Morning Consult Washington: Biden Extends Student Loan Payment Moratorium


Essential U.S. political news & intel to start your day.
November 23, 2022
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No Bump for Trump

Former President Donald Trump’s 2024 campaign announcement appears to have been a dud, according to a new Morning Consult/Politico survey, which found his support against a hypothetical 2024 Republican field weakened a bit since his Mar-a-Lago kickoff speech. Read more from me: Trump’s 2024 Primary Support Dips Following Presidential Campaign Launch.


Programming note: Morning Consult Washington will be off for the rest of the week for the Thanksgiving holiday. The newsletter will resume on Monday.


Today’s Top News

  • Amid legal challenges to his student loan forgiveness plan, President Joe Biden extended a pandemic-related pause on debt repayments through June 30 and vowed to extend it again if the litigation is not resolved. Payments had been set to resume on Jan. 1. (Bloomberg)
  • South Carolina Rep. Ralph Norman joined two other Republicans in saying he would not support Rep. Kevin McCarthy for speaker when the GOP takes the House in January, along with three others who have suggested they do not plan to vote for the California Republican. Facing a tenuous path toward ascension, McCarthy sought to rev up conservatives with a trip to El Paso, Texas, where he called on Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas to either resign or face the prospect of impeachment. (Punchbowl News)
  • Term-limited West Virginia Gov. Jim Justice said he is “seriously considering” a run for the Republican nomination to challenge Democratic Sen. Joe Manchin in 2024, setting up a potential primary against Rep. Alex Mooney, who announced his own Senate bid last week. (WV MetroNews)
  • Developments in a number of Trump’s criminal and civil legal problems converged in various courtrooms yesterday, with the Supreme Court clearing the way for the House Ways and Means Committee to obtain his tax returns and a federal appeals panel telegraphing plans to side with the Justice Department in its investigation into sensitive government documents found at his Mar-a-Lago home. (Politico) Also in New York, a state judge put an October 2023 trial on the books for New York Attorney General Letitia James’ lawsuit accusing the Trump family’s Trump Organization of real estate fraud. (Reuters)

Happening today (all in ET):



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What Else You Need To Know

White House & Administration

US renews push for COVID boosters as data show they protect
Lauran Neergaard, The Associated Press

Americans who got the updated COVID-19 booster shots are better protected against symptomatic infection than those who haven’t — at least for now, U.S. health officials said Tuesday.


At Qatar’s World Cup, Biden’s envoy balances firmness and flattery
John Hudson, The Washington Post

Secretary of State Antony Blinken on Tuesday rejected criticisms that his World Cup appearance in Qatar contributed to indifference about human rights, as some activists denounced the Persian Gulf state’s treatment of migrant workers and LGBTQ people.


U.S. creates special representative post focused solely on Palestinian affairs
Barak Ravid, Axios

The Biden administration notified congress on Tuesday that it has appointed Hady Amr as a new special representative for Palestinian affairs, a senior State Department official said.


Department of Justice Opens Investigation Into Real Estate Tech Company Accused of Collusion with Landlords
Heather Vogell, ProPublica

The DOJ will examine whether RealPage helped landlords coordinate rent increases. Questions also swirl around a 2017 merger deal with its largest competitor.


Naomi Biden On Her White House Wedding
Chloe Malle, Vogue

On the Tuesday evening before her wedding, under the watchful eye of a Secret Service agent, Naomi Biden, 28, and her soon-to-be husband, Peter Neal, 25, came downstairs from their living quarters on the third floor of the White House residence to practice their first dance.


Lawmakers fret over another holiday punt on government funding
Caitlin Emma, Politico

With a split Congress bearing down on them next term, members are worried they’ll have to scramble at the end of the year to avert a shutdown.


Cannabis banking supporters scramble to reach lame-duck deal
Natalie Fertig, Politico

The Senate is trying to get a package of cannabis-related legislation over the finish line in this Congress.


Capitol Hill finally wants to regulate crypto. But some critics say just ‘let it burn.’
Joseph Zeballos-Roig, Semafor

As the collapse of cryptocurrency exchange FTX balloons into arguably the worst financial scandal since Enron’s bankruptcy two decades ago, Capitol Hill is still grappling with a straightforward decision about the volatile industry: To regulate or not to regulate?


Drones over D.C.: Senators alarmed over potential Chinese spy threat
Bryan Bender and Andrew Desiderio, Politico

Lawmakers who were briefed on hundreds of intrusions over the White House, Capitol and Pentagon worry about possible espionage.


Fauci says he ‘will cooperate fully’ with GOP oversight hearings even though he’s leaving the government
Kimberly Leonard, Insider

White House chief medical advisor Dr. Anthony Fauci said Tuesday that he’s ready to face Republicans in Congress next year as they gain control of the US House and have pledged renewed COVID-19 oversight.


GOP’s subpoena test
Sophia Cai, Axios

House Republicans will soon inherit a legacy of subpoena defiance and delay that many of them cheered on while Democrats pursued sprawling investigations into the Trump administration.


Police: 6 people and assailant dead in Walmart shooting
Alex Brandon, The Associated Press

A shooter opened fire in a Walmart in Virginia, leaving six people dead, police said, in the country’s second high-profile mass killing in a handful of days. The assailant is also dead.


Outside accountant testifies as Trump company trial nears end
Luc Cohen, Reuters

An outside accountant gave testimony on Tuesday on his dealings with a top executive of former U.S. President Donald Trump’s real estate company that could undermine its defense as the Trump Organization’s trial on tax fraud charges neared an end.


