The Hill's Morning Report - Presented by Facebook - Will this infrastructure deal pass?

 

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Biden strikes infrastructure deal

 

Welcome to The Hill’s Morning Report. It is Friday! We get you up to speed on the most important developments in politics and policy, plus trends to watch. Alexis Simendinger and Al Weaver are the co-creators. Readers can find us on Twitter @asimendinger and @alweaver22. Please recommend the Morning Report to friends and let us know what you think. CLICK HERE to subscribe!

Total U.S. coronavirus deaths each morning this week: Monday, 601,825; Tuesday, 602,092; Wednesday, 602,462; Thursday, 602,837; Friday, 603,178.

President BidenJoe BidenSunday shows preview: Coronavirus dominates as country struggles with delta variant Did President Biden institute a vaccine mandate for only half the nation's teachers? Democrats lean into vaccine mandates ahead of midterms MORE on Thursday announced a $1.2 trillion bipartisan infrastructure compromise, endorsing a framework crafted in broad strokes by a group of 10 senators and White House officials. He hailed the Republican-trimmed outline as a boost for one of his top legislative priorities while insisting it will have to move “in tandem” through Congress with the rest of his largely progressive proposals in order to gain his signature (The Hill, NBC News and C-SPAN).

“We have a deal,” Biden said in a surprise appearance outside the White House. 

"They have my word, I'll stick with what they've proposed. And they've given me their word as well. Where I come from that's good enough for me," he said. 

Speaking later in the East Room, the president admitted that he has no “guarantee” from senators about how they will vote once the outline is translated into legislative language. 

He said he was pleased that the compromise plan he endorsed represents about two-thirds of the total spending he initially proposed for both traditional infrastructure and what he calls “human infrastructure.” 

Biden conceded that the path toward enactment in the House and Senate remains rugged. Because there is no bipartisan consensus behind the third leg of his Build Back Better agenda, focused on left-leaning federal priorities and support programs, Democrats say they will use the budget process to try to move those initiatives past GOP opposition using reconciliation, which allows passage by a majority rather than the higher hurdle of a filibuster-proof 60 senators. 

The Hill: Biden says he won’t sign bipartisan bill without a Democratic-backed reconciliation measure.   

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnell'Justice for J6' rally puts GOP in awkward spot Republicans keep distance from 'Justice for J6' rally House to act on debt ceiling next week MORE (R-Ky.) on Thursday slammed Biden for “caving” to his left flank, The Hill’s Alexander Bolton reports, while progressives such as Senate Budget Committee Chairman Bernie SandersBernie SandersSunday shows preview: Coronavirus dominates as country struggles with delta variant Democrats urge Biden to commute sentences of 4K people on home confinement Briahna Joy Gray: Push toward major social spending amid pandemic was 'short-lived' MORE (I-Vt.) have threatened to revolt if a compromise or reconciliation package doesn't go far enough to address liberals’ key priorities. 

Speaker Nancy PelosiNancy PelosiRepublicans caught in California's recall trap Raise the debt limit while starting to fix the budget   'Justice for J6' organizer calls on demonstrators to respect law enforcement MORE (D-Calif.) — reflecting the fears of progressives that climate change policies and other goals could fall by the wayside this year — decided to ramp up pressure on Thursday by saying the House would not take up a bipartisan infrastructure bill if the Senate does not also pass a budget reconciliation package that includes Democrats' other priorities (Axios).  

Biden said he supports Pelosi’s sequencing approach and will not sign just one measure without the other. “If only one comes to me, I’m not signing it,” he said. Asked if he is willing to put the compromise infrastructure bill in jeopardy by holding out for the Democrats-only budget reconciliation package, Biden answered, “sure,” explaining that in his view, all of the major investments and policy changes he has presented are “really important.” He suggested that majorities of Americans agree.

The Hill: Progressives fire a warning shot at the Senate’s bipartisan infrastructure framework endorsed by the president. 

The Hill’s Cristina Marcos reports what’s at stake for Pelosi. She cannot lose support from more than four members of her caucus on Biden’s top legislative priority.  

The New York Times: The bipartisan agreement announced for infrastructure omits big climate measures. A second bill destined for a Democratic push through budget reconciliation could be Biden’s last chance to pass major global warming legislation. 

Sen. Rob PortmanRobert (Rob) Jones PortmanEmboldened Trump takes aim at GOP foes Overnight On The Money — Presented by Wells Fargo — GOP senator: It's 'foolish' to buy Treasury bonds Senate lawmakers let frustration show with Blinken MORE (R-Ohio), appearing outside the West Wing with Biden and his fellow Senate negotiators, called it "a good compromise,” adding that the proposal includes investments "without new taxes." Portman is retiring from the Senate next year.

