The Hill's Morning Report - After high-stakes Biden-Putin summit, what now?

 

 

 

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Total U.S. coronavirus deaths reported each morning this week: Monday, 599,769; Tuesday, 599,945; Wednesday, 600,285; Thursday, 600,680.



“There is no happiness in life. There is only a mirage on the horizon, so cherish that.” — Russian President Vladimir Putin, June 16.

 

“There’s a value to being realistic and put on an optimistic front, an optimistic face. … You have to figure out what the other guy’s self-interest is, their self-interest.” — President Biden, speaking after Putin.

 

 

President Biden and Russian President Vladimir Putin on Wednesday used a roughly three-hour summit to take each other’s measure and focus on what Biden called “simple assertions” rather than threats. 

 

“I did what I came to do,” Biden told reporters before departing Geneva to return to the White House after a week of European meetings, photo ops and diplomatic communiques.

 

Biden and Putin agreed to return their ambassadors to respective posts in Moscow and Washington and said they will let representatives begin work toward replacing the last remaining treaty between the United States and Russia limiting nuclear weapons (The Associated Press).

 

The Hill: Biden, Putin agree to launch new dialogue on arms control.

 

The New York Times: Biden and Putin express desire for better relations at summit shaped by disputes.

 

AFP/Moscow Times: Biden said he and Putin explored working together on a half dozen areas where the former superpower rivals have overlapping interests, including the Arctic, Iran and Syria.

 

 

President Biden in Geneva

 

 

Responding to Biden’s list of complaints, the Russian leader denied involvement in cyberattacks in the United States, while Biden warned of unspecified cyber consequences for future attacks and touted a specific list of critical infrastructure “entities,” including energy and water, that he proposed should be untouchable by either nation. They agreed to assign experts to talk about “what’s off-limits,” Biden said.

 

Biden also repeated his assertion that if jailed Russian dissident Alexei Navalny dies or is killed in prison, there will be a harsh U.S. response. Putin defended Navalny’s imprisonment without using his name, arguing the Kremlin critic knew he was in violation of probation when he returned to Russia after being treated in Germany for near-fatal poisoning.

 

The presidents offered polite assessments of each other, avoiding the heated rhetoric that has at times strained the bilateral relationship. Both said they hoped their discussions would set the stage for more cooperation over time. Biden added, however, that he is not confident Putin would change his behavior without pressure from the world’s democracies (The Wall Street Journal). 

 

“They are not able to dictate what happens in the world,” Biden said while describing the international price Russia pays for its aggression and violations of human rights. “But it’s clearly not in anybody’s interest, your country’s or mine, for us to be in a situation where we’re in another Cold War,” Biden said he told Putin.

 

The Hill: Biden says he got what he wanted from the Putin summit. 

 

CNBC: Biden vows to keep pressing Russia to release two American prisoners.

 

ABC News: Biden, Putin describe their meeting as “constructive,” “specific,” without “hostility.”

 

The Hill’s Niall Stanage: Five takeaways from the Biden-Putin summit.

 

The Washington Post analysis: “The Biden team faced a situation where the best they can hope for is to stop the bleeding — to put a floor under the relationship,” said Sam Charap, a Rand Corp. Russia analyst.

 

 

Russian President Vladimir Putin in Geneva

 



LEADING THE DAY

CONGRESS: The chances of a bipartisan infrastructure accord received a shot in the arm on Wednesday as a group of 11 additional senators threw its weight behind a nearly $1 trillion proposal as Democrats began a process that could result in passage of a large bill on a party-line vote.

 

Support for a compromise measure, which has been crafted by a core group of senators, including 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), Rob PortmanRobert (Rob) Jones PortmanOn 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 Senate starts infrastructure debate amid 11th-hour drama MORE (R-Ohio), Kyrsten SinemaKyrsten SinemaOn The Money: Justice Department says Trump's tax returns should be released | Democrats fall short of votes for extending eviction ban Senate starts infrastructure debate amid 11th-hour drama The Hill's Morning Report - Presented by Facebook - Biden sets new vaccine mandate as COVID-19 cases surge MORE (R-Ariz.) and Joe ManchinJoe ManchinDemocrats warn shrinking Biden's spending plan could backfire Top Democrat: 'A lot of spin' coming from White House on infrastructure An August ultimatum: No recess until redistricting reform is done MORE (D-W.Va.), has suddenly swelled to more than one-fifth of the upper chamber, giving the effort a boost in hopes of attracting Biden’s backing. 

