The Hill's Morning Report - Presented by Facebook - Cheney poised to be ousted; Biden to host big meeting

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Welcome to The Hill’s Morning Report. Today is Wednesday! We get you up to speed on the most important developments in politics and policy, plus trends to watch. Alexis Simendinger and Al Weaver are the 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 as of this morning: Monday, 581,754; Tuesday, 582,153; Wednesday, 582,848.

Both ends of Pennsylvania Avenue will play host to key lawmaker meetings as congressional leaders will convene with President BidenJoe BidenObama: Ensuring democracy 'continues to work effectively' keeps me 'up at night' New Jersey landlords prohibited from asking potential tenants about criminal records Overnight Defense: Pentagon pulling some air defense assets from Middle East | Dems introduce resolution apologizing to LGBT community for discrimination | White House denies pausing military aid package to Ukraine MORE at the White House to discuss his $4 trillion spending plan and House Republicans prepare to oust House Republican Conference Chairwoman Liz CheneyElizabeth (Liz) Lynn CheneyCheney: 'It is disgusting and despicable' to see Gosar 'lie' about Jan. 6 GOP's Stefanik defends Trump DOJ secret subpoenas McCarthy pushes back on Biden criticism of GOP at NATO MORE (Wyo.) from her leadership post.


For the first time since taking office, Biden will meet with the four congressional leaders in the Oval Office as he continues to push for support for his $2.3 trillion infrastructure proposal and a $1.8 trillion jobs blueprint. With Republicans set to demote Cheney, the White House pitched today’s gathering as a means to figure out a bipartisan pathway to pass legislation sought by the president. 


“We’ll let the intraparty squabbling happen at the table” on Capitol Hill, White House press secretary Jen PsakiJen PsakiOvernight Defense: Pentagon pulling some air defense assets from Middle East | Dems introduce resolution apologizing to LGBT community for discrimination | White House denies pausing military aid package to Ukraine White House denies pausing military aid package to Ukraine Joe Rogan slams CNN's Stelter: 'Your show is f---ing terrible' MORE said on Tuesday. “And at the table over here — or a smaller table in the Oval Office — we’re going to have a discussion about how we can work together.”


Despite the measured optimism, lawmakers on both sides of the aisle remain skeptical that the gargantuan package will progress with support from both parties. As The Hill’s Jordain Carney and Morgan Chalfant write, Democrats believe Republicans will not negotiate in good faith, pointing to Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellGraham quips key to working with Trump: We both 'like him' The Hill's Morning Report - ObamaCare here to stay Democrats scramble to unify before election bill brawl MORE's (R-Ky.) recent comment that 100 percent of his focus is on stopping the administration. 


“I don’t know if it’s a good-faith effort on the part of the Republicans or not,” said Sen. Dick DurbinDick DurbinOvernight Health Care: Takeaways on the Supreme Court's Obamacare decision | COVID-19 cost 5.5 million years of American life | Biden administration investing billions in antiviral pills for COVID-19 COVID-19 long-haulers press Congress for paid family leave Joe Manchin keeps Democrats guessing on sweeping election bill MORE (D-Ill.).


Republicans, meanwhile, believe Biden’s push for compromise is for show. They expect Senate Democrats to pass the multi trillion-dollar package using reconciliation as a budget tool that allows Biden and his party to enact major policies if they manage to line up a simple majority.


“We’re hoping to find a partner in President Biden ... [but] if he’s only looking to make a photo-op out of this in an effort to say he’s trying to work with Republicans, that’s not what we’re looking for,” said Sen. John BarrassoJohn Anthony BarrassoJudge halts Biden pause on new public lands oil leasing GOP senator: I want to make Biden a 'one-half-term president' Biden land management pick faces GOP scrutiny over decades-old tree spiking case MORE (Wyo.), the No. 3 Senate Republican.


