The Hill's Morning Report - Presented by Uber - One year later — has George Floyd's killing changed the world?

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Total U.S. coronavirus deaths reported each morning this week: Monday, 589,893; Tuesday, 590,533. 



More than a month ago, President BidenJoe BidenThe Supreme Court and blind partisanship ended the illusion of independent agencies Missed debt ceiling deadline kicks off high-stakes fight Senate infrastructure talks spill over into rare Sunday session MORE assured George Floyd’s young daughter, Gianna, that her father’s killing left a positive mark on the nation.

 

A grassroots movement had gained traction. Jurors convicted a white Minneapolis police officer of killing Floyd. Lawmakers in both parties vowed to enact reforms to try to halt more deaths of Black men stopped and confronted by law enforcement officers.

 

“She said to me, and I’ll never forget it, ‘Daddy changed the world,’” the president said just weeks ago. “I told her this afternoon, ‘Daddy did change the world.’ … Let that be his legacy” (NBC’s “Today”).

 

A year after Floyd was killed, the president today will meet privately in the Oval Office with Floyd’s relatives following months of entreaties to the nation and Congress to take action to deliver change. But as The Hill’s Marty Johnson reports, aspirations for racial equality and reforms inside U.S. police departments are proving difficult to deliver. 

 

At least 225 Black people have been killed by police since Floyd’s killing (Newsweek and Mapping Police Violence). 

 

The Hill: Black parents are on edge a year after Floyd’s murder.

 

One example of the challenge is the Senate’s slow movement on the George Floyd Justice in Policing Act, passed by the House in March. The renewed public focus on the bill this week compelled congressional negotiators to dictate a positive statement (The Hill).

 

“While we are still working through our differences on key issues, we continue to make progress toward a compromise and remain optimistic,” said three lawmakers who are leading the negotiations: Sens. Cory BookerCory BookerWomen urge tech giants to innovate on office return Human rights can't be a sacrificial lamb for climate action Senate Democrats press administration on human rights abuses in Philippines MORE (D-N.J.), Tim ScottTimothy (Tim) Eugene ScottTrump helps raise million in first six months of 2021 Senate passes bill to award Congressional Gold Medal to first Black NHL player Scott: 'There is hope' for police reform bill MORE (R-S.C.) and Rep. Karen BassKaren Ruth BassScott: 'There is hope' for police reform bill Biden: Republicans who say Democrats want to defund the police are lying Omar leads lawmakers in calling for US envoy to combat Islamophobia MORE (D-Calif.) (pictured below).

 

Biden wants the Senate to break its partisan logjam. Republicans want to keep in place the legal shield against civil lawsuits known as qualified immunity, which protects police officers. Lifting immunity in order to make law enforcement officers legally accountable for their actions is a chief goal within the policing reform movement (The Hill). 

 

 

 

 

The Hill’s Julia Manchester reports that Democrats are working ahead of next year’s midterm contests to better communicate to voters about reforming policing at the same time that crime rates have soared in major cities around the country. Republicans assail the majority party for what they describe as an ambition to “defund” the police, which Biden and moderate Democrats deny. Local and state races this year could preview how the issues play at the ballot box. A March poll found that 18 percent of those surveyed supported “defunding police” while 58 percent opposed the idea (The Hill).



A MESSAGE FROM UBER

 

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LEADING THE DAY

ADMINISTRATION: Seeking to support next steps toward peace after a cease-fire between Israel and the Palestinians, Biden on Monday dispatched Secretary of State Antony BlinkenAntony BlinkenBiden ramps up pressure on Iran as it grapples with protests Bipartisan governors press Biden administration on Canadian border restrictions More than 180 local employees working at US embassy, consulates in Russia laid off MORE to the Mideast for meetings (The Associated Press). 

 

The White House said later that Biden had spoken with Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi, one of several leaders Blinken will meet with on his trip, to underscore the importance of getting assistance to Gaza. 

 

Blinken is in Israel today and held a joint event with Prime Minister Benjamin NetanyahuBenjamin (Bibi) NetanyahuMORE, pledging the United States will make “significant contributions” to rebuilding Gaza (CNN). The secretary will also visit the West Bank, Jordan and Egypt during his Mideast tour.

 

Separately on Sunday, White House national security adviser Jake SullivanJake SullivanTop Biden adviser: Passing infrastructure deal is 'urgent national security imperative' The Hill's Morning Report - Presented by Facebook - Officers recount the horror of Jan. 6 Biden walks fine line with Fox News MORE was in Geneva for a meeting with national security adviser Moeed Yusuf of Pakistan.

