Washington Brief: Majority of Voters Support Trump’s Travel Ban, Poll Shows

Washington Brief

  • Sixty percent of registered voters support President Donald Trump’s temporary travel ban on visitors from six predominantly Muslim countries, according to a new poll that suggests the policy may be more popular when it’s separated from the president. (Politico)
  • Trump embarked today on his second foreign trip since taking office. He’s scheduled to stop in Poland before a two-day summit of the Group of 20 nations in Germany, where he’s expected to have his first ever bilateral meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin. (The Wall Street Journal)
  • A bipartisan group of lawmakers — Sens. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.), John McCain (R-Ariz.), Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) and Sheldon Whitehouse (D-R.I.) – said Trump needs to fill vacancies at the State Department in order to manage growing security and diplomatic concerns. The senators issued their statement during an official visit to Afghanistan. (The New York Times)

Chart Review

Events Calendar (All Times Local)

No events scheduled
Federal Reserve Gov. Powell speaks at AEI 10 a.m.
Heritage Foundation event on the Supreme Court’s 2016-2017 term 11 a.m.
Arab Gulf States Institute in Washington event on terrorism financing 12 p.m.
No events scheduled



‘Self-Restraint’ Is Only Thing Stopping War in Korea, U.S. General Says
Choe Sang-Hun, The New York Times

The top American general in South Korea said Wednesday that self-restraint was all that kept the United States and South Korea from going to war with North Korea, as the South’s defense minister indicated that the North’s first intercontinental ballistic missile had the potential to reach Hawaii. The unusually blunt warning, from Gen. Vincent K. Brooks, the commander of American troops based in Seoul, came a day after North Korea said it successfully tested the Hwasong-14, its first intercontinental ballistic missile.

U.S. Lifts Laptop Ban on Emirates Airline, Turkish Airlines
Robert Wall, The Wall Street Journal

Emirates Airline and Turkish Airlines Wednesday said their passengers were cleared to again use laptops and other electronics on U.S.-bound flights, further scaling back a ban Washington put in place on some flights over concerns about terrorism. Emirates Airline, the world’s largest international carrier by traffic, said the restrictions on the use of laptops, tablets and other devices that had been in place since March were lifted “effective immediately.”

Senate Republicans Lay Low on the Fourth, or Face Single-Minded Pressure
Campbell Robertson et al., The New York Times

In normal times, the Fourth of July parade is a fat pitch down the middle for the grinning politician. For instance, here was Senator Joe Manchin III, a Democrat facing re-election next year in a state that President Trump won by 42 points, waving unheckled among the firefighters, beauty queens and county commissioners who streamed up Maple Avenue.


Trump to Face Putin, Discuss North Korean Threat During Europe Trip
Peter Nicholas and Nathan Hodge, The Wall Street Journal

Donald Trump sets out Wednesday on the second foreign trip of his presidency, a rapid-fire series of meetings with world leaders that all could be upstaged by his first face-to-face encounter since the election with Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin. The two will meet Friday afternoon in Hamburg, Germany, in what the White House on Tuesday began describing as a “bilateral” session, rather than the more casual and impromptu encounters that sometimes play out at world summits.

North Korea missile launch marks a direct challenge to Trump administration
Anne Gearan and Emily Rauhala, The Washington Post

North Korea’s latest test launch of an intercontinental ballistic missile marks a direct challenge to President Trump, whose tough talk has yet to yield any change in Pyongyang’s behavior as the regime continues its efforts to build a nuclear weapon capable of striking the mainland United States. The missile — launched Tuesday in North Korea, late Monday in the United States — flew higher and remained in the air longer than previous attempts, enough to reach all of Alaska, experts said.

Killer-Truck Fix Hits Roadblock in Trump’s Quest to Cut Rules
Alan Levin, Bloomberg News

Years of pleas from parents whose son was killed by a speeding tractor-trailer, buy-in from some truckers and the promise of fewer highway deaths convinced U.S. officials in September to propose requiring speed-limiting devices on all large rigs. All it took was a few minutes for President Donald Trump to sign an order putting that regulation and hundreds of others in limbo.

All the President’s Lawyers
Jonathan Mahler, The New York Times

Donald Trump’s life and career have been defined by his legal battles. But do the attorneys who guided him through the courtrooms of New York and New Jersey know how to navigate Washington?


Senators, Visiting Afghanistan, Warn Trump Over Diplomatic Vacancies
Mujib Mashal, The New York Times

A delegation of United States senators visiting Afghanistan issued a stark warning on Tuesday to President Trump to fill vacant embassy and State Department positions here in order to better address the country’s mounting military and political crises. Led by Senator John McCain, Republican of Arizona, the American delegation in Kabul voiced what has been a concern for months now in the absence of a permanent American ambassador.

Cruz plan could be key to unlocking healthcare votes
Rachel Roubein, The Hill

The fate of ObamaCare repeal-and-replace could hinge on an amendment from Sen. Ted Cruz. The Texas senator is pushing for a provision that would allow insurers to sell plans that do not comply with ObamaCare insurance regulations, so long as they also sell plans that comply with those rules.


Armed Services Panels Diverge on Space, Troop Levels
Patrick Kelley, Roll Call

The House and Senate Armed Services committees took significantly different approaches in their annual Pentagon policy bills on everything from space operations to Army manpower, lining up what could be a tough conference negotiation later this year. Among the biggest differences in the bills is how each approached space defense programs.

From Auschwitz, Louisiana Congressman Clay Higgins has a message for America
Drew Broach, The Times-Picayune

Just in time for Independence Day, U.S. Rep. Clay Higgins, R-Port Barre, has a video message for America. But instead of visiting constituent cookouts, shooting off fireworks and waving the United States flag, Higgins delivers a stark dispatch from the Nazis’ Auschwitz concentration camp at Oswiecim, Poland.

