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Welcome to The Hill’s Morning Report. It is Tuesday! We get you up to speed on the most important developments in politics and policy, plus trends to watch. Alexis Simendinger and Al Weaver are the co-creators. Readers can find us on Twitter @asimendinger and @alweaver22. Please recommend the Morning Report to friends and let us know what you think. CLICK HERE to subscribe!
Total U.S. coronavirus deaths as of each morning this week: Monday, 673,765; Tuesday, 676,092.
Global fatalities from COVID-19 exceed 4.7 million.
The possibility of a government shutdown next week increased on Monday as Democratic leaders laid out their funding strategy and Senate Republicans maintained they will not support increasing the debt ceiling.
Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) and Senate Majority Leader Charles SchumerChuck SchumerDemocratic frustration with Sinema rises Schumer endorses democratic socialist India Walton in Buffalo mayor's race Guns Down America's leader says Biden 'has simply not done enough' on gun control MORE (D-N.Y.) announced that both chambers will vote next week on a short-term government funding bill that includes legislation to raise the nation’s borrowing authority. The measure will also include about $20 billion in response to recent natural disasters, including for states hit hard by hurricanes and wildfires (The Hill).
In pairing the two measures, Democrats want to leverage the political risks of a government shutdown before Oct. 1 if Republicans stand on the sidelines. For years, increases in the debt limit were bipartisan in order to cover U.S. statutory obligations already enacted.
“The American people expect our Republican colleagues to live up to their responsibilities and make good on the debts they proudly helped incur in the December 2020 ‘908’ COVID package that helped American families and small businesses reeling from the COVID crisis,” Pelosi and Schumer wrote in a joint statement detailing their strategy.
However, this did not persuade the GOP. Republicans remained steadfast on Monday that they will not support an increase in the nation’s borrowing authority, insisting that Democrats should pass it themselves via reconciliation. Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellBiden says he's open to altering, eliminating filibuster to advance voting rights Pelosi says GOP senators 'voted to aid and abet' voter suppression for blocking revised elections bill Manchin insists he hasn't threatened to leave Democrats MORE (R-Ky.) said on Monday that while Republicans are supportive of the disaster relief funds, tacking them on to a bill with a debt ceiling increase will not get the job done.
“Senate Republicans would support a clean continuing resolution that included appropriate disaster relief and targeted Afghan assistance. We will not support legislation that raises the debt limit,” McConnell said from the Senate floor.
The Hill: McConnell privately urged GOP senators to oppose a debt ceiling hike.
The Associated Press: Democrats tie government funding to debt bill, GOP digs in.
According to The Hill’s Alexander Bolton, Pelosi and Schumer’s decision not to deal with the debt ceiling in reconciliation may blow up in their faces, even considering the past precedent of debt ceiling increases being advanced with bipartisan support. Democrats control all levers of government, as McConnell has noted repeatedly while calling for them to deal with the issue through budget reconciliation.
Even though any government shutdown is nearly two weeks away, signs of trouble were already brewing on Wall Street as the Dow Jones Industrial Average was down 900 points earlier on Monday before closing at a loss of 593 points. The downturn was attributed to China’s property market problems, U.S. debt ceiling issues and the potential economic impact of the delta variant and how it could affect the Federal Reserve’s plans to taper stimulus (The Hill and CNBC).
The Washington Post: White House rules out concessions over debt ceiling while GOP refuses to help avert crisis.
Mike Lillis and Scott Wong, The Hill: Democrats face full legislative plate and rising tensions.
Meanwhile, Democrats tried to regain their footing on Monday after the Senate parliamentarian late on Sunday rejected their attempt to give 8 million green cards to immigrants in the reconciliation package, ruling that it was “not appropriate for inclusion” in the bill.
Although top Democrats indicated that they will lay out new immigration-related provisions in lieu of the initial plan, they also shot down the possibility of overruling Elizabeth MacDonough’s decision, something that progressives and activists are clamoring for.
“I just don’t think at this moment that that’s a realistic approach,” said Sen. Dick DurbinDick DurbinManchin: Negotiators to miss Friday target for deal on reconciliation bill Democrats look for plan B on filibuster The Memo: Cuts to big bill vex Democrats MORE (Ill.) (seen below), the No. 2 Senate Democrat. “I don't believe that's realistic. I think the votes needed on the floor are not there” (The Hill).