 

“We support this bipartisan framework that provides an historic investment in our nation’s core infrastructure needs without raising taxes,” the group of 20 senators — 10 Republicans and 10 Democrats — said in a statement. “We look forward to working with our Republican and Democratic colleagues to develop legislation based on this framework to address America’s critical infrastructure challenges.”

 

The new group of 11 senators is made up of Republicans Richard BurrRichard Mauze BurrSenate starts infrastructure debate amid 11th-hour drama 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 (N.C.), Lindsey GrahamLindsey Olin GrahamGraham, Cuellar press Biden to name border czar Trump takes two punches from GOP The Hill's 12:30 Report - Presented by Facebook - US gymnast wins all-around gold as Simone Biles cheers from the stands MORE (S.C.), Jerry MoranGerald (Jerry) MoranGraham: Bipartisan infrastructure pay-fors are insufficient This week: Democrats move forward with Jan. 6 probe Bipartisan senators ask CDC, TSA when they will update mask guidance for travelers MORE (Kan.), Mike RoundsMike RoundsEight Republicans join Democrats to confirm head of DOJ environmental division Bipartisan group says it's still on track after setback on Senate floor Schumer sets up key vote on bipartisan deal MORE (S.D.), Thom TillisThomas (Thom) Roland TillisThe Hill's 12:30 Report - Presented by Facebook - US gymnast wins all-around gold as Simone Biles cheers from the stands GOP senator credits Sinema for infrastructure deal The Hill's Morning Report - Presented by Facebook - A huge win for Biden, centrist senators MORE (N.C.) and Todd YoungTodd Christopher YoungThe 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 (Ind.); Democrats 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 (Del.), Maggie HassanMargaret (Maggie) HassanThe Hill's Morning Report - Presented by Facebook - Officers recount the horror of Jan. 6 Trump says he'd like to see Chris Sununu challenge Hassan Poll: Potential Sununu-Hassan matchup in N.H. a dead heat  MORE (N.H.), John HickenlooperJohn HickenlooperManchin grills Haaland over Biden oil and gas moratorium It's time for US to get serious about cleaning up space junk Bipartisan group says it's still on track after setback on Senate floor MORE (Colo.) and Mark KellyMark KellyHarris's bad polls trigger Democratic worries Bipartisan group says it's still on track after setback on Senate floor Poll: Two-thirds of AZ Democratic voters back primary challenge to Sinema over filibuster MORE (Ariz.); and Independent Angus KingAngus KingNew Senate bill would hurt charities and those they serve Overnight Health Care: CDC advises vaccinated to wear masks in high-risk areas | Biden admin considering vaccine mandate for federal workers Four senators call on Becerra to back importation of prescription drugs from Canada MORE (Maine), who caucuses with the Democrats (Graham and Coons are pictured below) (The Hill). 

 

The news came as Senate Majority Leader Charles SchumerChuck SchumerAn August ultimatum: No recess until redistricting reform is done Biden to meet with 11 Democratic lawmakers on DACA: report Schumer's moment to transform transit and deepen democracy MORE (D-N.Y.) met with Senate Budget Committee Democrats to lay out the path for a major reconciliation bill. As The Hill’s Alexander Bolton writes, questions remain concerning how much Schumer can fit into the bill and will he be able to get the entire Democratic caucus to get on board for it. 

 

The new show of support also comes in response to waves of opposition from progressive circles. Left-wing senators panned the developing bill as paltry in size and scope, especially considering the White House’s initial bill checked in at $2.25 trillion.

