The Hill's Morning Report - Presented by Altria - House debt vote today; Biden struggles to unite

                                 Presented by Altria

People walk along the Reflecting Pool on the National Mall, near the U.S. Capitol and Washington Monument

 

 

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, 713,350; Tuesday, 714,060. 



The House is expected tonight to tidy up a congressional skirmish over the debt ceiling — but only temporarily. On the U.S. economic front, leaders from the Capitol to C-suites wonder if employment puzzles and rising prices are blips or worrisome trends. And infectious disease experts concede they can’t be sure that COVID-19’s delta surge is really on the way out, or if the miracles of pharmaceutical breakthroughs against the virus will leave permanent political and global scars.

 

In other words, ennui is chasing President BidenJoe BidenOvernight Energy & Environment — Presented by American Clean Power — Methane fee faces negotiations White House rejects latest Trump claim of executive privilege The No Surprises Act:  a bill long overdue MORE and Congress, the U.S. economy and the coronavirus, and especially voter arguments that reflect it all. The House vote tonight interrupts a recess. The Senate is out of Washington until next week. In 21 days, Democrats believe a close gubernatorial contest in Virginia could be their national crystal ball. The president, Vice President Harris, party luminaries and first lady Jill BidenJill BidenThe Hill's Morning Report - Presented by Facebook - Biden, Democrats inch closer to legislative deal The Hill's Morning Report - Presented by Uber - Manchin, Sanders in budget feud; Biden still upbeat The Hill's 12:30 Report - Presented by Altria - Manchin heatedly dismisses rumors of leaving Democratic Party MORE (scheduled this Friday in Richmond) are investing in the nail-biter contest in the  commonwealth (The Hill). 

 

The Hill and The Associated Press: The House is expected to vote today on a Senate-passed bill to lift the nation’s borrowing authority by $480 billion until Dec. 3. Then the debate resumes.

 

Yahoo Finance: Inflation is here. It’s ugly. Expect to be smacked with higher sticker prices for food, gas, heating oil, jeans, Red Bull and maybe even clean air, if you haven't already been. 

 

The Associated Press: Congress off the rails? Lawmakers barrel toward fall fights. 

 

The New York Times: Because of legislative negotiations and Senate rules, Biden has shelved a series of economic proposals, some of them indefinitely. In interviews, individuals who hoped to benefit from a proposed $3.5 trillion spending bill say they fear being left behind as Democrats trim their plans in order to leverage votes. 



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LEADING THE DAY

CORONAVIRUS: AstraZeneca announced on Monday that its antibody treatment, known as AZD7442, has been found to be effective in late-stage trials at preventing severe illness or death. 

 

When compared with a placebo, the antibody cocktail reduced the risk of developing severe COVID-19 or death by 67 percent, the company revealed in a press release. 

 

“These important results for AZD7442, our long-acting antibody combination, add to the growing body of evidence for use of this therapy in both prevention and treatment of COVID-19. An early intervention with our antibody can give a significant reduction in progression to severe disease, with continued protection for more than six months,” said  Mene Pangalos, the company’s executive vice president. 

 

The pharmaceutical giant said that the antibody treatment has also shown an ability to prevent COVID-19 viruses from binding to host cells and was able to neutralize COVID-19 variants, including the delta and mu strains (The Hill).

 

The New York Times: Boosters are complicating efforts to persuade the unvaccinated to get shots. Moderna and Johnson & Johnson vaccine boosters are likely on the way (The New York Times).

 

“I think vaccines plus masks in certain (indoor) settings is going to be a significant support of us getting through anything that COVID throws at us in the future,” California Health Secretary Mark Ghaly said while pointing to a drop in infections in his state even as California topped 70,000 fatalities to date from COVID-19 (The Associated Press).

 

The Texas Tribune: Texas Gov. Greg AbbottGreg AbbottAbbott signs new Texas congressional maps into law The Memo: Will COVID-19's dip boost Biden? GOP leaders escalate battle against COVID-19 vaccine mandates MORE (R) bans any COVID-19 vaccine mandates — including for private employers.

 

The Washington Post: Moderna chairman says company will not share coronavirus vaccine formula.

 

The Atlantic: Masks are changing how kids interact.

