Aug 06, 2020
The Hills Morning Report - Presented by the Air Line Pilots Association - Key 48 hours loom as negotiators push for relief deal
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Total U.S. coronavirus deaths reported this week: Monday, 154,860. Tuesday, 155,471. Wednesday, 156,830. Thursday, 158,256.
The White House and top Democratic negotiators continue to make little headway toward a massive coronavirus relief bill ahead of a self-imposed Friday deadline to hash out an accord.
For the ninth time since the beginning of last week, Treasury Secretary Steven MnuchinSteven Terner MnuchinNegotiators remain far apart on coronavirus deal as deadline looms On The Money: White House warns there's likely no deal with no agreement by Friday | More generous unemployment benefits lead to better jobs: study | 167K workers added to private payrolls in July Skepticism grows over Friday deadline for coronavirus deal MORE, White House chief of staff Mark MeadowsMark Randall MeadowsNegotiators remain far apart on coronavirus deal as deadline looms Trump dismisses legal questions on GOP nomination speech at White House Overnight Defense: Esper says 'most believe' Beirut explosion was accident, contradicting Trump | Trump later says 'nobody knows yet' what happened in Lebanon | 61-year-old reservist ID'd as fourth military COVID-19 death MORE, Speaker Nancy PelosiNancy PelosiGOP chairmen hit back at accusation they are spreading disinformation with Biden probe Negotiators remain far apart on coronavirus deal as deadline looms Top federal official says more details coming on foreign election interference MORE (D-Calif.) and Senate Minority Leader Charles SchumerChuck SchumerGroup of GOP senators back more money for airlines to pay workers GOP super PAC launching August ad blitz Schiff, Khanna call for free masks for all Americans in coronavirus aid package MORE (D-N.Y.) met on Capitol Hill on Wednesday. Once again, talks yielded scant progress.
"I can just tell you that there are no top-line numbers that have been agreed to. We continue to be, you know, trillions of dollars apart in terms of what Democrats and Republicans hopefully will ultimately compromise on," Meadows told reporters.
“There is a light at the end of the tunnel, but how long that tunnel is remains to be seen,” Pelosi said.
For weeks, the opposing sides have remained fixated on their respective price tags. House Democrats have stuck to the $3.4 trillion total they passed in the HEROES Act in May, while Republicans want a bill capped at $1 trillion. Mnuchin told reporters following the meeting that the negotiators need to see "some real compromise on some of the big issues."
"If we can reach a compromise on these big issues, I think everything else will fall into place. If we can't reach an agreement on these mitigations, then I don't see us coming to an overall deal," Mnuchin said.
As The Hill’s Jordain Carney writes, plenty of big issues are unresolved, including the $600 per week enhanced unemployment benefits that expired last week. Federal funding for state and local governments is another ONE. Republicans have offered some flexibility tied to the $150 billion already appropriated by Congress. Republicans and President TrumpDonald John TrumpLincoln Project ad dubs Jared Kushner the 'Secretary of Failure' Pence: Chief Justice Roberts 'has been a disappointment to conservatives' Twitter bans Trump campaign until it deletes tweet with COVID-19 misinformation MORE also want liability protection for COVID-19 infections written into law. That issue remains a “red line” for Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellNegotiators remain far apart on coronavirus deal as deadline looms States begin removing Capitol's Confederate statues on their own Skepticism grows over Friday deadline for coronavirus deal MORE (R-Ky.).
The Associated Press: Capitol negotiators still stuck, still trying on virus aid.
The Washington Post: Trump threatens executive actions as coronavirus relief deal remains elusive on Capitol Hill.
Carl Hulse, The New York Times: In stimulus talks, McConnell is outside the room and in a tight spot.
The Hill: McConnell goes hands-off on bill.
As leverage, Democrats are leaning on the political pressure Republicans are feeling in an election year from unemployed Americans, businesses, economists and financial markets to act generously and quickly as families continue to struggle with two crises at once. Friday’s federal jobs report for July is expected to show that the revival of jobs has ebbed since June.
