Morning Consult Washington, Presented by the Electronic Payments Coalition: Senate Set for Procedural Vote on Kavanaugh Nomination

Top Stories

  • The Senate is set to vote today to limit debate on Brett Kavanaugh’s nomination to the Supreme Court, with three undecided Republicans yet to commit to voting “yes.” A full Senate vote could come this weekend. (Politico)
  • In an opinion piece published in the Wall Street Journal, Kavanaugh defended his impartiality and independence but acknowledged that he had regrets about some of his testimony last week to the Senate Judiciary Committee. The op-ed came after retired Supreme Court Justice John Paul Stevens said Kavanaugh’s conduct during the hearing showed he lacks the temperament for the job. (The New York Times)
  • New York Attorney General Barbara Underwood is suing the Trump Foundation, accusing President Donald Trump of trying to use his family’s charitable foundation to enrich himself. (New York Post)

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7 Years Post-Durbin, Consumers Still Don’t See Promised Savings

Seven years after the Durbin amendment went into effect, new polling shows a majority of consumers haven’t seen lower prices as promised by big-box retailers. With consumers failing to see $6-$8 billion each year, isn’t it time we repeal this failed policy? Check out EPC’s latest polling for more on consumers’ views.


Congress ‘doxing’ suspect will stay in jail until hearing next week
Mary Kay Mallonee and Sophie Tatum, CNN

The man suspected of “doxing” lawmakers during the Kavanaugh hearing last week had his first court appearance on Thursday and was ordered to remain in jail until his second hearing next week. Jackson Cosko, 27, was arrested Wednesday by US Capitol Police, accused of publishing five US senators’ private identifying information online, a practice known as doxing.

Erik Prince, in Kabul, pushes privatization of the Afghan war
Karen DeYoung et al., The Washington Post

More than a year after his plan to privatize the Afghan war was first shot down by the Trump ­administration, Erik Prince returned late last month to Kabul to push the proposal on the beleaguered government in Afghanistan, where many believe he has the ear — and the potential backing — of the U.S. president. Prince swept through the capital, meeting with influential political figures within and outside the administration of President Ashraf Ghani.

Republican enthusiasm surges amid Supreme Court battle
Katie Glueck and Adam Wollner, McClatchy DC

They are getting outraised. They are struggling in suburbia.


Trump Considers Firing Air Force Chief Over Space Force Pushback
Lara Seligman, Foreign Policy

U.S. President Donald Trump is peeved with Air Force Secretary Heather Wilson over her handling of his directive to stand up a separate Space Force in the U.S. military, and he’s considering ousting her after the midterm elections, three sources with knowledge of the matter told Foreign Policy. Wilson, a former Republican congresswoman from New Mexico, recently angered Trump as well as Deputy Defense Secretary Patrick Shanahan, Defense Secretary James Mattis’s second in command, with what is seen as a campaign to undermine the Space Force effort, the sources said.

At Rochester rally, Trump makes a case for Minnesota Republicans in November
Judy Keen et al., Star Tribune

President Donald Trump predicted a “very big surprise” in Minnesota in the upcoming midterm elections as he urged Republicans gathered here Thursday to support candidates who will back his agenda. “This is supposed to be a Democrat state. … I don’t think so,” Trump said to loud cheers.

Trump Pushes Due Process For Some, For Others ‘Lock’ Them Up
Ayesha Rascoe, NPR News

President Trump says the fight over his Supreme Court nominee, Brett Kavanaugh, is about more than just the nation’s highest court. He says it’s about how America treats the accused.

Still Anonymous: White House hunt for op-ed author fades   
Jonathan Lemire and Catherine Lucey, The Associated Press

Remember Anonymous? One month ago Friday, an unidentified Trump administration official set off a White House firestorm by claiming in a New York Times opinion piece to be part of a secret “resistance” force out to undermine parts of President Donald Trump’s agenda.

McGahn’s last stand: The White House counsel has been working feverishly to get Kavanaugh confirmed
Robert Costa, The Washington Post

White House counsel Donald McGahn grumbled to his friends in late August that his expected exit this year from the West Wing was announced by President Trump on Twitter — without even a warning. “Don was surprised and a little annoyed, but eventually he shrugged it off,” according to a person close to McGahn who was not authorized to speak publicly.

After Pence slams China in new speech, Beijing says he’s ‘confusing right and wrong’
Huileng Tan, CNBC

Beijing lashed out on Friday at U.S. Vice President Mike Pence after Washington’s No.2 lobbed multiple allegations at China. Pence delivered his Thursday address at Washington’s Hudson Institute and he accused China of “malign” efforts to undermine U.S. President Donald Trump ahead of next month’s congressional elections.


Sen. Steve Daines Would Miss Saturday Kavanaugh Vote for Daughter’s Wedding
Katherine Tully-McManus, Roll Call

Sen. Steve Daines won’t be in town if the Senate votes this weekend on Brett Kavanaugh’s nomination to the Supreme Court, which could leave Republicans in a bind. The Montana Republican told AP that he will attend his daughter’s wedding back home on Saturday regardless of a possible weekend vote on the embattled Supreme Court nominee.

Scores of Kavanaugh protesters arrested after descending on Senate building
Morgan Chalfant and Melanie Zanona, The Hill

More than 300 people were taken into custody by police on Capitol Hill after descending on a pair of Senate office buildings Thursday afternoon to protest the confirmation process of Brett Kavanaugh, President Trump’s Supreme Court nominee. The vast majority of the arrests, 293, were a result of protests in the Hart Senate Office Building, where protesters crowded in the atrium.

