The Hill's Morning Report - Presented by Facebook - Biden, Harris take US goals abroad

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Welcome to The Hill’s Morning Report. It is Monday! 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 reported this morning: Monday, 597,628.


As of this morning, 51.5 percent of the U.S. population has received at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine and 41.9 percent is fully vaccinated, according to the Bloomberg News global vaccine tracker.

President Biden and Vice President Harris will embark this week on their first and separate international trips since taking office, moving the short-term spotlight off the administration’s domestic spending agenda to some of the most intractable challenges abroad, including an ongoing pandemic, global economic policies, international cyberattacks and migration challenges.


The president will meet on Thursday with British Prime Minister Boris Johnson before the start of the three-day Group of Seven (G-7) seaside summit in Cornwall, England, which begins Friday. Biden and first lady Jill BidenJill BidenBiden meets Queen Elizabeth for first time as president Overnight Health Care: FDA says millions of J&J doses from troubled plant must be thrown out | WHO warns Africa falling far behind in vaccinations | Top CDC official says US not ready for next pandemic The Hill's 12:30 Report - Presented by Facebook - Sights and sounds from Biden's UK visit MORE will meet with Queen Elizabeth II on Sunday at Windsor Castle before the president departs for Brussels to meet with NATO leaders for bilateral discussions, winding up in Geneva on June 16 for what is expected to be a contentious summit with Russian President Vladimir PutinVladimir Vladimirovich PutinFormer Rep. Rohrabacher says he took part in Jan. 6 march to Capitol but did not storm building Biden looking to build momentum for Putin meeting Hillicon Valley: NATO members agree to new cyber defense policy | YouTube banning politics, elections in masthead ads | 50 groups urge Biden to fill FCC position to reinstate net neutrality rules MORE.


The challenge of cyberattacks for theft of information or for financial gain dominated Sunday talk shows, raising the ante for the G-7 and for Biden-Putin discussions. The White House says nothing is off the table when it comes to potential U.S. responses to Russia’s support for cyber crimes, ransomware and theft of U.S. government and commercial information using cyber breaches.


The Associated Press: A global war on ransomware? Hurdles hinder the U.S. response.


The Sunday shows: Sen. Lindsey GrahamLindsey Olin GrahamSenate confirms Garland's successor to appeals court Progressives want to tighten screws beyond Manchin and Sinema GOP senators applaud Biden for global vaccine donation plans MORE (R-S.C.): “It’s time for the Russians to pay a price” for cyberattacks.


The Hill: Energy Secretary Jennifer GranholmJennifer GranholmOVERNIGHT ENERGY: Haaland reportedly recommends full restoration of monuments Trump altered | EPA to reinstate air pollution panel disbanded under Trump | State appeals court upholds approval of Minnesota pipeline Hydrogen isn't as clean as it seems Overnight Energy: Biden seeks to reassert US climate leadership | President to 'repeal or replace' Trump decision removing protections for Tongass | Administration proposes its first offshore wind lease sale MORE: Adversaries have the capability of shutting down the U.S. power grid.


The Hill: Sen. Roy BluntRoy Dean BluntGOP Rep. Vicky Hartzler launches Missouri Senate bid Cryptocurrency industry lobbies Washington for 'regulatory clarity' Bipartisan group prepping infrastructure plan as White House talks lag MORE (R-Mo.): U.S. officials should regard Russia as a criminal state following recent cyberattacks. 



Vice President Harris



Harris, tasked by the president to tackle the “root causes” of migration, today and Tuesday has her own portfolio, scheduled to meet with leaders in Guatemala and Mexico amid political unrest in Latin America. 


The vice president’s departure on Sunday was briefly delayed after she and her traveling team were forced to switch planes after a landing gear storage issue forced the original aircraft to return to Joint Base Andrews as a precaution (The Hill).


The Hill’s Rafael Bernal and Morgan Chalfant report that Harris’s trip is intended to mark a U.S. reset with Latin America after four years of transactional, militarized migration enforcement under former President TrumpDonald TrumpDOJ asks Supreme Court to revive Boston Marathon bomber death sentence, in break with Biden vow Biden looking to build momentum for Putin meeting DOJ tells media execs that reporters were not targets of investigations MORE. Rhetorically, Harris's expressed vision is the polar opposite of that of the Trump administration, during which the Department of Homeland Security took an often-criticized lead role in regional diplomacy, forcing “safe third country agreements” on Central American countries. But political realities at home and abroad could push Harris to end up where Trump's envoys started: demanding more immigration enforcement in Mexico and Central America.