 

Senate Democrats involved in crafting the bill also met with the White House on Wednesday. Among the officials briefed on the state of play were Steve RicchettiSteve RicchettiTop Democrat: 'A lot of spin' coming from White House on infrastructure Biden adviser's brother lobbied National Security Council on GM's behalf Lobbyists with Biden ties enjoy surge in revenue, clients MORE, counselor to the president, National Economic Council Director Brian DeeseBrian DeeseJust 6.5 percent of rental aid has reached tenants, landlords: Treasury Trouble: IRS funding snags bipartisan infrastructure deal On The Money: Inflation spike puts Biden on defensive | Senate Democrats hit spending speed bumps | Larry Summers huddles with WH team MORE and Louisa TerrellLouisa TerrellTrouble: IRS funding snags bipartisan infrastructure deal On The Money: Pelosi rebuffs McConnell on infrastructure | White House mounts full-court press on infrastructure deal | Supreme Court leaves CDC eviction moratorium intact White House mounts full-court press on infrastructure deal MORE, the White House’s legislative affairs director (The Washington Post). 

 

“The White House team was grateful for the briefing from the Democratic Senators involved in the infrastructure negotiations, and found it productive and encouraging,” said Andrew Bates, a White House spokesman. “They look forward to briefing the President tomorrow after his return to the White House, and continuing to consult with Senators and Representatives on the path forward.”

 

The Associated Press: Bipartisan infrastructure group swells to 21 senators.

 

Politico: “Going home with nothing”: Dems agonize over infrastructure strategy.

 

 

Sens. Chris Coons and Lindsey Graham

 

 

> Voting rights: Manchin on Wednesday opened the door to supporting a scaled-down version of the For the People Act, a wide-ranging election reform bill that is set to hit the floor next week. 

 

As The Hill’s Jordain Carney writes, Manchin said that he has shared a list of demands with Schumer prior to a caucus wide meeting on Wednesday on building support for the bill. Manchin has previously said that he would vote against the For the People Act, also known as S. 1, because it is overly broad and doesn’t have any Republican support. 

 

“[Schumer] has everything and everybody else has it,” Manchin said of his demands, having said previously that he would support a package that is targeted more narrowly toward protecting voting rights. “I’ve been sharing everything that I support and the things I can support and vote with and things I think’s in the bill that doesn’t need to be in the bill, that doesn’t really interact with what we’re doing in West Virginia, so I’ve shared all that.”

 

The Hill: Schumer says Senate will vote on repealing 2002 war authorization.

 

The Associated Press: House poised to repeal 2002 Iraq War authorization.

 

The Hill: The House votes 415-14 to make Juneteenth a federal holiday. Fourteen Republicans voted against it (The Hill). 

 

***** 

 

MORE ADMINISTRATION: Attorney General Merrick GarlandMerrick GarlandDOJ sues Texas over Abbott order restricting transportation of migrants Graham, Cuellar press Biden to name border czar Garland floats legal action over Abbott immigration order MORE on Wednesday struck down decisions made by former Attorneys General Jeff SessionsJefferson (Jeff) Beauregard SessionsWant to evaluate Donald Trump's judgment? Listen to Donald Trump Democrat stalls Biden's border nominee Garland strikes down Trump-era immigration court rule, empowering judges to pause cases MORE and William BarrBill BarrTrump called acting attorney general almost daily to push election voter fraud claim: report Highest-ranking GOP assemblyman in WI against another audit of 2020 vote Native Americans are targets of voter suppression too MORE that limited asylum for two “particular social groups” of migrant applicants, specifically victims of domestic violence and those with ties to persecuted family members. Garland pointed to a Biden order to his department to review the Trump-era opinions dealing with asylum qualifications for particular groups.

 

> Judicial nominations: The Hill’s Harper Neidig takes a look at Biden’s efforts over five months to seat judges who bring racial, professional and gender diversity to the bench. 

 

> Capital punishment: The Biden administration’s request to the Supreme Court this week to reinstate the death sentence for Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, the Boston Marathon bomber, has anti-death penalty groups fuming about the president’s apparent breach of a campaign pledge to try to end the federal death penalty, The Hill’s John Kruzel reports.



IN FOCUS/SHARP TAKES

POLITICS: Former President TrumpDonald TrumpMeghan McCain: Democrats 'should give a little credit' to Trump for COVID-19 vaccine Trump testing czar warns lockdowns may be on table if people don't get vaccinated Overnight Health Care: CDC details Massachusetts outbreak that sparked mask update | White House says national vaccine mandate 'not under consideration at this time' MORE on Wednesday announced that he will be headlining the first of his trademark campaign rallies on June 26 in Wellington, Ohio. 