Biden’s sit-down with the “Big Four” today comes amid a spate of meetings with lawmakers. On Monday, he met separately with Sens. Joe ManchinJoe ManchinHollywood goes all in for the For the People Act The Hill's Morning Report - ObamaCare here to stay Centrists gain leverage over progressives in Senate infrastructure battle MORE (D-W.Va.) and Tom CarperThomas (Tom) Richard CarperSenate confirms Radhika Fox to lead EPA's water office Rick Scott threatens to delay national security nominees until Biden visits border Senate panel unanimously advances key Biden cyber nominees MORE (D-Del.) to discuss the American Jobs Plan. On Tuesday, Biden talked shop with Sen. Kyrsten SinemaKyrsten SinemaCentrists gain leverage over progressives in Senate infrastructure battle Democrats scramble to unify before election bill brawl The Hill's Morning Report - After high-stakes Biden-Putin summit, what now? MORE (D-Ariz.). Sinema said in a statement that she used the opportunity to “underscore bipartisan efforts” to pass legislation.  


Finally, on Thursday, Biden will meet with Sen. Shelley Moore CapitoShelley Wellons Moore CapitoOvernight Health Care: Takeaways on the Supreme Court's Obamacare decision | COVID-19 cost 5.5 million years of American life | Biden administration investing billions in antiviral pills for COVID-19 COVID-19 long-haulers press Congress for paid family leave Senate confirms Radhika Fox to lead EPA's water office MORE (W.Va.), the GOP author of the party’s $568 billion infrastructure offer, which Democrats dismiss as too miniscule. 


As The Hill’s Brett Samuels points out, the White House’s series of meetings comes as it puts pressure on lawmakers by laying out self-imposed deadlines for actions, specifically on immigration and policing reform. Biden has maintained that he wants a deal in an infrastructure package by Memorial Day. He also told a joint session of Congress two weeks ago that he hopes to sign a policing bill into law by May 25 — the anniversary of George Floyd’s death. 


A bipartisan deal is possible, but it's highly unlikely to pass the House and Senate during the next few weeks.


Alexander Bolton, The Hill: Democratic fissures start to show after Biden's first 100 days. 


The Hill exclusive interview: Senate Finance Committee Chairman Ron WydenRonald (Ron) Lee WydenDemocrats introduce resolution apologizing to LGBT community for government discrimination Lawmakers rally around cyber legislation following string of attacks Five takeaways on the Supreme Court's Obamacare decision MORE (D-Ore.) says that it would be a “big mistake” to pay for an infrastructure package through a gas tax increase instead of through raising taxes on corporations. “It just seems to be a big mistake to go there when corporate [tax] revenue is down something like 40 percent in the last few years.”


Niall Stanage: The Memo: GOP attacks bounce off Biden.



Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.)



Across Washington, the House Republican Conference is set to overwhelmingly vote to remove Cheney from her position as the chairwoman amid complaints over her criticisms of former President TrumpDonald TrumpWhite House denies pausing military aid package to Ukraine Poll: 30 percent of GOP voters believe Trump will 'likely' be reinstated this year Black Secret Service agent told Trump it was offensive to hold rally in Tulsa on Juneteenth: report MORE and that she is looking too much in the rearview mirror as Republicans focus on retaking the House next year. 


The vote will take place as part of the House GOP’s weekly meeting at 9 a.m. According to one House Republican, Cheney is expected to win the support of only 20 to 60 GOP members. The low level of support is a far cry from more than three months ago when the No. 3 House Republican soundly beat back an attempt to oust her from the position, 145 to 61. 


The House GOP member added that a subsequent vote to install Rep. Elise StefanikElise Marie StefanikWhite House denies pausing military aid package to Ukraine Canadian ambassador calls for close coordination in handling of US border Five takeaways on the Supreme Court's Obamacare decision MORE (R-N.Y.) as conference chairwoman will take place either later this week or next week.


