The Hill's Morning Report - Presented by Facebook - Gohmert tests positive; safety fears escalate on Capitol Hill

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Total U.S. coronavirus deaths reported each morning this week: Monday, 146,935. Tuesday, 148,056. Wednesday, 149,258. Thursday, 150,713.

 

Crossing the mournful threshold of 150,000 U.S. fatalities made headlines. Global fatalities now exceed 667,000 out of at least 17 million confirmed cases of COVID-19 worldwide.



The revelation that Rep. Louie GohmertLouis (Louie) Buller GohmertWatchdog calls for probe into Gohmert 'disregarding public health guidance' on COVID-19 Massie plans to donate plasma after testing positive for COVID-19 antibodies OVERNIGHT ENERGY: Trump order aims to curb US agencies' use of foreign workers after TVA outrage | EPA transition back to the office alarms employees | Hundreds of green groups oppose BLM nominee MORE (R-Texas) tested positive for the novel coronavirus echoed throughout Capitol Hill on Wednesday as lawmakers sought to thwart the spread of COVID-19 in their Washington workplace and across the country. 

 

Gohmert (pictured above) — a lawmaker who flaunted disdain for mask-wearing guidelines during much of the past four months —  tested positive in a pair of tests at the White House before he was slated to fly with President TrumpDonald John TrumpUSPS warns Pennsylvania mail-in ballots may not be delivered in time to be counted Michael Cohen book accuses Trump of corruption, fraud Trump requests mail-in ballot for Florida congressional primary MORE to Texas on Wednesday. The news of his infection set off a mad scramble that included a new mandate from Speaker Nancy PelosiNancy PelosiSusan Collins asks postmaster general to address delays of 'critically needed mail' Trump says he'd sign bill funding USPS but won't seek changes to help mail voting On The Money: Senate leaves until September without coronavirus relief agreement | Weekly jobless claims fall below 1 million for first time since March | Trump says no Post Office funding means Democrats 'can't have universal mail-in voting' MORE (D-Calif.) for lawmakers to wear masks while on the House floor. And Gohmert’s situation provoked anxiety from some members of Congress (The Hill).

 

“So dumb, so dangerous! First thought was, ‘Did I stand close to him, or was I in the elevator with him?’” one GOP lawmaker told the Morning Report of their initial reaction. “Second thought: What a damn fool! He’s an example of why we have rising infection rates, sadly.”

 

Gohmert, 66, who is asymptomatic, told Sean HannitySean Patrick HannityPence on debating Harris: 'I can't wait' QAnon supporter in Georgia heads into tight GOP runoff Sunday shows preview: White House, congressional Democrats unable to breach stalemate over coronavirus relief MORE’s radio show that he will return to Texas via car and quarantine there. In Washington, he sleeps in his office in the Rayburn House Office Building when Congress is in session (ABC News).

 

The consequences of Gohmert’s positive test were immediate. The Justice Department announced that Attorney General William BarrBill BarrHillicon Valley: 'Fortnite' owner sues Apple after game is removed from App Store | Federal agencies seize, dismantle cryptocurrency campaigns of major terrorist organizations Federal agencies seize, dismantle cryptocurrency campaigns of major terrorist organizations How would a Biden Justice Department be different? MORE would be tested after being around Gohmert on Capitol Hill on Tuesday. Reps. Kay GrangerNorvell (Kay) Kay GrangerHelping our seniors before it's too late House approves .3 trillion spending package for 2021 GOP lawmakers comply with Pelosi's mask mandate for House floor MORE (R-Texas) — who sat next to Gohmert on a flight back to Washington on Sunday — Raúl Grijalva (D-Ariz.) and Mike JohnsonJames (Mike) Michael JohnsonGOP lawmakers comply with Pelosi's mask mandate for House floor The Hill's Coronavirus Report: iBIO Chairman and CEO Thomas Isett says developing a safe vaccine is paramount; US surpasses 150,000 coronavirus deaths with roughy one death per minute The Hill's Morning Report - Presented by Facebook - Gohmert tests positive; safety fears escalate on Capitol Hill MORE (R-La.) said that they are self-quarantining, while multiple reporters who were near Gohmert in recent days got tested immediately upon hearing the news (The Hill). 

