Morning Report

The Hill’s Morning Report — High drama expected at first Jan. 6 committee hearing

The House select panel on Jan. 6 has prepared a prime-time narrative tonight that asserts that American democracy and the Constitution were nearly goners in the hands of elected officials and a large band of fantasists and facilitators.

Amid the committee’s deep dive into what transpired, and former President Trump’s role, some of the same elected officials who said the 2020 presidential election was rigged (it wasn’t) and that President Biden was not a legitimate president (he is), are debating whether tougher background checks, red flag laws and a hike in the age to 21 to buy assault weapons would reduce mass shootings in America. It is unclear whether modest legislation will pass the Senate to respond to the recent murders at a New York grocery store, Texas elementary school and Oklahoma hospital.

On Wednesday, just a day after the government issued a new domestic terror watch alert because of disinformation and security threats circulating on the web, a 26-year-old California man armed with a Glock 17 pistol, knife, duct tape and zip ties was arrested for attempted murder near the home of Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh after calling 911 to describe his intentions.The would-beattacker, who was dressed in black and toting satchels of gear, told police he intended to kill the conservative justice because he was upset that Roe v. Wade, the landmark abortion decision, might soon be overturned. The suspect also said he believed Kavanaugh would vote from the bench to loosen gun control laws.

Kavanaugh and his family are protected by recently beefed-up security around his Maryland home, including from U.S. marshals.

The arrest also led congressional Republicans to re-up calls for the House to pass legislation that would boost security for Supreme Court justices and their families (The Hill). The proposal already passed the Senate unanimously. House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer (D) said on Wednesday he is “hopeful” the House can pass it soon but is seeking changes in further talks with Sens. John Cornyn (R-Texas) and Chris Coons (D-Del.) (Bloomberg News).

NBC News: Senate Democrats press Biden for executive actions on abortion.

© Associated Press / Susan Walsh | Justice Brett Kavanaugh, 2018.

Americans who might not have thought twice about their safety while in stores, churches, schools, doctors’ offices, inside the Capitol and at their offices are telling members of Congress this week that they are deeply, deeply worried about mass shootings and lone gunmen and want to see officials take action.

During a taped appearance Wednesday night on ABC’s “Jimmy Kimmel Live!,” Biden blamed the National Rifle Association and Republican candidates’ fear of election defeat for a lack of progress on proposed gun safety laws. He urged Americans to make gun safety a top voting issue this fall.

Biden said the GOP has undergone “a radical shift” while moving “hard right” since Trump was elected, meaning its members often vote against what many call “common sense” gun control because they’re afraid of being voted out of office.

“This is not your father’s Republican Party,” Biden said. “This is a MAGA party, a very different Republican Party and you find people who are worried, I believe, that if they vote for rational gun policy, they’re gonna be primaried and they’re going to lose in a hard-right Republican primary” (New York Post).

NBC News: ​​Biden tells Kimmel he has no new plans to issue an executive order on guns.

Tonight’s Jan. 6 hearing in the House will be carried live by most broadcast outlets, the exception being Fox News. Hearing witnesses will include a documentary filmmaker who embedded with the right-wing, pro-Trump Proud Boys group (The Hill).

The Hill: House Republicans are prepared to rebut the Jan. 6 committee’s evidence and conclusions. For Democrats in Congress, the idea of victory tied to the Jan. 6 committee is not uniform, The Hill’s Mike Lillis reports.

Meanwhile, the House on Wednesday voted to advance a wide-ranging gun violence package, dubbed the Protecting Our Kids Act. The legislation, which is expected to die in the House, passed in a 223-204 vote. Two Democrats — Reps. Jared Golden (Maine) and Kurt Schrader (Ore.) — opposed the measure, while five Republicans — Reps. Adam Kinzinger (Ill.), Anthony Gonzalez (Ohio), Brian Fitzpatrick (Pa.), Chris Jacobs (N.Y.) and Fred Upton (Mich.) — backed it (The Hill). All of the Republicans, sans Fitzpatrick, are retiring at year’s end. 

