The Hill's Morning Report - Presented by Facebook - Did Democrats misread voters' 2020 call for change?

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Storm clouds roll over the White House

 

 

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Total U.S. coronavirus deaths: 754,431. 

 

As of this morning, 67.4 percent of the U.S. population has received at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine and 58.4 percent is fully vaccinated, according to the Bloomberg News global vaccine tracker.



As the White House and Democrats try to pump up urgency this month to enact President BidenJoe BidenCourt nixes offshore drilling leases auctioned by Biden administration Laquan McDonald's family pushes for federal charges against officer ahead of early release Biden speaks with Ukrainian president amid Russian threat MORE’s Build Back Better spending plan, some party members say they’re unsure the agenda is in line with voters’ interests, while others insist that “action” — any big progressive achievement — is the antidote.

 

Last week’s dismal election returns for Democrats weigh heavily on choices that will be felt for years. Did the party misread the public’s desire for sweeping change? The 2020 Democratic campaign may have missed voters’ angst about their economic futures and scientific confusion about the coronavirus, mistrust in government and impatience to place blame.

 

The Hill: Democrats debate whether they’re out of step with the wider public. 

 

The Wall Street Journal: The president gets a $1 trillion down payment on his domestic agenda but obstacles loom for Democrats’ spending bill. 

 

Biden is straining to distance his sagging job approval numbers from the Election Day outcome last week. His top advisers and Democratic leaders in the House and Senate argue that voters’ rebukes suggest the public wants to see spending bills that deliver more transformative changes, not fewer, and become law now, not later.

 

“Voters sent a message on Tuesday,” White House chief of staff Ron KlainRon KlainBriefing in brief: WH counters GOP attacks on planned SCOTUS pick Biden's first year: A mirage of gender parity Over 80 lawmakers urge Biden to release memo outlining his authority on student debt cancellation MORE told NBC News on Sunday. “They wanted to see more action in Washington. They wanted to see things move more quickly, and three days later, Congress responded, passing the president's infrastructure bill.” 

 

Some Democrats believe it’s more complicated, report The Hill’s Amie Parnes and Morgan Chalfant. Some argue Democrats have a communications problem. Some think the party has policy problems. Some say voters need to see rapid and effective implementation of the big infrastructure measure Biden will sign this month, along with anything from his nearly $2 trillion social policy spending plan that may make it into law.

 

Without clear certainty about the party’s ailments, Democrats took to bickering with a weapon sharp enough for social media — “wokeness.” The Hill’s Niall Stanage wrote, “That label is itself controversial, with many progressives arguing it is used to stigmatize important moves toward racial and gender equity. But it seems increasingly obvious that many moderate voters are uncomfortable with what they view as an abrupt cultural move leftwards, especially in schools.

 

Business Insider: Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-CortezAlexandria Ocasio-CortezOcasio-Cortez: Supporting Sinema challenge by someone like Gallego would be easy decision New Mexico Democrat tests positive for COVID-19 breakthrough case Warner tests positive for breakthrough COVID-19 case MORE (D-N.Y.), 32, slammed Democratic strategist James Carville, 77, for referring to wokeness, "a term almost exclusively used by older people these days."

 

The election last week of Republican Glenn YoungkinGlenn YoungkinMost Virginia school districts disobeying Youngkin on order making masks optional: report The Hill's Morning Report - Who will replace Justice Breyer? Overnight Energy & Environment — 'Forever chemical' suits face time crunch MORE to be Virginia’s next governor, and the loss by Democrat Terry McAuliffeTerry McAuliffeJill Biden adds to communications team in lead-up to midterm elections The Memo: Is Trump the GOP's future or in rearview mirror? The Hill's 12:30 Report: Dems barrel towards voting rights vote with no outcome MORE, once the state’s governor, a friend of the Clintons and a former Democratic National Committee chairman, exposed a proxy war between party influencers of yore and those eager for new thinking, The Hill’s Hanna Trudo and Julia Manchester write. 

 

Joseph Geevarghese, executive director of Our Revolution, a grassroots group that recruits and supports dozens of progressive candidates seeking higher office, said McAuliffe’s loss “put a punctuation point” on the waning influence of the Clinton-Obama wing of the party. 

 

The Washington Post: Democrats search for political identity.

 

In Congress, Democrats’ troubles mean Senate Republicans feel more confident about their chances of winning a majority next year, although there’s still plenty of hand-wringing about GOP candidates running in Georgia, Missouri and Pennsylvania who face serious accusations of domestic violence or sexual misconduct, The Hill’s Alexander Bolton reports.

