The Hill's Morning Report - Sponsored by The Air Line Pilots Association - Trump, Biden renew push for Latino support

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Total U.S. coronavirus deaths reported as of Monday morning: 194,081.


Worldwide confirmed cases of COVID-19 infection now exceed 29 million, of which more than 6.5 million are tallied in the United States.

President TrumpDonald TrumpOmar, Muslim Democrats decry Islamophobia amid death threats On The Money — Powell pivots as inflation rises Trump cheers CNN's Cuomo suspension MORE made a renewed pitch to woo Latino voters in Nevada on Sunday as part of a West Coast swing, criticizing former Vice President Joe Biden throughout as polling shows that he continues to trail his Democratic opponent with less than 50 days until Election Day. 


Trump made a number of stops in Nevada over the weekend, including a “Latinos for Trump” event in Las Vegas as he made a pitch for the key constituency in a state his campaign continues to make a play for despite its leftward shift in past cycles. Throughout the weekend, Trump took aim at his general election opponent, deriding him as “shot” during a Saturday night rally, adding that Biden “doesn’t know what’s happening.”


“The Hispanics get it. And that’s why we’re leading with the Hispanic community. That’s because you had the lowest job numbers in the history of our country. … Every statistic was the best, and now we’re doing it again,” Trump told a jam-packed, indoor crowd of supporters in Henderson, Nev., that eschewed social distancing and mask-wearing guidelines. “Joe Biden would be a disaster for all communities, not just the Hispanic community. … He would hand your country over to the socialists.” 


The Associated Press: In defiance of Nevada governor, Trump holds indoor rally.


The Hill: Trump campaign defends first all-indoor rally in months.


The Hill: Nevada governor: Trump 'taking reckless and selfish actions' in holding rally.


The president also tweeted that the former vice president has been “terrible to Hispanics” throughout his political career. The tweet underscored a problem the Biden campaign is facing: Lagging support among Latino voters, which the Biden campaign acknowledged on Sunday. 


“We know that we have work to do,” campaign spokeswoman Symone SandersSymone SandersWhite House dismisses talk of Harris-Biden rift Hillicon Valley — Justice Department takes on Uber Harris, Macron unveil new initiatives on space, cybersecurity after meeting MORE told ABC’s “This Week” on Sunday morning. “And we have said from the beginning — and Vice President BidenJoe BidenCDC working to tighten testing requirement for international travelers On The Money — Powell pivots as inflation rises Overnight Energy & Environment — Presented by ExxonMobil — Manchin seeks 'adjustments' to spending plan MORE has been very clear about this, as has Sen. [Kamala] Harris [D-Calif.] — that we are really working to earn every single vote in this country, and we want to earn the votes of the Latino, Hispanic community.” 


Sanders added that the Biden campaign is “doing the work” to earn Latino voters, pointing to Harris’s events in Florida and virtual events in Arizona last week, with Biden set to travel to the Sunshine State this week. 


“We’re committed to doing the work,” she said.


A recent Quinnipiac University poll of Florida set off alarm bells among some Democrats, as it showed that Biden trails Trump among Hispanics in the key battleground state 45 percent to 43 percent. The Latino outreach firm Equis Research found that while Biden leads among Latino voters, he does so by smaller margins than Hillary ClintonHillary Diane Rodham ClintonCountering the ongoing Republican delusion Republicans seem set to win the midterms — unless they defeat themselves Poll: Democracy is under attack, and more violence may be the future MORE did four years ago when she defeated Trump in Nevada by 5 points and won the Latino vote by 66 percent (The Hill).


However, new polls released on Sunday still show Biden with an advantage nationally. According to Fox News’s latest survey, Biden leads Trump by five points (51 percent to 46 percent) among likely voters, while a new CBS-YouGov poll shows Biden leading in Arizona by three points (47 percent to 44 percent) (The Hill).


The Associated Press: On Western swing, Trump aims to court pivotal Latino voters.


The New York Times: Trump to visit California after criticism over silence on wildfires.


