Washington Brief: House Postpones Monday Votes as Irma Lashes Florida, Georgia, Alabama


Top Stories

  • The House postponed Monday votes over concerns that some lawmakers would not be able to make it to Washington due to damage from Hurricane Irma, which has been downgraded to a tropical storm. (Washington Examiner)
  • The Senate today is scheduled to begin consideration of the annual National Defense Authorization Act. Senate Armed Services Committee Chairman John McCain (R-Ariz.) has not indicated whether he will allow several controversial amendments to come up for a vote. (The Washington Post)
  • Steve Bannon, President Donald Trump’s former chief strategist, accused the “Republican establishment” of “trying to nullify the 2016 election.” (Axios) Bannon, the head of Breitbart News, is assisting Republican primary challenges to GOP senators in Alabama, Arizona and Nevada. (Politico)
  • Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton kicked off a monthlong media tour to promote her new book, which is set to be released tomorrow. During an interview that aired Sunday she said her 2016 loss to Trump “is still very painful.” (The Wall Street Journal)

Chart Review

Events Calendar (All Times Local)

Monday
Atlantic Council/Georgetown Law event on Russia, Venezuela, North Korea 12 p.m.
Tuesday
Center for Strategic & International Studies event on NAFTA renegotiations 9 a.m.
House Foreign Affairs Committee hearing on North Korea 10 a.m.
House Energy & Commerce Committee hearing on electricity with FERC chairman 10 a.m.
Wednesday
Sen. Portman, Rep. Tonko speak at event on opioid epidemic 8 a.m.
Rep. Ro Khanna speaks at Atlantic Council event on visa policies 10:30 a.m.
Millennial Action Project event on the book “The Impossible Presidency: The Rise and Fall of America’s Highest Office” 12 p.m.
Airlines for America Commercial Aviation Industry Summit 12 p.m.
House Foreign Affairs subcommittee hearing on Venezuela 2 p.m.
CFR event on the upcoming German federal election 6:30 p.m.
Thursday
POLITICO Pro Policy Summit 7:45 a.m.
Sens. Heitkamp, Whitehouse, Capito, Barrasso speak at Center for Climate and Energy Solutions 8:30 a.m.
Senate Finance Committee hearing on individual tax reform 10 a.m.
Senate HELP Committee hearing on the individual insurance market 10 a.m.
Friday
AEI event on trade deficits and the Trump administration 10 a.m.

General

Bannon on 60 Minutes: 9 key quotes
Erica Pandey, Axios

Former White House chief strategist Steve Bannon appears on 60 Minutes Sunday night in his first-ever TV interview. Top quote: “The Republican establishment is trying to nullify the 2016 election. That’s a brutal fact we have to face.”

Bannon plotting primaries against slate of GOP incumbents
Alex Isenstadt, Politico

President Donald Trump’s closest allies are planning a slate of primary challenges against Republican senators, potentially undermining the party’s prospects in 2018 and further inflaming tensions between GOP leaders and the White House. The effort is being led by Steve Bannon, Trump’s bomb-throwing former chief strategist, who is launching an all-out war against Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and the Republican establishment.

Hillary Clinton, in TV Interview, Says Election Loss Still ‘Very Painful’
Eli Stokols, The Wall Street Journal

Hillary Clinton on Sunday described the lingering pain of being “gobsmacked” after losing the presidency 10 months ago to Donald Trump and said she wouldn’t be a candidate for office ever again. “I think I am good, but that doesn’t mean that I am complacent or resolved about what happened,” the 2016 Democratic presidential nominee said in an interview Sunday morning with CBS News ’s Jane Pauley.

Hurricane Irma pounds Florida; extent of damage not yet clear
Adrees Latif and Zachary Fagenson, Reuters

Hurricane Irma pounded heavily populated areas of central Florida on Monday as it carved through the state with high winds, storm surges and torrential rains that left millions without power, ripped roofs off homes and flooded city streets. Irma, once ranked as one of the most powerful hurricanes recorded in the Atlantic, came ashore in Florida on Sunday and battered towns as it worked its way up the state.

Violence Erupts on Desperate Caribbean Islands: ‘All the Food Is Gone’
Azam Ahmed and Kirk Semple, The New York Times

At dawn, people began to gather, quietly planning for survival after Hurricane Irma. They started with the grocery stores, scavenging what they needed for sustenance: water, crackers, fruit.