 

Lawmakers also speculated that more changes could be in store, with a second House Republican saying that Gohmert’s positive test could lead to a limit on the number of members in the chamber at once and the closure of the GOP cloakroom (the Democratic cloakroom has been closed throughout the pandemic). 

 

Of equal concern is the situation facing staffers across Capitol Hill. Gohmert, who reportedly rushed back to the office to inform his staff in person so they wouldn’t hear about it through the media, requires his full staff to be in the office and is not alone in doing so.

 

"On our floor, I know of offices that are fully staffed and have been since it started either because members don't trust employees to telework or because they just haven't adapted,” said one GOP chief of staff in Congress. "The Gohmert stuff today has really spooked people,” they added, noting that the member’s office has been teleworking and usually has only four staffers in the office compared to the usual 12 pre-pandemic. 

 

“What has changed since [March]? It's not like our testing has gotten better up here. Members are still reluctant to wear masks. ... It's kind of a scary reality,” the chief continued. “A lot of members want to be willfully ignorant. They don't want to know if they have it. That's the sense I got from Gohmert today.”

 

Individuals at the White House who have contact with Trump and Vice President Pence in the West Wing are tested daily. However, the opposite is true on Capitol Hill as there is no comprehensive testing system. White House chief of staff Mark MeadowsMark Randall MeadowsOvernight Health Care: Senate leaves until September without coronavirus relief deal | US records deadliest day of summer | Georgia governor drops lawsuit over Atlanta's mask mandate Senate leaves until September without coronavirus relief deal Pelosi: COVID talks will resume when GOP offers T MORE told reporters on Wednesday that the offer for lawmakers to use rapid testing machines still stands. The White House offered up use of five-minute testing machines by Abbott Laboratories in early May, but Pelosi and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellOn The Money: Senate leaves until September without coronavirus relief agreement | Weekly jobless claims fall below 1 million for first time since March | Trump says no Post Office funding means Democrats 'can't have universal mail-in voting' Overnight Health Care: Senate leaves until September without coronavirus relief deal | US records deadliest day of summer | Georgia governor drops lawsuit over Atlanta's mask mandate Senate leaves until September without coronavirus relief deal MORE (R-Ky.) rejected it (ABC News). 

 

The Gohmert news did, however, provide the Freudian slip of the year when House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthyKevin Owen McCarthyQAnon-supporting congressional candidate embraced 9/11 conspiracy theory Win by QAnon believer creates new headaches for House GOP GOP leaders go into attack mode against Harris MORE (R-Calif.) accidentally referred to Gohmert as “Congressman COVID” while speaking to reporters.

 

CNN: Lawmakers question why there isn't a testing regimen on Capitol Hill.

 

The Hill: Rep. Francis RooneyLaurence (Francis) Francis RooneyThe Hill's Morning Report - Presented by Facebook - Gohmert tests positive; safety fears escalate on Capitol Hill Pelosi to require masks on House floor Rooney becomes first House Republican to use proxy voting system MORE (Fla.) becomes first House Republican to use a proxy voting system.

 

> Record COVID-19 fatalities: Florida, California and North Carolina on Wednesday set new one-day records for deaths from COVID-19 (The Washington Post).

 

> Maryland: Gov. Larry Hogan (R) (pictured below) ordered an expansion of a statewide mask order and announced a “pause” in reopening the state to the next planned phase, expressing his concern about an uptick in some COVID-19 data. The governor discouraged Marylanders from traveling to and from 21 states experiencing elevated coronavirus positivity rates and said if they must travel to hot spots, they should be tested and self-quarantine (WTOP).