 

 

AstraZeneca offices

 



IN FOCUS/SHARP TAKES

POLITICS: Speaker Nancy PelosiNancy PelosiDemocrats face critical 72 hours Equilibrium/Sustainability — Presented by Southern Company — 'Too late to evacuate' after wildfire debris Greene fined a third time for refusing to wear mask on House floor MORE (D-Calif.) on Tuesday in a note to her colleagues described the challenge within her caucus to chisel the president’s legislative agenda to a smaller size that could clear both chambers this fall: “Overwhelmingly, the guidance I am receiving from Members is to do fewer things well so that we can still have a transformative impact on families in the workplace and responsibly address the climate crisis,” she wrote (Politico).

 

For Biden, his vow to transform government services and policies through multi trillion-dollar measures remains a high hurdle within his pledge to unite his party, come to agreement with Republicans where possible, and pull voters together with shared aims. As The Hill’s Amie Parnes and Morgan Chalfant point out, Biden spoke throughout his campaign of bringing the country together and “breaking the fever” with Republicans. 

 

“You’re going to be surprised,” he told grassroots supporters on a call weeks before taking office in December, predicting a coming “epiphany” by the GOP over their feelings for former President TrumpDonald TrumpYoungkin ad features mother who pushed to have 'Beloved' banned from son's curriculum White House rejects latest Trump claim of executive privilege Democrats say GOP lawmakers implicated in Jan. 6 should be expelled MORE.

 

However, Biden’s rhetoric and actions have been unable to make a dent in the pervasive divisiveness in Washington or with a polarized voting electorate. Although he secured a deal on the bipartisan infrastructure package, which passed the Senate in August, the bill remains hung up by an ongoing tug of war in the House.

 

“He’s been able to move the needle a bit, but I think the expectation was that he’d be able to reset the mood of the Congress and lessen the tension around the nation,” said one Democratic strategist. “I do think he’s been able to normalize some things after the Trump era, but a lot remains unchanged.”

 

Politico: Democrats thought giving voters cash was the key to success. So what happened?

 

Additionally, Biden’s wish for a GOP epiphany concerning Trump not only did not come true, but most Republicans have reverted back to their pre-Jan. 6 stance and are all in with him. Nowhere was that more evident than over the weekend in Iowa, where Sen. Chuck GrassleyChuck GrassleyBipartisan lawmakers target judges' stock trading with new bill Another voice of reason retires Overnight Health Care — Presented by Carequest — FDA moves to sell hearing aids over-the-counter MORE (R-Iowa) appeared alongside him at a rally in Des Moines, confirming that Trump’s hold on the party remains firm (The Hill).

 

“If I didn’t accept the endorsement of a person that’s got 91 percent of the Republican voters in Iowa, I wouldn’t be too smart. I’m smart enough to accept that endorsement,” Grassley said after Trump threw his support behind the longtime GOP senator.

 

Niall Stanage: The Memo: Anti-democratic fears rise as GOP stokes election doubts.

 

David M. Drucker, Vanity Fair: How Sen. Tom CottonTom Bryant CottonIs the Navy totally at sea? The Hill's Morning Report - Presented by Altria - House debt vote today; Biden struggles to unite Arkansas legislature splits Little Rock in move that guarantees GOP seats MORE (R-Ark.) and 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.) plotted to undermine Trump’s stolen election claims.

 

> 2022 watch: After months of speculation, Pennsylvania Attorney General Josh Shapiro (D) (pictured below) is finally making his intentions known and will officially announce plans to run for the governor’s mansion on Wednesday. 

 

For years, Shapiro has sought to increase his national visibility, especially in recent memory as Trump and his GOP allies attempted to overturn the state’s electoral results. Shapiro, who is in his second term as attorney general, also made waves with an investigation into sexual abuse by clergymen.

 

His entrance in the race all but clears the field for the Democratic nomination to replace outgoing Gov. Tom WolfTom WolfMichigan's governor should follow Pennsylvania's on school choice expansions Josh Shapiro officially launches Pennsylvania gubernatorial campaign Republicans are today's Dixiecrats MORE (D), whose favorability ratings have tanked over the past year and a half, due in part to his handling of COVID-19 in the state. The GOP primary is expected to be hotly contested (The Associated Press). 

 

The Philadelphia Inquirer: How Shapiro locked down the Democratic nomination for governor without even announcing he would run.

 

Tal Axelrod, The Hill: Democrats brace for tough election year in Nevada. 

