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“GPO innovations are helpingto reduce provider costs, streamline drug delivery, and strengthen the health care supply chain,” – Hon. Phil English, HGPII National Co-Coordinator
Happy Tuesday morning.
We don’t know the details yet of the bipartisan Senate border security and immigration package. That’s because three senators — Chris Murphy (D-Conn.), James Lankford (R-Okla.) and Kyrsten Sinema (I-Ariz.) — are hashing out the compromise behind closed doors.
The legislation won’t go through the committee of jurisdiction, that’s clear. Senate Judiciary Committee Chair Dick Durbin confirmed Monday that the package will go directly to the floor. It’s also expected to take two weeks for the Senate to finish action on whatever agreement the trio of senators, party leaders and the White House reach.
And now it appears that hopes for putting the bill on the Senate floor this week seem to be fading a bit as well.
Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer warned Monday afternoon “We remain hopeful, but it’s certainly not a done deal yet. There are a handful of issues that have not yet been agreed to.”
“I would’ve loved to have this done two weeks ago,” Lankford told reporters. “But it’s just the constant ‘One more thing’ to try to get done.”
Senate Minority Whip John Thune, a reliable voice when it comes to what’s happening on the floor, said “No, probably not,” when asked if a deal could come together this week.
This goes back to one of our favorite mantras — everything in the Senate always takes longer than you think. Always — and we mean always — take the over.
There are a few hang-ups worth watching:
The negotiators haven’t resolved their differences over parole policy. Sen. Lindsay Graham (R-S.C.) has pushed senators to adopt a more restrictive approach to asylum seekers who fly directly into the United States.
Senators on the Appropriations Committee are just getting their hands on portions of the deal text to see how much money they must allocate toward border policy changes.
“We’ve received some text from them. Some text from them on a very major issue — asylum — came just this afternoon,” said Sen. Susan Collins (Maine), the top Republican appropriator.
Here’s more from Collins:
“We’re still lacking text in some areas, and text is bracketed in other areas with ‘TBD.’ We are getting input from the Department of Homeland Security to cost this out. But there’s some areas where it’s not clear what the agreement is.”
“It will definitely be more” than the $14 billion in new border security funding originally requested by the White House back in October, Collins acknowledged, although she couldn’t say how much more.
The politics. Immigration has become the most important issue in the country, even above inflation and the state of the economy, according to a new Harvard CAPS Harris poll. That cuts both ways for each party. President Joe Biden and Senate Democrats could badly use a deal on this issue in order to boost themselves politically. Yet, if the Senate passes a bipartisan agreement and the House doesn’t, what does that mean for Republicans, especially the vanishing House GOP majority?
This week was, in many ways, the perfect opportunity to begin the process of passing Biden’s national security request, which also includes tens of billions of dollars for Ukraine, Israel and Taiwan. The House is out of session, so senators could do their work without the daily drama from Speaker Mike Johnson’s chamber.
But some senators are freely admitting that the House may not even pass this agreement even if the Senate does.
“I’m positive the Senate can do its job and I’m positive the House will do its job,” Sen. John Cornyn (R-Texas) said. “I’m not sure those are the same thing.”
On top of all that, the New Hampshire presidential primary is today. Once former President Donald Trump takes a step closer to the Republican nomination, he’ll undoubtedly continue to sharply criticize this deal, which could tank its chances for passage. And passage of a deal like this could become even further complicated as the congressional primary season begins in earnest in the next several weeks.
Ukraine funding. Money for Kyiv is still a huge question mark here. In public and private, Senate Republicans who oppose more Ukraine aid caution that Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell is using the border security package to get Congress to approve more Ukraine aid.
In this take, McConnell and Democrats help push through the Senate a border security bill paired with Ukraine funding. McConnell knows House Republicans will oppose the border security provisions. But it shows congressional support for Ukraine, perhaps enough to overcome House GOP opposition.
Here’s Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) to our friend Manu Raju of CNN: “What they want is for the bill to fail in the House so they can go around saying we tried to fix the border, but it was Republicans in the House, those crazy MAGA Republicans who blocked it. That’s what they’re really trying to set up here and use it as a way to get the Ukraine money.”
We heard a similar argument from other Senate Republicans. We’ll note that McConnell has called for more Ukraine funding for months, but he’s also been very clear that it must also be tied to a border security bill.