SEC poses next obstacle in quest to take Trump’s Truth Social public
Declan Harty, Politico

The planned merger between Trump Media & Technology Group and Digital World Acquisition Corp. has attracted regulatory scrutiny because of concerns that it potentially violated rules designed to keep investors informed.


Elon Musk’s Twitter Takeover Triggers Partisan Clash on Government’s Role
John D. McKinnon, The Wall Street Journal

Elon Musk’s takeover of Twitter Inc. is fueling a partisan clash in Washington, as Democrats raise concerns about the platform’s security and Republicans counter that the criticism is a thinly veiled attempt to stamp out conservative voices on the site.


Western Allies Aim to Agree on Russian Oil Price Cap Wednesday
Laurence Norman and Andrew Duehren, The Wall Street Journal

The U.S. and its allies are seeking to agree as soon as Wednesday on a level for a price cap on Russian oil, with officials discussing setting it at around $60 a barrel as the group rushes to complete the plan, according to people familiar with the talks.


Bolsonaro challenges Brazil election he lost to Lula
Ricardo Brito and Carolina Pulice, Reuters

Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro has challenged the election he lost last month to leftist rival Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva, arguing votes from some machines should be “invalidated” in a complaint that election authorities met with initial skepticism.


Republican Kiley captures California US House seat
The Associated Press

Republican Kevin Kiley, a state legislator who became a conservative favorite for his pointed and relentless criticism of Democratic Gov. Gavin Newsom, captured a U.S. House seat Tuesday in northeastern California. With 83% of ballots counted, Kiley received nearly 53% of the votes to defeat Democrat Kermit Jones, a doctor and Navy veteran.


Arizona GOP AG candidate, RNC file lawsuit over 2022 election
Jared Gans, The Hill

The GOP nominee for attorney general in Arizona and the Republican National Committee (RNC) filed a lawsuit Tuesday alleging that mismanagement by elections officials may have influenced the results of the race. 


A Georgia Senate runoff poll points to challenges for Walker, Warnock
Greg Bluestein, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution

A new poll focusing on the Dec. 6 runoff between U.S. Sen. Raphael Warnock and Republican Herschel Walker shows a close race with challenges for both rivals as they rush to rebuild their coalitions.


Second woman renews accusation Walker pressured her to have abortion
Sabrina Rodriguez, The Washington Post

A second woman who accused Georgia Republican Senate candidate Herschel Walker of pressuring her to have an abortion on Tuesday criticized the former football player for dismissing her claims and called for him to publicly meet with her ahead of the Dec. 6 runoff election.


Mike Pence staffs up with an eye on 2024
Alex Isenstadt, Politico

Former Vice President Mike Pence is building out his political staff, the latest indication that he’s prepping a White House bid that will pit him against his former boss, ex-President Donald Trump.


Pompeo takes campaign against Trump for a spin as he considers 2024 bid
David M. Drucker, The Washington Examiner

Mike Pompeo is moving toward a White House bid, test-driving lines of attack against the front-runner, his old boss, former President Donald Trump, as if to see whether he likes how the car handles and wants to drive it off the lot.


DeSantis Won Over Florida. Now He Has the Rest of the US to Convince
Mark Niquette and Michael Smith, Bloomberg

The man regarded by many Republicans as the party’s future received rock-star treatment in Las Vegas over the weekend — complete with a stage rush by adoring fans.


House Democrats eye lost ground in 2024
Andrew Solender, Axios

House Democrats are already sizing up the 2024 election map, circling Republicans in districts that mostly voted for President Biden as their top early targets.


How the right’s radical thinkers are coping with the midterms
Zack Beauchamp, Vox

The New Right emerged to theorize Trumpism’s rise. Can they explain its defeat?


Florida Legislature poised to change law to aid a DeSantis presidential run
Gary Fineout, Politico

Florida’s top Republican leaders say they are willing to change state law to smooth the way for Gov. Ron DeSantis to run for president in 2024.


15 GOP states ask court to keep Trump-era immigration rule Title 42
Julia Ainsley and Summer Concepcion, NBC News

The Biden administration has been attempting to end the policy, which expelled millions of migrants at the border.


Lindsey Graham testifies before Georgia grand jury investigating 2020 election aftermath Sara Murray and Chris Youd, CNN

South Carolina Sen. Lindsey Graham on Tuesday appeared before a Georgia grand jury investigating efforts to overturn the 2020 election.


Gov. Gretchen Whitmer makes historic pick for Michigan Supreme Court vacancy
Craig Mauger, The Detroit News

Gov. Gretchen Whitmer has chosen state Rep. Kyra Harris Bolden to fill a seat on the Michigan Supreme Court, making her the first Black woman to serve on the state’s high court.


Inside Sam Bankman-Fried’s Quest to Win Friends and Influence People
Kenneth P. Vogel, The New York Times

In just three years, the FTX co-founder built a massive operation to woo politicians, regulators and nonprofits to support his crypto goals.


Randi Weingarten responds to being called “the most dangerous person in the world”
Steve Clemons, Semafor

Former Secretary of State Mike Pompeo lobbed a bomb at America’s teacher’s unions this weekend, when he told Semafor that Randi Weingarten, the longtime American Federation of Teachers president, was the single most dangerous person in the world—more threatening to the country’s interests than the leaders of China or North Korea.

Opinions, Editorials and Perspectives

Trump Was a Gift That May Not Keep Giving
Thomas B. Edsall, The New York Times

The 2022 midterm election revealed dangerous cracks in the Democratic coalition, despite the fact that the party held the Senate and kept House losses to a minimum.


Polls vs. pundits: Who performed worse in 2022?
Natalie Jackson, National Journal

Sorry pundits, you lost this one. But never fear—2024 will be a whole new ballgame.