 

In the House, last week’s Democratic losses and the party’s pessimistic outlook for continued control after the 2022 elections mean the party is braced for more lawmakers who opt to leave Congress when their terms are up (The Hill). 

 

MSNBC: Republicans look for an advantage as House Democrats opt for retirements over reelection.

 

During an interview with The Washington Post last week, Rep. Tom EmmerThomas (Tom) Earl EmmerSupreme Court declines GOP challenge against House proxy voting Mask rules spark political games and a nasty environment in the House Swalwell slams House Republican for touting funding in bill she voted down MORE of Minnesota, the chairman of the National Republican Congressional Committee (NRCC), gave vulnerable Democratic incumbents an ultimatum: “Retire or lose.” Former President TrumpDonald TrumpMark Walker to stay in North Carolina Senate race Judge lays out schedule for Eastman to speed up records processing for Jan. 6 panel Michael Avenatti cross-examines Stormy Daniels in his own fraud trial MORE will be on hand to help the NRCC raise money in Tampa, Fla., during a two-day, rescheduled event to begin today (Axios).

 

The Associated Press: Top Republicans are bullish on 2022 prospects after Virginia win.

 

 

Virginia Gov.-elect Glenn Youngkin arrives to speak at an election night party

 

 

More in politics: New Hampshire Republicans are crafting new congressional district boundary lines that would give them their first Granite State seat in the U.S. House in years, reports The Hill’s Reid Wilson. Few states have more complicated histories of discrimination through redistricting. … Democrats last week received fresh confirmation about the party’s struggles among rural voters (The Hill).



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LEADING THE DAY

CORONAVIRUS: The White House on Sunday said legal challenges filed to block the federal government’s order that more than 80 million private-sector workers be vaccinated against COVID-19 are likely to be resolved by the new year in favor of the government’s regulatory position that it can act to ensure safe workplaces during the pandemic.

 

On Saturday, days after the regulation was published, a federal appeals court temporarily halted the rollout of the administration’s requirement and gave the government until today to respond (Bloomberg News and The Hill). 

 

The White House’s Klain on Sunday said the administration believes the courts will support the rule issued by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration affecting private companies with more than 100 workers. “I'm quite confident that when this finally gets fully adjudicated, not just a temporary order, the validity of this requirement will be upheld,” he said (The Hill).

 

Legal challenges, which the government anticipated, are piling up from companies, Republican governors and state attorneys general, report The Hill’s Alex Gangitano and Nathaniel Weixel

 

Meanwhile, 4 million U.S. federal workers face a Nov. 22 requirement to be fully vaccinated against the coronavirus or face the consequences. As in every other segment of U.S. employment, there are holdouts, opponents and lawsuits. Federal workers who are unvaccinated as of the president’s deadline later this month won’t immediately be fired. They will receive “counseling” and be given five days to start the vaccination process. They could then be suspended for 14 days and eventually could be terminated, but that process would take months (The Associated Press).

 

The Washington Post: Thousands of federal workers are seeking exemptions to COVID-19 vaccine requirements.

 

The Associated Press: Schools are taking the lead in endorsing COVID-19 vaccines for youngsters. Many U.S. elementary schools are preparing to offer the shots on-site, but others say they will not provide access to inoculations on campus after seeing pushback aimed at some middle and high schools.

 

 

A syringe is prepared with the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine

 

 

***** 

 

CONGRESS: It goes without saying that Biden’s Build Back Better agenda, despite all the rosy predictions from the president and his surrogates, faces modifications in the Senate and potentially intractable opposition, reports The Hill’s Jordain Carney. Both chambers are out of Washington this week, quieting legislative urgency while increasing the second-guessing, recalculations and lobbying.

 

I'm sure the Senate will make changes, that's the way the legislative process works,” Klain said on “Meet the Press.” “This bill is gaining momentum. We're going to get it passed. We’re going to get it signed.” 

 

> Lawmakers plan to launch a bipartisan caucus focused on supporting women in fields of science, technology, engineering and math, reports The Hill’s Rebecca Klar.  



IN FOCUS/SHARP TAKES

ADMINISTRATION: Congress and the Pentagon are focused on China’s military buildup and Beijing’s advanced efforts to develop nuclear-capable missiles. “We’re witnessing one of the largest shifts in global geo-strategic power,” Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman Gen. Mark MilleyMark MilleyBiden's first year: A mirage of gender parity Defense & National Security — Pentagon puts 8,500 troops on high alert Special Operations Command's top general tests positive for COVID-19 MORE said last week while speaking about China’s recent military advances. “They are clearly challenging us regionally and their aspiration is to challenge the United States globally” (The Hill).