Ahead of this morning’s vote, Cheney defiantly spoke out on the House floor Tuesday night, charging that the decision by many within the GOP to enable Trump’s falsehoods about his election loss risked undermining American democracy. She maintained that she isn't backing down against the former president, even as she is expected to be discarded from her leadership post.


“Every one of us who has sworn the oath must act to prevent the unraveling of our democracy. This is not about policy. This is not about partisanship. This is about our duty as Americans,” Cheney said. 


“Remaining silent and ignoring the lie emboldens the liar,” Cheney continued. “I will not participate in that. I will not sit back and watch in silence while others lead our party down a path that abandons the rule of law, and joins the former president's crusade to undermine our democracy” (The Hill).


As The Hill’s Scott Wong and Mike Lillis write, the expected vote will have major political ramifications, as it will cement Cheney as the face of the anti-Trump movement in the party. For years, the effort was leaderless following the death of Sen. John McCainJohn Sidney McCainOvernight Energy: Lake Mead's decline points to scary water future in West | White House leads opposition to raising gas tax | Biden taps ex-New Mexico lawmaker for USDA post Lake Mead's decline points to scary water future in West Five takeaways from the Biden-Putin summit MORE (R-Ariz.). 


In a matter of months, Cheney has claimed that mantle, having been vocal about Trump’s repeated lies that the 2020 election was stolen and warning that the party must move on from Trump in its push to retake the lower chamber. However, Cheney is on an island as Republican after Republican line up behind the former president, raising questions about her future — namely, whether her political career will be the next thing to go. 


The New York Times: House Republicans prepare to oust a defiant Liz Cheney.


NBC News political analysis: Trump-backed anti-Cheney vote proves the only Republican ideology now is revenge.


The Hill: Schumer: “The big lie is spreading like a cancer” among the GOP.



Rep. Liz Cheney (R-Wyo.)



> Election reform: The Senate Rules Committee on Tuesday deadlocked on sweeping Democratic legislation to overhaul elections after an hours-long, often heated debate. 


The panel voted 9 to 9 on the For the People Act, a top priority for Democrats heading into the 2022 election. White the tie means Democrats aren't able to formally advance the bill to the floor, the party is expected to continue pressing ahead with what is considered a hallmark of its agenda this Congress.


“With respect and some earnest debate, I think a lot of people have learned things today. I hope that will guide as we go forward. ... We must get this bill passed,” Sen. Amy KlobucharAmy KlobucharDemocrats scramble to unify before election bill brawl Hillicon Valley: Big Tech critic Lina Khan named chair of the FTC | Lawmakers urge Biden to be tough on cyber during summit with Putin | TSA working on additional security regulations following Colonial Pipeline hack Big Tech critic Lina Khan named chair of the FTC MORE (D-Minn.), the chairwoman of the committee, said shortly before the vote. “This is not the last you will hear. ... This is the beginning.” 


The Associated Press: McConnell leads GOP attack on Democrats’ voting rights bill.


> Investigations: The Hill: The House Judiciary Committee and the Justice Department said Tuesday they reached an agreement, which they did not detail, as part of a two-year battle over a subpoena for testimony from former Trump White House counsel Don McGahn


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ADMINISTRATION & INTERNATIONAL: Biden on Tuesday received an update from his national security team about the violence in the Middle East, and his spokeswoman said his immediate concern is de-escalation. Dozens of people have been killed and hundreds have been injured during days of rocket attacks and airstrikes. It’s the worst fighting in seven years.


Psaki said Israel has a legitimate right to defend itself from Hamas rockets. But in remarks about Israel’s treatment of Palestinians, she said Jerusalem “must be a place of coexistence.”


The U.S., she said, condemned attacks by Hamas and other groups, including attacks on Jerusalem, and that Biden's support for “Israel's security, for its legitimate right to defend itself and its people, is fundamental and will never waver” (The Hill).


The Associated Press: Just after daybreak Wednesday, Israel unleashed dozens of new airstrikes in the course of a few minutes, targeting police and security installations, witnesses said (pictured below). A wall of dark gray smoke rose over Gaza City. Escalating Mideast violence bears the hallmarks of the 2014 Gaza war. 


