The Hill's Morning Report - Presented by Facebook - Biden, Democrats inch closer to legislative deal

                                    Presented by Facebook

The U.S. Capitol Building is seen from the Supreme Court Building

 

 

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



Total U.S. coronavirus deaths as of this morning: Monday, 735,941.

 

As of this morning, 66.4 percent of the U.S. population has received at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine and 57.4 percent is fully vaccinated, according to the Bloomberg News global vaccine tracker.



As the adage has it, Congress works best on deadlines. President BidenJoe BidenManchin to vote to nix Biden's vaccine mandate for larger businesses Congress averts shutdown after vaccine mandate fight Senate cuts deal to clear government funding bill MORE and top Democrats are banking on that idea as they seek a deal on the Build Back Better agenda ahead of two self-imposed targets to reach an agreement that has proved elusive.

 

Biden met on Sunday with Sen. Joe ManchinJoe ManchinManchin to vote to nix Biden's vaccine mandate for larger businesses Congress averts shutdown after vaccine mandate fight Senate cuts deal to clear government funding bill MORE (D-W.Va.), a key holdout, and Senate Majority Leader Charles SchumerChuck SchumerProgressive groups urge Schumer to prevent further cuts to T plan Collins says she supports legislation putting Roe v. Wade protections into law Biden should seek some ideological diversity MORE (D-N.Y.) in Wilmington, Del., for what the White House described as a “productive discussion.” However, the new round of talks did not yield an accord.

 

They continued to make progress, will have their staffs work on follow-ups from the meeting, and agreed to stay in close touch with each other and the wide range of members who have worked hard on these negotiations,” the White House said in a statement.

 

The conversation comes as negotiators push for a deal before Biden attends the climate summit in Glasgow, Scotland, on Nov. 1 and before the end-of-the-month expiration of highway funding, both of which are squarely on the mind of Democrats. In order to bring Manchin on board, talks have centered on a deal around $2 trillion.

 

“The president looked us in the eye and said, ‘I need this before I go represent the United States in Glasgow,’ ” Rep. Ro KhannaRohit (Ro) KhannaKhanna advocates for 'honest and reflective patriotism' in America Democrats call on Education secretary to address 'stealthing' at federal level Showdown: Pelosi dares liberals to sink infrastructure bill MORE (D-Calif.), a progressive member, told “Fox News Sunday.” “American prestige is on the line. Many members understand that; we’re working very hard to get a deal. I understand we’re close and I’m confident we’re gonna get there.”

 

The Associated Press: Biden, Manchin and Schumer huddle, but still no budget deal.

 

Politico: Democrats are eyeing a Wednesday House vote on the bipartisan infrastructure bill. A final reconciliation bill is expected to include a two-year delay of the state and local tax deduction cap.

 

The Hill: This week: Democrats aim to unlock Biden economic, infrastructure package.

 

The Sunday Shows: Democrats' spending plan in the spotlight.

 

Amid the ongoing discussions, Speaker Nancy PelosiNancy PelosiCongress averts shutdown after vaccine mandate fight On The Money — Congress races to keep the lights on House sets up Senate shutdown showdown MORE (D-Calif.) expressed optimism that lawmakers can reach a framework deal on the multi-trillion-dollar social spending package, teeing up a vote on the $1 trillion bipartisan infrastructure bill that centrist Democrats have pined for.

 

“That’s the plan,” Pelosi told CNN’s “State of the Union.” “We have 90 percent of the bill agreed to and written. We just have some of the last decisions to be made. … I think we are pretty much there now” (The Hill).

 

However, the 10 percent outstanding remains a high hurdle for Democrats to move past and remains emblematic of the issues that have prevented a resolution. The frustrations have also made members of the majority party eager for a deal, with many arguing that there is little to gain by dragging negotiations past this week (The Hill).

 

Axios: ​​Pelosi expects “billionaire’s tax” to pay for Biden social spending.

 

The Associated Press: Source: Manchin agreeable to wealth tax for Biden plan.

 

The effort by party leaders to win the support of centrists such as Manchin and Sen. Kyrsten SinemaKyrsten SinemaBiden should seek some ideological diversity Budowsky: Why GOP donors flock to Manchin and Sinema Pence-linked group launches 0K ad campaign in West Virginia praising Manchin MORE (D-Ariz.) has also put a damper on the enthusiasm of progressives who find it hard to swallow the likelihood that the seismic social change they had hoped for will be absent from the final legislation.