"I don't know how far it's going to get. I think it'll get all the way. We’ve got the president behind it and this group here. But we're going to keep working together,” Sen. Mitt RomneyWillard (Mitt) Mitt RomneyWarren, Daines introduce bill honoring 13 killed in Kabul attack Overnight On The Money — Presented by Wells Fargo — GOP senator: It's 'foolish' to buy Treasury bonds Democrats aim for maximum pressure on GOP over debt ceiling MORE (R-Utah) said at the White House. 

The Hill: Senate Republicans raise early concerns over Biden’s infrastructure deal. 

The Hill’s Jordain Carney reports that Biden support for the infrastructure outline is seen as a significant win for the political center, and for the president.   

Details of the infrastructure framework: The plan Biden got behind comes to $1.2 trillion over eight years, with $579 billion in new spending for infrastructure. To offset that new spending, negotiators propose to cobble together a laundry list of various fees, unspent federal funds from the $1.9 trillion coronavirus relief law, $100 billion in projected revenue using IRS enforcement — but no new corporate taxes (opposed by Republicans) and no gas tax hikes (opposed by Democrats and Biden) (Bloomberg News and NPR). A White House fact sheet is HERE.

 

Pelosi launches Jan. 6 probe

 

More in Congress: Pelosi on Thursday created a select committee to investigate the Jan. 6 attack at the Capitol. The Speaker’s official announcement, two days after she signaled to colleagues that she would form a panel, means Democrats will lead what probably will be the most comprehensive look at the siege. She did not say who will lead or serve on the committee and said there is no fixed timeline to report findings and recommendations to Congress (The Associated Press). … House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthyKevin McCarthyDemocrats lean into vaccine mandates ahead of midterms Far-right rally draws small crowd, large police presence at Capitol 'Justice for J6' rally puts GOP in awkward spot MORE (R-Calif.), who opposes the creation of an independent commission to probe the attack at the Capitol, will meet today with Capitol Police Officer Michael Fanone, who was one of the officers injured by rioters on Jan. 6 and supports a commission. Fanone sought the meeting (The Associated Press). … California Democrats on the House Judiciary Committee this week took aim at Big Tech, exposing some intraparty divides. They voted against the majority of their colleagues to advance several bills that would constrain the market power of Facebook, Google, Apple and Amazon (The Hill and The New York Times). 

 

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LEADING THE DAY

POLITICS: The shifting political fault lines over crime and policing have encouraged some Republican political analysts to predict the GOP could recapture the House and Senate next year on those issues alone. 

Public debate about safety, crime and law enforcement nudged the president to unveil a federal strategy this week to combat a rise in violent crimes (Biden played up federal support for police departments and officer training). At the same time, House progressives have toned down some of their previously dramatic rhetoric about defunding police, report The Hill’s Mike Lillis and Scott Wong. The shift reflects lessons learned following election results and an evolving political landscape as murders and violent crimes escalate in many communities nationwide. 

“Everybody knows it's a bad idea,” said one moderate Democratic lawmaker who’s noticed the softer tone this year. “People like having police keeping them safe. And I think we had to do a better job of demanding reform, but supporting the police. And [in 2020] we only sang one song." 

The Hill: Lawmakers late on Thursday arrived at a tentative bipartisan framework for police reform legislation as a deadline loomed. “There is still more work to be done on the final bill, and nothing is agreed to until everything is agreed to,” the primary negotiators said in a statement. “Over the next few weeks we look forward to continuing our work toward getting a finalized proposal across the finish line.” 

 

Activist with sign

 

> The Hill’s Niall Stanage is watching Vice President Harris today as she tours the U.S. southern border in Texas as part of her assignment from the president to tackle the “root causes” of a surge of migrants to the United States. Stanage explores a debate about Harris’s basic political skills, a conversation first raised nationally when she ran for president. 

> The Hill’s Rebecca Kheel reports that some Republicans would like to pull the military into political battles over cultural issues, but the Pentagon is pushing back. Two House Republicans on Wednesday questioned defense leaders about whether critical race theory is taught in the military. That line of inquiry did not sit well with the hearing witnesses or the brass in the E ring (NPR).  

The military has been featured this year in a series of critical news reports, including Congress’s push to change adjudication of military sexual assault cases; military-issue weapons lost to Pentagon tracking that turn up at domestic crime scenes; and members of extremist hate groups who are active-duty military or were trained by the military (some hired with security clearances as defense contractors) (Frontline and ProPublica). 