 

“This expansion of the masking order is an action that is both fact-based, apolitical and solidly grounded in science,” Hogan said. “And while it can be an inconvenience — especially in the heat — wearing a mask is the single best mitigation strategy that we have to fight the virus.”

 

> Federal Reserve: The nation’s central bank left interest rates near zero on Wednesday, and Fed Chairman Jerome Powell predicted a prolonged recovery for the U.S. economy and workers, particularly those in low-wage and customer service jobs, as the surge in coronavirus infections saps June’s signs of expansion (The New York Times). Powell said the trajectory of COVID-19 is directly tied to economic revival and public confidence; fiscal help from Congress in March was swift, “open-handed” and effective, and more help from Congress is needed; and wearing masks and practicing social distancing and other simple precautions are important to save jobs, resume commercial activities and await a hoped-for cure (The Hill).

 

> Vaccines: The Hill’s Reid Wilson interviews Seth Berkley, who heads Gavi, the public-private global vaccine alliance, about the status of current research to find an effective vaccine against the coronavirus.

 

> Campus caution: More than 6,300 coronavirus cases have been linked to U.S. colleges and universities, according to a New York Times survey of every four-year public college as well as and every private institution that competes in Division O sports or is an elite research university. … Georgetown University in Washington, D.C., reversed plans it reached just weeks ago and announced on Wednesday that it will conduct all instruction online in the fall. Administrators had intended to bring about 2,000 undergraduates — including freshmen, some international students, resident assistants and students with special circumstances — to live on campus, but its plans to offer housing to all first-year students were changed (The Washington Post).

 

> Surges, waves, worries: Global coronavirus infections are spiking in places where experts believed the pathogen was being contained. What’s going on? Overwhelmingly, governments and scientists attribute the resurgence to the relaxation of social distancing measures, the resumption of tourism, and the reopening of nightclubs, bars and restaurants (The Washington Post).

 

> Sports: In Major League Baseball, another Miami Marlins player and a visiting clubhouse attendant tested positive for COVID-19, bringing the total known to be infected within the team and its personnel to 18 (ESPN). … The United States Golf Association announced on Wednesday that the 120th U.S. Open will be played in September without fans at Winged Foot Golf Club in Mamaroneck, N.Y., because of the pandemic. The U.S. Open was originally scheduled to be played at Winged Foot on June 18-21, but it was pushed to Sept. 17-20 because of health precautions (ESPN).

 

> Travel, airlines: Boeing announced on Wednesday it will end 747 production and warned of steeper job cuts ahead. The changes come as the company disclosed a $2.4 billion loss after the coronavirus depressed demand for air travel (BBC News).

 

 

 



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LEADING THE DAY

CONGRESS: Negotiations on a new coronavirus relief package continued to sour on Wednesday. An ocean stands between the two sides, and lawmakers declared that there is no chance a deal will be reached by the end of the week. 

 

After two days of bipartisan negotiations, talks were closer to reaching a resolution as $600 weekly unemployment benefits are set to expire at the end of the week. Democrats continue to demand a comprehensive bill rather than a narrow bill to deal with the provision’s expiration (CNN). 

 

“We’re nowhere close to a deal,” Meadows told reporters after he and Treasury Secretary Steven MnuchinSteven Terner MnuchinOvernight Health Care: Senate leaves until September without coronavirus relief deal | US records deadliest day of summer | Georgia governor drops lawsuit over Atlanta's mask mandate Senate leaves until September without coronavirus relief deal Federal agencies seize, dismantle cryptocurrency campaigns of major terrorist organizations MORE met with Pelosi and Senate Minority Leader Charles SchumerChuck SchumerIn the next relief package Congress must fund universal COVID testing Ocasio-Cortez's 2nd grade teacher tells her 'you've got this' ahead of DNC speech New poll shows Markey with wide lead over Kennedy in Massachusetts MORE (D-N.Y.) for the third straight day. “I don’t know that there is another plan, other than no deal.”