 

According to a press release, the event will mark the former president’s “first of many appearances in support of candidates and causes that further the MAGA agenda and accomplishments of President Trump’s administration.” 

 

It also noted that the event is in support of Max Miller, a former top Trump aide who is running against Rep. Anthony GonzalezAnthony GonzalezSix takeaways: What the FEC reports tell us about the midterm elections Pro-impeachment Republicans outpace GOP rivals in second-quarter fundraising Governors' races see flood of pro-Trump candidates MORE (Ohio), one of the 10 House Republicans who voted to impeach the former president in January. 

 

Peter Nicholas, The Atlantic: Who is Trump reaching?

 

> Haley on the Hill: Former Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki HaleyNikki HaleyWill Pence primary Trump — and win? Noem to travel to South Carolina for early voting event Poll: Trump leads 2024 GOP primary trailed by Pence, DeSantis MORE on Wednesday appeared before a group of House conservatives, warning that China is determined to achieve world domination and that Taiwan is the first step to achieving that. 

 

Haley, who was speaking behind closed doors with the Republican Study Committee, said that the U.S. must take stronger action against China, arguing in favor of a boycott of the 2022 Winter Olympics in Beijing with allies.

 

“The last Olympics that they had [in 2008] was their coming out. That's how they saw it. They were introducing themselves to the world. This next Olympics, if it goes unscathed, this is their way of showing that they are now the superpower of the world,” Haley told nearly 70 GOP lawmakers in the basement of the Capitol.

 

Haley was the latest potential 2024 GOP presidential candidate to make an appearance before the group, with former Vice President Mike PenceMichael (Mike) Richard PenceOfficers' powerful Capitol riot testimony underscores Pelosi's partisan blunder RealClearPolitics reporter says Freedom Caucus shows how much GOP changed under Trump Want to improve vaccine rates? Ask for this endorsement MORE, former Secretary of State Mike PompeoMike PompeoNoem to travel to South Carolina for early voting event Poll: Trump leads 2024 GOP primary trailed by Pence, DeSantis Pence v. Biden on China: Competing but consistent visions MORE, former New Jersey Gov. Chris ChristieChris ChristieChris Christie: Unvaccinated people don't want to be 'indoctrinated' by government Former lieutenant governor of New Jersey leaves GOP Half of states now restrict conversion therapy for LGBTQ kids MORE (R), and Sens. Tom CottonTom Bryant CottonChuck Todd is dead wrong: Liberal bias defines modern journalism Ex-Rep. Abby Finkenauer running for Senate in Iowa Poll: Trump leads 2024 GOP primary trailed by Pence, DeSantis MORE (R-Ark.) and Marco RubioMarco Antonio RubioBreak glass in case of emergency — but not for climate change Democrats join GOP in pressuring Biden over China, virus origins Senators introduce bipartisan bill to expand foreign aid partnerships MORE (R-Fla.) having done so already (The Hill).  

 

 

Former South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley

 

 

> 2021 watch: Republicans are looking at the governor’s race in Virginia as a critical test ahead of the midterms as the party grapples with the continued influence of Trump. 

 

As The Hill’s Julia Manchester writes, GOP nominee Glenn Youngkin is preparing to face off against former Gov. Terry McAuliffe (D) in a state that has trended blue in recent years and that rejected Trump in 2016 and 2020. However, Republicans see a path forward for Youngkin: running up support of the pro-Trump base while also extending his appeal to suburban voters. 

 

I see this as a test case this fall for ‘Is Virginia competitive again without Donald Trump in the White House?’” said Tucker Martin, a former aide to ex-Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell, the last Republican to hold the post. “My theory of the case is that it will be more competitive.”

 

The Hill: Former Rep. Matt SalmonMatthew (Matt) James SalmonThe Hill's Morning Report - After high-stakes Biden-Putin summit, what now? Former Rep. Matt Salmon launches gubernatorial bid in Arizona On The Trail: Arizona is microcosm of battle for the GOP MORE (R-Ariz.) launches gubernatorial bid in Arizona.

 

*****

 

CORONAVIRUS: The U.S. is buying another 200 million doses of Moderna’s COVID-19 vaccine, the company said Wednesday, with the hope of using the shots to vaccinate children or to address emerging variants of concern. 