According to a statement, Secretary of State Antony BlinkenAntony BlinkenKim says North Korea needs to be 'prepared' for 'confrontation' with US The Senate just passed the next Apollo program Young Turks founder on Democratic establishment: 'They lie nonstop' MORE emphasized to Israeli Foreign Minister Gabi Ashkenazi by phone on Tuesday “the need for Israelis and Palestinians to be able to live in safety and security, as well as enjoy equal measures of freedom, security, prosperity, and democracy.”


Prime Minister Benjamin NetanyahuBenjamin (Bibi) NetanyahuMORE on Tuesday said an Israeli military operation dealt a tough blow to Gaza militants but is warning that the fighting will continue for some time. In a nationally televised speech, he said Hamas and Islamic Jihad “have paid, and I tell you here, will pay a heavy price.” He said Israel will press ahead with an intensified operation, but said “it will take time” to complete the mission (The Associated Press).


Fox News: Senate Foreign Relations Committee member John Barrasso (R-Wyo.) said on Tuesday that the Biden administration wants to send money to the Palestinians, a policy he opposes. “This money will be used for terrorism, and it looks to me like it’s doing that right now,” he said. 


The New York Times: Violence in Israel challenges Biden’s “stand back” approach. 



Black smoke billows after a series of Israeli airstrikes targeted Khan Yunis in the southern Gaza strip



> Fuel supply shortages resulting from the Colonial Pipeline ransomware attack and shutdown have sparked a run on gasoline by drivers on the East Coast. The shutdown, which may ease by the end of the week, is particularly worrisome for Southeastern states, including North and South Carolina, Virginia and Georgia (Atlanta line, below) — states with fewer fuel sources than states farther up the Atlantic Coast (The Wall Street Journal)


Shortages have also hit airlines at a time when the industry is just beginning to emerge from the coronavirus recession. Seven airports in the eastern part of the country rely on the pipeline, prompting some carriers to alter routes as a way to use less jet fuel. And while Colonial is optimistic that its operations will return to normal later this week, an extended disruption could force airlines to consider passing the added costs along to passengers in the form of higher airfares heading into the summer travel season, The Hill’s Alex Gangitano writes.


The Biden administration and lawmakers are reexamining security in place for critical oil and gas utilities, reports The Hill’s Maggie Miller. The shutdown of the pipeline that provides 45 percent of the East Coast's oil may have been made worse by the relative lack of federal oversight of pipelines compared with other utilities, according to some current and former officials. 


Reuters: U.S. fuel supplies tighten.


The Washington Post: Gas prices jump, fuel shortages in the Southeast.



Cars line up at a QuickTrip on May 11, 2021 in Atlanta, Georgia



> U.S. nuclear policy: Biden’s position on scrapping, replacing or refurbishing the 50-year-old Minuteman nuclear missile is unclear, reports The Associated Press. The Minuteman has been armed and ready for nuclear war on a moment’s notice for half a century. It has never been launched into combat from its underground silo, but this year it became the prime target in a wider political battle over the condition and cost of the nation’s nuclear arsenal. Decisions could influence how U.S. allies in Europe and Asia view the reliability of America’s nuclear “umbrella” — the security net that has allowed most of them to forgo developing nuclear weapons of their own. Some argue that it could make the difference between war and peace in an era of rising Chinese military power.


> Domestic extremists: Attorney General Merrick GarlandMerrick GarlandHouse Judiciary asks DOJ to disclose remaining gag orders The Hill's Morning Report - After high-stakes Biden-Putin summit, what now? Biden frustrates death penalty opponents with Supreme Court request MORE and Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro MayorkasAlejandro MayorkasCanadian ambassador calls for close coordination in handling of US border Harris signals a potential breakthrough in US-Mexico cooperation DeSantis: Florida officers to respond to 'border security crisis' in Texas, Arizona MORE will testify today about the administration's efforts to crack down on domestic extremism as Congress is scrutinizing law enforcement's actions in the lead-up to as well as in the aftermath of the Capitol riot (The Hill). … In related news, House Democrats are eyeing a vote as soon as next week on the formation of an independent 9/11-style commission to investigate the Jan. 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol (The Hill).


