The Hill's Morning Report - Sponsored by The Air Line Pilots Association - Trump, Biden couldn't be more different on climate change

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Welcome to The Hill’s Morning Report. It is Tuesday. 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 co-creators, and readers can find us on Twitter @asimendinger and @alweaver22. Please recommend the Morning Report to friends and let us know what you think. CLICK HERE to subscribe!



Total U.S. coronavirus deaths reported each morning this week: Monday, 194,081. Tuesday, 194,536. 



From deadly wildfires in California to rising sea levels in South Florida, President TrumpDonald John TrumpOmar fires back at Trump over rally remarks: 'This is my country' Pelosi: Trump hurrying to fill SCOTUS seat so he can repeal ObamaCare Trump mocks Biden appearance, mask use ahead of first debate MORE and Joe BidenJoe BidenOmar fires back at Trump over rally remarks: 'This is my country' Trump mocks Biden appearance, mask use ahead of first debate Trump attacks Omar for criticizing US: 'How did you do where you came from?' MORE are finding reasons this week to tout their stark contrasts when it comes to climate change, an issue that animates believers and doubters in the two major parties.

 

During a trip to California on Monday to offer federal help during record-setting fires, Trump told Gov. Gavin NewsomGavin NewsomEPA head questions connection of climate change to natural disasters Trump dismisses climate change role in fires, says Newsom needs to manage forest better Evacuations ordered in California desert communities as wildfires burn MORE (D) (pictured above) and other state officials that the blame they place on climate change is more supposition than science — a political difference of opinion. Trump, seated in front of an enlarged photograph of a West Coast firefighter battling an inferno, said, "It'll start getting cooler. You just watch. I don't think science knows, actually." 

 

The New York Times: As Trump again rejects science, Biden calls him a “climate arsonist.”

 

The Washington Post: Devastating wildfires out West inject climate change into the presidential campaign.

 

Thousands of miles away in a bucolic field at the Delaware Museum of Natural History, Biden (pictured below) described “undeniable acceleration” of climate change as one of four crises the nation is waging simultaneously. The others are the coronavirus pandemic, the economic downturn and the racial reckoning sparked by police killings of Black men. 

 

The damage in cities and rural areas, to islands such as Puerto Rico and to low-lying coastal communities, in pristine forests and among species everywhere, Biden said, “is caused by our own inaction on climate change. It’s happening everywhere. It’s happening now. And it affects us all.”

 

Biden will today make his first campaign visit to Florida, another state experiencing observable environmental changes, including severe storms, dying coral reefs, rising sea levels and threatened species’ habitats, including near Trump’s South Florida home. The former vice president pointed to Hurricane Sally, swirling through the Gulf of Mexico today, to call attention to extreme, damaging weather.

 

Since clearing the Democratic primary, Biden has taken a more aggressive approach to the issue of greenhouse gases and a warming planet, eager to win support from progressive voters of all ages who believe that time is running out for states and the nation to change policies along with the rest of the world. In Florida, that voting bloc is diverse and mobilized. However, support for Biden from the left opens new lines of attack from the Trump campaign, which argues that the former vice president’s policies would result in regulatory burdens that cost jobs and hurt the U.S. economy (The Hill).

 

Many political analysts predict Florida, with its 29 Electoral College votes, will decide the election. The state backed former President Obama and Biden, his running mate, by 2 points in 2008, and again as president and vice president in 2012 by the narrowest of margins. Trump beat Hillary ClintonHillary Diane Rodham ClintonButtigieg stands in as Pence for Harris's debate practice Senate GOP sees early Supreme Court vote as political booster shot Poll: 51 percent of voters want to abolish the electoral college MORE by 1.2 percentage points in the state in 2016. Reaching voters on issues they care about in the Sunshine State and getting them to cast ballots is the goal for both campaigns during the next 48 days (The New York Times).

 

The Hill’s Niall Stanage writes in The Memo that polls in Florida are closer than they have been in many battleground states this year and that Biden appears to have a problem with Latinos, particularly Cuban Americans and voters of Venezuelan and South American descent — all important communities for the outcome of the knife’s-edge presidential contest in the Sunshine State. 

 

The Hill: Democrats, civil rights advocates seethe over last week’s Florida voting rights ruling.

 

The Associated Press: “Work like the devil”: Biden visiting Florida to woo Latinos.

