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Washington

Essential U.S. political news & intel to start your day.
September 22, 2022
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Today’s Top News

  • Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) is poised to file cloture today on a measure to fund the government through Dec. 16, setting up a vote as soon as Tuesday on a package that will likely include permitting reform legislation sponsored by Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.). (Roll Call) Aside from the permitting reform, House appropriators are also mulling tying $200 million for the Jackson, Miss., water crisis response to the must-pass legislation. (Politico)
  • The House is set to vote today on a policing and public safety package after moderates and progressives announced a deal on the issue yesterday. The four bills would fund recruitment and training programs, address mental health issues and increase police accountability protocols. (Politico)
  • A federal appeals court is allowing the Justice Department to continue using classified documents seized at Donald Trump’s Mar-a-Lago home as part of its criminal investigation into the former president’s handling of government materials, limiting his options to block the federal probe. (CNN) On the civil front, New York Attorney General Letitia James filed a $250 million lawsuit accusing Trump and three of his adult children of fraud in their business practices at the Trump Organization. (The Washington Post)

Happening today (all times local):

 

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What Else You Need To Know

White House & Administration
 

Biden declares major disaster in Puerto Rico to energize Fiona recovery
Gloria Gonzalez, Politico

President Joe Biden issued a major disaster declaration on Wednesday for Puerto Rico, unlocking additional federal assistance as island residents navigate the aftermath of Hurricane Fiona.

 

Iran, U.S. clash at U.N. on nuclear deal, human rights issues
Parisa Hafezi and Steve Holland, Reuters

The United States and Iran clashed on security and human rights on Wednesday, with Iran’s president demanding U.S. guarantees to revive the 2015 Iran nuclear deal and the U.S. president vowing Tehran would never get an atomic bomb.

 

Calls to Replace Trump-Appointed World Bank Chief Grow After Climate Denial
Jennifer A Dlouhy and Eric Martin, Bloomberg

Pressure to oust World Bank President David Malpass is ramping up after he dodged questions on climate change and the impact of burning fossil fuels.

 
Congress
 

Jan. 6 committee reaches deal with Ginni Thomas for an interview
Jacqueline Alemany and Azi Paybarah, The Washington Post

The House select committee investigating the Jan. 6, 2021, insurrection has reached an agreement with Virginia “Ginni” Thomas, the wife of Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas, to be interviewed by the panel in coming weeks, according to her attorney and another person familiar with the agreement.

 

The House just passed a bill that would make it harder to overthrow an election
Miles Parks, NPR News

The House on Wednesday passed a set of electoral reforms aimed at shoring up ambiguities and archaic language in the presidential certification process, some of which former President Donald Trump and his allies tried to exploit in their efforts to overturn the 2020 election.

 

Senate Ratifies Pact to Curb a Broad Category of Potent Greenhouse Gases
Lisa Friedman and Coral Davenport, The New York Times

The Senate voted on Wednesday to approve an international climate treaty for the first time in 30 years, agreeing in a rare bipartisan deal to phase out of the use of planet-warming industrial chemicals commonly found in refrigerators and air-conditioners.

 

Schumer 2.0: How a surprise same-sex marriage decision explains the Senate leader
Burgess Everett, Politico

Chuck Schumer concedes that forcing the GOP to vote on same-sex marriage protections before the election would have been the “easy thing.” Instead he took the path that defied his reputation as the Senate’s campaigner-in-chief.

 

House Freedom Caucus plots return to relevance
Alayna Treene and Andrew Solender, Axios

The House Freedom Caucus is so far refusing to back GOP Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) for speaker should its party win back the majority — testing what commitments it can leverage in exchange for its members’ support.

 

New campaign for Cherokee Nation House delegate
Keldy Ortiz, Axios

The Cherokee Nation is launching a campaign to force Congress to seat a nonvoting U.S. House delegate, holding them accountable to a 19th-century treaty that has never been honored.