 

 

Pennsylvania Attorney General Josh Shapiro

 

 

*****

 

ADMINISTRATION: The Justice Department on Monday night again pressed courts to step in and block a restrictive new Texas abortion law. “If Texas’s scheme is permissible, no constitutional right is safe from state-sanctioned sabotage of this kind,” the Justice Department told the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals. In wording that seemed to be a message to the Supreme Court, the Justice Department raised the specter that if allowed to stand, the legal structure created in enacting the law could be used to circumvent even the Supreme Court’s rulings in 2008 and 2010 on gun rights and campaign financing. It is not clear when the appeals court will decide whether to extend what is currently a temporary order allowing the Texas law to stand (The Associated Press).  

 

Attorney General Merrick GarlandMerrick GarlandOvernight Defense & National Security — Presented by Boeing — US 'deeply alarmed' by reports of military takeover in Sudan Prohibit the actions of extremism, but bear with the rhetoric House Republicans call on Garland to rescind school board memo MORE, wary of being dragged into openly partisan skirmishes, could be thrust into the center of a debate over whether the Justice Department should pursue former White House strategist Stephen Bannon over his decision to buck a subpoena from the House committee investigating the Jan. 6 Capitol attack. The committee, which is exploring how the planned Jan. 6 demonstrations were conceived and organized, could refer Bannon to the department for criminal prosecution if he defies a Thursday deadline to provide a deposition to lawmakers (The Hill).

 

> Officials in the U.S. Indian Health Services were complicit while a colleague, government physician Stanley Patrick Weber, preyed on Native American boys as a pedophile and retaliated against whistleblowers. The agency, which knew of suspicions about the pediatrician that spanned more than two decades, is now trying to protect those managers, according to an internal investigation by The Wall Street Journal and Frontline.   

 

> The Agriculture Department’s Wildlife Services branch killed eight wolf pups in Idaho’s Boise National Forest that belonged to the Timberline wolf pack, which has been tracked by high school students since 2003. The students said they were shocked. Idaho Gov. Brad Little (R) in May signed a law allowing private contractors to kill 90 percent of the state’s wolf population, which officials estimate is about 1,500. The government shot eight Timberline “juvenile wolves” in their den because they were accused of killing ranchers’ livestock, an Agriculture Department official confirmed in an Oct. 1 letter. The government has declined requests from wolf conservationist groups to suspend the killing of wolf pups on all public lands (The Washington Post). The Trump administration stripped gray wolves of Endangered Species Act protections in the lower 48 states days before the 2020 election, leaving individual states to decide how to manage their wolf populations. The Biden administration is considering whether to reinstate the protections. The federal government owns 62 percent of Idaho’s land.

 

 

A wolf howls

 

 

The Hill: Biden’s nephew, Cuffe Owens, 42, wed Meghan King, 37, on Monday in Pennsylvania. The president and first lady attended the ceremony. Owens is the son of the president’s sister, Valerie Owens, and her husband, Jack Owens. King is a former cast member of the “Real Housewives of Orange County.” The bridegroom is a California attorney.



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

We are Republicans. There is only one way to save our party from pro-Trump extremists, by Miles Taylor and Christine Todd Whitman, opinion contributors, The New York Times. https://nyti.ms/3mG6FQd

 

Supply chain has no shortage of problems, by Tyler Cowen, columnist, Bloomberg Opinion. https://bloom.bg/3lv7pZ2 



Altria’s companies are leading the way in moving adult smokers away from cigarettes – by taking action to transition millions towards potentially less harmful choices. Learn how at Altria.com.



WHERE AND WHEN

The House meets at 3 p.m. The Rules Committee is scheduled to meet at 1 p.m. to consider a bill to raise the debt limit by $480 billion ahead of a vote by the full House. Pelosi will hold her weekly press conference at 11:30 a.m.

 

The Senate meets at noon for a pro forma session. 

 

The president will meet virtually at 8:45 a.m. to discuss Afghanistan with G20 leaders. Biden and Harris will receive the President’s Daily Brief at 10:15 a.m.

 

The first lady will mark National Hispanic Heritage Month with listening sessions this afternoon at El Centro Academy in Kansas City, Kan., and the National Museum of Mexican Art tonight in Chicago. On Wednesday morning, she has events at the Arturo Velasquez Institute in Chicago and The Learning Hub in Allentown, Pa.

