Morning Report

The Hill’s Morning Report – Census winners and losers; House GOP huddles

The U.S. Census logo appears on census materials received in the mail
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 The U.S. Census logo appears on census materials received in the mail



Welcome to The Hill’s Morning Report. Today 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. 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 each morning this week: Monday, 572,200; Tuesday, 572,674.


As of this morning, 42.5 percent of the U.S. population has received at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine and 28.9 percent is fully vaccinated, according to the Bloomberg News global vaccine tracker.

States lead the headlines this morning, from political redistricting to coronavirus trends, guns and policing. States continue to steer the nation.


Beginning with political power, new census numbers released on Monday suggest clout is shifting south from Rust Belt states to Republican strongholds, thanks to population changes recorded last year that will alter the landscape of congressional districts ahead of the 2022 midterm elections.


Six states are set to add seats, headlined by Texas, which will gain two. Colorado, Florida, Montana, North Carolina and Oregon will each add one. Seven states will see their number of seats dwindle by one: California, Illinois, Ohio, Pennsylvania, West Virginia, Michigan and New York (The Hill).


The congressional updates also continue winning streaks for some of the states that gained seats. Texas has added to its congressional total in each of the last eight reapportionment cycles, while Florida has done so in 12 straight. 


On the other side, Monday marked the 10th consecutive reapportionment process in which Pennsylvania lost a seat, the ninth for Illinois and the eighth for New York, which lost a seat in heartbreaking fashion. The Empire State was only 89 counted residents away from holding on to the seat it now forfeits (The New York Times).


The bottom line: Monday was a good day for Republicans, who are eager for any upbeat news after losing the White House, Senate and the House during the past 2-1/2 years. 


The Washington Post: New census numbers shift political power south to Republican strongholds.


Reid Wilson, The Hill: On The Trail: Census data kicks off the biggest redistricting fight in American history.


Perhaps the most alarming development was the lack of population growth over the past decade. As Wilson notes, the U.S. population expanded by just 7.4 percent in the 2010s, the slowest rate recorded since the Census was first taken in 1790, and was due in large part to a leveling off of immigration and declining birth rates. 


The only decade that saw slower recorded growth was the 1930s. Both periods were marked by economic downturns that lasted years. 


The Associated Press: What’s behind the growth slump? Takeaways from census data.


The Associated Press: U.S. population declines to slowest rate since Depression. 


The Washington Post: Graph of the 2020 Census compared with the past. 


> Mask guidance: President Biden is expected to announce later today updated guidance on mask wearing from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The administration is expected to ease recommendations for Americans in many outdoor situations. 


Biden will deliver a White House speech this afternoon about the administration’s response to COVID-19 during a week in which he marks 100 days in office (The Hill).


The Associated Press: Virginia’s attorney general says colleges can impose vaccine requirements.


Derek Thompson, The Atlantic: What “taking the pandemic seriously” means now.



A woman wearing a facemask jogs near a notice about maintaining social distance



> Racial justice: Attorney General Merrick Garland announced Monday that the Department of Justice (DOJ) is launching an investigation into the Louisville Metro Police Department. While Garland did not mention her by name, the probe comes after the death of Breonna Taylor, an African American woman who was killed last year by Louisville police during a no-knock raid on her apartment. 


“Those investigations, and the recommendations and actions that ensue, do not only protect individual civil rights. They also assist police departments in developing measures to increase transparency and accountability,” Garland said.


The investigation comes only days after the DOJ opened a probe into the Minneapolis Police Department following the conviction of Derek Chauvin for the murder of George Floyd (The Hill). 


> Supreme Court: Justices agreed on Monday to hear an appeal to expand gun rights in the U.S. in a New York case over the right to carry a firearm in public for self-defense. 


The justices said Monday they will review a lower-court ruling that upheld New York’s restrictive gun permit law. The court’s decision to take on the case follows mass shootings in recent weeks in Indiana, Georgia, Colorado and California and comes amid congressional efforts to tighten gun laws. New York is among eight states that limit who has the right to carry a weapon in public. The others are: California, Delaware, Hawaii, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Jersey and Rhode Island (The Associated Press).


