Morning Consult Washington: McConnell Says Senate Will Soon Vote to Tweak PPP

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  • Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) said the Senate will “soon” vote on House-passed legislation that would tweak the Small Business Administration’s Paycheck Protection Program to give small businesses more time to use the coronavirus relief loans and allow them to use more money for nonpayroll expenses. The decision to extend the program, with bipartisan backing but delayed by differences in the chambers’ approaches, reflects the longer-than-expected duration of stay-at-home orders that have stalled the nation’s economy. (Roll Call)
  • Law enforcement in Washington deployed flash-bang explosions and tear gas to disperse generally peaceful demonstrators outside the White House so President Donald Trump could appear for photos holding a Bible outside St. John’s Church, which was damaged in Sunday night’s protests. The clearing, which came before Trump delivered remarks promising to send U.S. troops into states across the country if governors could not bring protests under control, was rebuked by Mariann Budde, the bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of Washington, who said officials were not told of the president’s plans and expressed outrage about the riot-control tactics. (The New York Times)
  • Eight states and the District of Columbia will hold primary elections today in contests that could give former Vice President Joe Biden the requisite number of delegates needed to formally clinch the Democratic nomination for president. In Indiana, Iowa, Maryland, Montana, New Mexico, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island and South Dakota, voters will navigate curfews, health concerns and increased mail-in balloting in order to cast their ballots. (The Associated Press)

Chart Review

Events Calendar (All Times Local)

Primaries in the District of Columbia, Maryland, Montana, New Mexico, Pennsylvania, Iowa, Indiana, Rhode Island and South Dakota
Sen. Scott participates in Politico online event 9:00 am
Senate Banking Committee holds hearing on implementation of the CARES Act 10:00 am
The New York Times hosts online event on race 11:00 am
Govs. Polis, Whitmer and Hutchinson testify to House Energy & Commerce subcommittee 11:30 am
Brookings holds online event on reopening America 2:00 pm
Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee holds nomination hearing for OMB director, OPM IG 2:30 pm
Senate Finance Committee holds hearing on the FDA’s drug manufacturing process 2:30 pm
Madeleine Albright participates in Smithsonian Associates online event 6:30 pm
Rod Rosenstein testifies to Senate Judiciary Committee hearing 10:00 am
Transportation secretary participates in Politico online event 11:00 am
Rep. Clarke participates in New America online event on AI 12:30 pm
IMF director participates in Washington Post online event 2:00 pm
Rep. Kind participates in Washington International Trade Association online event 2:00 pm
Senate Commerce, Science & Transportation holds hearing on infrastructure 2:30 pm
Senate Environment and Public Works Committee holds hearing on infrastructure 10:00 am
Senate Judiciary Committee meets to consider authorizing Crossfire Hurricane subpoenas 10:00 am
Senate Homeland Security & Governmental Affairs Committee hearing 10:00 am
CDC director testifies to House Appropriations subcommittee 11:00 am
Bipartisan Policy Center hosts online event on rural health 11:00 am
Senate Banking Committee holds hearing on Hong Kong 11:00 am
CSIS hosts online event on coronavirus and the military 1:00 pm
Brookings hosts online event on coronavirus and the financial system 2:00 pm
View full calendar

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Coronavirus to Shave Trillions From the Economy Over 10 Years
Emily Cochrane, The New York Times

 The Congressional Budget Office projected on Monday that the coronavirus pandemic would inflict a serious long-term blow to the United States economy, taking 3 percent off the gross domestic product 10 years from now. Without adjusting for inflation, the budget agency said, the pandemic would cost nearly $16 trillion over the next 10 years.

China delayed releasing coronavirus info, frustrating WHO
The Associated Press

Throughout January, the World Health Organization publicly praised China for what it called a speedy response to the new coronavirus. It repeatedly thanked the Chinese government for sharing the genetic map of the virus “immediately,” and said its work and commitment to transparency were “very impressive, and beyond words.”

Louisville Metro Police Chief Steve Conrad fired following David McAtee shooting
Darcy Costello, Louisville Courier Journal

Louisville Metro Police Chief Steve Conrad has been fired, Mayor Greg Fischer said Monday afternoon, after it was announced that no body camera footage was available from the shooting of David McAtee. McAtee, the owner of YaYa’s BBQ in western Louisville, was shot and killed by law enforcement officers early Monday morning.