The package included seven separate provisions aimed at addressing gun violence, including ones that would raise the minimum age for buying a semi-automatic weapon from 18 to 21, bar civilians from using bump stocks and ammunition magazines with more than 15 rounds, to name a few. Lawmakers voted separately on each one, all of which cleared the chamber in mainly party-line votes.

Of course, the House’s proposal will go nowhere and was meant as a messaging vote in response to the spate of mass shootings that have cropped up across the country, headlined by those in Uvalde, Texas, and Buffalo, N.Y. 

The New York Times: As survivors demand action, House passes gun bill doomed in the Senate.

Across the Capitol, senators continued to motor toward a possible deal on a more modest gun violence bill. As The Hill’s Alexander Bolton reports, negotiators have cobbled together the outlines of legislation, focusing it on encouraging states to pass red flag laws, greenlighting funds to deal with mental health treatment and school safety, and strengthening background checks. A final bill could also include language concerning safe storage of firearms.

Senators involved in talks were optimistic that the outline could lead to an agreed-to framework by the end of the week. 

“It was a constructive conversation. I’m optimistic we have a path forward,” Coonssaid.

Cornyn, the lead negotiator for the GOP, said from the Senate floor that discussions are “making steady progress.” He also told reporters that he is hopeful to have an agreement in hand by the time senators break for the July 4 recess (CNN). 

“I sense a feeling of urgency and a desire to actually get things done,” Cornyn said from the floor. 

However, the number of Senate Republicans who will throw their support behind the final bill remains unclear. According to CNN, several Senate GOP members spoke out against the emerging bill during a party lunch on Wednesday, arguing that lawmakers are going too far. 

Related Articles

The Wall Street Journal: Uvalde shooting survivor, age 11, tells Congress, “I don’t want it to happen again.”

The Hill: Attorney General Merrick Garland names team to investigate Texas school shooting.

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There is no question that Biden, faced with record low job approval numbers and a long list of politically sensitive policy challenges, is often playing defense. Immigration and border security have been used by Republican candidates to criticize the administration, often in concert with concerns about crime, use of public benefits for noncitizens and public health.

NBC News reported on Wednesday that the Department of Homeland Security plans to transport migrants awaiting immigration proceedings from U.S. cities along the southern border farther into the interior of the country, beginning with Los Angeles in the coming weeks. Federal funds would be used for bus tickets and other travel to cities on the list, including Albuquerque, N.M., Houston and Dallas. The administration says it wants to alleviate overcrowding along the border where record high numbers of border crossers have overwhelmed the capacity of local shelters in some cities, at times leading Customs and Border Protection to release migrants on the street to fend for themselves.

New inflation data to be released Friday is expected to show another jump in monthly price growth, posing a serious threat to the U.S. economy and Biden’s political prospects, reports The Hill’s Sylvan Lane.

Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen on Wednesday testified to the House about inflation, which she says she underappreciated in her earlier forecasts and now expects to remain high (The Hill). Many economists made similar inflation assessments, not fully understanding supply chain bottlenecks, among other COVID-19-related impacts to the economy.

👉 The average pump price of a gallon of gasoline in the United States today is close to exceeding $5. AAA reports $4.970 is the average price this morning.



Tuesday night’s results in California only compounded problems for progressives, whose hopes to make inroads with electoral victories were flattened once again, headlined by the recall of San Francisco District Attorney Chesa Boudin (D) as the country spurns their laissez faire attitude of policing. 

As The Hill’s Hanna Trudo points out, the lack of victories didn’t end there. Rick Caruso, a longtime Republican-turned-Democrat, had a surprisingly strong showing in the Los Angeles mayoral race, having spent $41 million on his campaign that is focused on crime. Caruso will face Rep. Karen Bass (D-Calif.), a Congressional Black Caucus stalwart, in a runoff election. 