 

The situation has left Republican lawmakers grasping at straws. As The Hill’s Jordain Carney writes, Sen. John ThuneJohn Randolph ThuneTrump plans to accept Republican nomination from White House lawn Hillicon Valley: 'Fortnite' owner sues Apple after game is removed from App Store | Federal agencies seize, dismantle cryptocurrency campaigns of major terrorist organizations Republican senators call on FTC to investigate TikTok over data collection concerns MORE (S.D.), the No. 2 Senate Republican, said that if an overarching package remains elusive, they’ll have to look for a “Plan B.”

 

“Just don't ask what that would be,” Thune said, who noted that there is no consensus in the Senate GOP conference over what an alternative could be. “I don’t think so at this point. There are a lot of different ideas floating right now. Nobody has settled on anything. We’re just listening and seeing where things go.”

 

Chatter surrounding a short-term bill picked up steam on Wednesday after the president threw his weight behind the idea while speaking to reporters before departing the White House for Texas. 

 

“You got to work on the evictions so people don’t get evicted. You work on the payments to the people. The rest of it, we’re so far apart we don’t care,” Trump said.

 

The Associated Press: As virus aid talks stalemate, Trump scorns help for cities.

 

The Washington Post: Coronavirus relief talks hit impasse on Capitol Hill.

 

Politico: “The odd couple”: Mnuchin and Meadows struggle to make a deal.

 

While a short-term bill is likely out of the question, the road has become treacherous, with Democrats pointing to McConnell’s demand for the next COVID-19 package to include a five-year liability shield for business, schools, hospitals and other organizations as the biggest roadblock to reaching a deal. 

 

As The Hill’s Alexander Bolton reports, the inclusion of the sprawling provision — which McConnell has described as his only “red line” in talks — would anger two of their most powerful constituencies: trial lawyers and unions. Democratic leaders warned Tuesday there will not be a deal unless McConnell softens his position, with Pelosi declaring that the Kentucky Republican “doesn't sound like anybody who wants to have an agreement or anybody who can pass a bill."

 

The Wall Street Journal: Is $600 a week in extra unemployment aid deterring people from seeking work?

 

The Hill: Trump says Republicans criticizing FBI money should “go back to school and learn.”

 

Newsweek: Kentucky Board of Elections Chairman Ben Chandler says his state and others need federal resources for election security as part of the pending stimulus bill, which is steered by McConnell, but the draft measure omits such funding. 

 

The Hill: Former President Obama will speak at today’s funeral in Atlanta for the late civil rights activist Rep. John LewisJohn LewisThe Hill's Morning Report - Presented by Facebook - Biden, Harris launch Trump offensive in first joint appearance More than 50 Confederate monuments have been removed since Floyd's death: report Trump rips Bill Maher as 'exhausted, gaunt and weak' MORE (D-Ga.). Also attending: former Presidents George W. Bush and Bill ClintonWilliam (Bill) Jefferson ClintonOcasio-Cortez's 2nd grade teacher tells her 'you've got this' ahead of DNC speech It's Harris — and we're not surprised The Hill's Campaign Report: Biden picks Harris as running mate MORE. C-SPAN covers the event live beginning at 11 a.m. EDT.

 

 

 



IN FOCUS/SHARP TAKES

POLITICS & CAMPAIGNS: During a presidential contest riven by a zapped economy, a deadly pandemic, a reckoning about race and inequality, and the mercurial personality of the White House incumbent, challenger Joe BidenJoe BidenHarris to host virtual Hollywood campaign event co-chaired by Reese Witherspoon, Mindy Kaling Trump plans to accept Republican nomination from White House lawn US seizes four vessels loaded with Iranian fuel MORE is talking up his ideas about giving the United States a competitive edge over Beijing, reports The Hill’s Morgan Chalfant, Jonathan Easley and Laura Kelly.

 

Biden, who has extensive experience with international policy as a former senator and vice president, is both on offense and defense on terrain Trump has made a centerpiece of his bid for a second term.