CORONAVIRUS: Biden recently repeated that the U.S. would eventually share COVID-19 vaccine supplies with key nations beyond the Northern Hemisphere, but last week he told reporters, “Not now.” On Monday, the U.S. decided the time had come to do more for other countries, particularly India.


It will take months, but the United States will share up to 60 million doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine abroad. That vaccine is not authorized for emergency use here but is in use elsewhere in the world (The Associated Press). The White House said the decision was made because of the available supply in this country of other COVID-19 vaccines approved for use. The U.S. has tens of millions of AstraZeneca vaccine doses stockpiled, untouched (The Associated Press).


To help India amid a horrific surge of infections worsened by a shortage of hospital beds and medical oxygen, the U.S. committed in a phone call between Biden and Prime Minister Narendra Modi to streamline available supplies for vaccines and therapeutics. India is a major pharmaceutical manufacturer.


Reuters: In Congress and the U.S. tech world, Indian Americans are organizing COVID-19 aid to India.



A man waits to get vaccinated near a sign indicating an Astra Zeneca vaccination area



Here at home, a slowdown in the pace of U.S. vaccinations muddies Biden’s early vision that the Fourth of July could be a pivot point toward normalcy for many Americans in most states. But too many people still are unvaccinated, and a large percentage say they plan to stay that way (The Hill).


Biden, in remarks today, is expected to use a carrot approach to a major persuasion challenge: Citing a CDC update, the president is expected to say vaccinated people don’t need to wear masks outdoors under most circumstances (CNN and The Hill). Millions of Americans with and without vaccinations have already made it their practice, flouting federal, state and local guidance.


“We’re excited about the progress we’ve made, and the opportunity ahead of us, and because of the vaccination program we built we’re further along than almost anyone predicted,” said White House COVID-19 coordinator Jeff Zients during a Monday interview with The Associated Press. “It means we’re closer to returning to normal.”


The Hill: The European Union on Monday announced it will sue AstraZeneca for alleged failure to deliver on its coronavirus vaccine contract.


The Associated Press: Germany announced it will open vaccination eligibility to all adults in June. 


Reuters: Turkey announced a “full lockdown” beginning Thursday through May 17 to try to halt the spread of the virus.


Reuters: Hong Kong today announced that bars and nightclubs can reopen on Thursday for people who have been vaccinated against COVID-19 and who use a government mobile phone application.




ADMINISTRATION: During his Wednesday night address to a joint session of Congress and the American people, the president will describe in greater detail a third pillar of his Build Back Better agenda, which he calls the American Families Plan.


The Hill’s Naomi Jagoda reports that Democrats want to insert their pet projects and priorities into that package, which includes child care benefits and education initiatives. The add-ons Democrats favor include generous tax credits for families, unemployment insurance and health care. The president’s third plan could carry a price tag close to $1 trillion, and Republicans are balking at what they see as liberal-left largesse.


The New York Times: The administration wants high earners to pay more in taxes. One tool is IRS scrutiny, and Biden wants $80 billion to beef up the IRS and its capacity to audit more of tax filings submitted by the wealthy. Republican lawmakers previously said they favor cracking down on waste, fraud and tax evasion. How much revenue could be recaptured? An estimated $700 billion over 10 years.


The Hill: Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) is praising a Republican $568 billion infrastructure offer as a good start. The Senate kingmaker remains a key vote for anything Biden and Democrats seek to pass. 


Among Biden’s unmet promises to progressives is a decision on canceling student loan debt. It’s a priority for the left, but a hurdle among nearly every other political faction when the details get discussed. The president shot down calls from some Democrats to immediately cancel up to $50,000 in student loan debt per student and instead supported $10,000 in debt forgiveness per student during his campaign. Here’s where things stand (CNET and The Hill).


The Hill’s Niall Stanage in his latest Memo explores Biden’s first big speech on Wednesday, and the big-government vision the president will describe.