 

As The Hill’s Peter Sullivan writes, the deal will allow the Biden administration to receive different versions of the vaccine, including a modified version to potentially fight a COVID-19 variant.

 

“Importantly, the agreement gives the United States flexibility to choose which type of vaccine we will receive from Moderna if Moderna adjusts its formulation, for example, for pediatric vaccines or to address variants,” an administration official said.

 

> Vaccine failure: German company CureVac was dealt a major setback on Wednesday after it announced that its COVID-19 vaccine was only 47 percent effective, due largely to the difficulties posed by new variants. 

 

The company announced that its trial included 40,000 people across 10 countries in Latin America and Europe, where “at least” 13 different variants were circulating. The 47 percent efficacy result is the lowest reported to date from any COVID-19 vaccine manufacturer, though the company noted that the result is not final (The Hill). 

 

CNBC: International Monetary Fund predicts vaccine policies are the driver of the 2021 and probably 2022 world economies, more than monetary or fiscal policies.

 

> Long-haulers: A group of COVID-19 long-haulers plans to join a campaign on Thursday to lobby members of Congress to include paid leave in the American Jobs Plan and American Families Plan.

 

As The Hill’s Justine Coleman reports, COVID Survivors for Change, a grassroots nonpartisan group, is partnering with groups focused on chronic illnesses and disabilities for the first time, as potentially millions of Americans have endured an ongoing disorder following their infection from 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! 



OPINION

The U.S. Senate is fiddling while our democracy burns, by Rep. James Clyburn (D-S.C.), opinion contributor, The Post and Courier. https://bit.ly/3xstRoV

 

Biden offered Putin the benefit of the doubt. He should know better, by The Washington Post editorial board. https://wapo.st/35AmIH3



WHERE AND WHEN

The House meets at 9 a.m. Speaker Nancy PelosiNancy PelosiOn The Money: Justice Department says Trump's tax returns should be released | Democrats fall short of votes for extending eviction ban House adjourns for recess without passing bill to extend federal eviction ban Photos of the Week: Olympic sabre semi-finals, COVID-19 vigil and a loris MORE (D-Calif.) will hold her weekly press conference from the Capitol at 10:45 a.m.

 

The Senate meets at 10 a.m. and will resume consideration of the nomination of Tommy Beaudreau to be deputy Interior secretary. The Senate Appropriations Committee will review the president’s fiscal 2022 budget request for the Pentagon with Defense Secretary Lloyd AustinLloyd AustinOvernight Defense: First group of Afghan evacuees arrives in Virginia | Biden signs Capitol security funding bill, reimbursing Guard | Pentagon raises health protection level weeks after lowering it China moves quickly to replace America in Afghanistan Harris to travel to Vietnam, Singapore in August MORE and Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Gen. Mark MilleyMark MilleyOvernight Defense: First group of Afghan evacuees arrives in Virginia | Biden signs Capitol security funding bill, reimbursing Guard | Pentagon raises health protection level weeks after lowering it Watchdog warns US will repeat mistakes of Afghanistan Adaptability remains a constant — even as the 'character of war' changes MORE at 10 a.m. The Senate Commerce, Science and Transportation Committee hears testimony at 10 a.m. about NCAA student-athletes and their compensation rights.

 

The president returned from Switzerland last night, winding up a weeklong itinerary in Europe. Today he will receive the President’s Daily Brief at 10 a.m. At 3:30 p.m. he will sign into law legislation to make Juneteenth a federal holiday and he and Vice President Harris will deliver remarks.

 

Veterans Affairs Secretary Denis McDonoughDenis Richard McDonoughThe Hill's Morning Report - Presented by Facebook - Crunch time for bipartisan plan; first Jan. 6 hearing today Overnight Defense: Biden says US combat mission in Iraq wrapping by year's end | Civilian casualties in Afghanistan peak amid US exit | VA mandates COVID-19 vaccine for health workers Overnight Health Care: New round of vaccine mandates | Health groups call for mandates for all health workers | Rising case count reignites debate over restrictions MORE will be in Birmingham, Ala., along with second gentleman Doug EmhoffDoug EmhoffBiden celebrates anniversary of Americans with Disabilities Act JD Vance takes aim at culture wars, childless politicians The Hill's 12:30 Report - Presented by Goldman Sachs - Bezos completes first all-civilian space trip, deboards in cowboy hat MORE for two events to encourage people to get COVID-19 vaccinations. Emhoff will also visit 16th Street Baptist Church this afternoon. The secretary today will also visit a vaccination clinic in Montgomery, Ala., hosted by the American Legion.