 

> Biden visited the Federal Emergency Management Agency on Monday and said he is doubling the amount of money the government will spend helping communities prepare for extreme weather events while launching a new effort at NASA to collect more sophisticated climate data. While the $1 billion in funding through the Building Resilient Infrastructure and Communities (BRIC) program is a fraction of what taxpayers spend each year on recovering from disasters, it underscores a broader effort to account for the damage wrought by climate change and curb it. Under current law the administration could direct up to $3.7 billion to the BRIC program (The Washington Post).

 

> The president is poised to make telework a permanent policy and allow more federal employees than ever to work from home, reports The Washington Post.

 

 

 

 

The Washington Post: Biden sticks with daily routines, including orange Gatorade and family-first priorities.

 

*****

 

CONGRESS: The White House on Monday indicated that it is “eager” to continue bipartisan talks on a potential infrastructure package despite there being less than a week until the White House’s soft deadline for an agreement and chances of a deal having diminished in recent days. 

 

“The ball is in Republicans’ court. We are eager to engage and even have them down here to the White House once we see that counter proposal,” White House press secretary Jen PsakiJen PsakiMeghan McCain: Democrats 'should give a little credit' to Trump for COVID-19 vaccine House adjourns for recess without passing bill to extend federal eviction ban Hunter Biden blasts those criticizing price of his art: 'F--- 'em' MORE told reporters on Monday, adding that it is premature for Democrats to prepare to use reconciliation to pass a bill. “We’re not quite there.”

 

Late last week, Democrats revised their infrastructure offer to $1.7 trillion, down roughly $550 billion from their previous offer. However, it was not enough to tempt Republicans, who continue to offer a package that is a fraction of the Democratic proposal. 

 

Sen. Chris CoonsChris Andrew CoonsBottom line Kavanaugh conspiracy? Demands to reopen investigation ignore both facts and the law Key Biden ally OK with dropping transit from infrastructure package MORE (D-Del.), a close Biden ally who is also a proponent of passing a scaled down infrastructure package, believes this month is the time to strike on any deal, despite where talks stand at the moment. Instead, lawmakers will try to move the bipartisan infrastructure package that passed out of the Environment and Public Works Committee two years ago unanimously. It will be a default bipartisan bill but will be worth only $300 billion (The Hill).

 

Axios: Infrastructure judgment day expected after Senate recess.

 

Politico: “Time to move on”: Infrastructure talks near collapse.

 

The New York Times: State revenues pour in, raising pressure on Biden to divert federal aid.

 

However, the focus remains on a larger package. Transportation Secretary Pete ButtigiegPete ButtigiegSunday shows preview: Delta concerns prompt CDC mask update; bipartisan infrastructure bill to face challenges in Senate Chasten Buttigieg: DC 'almost unaffordable' JD Vance takes aim at culture wars, childless politicians MORE, part of the administration’s team trying to sell the American Jobs Plan, told CNN on Monday that there remains “a lot of daylight” between the White House and Republican senators in ongoing negotiations regarding a potential bipartisan agreement on infrastructure. 

 

“The president feels strongly that we should seek to do this in a bipartisan manner [but] not at any cost. As he often says, inaction is not an option, and there is a real sense of urgency to move quickly, but we’ve been having, I think, productive and honest, frank conversations with at least one group of Republican senators who put forth their idea,” Buttigieg said.

 

“We started out very far apart. We’ve moved closer. … There is still a lot of daylight between us. That’s how negotiations work. We want to continue speaking with them. We’ll see what they come back with and whether we have something we can work with or not,” he added (The Hill).

 

The Associated Press: As deadlines slip, Biden agenda faces crucial assessment.

 

The Hill: Filibuster fight looms over Jan. 6 commission.

 

Gerald F. Seib: The consequences of not creating a Jan. 6 Capitol riot commission.

 

The Hill: Sen. Mitt RomneyWillard (Mitt) Mitt RomneyThe Hill's 12:30 Report - Presented by Facebook - US gymnast wins all-around gold as Simone Biles cheers from the stands The Hill's Morning Report - Presented by Facebook - A huge win for Biden, centrist senators The 17 Republicans who voted to advance the Senate infrastructure bill MORE (R-Utah) first GOP senator to say he would vote for Jan. 6 commission bill.

 

The Washington Post: Senate Democrats introduce legislation to ban political committees from using prechecked donation boxes.