 

As The Hill’s Hanna Trudo writes, a number of topics, not limited to voting rights, immigration reform and student debt relief, are unlikely to be included in the package despite promises made during the 2020 campaign. Progressives argue that the party is at risk of seeing its majorities evaporate by failing to deliver on those items as it remains highly unlikely that the legislative filibuster will be altered in any form.

 

“We showed up and risked arrest to try and get the White House to do more on the filibuster,” said Jana Morgan, director of the Declaration for American Democracy, a grassroots progressive network.

 

The Washington Post: Sinema’s silence on spending bill vexes many Democrats while she digs in on talks out of public view.

 

Michael D. Shear, The New York Times: Biden the dealmaker finds that compromise can have consequences.

 

The Hill: Khanna expresses frustration about Sinema.

 

 

The Ohio Clock outside the Senate Chamber

 



A MESSAGE FROM FACEBOOK

Why Facebook supports updated internet regulations

 

Jack is one of 40,000 people working on safety and security issues at Facebook.

 

Hear more from Jack on why Facebook supports updating regulations on the internet’s most pressing challenges, including reforming Section 230 to set clear guidelines for all large tech companies.



LEADING THE DAY

MORE CONGRESS: Biden’s participation in a major international climate change conference in Scotland beginning next week raises the stakes for his party in Congress to settle their differences over climate proposals in their pending reconciliation budget bill to add to U.S. commitments on the world stage (The Hill). The U.N. Climate Change Conference of the Parties begins Nov. 1 in Glasgow.

 

The Wall Street Journal: Cheat sheet to the U.N. climate gathering known as COP26. The goal among negotiators? A deal for the world to go carbon neutral by 2050.

 

The New York Times: The world is bending the climate emissions curve. Just not enough.

 

Sen. Martin HeinrichMartin Trevor HeinrichThis Thanksgiving, skip the political food fights and talk UFOs instead Degrees not debt will grow the economy Senators call for Smithsonian Latino, women's museums to be built on National Mall MORE (D-N.M.), who plans to attend the conference in Glasgow along with several of his Senate Democratic colleagues, said it will be “critical” to get “an agreement in principle (ahead of the event) that clearly articulates what we’re committed to and how that will build momentum” to address global warming.

 

Sen. Ed MarkeyEd MarkeySenators seek to curb counterfeit toys and goods sold online Senate GOP blocks defense bill, throwing it into limbo Equilibrium/Sustainability — Presented by Southern Company — Pledged money not going to Indigenous causes MORE (D-Mass.) said, “My hope is we can come together with a package that meets the president’s promise for Glasgow, and that’s going to be our assignment.”

 

On Sunday, Sen. Angus KingAngus KingAmazon, Facebook, other large firms would pay more under proposed minimum tax, Warren's office says Senators look to defense bill to move cybersecurity measures Energy information chief blames market for high fuel prices MORE (I-Maine) said that forfeiting certain climate provisions during intra-party negotiations for passage of a reconciliation bill also risks weakening U.S. commitments among other nations to cut greenhouse emissions on a timetable (The Hill).

 

> Jan. 6 investigation: The Justice Department is deciding whether to prosecute Trump’s former White House adviser Stephen Bannon on charges of defying a congressional subpoena (The Hill). … Here are three behind-the-scenes individuals who are under congressional pressure to testify about the Jan. 6 pro-Trump rally, explain what they know about how it was organized and whether (and with whom) it was coordinated with the White House (The Hill).

 

> Filibuster reform: Biden said last week he might support changes to Senate filibuster rules to provide exceptions to the 60-vote threshold for certain kinds of policies, such as voting rights and the debt ceiling, but he said he does not support doing away with the filibuster. King on Sunday said he, too, could support filibuster modifications but not its eradication.

 

“I'm not really ready to say, ‘Let's get rid of it altogether,’ because I think there are circumstances where it makes sense,” he told NBC News. “I'd like to restore the Senate to what it was, where we actually had debates and people had to hold the floor. So, I think (about) some kind of talking filibuster, perhaps a rule that instead of having to have 60 votes to pass something, you'd have to have 41 votes to stop it.”  

 

> Last term and legacy? Pelosi is in her third tenure as Speaker, her 18th term in the House, will be 82 in March — and won’t say if she’ll run for reelection next year (The Hill). She has spoken about passing Biden’s legislative agenda as a legacy achievement in her career, particularly Democrats’ climate-related policies. She knows that many analysts believe Republicans are likely, based on history and national angst, to win a House majority in next year’s elections.

 

*****

 

CORONAVIRUS: COVID-19 vaccines for children ages 5 to 11 could be available under federal emergency approval in early November based on positive scientific data from clinical trials, Anthony FauciAnthony FauciFauci to appear on Fox Business Friday for rare interview on the network Hawaii reports its first omicron case Glenn Greenwald discusses criticism of Fauci overseeing 'medically unjustifiable' experiments on dogs MORE, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, said on Sunday. 

