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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 Monday morning.
The House is in today. The Senate doesn’t return until Tuesday. House members were on recess last week, while the Senate’s action was slow but dramatic. Here’s where things stand.
Border: This is the week – finally! — that the high-stakes national security-border security supplemental package is supposed to be released. The White House and both Senate Democratic and GOP leadership have a lot riding on this.
What will happen to the measure, how it will get voted on (if it does), and what former President Donald Trump and Speaker Mike Johnson will do if the Senate does pass something – which we remain skeptical about – are all questions that no one can answer right now.
When the Senate left town last week, the GOP Conference was a confused mess about how they would handle the emerging proposal from Sens. James Lankford (R-Okla.), Chris Murphy (D-Conn.) and Kyrsten Sinema (I-Ariz.). Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell issued a warning about the political situation surrounding the proposal — meaning Trump was trying to blow things up – but later made it clear that he still backs the package.
The challenge for McConnell, Lankford and other Senate GOP leaders is whether they can move forward with the border security portion of this measure without majority support among Senate Republicans. That is very problematic for the Kentucky Republican, especially as far as Trump is concerned.
McConnell, who turns 82 in a few weeks, badly wants to win back the Senate majority, and Senate Republicans have a great map to do that in November. But if Trump returns to openly attacking McConnell, that’s gonna be a big problem throughout the year.
Ukraine is a huge question mark as well. There are Senate Republicans who back Ukraine but won’t support the border security-immigration portion of this package. Would McConnell agree to split Ukraine-Israel-Taiwan funding off in hopes of passing something through the Senate to try to put pressure on the House? Still unclear but a possibility.
There are also going to be a significant number of Democratic no votes on this package. Some Hispanic Democrats strongly dislike the immigration and border security policy changes. Progressive Democrats will oppose Israel funding. Let’s assume that somewhere between five to eight Democrats vote against the package. That number is very fluid.
This puts McConnell and Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer in a rough spot. You need 60 votes to pass anything in the Senate, of course. In this case, they start with 40-odd Democrats. As we suggested, McConnell will likely want a majority of Senate Republicans in order to move forward. Can McConnell, Lankford, Senate Minority Whip John Thune, Sen. John Cornyn (R-Texas) and others swing that kind of vote?
It’s difficult to predict how this plays out right now. McConnell never panics, that’s one of his strongest points. Lankford was also strong on the Sunday talk show circuit despite some kerfuffle back home with the Oklahoma Republican Party.
This is clear, however – the earliest any kind of procedural vote will take place in the Senate is Wednesday or Thursday. We’ll see where things stand after that.
Taxes: Johnson hasn’t announced publicly or told key members of his leadership whether he’ll put the $70 billion tax bill on the House floor this week. This shouldn’t be a terribly difficult call. The bill extends a host of business-friendly tax breaks alongside a minor expansion of the child tax credit. It passed the Ways and Means Committee by a 40-3 vote.
But Johnson has a big decision to make here. New York Republicans have raised hell with the speaker over the Ways and Means Committee’s unwillingness to lift the state and local tax exemption limit as part of this bill.
Empire State Republicans, “the majority makers” last cycle, see this as something their leadership can do to help them back home. Northeast Republicans – many of them moderates – have been forced by their leadership to vote for toxic bills for more than a year now.
The House GOP leadership doesn’t want to put this bill on the floor under a rule – the only way it’s amendable – because it presents a whole host of other complications. And GOP leaders effectively believe they can call the New Yorkers’ bluff. They won’t vote against this package because it includes wildly popular provisions, the thinking goes.
This is another proof point that Johnson’s speakership is marked by a very deliberative – or tortured – decision-making process.
Jordan: The killing of three U.S. soldiers stationed in Jordan and wounding of dozens of others by Iranian-backed militias is another huge challenge for President Joe Biden and his national-security team. (More from Andrew Desiderio below.)
“We had a tough day last night in the Middle East. We lost three brave souls,” Biden told the White House pool Sunday. “And we shall respond.”