The Washington Post: Trump holds Nevada rally, Biden gets $100 million boost from Michael BloombergMichael BloombergThe economic challenges facing Jerome Powell and Joe Biden Poll: Harris, Michelle Obama lead for 2024 if Biden doesn't run Democrats are sleepwalking towards electoral disaster in 2022 MORE in Florida.


The Washington Post: Latinos have a warning for Biden.


With just more than seven weeks until Election Day, the Trump campaign has ramped up its digital ad spending as it seeks to neutralize the former vice president’s massive advantage on the television airwaves and recent fundraising boon. 


As The Hill’s Jonathan Easley reports, the Trump campaign has invested heavily in ads on Facebook and Google since the start of the year, surpassing the $170 million mark in the first week of September, compared with $90 million for Biden’s campaign. Biden was engaged in a competitive primary for the first three months of the year, with the former VP’s campaign gradually building up its investments in digital ads since July. Nevertheless, the Trump campaign still has a $40 million spending advantage in digital ads over the past two months. 


Meanwhile, the Biden campaign is set to expand its presence on the airwaves with ads hitting the New Hampshire markets on Tuesday. The campaign also has massive buys set for early October in key states, including Georgia, Ohio and Texas (Medium Buying).


Amie Parnes, The Hill: Biden leans into COVID-19 to argue Trump mishandled economy. 


The Hill: QAnon spreads across globe, shadowing COVID-19.


The New Yorker: How the Trump campaign’s mobile app is collecting massive amounts of voter data.


MarketWatch: Journalist Bob Woodward, appearing on CBS’s “60 Minutes” on Sunday, said Trump “failed” by not being honest with Americans about the pandemic at its early stage. The president told the author in August that “nothing more could have been done” about the coronavirus, according to Woodward. Program HERE.


The Hill: What are the consequences of voting twice in an election?


More news in politics: Republican Rep. Steve ChabotSteven (Steve) Joseph ChabotFraming our future beyond the climate crisis Liberal group launches campaign urging Republicans to support Biden's agenda Blinken grilled in first hearing since Afghanistan withdrawal MORE of Ohio, who lost his seat in 2006 and won it back in 2010, faces a competitive race again this fall, according to polls (The Hill). … With farmers and biofuel producers in mind in the Midwest, Trump announced on Saturday via Twitter that the Environmental Protection Agency will allow higher ethanol gasoline to be sold at existing pumps (MarketWatch). … The Associated Press published a helpful interactive guide to advance voting this year in all 50 states.


The Hill roundup from the Sunday talk shows: Trump team defends coronavirus response.





The CARES Act: Good for workers, good for America


Unions and airlines agree – a clean extension of the CARES Act Payroll Support Program will position the industry to support economic recovery and save hundreds of thousands of aviation jobs. Learn how.


CONGRESS: Negotiations on another massive coronavirus relief package have been dormant for more than a month, but Senate Republicans believe they’ve found a potential key to getting a deal: Building pressure on Speaker Nancy PelosiNancy PelosiMcCarthy raised 0K after marathon speech Davis passes on bid for governor in Illinois, running for reelection to House Feehery: Why Democrats are now historically unpopular MORE (D-Calif.).


According to The Hill’s Alexander Bolton, Senate Republicans are keeping a watchful eye on vulnerable House Democrats, some of whom have grown anxious and are pushing for lawmakers to strike a deal. Last week, the Senate GOP’s push to advance a $650 billion “skinny” relief bill failed, but part of the plan surrounding the bill was to give cover to the party’s vulnerable incumbents, all the while directing attention in Pelosi’s direction rather than Senate Minority Leader Charles SchumerChuck SchumerThe Hill's Morning Report - Presented by Facebook - The omicron threat and Biden's plan to beat it Lawmakers take aim at 'Grinches' using bots to target consumers during holidays Democratic frustration growing over stagnating voting rights bills MORE’s (D-N.Y.).


“The question is, does this force Pelosi to listen to her 20 members in districts where the Chamber of Commerce has endorsed the Democrat?” said one GOP senator.


“Schumer’s not pressured at all. This is all on Pelosi. Pelosi’s running the show,” the senator added, pointing out that 117 House Democrats signed a letter to Pelosi last month calling on her to take up the Worker Relief and Security Act. 