Meadows and Mnuchin are using as their pry bar Trump’s repeated but vague vows to go around Congress to restore some unemployment benefits, revive an eviction moratorium and impose a “term-limited suspension of the payroll tax.”
As Morgan Chalfant and Brett Samuels report, Trump, akin to his recent predecessors, favors an expansive view of executive power, especially during divided government. Trump, who met in the Oval Office with Arizona Gov. Doug DuceyDoug DuceyThe Hill's Morning Report - Presented by the Air Line Pilots Association - Virus bill unlikely to pass this week Mark Kelly clinches Democratic Senate nod in Arizona Trump may have power, but he still has no plan to fight the pandemic MORE (R), may be bluffing about some actions he vows to take under the Constitution, but he is poised to announce executive orders in the coming weeks that will add to his campaign checklist of what he touts as promises kept, sources tell The Hill.
The Hill: Skepticism grows over Friday deadline for coronavirus deal.
The Washington Post: Trump sees new executive powers springing from an unlikely source: one of his defeats at the Supreme Court.
The New York Times: Liability shield a stumbling block as lawmakers debate relief.
More news from Capitol Hill: Former Deputy Attorney General Sally YatesSally Caroline YatesYates spars with GOP at testy hearing Read: Sally Yates testimony Trump knocks Sally Yates ahead of congressional testimony MORE sparred with Republicans during a testy Senate hearing on Wednesday about the Russia investigation launched in 2016 (The Hill). … Rep. Rodney DavisRodney Lee DavisIllinois Republican tests positive for coronavirus The Hill's Campaign Report: Even the Post Office is political now | Primary action tonight | Super PACS at war House Democrats target Midwestern GOP seats MORE (R-Ill.) announced on Wednesday that he is in self-quarantine with a confirmed case of COVID-19.
SPONSORED CONTENT — ALPA
The CARES Act: Good for workers, good for America
Unions and airlines agree: a clean extension of the CARES Act will position the airline industry to support economic recovery. Learn why.
LEADING THE DAY
CORONAVIRUS: Even as U.S. infections and fatalities from COVID-19 continue to climb, testing is declining, a worrisome trend that researchers believe may be the result of frustration and impatience Americans feel about the hassles of getting tested and the long waits to find out the results. An Associated Press analysis found that the number of tests per day fell 3.6 percent over the past two weeks to 750,000, with the count decreasing in 22 states, including Alabama, Mississippi, Missouri and Iowa, where the percentages of positive tests are high and continuing to climb, an indicator that the virus is still spreading uncontrolled (The Associated Press).
> Florida: The Sunshine State set new, grim records on Wednesday, exceeding 500,000 COVID-19 infections to date with a surge in single-day hospitalizations. Wednesday’s one-day death toll was 225, fewer than the July 31 record of 257 fatalities over a 24-hour period (WFLA).
> North Carolina: Gov. Roy Cooper (D) announced that his state will put its phased reopening plans on pause for five weeks with existing restrictions in an effort to use caution as students head back to school (WBTV).
The Hill’s Reid Wilson reports that as the United States approaches 5 million confirmed cases of the coronavirus, evidence suggests the summer surge may be cresting.
> Schools: Chicago announced its public schools will begin the new year with virtual instruction, leaving New York City as the only major school system moving to in-person learning (The Chicago Sun-Times and The New York Times). In Gotham, Democratic Mayor Bill de BlasioBill de BlasioOvernight Health Care: Fauci says family has faced threats | Moderna to charge to a dose for its vaccine | NYC adding checkpoints to enforce quarantine New York City adding 'key entry point' checkpoints to enforce quarantine The Hill's Morning Report - Presented by the Air Line Pilots Association - Virus bill unlikely to pass this week MORE’s push to open schools meets with some resistance, including from Gov. Andrew CuomoAndrew CuomoCuomo to serve as National Association of Governors chair New York City adding 'key entry point' checkpoints to enforce quarantine Iconic NY columnist Pete Hamill dies MORE (D), and the whole world is watching (The New York Times).