The Hill: A backlog in U.S. immigration courts threatens to stall Biden’s policy aims. 


The Hill: Biden, Harris break out of their careful COVID-19 bubbles in the United States to travel abroad this week. 


NPR: Harris may be the busiest woman in Washington.


The New York Times: U.S. aid to Central America has not slowed migration. Can Kamala HarrisKamala HarrisHarris highlights COVID-19 vaccination safety, efficacy in SC event to kick off tour Kamala Harris is still not ready for primetime (much less 2024) Lara Trump calls on Americans at border to 'arm up and get guns and be ready' MORE?



Migrants make their onto a bus after being apprehended near the border between Mexico and the United States in Del Rio, Texas



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CONGRESS: White House and congressional negotiators are staring down a key week for infrastructure talks, with officials hoping to make some progress as Biden prepares to begin his European itinerary with departure on Wednesday. 


A trio of Biden administration officials — Commerce Secretary Gina RaimondoGina RaimondoOn World Oceans Day, we need a sea change Biden administration launches supply chain task force to tackle disruptions On The Money: White House sees paths forward on infrastructure despite stalled talks | Biden battles Dem divides | FBI seizes bitcoin ransom paid by Colonial Pipeline MORE, Granholm and Transportation Secretary Pete ButtigiegPete ButtigiegButtigieg: Bipartisan deal on infrastructure 'strongly preferred' OVERNIGHT ENERGY: Biden ends infrastructure talks with key Republican | Colonial Pipeline CEO grilled over ransomware attack | Texas gov signs bills to improve power grid after winter storm Biden ends infrastructure talks with key Republican MORE — appeared on the Sunday shows to acknowledge daylight between the White House and Senate Republicans, but to lower expectations for an announcement of a firm strategy to move a measure through the Senate. Both sides continue to hold out hope that a bipartisan deal can be struck, with Biden and Sen. Shelley Moore CapitoShelley Wellons Moore CapitoGOP senator introduces constitutional amendment to ban flag burning Biden fails to break GOP 'fever' Pelosi: 'No intention' of abandoning Democrats' infrastructure goals MORE (R-W.Va.) set to speak again today. 


“This is not do or die,” Raimondo told ABC’s "This Week” of the upcoming week. “There’s no hard-wired deadline. … We won’t do this forever, but right now there are good-faith efforts on both sides, and we’re going to continue the work of doing our job and trying to get a bipartisan agreement.”


Today’s discussions between Biden and Capito take place after the president rejected the GOP’s latest offer last week, which boosted a $928 billion proposal by roughly $50 billion. The White House had slashed its initial $2.3 trillion price tag all the way down to $1 trillion last week, with how to pay for the package remaining a key sticking point. 


No matter, talks are plowing ahead. But officials warned that negotiations need to ramp up sooner rather than later. 


“This has got to be done soon,” Granholm told CNN’s “State of the Union,” declining to put a specific date on when a resolution is needed. 


Buttigieg said last week that a clear infrastructure strategy needed to be in place by today (CNN).


Bloomberg News: “Big week” is ahead for bipartisan stimulus talks, Raimondo says.


The Hill: Buttigieg: “Still lots of daylight” between GOP, White House on infrastructure.



Gina Raimondo



Sen. Joe ManchinJoe ManchinIn Congress, what goes on behind closed doors? Jayapal to Dems: Ditch bipartisanship, go it alone on infrastructure Harris discusses voting rights with advocates in South Carolina MORE (D-W.Va.) maintained on Sunday that a bipartisan deal is the avenue forward for the upper chamber rather than a reconciliation package featuring only Democratic votes. He added that he was “very, very confident” that would be the path ahead (The Hill). 


The Hill: Divisions remain on infrastructure as the clock ticks on a possible bipartisan deal.


The Sunday Shows: Infrastructure dominated discussion about U.S. domestic priorities.  