Judge Asks Court Not to ‘Short Circuit’ His Review of Flynn Case
Charlie Savage, The New York Times

The Justice Department’s conduct in abruptly deciding to end the case against President Trump’s former national security adviser Michael T. Flynn was so unusual that it raised a “plausible question” about the legitimacy of the move, a lawyer for the trial judge overseeing that case told a federal appeals court on Monday. In a 36-page filing, the lawyer for Judge Emmet G. Sullivan of the United States District Court for the District of Columbia asked a three-judge panel not to cut short his review of the factual and legal issues surrounding the case.

Taliban continues to back al-Qaeda in Afghanistan, despite deal with Trump administration, report says
Karen DeYoung and Dan Lamothe, The Washington Post

The Taliban has not broken its ties with al-Qaeda, the U.N. Security Council declared in a new report that threatened to undermine a key aspect of the Trump administration’s agreement with the Taliban to withdraw U.S. forces after nearly 19 years of war in Afghanistan. The report states that relations between the Taliban, especially its Haqqani network, and al-Qaeda “remain close, based on friendship, a history of shared struggle, ideological sympathy and intermarriage.”

Census Bureau Says 60.5% of Households Responded to 2020 Count
Paul Overberg, The Wall Street Journal

The Census Bureau reported Monday that it had reached its target to get at least 60.5% of households to respond to the 2020 census, despite disruptions created by the Covid-19 pandemic. The 2020 census ramped up in March, with many households responding quickly by late March.

White House & Administration

Presidents have leeway to use military for domestic purposes
Eric Tucker and Lolita C. Baldor, The Associated Press

President Donald Trump’s warning that he would deploy the United States military to any state that refuses to take aggressive action against rioting rests on a longstanding presidential power that gives wide latitude to the White House, legal experts said Monday. But a decision to do so would be met with likely legal opposition, and strong opposition from governors seeing it as an overreaction.

Trump Vowed to Disrupt Washington. Now He Faces Disruption in the Streets.
Mark Leibovich, The New York Times

One of the recurring themes of the last three and a half years is that President Trump has disrupted Washington, just as his voters demanded. This is true in a certain sense: The Trump White House has been a chaotic drama, a procession of scandals, leaks, investigations, feuding protagonists and trampled norms.

DOJ asks Supreme Court to block Democrats’ access to Mueller documents
John Kruzel, The Hill

The Department of Justice (DOJ) on Monday asked the Supreme Court to overturn a lower court decision granting House Democrats access to redacted grand jury materials from former special counsel Robert Mueller’s Russia probe. The Monday filing serves as the Trump administration’s formal appeal of a March order to hand over secret transcripts and exhibits that Democratic leaders of the House Judiciary Committee initially sought as part of the impeachment inquiry into President Trump.

Nearly 26,000 Nursing Home Residents Have Died From COVID-19, Federal Data Show
Ina Jaffe, NPR News

Newly released data from the U.S. government show that nearly 26,000 nursing home residents have died from COVID-19 and more than 60,000 have fallen ill. These figures, however, don’t account for all nursing homes across the country.

White House Coronavirus Testing Czar To Stand Down
Selena Simmons-Duffin, NPR News

The Trump administration’s testing czar announced Monday that he will be leaving that position in mid-June. Adm. Brett Giroir told a meeting of the Presidential Advisory Council on HIV/AIDS that he will be “demobilized” from his role overseeing coronavirus testing at FEMA in a few weeks and going back to his regular post at the Department of Health and Human Services.

This Treasury Official Is Running the Bailout. It’s Been Great for His Family.
Justin Elliott et al., ProPublica

Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin have become the public faces of the $3 trillion federal coronavirus bailout. Behind the scenes, however, the Treasury’s responsibilities have fallen largely to the 42-year-old deputy secretary, Justin Muzinich.

Trump’s budget chief pick prepares to run confirmation gantlet
Paul M. Krawzak, Roll Call

Russell Vought, President Donald Trump’s nominee for Office of Management and Budget director, was confirmed for that agency’s No. 2 slot in early 2018 after his former boss, Vice President Mike Pence, cast the tiebreaking vote. Having run the agency as acting director since January 2019 when his predecessor, Mick Mulvaney, became acting White House chief of staff, Vought now gets his shot to drop the “acting” moniker from his title.