> Higher education: A Yale University student is suing for a tuition refund, one of more than a dozen suits filed against higher learning institutions across the country in recent months by students frustrated by the closure of campuses. Complaining about the “inferiority” of the online educational experience, Jonathan Michel said he paid $27,750 in tuition for the spring 2020 semester and was suing on behalf of members of his class who “did not receive the full value of the services for which they paid” (Hartford Courant and The New York Times).
> Vaccine: National Institute for Allergy and Infectious Diseases Director Anthony FauciAnthony FauciCNN's Burnett presses Navarro on hydroxychloroquine in combative interview: 'You're an economist, not a scientist' Overnight Health Care: Fauci says family has faced threats | Moderna to charge to a dose for its vaccine | NYC adding checkpoints to enforce quarantine Fauci says family has faced threats, harassment amid pandemic MORE told Bloomberg TV on Wednesday that “ultimately if you really want to put the nail in the coffin of an outbreak you have to have a vaccine.” He acknowledged that each individual’s appraisal of disease risk depends on their demographics, rendering voluntary precautions tough to maintain. “We’ve got to all pull together,” he repeated.
Fauci said worldwide competition to be first to develop effective vaccines will not undermine safety (Bloomberg News). Even a vaccine that is 50 percent to 60 percent effective against COVID-19 would be “value added” during the COVID-19 pandemic in combination with preventative behavioral precautions, he said. It is possible a vaccine may be effective against the virus for just months, which would still be “OK” because it could bridge people through at least a season of the contagion, possibly followed by booster shots, Fauci added. Research trials for new coronavirus treatments to reduce the severity of infections are underway, he added.
> Misinformation crackdown by social media platforms: Twitter and Facebook penalized Trump’s campaign account for what the companies determined to be coronavirus misinformation in a video clip in which the president said children are “almost immune” to COVID-19. Children are not immune to infection by the coronavirus. Research studies indicate children contract the virus and can transmit it to other people, but children under the age of five appear to exhibit milder symptoms, even if their viral load of the coronavirus is as high or higher than adults and older children (The Washington Post).
> U.S. coronavirus mortality rate: More than 1,000 people a day are dying from COVID-19 in this country. Among the 20 countries hardest hit by the coronavirus, the United States has the fourth-highest number of COVID-19 deaths per 100,000 people, ranking behind the United Kingdom, Peru and Chile. To downplay the impact of the pandemic, Trump asserts that the United States, with 330 million people, has one of the lowest worldwide COVID-19 mortality rates, a data point that is misleading (Time).
FactCheck.org reported that as of Tuesday, the U.S. had a mortality rate of 47.5 per 100,000 people, but Australia, Japan and South Korea all have mortality rates of less than 1 person per 100,000, according to Johns Hopkins.
In an interview with Axios broadcast on Monday, Trump objected to focusing on deaths as a proportion of the population, pointing instead to deaths as a proportion of total cases. “You have to go by the cases,” he said, claiming that the statistic showed the U.S. is “lower than Europe.”
The United States has a case-fatality rate of 3.3 percent, lower than many countries in Europe, including France, Spain and Germany. But there are also many countries with lower rates than the United States, including Australia (1.2 percent), Japan (2.5 percent), Israel (0.7 percent) and South Korea (2.1 percent).
That measure shows how deadly the disease has been for those who have been identified as infected, but looking at deaths per 100,000 population shows how the disease has affected the total population of a country.
> Immigrant children: More than 2,000 unaccompanied migrant children seeking entry to the United States have been expelled since March and returned to their home countries under an emergency declaration enacted by the administration, which cites COVID-19 in refusing to provide them with statutory protections under federal anti-trafficking and asylum laws. The U.S. Customs and Border Protection and U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement have refused to answer most questions about how the agencies treat roughly 70,000 adults and children expelled under the administration’s emergency declaration issued in March (The Associated Press).