The bill would extend $600-a-week federal unemployment assistance for the duration of the coronavirus pandemic and adjust the weekly federal unemployment compensation amount and available benefit weeks on state unemployment rates.


Elsewhere, The Hill’s Alex Gangitano reports that business groups are throwing their support behind a pandemic insurance bill, which is modeled after a post-Sept. 11 law that created a federal backstop for claims related to acts of terrorism. 


The Pandemic Risk Insurance Act, much like the 2002 Terrorism Risk Insurance Act (TRIA), would provide compensation for losses resulting from pandemics or public health emergencies. But unlike TRIA, which had broad bipartisan support and was reauthorized as recently as 2015, the pandemic measure — introduced by House Oversight and Reform Committee Chairwoman Carolyn MaloneyCarolyn MaloneyFormer Washington Football Team cheerleaders, employees to protest outside stadium Oversight panel eyes excessive bail, jail overcrowding in New York City Senators call for Smithsonian Latino, women's museums to be built on National Mall MORE (D-N.Y.) [seen below] — is backed almost exclusively by Democrats, with little to no GOP support for the measure despite widespread backing from the business community.





> Government funding: The effort to extend funding for the government is being impacted by the election as Democrats debate how long of a clean government spending package they should support in the coming weeks. 


Funding for the government expires at the end of the month, and while both the White House and Democratic lawmakers have voiced support for a clean continuing resolution, it remains to be seen how long funding will be extended for, as Democrats have yet to voice support for a timeline. 


The White House and GOP lawmakers are pushing for a funding bill to run until shortly before Christmas, while Democrats are weighing whether to back a stopgap bill that would run into 2021 as they grow bullish over their chances to win back the Senate. 


“We’ve gone back and forth. It’s a split decision in the caucus. If you can tell us what happens Nov. 3, it is a lot easier. ... The uncertainty about the presidential election is an element,” Sen. Dick DurbinDick DurbinManchin working on 'adjustments' to energy policies in Biden spending plan Schumer: 'Good conversation' with McConnell on debt hike  Graham emerges as go-to ally for Biden's judicial picks MORE (Ill.), the No. 2 Senate Democrat, said when asked about the length of a bill (The Hill).


NATURAL DISASTERS: During a wretched summer of woe, at least 35 people have been killed in the United States from wildfires, which continue to rage in three states on the West Coast, leaving behind blackened vistas, homeless evacuees and smoky, ash-filled air that Sen. Jeff MerkleyJeff MerkleySenate GOP blocks defense bill, throwing it into limbo Lawmakers call on Olympic committee to press China on human rights abuses Senate Democrats call on Biden to push for COVID-19 vaccine patent waivers at WTO MORE (D-Ore.) called “apocalyptic.” At least 10 people are dead in Oregon (devastation pictured below).


Reuters: Search crews are scouring the Oregon landscape as residents return to rubble.


The land mass affected is approximately the size of New Jersey, and experts predict relief in California, Oregon and Washington is only possible with the arrival of cooler, wetter weather with less wind. The so-called red flag warnings stretch from hard-hit southern Oregon to Northern California and extend through this evening.


The Associated Press: Winds a worry as death toll rises from West Coast fires.


The New York Times: Southern Oregon has been devastated but there may be more fires yet to come. “I drove 600 miles up and down the state, and I never escaped the smoke. We have thousands of people who have lost their homes. I could have never envisioned this,” Merkley said Sunday on the ABC’s “This Week.”


Tens of thousands of people have fled the flames, scenes of charred rubble and burned-out cars. Firefighters on the ground and in the air are exhausted. And a shroud of smoke has given Seattle, San Francisco and Portland, Ore., some of the worst air quality in the world.


The Democratic governors of all three states maintain that the fires are a consequence of climate change, taking aim at Trump ahead of his visit to California today for a fire briefing. The president on Sunday blamed the disaster on poor “forest management” during a campaign swing in Nevada.


The Washington Post: Because of hazardous air quality, officials and health experts tell people in affected regions to remain indoors with windows and doors closed and air conditioners and fans running.