> From White House aide to investment banker to House lawmaker to POTUS chief to Chicago mayor to TV political contributor — to ambassador? Biden is expected later this month to nominate Rahm Emanuel to serve as the U.S. ambassador to Japan, The Associated Press reported


CORONAVIRUS: The White House and U.S. public health experts are increasingly optimistic that even without assurances of herd immunity in the near term, the United States is turning a corner in the pandemic. The country on Monday recorded its lowest seven-day average since July of deaths caused by the coronavirus. Fifty-eight percent of the adult population has received at least one dose of COVID-19 vaccine. Americans by and large say they are eager for a return to normalcy, including for travel, office work and the resumption of in-person learning in schools. The Hill’s Justine Coleman and Peter Sullivan report the challenge of banking progress while still trying to reach people who remain unvaccinated or skeptical about the risks of illness.  


Only 11 percent of those who have not been vaccinated for COVID-19 say they will definitely do so, according to a poll from The Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research released on Tuesday. A majority of 54 percent said the country is heading in the right direction, a stark improvement from December, when 63 percent of respondents said the United States was headed in the wrong direction.


The president set an ambitious July Fourth inoculation target of 70 percent of U.S. adults and understands that the pace of COVID-19 vaccinations has fallen off since earlier this spring. Eager to address the challenge of transportation for Americans who are willing to be vaccinated, Biden said on Tuesday that ride-hailing companies Uber and Lyft will provide rides to and from vaccination sites free of charge (The Associated Press). 


Biden met virtually with a bipartisan group of governors Tuesday to share best practices for encouraging Americans to roll up their sleeves. “We have to make it easier and more convenient for all Americans to get vaccinated,” Biden said as he met with Utah Gov. Spencer Cox, Massachusetts Gov. Charlie Baker and Ohio Gov. Mike DeWineMike DeWineOhio GOP governor comes out against controversial state anti-vaccine bill Overnight Health Care: Biden says US donation of 500 million vaccines will 'supercharge' global virus fight | Moderna asks FDA to clear COVID-19 vaccine for adolescents FDA extends shelf life of J&J vaccine amid concern over expiring doses MORE, all Republicans, as well as Democratic Govs. Michelle Lujan GrishamMichelle Lynn Lujan GrishamNew Mexico launching vaccine sweepstakes with M in prizes The Hill's Morning Report - Presented by Facebook - Cheney poised to be ousted; Biden to host big meeting Biden vows to get 'more aggressive' on lifestyle benefits of vaccines MORE of New Mexico, Janet MillsJanet MillsMaine offering ,500 payments to people on unemployment who go back to work The Hill's Morning Report - Presented by Facebook - Cheney poised to be ousted; Biden to host big meeting Biden vows to get 'more aggressive' on lifestyle benefits of vaccines MORE of Maine and Tim WalzTim WalzMinnesota offering state fair tickets, fishing licenses to promote coronavirus vaccines Overnight Health Care: States begin lifting mask mandates after new CDC guidance | Walmart, Trader Joe's will no longer require customers to wear masks | CDC finds Pfizer, Moderna vaccines 94 percent effective in health workers Minnesota House votes to legalize marijuana MORE of Minnesota.


> Many virologists and public health physicians anticipate that COVID-19 booster shots will become routine in the future, depending on what scientists learns about lingering immunity from vaccinations and the impact of variants of the coronavirus. David Kessler, former Food and Drug Administration commissioner and chief science officer of the White House COVID-19 response team, told senators on Tuesday that any such shots would be free to Americans, as are initial inoculations (CNBC).