 

The Daily Beast: GOP China hawks secretly approaching Team Biden.

 

The Economist: Would a Biden administration be softer than Trump on China?

 

The Associated Press: Trump vs. Biden: Where they stand on the economy, health care, trade and foreign policy.

 

> The Electoral College map: Trump trails in most of the swing states, according to recent polls. He is battling Biden for Ohio and Georgia, which he won comfortably in 2016. The Trump campaign is shifting advertising to defend states he expected to win convincingly and The New York Times reported on Wednesday that Michigan, which Trump captured in 2016 by 10,704 votes, could be slipping away from the president. Niall Stanage in his latest Memo writes about a shifting 2020 presidential map just weeks before the two contenders capture their respective party’s nominations.

 

Snapshot: RealClearPolitics’s Electoral College map identifies current toss-ups as Arizona, Florida, Georgia, Iowa, Michigan, Missouri, Nevada, New Hampshire, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Texas and Wisconsin.

 

Biden leads the president by 4 points in Florida, the state Trump calls home, according to a new Mason-Dixon poll that has a margin of error of 4 percentage points (The Hill).

 

The Cook Political Report last week moved Florida, which is a must-win for a Trump victory, to “lean Democrat” and reported that the president is losing support from college educated white voters and seniors nationally.

 

The Hill: Visiting oil-rich West Texas as polls tighten, Trump on Wednesday touted the administration’s energy accomplishments.

 

The Hill: Trump on Wednesday told reporters when asked that Sen. Kamala HarrisKamala HarrisHarris to host virtual Hollywood campaign event co-chaired by Reese Witherspoon, Mindy Kaling Democrats hammer Trump for entertaining false birther theory about Harris Hillicon Valley: 'Fortnite' owner sues Apple after game is removed from App Store | Federal agencies seize, dismantle cryptocurrency campaigns of major terrorist organizations MORE (D-Calif.) would be a “fine choice” if selected by Biden to be his running mate.

 

The New York Times: Obama has raised $24 million for Biden during the past two months. Along the way he has unleashed some thoughts about Trump during conversations with some donors: “Mr. Obama ... is considerably more caustic when the cameras are off, according to people who have been on the calls and notes made from recordings.”

 

Peter Baker, The New York Times: A half-century after George Wallace, Trump echoes the politics of division.

 

 

 



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 is trying to bend reality to his will, by Thomas B. Edsall, columnist, The New York Times. https://nyti.ms/2P9JZrn 

 

Rioters attack more than a courthouse, by Karl RoveKarl Christian RoveLacking rallies, Trump takes White House work on the road The Hill's Morning Report - Presented by Facebook - Gohmert tests positive; safety fears escalate on Capitol Hill Trump turns White House into backdrop for political events MORE, columnist, The Wall Street Journal. https://on.wsj.com/3ffSkEq 



A MESSAGE FROM FACEBOOK

Facebook launches Global State of Small Business Report

 

Together with the World Bank and the OECD, we surveyed businesses in 50+ countries and regions to understand the challenges they face and how we can support them.

 

Go further: Read the first report.



WHERE AND WHEN

The House meets at 9 a.m. to debate a six-bill fiscal 2021 spending package for defense, commerce, justice, science, energy, financial services, labor, health and human services, education, transportation, housing and urban development.

 

The Senate convenes at 10 a.m. At 8:30 a.m., the Senate Foreign Relations Committee will hear testimony from Secretary of State Mike PompeoMichael (Mike) Richard PompeoPompeo says he and Pentagon warned Russia against bounties on US troops in Afghanistan US blocking private charter flights to Cuba China's Confucius Institute designated as a foreign mission of Beijing MORE about his department’s fiscal 2021 budget request. The Senate Armed Services Committee will hold a confirmation hearing at 9:30 a.m. on the nomination of Anthony Tata to be under secretary of defense for policy.