 

The Associated Press and Reuters: According to satellite images dated Sunday captured in China’s northwestern desert, the country built mock-ups of a U.S. Navy aircraft carrier and a destroyer positioned on a railway track, possibly for clandestine practice or target purposes.

 

In yet another flashpoint between the U.S. and China, disputes continue over commitments to tackle climate change. Biden this month rebuked China, saying President Xi Jinping’s decision to skip the U.N. climate summit in Scotland was a “big mistake” because it would diminish Beijing’s influence. China returned the criticism (The Hill). 

 

> Ministerial preparations for a Nov. 12 videoconference among world leaders representing members of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) begin today, organized by host New Zealand. China has been a member since 1991. Russian President Vladimir PutinVladimir Vladimirovich PutinYes, the US can legally intervene if Russia invades Ukraine Russia-Ukraine conflict threatens U.S. prestige China warns US to 'stop interfering' in Olympics MORE will speak virtually on Nov. 12, the Kremlin announced. APEC leaders last conferred on July 16 during a special session convened to respond to the pandemic. 

 

On Sunday, Energy Secretary Jennifer GranholmJennifer GranholmBiden: A good coach knows when to change up the team Overnight Energy & Environment — Biden announces green buildings initiative Overnight Energy & Environment — Earth records its hottest years ever MORE repeated that rising petroleum prices are an economic concern for Biden and the administration. Among the tools the president is still examining, she told CNN, is tapping the U.S. Strategic Petroleum Reserve to increase U.S. supply as a way to lower prices. The secretary noted that Biden had asked the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries to hike oil supplies, but OPEC declined. Recently, the president has sounded more noncommittal about calls to release oil from the largest reserve in the world, which is designed to protect the nation against a major supply disruption, not higher pump prices.

 

> Vice President Harris this week will meet French President Emmanuel MacronEmmanuel Jean-Michel MacronLook to the EU to understand the US border crisis  New French law bans 'conversion therapy' The Hill's Morning Report - Biden: Russia attack 'would change the world' MORE in Paris, becoming the third top-tier U.S. official to meet with Macron to try to smooth over a brittle period in relations between the two countries, report The Hill’s Amie Parnes and Morgan Chalfant. It’s Harris’s third trip abroad as vice president.

 

 

 



OPINION

A way forward for Biden and the Democrats in 2022 and 2024, by Mark PennMark PennPoll: 30 percent of Americans say they approve of the job Congress is doing Majority of voters say Biden is unable to handle issues with Russia, China: poll Biden approval rating hits new low: poll MORE and Andrew Stein, opinion contributors, The New York Times. https://nyti.ms/3015O5z

 

Republicans rescue Biden’s agenda, by The Wall Street Journal editorial board. https://on.wsj.com/3BUJ83u



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WHERE AND WHEN

The House is in recess this week. A pro forma session begins at noon on Tuesday. 

 

The Senate meets for a pro forma session at noon on Tuesday and returns to legislative work on Nov. 15. 

 

The president returns to the White House from his home in Rehoboth Beach, Del., at 9:40 a.m. Biden and the vice president receive the President’s Daily Brief at 10:15 a.m. At 2:50 p.m. the president will honor the Milwaukee Bucks as NBA champions.

 

The vice president will depart to begin a six-day official itinerary in France.  

 

First lady Jill BidenJill BidenThe Hill's Morning Report - Presented by Facebook - Biden talks, Senate balks Jill Biden adds to communications team in lead-up to midterm elections Harris invokes MLK in voting rights push, urges Senate to 'do its job' MORE will visit a COVID-19 vaccination clinic at Franklin Sherman Elementary School in McLean, Va., at 2:15 p.m. She will be accompanied by U.S. Surgeon General Vivek MurthyVivek MurthyWHO sees slowdown in omicron surge The Hill's Morning Report - Presented by Facebook - Schumer tees up doomed election reform vote Maryland Democrat announces positive COVID-19 test MORE to promote COVID-19 vaccinations for children ages 5 to 11. 

 

The White House press briefing is scheduled at 1 p.m. and will include Transportation Secretary Pete ButtigiegPete ButtigiegButtigieg targeting rising traffic fatalities The Hill's Morning Report - Presented by Facebook - Biden talks, Senate balks Airlines suspend US flights in response to 5G deployment MORE.