Presidential

Trump on Hurricane Irma: ‘This is some big monster’
Sarah N. Lynch, Reuters

U.S. President Donald Trump called Hurricane Irma “some big monster” as it battered the Florida coast, saying he wanted to go to the state very soon and praising emergency officials for their efforts to protect people. “The bad news is that this is some big monster,” Trump told reporters at the White House, saying damage from the storm would be very costly.

Trump to Meet Malaysian Leader as He Works to Shore Up Asian Ties
Alan Cullison et al, The Wall Street Journal

President Donald Trump will host Malaysia’s premier this week, in a visit that shows how hard his administration is working to court Asian allies to pressure North Korea over its nuclear-weapons program. Tuesday’s visit by Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak comes as a U.S. Justice Department investigation into the looting of a Malaysian economic-development fund threatens to ensnare much of the country’s ruling elite, including Mr. Najib.

China Thinks the U.S. Holds Key to Solve North Korea Crisis
David Tweed, Bloomberg

U.S. President Donald Trump has regularly called on China to stop North Korea’s nuclear advancement, even saying in July it could “easily” end the crisis. In Beijing, however, leaders think the opposite. While the U.S. and China agree the Korean peninsula should be rid of nuclear weapons, they differ on how best to achieve that.

Where Trump’s Hands-Off Approach to Governing Does Not Apply
Ben Protess et al., The New York Times

The Trump administration opened the door to allowing more firearms on federal lands. It scrubbed references to “L.G.B.T.Q. youth” from the description of a federal program for victims of sex trafficking. And, on the advice of religious leaders, it eliminated funding to international groups that provide abortion.

Senate

Senators eye defense bill as a way to challenge Trump’s foreign policy
Karoun Demirjian, The Washington Post

Rank-and-file senators are eyeing the annual defense bill the Senate will take up this week as a chance to challenge President Trump’s recent controversial moves on national security — but thus far, Republican leaders have resisted their efforts. Senators of both parties are drafting amendments that would step up sanctions against North Korea, roll back Trump’s order to ban transgender troops from the military and force Congress to vote within six months on a replacement authorization for use of military force, or AUMF, against extremist groups.

Sen. John McCain Says He ‘Will Be Grateful for Additional Time’ He Has
Becky Bowers, The Wall Street Journal

Sen. John McCain (R. Ariz.), who returned to the Senate last week after treatment for an aggressive form of brain cancer, said Sunday his prognosis is good but “the challenges are very significant.” “This is a very vicious form of cancer that I’m facing. All the results so far are excellent. Everything is fine,” he told Jake Tapper on CNN’s State of the Union on Sunday morning.

House

House cancels all Monday votes because of Hurricane Irma 
Todd Shepherd, Washington Examiner

The U.S. House of Representatives has cancelled all scheduled votes for this Monday over concerns about members who may not be able to return to D.C. on time because of Hurricane Irma.

For a Florida congressman, ‘safe room’ becomes his office
David Cohen, Politico

Florida Rep. Ted Deutch lost track of how many tornado warnings there were. Throughout the day Sunday, the Democratic congressman was forced to shelter from the ferocious effects of Hurricane Irma, even as he attempted to keep atop of the situation, or, as he put it, “trying to stay abreast while running back and forth to the safe room during tornado warnings.”

Why Ryan, Undercut by Trump, May Actually Emerge Stronger
Sheryl Gay Stolberg, The New York Times

Paul D. Ryan rode to power two years ago like a hero on a white horse, a reluctant candidate for House speaker elected to heal wounds left by his predecessor, who could not tame the incessant infighting between hard-line conservatives and establishment Republicans. In one of his first real tests, Mr. Ryan discovered last week that those old wounds can reopen fast.

Why Most House Republicans Voted for a Deal They Loathed
Lindsey McPherson, Roll Call

Most House Republicans griped about the fiscal package they were forced to vote on Friday, but ultimately, a relatively small portion of the conference was willing to vote against it. A little more than one-third of House Republicans voted against a package that would extend government funding and the debt ceiling for three months, while providing $15 billion in disaster relief aid, primarily to Texas and Louisiana to help with the Hurricane Harvey recovery efforts.

Could More House Retirements Imperil GOP Majority in 2018?
Simone Pathé, Roll Call

House retirements are a staple of each election cycle. But the decision by three moderate Republicans not to seek re-election is worrying party members, already nervous about holding the majority in 2018.