 

The president will tour the American Red Cross headquarters in Washington, D.C., at 2:45 p.m. and participate in a roundtable discussion at 3 p.m. about donating plasma. 

 

Pence flies to West Mifflin, Pa., this morning to speak at a noon reelection event held at the Greensburg Police Department in Greensburg, Pa. The vice president will then tour the Guy Chemical Company in Somerset, Pa., at 2:45 p.m. and speak at 3:05 p.m. to an audience there about the administration’s economic policies before returning to Washington.

                

Economic indicators: The Bureau of Economic Analysis will report on the second-quarter gross domestic product (GDP) at 8:30 a.m. The look-back report is expected to show the largest quarterly swan dive in GDP on record during the April to June period, caused by the sudden slam of the pandemic, deliberate economic shutdowns, layoffs and furloughs, and consumer caution. … The Labor Department at 8:30 a.m. will report on initial jobless claims filed in the week ending July 25. Financial markets, concerned that the numbers reported earlier this month are heading in the wrong direction, are closely watching that trend this morning for signs the expansion is faltering.

 

The Washington Post Live hosts a conversation with Sen. Tammy DuckworthLadda (Tammy) Tammy DuckworthChris Wallace: Kamala Harris 'not far to the left despite what Republicans are gonna try to say' GOP lawmaker: 'Pretty cool' Harris has a shot at being the 'most powerful person in the world' Fox's Ari Fleischer: Harris 'not that historically exciting to African Americans' MORE (D-Ill.) at 3 p.m. about the impact of COVID-19 on Illinois and the nation, protests tied to social justice and policing, and the November elections. Information is HERE.

 

INVITATION TODAY: The Hill Virtually Live at 1 p.m. hosts “American Resilience: The Future of Small Business,” with Sen. Jeanne ShaheenCynthia (Jeanne) Jeanne ShaheenThe Hill's Coronavirus Report: GoDaddy CEO Aman Bhutani says DC policymakers need to do more to support ventures and 'solo-preneurs'; Federal unemployment benefits expire as coronavirus deal-making deadlocks Overnight Defense: Pompeo pressed on move to pull troops from Germany | Panel abruptly scraps confirmation hearing | Trump meets family of slain soldier Shaheen, Chabot call for action on new round of PPP loans MORE (D-N.H.), a member of the Senate Small Business and Entrepreneurship Committee, and Rep. Steve ChabotSteven (Steve) Joseph ChabotHouse Republicans introduce legislation to give states 0 million for elections Bottom line The Hill's Coronavirus Report: GoDaddy CEO Aman Bhutani says DC policymakers need to do more to support ventures and 'solo-preneurs'; Federal unemployment benefits expire as coronavirus deal-making deadlocks MORE (R-Ohio), ranking member of the House Small Business Committee, plus small-business leaders and advocates. Register 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.



ELSEWHERE

Mars: Watch at 7:50 a.m. EDT, as a launch window opens for the blastoff of NASA's Mars 2020 Perseverance rover atop an Atlas V rocket at Cape Canaveral in Florida (Space.com).

 

➔ Tech CEOs: Lawmakers on Wednesday criticized the four major CEOs of Big Tech companies during a highly-anticipated antitrust hearing on Wednesday, capping a yearlong investigation of market dominance in the industry (The Associated Press). The Hill’s tech reporters take a look at the five big takeaways from the hearing, including the collection of documents from top competitors of the companies and the first Capitol Hill appearance by Amazon’s Jeff BezosJeffrey (Jeff) Preston BezosHillicon Valley: GOP lawmaker says 'no place in Congress' for QAnon after supporter's primary win | Uber CEO says app could temporarily shutdown in California if ruling upheld | Federal agency warns hackers targeting small business loan program Top Republican criticizes Twitter's briefing on massive hack To save the Postal Service, bring it online MORE. … Facebook’s Mark ZuckerbergMark Elliot ZuckerbergHillicon Valley: 'Fortnite' owner sues Apple after game is removed from App Store | Federal agencies seize, dismantle cryptocurrency campaigns of major terrorist organizations Facebook removed over 22 million posts for hate speech in the second quarter Hillicon Valley: Trump order targets TikTok, WeChat | TikTok fires back | Chinese firms hit hard in aftermath MORE was questioned about viral misinformation (The Associated Press).