Aerial view of Washington, D.C.



Energy Secretary Jennifer Granholm on Monday said the administration favors legislation rather than executive action to support alternative energy infrastructure (The Hill).  


Even as the Biden administration tries to reset federal immigration priorities, issues and coalitions are shifting, reports The Hill’s Rafael Bernal. The Washington Post reports that a White House review of Biden’s goal to lift the U.S. limit on refugees allowed into the country through September to 62,500 may be back on the table. That goal was recently described by the president’s press secretary as challenging in the near term for government operations. That did not sit well with refugee advocacy groups. Biden’s internal questions about what the government could safely and competently handle injected some uncertainty into the refugee cap decision.


> Minimum wage: Using his executive pen, Biden today will order the federal minimum wage for contractors to rise to $15, according to the White House (The Hill).


POLITICS: House Republicans are convening this week to discuss what policies and issues can help push them back into the majority. However, personality is instead dominating the event as former President Trump continues to hover over the party, despite not appearing at the annual retreat. 


As The Hill’s Scott Wong and Mike Lillis write, despite not being invited to appear in Orlando, Fla., this week, Trump remains a force to be reckoned with. The events this week are designed to unify a fractured party as Republicans push ahead to retake majorities in both chambers next year, but shortly into the event the divide among GOP leaders emerged. 


House Republican Conference Chairwoman Liz Cheney (R-Wyo.) broke with House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) over the scope of the investigation into the fatal attack on the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6, adding that McCarthy and Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) are the preeminent leaders of the Republican Party (The Hill). 


Putting the cherry on the sundae, Cheney also declined to rule out a potential 2024 presidential bid (New York Post). In an interview with Politico, McCarthy took several jabs at the Wyoming Republican for continuing to break with the conference despite her position in leadership.


“There’s a responsibility, if you’re gonna be in leadership, leaders eat last,” McCarthy said. “And when leaders try to go out, and not work as one team, it creates difficulties.”


He added that he has talked privately with Cheney about toning down her comments, but half-acknowledged that she hasn’t done so: “You be the judge,” he said.


Politico: Policy over personality: Early strategy takeaways from the GOP retreat.


The Hill: McCarthy unveils House GOP task forces, chairs.


The Hill: House Minority Whip Steve Scalise (R-La.) won’t attend Biden’s first joint address to Congress.



Rep. Liz Cheney (R-Wyo.)



> 2022 watch: Former Rep. Doug Collins (R-Ga.), a Trump ally, announced on Monday that he will not be a candidate for any office next year. Collins was floated as a potential challenger for Sen. Raphael Warnock (D-Ga.). 


“For those who may wonder, this is goodbye for now, but probably not forever. I do plan on staying involved in shaping our conservative message to help Republicans win back the House and the Senate and help more strong conservative candidates get elected here in Georgia,” Collins said in a statement.


In Texas, Trump endorsed Susan Wright, a conservative activist and the widow of the late Rep. Ron Wright (R-Texas), who died from complications of COVID-19, ahead of Saturday’s special election in Texas’s 6th Congressional District. Wright is one of 11 Republicans seeking the party’s nomination (The Texas Tribune). Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine (R) chose Aug. 3 for a special primary election for a congressional seat being vacated by Rep. Steve Stivers (R-Ohio).


The Hill: Rep. Tim Ryan (D-Ohio) officially launches a Senate campaign.


Axios: GOP efforts to recall California Gov. Gavin Newsom (D) reached a signature threshold on Monday to qualify for the ballot, perhaps later this year. The recall campaign delivered more than 1,495,709 verified voter signatures, or about 12 percent of all ballots cast in the last election for governor.


The New York Times: Why Iowa has become such a heartbreaker for Democrats.

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China is losing the soft war but could win the hard one, by Mark Gongloff, Bloomberg Opinion.


The GOP is a grave threat to American democracy, by Peter Wehner, The Atlantic contributing writer.


The House will meet at 6 p.m. on Wednesday, ahead of Biden’s planned address to Congress. A House Homeland Security subcommittee holds a hearing at 2 p.m. today on unaccompanied migrant children at the U.S. border.