The immigration ruling could also have an impact on Democratic efforts to pass the $3.5 trillion spending package, with Pelosi able to lose just three votes and still advance the bill. Reps. Jesús Garcia (D-Ill.) and Lou CorreaJose (Lou) Luis CorreaTop Latino group endorses Padilla for full Senate term Democrats weigh changes to drug pricing measure to win over moderates Democrats grasping at straws on immigration MORE (D-Calif.) said on Monday that they will oppose the cornerstone proposal of President BidenJoe BidenGrant Woods, longtime friend of McCain and former Arizona AG, dies at 67 Sanders on Medicare expansion in spending package: 'Its not coming out' Glasgow summit raises stakes for Biden deal MORE’s agenda if immigration is not dealt with in the wide-ranging legislation.
The Hill: Democrats look for Plan B after blow on immigration.
The Washington Post: After immigration ruling, Democrats’ once-sweeping agenda continues to shrink.
Politico: House GOP's infrastructure vote count could scramble Dem agenda.
Los Angeles Times: Members of Congress discuss skyrocketing threats they’ve received for doing their jobs.
Politico: Inside Rep. Bennie ThompsonBennie Gordon ThompsonSunday shows preview: CDC signs off on 'mix and match' vaccine boosters The Hill's 12:30 Report - Presented by Altria - Manchin heatedly dismisses rumors of leaving Democratic Party Bannon eyed as key link between White House, Jan. 6 riot MORE (D-Miss.) and Rep. Liz CheneyElizabeth (Liz) Lynn Cheney'You're a joke': Greene clashes with Cheney, Raskin on House floor The 9 Republicans who voted to hold Bannon in contempt of Congress Cheney reveals GOP's Banks claimed he was Jan. 6 panel's ranking member MORE's (R-Wyo.) Jan. 6 probe alliance — both genuine and strategic.
A MESSAGE FROM ALIBABA
As the retail industry undergoes seismic shifts, U.S. small businesses use Alibaba’s e-commerce platforms to reach 900 million consumers in China, finding growth for their businesses and communities.
LEADING THE DAY
ADMINISTRATION & INTERNATIONAL: Biden faces high stakes today at the United Nations General Assembly as he calls for international cooperation to battle climate change and the coronavirus, report The Hill’s Morgan Chalfant and Brett Samuels. Biden’s first address as president to the annual meeting comes as he faces questions abroad about alliances with the United States and seeks to calm France’s fury over a submarine defense deal the United States made with Australia. While in New York later this week, Biden will also host a virtual global summit about COVID-19 as he seeks additional vaccine commitments to help poor countries.
The Washington Post: Biden seeks to open a new chapter in world affairs, facing fresh skepticism from allies.
United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres said over the weekend during an interview with The Associated Press that China and the United States should repair their “completely dysfunctional” relationship to stave off a potential new Cold War.
“Unfortunately, today we only have confrontation,” Guterres said on Saturday ahead of the U.N. General Assembly today.
The White House on Monday dismissed Guterres’s concern, saying the U.S. relationship with China is one of “competition,” not confrontation (The Guardian).
The Associated Press: Key world leaders who are speaking today include Biden, President Xi Jinping of China and Iran’s recently elected hardline President Ebrahim Raisi.
The Hill: Five things to watch during the U.N. gathering, including whether agreements are reached on climate change and any repercussions from the chaotic U.S. withdrawal from Afghanistan.
> Immigration: Department of Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro MayorkasAlejandro MayorkasTop officials turn over Twitter accounts to 'share the mic' with Black cybersecurity experts Federal officers detail abuse described by asylum seekers Senate Republicans raise concerns about TSA cyber directives for rail, aviation MORE on Monday traveled to Del Rio, Texas, where a surge of Haitian migrants crossing the U.S. border from Mexico dominated headlines over the weekend. While he sought to describe the federal response as effective to stop a surge of migrants traveling through Mexico into Texas for refuge, the White House denounced federal agents on horseback who were taped and photographed allegedly whipping and chasing some of the asylum seekers who were removed.
The Washington Post analysis: What journalist Paul Ratje’s photograph in Texas (below) tells us about an evolving migrant crisis.
Mayorkas told reporters in Texas that his message to those trying to cross the Mexican border illegally is to think again. “If you come to the U.S. illegally, you will be returned,” he said, joined by U.S. Border Patrol Chief Raul Ortiz and Customs and Border Patrol Commissioner Troy Miller. “This is not the way to come to the United States” (Fox 59).
Mayorkas is expected to testify today to a Senate committee about threats to the homeland.