– John Bresnahan and Jake Sherman
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WASHINGTON X THE WORLD
President Joe Biden is vowing that the United States will respond after three U.S. troops were killed and several dozen were injured in a drone attack by Iran-backed proxies in Jordan on Saturday.
The scale and possible targets of the U.S. response could be one of Biden’s most significant national security decisions to date. Biden is facing growing pressure from all sides in Congress — from defense hawks to war-powers advocates — on how to deal with the escalating Middle East violence.
The attack this weekend marked the first time that U.S. troops were killed in the region since the start of the war in Gaza on Oct. 7. Hamas murdered more than 1,000 Israelis and others while kidnapping more than 200 people. Israel’s military campaign in Gaza since has killed more than 25,000 Palestinians.
Since Oct. 7, Iranian proxies have launched more than 150 separate attacks in the region, including on commercial shipping lanes and on American troop positions in Iraq and Syria.
Biden has responded to those incidents by ordering airstrikes on Iran-backed groups, but the attacks haven’t ceased — leading many Republicans to insist that Biden should be doing more. GOP defense hawks are urging Biden to hit Iran more directly, arguing his administration has failed to adequately deter Iran’s aggression in the region.
“We must respond to these repeated attacks by Iran and its proxies by striking directly against Iranian targets and its leadership,” said Sen. Roger Wicker (R-Miss.), the top Senate Armed Services Committee Republican. “It is time to act swiftly and decisively for the whole world to see.”
House Armed Services Committee Chair Mike Rogers (R-Ala.) said Biden’s “fear of escalation has morphed into a doctrine of appeasement.”
Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell said Biden has been resorting to “hesitation and half-measures” in response to the recent growing spate of attacks.
Here’s more from McConnell:
“The entire world now watches for signs that the president is finally prepared to exercise American strength to compel Iran to change its behavior.
“Our enemies are emboldened. And they will remain so until the United States imposes serious, crippling costs — not only on front-line terrorist proxies, but on their Iranian sponsors who wear American blood as a badge of honor.”
The bigger picture: Biden is already under pressure from members of his own party — and some non-interventionist Republicans — about the scale of the U.S. military campaign against the Iran-backed Houthis in Yemen. As signs emerge that this could become a sustained campaign to degrade the Houthis, these lawmakers have said there should be a role for Congress to debate and authorize any military expedition.
Others argue that Biden doesn’t need new authorities from Congress in order to retaliate against terrorists that harm Americans, pointing to the president’s Article II constitutional authority.
But it’s unclear how far Biden will go with a military response to the attacks on U.S. troops in Jordan. Senate Foreign Relations Committee Chair Ben Cardin (D-Md.) said Biden must order a “deliberate and proportionate response.”
The Biden administration’s stated goal is to deter Iran without sparking a larger-scale war in the Middle East. That, of course, has proven tricky as the U.S. counter-strikes have not halted the attacks.
As a result, other Republicans have been more explicit. Sens. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) and Tom Cotton (R-Ark.) reiterated their view that it’s long past time for the United States to bomb Iran directly.
“The Biden administration can take out all the Iranian proxies they like, but it will not deter Iranian aggression,” Graham said. “I am calling on the Biden administration to strike targets of significance inside Iran, not only as reprisal for the killing of our forces, but as deterrence against future aggression.”
— Andrew Desiderio
Homeland Security Committee Chair Mark Green (R-Tenn.) will begin pursuing two articles of impeachment against DHS Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas this week — allegations of breaching public trust and purposefully ignoring the law.
Green’s committee will mark up both articles on Tuesday. Speaker Mike Johnson said Friday he will hold a floor vote “as soon as possible.”
The political stakes here are huge, as we’ve been saying for months. There hasn’t been an impeachment of a Cabinet official in nearly 150 years, and that one failed.
Also, Johnson is working with President Donald Trump to derail a bipartisan Senate border security and immigration package that could have a huge impact on the migrant crisis at the U.S.-Mexico border. Mayorkas has been involved in those talks.
