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Washington Brief: Week in Review & What’s Ahead


Week in Review

The White House

  • President Donald Trump stunned and angered some Republican lawmakers when he struck a deal with House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) to include emergency funding for Hurricane Harvey relief in a short-term extension of government funding that also raises the debt limit.
  • Trump ordered an end to the Obama-era policy that shields young undocumented immigrants from deportation, calling the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program an “amnesty-first approach.” He urged Congress to pass a replacement measure before his administration begins phasing out the program in March. U.S. voters tend to support citizenship for immigrants brought to the United States illegally as children, according to recent polling.
  • The 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals dealt another blow to Trump’s temporary travel ban by ruling that refugees with relationships with a resettlement agency should be exempt from the executive order.
  • As Hurricane Irma approached Florida, Trump urged people to “get out of its way.” He declared a federal state of emergency in Florida, Georgia, Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands, and the Trump Organization closed four of its properties in Florida, including Mar-a-Lago, in preparation of Irma’s expected landfall.

Congress

  • Congress passed a three-month debt limit extension, continuing resolution and $15.25 billion hurricane relief package. The House cleared the measure 316-90 after the Senate voted 80-17 to pass the bill. Trump signed the legislation into law on Sept. 8.
  • Schumer and Trump reached an agreement to pursue a plan that would permanently abolish the congressional process for raising the debt ceiling. Pelosi supports trying to finalize a plan, while House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) said he is against the move.
  • GOP Reps. Charlie Dent (Pa.) and Dave Reichert (Wash.) said they will not seek re-election next year. The two, along with Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-Fla.), are giving up seats that Democrats think they have a chance at winning in the 2018 midterm elections.
  • Sen. Luther Strange (R-Ala.) distanced himself from the Senate’s Republican leaders by embracing Trump’s call to eliminate the chamber’s rules surrounding the legislative filibuster. Former Alabama Supreme Court Chief Justice Roy Moore, who’s facing Strange in a special election primary runoff on Sept. 26, called the move a “flipflop.”
  • Donald Trump Jr., the president’s eldest son, met with the staff and some members of the Senate Judiciary Committee to answer questions about setting up a meeting with a Russian lawyer in June 2016. In a prepared statement, he said he wanted to hear information she might have had on Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton.

What’s Ahead

  • The House and Senate are both scheduled to be in session this week, starting on Monday. The Senate is expected to take up the National Defense Authorization Act.
  • House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) delayed work on an eight-bill spending package last week. Lawmakers are expected to return to the issue this week as they try to complete work on the legislation by Sept. 30.
  • Special counsel Robert Mueller notified the White House that his team will probably seek interviews with six current and former Trump advisers, including Hope Hicks, Sean Spicer and Reince Priebus.
  • Strange and Moore continue to campaign for the Republican nomination in Alabama’s special primary election run-off that’s scheduled for Sept. 26.
  • Former Virginia Gov. Jim Gilmore (R) said he is considering the possibility of joining Corey Stewart in pursuing the Republican nomination to challenge Democratic Sen. Tim Kaine for re-election next year. Stewart is chairman of the Prince William County Board of Supervisors and unsuccessfully challenged Ed Gillespie for the Republican gubernatorial nomination this year.
  • The corruption trial for Sen. Robert Menendez (D-N.J.) continues and may last as many as six weeks.

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.
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Morning Consult Washington Top Reads

1) Hurricane Irma strengthens to Category 5 storm, with 185 mph winds
Doyle Rice et al., USA Today

2) GOP livid after Trump cuts deal with Democrats
Burgess Everett et al., Politico

3) On DACA, President Trump Has No Easy Path
Glenn Thrush et al., The New York Times

4) Trump’s meeting with tax negotiators kicks off fall reform push
Aaron Lorenzo, Politico

5) House Readies Harvey Aid as Senate GOP Mulls Adding Debt Limit
Anna Edgerton and Steven T. Dennis, Bloomberg

6) Freedom Caucus leaders vent to Paul Ryan after talks with Steve Bannon
Robert Costa, The Washington Post

7) New Clinton book blasts Sanders for ‘lasting damage’ in 2016 race
Dan Merica, CNN

8) U.S. appeals court rejects Trump’s bid to bar most refugees
Mica Rosenberg and Jonathan Stempel, Reuters

9) Congressman Tim Murphy issues statement on extramarital affair
Paula Reed Ward, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

10) Key Trump Aide’s Departure Rattles President’s Allies
Shannon Pettypiece and Jennifer Jacobs, Bloomberg