The Senate will convene at 10 a.m. and resume consideration of the nomination of Jason Scott Miller to be deputy director for management at the Office of Management and Budget.


The president will receive the President’s Daily Brief at 9:30 a.m. Biden will deliver remarks about COVID-19 responses at 1:15 p.m. on the White House North Lawn. 


Vice President Harris at 4 p.m. will participate in a virtual roundtable about migration and Central American conditions with representatives from Guatemalan community-based organizations, hosted by the U.S. Embassy in Guatemala City.


The White House press briefing will take place at 1:45 p.m. The White House’s COVID-19 response team will brief reporters at 12:30 p.m.


INVITATIONS: Join The Hill’s Virtually Live “The Future of Jobs” on Wednesday at 12:30 p.m. featuring a top-tier roster of lawmakers, economists, public policy veterans, workforce experts, union representatives, CEOs and more. Information is HERE. … On Thursday, don’t miss The Hill’s Virtually LiveSmall Business Recovery Tour ~ Philadelphia” at 1 p.m. with Rep. Madeleine Dean (D-Pa.), House Financial Services Committee member; Rep. Dan Meuser (R-Pa.), House Small Business Committee member; VestedIn CEO Jim Burnett; Philadelphia City Council President Darrell Clarke; Urban League of Philadelphia President and CEO Andrea Custis; and Sunny Phanthavong, chef and owner of Vientiane Bistro. Registration is HERE.


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


INTERNATIONAL: Russian authorities on Monday ordered the offices of imprisoned opposition leader Alexei Navalny to halt activities pending what would be a landmark court ruling on whether they should be outlawed as an extremist group. The injunction from the Moscow prosecutor’s office was another step in a sweeping crackdown on Navalny, who is President Vladimir Putin’s fiercest critic, as well as his followers (The Associated Press).


TECH: Apple on Monday rolled out plans to establish an East Coast campus in North Carolina as part of a $430 billion investment that will create 20,000 new jobs across the country. The total financial commitment is an uptick from the $350 billion plan the company laid out in 2018. One billion dollars will go into the creation of the North Carolina locale, which represents an estimated 3,000 jobs in machine learning, artificial intelligence and software engineering (The Hill).


HOUSE SERGEANT-AT-ARMS: William Walker, the former head of the Washington, D.C., National Guard, on Monday became the first Black sergeant-at-arms employed by the House. Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) administered the oath of office (The Hill). The job came under a national spotlight after the Jan. 6 attack on the Capitol. On that day, Walker provided help to the Capitol Police in his role as head of the D.C. National Guard. He testified to Congress that U.S. Army leaders had expressed concerns on Jan. 6 about the “optics” of deploying Guard troops to help.


And finally … No bull this morning. 


For the second year in a row, the annual running of the bulls in Pamplona, Spain, has been scratched due to COVID-19 concerns. The festival that since 1591 adds a threat of death to a challenge of racing through narrow, cobbled streets ahead of a pack of bulls’ horns is on pause. Yes, for safety.


Pamplona Mayor Enrique Maya pointed to local outbreaks of the virus, hospitalizations and the sluggish vaccine rollout in the region. “The festival cannot be organized overnight. … This is very hard. I never thought that this could happen,” Maya said Monday. Pre-coronavirus, the run was last canceled during the Spanish Civil War in the 1930s (The Associated Press).


The photo, below, is from 2019, when eight people were gored and 35 were injured. At least 16 people have been killed by bulls in Pamplona since records started in 1911.



Participants run next to Miura fighting bulls on the last bullrun of the San Fermin festival in Pamplona


Tags Dan Meuser Donald Trump Doug Collins Gavin Newsom Jeff Zients Jennifer Granholm Joe Biden Kevin McCarthy Liz Cheney Madeleine Dean Merrick Garland Mike DeWine Mitch McConnell Nancy Pelosi Raphael Warnock Ron Wright Steve Scalise Steve Stivers Tim Ryan Vladimir Putin

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