 

Economic indicator: The Labor Department at 8:30 a.m. will report claims for unemployment benefits filed in the week ending June 12. The number of new claims has declined for six consecutive weeks, and the trend is expected to continue (Yahoo Money).

 

The administration’s COVID-19 response team will brief reporters at 11 a.m. Participants will include Anthony FauciAnthony FauciIsraeli president receives COVID-19 booster shot AstraZeneca CEO: 'Not clear yet' if boosters are needed St. Louis official says he was targeted with racist slurs over mask promotion MORE, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, and U.S. Surgeon General Vivek MurthyVivek MurthyFauci joins YouTube coronavirus special aimed at Black community Biden walks fine line with Fox News If you care about the First Amendment, this class action is for you MORE.

 

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

FEDERAL RESERVE: Responding to a swiftly recovering U.S. economy tied to the progress of the COVID-19 vaccine program and rising inflation, even as millions of people are out of work this year, the nation’s central bank expects to begin raising interest rates by late 2023, an earlier timetable than envisioned three months ago, Chairman Jerome Powell said Wednesday during a news conference (The Wall Street Journal). Fed officials also discussed an eventual reduction or tapering of the central bank’s bond-buying program, according to Powell. The Fed’s statement and the chairman’s remarks suggest the timing of such a move remains uncertain. Powell played down fears of inflation and worries that the Fed will be late in responding (The Hill). Treasury Secretary Janet YellenJanet Louise YellenFed chief holds firm amid inflation concerns The Hill's Morning Report - Presented by Facebook - Officers recount the horror of Jan. 6 GOP sees debt ceiling as its leverage against Biden MORE told lawmakers on Wednesday that she is confident that rising inflation will not be “permanent” (The Hill).

 

 

Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell

 

 

INTERNATIONAL: On Thursday, Hong Kong police arrested five Apple Daily editors and executives on national security charges of collusion with foreign powers. Police said they had evidence that more than 30 articles published by the pro-democracy newspaper, owned Jimmy Lai, now imprisoned, played a “crucial part” in a conspiracy with foreign countries to impose sanctions against China and Hong Kong, in response to a crackdown on civil liberties in the semi-autonomous Chinese city. Police also froze $2.3 million)worth of assets belonging to three companies linked to Apple Daily (The Associated Press).

 

SPACE: NASA announced that the Hubble Space Telescope has incurred computer issues, temporarily pausing all astronomical viewing since Sunday. The trouble surrounds a 1980s-era computer that controls the three-decade-old telescope. NASA tried to restart the computer on Monday, but just like Sunday, it shut down. Viewing instruments for the telescope are currently in safe mode until issues are resolved (The Associated Press).



THE CLOSER

And finally … It’s Thursday, which means it’s time for this week’s Morning Report Quiz! Inspired by Wednesday’s summit between Biden and Putin in Geneva, we’re eager for some smart guesses about some U.S.-Russia (and Soviet Union) history.

 

Email your responses to asimendinger@thehill.com and/or aweaver@thehill.com, and please add “Quiz” to subject lines. Winners who submit correct answers will enjoy some richly deserved newsletter fame on Friday.

 

In 2001, former President George W. Bush infamously remarked of Putin that he was able to “get a sense of his soul.” Where did that meeting take place? 

  1. Ljubljana
  2. Budapest
  3. Bucharest
  4. Prague

For years, the Soviet Union refused to allow its players to sign with the National Hockey League. What year marked the first time a player was allowed to do so?

  1. 1979
  2. 1984
  3. 1989
  4. 1999

How many days did Edward Snowden spend in Moscow’s Sheremetyevo Airport before he was granted asylum in Russia in 2013?

  1. 9
  2. 24
  3. 39
  4. 54

In “Rocky IV,” how much money did Rocky Balboa earn for his fight with Russian boxer Ivan Drago?

  1. $1 million
  2. $500,000
  3. $100,000
  4. $0

 



 

President George W. Bush and Russian President Vladimir Putin in 2001