The news hasn’t been any better in other parts of the country, including in Texas, where Rep. Henry Cuellar, considered the most conservative House Democrat, defeated progressive activist Jessica Cisneros by fewer than 300 votes to propel him to the general election. 

The Hill: Biden: Tuesday primaries sent “clear message” voters want tough-on-crime policies.

Max Greenwood, The Hill: Five takeaways from primaries in California and beyond.

© Associated Press / Noah Berger | Recalled San Francisco District Attorney Chesa Boudin on Tuesday.

On the GOP side, Mehmet Oz officially defeated rival David McCormick in the Pennsylvania Senate primary on Wednesday. According to the state’s official recount, Oz topped McCormick — who is already looking into a bid against Sen. Bob Casey (D-Pa.) in 2024 — by 951 votes, taking 31.1 percent to 31 percent for the ex-Treasury official, who conceded the race on Friday (The Washington Post).  

CNBC: ​​Trump and his kids, Donald Trump Jr. and Ivanka Trump, are set to testify in a New York attorney general investigation starting July 15.


Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky on Wednesday said that the nation’s “brutal” battle for the eastern town of Sievierodonetsk will determine whether the Donbas region will fall completely into Russian hands as Moscow pushes to control all of eastern Ukraine.

As Reuters notes, the Kremlin has said it wants to “liberate” Donbas territory, one-third of which was held by Russian separatists prior to Moscow’s invasion in late February.

“This is a very brutal battle, very tough, perhaps one of the most difficult throughout this war,” Zelensky said in his nightly video statement on Wednesday. “Sievierodonetsk remains the epicenter of the encounter in Donbas. … Largely, that is where the fate of our Donbas is being decided now.”

The New York Times: The U.S. lacks a clear picture of Ukraine’s war strategy. It knows more about Russia’s. 

📝 Introducing NotedDC, The Hill’s curated commentary on the beat of the Beltway. Click here to subscribe to our latest newsletter


■ How San Francisco became a failed city, by Nellie Bowles, opinion contributor, The Atlantic. 

■ When golfers ignore who signs the checks, they miss what’s being bought, by Barry Svrluga, columnist, The Washington Post. 


The House meets at 9 a.m. The House Select Committee on the Jan. 6 attack on the Capitol will hold a televised hearing at 8 p.m. EDT. It can be viewed live on CBS, ABC, NBC, CNN, MSNBC, Fox Business and C-SPAN.

The Senate convenes at 10 a.m. and resumes consideration of H.R. 3697, the Honoring our PACT Act.

The president and first lady Jill Biden are in Los Angeles. Biden will attend and deliver remarks at both a CEO summit and the opening plenary of the Summit of the Americas today. He and the first lady will welcome heads of state and government and their spouses for a dinner as part of the summit. Biden will hold a bilateral meeting with Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau at 11:45 a.m. PDT. Biden will meet with leaders of Caribbean nations on climate change, accompanied by the vice president. Biden will have a bilateral meeting at 3:30 p.m. PDT with President Jair Bolsonaro of Brazil. The president and first lady will host a dinner for summit guests at the Getty Villa in Los Angeles.

Vice President Harris is in Los Angeles. This afternoon, she will join Biden in meeting with leaders of Caribbean nations to launch a new partnership to be led by Harris to address the climate crisis. At 2 p.m. PDT, the vice president will join Biden at the opening plenary session of the Summit of the Americas at the Los Angeles Convention Center.

Health and Human Services Secretary Xavier Becerra will travel to Dallas-Fort Worth International Airport in Texas to meet a charter aircraft at midday bringing 110,000 pounds of Nestlé infant formula, or approximately 1.6 million 8-ounce bottles (63,504 cans), flown from Germany to try to alleviate the ongoing U.S. infant formula shortage. 

🖥  Hill.TV’s “Rising” program features news and interviews at, on YouTube and on Facebook at 10:30 a.m. ET. Also, check out the “Rising” podcast here.