Paul Ryan’s House challenger launches longshot bid after viral video
Dylan Stafford, CNN 

House Speaker Paul Ryan has a new longshot challenger for the seat he’s held onto for nearly 20 years. Randy Bryce — a Democratic organizer and union iron worker who’s never held elected office — gained national attention with a viral video that debuted last month announcing his congressional bid.


Illinois Senate votes to override Rauner veto of income tax hike, budget
Monique Garcia and Kim Geiger, The Chicago Tribune 

The Illinois Senate voted to override Republican Gov. Bruce Rauner’s vetoes of an income tax increase and spending plan, taking key steps to end a record budget impasse. The quick Senate action capped a whirlwind Independence Day at the Capitol.

States Mired in Budget Paralysis Defy Eight-Year Recovery
Elise Young, Bloomberg News

Were it not for Illinois’s flirtation with a junk credit downgrade and New Jersey Governor Chris Christie’s luxuriating on a closed public beach, the budget woes of U.S. states might have assumed their annual spot in the dust bin of public-policy history. This year, spending strife is unusually widespread, with 11 states missing their July 1 fiscal-year deadlines.

Christie signs N.J. budget, ending 3-day government shutdown
Ryan Hutchins and Katie Jennings, Politico

Gov. Chris Christie and lawmakers ended New Jersey’s first state government shutdown in more than a decade, settling a bitter feud over an unrelated bill that had left the Statehouse in disarray for two weeks. In votes after midnight, both houses of the Legislature passed the state budget and the companion legislation, sending the measures to Christie, who was waiting with pen in hand.

Florida Judge Rules Changes to ‘Stand Your Ground’ Law Are Unconstitutional
Arian Campo-Flores, The Wall Street Journal

A Florida judge ruled Monday that lawmakers’ changes to the state’s controversial “stand your ground” self-defense law violate the state’s constitution. The decision dealt a blow to gun-rights supporters who pressed for the revisions and heartened critics who said the changes made it more difficult to convict people of violent crimes.

Puerto Rico faces off with bondholders over statehood
Rafael Bernal, The Hill

Puerto Rico’s top elected leaders are doubling down on their pursuit of statehood, even as bondholders ask Congress and the White House to hold off until debt payments are made. Former New York Gov. George Pataki, who represents some of the island’s bondholders, said he supports statehood, but only after Puerto Rico’s financial woes are solved.


Oil Giants Lobby Against Bill to Toughen Russia Sanctions
Bradley Olson and Peter Nicholas, The Wall Street Journal 

Exxon Mobil Corp. and other energy companies have joined President Donald Trump in expressing concerns over a bill to toughen sanctions on Russia, arguing that it could shut down oil and gas projects around the world that involve Russian partners. The pushback from energy companies such as Exxon and Chevron Corp. —and other industries—threatens to complicate House passage of the legislation, aimed partly at punishing Russia for what U.S. officials describe as interference in last year’s U.S. election.

Mark Pincus and Reid Hoffman are launching a new group to rethink the Democratic Party
Tony Romm, Recode 

It’s called Win the Future, and Pincus is even courting potential WTF candidates like the frontman of ’90s rock band Third Eye Blind.

Opinions, Editorials and Perspectives

The Way Forward on North Korea
The Editorial Board, The New York Times

President Trump seems to have absorbed at least one piece of advice from Barack Obama: North Korea’s nuclear program is a problem in urgent need of a solution. That was driven home on Tuesday when the North tested a missile that appeared to be capable of striking Alaska.

The North Korean Missile Crisis
Editorial Board, The Wall Street Journal

North Korea continued to defy the protests of world leaders on Tuesday by launching what looks to be its first intercontinental ballistic missile. The symbolism of launching on America’s Independence Day was surely no accident, but the technical feat is more consequential.

American Dignity and the Fourth of July
David Remnick, The New Yorker 

More than three-quarters of a century after the delegates of the Second Continental Congress voted to quit the Kingdom of Great Britain and declared that “all men are created equal,” Frederick Douglass stepped up to the lectern at Corinthian Hall, in Rochester, New York, and, in an Independence Day address to the Ladies of the Rochester Anti-Slavery Sewing Society, made manifest the darkest ironies embedded in American history and in the national self-regard.  “What, to the American slave, is your 4th of July?” Douglass asked.

If Trump takes a protectionist approach on steel, it could backfire
Editorial Board, The Washington Post

As the Friday start of the Group of 20 economic summit in Hamburg approaches, the Trump administration represents one of the chief sources of uncertainty in global trade. It has been just over two months since President Trump ordered a review of how steel imports affect American national security, which could usher in protectionist measures on a wide range of products from a wide range of countries.

Ivanka Trump Replies on Paid Family Leave
Ivanka Trump, The Wall Street Journal

In a rejoinder to your May 26 editorial “The Ivanka Entitlement” on President Trump’s family-leave proposal, Stephen Schwarzman lays out the robust business case for paid-leave policy. The Journal then uses Mr. Schwarzman’s response as a platform to make a policy distinction, to recognize the inherent value of paid leave while opposing the government’s role in administering it.

Research Reports and Polling

Poll: Majority of voters back Trump travel ban
Steven Shepard, Politico

A clear majority of voters supports President Donald Trump’s travel ban on visitors from six predominantly Muslim countries, according to a new POLITICO/Morning Consult poll. Polling on the travel restrictions has varied wildly since the Trump administration first unveiled the first executive order in late January.

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