Bernie Sanders demands McDonald’s pay workers $15 an hour
Khorri Atkinson, Axios

McDonald’s has become the minimum wage target for Senator Bernie Sanders, who is demanding the fast food chain to pay its workers $15 an hour companywide. In a letter to CEO Steve Easterbrook, Sanders wrote that such move by McDonald’s “would set an example for the entire fast food industry to follow.”

Jim Renacci’s lack of advertising in Senate race increasingly alarms Ohio Republicans
Andrew J. Tobias,

Past Senate races in Ohio have been a slugfest on the airwaves, marked by tens of millions of dollars spent by Republicans and Democrats. But to the alarm of Ohio Republicans, when it comes to political advertising, this year’s race between incumbent Democratic Sen. Sherrod Brown and his GOP challenger, Wadsworth Rep. Jim Renacci, has been a dramatically one-sided affair.


Special Report: The Trump trap – Republicans duck president in key House races
Peter Eisler et al., Reuters

Leonard Lance is a Republican congressman seeking re-election in a Republican district. But he has little to say about the Republican president.

Florida Republican House candidate snubs Trump rally
Marc Caputo, Politico

President Donald Trump’s political team wanted to rally in Florida next week beside Ron DeSantis, the Republican nominee for governor, and the Republican who hopes to succeed him in the House. But sources familiar with the talks say the congressional candidate, Michael Waltz, declined amid concerns about the risks of publicly stumping with Trump, and instead wanted the president to headline a private fundraiser in his central Florida-based district.


Cuomo’s $13 Billion Solution to the Mess That Is J.F.K. Airport
Patrick McGeehan, The New York TImes

New York City fancies itself the capital of the world, but its leading airport, Kennedy International, often gives the impression that it is a gateway to a metropolis in decline. A disjointed string of terminals. One of every four flights delayed.

Abuse Accusation Looms Over Keith Ellison’s Bid For Attorney General
Daniel Marans, HuffPost

Minnesota, typically known for its picturesque lakes and friendly people, has been thrust into the national spotlight in the past year for being at the center of the Me Too movement. It has lost two state lawmakers and a popular U.S. senator amid sexual misconduct allegations. Most recently, a state lawmaker whose 23-year-old daughter accused him of touching her inappropriately announced he would not seek re-election.

Iowa to sell health plans that can disqualify people based on pre-existing conditions
Nathaniel Weixel, The Hill

New health plans sold through Iowa’s Farm Bureau will be able to ask applicants if they have any pre-existing conditions. According to a checklist posted online by the Farm Bureau, applicants will be asked about a list of conditions related to mental health, blood pressure, reproductive system, lungs or the respiratory system, among others.


A Former Obama Operative Built a New Anti-Republican Attack Machine
Joshua Green, Bloomberg

One evening in September, Tanya, a consultant at a big New York firm, was on her laptop scrutinizing public records and reading posts on VKontakte, the Russian social network, involving Representative Dana Rohrabacher, the Republican congressman from California. She was looking for dirt.

A Message from the Electronic Payments Coalition: 

It’s another Durbin amendment birthday — and not much has changed. Latest polling shows a plurality of consumers continue to believe the provision should be repealed if savings aren’t being passed along. Unfortunately, they aren’t, and consumers lose out on billions each year. It’s time for retailers to stop putting profits over consumers. Take a look at the latest polling from EPC.

Opinions, Editorials and Perspectives

I Am an Independent, Impartial Judge  
Brett M. Kavanaugh, The Wall Street Journal

I was deeply honored to stand at the White House July 9 with my wife, Ashley, and my daughters, Margaret and Liza, to accept President Trump’s nomination to succeed my former boss and mentor, Justice Anthony Kennedy, on the Supreme Court. My mom, Martha—one of the first women to serve as a Maryland prosecutor and trial judge, and my inspiration to become a lawyer—sat in the audience with my dad, Ed.

Introducing the Internet Bill of Rights  
Kara Swisher, The New York Times

Should American citizens get a new Bill of Rights for the internet? Given all the damage that giant tech companies have done of late, including the disaster of the week — a breach at Facebook that exposed tens of millions of accounts and maybe lots more — many Democrats think the answer is yes.

For Once, I’m Grateful for Trump  
Bret Stephens, The New York Times

For the first time since Donald Trump entered the political fray, I find myself grateful that he’s in it. I’m reluctant to admit it and astonished to say it, especially since the president mocked Christine Blasey Ford in his ugly and gratuitous way at a rally on Tuesday.

Research Reports and Polling

Ratings Changes: House, Senate, and Governor
Kyle Kondik, Sabato’s Crystal Ball

As we enter the final month of Campaign 2018, the political world remains fixated on embattled U.S. Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh, who awaits the findings of an FBI investigation into whether he tried to sexually assault Dr. Christine Blasey Ford while both were in high school. The allegations, somewhat predictably given the tribal nature of our politics, divided the country along partisan lines.

Millennial Men And Women Are Divided On Race And Gender Issues, New Poll Finds
Matt Berman, BuzzFeed News

Nearly half of millennial Democrats identify as democratic socialists or socialists, according to a new poll of millennials in the US from BuzzFeed News and Maru/Blue. The poll, which ran from Sept. 21 to 24 and questioned people aged 22 to 37, showed deep gender divides among millennials across a stretch of political questions, from what types of candidates they’d support to their own engagement in politics.

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