The coronavirus pandemic has exacerbated the wildfire situation. COVID-19 contributed to interruption of spring efforts with volunteers to clear undergrowth and now firefighters are experiencing manpower shortages as some become infected with the coronavirus, forcing mandatory quarantines (The Hill). 


In Oregon, officials have been challenged to designate and staff evacuation centers for tens of thousands of people fleeing the deadly wildfires. COVID-19 requires socially distanced and specially prepared centers where people can congregate in appropriate numbers and with safety in mind during an emergency. Public health officials also believe the poor air quality resulting from the fires worsens recovery for those affected by the coronavirus (OPB).


Reuters: Photos from scenes of fire damage.





Meanwhile, the Gulf Coast is poised for Sally, a tropical storm expected late today to gain strength off the coast of South Florida and become a hurricane, according to the National Hurricane Center. New Orleans and surrounding areas, along with a stretch of the coast from Grand Isle, La., to the Alabama-Florida line, were placed under a hurricane watch and expect heavy rain (The Associated Press and The Miami Herald).

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


All the president’s insecurities, by Maureen Dowd, columnist, The New York Times. 


Good-bye, readers, and good luck. You’ll need it: What 50 years of writing about economics has taught me, by Robert J. Samuelson, opinion columnist, The Washington Post, who is retiring.


The CARES Act: Good for workers, good for America


Unions and airlines agree – a clean extension of the CARES Act Payroll Support Program will position the industry to support economic recovery and save hundreds of thousands of aviation jobs. Learn how.


The House meets at 2 p.m.


The Senate will meet at 3 p.m. to resume consideration of the nomination of Mark Scarsi to be a judge with the U.S. District Court for the Central District of California.


The president, who campaigned over the weekend in Nevada, will visit McClellan Park, Calif., today to get a briefing from emergency and other officials about ongoing wildfires on the West Coast at 11 a.m. and deliver remarks at 12:05 p.m. PDT (The New York Times). Trump will travel this afternoon to Phoenix to host a campaign roundtable event focused on Latino voters at 3 p.m. MDT at the Arizona Grand Resort hotel. The president will return to the White House tonight.


Vice President Pence will headline a campaign event at noon EDT in Janesville, Wis., at the Holiday Inn Conference Center. Pence, Sen. Steve DainesSteven (Steve) David DainesBill honoring 13 service members killed in Afghanistan heads to Biden's desk The Memo: Much-criticized Trump policy puts Biden in a vise The good, bad, and ugly of Tester's Blackfoot-Clearwater Stewardship Act MORE (R-Mont.) and the other Republican candidates are scheduled to hold a campaign rally this afternoon in Belgrade, Mont., near Bozeman.


INVITATION: The Hill Virtually Live hosts two newsmaker events this week: 



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


International: Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin NetanyahuBenjamin (Bibi) NetanyahuMORE announced on Sunday that a new nationwide lockdown will go into effect on Friday after a spike in new cases of COVID-19. Schools, restaurants and other businesses in Israel will be forced to shut down, with movement limited for at least three weeks starting on the eve of the Jewish New Year (The Associated Press). … In Japan, Yoshihide Suga, 71, will be the new prime minister this week, succeeding Shinzo Abe, who is stepping down for what he says are health reasons (The New York Times).


Sports: The NFL started its season facing not only the coronavirus pandemic, but also a resurgent Black Lives Matter (BLM) movement of which the league has reluctantly found itself at the forefront. During the Week 1 slate of games on Sunday, six teams stayed in the locker room while the national anthems were being played, with players wearing pre-game apparel wearing messages in support of the BLM movement. Notably, New England Patriots quarterback Cam Newton featured cleats that were emblazoned with the phrases “7 Shots” and “No Justice No Peace” (The Hill).


