NotedDC — Pelosi holds out hope for social spending bill

Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) is holding onto hopes of Congress advancing a social and climate spending package this year — albeit a slimmed-down one.

Pelosi said Thursday that a potential reconciliation bill is “alive” a day after meeting with President Biden and Senate Majority Leader Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.).

The trio of top Democrats met at the White House to discuss lowering the costs of prescription drugs and energy prices as well as deficit reduction — components needed in a bill for holdout Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) to potentially get on board.

The Hill’s Alex Bolton reported earlier this month that the bill, previously dubbed “Build Back Better,” was not entirely dead as Schumer and Manchin were negotiating on a slimmed-down version.

The party initially imagined it as a presidency-defining piece of legislation for Biden, with House Democrats hoping to use it to push through many of their policy goals on issues like climate, paid leave, Medicare, the child tax credit and universal pre-K.

But Manchin has opposed some of those provisions, with the broader bill essentially dead since December. The West Virginia senator signaled earlier this year that he’d want a narrower bill to include measures aimed at tackling the deficit and inflation.

In recent weeks the Senate has largely turned to other issues such as gun reform, and time is ticking for Democrats to try to land some sort of deal before the August recess, which they set as their latest unofficial deadline for the slimmed-down bill.

Pelosi said Thursday she’d be pleased “if we just have some” of what was included in the House bill. “But I just don’t know. As I think you know from the dynamic around here, the Senate negotiation is very close[ly] held.”

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What’s next for Jan. 6 committee?

The Jan. 6 House select committee is expected to focus an upcoming hearing on the individual role then-President Trump played leading up to the attack and what was happening at the White House during the riot.

  • Rep. Pete Aguilar (D-Calif.) gave a brief preview of that upcoming material during Thursday’s hearing.
  • Aguilar said the committee has evidence Trump’s speech at the Ellipse before  the Capitol riot initially didn’t mention Vice President Pence.
  • Instead, Trump personally revised it to work up the crowd’s focus on Pence’s role in the election certification, Aguilar said.

It also appears that Virginia “Ginni” Thomas, wife of Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas, will sit down for an interview with the Jan. 6 panel.

  • Committee leaders Bennie Thompson (D-Miss.) and Liz Cheney (R-Wyo.) told reporters the panel wanted interview her after reports of communications with Trump’s inner circle regarding the effort to overthrow the election.
  • Thomas, in comments first reported by the Daily Caller, said she’s down to meet with the committee. “I can’t wait to clear up misconceptions. I look forward to talking to them,” she’s quoted as telling the outlet.

The person missing from the room: Pence’s name was mentioned over and over again in Thursday’s public hearing, the third held by the panel this month, and some of his top aides and advisers testified in person and in video testimony.

But while he was the primary focus of the hearing, Pence himself was scheduled to be some 500 miles away in Cincinnati, Ohio, for a roundtable discussion with Gov. Mike DeWine (R) about the energy sector.

The committee did play a clip of a Pence speech where the then-VP pushed back on Trump’s claim that he had the power to overturn the election. 


The Supreme Court is teed up to issue more opinions starting at 10 a.m. next Tuesday (6/21) and Thursday (6/23). You can find them here when they’re released.

Eighteen cases remain to be decided, including potentially monumental cases on abortion, guns and religion in schools.

  • Abortion: Justices still haven’t unveiled the formal ruling on a Mississippi abortion law that, if allowed to stand, could upend the landmark 1973 Roe v. Wade decision that guarantees abortion access across the country.
  • Guns: The court also still has yet to decide a dispute over a century-old New York gun law that regulates licensing for concealed handguns.
  • Religious freedom: Maine currently prohibits religious private schools from taking part in its school voucher program. If the court overrules the state, experts say it ultimately could pave the way for more religious charter schools. 

Bowser eyes third term as DC mayor

D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser (D) is trying to pull off a win next week to set herself up for another four years leading the nation’s capital city.

  • If Bowser wins Tuesday’s primary she’ll be poised to secure a near-record third term, surpassed only by D.C. “Mayor for Life” Mayor Marion Barry (D), who served four terms.
  • Bowser, who took office in 2015, was virtually uncontested when she ran for reelection in 2018. That isn’t the case now. Her opponents, Council members Robert C. White Jr. and Trayon White Sr., are putting up a challenge. 

Her second term — during which she’s navigated the COVID-19 pandemic and responding to rising gun violence and homelessness — has prompted more criticism than her first, creating room for competition. 

The Hill’s Cheyanne Daniels reports that despite the challenge, Bowser is known for one thing that her other opponents aren’t: publicly standing up to former President Trump.

  • Flashback to 2020: “The Trump-Bowser feud really came to head in 2020, after the murder of George Floyd. Protests erupted around the country and D.C. was no exception,” Daniels reports.
  • “But it was the use of tear gas and rubber bullets to clear Lafayette Square on June 1, 2020, that led to the overnight painting of the Black Lives Matter mural. Americans woke up to the news on June 5, and the mayor received high praise from social justice advocates and Democrats around the country.” 

Why that matters this election: “What stood out for me was this Black woman was entering into this traditional masculine and wet-mud throwing, getting down and dirty the kind of way that we think about men in politics,” Georgetown professor Nadia E. Brown told Daniels.

But still, it won’t be an easy battle for Bowser. She is only leading Robert White by 4 points, according to a poll commissioned by his campaign.


Republicans see hope in Texas outcome: The Hill’s Emily Brooks takes a deep dive into what Mayra Flores‘ win means for Republicans and their ability to attract Hispanic voters:

  • “Republicans are holding up Mayra Flores’s win in the special election for Texas’ 34th Congressional District Tuesday as the latest sign Hispanic voters are shifting toward the GOP and hoping her win is the first of many this year for Republicans running in heavily-Latino districts.”

On the midterm front…More bad news for Dems: Democrats face congressional rout amid historically terrible headwinds, The Hill’s Reid Wilson reports. Reid looks at the fight Democrats face heading into this fall’s midterms:

  • “Interviews with half a dozen Democratic strategists and pollsters — most of whom declined to put their anxiety on the record — show a party clinging to hopes that voter anger can be spread across the aisle.” 

A new name

A Washington, D.C., street outside of the Saudi Arabia Embassy has been renamed to honor slain Washington Post journalist Jamal Khashoggi.

Khashoggi, a Saudi-born journalist and American citizen, was murdered inside the Saudi consulate in Istanbul in 2018. U.S. intel officials determined Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman approved the killing. He has denied involvement.

Juneteenth celebrations around The District


Sunday will mark one year since Juneteenth became a federal holiday. It marks the day in 1865 when troops arrived in Texas to ensure all slaves would be freed. A recent Gallup poll found Americans have since become more familiar with the holiday.

Stay with for the latest and recommend NotedDC to others: See you next week.


Tags abortion ban Biden Charles Schumer Clarence Thomas gun reform Jamal Khashoggi Jan. 6 Capitol riot Jan. 6 hearings Jan. 6 House committee Joe Manchin Marion Barry Mayra Flores Muriel Bowser Muriel Bowser Nancy Pelosi Pete Aguilar Pharrell Williams Reconciliation Roe v. Wade social spending bill Trump
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