 

Bloomberg News: Biden spent $23.2 million to Trump’s $6.4 million on campaign ads in Florida between Aug. 10 and Sept. 7. The Trump campaign has slashed ad spending in key states during a cash crunch, cutting to zero such spending in Michigan and Pennsylvania, two states the president hopes to win. 

 

Medium buying: The Trump campaign is canceling TV ad schedules booked to air this week in multiple states, including Iowa, Ohio and Nevada.

 

The Associated Press: Biden is increasing campaign spending on ads in battleground states, aiming at suburbanites and Black voters, and he is also running Spanish-language ads to target Latinos. He’s ramped up his own attacks on Trump as well.

 

 

 

 

> Biden concerns: The Hill’s Amie Parnes and Jonathan Easley write that Democrats are worried, with seven weeks to go before Election Day, that Trump’s campaign reaches voters in key states through door-knocking and rallies despite coronavirus restrictions, while Biden’s camp maintains digital organizing and phone outreach. In-person persuasion is considered far more effective at mobilizing voters.

 

On a field training call over the weekend, several veterans of the Obama and Clinton presidential campaigns aired concerns to the Biden team in the stretch run of the contest. Ex-Obama aides also grumbled privately following the Saturday Zoom call, which had been aimed specifically at getting Obama alumni more active in Biden’s campaign. One of the former aides said that Biden’s field operations will be his “not-going-to-Wisconsin” mistake if he loses, referring to Clinton’s decision four years ago not to campaign in Wisconsin — a state she ultimately lost. 

 

The Wall Street Journal: Wisconsin Supreme Court keeps Green Party off November ballot.

 

Raleigh News & Observer: In US Senate debate, Democrat Cal Cunningham says he’d be “hesitant” to get a coronavirus vaccine.



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LEADING THE DAY

CONGRESS: House Majority Leader Steny HoyerSteny Hamilton HoyerOn The Money: Powell, Mnuchin stress limits of emergency loans | House seeks to salvage vote on spending bill | Economists tell lawmakers: Kill the virus to heal the economy House moves toward spending vote after bipartisan talks House Democrats mull delay on spending bill vote MORE (D-Md.) said on Monday that the House is expected to vote on a clean government spending package next week in order to give the Senate a full week to pass the bill by the end of the month and avert a partial government shutdown. 

 

“I want to put it on the floor next week,” Hoyer told Roll Call. “I want to give the Senate at least a week to pass it. I want to make sure government doesn’t shut down.”

 

The exact length of the bill is still to be determined. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellPelosi: Trump hurrying to fill SCOTUS seat so he can repeal ObamaCare Senate GOP aims to confirm Trump court pick by Oct. 29: report Trump argues full Supreme Court needed to settle potential election disputes MORE (R-Ky.) has thrown his weight behind funding the government until December, while some Democrats push for the bill to run until 2021, as they sense a political advantage. 

 

Treasury Secretary Steven MnuchinSteven Terner MnuchinOn The Money: Powell, Mnuchin stress limits of emergency loans | House seeks to salvage vote on spending bill | Economists tell lawmakers: Kill the virus to heal the economy Economists spanning spectrum say recovery depends on containing virus Powell, Mnuchin stress limits of current emergency lending programs MORE told reporters at the White House on Monday that he and Speaker Nancy PelosiNancy PelosiPelosi: Trump hurrying to fill SCOTUS seat so he can repeal ObamaCare House lawmakers reach deal to avert shutdown Centrist Democrats 'strongly considering' discharge petition on GOP PPP bill MORE (D-Calif.) have agreed to keep poison pill riders out of the stopgap measure and are hopeful to wrap up a bill by the end of the week.

 

“We have an agreement that it will be a clean CR [continuing resolution]. Having said that, the details of the clean CR have to be worked out. And I hope we can finish that this week,” Mnuchin said.

 

 

 

 

> COVID-19 relief: Pelosi is digging in on coronavirus relief negotiations and, in the process, shrugging off pressure from Senate Republicans and a number of moderate Democrats who are pressing for a “skinny” bill. 

 

Despite talks breaking down in early August among the big four negotiators, Pelosi continues to push for a larger deal in excess of $2 trillion. But as Mike Lillis and Scott Wong write, her strategy could be risky if voters deem House Democrats to be the obstacle to another round of emergency coronavirus relief, particularly after Senate Republicans mustered 52 votes in favor of their $650 billion proposal last week. 