 

Capitol Police Officer Eugene Goodman offers new Jan. 6 details at trial of QAnon believer
Liz Brown-Kaiser and Ryan J. Reilly, NBC News

U.S. Capitol Police Officer Eugene Goodman, who is credited with protecting members of Congress during the attack on the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021, by diverting rioters from the floor of the Senate, testified Wednesday at the trial of one of the men who led the mob he faced down.

 
General
 

Powell’s stark message: Inflation fight may cause recession
Christopher Rugaber, The Associated Press

The Federal Reserve delivered its bluntest reckoning Wednesday of what it will take to finally tame painfully high inflation: Slower growth, higher unemployment and potentially a recession.

 

U.S. Gas Prices End Streak of Declines Just Short of 100 Days
Isabella Simonetti, The New York Times

A 98-day stretch of declines in the average U.S. national gasoline price ended on Wednesday, a sign that the effect of falling fuel costs, which have recently helped temper overall inflation, might be waning.

 

Trump says presidents can declassify docs ‘even by thinking about it’
Julian Mark, The Washington Post

In his first TV appearance since a court-authorized search of his Florida home last month, Donald Trump reasserted Wednesday that any documents taken from the White House to Mar-a-Lago were declassified while he was in office, adding that a president can carry that out “even by thinking about it.”

 

Washington Pays Tribute to a Different Type of Leader
Stephanie Lai, The New York Times

Politicians and diplomats, including Vice President Kamala Harris, paid their respects to Queen Elizabeth II at a memorial service in Washington, D.C.

 
Campaigns
 

Donald Trump’s super Pac raised just $40 in August in sign of weakness
Caitlin Gilbert and Courtney Weaver, Financial Times

Fundraising for one of Donald Trump’s biggest political action committees has slowed dramatically in recent months, according to new election filings, in an early sign that the former president’s escalating legal troubles may be damaging his prospects with donors.

 

NRCC outraises DCCC, reports bigger war chest heading into midterm homestretch
David M. Drucker, The Washington Examiner

The National Republican Congressional Committee outraised its Democratic counterpart in August, even as Democrats saw a burst of enthusiasm ahead of the midterm elections.

 

Republicans spend millions on TV ads for midterms, but why doesn’t Trump?
Jason Lange and Jarrett Renshaw, Reuters

Fundraising groups tied to Republican Party leaders are sharply increasing spending on campaign ads to help the party win control of Congress in the Nov. 8 general elections.

 

Stefanik Says She’s Confident a Red Wave Is Coming to the House
Blake Hounshell and Annie Karni, The New York Times

Representative Elise Stefanik, the No. 3 House Republican, also spoke about her PAC’s success in backing female candidates, 23 of whom are running in the fall.

 

Latino Voters Shifted Right in 2020. What Does That Mean for Arizona and Nevada This Year?
Geoffrey Skelley, FiveThirtyEight

One major storyline coming out of the 2020 election was the rightward shift of Latino voters, who supported former President Donald Trump at a higher rate than they had four years earlier.

 

The third rail Republicans can’t stop touching
Natalie Allison, Politico

For two decades, campaign after campaign, Republican politicians have floated the idea of privatizing government entitlement programs including Social Security and Medicare. And campaign after campaign — from Paul Ryan to George W. Bush — it’s been a loser.

 

How a zombie apocalypse is informing a new wave of Dem ads
Christopher Cadelago, Politico

The final sprint of the midterms has brought another battery of ads, with scores of spots set to ominous music and deep-voiced narrators warning about the perils of the opposition.

 

Gibbs argued against women voting, working on anti-feminist website in college
Riley Beggin, The Detroit News

John Gibbs, the GOP candidate running for the U.S. House in west Michigan’s 3rd District, authored a website in college that argued women should not vote or work outside the home.