States

President Trump declares disaster for Florida amid Hurricane Irma
Steve Bousquet, Miami Herald

President Donald Trump on Sunday approved a major disaster declaration for Hurricane Irma in Florida, hours after Gov. Rick Scott requested it. In a week in which the president and governor spoke several times by phone, the governor’s office said the disaster declaration will authorize federal funding to flow to areas affected by the storm and will reimburse cities and counties and the state for costs of response and recovery.

Gov. Deal tells Georgians, evacuees to hunker down for Irma
Meris Lutz, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution

With Hurricane Irma bearing down on Georgia, Governor Nathan Deal urged residents and evacuees alike Sunday to find a safe place and stay there until authorities give a signal that it is safe to go out. The governor’s comments followed a tour of the State Operations Center at the Georgia Emergency Management and Homeland Security Agency.

Nevada treasurer’s candidacy for governor sparks attack ads
Colton Lochhead, Las Vegas Review-Journal

Nevada Treasurer Dan Schwartz made his gubernatorial bid official last week, and establishment Republicans were none too happy. Schwartz, who was elected to treasurer in 2014, attacked “pay for play” politics in the speech announcing his campaign, and said he would be an independent voice in the governor’s mansion.

California Lawmakers Spar Over Bills to Ease Housing Shortage
Ian Lovett, The Wall Street Journal

As the California legislature enters its final week of this year’s session, lawmakers are battling over a series of bills designed to ease the state’s worsening housing shortage, which is driving up prices and pushing low- and middle-income residents out of cities from Oakland to Los Angeles. Democrats, who control all branches of government in California, are hoping to bring the package of bills to a vote this week.

Advocacy

Lobbying money spikes under President Trump
Tony Mecia, Washington Examiner

Eight months into its current session, Congress has passed no major legislation. Republicans control both houses and the White House, yet they failed to produce a new healthcare bill.

A Message from the Electronic Payments Coalition:

A majority of voters are concerned with data breaches, yet there are no national data security standards to protect consumers at checkout. It’s time retailers share responsibility for data security. Learn more from the Electronic Payments Coalition.

Opinions, Editorials and Perspectives

Supporting Rural America in the Tax Code Means Supporting Forest Owners
Tom Martin, Morning Consult

With Congress back in town following its summer recess, all eyes are turning to the congressional tax-writing committees as they work to pass tax reform legislation. Most rural Americans will be glad to see a simpler, more streamlined tax code.

9/11: Finding Answers in Ashes 16 Years Later
The Editorial Board, The New York Times

An inscription on the lobby wall greets visitors in Latin at the offices of the New York City medical examiner. It is an adage familiar to places where autopsies are performed.

Trial Lawyers and Breitbart Unite
The Editorial Board, The Wall Street Journal

The Trump era is producing strange alliances. Witness how trial lawyers are lining up behind Breitbart-backed Roy Moore in Alabama’s Senate GOP primary runoff later this month.

Trump’s travel ban may expire before it reaches the Supreme Court
Editorial Board, The Washington Post

Once again a federal court has ruled against the Trump administration’s temporary ban on admission into the United States of refugees and citizens of six majority-Muslim countries. And once again, the Justice Department is appealing the ruling to the Supreme Court — this time arguing that the government should not have to exclude from the ban grandparents or other close family members of people within the United States, along with refugees sponsored by American resettlement organizations, while the case is pending before the court.

Well, What Should Hillary Do Now?
Susan Chira, The New York Times

In whatever role she carves out for herself, she will have to contend with the vitriol she has drawn throughout her public life. She and Donald Trump went into Election Day with historically low favorability ratings, a distinction they have both maintained after the election.

A Message from the Electronic Payments Coalition:

Four times as many voters trust financial institutions over retailers to create new, more secure ways to pay, which is just one reason why the payments industry is focused on innovation. Banks and credit unions are continuously working to provide consumers with the latest security features when they pay. Get the latest from EPC.

Research Reports and Polling

Key facts about Asian Americans, a diverse and growing population
Gustavo López et al., Pew Research Center

The U.S. Asian population is diverse. A record 20 million Asian Americans trace their roots to more than 20 countries in East and Southeast Asia and the Indian subcontinent, each with unique histories, cultures, languages and other characteristics.