IN FOCUS/SHARP TAKES

ADMINISTRATION: Biden urged Americans on Thursday to get a COVID-19 vaccine dose as soon as possible, warning an audience in Raleigh, N.C., that a highly contagious delta variant of the coronavirus is “the greatest threat to our fight to beat COVID-19.” He said the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimate between 10 percent and 20 percent of all U.S. infections in the past two weeks are from the delta version of the coronavirus, which was first detected in India. Available COVID-19 vaccines are effective against the delta strain (The Washington Post). 

The president and first lady, the vice president and her husband, members of the Cabinet and public health experts have visited vaccination sites and encouraged Americans to roll up their sleeves for weeks, particularly in southern states, where vaccination rates lag other regions (The Hill). NPR explains what’s going on in the South. 

 

Biden at a health care event in Raleigh, N.C.

 

> Evictions: The CDC on Thursday issued a one-month extension until the end of July for the existing federal moratorium on rental evictions. The CDC emphasized that it would be the final extension of a policy designed to help tenants who lost jobs, income or their economic stability during the worst of the pandemic (The New York Times). 

> Law enforcement: Attorney General Merrick GarlandMerrick GarlandGrassley calls for federal prosecutor to probe botched FBI Nassar investigation Durham seeking indictment of lawyer with ties to Democrats: reports Woman allegedly abused by Nassar after he was reported to FBI: 'I should not be here' MORE on Thursday said Justice Department investigators made their first arrest of a defendant identified as a participant during the U.S. attack on the Capitol on Jan. 6, who was charged with assaulting a member of the news media. “We have now crossed the threshold of 500 [total] arrests, including the 100th arrest of a defendant on charges of assaulting a federal law enforcement officer,” he said in a statement. The FBI continues to seek public assistance to identify individuals who participated in the Capitol attacks and were captured on video.

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

Doctors and nurses are the key to the final vaccine push, by Saad B. Omer, director of the Yale Institute for Global Health and opinion contributor, The New York Times. https://nyti.ms/2SqhjzD 

“This is a tragic day”: Condo collapses near Miami Beach. We need answers ASAP, by The Miami Herald editorial board. http://hrld.us/35PsnJB

 

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WHERE AND WHEN

The House meets at 9 a.m. 

The Senate convenes for a pro forma session on Monday but senators are out of Washington through July 9.

The president will receive the President’s Daily Brief at 9:50 a.m. Biden will sign into law legislation that redesignates a memorial in Orlando to the Pulse nightclub mass shootings as the “National Pulse Memorial.” He will deliver remarks at 2 p.m. to commemorate LGBT+ Pride Month. At 3:30 p.m., Biden will meet with Afghanistan President Ashraf Ghani and Afghanistan High Commission for National Reconciliation Chair Abdullah Abdullah at the White House. The president will depart the White House for Camp David at 5:10 p.m. 

Vice President Harris travels to El Paso, Texas, with Alejandro MayorkasAlejandro MayorkasSecond senior official leaving DHS in a week Biden administration expanding efforts to reunite separated migrant families DHS secretary's chief of staff resigns MORE, secretary of the Homeland Security Department, to tour the El Paso Border Patrol Station. She will meet with advocates from faith-based NGOs, and migrant shelter and legal service providers at 10:25 a.m. local time. Harris will deliver remarks to the news media and take questions at 11:35 a.m. The vice president will depart Texas en route Los Angeles, Calif., at 12:30 p.m. 

Secretary of State Antony BlinkenAntony BlinkenOvernight Defense & National Security — The Pentagon's deadly mistake France pulls ambassadors to US, Australia in protest of submarine deal Republicans demanding Blinken impeachment are forgetting one thing — the Constitution MORE is in Paris for a full day of meetings and a joint press conference with French Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian, followed by a meeting this evening with French President Emmanuel MacronEmmanuel Jean-Michel MacronStructure of Notre Dame Cathedral secured, ready for restoration French ambassador: Australia made a 'huge mistake' canceling submarine contract Overnight Defense & National Security — The Pentagon's deadly mistake MORE.

Economic indicator: The Bureau of Economic Analysis will report at 8:30 a.m. on personal income and outlays in May. 

The White House press briefing is scheduled at 12:15 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

MIAMI TRAGEDY: The death toll will rise today at a 12-story Miami oceanfront condo building that partially collapsed early Thursday, leaving a pile of twisted rubble two stories tall. Biden this morning declared a state of emergency in Florida, authorizing federal help to state and local responders from the Federal Emergency Management Agency and the Department of Homeland Security.