The Associated Press: More than 6,000 Haitians including children, and other migrants, have been removed from an encampment in Del Rio, Texas, officials said on Monday.
The secretary toured the international bridge in Del Rio where thousands of migrants, mostly Haitians, have amassed in the past week trying to claim asylum in the United States. He declared an all-of-government approach to tackle what he called a “challenging and heartbreaking situation.” He said the federal and local response includes employees from the Department of Health and Human Services, U.S. Coast Guard, local law enforcement and San Antonio Fire Department. He said 600 agents from U.S. Border Patrol and Customs and Border Protection were sent to the region.
Despite controversy about the actions of law enforcement personnel on horseback with whips, Mayorkas said the officers “play an integral part in our security response.”
The White House on Monday denounced such treatment as “horrible to watch.” Press secretary Jen PsakiJen PsakiBiden remarks on Taiwan leave administration scrambling Buttigieg aims to use Tucker Carlson flap to spotlight paternity leave Biden injects new momentum into filibuster fight MORE said, “I don’t think anyone seeing that footage would think it’s acceptable or appropriate” (Politico).
Vice: “This is why your country’s shit,” one Border Patrol agent on horseback yelled at a group of Haitian migrants on the U.S.-Mexico border in Texas.
CNN: Mayorkas on Sunday denied there is a contradiction between Afghan refugees who are welcomed to the United States and given refuge after extensive screening and vetting, and Haitian asylum seekers who enter the country illegally and are subsequently removed.
The New York Times: The administration will raise the U.S. cap on refugees from 62,500 to 125,000 during the fiscal year that begins Oct. 1.
> Worker safety: The White House announced on Monday that the administration will propose workplace standards to protect employees from preventable extreme heat, a hazard that contributed to the deaths of at least 43 workers in 2019 and prompted at least 2,410 others to experience serious injuries and illnesses, according to the Labor Department (The Hill). Heat-related effects tied to climate change have become part of the administration’s overall regulatory thinking.
CORONAVIRUS: Pfizer and BioNTech said on Monday that their two-dose COVID-19 vaccine was safe and showed a “robust” antibody response for children aged 5 to 11.
The two companies pointed to data from a trial of more than 2,000 children, saying that the jab is “safe, well-tolerated, and showed robust neutralizing antibody responses” for children in that age group. The Pfizer shot is likely to become the first COVID-19 vaccine to get the green light from regulators for use in children under 12 (NBC News).
Anthony FauciAnthony FauciSunday shows preview: CDC signs off on 'mix and match' vaccine boosters Fauci says it's recommended to get same vaccine for COVID-19 boosters The Hill's Morning Report - Presented by Uber - Manchin, Sanders in budget feud; Biden still upbeat MORE, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, said on Sunday that approval is anticipated next month, with approval of Moderna’s vaccine likely to take place weeks after Pfizer’s.
The announced findings will be welcomed by those U.S. parents who are eager to get their younger children protected against the virus (The Hill). … But a question looms: How many U.S. parents will buy in? (The New York Times).
BBC: Which countries are vaccinating children, and why?
> District watch: Washington, D.C., on Monday issued a new mandate for public and private school teachers, staffers and child care workers to become vaccinated against COVID-19 by Nov. 1, without allowing for an option for testing.
D.C. Mayor Muriel BowserMuriel BowserBowser declares October 2021 'LGBTQ History Month' in DC DC Council member plans to challenge Bowser for mayor Lobbying world MORE (D) also announced a directive for students aged 12 and up in public, private and parochial schools to get vaccinated by the same date in order to take part in school-based sports. All students who turn 12 between Monday and Nov. 1 are required to be vaccinated by Dec. 13 (The Washington Post).
The Hill: New York to start weekly COVID-19 testing in schools.
> Welcome back: The Biden administration on Monday said it plans to ease restrictions on fully vaccinated international visitors starting in early November, with all needing to show proof of vaccination before boarding a U.S.-bound airline.
White House coronavirus coordinator Jeff ZientsJeff ZientsGOP leaders escalate battle against COVID-19 vaccine mandates Industry groups warn vaccine mandate could worsen holiday supply chain issues Walensky: CDC will 'not articulate a preference' for which booster to get MORE said that travelers must also provide a negative test taken no more than 72 hours prior to departure and that there will be no quarantine requirement. Unvaccinated Americans will need to provide a negative test within one day of departure, and then test again when they arrive. Currently, travel bans are in place based on specific regions, regardless of an individual's vaccination status (The Hill).