 

Ohio GOP House candidate has misrepresented military service
Brian Slodysko and James Laporta, The Associated Press

Campaigning for a northwestern Ohio congressional seat, Republican J.R. Majewski presents himself as an Air Force combat veteran who deployed to Afghanistan after the 9/11 terrorist attacks, once describing “tough” conditions including a lack of running water that forced him to go more than 40 days without a shower.

 

Glenn Youngkin meets with prominent GOP donor group amid 2024 speculation
David M. Drucker, The Washington Examiner

Virginia Gov. Glenn Youngkin (R) was in Washington on Wednesday evening to participate in a Q&A with the American Opportunity Alliance, an exclusive group of wealthy Republican donors who provide millions of dollars in crucial funding to the party’s top presidential contenders.

 
States
 

Arizona GOP governor warns against ‘bullies’ in his party
Maeve Reston, CNN

Outgoing Republican Gov. Doug Ducey of Arizona offered an implicit rebuke of the direction that former President Donald Trump has taken the GOP during a Tuesday speech at the Reagan Library, warning against leaders in his party who have morphed into “bullies” as well as candidates who are “more defined by their attitudes than the policies they propose.”

 

Georgia county validates thousands of voters challenged by Trump allies
Daniel Trotta, Reuters

A Georgia county has validated 15,000 to 20,000 registered voters whose status was challenged ahead of the Nov. 8 midterm election, officials said on Wednesday, leaving another 16,000 pending cases to resolve, according to the group leading the challenge.

 

Florida brings battle over social media regulation to Supreme Court
Will Oremus and Cat Zakrzewski, The Washington Post

Florida’s attorney general on Wednesday asked the Supreme Court to decide whether states have the right to regulate how social media companies moderate content on their services. The move sends one of the most controversial debates of the internet age to the country’s highest court.

 
Advocacy
 

LIV Golf may need a mulligan on Capitol Hill
Andrew Desiderio, Politico

The Saudi government-backed competitor to the PGA Tour has Donald Trump’s seal of approval. That doesn’t mean every conservative lawmaker is supportive.

 

Inside the civil rights campaign to get Big Tech to fight the ‘big lie’
Naomi Nix, The Washington Post

A coalition of five dozen civil rights organizations is blasting Silicon Valley’s biggest social media companies for not taking more aggressive measures to counter election misinformation on their platforms in the months leading up to November’s midterm elections.

 

Wall Street CEOs Cautious About Path of U.S. Economy
Andrew Ackerman, The Wall Street Journal

The heads of the largest U.S. banks expressed concerns about the state of the U.S. economy, warning about the risks of high inflation and rising interest rates.

 

‘Nothing short of ridiculous’: Trump ally Tom Barrack rejects foreign agent claims as trial opens
Caitlin Oprysko, Politico

The Justice Department alleges he covertly provided officials from the United Arab Emirates access to the highest levels of the U.S. government in a “corrupt pursuit of money and power.”

 
Opinions, Editorials and Perspectives
 

House Rating Changes: Schweikert Moves to Toss Up, Cuellar to Lean Democrat
David Wasserman, The Cook Political Report

As both parties begin to blitz the competitive battleground with ads, Republicans continue to be the party playing more offense, linking Democratic incumbents to “wasteful spending” and more IRS funding in the just-passed reconciliation bill.

 

Does public opinion polling about issues still work?
Courtney Kennedy et al., Pew Research Center

The 2016 and 2020 presidential elections left many Americans wondering whether polling still works. Pre-election polls in both years struggled to capture the strength of support for former President Donald Trump and other Republican candidates.

 

The Best Way To Save The Constitution From Donald Trump Is To Rewrite It
John F. Harris, Politico

Deference to our founding document is essential to democracy. But mystical devotion is not.

 

Economic Growth Is Essential. So Is Resilience.
Janet Yellen, The Atlantic

The global economy is becoming more vulnerable to supply shortages and price shocks. We need to address that volatility.

 
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