 

“If all goes well, and we get the regulatory approval, and the recommendation from the CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention), it's entirely possible, if not very likely, that vaccines will be available for children from 5 to 11 within the first week or two of November,” Fauci told ABC’s “This Week” (The Hill).

 

CDC Director Rochelle WalenskyRochelle WalenskyCDC working to tighten testing requirement for international travelers Overnight Health Care — Presented by March of Dimes — Omicron sets off a flurry of responses CDC strengthens recommendation to say all adults should get booster shot MORE, appearing on NBC’s “Meet the Press,” said the country is experiencing a decline in COVID-19 infections and hospitalizations, but an average of 1,200 to 1,500 deaths per day, leading experts to warn Americans against becoming “complacent” as the government continues to recommend vaccination, boosters and available treatments to keep people of all ages and underlying conditions out of hospitals (The Hill).

 

Virus experts, including at the CDC, are closely watching a sub-mutation of the delta variant called AY.4.2, which has been detected in the United Kingdom and in a handful of cases in the United States. Walensky said scientists have not “yet” seen increased contagion or more lethal disease from the “sub-lineage” mutation of the delta variant in this country.

 

BBC: Delta “plus” variant may be more transmissible, British health experts suggest. In the U.K., an estimated 6 percent of COVID-19 infections are of the AY.4.2 type.

 

 

Dr. Rochelle Walensky, director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)

 

 

Former Food and Drug Administration Commissioner Scott Gottlieb, appearing on CBS’s “Face the Nation” on Sunday, recommended that fully vaccinated people who have compromised immune systems or have undergone recent treatment for cancer, including the elderly, talk to their physicians about receiving regular antiviral treatments, which are effective against COVID-19, as an extra layer of precaution to strengthen their body’s ability to fight off infections. 

 

The Hill: GOP leaders escalate the battle against vaccine mandates.

 

Niall Stanage, The Memo: Progress against COVID-19 makes a bigger difference to Americans' lives in the here-and-now than anything in Biden's big social spending bill — and could deliver a political payoff for the president.



IN FOCUS/SHARP TAKES

POLITICS: Election Day is just over a week away, and the lion’s share of eyes remain trained on a pair of gubernatorial contests in Virginia and New Jersey as political watchers look for clues ahead of the 2022 midterm elections.

 

However, the pair of top-of-the-ticket races in Virginia and New Jersey are by no means the only races worth keeping an eye on next week. The Hill’s Reid Wilson offers up a preview of a cavalcade of contests, which included a number of mayoral elections.

 

However, topping the list is the fight for the Virginia House of Delegates, where Democrats hold a 55-45 seat majority, meaning Republicans need to pick up six seats to win back control. Roughly two dozen seats are considered battleground contests, some of which have attracted millions in spending.

 

Only five seats — four held by Republicans, one by Democrats — voted for the other party’s presidential contender last year. However, if GOP nominee Glenn Youngkin wins and Republicans take back the House, they will be faced with a divided government. Democrats hold a 21 to 19 advantage in the state Senate, and those seats are not up for grabs until 2023.

 

Meanwhile, voters in Boston are set to elect the city’s first female mayor on Nov. 2. City council members Annissa Essaibi George and Michelle Wu, both Democrats running in an ostensibly nonpartisan race, will square off to replace Marty WalshMarty Walsh minimum wage for federal contractors will take effect on Jan. 30 The Hill's 12:30 Report - Presented by Facebook - Pelosi takes victory lap after breaking months-long standoff The Hill's Morning Report - Presented by ExxonMobil - House to vote on Biden social spending bill after McCarthy delay MORE, who resigned the position in March to serve as Biden’s secretary of Labor. Essaibi George is considered an ally of the former mayor, while Wu has the backing of Sen. Elizabeth WarrenElizabeth WarrenWarren calls on big banks to follow Capital One in ditching overdraft fees Crypto firm top executives to testify before Congress Massachusetts Gov. Charlie Baker won't seek reelection MORE (D-Mass.), her old boss, Markey and Rep. Ayanna PressleyAyanna PressleyMcCarthy faces headaches from far-right House GOP House progressives urge Garland to intervene in ex-environmental lawyer Steven Donziger's case GOP eyes booting Democrats from seats if House flips MORE (D).

 

Josh Kraushaar, National Journal: Democrats overplaying the Trump card In Virginia governor’s race.