The Hill: Travel industry hopes for rebound with loosened COVID-19 restrictions.
The Hill: Flight bookings plummet amid delta variant fears.
The Hill: Rep. Tim RyanTimothy (Tim) RyanPennsylvania Republican becomes latest COVID-19 breakthrough case in Congress Ohio Democrat calls Vance an 'ass----' over Baldwin tweet Two senior House Democrats to retire MORE (D-Ohio) is the latest COVID-19 breakthrough case in Congress.
IN FOCUS/SHARP TAKES
POLITICS: Immigration issues are at the fore of political debate and partisan messaging ahead of 2022 contests. Twenty-six Republican governors on Monday issued a joint letter to the president requesting a meeting in the next two weeks to discuss "the national security crisis" at the U.S. border with Mexico. The letter said a "months-long surge in illegal crossings has instigated an international humanitarian crisis, spurred a spike in international criminal activity, and opened the floodgates to human traffickers and drug smugglers endangering public health and safety in our states.” Vermont Gov. Phil Scott (R) did not sign the letter, which was led by Arizona Gov. Doug DuceyDoug DuceyGrant Woods, longtime friend of McCain and former Arizona AG, dies at 67 Arizona launches M program to help families pay utility bills GOP governors traveling to border to unveil new security initiative MORE (R) and Texas Gov. Greg AbbottGreg AbbottGOP leaders escalate battle against COVID-19 vaccine mandates Lincoln Project files ethics complaint against Abbott Arizona attorney general asks for restraining order to block federal vaccine mandate MORE (R). Moderate GOP governors Charlie Baker (Mass.) and Larry Hogan (Md.) also asked Biden for the meeting (Newsweek). Twenty Republican gubernatorial seats are up in 2022.
Niall Stanage, The Memo: Texas Democrat Beto O’Rourke, who ran for president in 2020 and for a Senate seat in 2016, is reported to be moving toward a race for governor of Texas. What are his chances?
> Redistricting bill: As states prepare for the once-a-decade redistricting cycle, a Senate bill authored by Democrats seeks to create federal remedies for politically gerrymandered maps. The bill’s authors want states to have power to reject contorted congressional district borders. The proposed measure “essentially puts states on notice that if they go overboard in enacting egregiously unfair congressional redistricting plans, that federal courts would have clear direction for how to deal with those situations,” New York Law School professor Jeffrey Wice told The Hill’s Rebecca Beitsch. “We’re at a point now where we expect a number of states to begin enacting congressional plans that could be by far worse than what we saw after 2010 where a number of states created heavily lopsided plans favoring one party.”
The Hill: Key GOP political campaign organizations, including the National Republican Campaign Committee, are deploying new campaign ads that paint Democrats in Congress as reckless spenders who are caving to establishment interests in Washington. The ads are particularly aimed at vulnerable Democratic incumbents, pressuring them to vote against their party’s $3.5 trillion social policy bill.
> Iowa Senate: Sen. Chuck GrassleyChuck GrassleyAnother voice of reason retires Overnight Health Care — Presented by Carequest — FDA moves to sell hearing aids over-the-counter McConnell: GOP should focus on future, not 'rehash' 2020 MORE (R-Iowa) reaffirmed on Monday that he will decide by Nov. 1 whether to seek an eighth Senate term (Forbes). Early this month, he completed his annual schedule of meetings in each of Iowa’s 99 counties and told Radio Iowa that his self-imposed November deadline involves discussions with his wife, Barbara, and his immediate family. “I think they are thinking it through and then what the people of Iowa have to say,” Grassley said. “Now, the latter is very difficult to determine because I don’t have just a few people say: ‘You ought to retire,’ and maybe those are people who want me to retire so they can elect a Democrat — I don’t know their motives, but I get a lot of people to encourage me to run.” Grassley celebrated his 88th birthday on Friday.
The Morning Report is created by journalists Alexis Simendinger and Al Weaver. We want to hear from you! Email: email@example.com and firstname.lastname@example.org. We invite you to share The Hill’s reporting and newsletters, and encourage others to SUBSCRIBE!
Why COVID vaccines for kids are taking so long, by Daniel Carpenter, opinion contributor, The New York Times. https://nyti.ms/2Zge0hv
In the face of partisan politics, Biden's climate goals need corporate leadership to become a reality, by Gonzalo Muñoz and Nigel Topping, opinion contributors, The Hill. https://bit.ly/3hSboN5
A MESSAGE FROM ALIBABA
Radha Beauty, a small business from Aurora, Ohio, found a new growth opportunity by using Alibaba’s online platforms to sell to the Chinese market. Now Radha is experiencing record sales.