So House Republicans want to remove the Cabinet official charged with overseeing border security even as they’re already rejecting a bipartisan Senate border security bill that they haven’t seen yet? This is an interesting campaign year position at the very least.
The first impeachment article accuses Mayorkas of “willful and systemic refusal to comply with the law.” The second says the secretary breached public trust by “knowingly” making false statements and obstructing lawful oversight of the DHS.
“These articles lay out a clear, compelling, and irrefutable case for Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas’ impeachment,” Green said in a statement Sunday. “These facts are beyond dispute, and the results of his lawless behavior have been disastrous for our country.”
The markup Tuesday will likely be heated, with Democrats calling Green’s efforts a politically-motivated sham. The panel held only two impeachment hearings, with an ongoing dispute between Republicans and Mayorkas over whether he could testify.
The DHS released a memo Sunday at the same time Green announced his impeachment plans. The memo asserts that Mayorkas hasn’t engaged in any high crimes or misdemeanors that warrant an impeachment.
“This markup is just more of the same political games from House Homeland Security Committee (CHS) Republicans,” the memo asserts. “They don’t want to fix the problem; they want to campaign on it.”
A handful of House Republicans, including Reps. Ken Buck (R-Colo.) and Tom McClintock (R-Calif.) have expressed concerns about impeaching Mayorkas, saying the crisis at the border doesn’t rise to the level of high crimes and misdemeanors.
Johnson can only lose two Republicans on this party-line vote if all members are present and voting. House Majority Leader Steve Scalise is still out for cancer treatment.
– Mica Soellner
PRESENTED BY AMAZON
Amazon has partnered with small and medium-sized businesses for over 23 years. Today, independent sellers make up more than 60% of sales in Amazon’s store.
Monday: The House Rules Committee will meet to prepare bills for floor consideration.
Tuesday: Former Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and former Defense Secretary Leon Panetta will testify at a China select committee hearing on “the CCP’s support for America’s adversaries.” The House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee will hold a hearing on attacks on ships in the Red Sea.
Wednesday: X CEO Linda Yaccarino, TikTok CEO Shou Chew, Snap CEO Evan Spiegel and Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg will be in front of the Senate Judiciary Committee to talk about the “online child sexual exploitation crisis.”
The China select committee will have Gen. Paul Nakasone, FBI Director Chris Wray, CISA Director Jen Easterly and National Cyber Director Harry Coker Jr. to talk about “the CCP cyber threat to the American homeland and national security.”
– Jake Sherman
THE MONEY GAME
Monday: Retiring Rep. Dutch Ruppersberger (D-Md.) has a birthday fundraiser at Joe’s Seafood. Rep. Steve Womack (R-Ark.) has an evening reception.
Tuesday: Rep. Yvette Clarke (D-N.Y.) has a “Welcome back!” lunch with House Energy and Commerce Ranking Member Frank Pallone (D-N.J.). Rep. Sheila Cherfilus-McCormick (D-Fla.) has a birthday party at 4 p.m. Rep. Lizzie Fletcher (D-Texas) has a birthday fundraiser with House Minority Whip Katherine Clark.
– Jake Sherman
PRESENTED BY AMAZON
Amazon helps small businesses save time and money.
ALL TIMES EASTERN
President Joe Biden will get his daily intelligence briefing.
Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre and NSC spokesperson John Kirby will brief.
Biden will travel to Palm Beach, Fla., for campaign events.
Biden will attend the National Prayer Breakfast on Capitol Hill.
– Peter Baker
– Alexander Saeedy and Rebecca Feng
– Andrew Duehren and Kim Mackrael
– Christine Fernando
PRESENTED BY AMAZON
Small and medium-sized businesses selling on Amazon, like USimplySeason employ more than 1.5 million Americans.
That’s why Amazon helps small business partners grow, so they can continue to invest in communities across the country.
Editorial photos provided by Getty Images. Political ads courtesy of AdImpact.
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