Administration: Trump on Sunday signed an anticipated new executive order aimed at lowering drug prices (The Hill). … TikTok chooses Oracle rather than Microsoft for sale of U.S. operations amid a tech clash between the United States and China (NBC News). … Without explanation, Secretary of State Mike PompeoMike PompeoNo time for the timid: The dual threats of progressives and Trump Psaki: Sexism contributes to some criticism of Harris Mnuchin, Pompeo mulled plan to remove Trump after Jan. 6: book MORE indicated early today that U.S. Ambassador to China Terry Branstad, 73, will be leaving his post (Reuters). ... During the pandemic,  Pompeo plans today to resume his controversial, taxpayer-funded “Madison Dinners,” which are under investigation by congressional Democrats (NBC News). (NBC obtained a photograph of guests who attended a June 2019 dinner with the secretary.) … On Tuesday, Trump will host representatives from Israel, Bahrain and the United Arab Emirates for a ceremony establishing diplomatic relations among the countries. Trump tells voters his administration has kept its promises on foreign policy, pointing to the Middle East peace deal and a reduction of U.S. troops in Iraq and Afghanistan to withdraw from what the president calls “forever wars.” But foreign policy does not override a deadly pandemic and high unemployment in voters’ minds, according to polls (The Hill)





Supreme Court: Trump recently listed six of Associate Justice Clarence ThomasClarence ThomasHow religious liberty was distorted in the age of COVID-19 Supreme Court wrestles with limits on digital billboard ads, free speech Winsome Sears: The latest Black conservative to make liberals nervous MORE’s former clerks as potential Supreme Court nominees, should the president win a second term. Legal experts say this reflects Thomas’s growing influence during the Trump era (The Hill).


Ukraine, Russia and Trump: Army Lt. Col. Alexander VindmanAlexander VindmanOvernight Defense & National Security — Presented by Raytheon Technologies — Nation mourns Colin Powell Progressive veterans group endorses McAuliffe in Virginia governor's race Should reporters Woodward, Costa have sat on Milley-Trump bombshell for months? MORE (ret.), a key witness during Trump's impeachment inquiry who was fired by the president in February as the top Ukraine expert on the White House National Security Council and offered a lower-level transfer (CNN), on Monday will speak with NBC’s Lester Holt on the “Nightly News” at 6:30 p.m. EDT. Trump blocked Vindman’s promotion to colonel before his retirement after 21 years in the service. … Former FBI agent Peter Strzok, author of “Compromised: Counterintelligence and the Threat of Donald J. Trump,” told NBC’s “Meet the Press” on Sunday, “I believe Donald Trump is compromised by the Russians.” With no specifics, Strzok said he believes the leverage may be financial entanglements with the Russians that Trump has publicly denied (NBC News). … Former Director of National Intelligence Dan CoatsDaniel (Dan) Ray CoatsAn independent commission should review our National Defense Strategy Overnight Hillicon Valley — Scrutiny over Instagram's impact on teens Former national security officials warn antitrust bills could help China in tech race MORE (R) is described in Bob Woodward’s book “Rage” as continuing "to harbor the secret belief, one that had grown rather than lessened, although unsupported by intelligence proof, that [Russian President Vladimir] Putin had something on Trump." Woodward describes Coats’s thought process, writing "How else to explain the president's behavior? Coats could see no other explanation" (CNN and The Washington Post).


And finally … James Blaesing, the grandson of former President Harding and Harding’s mistress Nan Britton, went to court in Ohio in an effort to get the Republican’s remains exhumed from his 1927 gravesite. Blaesing says he’s seeking Harding’s disinterment as a way “to establish with scientific certainty” that he is the 29th president’s blood relation, even though the Harding family has conceded that he is the former president’s grandson.


A branch of the Harding family told the court that relatives already accepted as fact DNA evidence that Blaesing’s mother, Elizabeth Ann Blaesing, was the daughter of Harding and Britton, who was a secretary during an affair when Harding was a senator. Harding had no other children. 


The centennial of Harding’s 1920 election and unveiling of a new presidential center in Marion, the Ohio city near which he was born in 1865, are entangled in coronavirus precautions. The opening of the Warren G. Harding Presidential Center has been postponed, while a Sept. 26 symposium will take place virtually (Marion Star)


Blaesing says he deserves to “have his story, his mother’s story and his grandmother’s story included within the hallowed halls and museums in this town” (The Associated Press).