WHERE AND WHEN
The House convenes at 10 a.m.
The Senate convenes at 10:30 a.m. and resumes consideration of Margaret Strickland to be a U.S. district judge for the District of New Mexico. Mayorkas, FBI Director Christopher Wray and National Counterterrorism Center Director Christine Abizaid testify at 9:30 a.m. before the Senate Homeland Security Committee about threats to the United States.
The president is in New York City, where he will speak at 10 a.m. to the U.N. General Assembly. Biden will meet at noon with Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison. The president will fly back to the White House to hold a bilateral meeting in the Oval Office at 4:45 p.m. with Prime Minister Boris Johnson of the United Kingdom.
Vice President Harris will meet with philanthropist Melinda French Gates at 9:30 a.m. to discuss the global COVID-19 response. Harris will give a speech at 11:10 a.m. about the administration’s proposed benefits for parents and children in its Build Back Better agenda. The vice president will meet with the British prime minister at 3 p.m. in her ceremonial office.
INVITATIONS: The Hill’s Virtually Live TODAY at 1 p.m. hosts “Advancing Health Equity in Our Nation’s Pandemic Response,” with Rep. Lisa Blunt Rochester (D-Del.), member of the House Bipartisan Heroin Task Force; Rep. Mike TurnerMichael Ray TurnerHouse lawmakers press Pentagon over Afghanistan withdrawal Milley says he wouldn't 'tip off the enemy' to 'surprise' plans Lawmakers, Biden official call for bipartisan action on opioid addiction MORE (R-Ohio), member of the House Addiction, Treatment and Recovery Caucus; Regina LaBelle, White House Office of National Drug Control Policy acting director; Miriam Delphin-Rittmon, Department of Health and Human Services assistant director and a physician, plus more expert panelists. Information is HERE.
The Hill’s Virtually Live WEDNESDAY at 1 p.m. hosts “Upskilling for Today and Tomorrow” about the rise of remote work, with Sen. Mike BraunMichael BraunIndiana recruiting unvaccinated Chicago officers Indiana's GOP senator: Chicago police who defied vaccine mandate 'deserve respect' Bottom line MORE (R-Ind.), Colorado Gov. Jared PolisJared Schutz PolisBiden administration OKs Colorado expansion of transgender health coverage Judge dismisses police suit challenging Denver coronavirus vaccine mandate Bipartisan push for vocational training focuses on funding, curricula MORE (D) and a panel of leading CEOs. Information is HERE.
The Hill’s Virtually Live THURSDAY at 1 p.m. hosts a Small Business Summit with policymakers, small-business owners and economic experts as well as lawmakers and officials including Sen. Ben CardinBenjamin (Ben) Louis CardinIt's time to make access to quality kidney care accessible and equitable for all Charity game lets users bet on elections Progressives push back on decision to shrink Biden's paid family leave program MORE (D-Md.), chairman of the Small Business and Entrepreneurship Committee; Rep. Young Kim (R-Calif.), member of the Small Business Subcommittee on Innovation, Entrepreneurship and Workforce Development; and the Small Business Administration’s Mark Madrid. Information is HERE.
➔ SUPREME COURT: Justices on Monday announced they will hear arguments on Dec. 1 about a Mississippi abortion law that poses a direct challenge to the landmark 1973 ruling in Roe v. Wade. The court in May agreed to take up the case (The Hill). … Nearly 900 state lawmakers in a Monday court filing urged the Supreme Court to uphold Roe (The Hill).
➔ SUSTAINABILITY: The future of the global food system hinges on the willingness of policymakers to invest in small-scale farming systems — and prioritize equitable access to agricultural innovation and local entrepreneurship, according to a new study from the United Nations (The Hill).
➔ CHINA: President Xi aims to rein in Chinese capitalism and hew to Mao’s socialist vision, reports The Wall Street Journal’s chief China correspondent Lingling Wei.
And finally … 51 years ago today, an American television staple was born: “Monday Night Football” premiered on ABC on Sept. 21, 1970, with the Cleveland Browns defeating the New York Jets, 31-21.
Almost exactly to the date, the Green Bay Packers took down the Detroit Lions last night, 35-17, in the 718th edition of the hallmark program, which now airs on ESPN — ABC’s sister network (ESPN).