 

INVITATION: The Hill’s Virtually Live on WEDNESDAY at 1 p.m. hosts “The Future of the Workplace,” featuring discussions with Reps. Mary Gay ScanlonMary Gay ScanlonSuspect charged in Philadelphia carjacking of Democratic congresswoman Illinois state senator carjacked at gunpoint near Chicago Five arrested in connection with carjacking of House Democrat MORE (D-Pa.) and Victoria Spartz (R-Ind.), corporate experts, an economist, and a Purdue University management professor. 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

TRAVEL: U.S. airports, airlines, and Customs and Border Patrol agents are braced today for a significant surge of vaccinated-only international visitors from at least 33 countries who had been barred from entry to the United States during the pandemic (Reuters). After a travel lull since 2020, international travelers are being welcomed by air and land beginning today. Reunions with loved ones and friends will abound (The Associated Press). But the U.S. requirement for proof of vaccination has a catch: Non-immigrant adults must show they received vaccine doses authorized by the Food and Drug Administration or which received an emergency use listing from the World Health Organization — not easy in many countries (The Associated Press).

 

INTERNATIONAL: A failed assassination attempt on Sunday aimed at Iraqi Prime Minister Mustafa al-Kadhimi at his residence increased tensions in Baghdad. His injuries were reported as minor after rocket and drone attacks. There was no immediate claim of responsibility, but suspicion immediately fell on Iran-backed militias (The Associated Press). ... Secretary of State Antony BlinkenAntony BlinkenOvernight Defense & National Security — Inside Austin's civilian harm directive North Korea sparks US condemnation with latest missile launch Republicans again call for Oversight hearing on Afghanistan withdrawal MORE spoke with the prime minister on Sunday to condemn the attacks. In a statement, the department said Blinken “reiterated that the U.S. partnership with Prime Minister al-Kadhimi and with Iraq is steadfast, and pledged to support the Iraqi Security Forces as they investigate this attack.”  … Security researchers with the nonprofit group Frontline Defenders disclosed today that spyware from the notorious Israeli hacker-for-hire company NSO Group was detected on the cellphones of six Palestinian human rights activists, half affiliated with groups that Israeli Defense Minister Benny Gantz controversially claimed were involved in terrorism. The revelation marks the first known instance of Palestinian activists being targeted by the military-grade Pegasus spyware (The Associated Press). 

 

TECH: What has Facebook taught us about human behavior? Meta CEO Mark ZuckerbergMark ZuckerbergFacebook winding down cryptocurrency effort: report Can our nation afford higher interest rates with the current national debt? Hillicon Valley — States probe the tech giants MORE’s boast last month that “you’re going to be able to do almost anything you can imagine” in an internet world that blends real life with virtual imaginings sparked debate about the darker possibilities (The Associated Press).

 

26.2 x SIX:   Shalane Flanagan, 40 — a mom who has had two reconstructive knee surgeries and retired from professional running — on Sunday completed the New York City Marathon in a fast 2:33:32. But it’s what she did beforehand that captured amateur runners’ imaginations. She vowed this year to race the world’s elite autumn marathons, each in under three hours, and she made good on her goal in a span of just six weeks. Flanagan breezed through the 26.2-mile courses in Berlin, London, Chicago, Boston and ran a marathon near her home in Oregon two weeks ago after the Tokyo marathon was canceled (The New York Times). In 2017, she was the first American woman to win the New York marathon in 40 years. Her time in victory that year was 2:26:53.

 

P.S. Chelsea Clinton finished the race, too, among about 30,000 runners. Her parents, Bill and Hillary ClintonHillary Diane Rodham ClintonThe Armageddon elections to come Poll: Trump leads 2024 Republican field with DeSantis in distant second The politics of 'mind control' MORE, were all smiles with her near the finish line.

 

 

Shalane Flanagan of the United States crosses the finish line of the New York City Marathon

 



THE CLOSER

And finally … in case there’s any doubt, the comforts of home include flush toilets! Astronauts scheduled to splash back on Earth tonight from the International Space Station are undergoing a 20-hour return flight in a SpaceX capsule that has such abysmal and irreparable plumbing problems that diapers are required for the journey (The Associated Press).

 

Returning after a challenging six-month mission are NASA astronauts Megan McArthur and Shane Kimbrough, French astronaut Thomas Pesquet and Japanese astronaut Akihiko Hoshide

 

NASA says the splashdown in the Atlantic Ocean off the coast of Florida is currently expected at 10:33 p.m. EDT (Space.com). Live video will be HERE.

 

 

Astronauts try on @SpaceX spacesuits

 



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!