 

 

 

 

State Watch: Oregon’s governor on Wednesday said that some federal agents would leave the state, as requested, after arriving on orders from the Trump administration to crack down on violent Portland protests (The Hill). Some federal officers guarding a U.S. courthouse will leave by today, said Gov. Kate Brown (D). But the federal government’s insistence that some agents would remain in the building and stay in the city in case they are needed sparked confusion. It was unclear if the agreement would reduce tensions in a city where nightly protests have continued for more than two months (The Associated Press).

 

Pentagon: Defense Secretary Mark EsperMark EsperThe Hill's Morning Report - Presented by Facebook - Biden, Harris launch Trump offensive in first joint appearance Overnight Defense: Trump reportedly considering replacing Esper after election | FBI, Air Force investigating after helicopter shot at in Virginia | Watchdog says UK envoy made inappropriate comments on religion, race, sex Trump eyes replacing Esper after election: reports MORE announced on Wednesday that the United States will withdraw 11,900 troops from Germany as a result of Trump's announcement in June that he wanted to downsize the U.S. presence there because he believed the country was not contributing enough to NATO. Esper said 6,400 U.S. forces will return to the United States, while nearly 5,600 will be shifted elsewhere within Europe, including to Belgium and Italy (The Hill). Lawmakers from both parties objected immediately to the administration’s announcement (The Hill).

 

Supreme Court: Justice Ruth Bader GinsburgRuth Bader GinsburgMore Democrats than Republicans say Supreme Court key to 2020 vote Senate GOP divided over whether they'd fill Supreme Court vacancy  Ginsburg discharged from hospital after nonsurgical procedure MORE, who is being treated for pancreatic cancer, underwent a non surgical procedure at New York’s Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center to “revise a bile duct stent” placed in 2019 to “minimize the risk of future infection,” according to a spokeswoman for the court. Ginsburg, 87, expects to be released from the hospital “by the end of the week” (The Associated Press).

 

➔ Entertainment: “Wheel of Fortune” and “Jeopardy!” will resume studio taping amid the pandemic with set redesigns and precautions (Deadline). … Universal and AMC Theatres struck a deal to shorten the exclusivity window for major theatrical release films to 17 days, meaning they will stream to audiences faster (The Hollywood Reporter). 



THE CLOSER

And finally … It’s Thursday, which means it’s time for this week’s Morning Report Quiz! Inspired by gardens, parks and outdoors spaces, we’re eager for some smart guesses about headlines we saw this week.

 

Email your responses to asimendinger@thehill.com and/or aweaver@thehill.com, and please add “Quiz” to subject lines. Winners who submit correct answers will enjoy some richly deserved newsletter fame on Friday.

  

Which famous garden is getting a summer facelift that will take about three weeks to complete?

 

  1. Tuileries
  2. Rose Garden
  3. Versailles
  4. Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew

 

Which one of these U.S. attractions remains closed as of today as the pandemic drags on?

 

  1. Disneyland Park
  2. Six Flags
  3. SeaWorld
  4. Busch Gardens Tampa Bay

 

In which U.S. park was a woman who was fleeing a charging bison advised to “play dead,” according to a video clip reported in the last week (she was not injured)?

 

  1. Gettysburg National Military Park
  2. Everglades National Park
  3. Yellowstone National Park
  4. Big Bend National Park

 

Which event made headlines near beautiful Bailey Island in Maine this week?

 

  1. Divers discovered a long-lost shipwreck
  2. Great white shark killed a female swimmer
  3. Earthquake stirred waves that entertained surfers
  4. Mammoth humpback whale was found beached