The new director of the Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority, Gary Disbrow, tells The Hill’s Reid Wilson in an exclusive interview that he believes COVID-19 vaccines will become as commonplace as flu shots or other regular vaccines.


> Schools: The New York City Department of Education will NOT require pupils to get vaccinated before the upcoming school year, Mayor Bill de BlasioBill de BlasioAdams, Wiley lead field in NYC mayoral primary: poll New York City moving thousands of people from hotels back to shelters The Hill's Morning Report - Dems to go-it-alone on infrastructure as bipartisan plan falters MORE (D) said Tuesday. The declaration came the day after both the CUNY and SUNY systems announced that students would have to receive the COVID-19 shot before enrolling in the fall. “We look forward to welcoming back every single student,” de Blasio said at his daily briefing. “I think you’ll see a lot of students and a lot of staff vaccinated by then. But I think that’s the right way to go about it.” The mayor was asked if there were any parallels to be drawn with other vaccines that are required to enroll youngsters in schools, including measles shots. “I talked about it with the health team,” he said. “We just don’t think it’s the right way to go at this moment.” He added that he’s open to “making adjustments” as the situation evolves (New York Post).


> Relaxing restraints: Philadelphia next week plans to ease more COVID-19 restrictions. Beginning May 21, there will no longer be density limits in retail stores, museums, libraries and offices. Employers can welcome employees back indoors if they choose (CBS Philly).


> Brazil on Tuesday halted vaccinations of pregnant women using the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine after a 35-year-old expectant mother died of a stroke shortly after being inoculated. A Health Ministry official said that the move was precautionary while authorities investigated the incident (Reuters).


> Senators vs. federal experts: Sen. Rand PaulRandal (Rand) Howard PaulSenate confirms Biden pick for No. 2 role at Interior Rand Paul does not support a national minimum wage increase — and it's important to understand why Fauci to Chelsea Clinton: The 'phenomenal amount of hostility' I face is 'astounding' MORE (R-Ky.), an eye doctor who contracted COVID-19, on Tuesday clashed with Anthony FauciAnthony FauciThe Hill's Morning Report - ObamaCare here to stay Overnight Health Care: Takeaways on the Supreme Court's Obamacare decision | COVID-19 cost 5.5 million years of American life | Biden administration investing billions in antiviral pills for COVID-19 Ex-Trump doctor turned GOP lawmaker wants Biden to take cognitive test MORE, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, over the origin of the coronavirus. It’s not the first time they’ve sparred (The Hill). … Sen. Susan CollinsSusan Margaret CollinsWhite House reiterates opposition to raising gas tax amid infrastructure debate Centrists gain leverage over progressives in Senate infrastructure battle Lawmakers rally around cyber legislation following string of attacks MORE (R-Maine), whose constituents in non-pandemic situations prosper from summer camp revenues, on Tuesday challenged Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Director Rochelle WalenskyRochelle WalenskyOvernight Health Care: Biden touts 300 million vaccine doses in 150 days | Biden warns of 'potentially deadlier' delta variant | Public option fades with little outcry from progressives Biden warns of 'potentially deadlier' delta variant, urges public to get vaccine Watch live: White House COVID-19 response team holds briefing MORE, a physician trained in internal medicine and infectious diseases, to explain what Collins termed confusing and inconsistent COVID-19 guidance, including for summer camps (ABC News and C-SPAN).



A sign for a summer camp





POLITICS: The proliferation of controversial voting measures in state legislatures is adding another layer of uncertainty for Democrats as they brace for an already challenging political landscape in the 2022 midterms. 


As The Hill’s Max Greenwood writes, nearly a dozen states, including key battlegrounds such as Florida and Georgia, have already enacted new voting laws this year, with other states — including Texas — likely to do so in the coming weeks and months. The new measures, which Democrats maintain are intended to make voting more difficult, present just one more obstacle for Democrats heading into 2022, when they will have to defend their slim majorities in the House and Senate. 