 

The Hill: Democrats face growing hurdles in bid to oust Florida Gov. Ron DeSantisRon DeSantisHaley hits the stump in South Carolina Democratic frustration growing over stagnating voting rights bills A sad reality: In a season of giving, most will ignore America's poor MORE (R).

 

The Hill: Nominations for 2021 Top Lobbyists now open.

 

*****

 

ADMINISTRATION: The long-running U.S. policy of strategic ambiguity about defense of Taiwan against an attack by China last week became something of a Biden commitment. On Thursday, he said definitively that the United States would defend Taiwan, remarks that created some confusion and raised tensions with Beijing, forcing U.S. officials to walk back the appearance of open conflict between the United States and China.

 

A Beijing government spokesman said there is “no room for China to compromise or make concessions” on the issue of the independent Taiwan. China has recently been flying military planes near Taiwan’s air defense zone, to which Biden administration officials have responded with warnings. Biden and Chinese President Xi Jinping, who says he is committed to peaceful “reunification with Taiwan, are tentatively scheduled at the end of the year to hold a bilateral meeting, this time by virtual hookup (The Hill).

 

NBC News: Biden carries former President TrumpDonald TrumpBaldwin calls Trump criticism following 'Rust' shooting 'surreal' Haley hits the stump in South Carolina Mary Trump files to dismiss Trump's lawsuit over NYT tax story MORE’s hard line toward Beijing to coming summits.

 

 

A screen displays a map by Taiwan's defense ministry locating the bases of China's ballistic missiles

 

 

> Transportation Department: With paid leave on the table as a political and policy issue, Secretary Pete ButtigiegPete ButtigiegThe Hill's 12:30 Report: Biden to announce increased measures for omicron Pressed on 2024, Buttigieg says 'we are squarely focused on the job at hand' The Hill's Morning Report - Presented by Facebook - Biden talks up bright side beneath omicron's cloud MORE, who became the father of twins this summer with his husband, aims to publicly advocate for paid leave and also rebut conservative criticism that he took paternity leave while serving in the Cabinet. Biden on Friday conceded that in negotiations with Democrats in Congress, a plan for 12 weeks of paid family and medical leave was chopped down to four weeks as a way to help reduce a multi-trillion dollar price tag for a reconciliation package that must get support from every Democrat in the Senate to move forward in the next week or two (The Hill).

 

> White House: Biden’s top West Wing lawyer, Dana RemusDana RemusTrump looks to block 770 pages of records from Jan. 6 panel: court records White House rejects latest Trump claim of executive privilege The Hill's Morning Report - Presented by Facebook - Biden, Democrats inch closer to legislative deal MORE, is described as low-key in a high-stress job as her role becomes more challenging with the Supreme Court, state legislatures and Congress — including the Jan. 6 investigation, The Associated Press reports.



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

Rampant online cheating is the dark side of remote learning, by Karen Symms Gallagher, opinion contributor, The Los Angeles Times. https://lat.ms/3b3Zf3U

 

The United Nations should open its door to Democratic Taiwan, by Gary Schmitt and Michael Mazza, opinion contributors, The Wall Street Journal. https://on.wsj.com/3b3oeEF



A MESSAGE FROM FACEBOOK

Why Facebook supports updated internet regulations

 

Jack is one of 40,000 people working on safety and security issues at Facebook.

 

Hear more from Jack on why Facebook supports updating regulations on the internet’s most pressing challenges, including reforming Section 230 to set clear guidelines for all large tech companies.



WHERE AND WHEN

The House convenes at noon.

 

The Senate meets at 3 p.m. and resumes consideration of the nomination of Jia Cobb to be a U.S. district judge for the District of Columbia.

 

The president will receive the President’s Daily Brief at 8:30 a.m. Biden will travel from Delaware to Plainfield, N.J., for an event at East End Elementary School at 11:20 a.m. to champion his pending legislative agenda. At 1:45 p.m., Biden will champion his legislative agenda at the New Jersey TRANSIT Meadowlands Maintenance Complex, Kearny, N.J. The president will arrive at the White House shortly after 4 p.m. and later meet at the White House with Bartholomew I, the archbishop of Constantinople and ecumenical patriarch of the Eastern Orthodox Church, and welcome the official delegation of the Orthodox Christian Church.

 

First lady Jill BidenJill BidenThe Hill's Morning Report - Presented by Facebook - Biden talks up bright side beneath omicron's cloud Bidens to attend Kennedy Center Honors following Trumps' absence The Hill's 12:30 Report: Trump's pre-debate COVID-19 test sparks criticism MORE at 2:45 p.m. will visit the Charleston Medical University of South Carolina Hollings Cancer Center to mark Breast Cancer Awareness Month. At 4:30 p.m., she will visit Joint Base Charleston and host a Joining Forces event with military families.