Dozens Of Immigrant Families Who Were Separated At The Border Likely Shouldn’t Have Been, An Internal Report Found
Hamed Aleaziz, BuzzFeed News

Dozens of families and children, including one as young as 5 months old, were separated at US ports of entry in 2018 after seeking asylum, despite assurances from senior Homeland Security officials that immigrants who fit their profile wouldn’t be, according to an inspector general’s report obtained by BuzzFeed News. The report found that 40 children in this group were separated from their parents for at least four weeks, although one didn’t see their family for more than a year. Most of the children separated were 13 years old and younger, according to the unpublished Department of Homeland Security Inspector General report.


Rod Rosenstein to kick off Senate’s Russia redux hearings
Betsy Woodruff Swan and Andrew Desiderio, Politico

In another time, it would have been the biggest story of the week: a former top Justice Department official testifying to Congress about his role overseeing one of the highest-profile investigations of the century. But now, with a pandemic raging and protests swelling nationwide, some senators are questioning whether Rod Rosenstein should even testify at all.

Long-Delayed Drug-Price Bill Not Dead Yet, Grassley Says
Riley Griffin and Emma Court, Bloomberg

Senate Finance Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley said that he intends to push for a vote this year on a bill that would limit drug-price increases, even as pharmaceutical companies race to find treatments and vaccines for Covid-19. The drug industry has been pouring resources into researching new therapies as the pandemic wreaks havoc on Americans’ health and the country’s economy.

Democrats weigh whether to trust new pandemic-aid watchdog
Zach C. Cohen, National Journal

Brian Miller’s resume has a little bit for everyone. The longtime federal prosecutor and watchdog turned White House lawyer is slated to be confirmed Tuesday afternoon as special inspector general for pandemic recovery, charged with overseeing billions of dollars in aid to American businesses grappling with the economic fallout of coronavirus.


Twitter Places Warning on Congressman’s Tweet for Glorifying Violence
Kate Conger, The New York Times

Days after restricting one of President Trump’s posts from view for glorifying violence, Twitter went at it again. On Monday, the social media service used the same label to hide a message by Representative Matt Gaetz, Republican of Florida — which likened those who were protesting police violence to terrorists and called for them to be hunted down.

Lawmakers eye NDAA to limit military gear transfers to police
Andrew Clevenger, Roll Call

The eruptions of violence at protests of police brutality in recent days have rekindled congressional efforts to end the practice of giving surplus military gear to law enforcement agencies. The program, which is run through the Defense Logistics Agency, dates back to the 1990s, with the goal of finding additional uses for equipment the Defense Department no longer needs, from guns, trucks and armored vehicles to tents, pants and hand-warmers.


As Trump attacks voting by mail, GOP builds 2020 strategy around limiting its expansion
Amy Gardner et al., The Washington Post

President Trump’s persistent attacks on mail-in voting have fueled an unprecedented effort by conservatives to limit expansion of the practice before the November election, with tens of millions of dollars planned for lawsuits and advertising aimed at restricting who receives ballots and who remains on the voter rolls. The strategy, embraced by Trump’s reelection campaign, the Republican National Committee and an array of independent conservative groups, reflects the recognition by both parties that voting rules could decide the outcome of the 2020 White House race amid the electoral challenges posed by the coronavirus pandemic.

Joe Biden Listens to Anguish at a Black Church in Delaware
Maggie Astor, The New York Times

As the nation entered another day of unrest in response to the killing of George Floyd, who was pinned under a police officer’s knee for nearly nine minutes, former Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr. emerged from isolation to meet with community leaders at a black church in Delaware. The event Monday morning, at Bethel African Methodist Episcopal Church, was part listening session, part campaign speech and part forum for members of Wilmington’s black community to express their collective anguish.

Kennedy, Markey spar at TV debate Monday
Victoria McGrane and Matt Stout, The Boston Globe

In the midst of mounting national crises, Senator Edward J. Markey and Representative Joseph P. Kennedy III reemerged on the debate stage Monday, their sights trained on seemingly different targets: Kennedy going after the incumbent he’s trying to unseat and Markey going after President Trump. Kennedy, 39, leaned into the generational divide between himself and the 73-year-old Markey, arguing that the state needs to move on from the “same folks” who’ve made decisions the last 50 years.