Bloomberg News: Biden’s chummy infrastructure push shows limit of personal touch.


> Voting rights: Manchin made waves on another topic on Sunday as he announced he will not support the For the People Act, the most significant voting rights legislation in a generation, all but dooming the bill in the Senate and defying his party and the White House after a near party-line approval in the House. Manchin is the sole Senate Democrat not to co-sponsor the measure.


“Voting and election reform that is done in a partisan manner will all but ensure partisan divisions continue to deepen,” he wrote in a home-state newspaper, the Charleston Gazette-Mail. “I believe that partisan voting legislation will destroy the already weakening binds of our democracy, and for that reason, I will vote against the For the People Act” (The Associated Press).


Manchin’s announcement, coupled with his repeated backing of the 60-vote threshold for legislation, exemplified the problems facing Senate Majority Leader Charles SchumerChuck SchumerIn Congress, what goes on behind closed doors? Senate Judiciary begins investigation into DOJ lawmaker subpoenas America needs a stable Israeli government MORE (D-N.Y.), who is staring down a key test to keep the Senate Democratic Conference unified in the coming months.


As The Hill’s Jordain Carney writes, Democrats are getting antsy with the lack of action emerging from the Senate and the likelihood that little of consequence (sans an infrastructure package) will emerge from the upper chamber. Success or failure by the Democratic leader this summer will allow the Biden agenda to sink or swim.


The Hill: Biden faces challenge with Democrats on infrastructure package.


The Wall Street Journal: Biden’s agenda takes on steep GOP resistance in the Senate.


The Hill: Police reform negotiations enter crucial stretch.


The Hill: Lawyers for Rep. Eric SwalwellEric Michael SwalwellHouse Judiciary to probe DOJ's seizure of data from lawmakers, journalists Outrage grows as Justice seeks to contain subpoena fallout Senate Judiciary begins investigation into DOJ lawmaker subpoenas MORE (D-Calif.) succeeded in serving a subpoena to Rep. Mo BrooksMorris (Mo) Jackson BrooksShelby backs ex-aide over Trump-favored candidate in Alabama Senate race GOP lawmaker deletes tweet that appeared to mistakenly reveal email password The Hill's Morning Report - Presented by Facebook - Biden, Harris take US goals abroad MORE (R-Ala.) in a lawsuit in which Swalwell accuses Brooks and other Trump allies of provoking the Jan. 6 attack on the Capitol.


POLITICS: The continued reemergence of large-scale gatherings across the U.S. is handing progressives another tool in their 2021 toolkit as grassroots activists are increasingly likely to turn to in-person events as a means of persuasion in the coming months. 


As The Hill’s Hanna Trudo writes, bills such as the For the People Act and other key progressive pieces of legislation are expected to spur the left into in-person action in the near future. Democrats are exploring ways to return to physical events, arguing that rallies can be used to show elected officials that there is real support behind these ideas. 


While many activists are itching to get out there, they must also grapple with the safety and optics of convening large crowds of people. However, the longer they wait, the longer they cede that ground to Republicans, as many activists on the right have shown little hesitation to reconvene en masse in recent months.


Elsewhere, Black female candidates are working to build on the political gains of 2020 and are training their sights on governors’ mansions, Capitol Hill and city halls in 2021 and 2022. As The Hill’s Julia Mancheser and Aris Folley report, a year after Harris exemplified those gains by becoming the first Black and South Asian woman to become vice president, Black women remain underrepresented in political offices up and down the ballot. But upcoming elections show they are working to change the dynamic and demonstrate the forces working against them.


The New York Times: Democratic report raises 2022 alarms on messaging and voter outreach. 


> GOP troubles: Problems continued over the weekend for key officeholders in Georgia as Gov. Brian KempBrian KempNorth Carolina county reverses course, ends coke machine ban MLB All-Star game to stay in Denver, judge rules MLB calls lawsuit over All-Star Game 'political theatrics' MORE (R) was booed and Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger (R) was censured by Georgia Republican Party convention-goers. 


According to The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, Kemp addressed the convention on Saturday, but at one point his speech was drowned out by boos so loud that press members covering the speech could not hear his remarks. Raffensperger, meanwhile, received a formal slap on the wrist as attendees censured him for “dereliction of his constitutional duty.” 