IN FOCUS/SHARP TAKES
POLITICS: Former Vice President Joe BidenJoe BidenGOP chairmen hit back at accusation they are spreading disinformation with Biden probe Trump outraises Biden in July, surpasses billion for the cycle Duckworth: Republican coronavirus package would 'gut' Americans With Disabilities Act MORE announced on Wednesday that he will no longer travel to Milwaukee to accept the Democratic presidential nomination, and will instead do so in a speech from Wilmington, Del.
The decision, coupled with the cancellation of the GOP convention’s festivities in Jacksonville, Fla., means that the 2020 conventions will be effectively shuttered. The official nominating portion of the Democratic convention will be held virtually, while only GOP delegates will convene in Charlotte, N.C., to officially nominate the president.
"From the very beginning of this pandemic, we put the health and safety of the American people first," Democratic National Committee Chairman Tom PerezThomas Edward PerezClinton’s top five vice presidential picks Government social programs: Triumph of hope over evidence Labor’s 'wasteful spending and mismanagement” at Workers’ Comp MORE said in a statement on Wednesday. “We followed the science, listened to the doctors and public health experts, and we continued making adjustments to our plans in order to protect lives. That's the kind of steady and responsible leadership America deserves” (The Hill).
Appearing on Fox News on Wednesday, Trump said that he will “probably” deliver his nomination speech from the White House — a possibility that was met with skepticism among some top Republicans.
“Is that even legal?” Sen. John ThuneJohn Randolph ThuneTrump dismisses legal questions on GOP nomination speech at White House GOP senator on Trump accepting nomination at White House: 'Is that even legal?' Trump says he's considering White House as venue for GOP nomination acceptance speech MORE (R-S.D.) asked when reporters asked about the possibility of Trump delivering his speech from the White House grounds. “I assume that’s not something that you could do. I assume there’s some Hatch Act issues or something. I don’t know the answer to that, and I haven’t heard him say that, but I think anything to do with federal property would seem to me to be problematic” (The Hill).
The conversation surrounding the conventions came as the two sides released July fundraising totals, with the Trump side outraising Biden’s campaign by $25 million ($165 million to $140 million) and hitting a major milestone as it eclipsed the $1 billion mark for the cycle (The Hill).
However, there were bright spots in the fundraising totals for the Biden campaign, specifically that the two sides are now nearly tied in cash on hand as Trump’s team has $300 million compared to $295 million for Biden. The Trump campaign held a $187 million advantage only four months ago, which has been almost completely erased (The New York Times).
The Hill: Trump says there is no legal prohibition against an acceptance speech from 1600 Pennsylvania Ave.
The Associated Press: Biden on cognitive test: “Why the hell would I take a test?”
Niall Stanage: The Memo: Campaigns gird for rush of early voting.
The Hill: Trump's pitch to Maine lobstermen falls flat.
> Senate primary: A vicious GOP primary in Tennessee to replace retiring Sen. Lamar AlexanderAndrew (Lamar) Lamar AlexanderThe Hill's Campaign Report: COVID-19 puts conventions in flux Negotiators hit gas on coronavirus talks as frustration mounts Chamber of Commerce endorses Ernst for reelection MORE (R) is headed for a close finish on Thursday as Bill Hagerty, who has the support of the president, attempts to hold off Manny Sethi, a trauma surgeon who has won the backing of Sens. Ted CruzRafael (Ted) Edward CruzThe Hill's Campaign Report: COVID-19 puts conventions in flux Ted Cruz bashes Oprah for 'lecture' on race: 'What utter, racist BS' Senate Democrats prepare seven-figure spending spree in Texas MORE (R-Texas) and Rand PaulRandal (Rand) Howard PaulThe Hill's Campaign Report: COVID-19 puts conventions in flux A plan to empower parents, increase education options as an uncertain school year looms Multiple lawmakers self-quarantine after exposure to Gohmert MORE (R-Ky.).
As The Hill’s Jonathan Easley writes, the two Tennessee Republicans have embraced Trump as the leader of the Republican Party, with the winner almost certain to replace Alexander, a top McConnell ally and a longtime figure in Tennessee politics. However, the race has grown into a blood feud in recent weeks as attacks in each direction continue to escalate, with the candidates litigating everything from political donations made by their spouses to where they went to school.