Senate Republicans and Democrats have their party lunches today. And then there’s a special Senate GOP conference meeting on Wednesday to discuss Ukraine. We’ll see what happens in these two key gatherings.
— Jake Sherman and John Bresnahan
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PRESENTED BY INSTAGRAM
More than 75% of parents want to approve the apps teens under 16 download.
According to a new poll from Morning Consult, more than 75% of parents agree: Teens under 16 shouldn’t be able to download apps from app stores without parental permission.
Instagram wants to work with Congress to pass federal legislation that gets it done.
A leading House Freedom Caucus member is once again sparking intra-party tensions by backing a primary challenge to a fellow House Republican.
This time the target is Rep. William Timmons of South Carolina.
Adam Morgan, a state representative who chairs the South Carolina Freedom Caucus, is vying to oust Timmons. Morgan claims Timmons has failed to lead on conservative issues.
Senior HFC member Rep. Ralph Norman (R-S.C.) encouraged Morgan to run for the seat and endorsed him. Morgan also has close ties to Conservative Partnership Institute leaders Mark Meadows and Jim DeMint.
“The stakes couldn’t be higher in our nation and I have a proven strong track record at the state level of fighting and actually winning and getting results, and I want to do that in D.C.,” Morgan told us.
The Freedom Caucus and its outside allies have been active in recruiting and meeting with primary candidates in competitive races. We previously reported efforts to take on Reps. Brian Fitzpatrick (R-Pa.) and Tony Gonzales (R-Texas), as well as the group’s focus on the race to fill retiring Rep. Michael Burgess’ (R-Texas) seat.
At least one high-profile conservative is going after the HFC.
On Monday, Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-Ga.) endorsed John McGuire, who is running against HFC Chair Bob Good (R-Va.). Greene was booted from the Freedom Caucus last year and has been a vocal critic of Good. Good called MTG “a fraud” and “a liar” during an appearance on CNN.
For his part, an angry Timmons is firing back at his South Carolina colleague Norman for supporting a primary challenger.
“My record shows that I am a conservative that gets results,” Timmons told us. “Whereas Ralph has admitted to being ‘asleep at the switch,’ during his time in Congress, my focus is on the voters of the Fourth district. Ralph should try focusing on the Fifth.”
Norman responded by suggesting Timmons is weak politically, citing the primary results from 2022.
“William needs to worry about his constituents in the fourth district rather than worrying about me especially since he barely eked out a victory with only 52.7% in his 2022 primary against relatively unknown opponents,” Norman said.
Timmons has key support among leading House Republicans, including Speaker Mike Johnson and Judiciary Committee Chair Jim Jordan (R-Ohio), who called him a conservative fighter.
The Trump factor: Timmons just appeared with former President Donald Trump at a New Hampshire rally alongside other South Carolina Republicans.
Morgan endorsed Trump on Monday. Trump endorsed Timmons last cycle.
We’ll also point out that Norman is still supporting former South Carolina GOP Gov. Nikki Haley, for what it’s worth. He’s the sole member of the Palmetto State’s delegation not to back Trump.
— Mica Soellner
Speaker Mike Johnson hasn’t made up his mind about whether to support the bipartisan tax package approved by a key committee last week.
The reason? Grumbling from some of his members about the deal, according to sources familiar with the situation.
The House Ways and Means Committee gave a strong, bipartisan vote of approval Friday to a bill written by Chair Jason Smith (R-Mo.) and Senate Finance Committee Chair Ron Wyden (D-Ore.) to expand the child tax credit and revive some business tax breaks. There were no Republican defections.
But it’s not tax panel lawmakers who are the potential problems here.
One frustrated group is vulnerable, blue state Republicans who’ve repeatedly tried to make a stand on a key campaign issue back home — raising the $10,000 cap on deducting state and local taxes.
Some of these lawmakers are worked up about the bill lacking so-called SALT relief, we’re told, particularly given how politically potent it is in their swing districts.
Feeling SALTy: The snag? Plenty of Republicans like the $10,000 cap and would even cut SALT deductions off entirely. The deduction’s popularity looms largest in high-cost-of-living, suburban areas in New York, New Jersey and California. It’s been tough for both sides of the aisle to avoid member revolts on SALT.