 

 

 



IN FOCUS/SHARP TAKES

CORONAVIRUS: How has Japan, a major developed nation and member of the Group of Seven, lagged so badly behind its peers when it comes to COVID-19 vaccine administration and the rate of coronavirus transmission? The question is front and center as the nation plays catch-up in a last-ditch effort to ensure the Tokyo Olympics go off as scheduled in less than two months. 

 

The public health concerns continued on Monday but this time from abroad as the State Department warns Americans against traveling to Japan. A notice on the agency's website stated that a "high level" of COVID-19 was present in the country and urged Americans to avoid nonessential travel. 

 

“The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has issued a Level 4 Travel Health Notice for Japan due to COVID-19, indicating a very high level of COVID-19 in the country. There are restrictions in place affecting U.S. citizen entry into Japan,” read the notice (The Hill).

 

The Tokyo Olympics are set to begin on July 23. 

 

While almost half of the U.S. has received at least one dose of COVID-19 vaccine, with almost 40 percent being fully vaccinated, Japan’s vaccination efforts have lagged far behind. As of Monday, only 5 percent of Japan’s total population has received a dose, while 2.1 percent has been fully vaccinated (Bloomberg News). 

 

In an attempt to vaccinate the masses, especially elderly individuals, the Japanese government opened two mass vaccination sites in Tokyo and Osaka that leaders hope will inoculate 10,000 and 5,000 people per day, respectively. Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga has set out to vaccinate the nation’s 36 million elderly people by the end of July amid questions of whether that is a realistic goal (The Associated Press). 

 

Japan late last week gave the green light to shots by Moderna and AstraZeneca (Kyodo News). Johnson & Johnson is also currently seeking approval for its jab in the country (U.S. News & World Report). 

 

Axios: Poll: Americans trust family, co-workers, friends to be honest about their COVID-19 vaccination status — and no one else. 

 

 

 

 

More coronavirus news: United Airlines announced on Monday that it is giving travelers a chance to win a year of free flights to anywhere in the world it flies in exchange for getting vaccinated against COVID-19 (The Hill) … In Ohio, the state’s incentive to vaccinate residents is paying off, as nearly 2.8 million individuals have signed up for the state’s Vax-a-Million vaccination incentive program. According to Ohio Gov. Mike DeWineMike DeWineSunday shows preview: Delta concerns prompt CDC mask update; bipartisan infrastructure bill to face challenges in Senate Bipartisan governors press Biden administration on Canadian border restrictions University of Michigan says all students, faculty, staff must be vaccinated by fall term MORE (R), vaccinations among 16- and 17-year-olds have jumped 94 percent, the 20-49 age group are up 55 percent, and 18- and 19-year-olds are up 46 percent (The Associated Press). … New York City Mayor Bill de BlasioBill de BlasioBiden hits resistance from unions on vaccine requirement Biden rolls dice by getting more aggressive on vaccines The Hill's Morning Report - Presented by Facebook - Biden sets new vaccine mandate as COVID-19 cases surge MORE declared on Monday that the city’s public school system will be in person and return to normal this fall, with no remote learning options for students (The Associated Press). … Alabama Gov. Kay IveyKay IveyRepublican governors revolt against CDC mask guidance Alabama mother says she regrets not getting vaccinated after losing son to COVID-19 Democrats question GOP shift on vaccines MORE (R) on Monday signed a bill banning private businesses and public institutions from requiring COVID-19 “vaccine passports.” The bill overwhelmingly passed the state legislature last week (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! 



OPINIONS

The inflation risk is real, by Lawrence H. Summers, contributing columnist, The Washington Post. https://wapo.st/3ujTrur 

 

It’s time to stop paying Americans to stay home, by Sen. Rob PortmanRobert (Rob) Jones PortmanBiden's bipartisan deal faces Senate gauntlet On The Money: Justice Department says Trump's tax returns should be released | Democrats fall short of votes for extending eviction ban Photos of the Week: Olympic sabre semi-finals, COVID-19 vigil and a loris MORE (R-Ohio), opinion contributor, Barron’s. https://bit.ly/3oL05J3 

 

The rise of woke anti-semitism, by Gerard Baker, editor at large, The Wall Street Journal. https://on.wsj.com/3oOogpH 



A MESSAGE FROM UBER

 

Meet Fallon. Delivering with Uber Eats helps her pay for college. “I like the flexibility of driving with Uber,” she says. “I can drive when I want to.”

 

*Driver earnings may vary depending on location, demand, hours, drivers, and other variables.

 

Learn more



WHERE AND WHEN

The House meets at noon for a pro forma session. Lawmakers resume legislative work in the Capitol next month.