“It’s probably the ugliest primary in Tennessee in a while, but 2014 wasn’t sugar and spice,” said one Tennessee GOP operative, referring to Alexander’s primary win over Joe Carr. “It’s been an ugly process.”
Hagerty at one point appeared to be on a glide path to the nomination after locking down Trump's support early on, having held a substantial lead in polls as recently as late June. However, the race has tightened, although Hagerty remains the slight favorite.
“Hagerty just has the right message that Tennessee Republican primary voters want,” the operative added. “That is he is going to be a loyal soldier in Trump’s army.”
Elaina Plott, The New York Times: Tennessee Republicans, once moderate and genteel, turn toxic in the Trump era.
The Hill: Rep. Rashida TlaibRashida Harbi TlaibThe Hill's Campaign Report: COVID-19 puts conventions in flux Progressives soaring after big primary night 'Absolutely incredible': Ocasio-Cortez congratulates Cori Bush on upset victory over Lacy Clay MORE (D-Mich.) wins her Michigan Democratic primary.
The Hill: Republicans fear disaster in November.
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Why did Lebanon let a bomb-in-waiting sit in a warehouse for six years? by Fasal Itani, opinion contributor, The New York Times. https://nyti.ms/3a3RzgH
A California way to help the unemployed, even if Washington won’t, by David L. Ulin, opinion contributor, The Los Angeles Times. https://lat.ms/2PuYJRE
SPONSORED CONTENT — ALPA
The CARES Act: Good for workers, good for America
Unions and airlines agree: a clean extension of the CARES Act will position the airline industry to support economic recovery. Learn why.
WHERE AND WHEN
The House will meet Friday at 10 a.m. for a pro forma session.
The Senate meets at 10 a.m. The Senate Homeland Security Committee at 10 a.m. hears testimony from acting Homeland Security Secretary Chad WolfChad WolfDC delegate demands answers from Secret Service about treatment of two Black moms on Mall Cuccinelli says DHS to change camouflage uniforms of federal agents used in Portland House Intelligence panel opens probe into DHS's involvement in response to protests MORE about the involvement of his department’s law enforcement personnel with nationwide protests.
The president will travel to Ohio to speak about the economy in Cleveland at 1:15 p.m. He will fly to Clyde, Ohio, to tour a Whirlpool manufacturing plant at 2:45 p.m., followed by a speech there at 3:15 p.m. Trump will fly to Bratenahl, Ohio, to meet with supporters at Shoreby Yacht Club at 6 p.m., followed by a campaign fundraising committee reception at 6:30 p.m. The president will fly from Ohio to his home in Bedminster, N.J., tonight.
Economic indicator: The Labor Department will report at 8:30 a.m. on jobless claims for the week ending Aug. 1. Analysts are particularly interested to see if continuing claims in addition to new filings are high, which would be unwelcome news for the U.S. economy and those unemployed (USA Today). Friday’s employment report for July will be closely watched; in June, the unemployment rate improved from a painful pandemic peak, dropping to 11.1 percent, but there are signs that recovery in U.S. employment has slowed since June. The employment picture hovers over Capitol Hill this week as negotiators try to reach a compromise to pass new COVID-19 relief legislation.
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.
➔ International: Lebanon’s Health Ministry said on Wednesday that deadly blasts at Beirut’s port on Tuesday killed 135 people and injured about 5,000 others. Investigators have focused on possible negligence in the storage for six years of 2,750 tons of a highly explosive ammonium nitrate fertilizer inside a waterfront warehouse. The government ordered the house arrest of several port officials. The Port of Beirut and customs office is known as one of the most corrupt and lucrative institutions in Lebanon where various factions and politicians, including Hezbollah, hold sway. Although Trump said Wednesday he had “heard” theories of both accidental negligence and intentional attacks and that “nobody knows yet,” a senior U.S. Defense Department official and member of the U.S. intelligence community said there were no indications the explosions were the result of an attack by either a nation state or proxy forces (The Associated Press).