Johnson has spoken with Smith about the package, and it has gained steam with Democrats who would be crucial to any floor vote under suspension of the rules.
But even beyond the vote count, Johnson may have other considerations at a fragile time for his speakership. Johnson has the slimmest GOP majority in decades to contend with, plus a right flank unhappy with his maneuvers on government funding. Johnson could be wary of dealing with too much of a headache on the tax bill.
— Laura Weiss and Jake Sherman
PRESENTED BY INSTAGRAM
Today is Rep. Dean Phillips’ (D-Minn.) do-or-die moment in his very, very long-shot campaign to unseat President Joe Biden. But as New Hampshire voters head to the primary polls, local Democrats are dismissive of Phillips’ chances.
Rep. Annie Kuster (D-N.H.) told us that “not a single person” she’s interacted with has told her they’ve been won over by Phillips’ pitch for generational change.
“I think it’s very possible that Marianne Williamson will beat Phillips,” Kuster said. “She’s been there campaigning for a year. She has a steady following.”
Kuster’s view sums up the disdain most Democrats have for Phillips’ presidential bid, which has turned the former member of House Democratic leadership into a pariah within his own party.
For what it’s worth, recent polls have shown Biden with a sizable lead over Phillips in second with Williamson trailing in third.
The New Hampshire Democratic primary isn’t actually sanctioned by the DNC thanks to the Biden team’s move granting South Carolina first-in-the-nation status. But pro-Biden Democrats are mounting a write-in campaign to ensure the president isn’t embarrassed in the Granite State’s unofficial contest.
Kuster said pro-Biden groups will be stationed around polling sites explaining the process to vote for the incumbent.
“Luckily, his name is easy to spell,” Kuster said.
The New Hampshire Democrat, who chairs the New Democrat Coalition, said Phillips “hasn’t presented a vision or platform.”
“It’s kind of ironic, he’s been hammering away at Joe Biden, but, you know, a lot of the voters are older people,” Kuster added.
In other N.H. news: Rep. Joe Morelle (D-N.Y.) wrote a letter to Attorney General Merrick Garland asking DOJ to investigate the robocall using a deepfake of Biden’s voice that urged voters not to show up today. The White House has confirmed the voice isn’t Biden’s. Both Phillips and former President Donald Trump’s campaigns have denied involvement.
More from Morelle:
“This clear bid to interfere in the New Hampshire primary demands a thorough investigation and a forceful response from federal officials to deter further AI-based attacks that will disrupt American democracy and disenfranchise American voters.”
— Max Cohen and Heather Caygle
News: The campaign arm of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus — the CHC BOLD PAC — is endorsing Sam Liccardo in California’s 16th District and Eddy Morales in Oregon’s 3rd District.
Liccardo, who served as mayor of San Jose, is running to succeed Rep. Anna Eshoo (D-Calif.).
In Oregon, Morales is looking to fill the vacancy that will be created by Rep. Earl Blumenauer’s (D-Ore.) retirement.
— Max Cohen
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ALL TIMES EASTERN
President Joe Biden will get his daily intelligence briefing.
Karine Jean-Pierre and John Kirby will brief.
Biden and First Lady Jill Biden will depart the White House en route to Manassas, Va., arriving at 3:05 p.m.
The Bidens, Vice President Kamala Harris and Second Gentleman Doug Emhoff will participate in a campaign event in Manassas.
The Bidens will depart Manassas en route to the White House, arriving at 7:10 p.m.
– Adam Rasgon, Victoria Kim and Gabby Sobelman
– Grace Ashford in Albany, N.Y.
– Marianne LeVine, Sabrina Rodriguez and Dylan Wells in Manchester, N.H.
– Peter Martin and Mohammed Hatem
– Marcus Walker and Carrie Keller-Lynn in Kibbutz Hanita, Israel
PRESENTED BY INSTAGRAM
Parents should be able to decide which apps are right for their teens.
According to a new poll by Morning Consult conducted in November 2023, more than 75% of parents believe teens under 16 shouldn’t be able to download apps without parental permission.
Instagram wants to work with Congress to pass federal legislation that gets it done.
Editorial photos provided by Getty Images. Political ads courtesy of AdImpact.
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