 

At the moment though, Pelosi seems to have public opinion behind her, with a recent poll finding that 65 percent of voters disapprove of Trump’s pandemic response, as nearly 200,000 people have died from the virus across the U.S. House leadership aides indicated that she is willing to go to the map even as prospects for a deal pre-election continue to dwindle.

 

CNBC: ‘Now is not the time to worry’ about the fiscal deficit or the Fed’s balance sheet, Mnuchin says.

 

The Wall Street Journal: Absence of coronavirus-aid deal prompts blame game in Washington.

 

The Hill: Democrats back away from idea of advocating a quick reversal of Trump tax cuts if they take control of the Senate and White House.

 

The Hill: Senate Intelligence Committee Chairman Ron JohnsonRonald (Ron) Harold Johnson CIA found Putin 'probably directing' campaign against Biden: report This week: Supreme Court fight over Ginsburg's seat upends Congress's agenda GOP set to release controversial Biden report MORE (R-Wis.) to release interim report on Biden probe “in about a week.”



IN FOCUS/SHARP TAKES

ADMINISTRATION: Michael Caputo, 58, assistant secretary of public affairs at the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), told a personal Facebook audience on Sunday without evidence that left-wing hit squads were being trained for insurrection and that he fears he may be killed. He also accused HHS employees of “sedition.” Caputo, a veteran of Republican politics and corporate communications, complained he was under siege by the news media and said that his physical health was in question and that his “mental health has definitely failed” (The New York Times). 

 

The Washington Post: Caputo promoted conspiracy theories, including armed insurrection following a contested election, during a Facebook Live event he confirmed holding.

 

His comments followed reporting by The Washington Post on Saturday that Caputo and an adviser he hired, Paul Alexander, sought to edit and oversee the weekly release of public reports about the coronavirus crisis, which are created by scientists at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Alexander, an assistant professor at McMaster University in Canada and a specialist in health research methods, battled CDC scientists by email, arguing in defense of the president, the newspaper reported.

 

> Trust: There’s a growing crisis of confidence in scientific institutions among Americans as a growing number say they do not trust the information they are receiving, including on the ongoing coronavirus as we enter the sixth month of the pandemic. 

 

As The Hill’s Reid Wilson reports, two new surveys show most Americans still trust leading scientists and institutions, such as the CDC, but trust levels in scientific and political institutions are eroding. Nearly eight in ten Americans trust the nation’s leading public health agency, according to a survey conducted by the COVID-19 Consortium for Understanding the Public’s Policy Preferences Across States, a group of researchers at Northeastern University, Harvard, Rutgers and Northwestern University. The figure is down from 87 percent who said they trusted the CDC in April. 

 

A poll conducted by the Kaiser Family Foundation found that 67 percent of Americans have a great deal or a fair amount of trust in the CDC to provide reliable information about the coronavirus.  That number has dropped 16 percentage points since April. 

 

“I don’t think anyone is thrilled with the status quo. It’s been a disappointment as a general proposition,” said David Lazer, a political scientist at Northeastern and an author of the study.

 

> Travel advisory: The administration today began warning U.S. travelers not to go to mainland China and Hong Kong, citing the risk of “arbitrary detention” and “arbitrary enforcement of local laws.” The new advisory is likely to exacerbate tensions between the United States and China (The Associated Press).

 

> Cost of drugs: Trump is seeking a pre-election boost on the consumer concern of trying to lower prescription drug prices, which is a top issue for voters. There are doubts among experts about when or if the administration’s latest move, an executive order signed on Sunday, will lower prices. Trump’s decision to link certain U.S. drug prices to the lower prices paid in other countries also puts congressional Republicans, who oppose "price controls," in an awkward position (The Hill).



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

Sound the alarm bells on inflation, by Earle Mack, opinion contributor, The Hill. https://bit.ly/35zLgkK

 

White evangelicals and Catholics may finally be opening their ears, by Michael Gerson, columnist, The Washington Post. https://wapo.st/2ZEBCJX 



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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.



WHERE AND WHEN

The House meets at 9 a.m.

 

The Senate will meet at 10 a.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 hosts a large ceremony on the White House South Lawn with leaders of Israel, the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain to sign a historic economic agreement brokered by the United States (The Associated Press). Trump will headline an ABC News town hall program at 9 p.m. moderated by George StephanopoulosGeorge Robert StephanopoulosColbert implores Pelosi to update 'weaponry' in SCOTUS fight: 'Trump has a literal heat ray' Murkowski: Supreme Court nominee should not be taken up before election Cruz says Senate Republicans likely have votes to confirm Trump Supreme Court nominee MORE with both virtual and in-person voter participation (Variety). 