The Supreme Court in a 6-3 ruling on Wednesday said that Border Patrol agents are generally shielded from lawsuits that allege the use of excessive force, the latest in a series of decisions narrowing the legal avenue for alleged victims of abuse by federal officers (The Hill). Justices still have 29 rulings to unveil this term. 


More than 90 women who say they were sexually assaulted by Larry Nassar, the former doctor for USA Gymnastics who was convicted on state sexual abuse charges, are seeking more than $1 billion from the FBI in a lawsuit for its failure to investigate Nassar when it received credible information about his crimes (ESPN).


For many parents, this news may be timely: The White House today unveiled its operational plan to roll out COVID-19 vaccines for children ages 5 and younger before the end of June, if authorized by the Food and Drug Administration and recommended by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Vaccines will be distributed across thousands of different sites, but the administration will put a focus on frontline providers such as pediatricians and primary care doctors, as that is where they expect many families will want to go. Officials estimate that 85 percent of children age 5 and younger live within five miles of a potential vaccination site (The Hill).

💉 Moderna updated its booster vaccine to take omicron into account and says the result is more effective. The updated booster contains Moderna’s original vaccine and a vaccine candidate that targets omicron (CNN). 

🦠 BA.4 and BA.5 cousins of the omicron variant are becoming the most prominent in the U.S. and a wave of infections is a possibility this summer. Generally, BA.4 and BA.5 cause mild disease but spread easily. As with other omicron variants, BA.4 and BA.5 symptoms are generally mild, and may include fever, malaise and loss of smell. The prevalence of long-term symptoms (long COVID-19) is still being evaluated (MedPageToday and Yahoo Finance). 

Airline industry officials are pressing the Biden administration to drop the pre-departure COVID-19 testing requirements for vaccinated international travelers, saying it is costing the sector billions of dollars in revenue per month and that it is the greatest inhibitor of international travel. Officials noted at a Senate transportation subcommittee hearing that many other countries have dropped such requirements. The U.S. policy has been in place since January 2021 (The Hill).

Total U.S. coronavirus deaths reported as of this morning, according to Johns Hopkins University (trackers all vary slightly): 1,010,520. Current average U.S. COVID-19 daily deaths are 291, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

Monkeypox can be airborne, but only for short distances, according to scientists. The route of transmission is causing public confusion, especially after the CDC recommended wearing masks to avoid catching monkeypox. That advice was erased from the website on Monday (The New York Times). As of Tuesday, the United States recorded 31 cases in 12 states and the District of Columbia (The Hill).


Take the Morning Report Quiz

© Associated Press / Matt Rourke | “Shrinkflation” product sizes pictured on Monday. 

And finally … It’s Thursday, which means it’s time for this week’s Morning Report Quiz! Inspired by recent headlines, we’re eager for smart guesses about things short or shrinking

Email your responses to and/or, and please add “Quiz” to subject lines. Winners who submit correct answers will enjoy some richly deserved newsletter fame on Friday.

As inflation soars and consumers adjust, size shrinkage (without lower prices, in most cases) has been reported in which product(s)?

  1. Fritos Scoops party size
  2. Honey Bunches of Oats
  3. Folgers instant coffee
  4. Charmin
  5. All of the above

A fossil expert from the University of Edinburgh said what could shrink over time in response to hotter temperatures and the climate crisis?

  1. Cities
  2. Physical size of humans
  3. Ant populations
  4. The sun

Which of these recently announced it is strategically shrinking its portfolio?

  1. Museum of Modern Art 
  2. NATO
  3. Federal Reserve
  4. Airbnb

A short film shown during the recent Platinum Jubilee festivities in the U.K. featured Queen Elizabeth II in her first “acting” role. Who is her co-star who accidentally sprays chocolate éclair cream on a Buckingham Palace footman?

  1. 007’s Daniel Craig
  2. “Downton Abbey” cast
  3. Mick Jagger
  4. Paddington Bear

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