➔ Wall Street: Access to easy, quick, fee-free trading has lured millions of inexperienced investors into a gamified trading environment and raises questions about consumer protections and the impact on financial markets. The risks: a stock market bubble and potential bust (The Hill).
➔ Tech: Instagram launched a direct competitor to short-form video app TikTok in 50 countries Wednesday amid antitrust scrutiny. Reels, which is available within Instagram on iOS and Android, lets users edit together 15-second clips with music. Instagram, which is owned by Facebook, will now include Reels in its Explore page, allowing users to scroll through them vertically, much like TikTok's “for you” page (The Hill).
➔ Sports: The University of Connecticut became the first Division I school to suspend its football program and cancel its 2020 season due to COVID-19. UConn’s athletic director, David Benedict, said the “safety challenges created” by the virus put an “unacceptable level of risk” on the student athletes (ESPN). … The National Collegiate Athletic Association announced on Wednesday that the Division III fall championships have been canceled for the 2020-2021 season, pointing to "the COVID-19 pandemic and related administrative and financial challenges.” The cancellations affect football, men's and women's soccer, men's and women's cross country, field hockey, women's volleyball and men's water polo (ESPN).
And finally … It’s Thursday, which means it’s time for this week’s Morning Report Quiz! Inspired by the upcoming anniversary of former President Nixon’s resignation, we’re eager for some smart guesses about the 36th president.
Email your responses to email@example.com and/or firstname.lastname@example.org, and please add “Quiz” to subject lines. Winners who submit correct answers will enjoy some richly deserved newsletter fame on Friday.
During his resignation speech on Aug. 8, 1974, which of these sentences did Nixon utter?
In addition to Nixon, how many other vice presidents in U.S. history were elected president while not being an incumbent?
How much was Nixon paid to take part in a series of conversations with British journalist David Frost in 1977?
The film “All the President’s Men” about Nixon and the Watergate scandal did NOT capture which statuette at the 49th Academy Awards in 1977?
Tags Lamar Alexander Mitch McConnell Charles Schumer Bill de Blasio Steven Mnuchin Anthony Fauci Rashida Tlaib Nancy Pelosi Mark Meadows Rodney Davis Donald Trump Andrew Cuomo Sally Yates John Thune Doug Ducey Tom Perez Rand Paul Joe Biden Chad Wolf Ted Cruz
News Source: thehill.com
George Stephanopoulos Asks Pelosi If Dems Would Move to Impeach Trump or Barr to Stall SCOTUS Vote
Speaker Nancy Pelosi said on Sunday Democrats would use “every arrow in our quiver” in the upcoming Supreme Court battle.
ABC’s George Stephanopoulos asked Pelosi about the likelihood Republicans will push through a nominee ahead of the election, and said, “Some have mentioned the possibility if they try to push through a nominee in a lame duck session that you and the House could move to impeach President Trump or Attorney General Barr as a way of stalling and preventing the Senate from acting on this nomination.”
“We have our options. We have arrows in our quiver that I’m not about to discuss right now,” Speaker Pelosi tells @GStephanopoulos when pressed on what Democrats would do if Pres. Trump and Republicans push a SCOTUS nomination ahead of the Nov. 3 election. https://t.co/JhU93KY3iQ pic.twitter.com/HOmI8AxREN
— This Week (@ThisWeekABC) September 20, 2020
Pelosi did not react specifically to that particular suggestion, instead just saying, “,We have our options. We have arrows in our quiver that I’m not about to discuss right now.”
She swiped at statements from the president and “his henchmen” about the legitimacy of the election results, before saying they should be “protecting the integrity of the election” and continue to focus on combatting the coronavirus.
“But to be clear, you’re not taking any arrows out of your quiver, you’re not ruling anything out,” Stephanopoulos said.
Pelosi responded that “we have a responsibility to meet the needs of the American people” and said addressing these issues “requires us to use every arrow in our quiver.”
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