The hurdle is among a number Democrats will have to overcome next year. On top of that, Republicans received a boost in the redistricting process, as multiple red states will add seats. Republicans also have history on their side, as the party out of power usually fares well during the midterm elections, with the GOP looking to 2010 and 2014, when it retook the House and Senate, respectively. 



Georgia voting stickers



> 2022 watch: In Pennsylvania, Republicans are staring down a highly competitive Senate primary fight, with Trump expected to play a starring role as candidates seek to position themselves in the race. 


Sean Parnell, a top contender for the party nomination to replace Sen. Pat ToomeyPatrick (Pat) Joseph ToomeyBlack women look to build upon gains in coming elections Watch live: GOP senators present new infrastructure proposal Sasse rebuked by Nebraska Republican Party over impeachment vote MORE (R-Pa.), officially announced his candidacy for the seat on Tuesday as the top tier of GOP options takes shape. Multiple sources tell The Hill’s Julia Manchester and Al Weaver that Parnell, real estate developer Jeff Bartos and former ambassador to Denmark Carla Sands are emerging as the preeminent options for the party as it looks to hold the seat. 


Parnell, who is close with Donald Trump Jr., lost by 2 points to Rep. Conor Lamb (D-Pa.) in November, and Sands, who has yet to announce her bid, have the closest proximity to Trump, potentially giving them a leg up. Pennsylvania insiders tell The Hill that while Trump lost the state in November, the former president’s economic message continues to ring true with Republican voters in the state. 


“He’s by no means toxic in any way. It was a very tight election in the state,” said Matt Beynon, a former adviser to former presidential candidate Sen. Rick Santorum (R-Pa.). “Both he and the policies that he advocated are going to likely be front and center again this cycle.” 


Axios: Rep. Stephanie MurphyStephanie MurphyOvernight Health Care: US buying additional 200M Moderna vaccine doses | CureVac's COVID-19 vaccine failed in preliminary trial results | Grassley meets with House Dems on drug prices Grassley meets with moderate House Democrats on lowering drug prices Demings raises Democrats' hopes in uphill fight to defeat Rubio MORE (D-Fla.) announcing challenge to Sen. Marco RubioMarco Antonio RubioWhite House denies pausing military aid package to Ukraine The Hill's Morning Report - ObamaCare here to stay Lawmakers rally around cyber legislation following string of attacks MORE (R-Fla.).


The New York Times: A federal judge on Tuesday tossed out the National Rifle Association’s bankruptcy case, its attempt to evade a legal challenge from New York regulators. New York’s attorney general is seeking to shutter the gun rights group amid a corruption investigation.

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! 


Israelis, Palestinians and their neighbors worry: Is this the Big One? by Thomas Friedman, opinion columnist, The New York Times. https://nyti.ms/3hj4fG9


Without more work, Biden’s tax plans don’t compute, by Bloomberg Opinion editorial board. https://bloom.bg/3y5R0OX


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The House meets at 10 a.m.


The Senate will convene at 10 a.m. and resume consideration of the nomination of Chiquita Brooks-LaSure to serve as the administrator for the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services.


The president will receive the President’s Daily Brief at 9:30 a.m. Biden and Vice President Harris will meet at 11 a.m. with Speaker Nancy PelosiNancy PelosiOvernight Energy: Lake Mead's decline points to scary water future in West | White House leads opposition to raising gas tax | Biden taps ex-New Mexico lawmaker for USDA post Trump against boycotting Beijing Olympics in 2022 House Democrats' campaign arm raises almost million in May MORE (D-Calif.), Senate Majority Leader Charles SchumerChuck SchumerFive takeaways on the Supreme Court's Obamacare decision Senate confirms Chris Inglis as first White House cyber czar Schumer vows to only pass infrastructure package that is 'a strong, bold climate bill' MORE (D-N.Y.), McConnell and House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthyKevin McCarthyHouse Democrats' campaign arm raises almost million in May Five takeaways on the Supreme Court's Obamacare decision Environmental groups urge congressional leaders to leave climate provisions in infrastructure package MORE (R-Calif.) in the Oval Office to discuss bipartisan priorities for the months ahead. Biden at 3:30 p.m. delivers remarks on the administration’s COVID-19 response and vaccination program.