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantisRon DeSantisDemocrats lean into vaccine mandates ahead of midterms California dreaming did not become reality for Republicans Florida landlord requiring proof of vaccinations from tenants MORE (R) on Thursday night declared a state of emergency to respond to the collapse, which he flew in to assess with his staff and state emergency teams. At least one person was confirmed dead while bodies at the site of the destruction were seen being placed into yellow bags after being pulled from the debris by search teams overnight.  

Dozens of people were injured after part of the building rumbled to the ground, a scene captured on security cameras as the structure pancaked at approximately 1:30 a.m. on Thursday. At least 99 people remain unaccounted for this morning and 53 have been accounted for as search and rescue efforts continue. Officials say their numbers may be imprecise and will change (The Associated Press and Miami Herald).  

Residents in the remaining part of the fallen structure and in adjacent buildings were evacuated and some were moved to hotels. Officials have not determined the cause of the catastrophe. The 136-unit building, constructed in 1981, had passed an inspection on Wednesday. 

Relatives of Paraguayan first lady Silvana Lopez Moreira, including her sister, were among occupants of the collapsed structure (Yahoo News).  

 

Building collapses in Florida

 

STATE & TERRITORY WATCH: The New York Supreme Court on Thursday said it will suspend former New York City Mayor Rudy GiulianiRudy GiulianiRoger Stone served with Capitol riot lawsuit during radio interview FEC finds Twitter didn't break law by blocking spread of Hunter Biden story Juan Williams: The toxic legacy of Trump's corruption MORE’s law license to practice in the state. The court concluded that Giuliani, a former federal prosecutor, made “demonstrably false and misleading statements” to courts, lawmakers and the public when he represented and assisted Trump and his campaign in the president’s failed effort to overturn the 2020 election results (The Hill). … Former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin is to be sentenced today following his conviction in the May 2020 death of George Floyd. Here’s what to expect (The Associated Press). … The Hill’s Rafael Bernal recently interviewed Puerto Rico Gov. Pedro PierluisiPedro Rafael PierluisiPuerto Rico limiting alcohol sales, gatherings as coronavirus cases rise Puerto Rico orders businesses to require proof of vaccination Puerto Rico to receive nearly billion in pandemic relief funds MORE (D) about the status of Medicaid funding for U.S. territories.   

➔ SUPREME COURT: Among some court watchers, the tone of Justice Samuel AlitoSamuel AlitoThe Hill's Morning Report - Presented by AT&T - Supreme Court lets Texas abortion law stand Biden rips 'extreme' new Texas abortion law Six-week abortion ban goes into effect in Texas MORE’s recent fiery opinions tied to Supreme Court rulings that preserved ObamaCare and upheld a Catholic adoption agency's right to refuse working with same-sex couples called to mind his speech to the Federalist Society in November. Whether in approach to case law, hostility toward fellow conservative justices or ideological grievances, some see signs of Alito's frustration that the 6-3 conservative majority on the high court is not moving faster and further to the right, reports The Hill’s John Kruzel

 

Supreme Court Justice Alito

 

THE CLOSER

And finally … Congratulations to this week’s Morning Report Quiz WINNERS who came up with the correct answers about seasonally-centered headlines and history to mark Monday’s official start to U.S. summer. 

The Hill’s champion puzzlers today: Lori Benso, Joan Domingues, Luther Berg, Michael Romage, Mary Anne McEnery, Victoria Gasaway, Pam Manges, Jaina Mehta, Quintin Reed, Candi Cee, Ki Harvey, Patrick Kavanagh and Lesa Davis. 

They knew that fast-food chain Wingstop opted to change its menu because of a shortage of chicken wings this summer.

The correct match-ups of former U.S. presidents with summer jobs they once held: Barack ObamaBarack Hussein ObamaOur remote warfare counterterrorism strategy is more risk than reward Clinton lawyer's indictment reveals 'bag of tricks' Chelsea Manning tests positive for COVID-19 MORE (ice cream scooper and sandwich maker); Ronald Reagan (lifeguard); Gerald R. Ford (park ranger); Richard Nixon (carnival barker). 

The White House conceded Biden won’t meet his Fourth of July goal to see at least 70 percent of the U.S. adult population inoculated with at least one dose of coronavirus vaccine.

AAA predicted on Tuesday that a record 43.6 million Americans will hit the roads to travel by car over the 2021 Fourth of July holiday. 

Some cities and states this summer are modifying beach and swimming pool options for residents and visitors because of a shortage of lifeguards, according to news accounts this week.

 

Lifeguard stand at a beach