 

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

 

The president and Vice President Harris will receive the President’s Daily Brief at 10:15 a.m. Biden and Harris will meet at 1:30 p.m. with the late George Floyd’s relatives in the Oval Office (closed to the press). The president will fly to Wilmington, Del., in the evening for an unspecified event extending several hours and then return to the White House tonight. 

 

Economic indicator: The U.S. Census Bureau at 10 a.m. reports on new home sales in April.

 

The White House press briefing is scheduled at 12:30 p.m. The administration coronavirus response team will brief reporters at 1:30 p.m.

   

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

INTERNATIONAL: Iran reached an agreement with the United Nations’s International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) on Monday to extend the use of surveillance cameras at Tehran's atomic sites for one additional month. The announcement comes just a day after a high-ranking Iranian politician indicated the use of cameras would not continue. According to IAEA Director-General Rafael Mariano Grossi, the decision came after last-minute discussions with Ali Akbar Salehi, the head of Iran's civilian nuclear program (The Hill). … The international uproar grew louder on Monday in protest against Belarus’s decision to pluck dissident journalist Roman Protasevich, 26, from a Ryanair flight on Sunday as it flew from Greece to Lithuania in order to place him under arrest. … The European Union agreed on Belarus sanctions, including banning its airlines from using the airspace and airports of the 27-nation bloc (The Associated Press). … Biden and his national security adviser in statements demanded Protasevich’s release and vowed the U.S. and European nations will hold Belarus “to account.” … Belarusian President Aleksandr Lukashenko personally ordered a MiG-29 jet fighter to escort the civilian plane to the Minsk airport. In a statement, Ryanair said the crew had been “notified by Belarus Air Traffic Control of a potential security threat on board and were instructed to divert to the nearest airport, Minsk.” Why did Lukashenko go to so much trouble? (DW.com).

 

 

 

 

STATE WATCH: Texas Democrats are anxiously awaiting word on whether former Rep. Beto O’Rourke (D-Texas) will launch a bid to challenge Gov. Greg Abbott (R) next year. A source told The Associated Press that while O’Rourke is mulling the possibility, he is taking no formal steps toward launching a campaign … In Florida, Rep. Stephanie MurphyStephanie MurphyLawmakers can't reconcile weakening the SALT cap with progressive goals Select committee member thanks officers who responded Jan. 6: 'You were our last line of defense' House erupts in anger over Jan. 6 and Trump's role MORE (D-Fla.) will not launch a bid to unseat Sen. Marco RubioMarco Antonio RubioSenate holds sleepy Saturday session as negotiators finalize infrastructure deal Break glass in case of emergency — but not for climate change Democrats join GOP in pressuring Biden over China, virus origins MORE (R-Fla.) and is expected to run for reelection in the House. The news comes on the heels of indications that Rep. Val DemingsValdez (Val) Venita DemingsThe Hill's Morning Report - Surging COVID-19 infections loom over US, Olympics Six takeaways: What the FEC reports tell us about the midterm elections Cuba, Haiti pose major challenges for Florida Democrats MORE (D-Fla.) will launch a Senate campaign instead of a gubernatorial bid, with Murphy saying in a statement that a nasty primary will do no one any good (Politico). … Biden on Monday signed the Alaska Tourism Restoration Act, allowing cruise ships to return to the state this year (gcaptain.com). … Texas is set to allow people to carry handguns with no license, background check or training. Law enforcement and gun control groups object to the new measure, which is expected to be signed into law by Gov. Greg Abbott (R) (The Associated Press). 

 

SUPREME COURT: Justices on Monday declined to take up a case over whether to make it easier to hold municipalities liable for civil rights violations committed by their police, rejecting an appeal involving a man fatally shot by an officer in Ohio (Reuters).



THE CLOSER

And finally …  In some states, it is now black bear hunting season, and baiting is one of the most popular methods of hunting black bears throughout the United States and Canada. If hunters can use animal carcasses, cooking grease, peanut butter and forms of engineered bait to lure their prey, is there anything that’s off limits?

 

In Florida, some wild bears recently won their day in court when a man and his wife pleaded guilty to exploiting the animals’ weakness for doughnuts and pastries to lure them from their habitat in Ocala National Park to be tortured for video entertainment by releasing trained dogs and then posting the macabre attack scenes online. Local authorities arrested the couple and charged them with conspiracy to commit racketeering, animal baiting and fighting, and unlawful taking of a black bear. The husband faces the possibility of two years in prison (News18, The Daily Beast).

 

Hoorah for the bears.