 

Vice President Pence will be in Zanesville, Ohio, to campaign for reelection at an 11 a.m. event at the Muskingum County Fairgrounds.

 

The Federal Reserve today and Wednesday will hold its last policymaking meeting before the November elections. 

 

The Washington Post hosts a virtual conversation with Sen. Marco RubioMarco Antonio RubioOvernight Defense: Pentagon redirects pandemic funding to defense contractors | US planning for full Afghanistan withdrawal by May | Anti-Trump GOP group puts ads in military papers Democrats step up hardball tactics as Supreme Court fight heats up Press: Notorious RBG vs Notorious GOP MORE (R-Fla.) at 8:15 a.m., hosted with moderator Robert Costa in partnership with The Texas Tribune Festival. Registration HERE

 

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

 

 

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

➔ Natural disasters: Hurricane Sally is moving slowly today in the Gulf of Mexico at around 100 mph. Her path appears to be moving east toward the Mississippi-Alabama state line, and governors in several states have declared states of emergency, including for counties in the Florida Panhandle. The hurricane is already delivering rain in Florida this morning and a storm surge is expected because of the storm’s slow approach. Hurricane Sally is one of five storms swirling in the Atlantic at the same time (The Associated Press). 

 

 

 

 

Coronavirus: Arthritis drug baricitinib and antiviral drug remdesivir in combination improve recovery in COVID-19 patients, according to new research from pharmaceutical manufacturer Eli Lilly (The Hill). … A federal judge ruled on Monday that Pennsylvania Gov. Tom WolfTom WolfCoronavirus lockdowns work Pennsylvania court extends mail-in ballot deadline Barr: Coronavirus lockdowns 'greatest intrusion on civil liberties' since slavery MORE’s (D) coronavirus restrictions, which closed businesses and limited gatherings, were unconstitutional. U.S. District Judge William Stickman IV, a Trump appointee, said in his opinion that the orders by Wolf and Pennsylvania Secretary of Health Rachel Levine violated and continue to violate the First Amendment right to freedom of assembly and the due process and equal protection clauses of the 14th Amendment. Stickman wrote that the restrictions “were undertaken with the good intention of addressing a public health emergency” but that “even in an emergency, the authority of government is not unfettered” (The Hill).

 

International: Alexei Navalny, the opposition leader and rival to Russian President Vladimir PutinVladimir Vladimirovich PutinEx-Trump national security adviser says US leaders 'making it easy for Putin' to meddle The Hill's Campaign Report: GOP set to ask SCOTUS to limit mail-in voting Putin calls on UN to strengthen World Health Organization MORE, is able to breathe on his own and leave his hospital bed, according to his doctors in Berlin, less than a month after being poisoned prior to boarding a domestic flight in Russia. The news came as French and Swedish labs confirmed Germany’s findings that he was poisoned with Novichok, a Soviet-era nerve agent (The Associated Press). Early this morning, Navalny posted on Instagram about the breathing development, saying, “I highly recommended it.” … Students in Codogno, a northern Italian town that became the first location in the West to record local transmission of COVID-19, returned to in-person schooling for the first time since Feb. 21 for 3,500 students. According to Codogno Mayor Francesco Passerini, the town of 17,000 has had few new confirmed cases of the coronavirus in recent months (The Associated Press).

 

➔ Tech: Apple Inc. is expected to unveil a new watch and updated iPad via livestream at 1 p.m. EDT at www.apple.com/apple-events. Analysts expect the company in October to introduce a 5G iPhone (The Wall Street Journal and Reuters).



THE CLOSER

And finally … Scientists believe there could be life around Venus in the form of microbes living in the sulfuric acid-laden clouds of the hothouse planet. Two telescopes in Hawaii and Chile spotted in the thick Venusian clouds the chemical signature of phosphine, a noxious gas that on Earth is only associated with life, according to a study in Monday’s journal Nature Astronomy (The Associated Press).

 

“This discovery is now putting Venus into the realm of a perhaps inhabited world,” says Martha Gilmore, a planetary geologist at Wesleyan University who has proposed a robotic, in-depth mission to study Venus, pictured below as a dot in front of the sun (The Atlantic).