The White House press briefing is scheduled at noon.


Economic indicator: The Bureau of Labor Statistics at 8:30 a.m. reports on the U.S. consumer price index in April. Prices are expected to post their largest annual increase in nearly a decade.


INVITATION TODAY: The Hill Virtually Live hosts “The Future of Mobility Summit at 12:30 p.m. with a standout roster of speakers, including major corporate CEOs, Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti, Charlotte, N.C., Mayor Vi Lyles and Missouri Rep. Sam GravesSamuel (Sam) Bruce GravesGOP lawmaker points to Colonial Pipeline as infrastructure vulnerability Gas shortages spread to more states Republicans welcome the chance to work with Democrats on a bipartisan infrastructure bill MORE, the top Republican on the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee. Register HERE to join a conversation about the intersection of technology and transportation and how technology advances in mobility can be supported by policymakers at the local, state and federal levels.


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


NEWS MEDIA: Sally Buzbee, 55, senior vice president and executive editor of The Associated Press, was named Tuesday as executive editor of The Washington Post, succeeding the recently retired Marty Baron. As AP’s top editor since 2017, Buzbee has directed AP’s journalism through the COVID-19 pandemic, Donald Trump’s presidency, the #MeToo movement, Brexit, protests over racial injustice and the 2020 U.S. election. Her emphasis on live coverage of breaking news events in all formats, augmented by deep enterprise reporting, has helped yield top awards, including Pulitzer Prizes in feature photography and international reporting, along with six other Pulitzer finalists. Buzbee, 55, previously served as the agency’s Washington bureau chief and before that was Middle East editor, among many other positions in an AP career stretching back to 1988. At the Post, Buzbee succeeds the widely revered Baron, who had led the Post since 2013, guiding the news organization’s resurgence under the ownership of Amazon founder Jeff BezosJeffrey (Jeff) Preston BezosOvernight Energy: Lake Mead's decline points to scary water future in West | White House leads opposition to raising gas tax | Biden taps ex-New Mexico lawmaker for USDA post On The Money: Centrists gain leverage over progressives in Senate infrastructure battle | White House rules out gas tax hike Democrats have turned solidly against gas tax MORE. Baron retired earlier this year at age 66 (The Associated Press).


GENETIC SCIENCE: A gene therapy that makes use of an unlikely helper, the AIDS virus, gave a working immune system to 48 babies and toddlers who were born without one, doctors reported on Tuesday. Results show that all but two of the 50 children who were given the experimental therapy in a study now have healthy germ-fighting abilities (The Associated Press).


HORSE RACING: Kentucky Derby winner Medina Spirit was treated with an antifungal ointment containing the steroid betamethasone that caused the horse to fail a postrace drug test, trainer Bob Baffert said Tuesday. In a statement issued by his lawyer, Baffert said Medina Spirit was treated for dermatitis with the ointment once a day leading up to the May 1 race. Regardless of the reason, Medina Spirit would be disqualified from the Derby if a second round of testing shows the presence of betamethasone. Derby runner-up Mandaloun would be elevated to winner. It is unknown how long Kentucky officials will take to determine whether the results of the Derby should stand or will change (ESPN). Medina Spirit is still expected to compete in the Preakness Stakes on Saturday, entering the field as a heavy 9-5 favorite (The Washington Post). 



Medina Spirit



And finally … A yawning, seemingly relaxed bear climbed utility poles and sat on power lines in Arizona near Mexico on Sunday. It eventually departed, and no one was hurt, but the news photos seemed perfect for today’s Morning Report (The Associated Press)



Bear climbs utility pole near Arizona/Mexico border