With Pompeo out, GOP looks to Rep. Marshall in Kansas race
John Hanna and Alan Fram, The Associated Press

The passing of Monday’s deadline to file to run for Kansas’ open Senate seat confirmed that U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo won’t be a candidate, and a major anti-abortion group threw its support behind Rep. Roger Marshall to keep immigration hardliner Kris Kobach from the GOP nomination. Republican leaders had not expected Pompeo to give up his post as the nation’s top diplomat to seek the seat being vacated by retiring four-term Republican Sen. Pat Roberts.


Wisconsin Supreme Court to decide whether to remove 129,000 voters from the rolls
Patrick Marley, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

The state Supreme Court agreed to take a second swing at resolving a lawsuit over who should be on Wisconsin’s voter rolls Monday, six months after deadlocking on the case. The case comes to the high court five months before the presidential election in one of the country’s most crucial swing states, but it remained unclear Monday whether the court would rule before the election.

George Floyd Case Could Be Minnesota Attorney General Keith Ellison’s Defining Moment
Jacob Gershman, The Wall Street Journal

Minnesota Attorney General Keith Ellison has long railed against a criminal-justice system that he says refuses to punish police officers for unjustified killings of African-American men. In the latest high-profile case of alleged police brutality, the progressive activist is now the one in charge.

Supreme Court upholds Puerto Rico financial oversight board
Mark Sherman, The Associated Press

The Supreme Court on Monday upheld the oversight board established by Congress to help Puerto Rico out of a devastating financial crisis that has been exacerbated by the coronavirus outbreak, recent earthquakes and damage from Hurricane Maria in 2017. The justices reversed a lower court ruling that threatened to throw the island’s recovery efforts into chaos.


Facebook employees blast Zuckerberg’s hands-off response to Trump posts as protests grip nation
Rachel Siegel and Elizabeth Dwoskin, The Washington Post

As protests swept the nation over the weekend, several Facebook employees and executives took the unusual step of chastising chief executive Mark Zuckerberg for his hands-off approach to President Trump’s post about the demonstrators — and did so on rival site Twitter. Twitter made the unprecedented decision last week to flag the president’s tweet as inflammatory.

Opinions, Editorials and Perspectives

Can the Movies Save Trump?
Ben Koltun, Morning Consult

President Donald Trump wants to make movies great again in his bid for four more years. As he waxes poetic over old studio epics like “Gone with the Wind,” the man who once aspired to be a movie mogul is looking to a more biblical epic for re-election amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

How to Make this Moment the Turning Point for Real Change
Barack Obama, Medium

As millions of people across the country take to the streets and raise their voices in response to the killing of George Floyd and the ongoing problem of unequal justice, many people have reached out asking how we can sustain momentum to bring about real change. Ultimately, it’s going to be up to a new generation of activists to shape strategies that best fit the times.

The Virus Could Cost States Like Mine Billions of Dollars
Larry Hogan, The New York Times

I’ve spent my entire political career fighting for less government spending. But we’re not in a normal time, and the conventional political arguments just don’t fit this moment.

Don’t Call in the Troops
The Editorial Board, The Wall Street Journal

President Trump lectured governors on Monday that they should get tougher and “dominate” lawbreakers who are looting stores, burning buildings and assaulting police. His words were blunt and unsympathetic as usual, but he’s right that public order is first and foremost an obligation of state and local government. The governors and mayors need to protect the innocent if they don’t want the federal government to call in the military to patrol their streets instead.

While America Struggles for its Soul, Biden Struggles for Relevance
John F. Harris, Politico

There are many voices who see the violence and despair sweeping America this spring as the natural result of everything President Donald Trump stands for—of his divisive language and policies and worldview. It is easy to miss, but embedded in these condemnations is a perverse form of praise: The critics do not doubt the efficacy of Trumpian politics.

Research Reports and Polling

Pay to Play? Campaign Finance and the Incentive Gap in the Sixth Amendment’s Right to Counsel
Neel U. Sukhatme and Jay Jenkins, Duke Law Journal

For nearly 60 years, the U.S. Supreme Court has affirmed that the Sixth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution guarantees felony defendants the right to counsel, regardless of their ability to pay. Yet nearly all criminal procedure scholars agree that indigent defense as practiced today falls far short of its initial promise.

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