 

The White House daily press briefing is scheduled at 2 p.m.

 

The Supreme Court hears arguments and issues orders today.

 

The World Bank and International Monetary Fund are meeting in Washington every day this week.

 

INVITATIONS: The Hill’s Virtually Live team hosts events all this week with lawmakers and experts. TODAY at 1 p.m., join “Cybersecurity Summit.” Information is HERE. On WEDNESDAY at 1 p.m.,  be part of “Kidney Disease and the Road to Saving Lives,” with details HERE. On THURSDAY, join the “Diversity and Inclusion Summit,” with registration HERE.

 

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

TRAVEL: Southwest Airlines on Monday said it hoped to normalize its flight schedules this week after mass cancellations that impacted thousands of irate passengers. The company blamed the problem, which began with 1,900 canceled flights over the weekend, on weather and air traffic control issues (Reuters). More than 360 additional flights were canceled on Monday (The Wall Street Journal). No other U.S. airline has had such weather issues, and some politicians, including Sen. Ted CruzRafael (Ted) Edward CruzOvernight Health Care — Presented by Carequest — Colin Powell's death highlights risks for immunocompromised The Senate confirmation process is broken — Senate Democrats can fix it Australian politician on Cruz, vaccines: 'We don't need your lectures, thanks mate' MORE (R-Texas), suggested Southwest’s troubles were rooted in the company’s vaccine mandate and Biden administration vaccine requirements. The Southwest Airlines Pilots Association and Southwest said on Monday there was no pilot walkout or sickout (The Dallas Morning News). The airline issued a formal apology to customers on Monday (The Hill).

 

 

A screen displays Southwest Airlines flight information

 

 

TECH: Amazon announced on Monday it will allow many employees to work remotely indefinitely, as long as they can commute to the office when necessary (The Seattle Times). … Facebook whistleblower Frances Haugen has been invited to address the European Parliament on Nov. 8 (Politico). Haugen also announced on Twitter that she will brief the Facebook Oversight Board, adding that the company “has lied to the board repeatedly, and I am looking forward to sharing the truth with them.”

 

OIL PRICES: U.S. petroleum prices leaped above $80 per barrel and natural gas prices surged on Monday because of energy supply issues globally (The Wall Street Journal).

 

ZERO EMISSIONS & LEAFY CLEANUP : California has banned the sale of new gas-fired versions (same with gas-powered lawn mowers by 2024) (The Sacramento Bee), and The Wall Street Journal reports why leaf blowers are seen by some as “evil incarnate.”



THE CLOSER

And finally … Back on Monday after 30 months of COVID-19 interruptions: The 125th Boston Marathon moved its traditional spring date for the first time and assembled a smaller, socially distanced event with 18,000 competitors and ample enthusiasm on a day when temperatures were in the 60s.

 

Kenyans again swept to victory: Benson Kipruto is the 2021 men's champion, finishing in 2:09:51, and Diana Kipyogei captured the women’s title with her debut time of 2:24:45 (The Associated Press).

 

Three marathons in eight days with a goal of six in 42 days: Local favorite Shalane Flanagan, who retired from professional running in 2019, finished the Boston race in just over 2 hours and 40 minutes, six minutes faster than her performance at Sunday’s Chicago Marathon. The American long-distance runner set a goal of racing in six major world marathons in six weeks (CBS Boston and MassLive). Next on her list: the virtual Tokyo marathon on Oct. 17 and the New York City Marathon on Nov. 7. Flanagan’s times so far: Sept. 26 in Berlin, 2:38:32; Oct. 3 in London, 2:35:04; Oct. 10 in Chicago, 2:46:39; Oct. 11 in Boston, 2:40:34.

 

The New York Times: Marcel Hug of Switzerland won the men’s wheelchair marathon competition in Boston for the fifth time on Monday, but a slight wrong turn at the end of the race and 7 extra seconds may have cost him a $50,000 bonus.

 

“Just a stupid mistake for myself,” Hug said in an interview on WBZ-TV. “It’s my fault. I should know the course, I’ve done it several times. ... I’m really happy about this race and my performance,” he added. “But I’m also upset because that should not happen.”

 

 

Runners make their way to the finish line down Boylston Street during the 125th Boston Marathon