 

INVITATION: The Hill’s Virtually Live next week hosts a three-day event, “A More Perfect Union” Festival, TUESDAY - THURSDAY at 11:30 a.m. EDT, featuring thought-provoking conversations with Interior Secretary Deb HaalandDeb HaalandThe Hill's 12:30 Report: Biden to announce increased measures for omicron The Hill's Morning Report - Presented by Facebook - Biden talks up bright side beneath omicron's cloud Interior recommends imposing higher costs for public lands drilling MORE, White House chief of staff Ron KlainRon KlainNew variant raises questions about air travel mandates White House scrambles for safety on holiday parties The massive messaging miscues of all the president's men (and women) MORE, West Virginia Sen. Manchin, NIH’s Fauci, John BoltonJohn BoltonWhen will Biden declare America's 'One China, One Taiwan' policy? India's S-400 missile system problem Overnight Defense & National Security — GOP unhappy with Afghan vetting MORE, Rep. Cathy McMorris RodgersCathy McMorris RodgersDemocrats to target Section 230 in Haugen hearing Washington redistricting panel reaches late agreement on new lines McMorris Rodgers worried broadband funding will miss mark without new maps MORE (R-Wash.), filmmaker Michael Moore and others. Information is 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

➔ MORE CLIMATE: Environmental activists have turned their attention to Wall Street regulators. The move last week by the Financial Stability Oversight Council, an interagency oversight group, to label climate change an existential threat to the financial system cheered those eager to battle greenhouse emissions and bolsters Democrats' efforts to use financial regulation as a tool in the climate fight. The council’s report skirts any specific financial industry recommendations, such as mandatory stress tests, capital requirements or caps on fossil fuel investments (The Hill).

 

➔ INSIDE FACEBOOK: Seventeen participating news outlets, including CNN, The New York Times, NBC News, The Washington Post, The Wall Street Journal and The Associated Press began on Friday to lift the veil on Facebook’s inner workings, reporting with the help of materials provided by whistleblower Frances Haugen, who leaked documents she also provided to the Securities and Exchange Commission and Congress. Responding to disclosures of internal Facebook assessments, which now call into question the company’s public statements about stopping election misinformation, hate speech and conspiracies, company Vice President of Integrity Guy Rosen published a blog post defending Facebook’s actions. … “We need to steel ourselves for more bad headlines in the coming days, I’m afraid,” Facebook’s Vice President of Global Affairs Nick Clegg wrote in a memo to employees on Saturday (Axios). … Haugen will today answer questions from lawmakers in the United Kingdom, the same day Facebook is expected to release its latest earnings data (The Associated Press). … In the meantime, Facebook is mulling a reboot, new name and a brand overhaul (The Verge).

 

SUDAN COUP: An apparent military coup was ongoing in the northeast African nation of Sudan early Monday and was condemned by the United Nations Mission to Sudan. The prime minister, Abdalla Hamdok, was arrested and taken to an undisclosed location by members of the army. Several senior government figures from the cabinet were also detained and their whereabouts were unknown (The Associated Press and Reuters).

 

➔ IRAN: Richard Ratcliff, the husband of imprisoned Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe, a British-based charity worker locked up in Iran for more than five years, has begun another hunger strike in London after an Iranian court decided his wife has to spend another year in prison. Zaghari-Ratcliffe, who worked for the Thomson Reuters Foundation, was arrested by Tehran officials in 2016 over allegations that she plotted to overthrow the Iranian government. Zaghari-Ratcliffe and human rights groups deny that charge (The Hill).



THE CLOSER

And finally … A 4-year-old New Zealand boy recently called his community’s “111” emergency phone number and told police he wanted to show them his toys. A man who picked up the receiver hastened to explain the call was in error and the boy was helping out at home while his mother was sick, but the dispatcher opted to send an officer to the address, which resulted in some show-and-tell, lots of pictures, and a gentle discussion about when to report emergencies.

 

The police department last week shared audio on social media involving all the players, including “Constable Kurt,” who had a starring role in the “too cute” incident:

 

Dispatcher: “This is police. Where is the emergency?

Boy: “Hi.” (Pause) Police lady?”

Dispatcher: “Yes, what’s going on?

Boy: “Um, can I tell you something?I've got some toys for you.

Dispatcher: “You've got some toys for me?

Boy: “Yep. Come over and see them.

Constable Kurt: “He did have cool toys!” (ABC News).

 

 

New Zealand police answer 4-year-old's call