Politico: Trump unloaded on Georgia’s GOP governor. But Kemp is still standing. 


The Hill: Sen. Blunt: Trump should focus on 2022 elections instead of relitigating 2020.


The Associated Press: Trump’s grievances cloud Republican agenda heading into 2022. 



Gov. Brian Kemp (R-Ga.)



The issues facing the Georgia GOP pair also stem from another fact: that Trump isn’t going away anytime soon, especially as he reemerges with campaign speeches and public events that will keep the party on edge.


As The Hill’s Niall Stanage writes in his latest Memo, Trump plan centers on avoiding the slide into irrelevance that has befallen a number of out-of-office presidential losers in decades past. His insistence on being a front-and-center complicates matters for some within the party though as they have little desire to respond to what he says day to day, just as they did when he was in office. 


The Washington Post: Republican leaders say they want to focus on the future, but Trump is far from done with the past.


Reid Wilson, The Hill: Arizona is a microcosm of the battle for the GOP.


The Washington Post: How the national push by Trump allies to audit 2020 ballots started quietly in Pennsylvania.


The Hill: Pro-gun groups step up lobbying campaign against Biden Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives pick.




CORONAVIRUS: Biden and the administration’s pandemic response team gave the government weeks to juggle multiple goals that could determine how the public eventually sizes up federal competency and public health management. The president wants to see 70 percent of U.S. adults vaccinated against COVID-19 by what he candidly described as an arbitrary July 4 deadline approaching herd immunity while at the same time helping other countries with donated vaccine doses. The Hill’s Morgan Chalfant and Amie Parnes report on the challenges and urgency tied to both goals.


The Washington Post: Slowing rate of shots in the United States endangers Biden’s July Fourth target.


Meanwhile, public health authorities and human rights activists are pressuring the United States to do more. The Biden administration announced on Thursday that 25 million donated vaccine doses would be a down payment on 80 million doses over time, but global health experts say the largesse is a tiny fraction of worldwide needs. They call on the United States to help boost manufacturing capacities abroad, despite reluctance among some drug makers to go that route (The Hill).


The Wall Street Journal: The U.S. effort to help vaccinate the world is led by Jeffrey Zients, the coordinator of Biden’s coronavirus response. Trying to end a global pandemic primarily through vaccination and immunity is a slow, herculean task involving some 11 billion doses and jabs to about 70 percent of the planet’s population.


The New York Times: The rush to vaccinate the world stalls as funds and doses fall short.


The Hill: The United States will supply Taiwan with 750,000 COVID-19 vaccine doses, according to Sen. Tammy DuckworthLadda (Tammy) Tammy DuckworthConcerns grow over China's Taiwan plans China conducts amphibious landing drill near Taiwan after senators' visit US, Taiwan to discuss trade, investments, Blinken says MORE (D-Ill.).


The New York Times: The United States and Europe take different approaches to reopening as COVID-19 cases decline.


A Florida law that takes effect on July 1 will make it financially difficult for companies to require customers to be vaccinated against COVID-19, even if they are cruise ship companies that want to resume operations and have pledged stringent health requirements for all passengers and crew members, reports the Miami Herald. The Sunshine State says companies can be fined $5,000 each time they ask customers if they are vaccinated against the coronavirus, and as a result, Royal Caribbean International has changed its policy to make COVID-19 inoculations optional for all passengers.


The Miami Herald editorial board took Gov. Ron DeSantisRon DeSantisSunday shows preview: Biden foreign policy in focus as Dem tensions boil up back home Demings raises million after announcing Senate bid against Rubio Florida Board of Education bans critical race theory MORE (R) to task for publicly blaming the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention rather than what the opinion writers say is the “politics-above-all” attitude of the governor and “the badly conceived vaccine passport law.”


The New York Times: The South lags in the rate of inoculations. Public health experts worry that the region could see a summer surge in COVID-19 cases.



A sign advertising COVID-19 vaccines



The Associated Press: Summer school for many children is a side effect of COVID-19.

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! 


