with policymakers emailed each day. Sign up HERE

Hill.TV’s “Rising” program features news and interviews at http://thehill.com/hilltv or on YouTube at 10:30 a.m. ET at Rising on YouTube.


International: The British government was unable to find out if Russia meddled in the 2016 Brexit referendum, according to a new parliamentary report released on Tuesday. According to the report by Parliament’s Intelligence and Security Committee, Russia attempted to meddle in the Scottish independence referendum in 2014, but it was unclear if it did in Britain two years later. The report called for an investigation by intelligence services and for it to subsequently be made public (Reuters).

State Watch: Federal officials on Tuesday arrested Ohio Speaker of the House Larry Householder (R) and four others in connection with a public corruption racketeering conspiracy involving $60 million. Householder is one of the biggest names in Ohio politics and has been a major player for years in the state's Republican Party (Cincinnati Enquirer).

➔ Immigration: The nation’s business community, represented by the National Association of Manufacturers, U.S. Chamber of Commerce, National Retail Federation and other groups, filed suit on Tuesday in the U.S. District Court for Northern California seeking to overturn Trump’s proclamation in June banning entry into the United States for foreigners on certain temporary work visas — including high-skilled H-1B visas— through the end of the year. In a joint statement, the groups said, “Our lawsuit seeks to overturn these sweeping and unlawful immigration restrictions that are an unequivocal 'not welcome' sign to the engineers, executives, IT experts, doctors, nurses, and other critical workers who help drive the American economy" (Bloomberg News and Axios).


And finally … As copy editors know only too well, typos can be any writer’s undoing. 

A Long Island criminal defendant tried faking his death to avoid a jail sentence, but the phony death certificate his lawyer submitted had a glaring spelling error that made it a dead giveaway for a fraud, prosecutors said on Tuesday.  

Robert Berger, 25, of Huntington, N.Y., now faces up to four years in prison if convicted. That’s in addition to pending sentences for earlier guilty pleas to charges of possession of a stolen Lexus and attempted grand larceny of a truck — punishment prosecutors say he was looking to avoid. 

At first glance, Berger’s purported death certificate looked like an official document issued by the New Jersey Department of Health, Vital Statistics and Registry, but there was one big problem: Registry was spelled “Regsitry,” prosecutors said. There were also inconsistencies in the font type and size that raised suspicions, they said.

Berger’s next court date is July 29 (The Associated Press and Newsday).