Politics in the time of corona, by Niall Ferguson, columnist, Bloomberg Opinion. https://bloom.bg/3fUwcD1 


Can the next mayor make New York safe again? by Mene Ukueberuwa, editorial writer, The Wall Street Journal. https://on.wsj.com/3fWrx3B 


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The House meets Tuesday at 10 a.m. for a pro forma session. Lawmakers resume legislative work in the Capitol on June 14.


The Senate meets at 3 p.m. and will resume consideration of the nomination of Julien Neals to be U.S. district judge for the District of New Jersey.


The president will receive the President’s Daily Brief at 9:50 a.m. He will meet at 4:30 p.m. with Jens Stoltenberg, NATO secretary general, at the White House.


The vice president will travel to Guatemala today and Mexico on Tuesday to discuss migrant and economic issues (Reuters). She will be interviewed today from Guatemala City by Lester Holt, anchor of NBC’s “Nightly News.”


The White House press briefing is scheduled at 12:30 p.m., accompanied by Jake SullivanJake SullivanNATO members agree to new cyber defense policy NATO tackling climate change for first time Biden emphasizes 'critically important' NATO alliance upon arrival at summit MORE, director of the National Security Council.


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


TECH: Facebook’s vice president of global affairs, Nick Clegg, said on Sunday that the two-year suspension of Trump from its platform was “justified” despite widespread criticisms of the decision. Clegg’s remarks came two days after Facebook said that it would uphold a suspension of Trump’s account at least until January 2023, after which it would evaluate whether the “risk to public safety” of restoring Trump's account has abated (The Hill). … Tech giants and offshore tax havens are the targets of a deal inked over the weekend by G7 finance ministers who are preparing for a leaders’ summit in the United Kingdom within days (Reuters). Their collective backing for a 15 percent minimum global tax rate would have to be approved by Congress with GOP support (The Washington Post). … Google agreed to make changes to some of its widely-used online advertising services under an unprecedented settlement with France's antitrust watchdog released today (Reuters).


INTERNATIONAL: Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin NetanyahuBenjamin (Bibi) NetanyahuMORE took a page from Trump’s playbook, saying on Sunday that the newly formed Israeli coalition set to end his 12-year reign is a product of “the greatest election fraud” in the history of democracy. Naftali Bennett, who is on the verge of replacing Netanyahu, called on the longtime leader not to depart his post in a "scorched earth" fashion, noting that “people are allowed to establish a government, even if you don't head it” (Reuters).


SUPREME COURT: Justices are being asked to decide whether a government requirement that men register for the draft at age 18 is gender discrimination. The Supreme Court could say as soon as today whether it will hear a case involving the Military Selective Service Act, which requires men to register for a draft, should there be one in the future (The Associated Press).


NEWS MEDIA: Biden has publicly pledged to support a U.S. free press and has castigated the Trump administration’s use of the Justice Department to secretly seek journalists’ phone and email records through the courts, calling it “wrong.” But Washington Post publisher Fred Ryan on Sunday slammed the Biden Justice Department  for its imposition of a gag order on New York Times executives and continued efforts to seek email logs tied to journalists.


BABY MAKES FOUR: Prince HarryPrince HarryKate Middleton says she has yet to meet Prince Harry and Meghan's daughter Harry and Meghan deny not discussing new daughter's name with the queen Duchess Meghan releases debut children's book MORE and Meghan, the Duchess of SussexMeghan MarkleKate Middleton says she has yet to meet Prince Harry and Meghan's daughter Harry and Meghan deny not discussing new daughter's name with the queen Duchess Meghan releases debut children's book MORE (pictured in 2019, below), who reside in California, announced on Sunday the birth on Friday of their daughter, whose arrival makes son Archie a big brother. Harry and Meghan named their daughter Lilibet “Lili” Diana Mountbatten-Windsor (The Hill).



Meghan and Prince Harry



And finally … Did we really need a scientific study to establish the following truth about puppies? 


Scientific American reports that research finds that puppies are able to track human social cues at just 8 weeks of age, before they’ve spent much time with people, and that such skill has strong roots in canine genetics (around 40 percent). The study appears in the journal Current Biology


No Monday morning is complete without a photo of puppies.



50-day-old Golden Retriever puppies are seen at the Chilean police canine training school in Santiago