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Happy Monday morning.
Welcome to what should be a slow week in Washington. The Senate is in session, the House isn’t back to vote until June 7.
Breaking: President Joe Biden made some news during a joint press conference with Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida on Monday morning in Japan.
Speaking in Tokyo, Biden reiterated that U.S. policy toward Taiwan remains the same, and he warned China against any invasion or military action. Biden said the United States would intervene militarily on behalf of Taiwan if it is attacked by China.
Here’s CNN’s Kevin Liptak and DJ Judd with reporting and context:
“‘You didn’t want to get involved in the Ukraine conflict militarily for obvious reasons. Are you willing to get involved militarily to defend Taiwan if it comes to that?’ a reporter asked.
“Yes,” Biden replied. “That’s the commitment we made.”
“We agree with the One China policy. We signed on to it, and all the attendant agreements made from there, but the idea that it can be taken by force, just taken by force, is (just not) appropriate,” he said.
Under the ‘One China’ policy, the US acknowledges China’s position that Taiwan is part of China, but has never officially recognized Beijing’s claim to the island of 23 million.
In a statement following Biden’s remarks, a White House official said the US’ official position remained unchanged. “As the President said, our policy has not changed. He reiterated our One China policy and our commitment to peace and stability across the Taiwan Strait. He also reiterated our commitment under the Taiwan Relations Act to provide Taiwan with the military means to defend itself,’” the official said.”
Kishida told reporters that Biden would support Japan’s ascension to a “reformed” U.N. Security Council. Biden has previously backed adding India to the U.N. Security Council as well.
And Biden welcomed the announcement that next year’s G7 meeting will be held in Hiroshima. That city was destroyed by a U.S. atomic bomb on Aug. 6, 1945. Kishida considers Hiroshima to be his hometown, and it plays a key role in his political background, according to Japanese media.
The U.S. and other Indo-Pacific countries Monday announced the launch of the The Indo-Pacific Economic Framework, which is meant to combat the role of China in the region. Here’s more from the WSJ.
In addition, Biden told reporters that he doesn’t believe the United States has entered a recession:
“Does that mean we don’t have problems? We do. We have problems the rest of the world has, but less than the rest of the world has.”
Per CNN’s Kaitlin Collins, Biden will meet soon with Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen “on whether to remove Trump-era tariffs on Chinese goods, which have remained in place since he took office.”
The president’s comments on potentially removing tariffs on Chinese imports is the latest twist in a broader fight inside the administration over U.S. policy toward China. Biden has previously suggested that he could drop some of the trade penalties imposed under former President Donald Trump in order to counter surging inflation back home.
However, Biden’s forceful statement on Taiwan – and Tuesday’s “Quad” meeting of Japan, India, Australia and the U.S. – also demonstrate his commitment to a strong American military presence in the region to counter China’s rise.
– John Bresnahan and Jake Sherman
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Last week we announced two big events in June. Don’t forget to RSVP for these can’t-miss conversations!
Tuesday, June 7 at 9 a.m. at The Showroom: We’re sitting down with Rep. Debbie Dingell (D-Mich.) for an interview about the impact of 5G on manufacturing. The conversation is the first in a three-part series, “5G’s Climate Impact,” exploring the wide ranging use of 5G technology, especially when it comes to climate change. RSVP here.
Thursday, June 9 at approx. 5 p.m. at Hawk ‘N’ Dove: We’ll interview House Rules Committee Chairman Rep. Jim McGovern (D-Mass.) about broadening food access through policy. Reception to follow with drinks and light bites. RSVP here.
WHERE DREAMS ARE MADE OF
What’s become of New York’s House delegation?
Jonathan Cervas, the special master who drew the New York congressional map, released his final district lines Friday night. And it did very little to cure the heartburn in the Empire State’s delegation. Several Democratic incumbents in New York City were drawn out of their districts, and there are a number of interesting political dynamics facing one of the most powerful delegations in Congress. The N.Y. primaries are now scheduled for Aug. 23.
Here are a few things we’re watching this week.
Will there be a lawsuit? Several sources we spoke to during the last few days indicated that, absent big changes from Cervas in the final round of tweaks, Democrats would file suit to challenge the map. Well, Cervas made only modest changes to the map. And if you read House Democratic Caucus Chair Hakeem Jeffries’ statement, you get the sense Democrats aren’t taking this lying down:
“The Court of Appeals recklessly ripped away the redistricting process from the elected representatives of New York State and set in motion a flawed process predetermined to benefit a Republican Party that embraces violent insurrectionists and refuses to denounce white supremacist replacement theory. The fix was in from the beginning.
“The restoration of the iconic neighborhood of Bedford Stuyvesant into one Congressional District is a small step. We will not let modest changes to a severely flawed draft map whitewash the violence done to communities of color throughout New York City.
“As a result of the Court of Appeals decision, a partisan Republican Judge in Steuben County has degraded the Black and Latino populations in five New York City-based congressional districts. Equally troublesome, the most Jewish district in the country has been unnecessarily and gratuitously obliterated, resulting in severe collateral damage to neighboring districts in Brooklyn, Queens and the Bronx. That’s outrageous.
“We will not allow those responsible for an unconscionable redistricting process and unconstitutional result to escape accountability.”
Maloney vs. Nadler. One of the most fascinating races as a result of this new map is the internecine battle between House Judiciary Committee Chair Jerry Nadler and Committee on Oversight and Reform Chair Carolyn Maloney. Both Nadler and Maloney are running for the 12th District, which stretches through much of Manhattan, from Chelsea and Stuyvesant Town all the way to the Upper East Side and Upper West Side.
Maloney is making the case that much of the district is hers, and Nadler should defer. Nadler said Sunday that he’s going to be the only Jew in the New York City delegation. Nadler’s old district was the most Jewish in the country. It stretched from the Upper West Side through Midtown Manhattan to Brooklyn.
The fight for the 10th. This is setting up to be an epic battle. The new 10th District covers Lower Manhattan and a big swath of Brooklyn, including Park Slope and Borough Park. The field is getting awfully crowded. Former New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio said he will run. Rep. Mondaire Jones, who was pushed out of his suburban and exurban seat by Rep. Sean Patrick Maloney, is running in the 10th too. State Rep. Yuh-Line Niou, who represents lower Manhattan in Albany, has jumped in as well.
– Jake Sherman and John Bresnahan
Who we’re watching
President Joe Biden: In his first trip to Asia as president, Biden arrived in Japan on Sunday night following a stop in South Korea. His itinerary in South Korea included one-on-one meetings with South Korean President Yoon Suk Yeol. Biden huddled with Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida to help launch the Indo-Pacific Economic Framework. That’s followed on Tuesday by a “Quad” session with Kishida, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi and brand-new Australian Prime Minister Anthony Albanese.
Rep. Henry Cuellar: The Texas Democrat – whose home was raided by the FBI earlier this year – faces a strong primary challenge on Tuesday from progressive Jessica Cisneros. This is a rematch between the two, who faced off in 2020. Abortion is a key issue.
Cuellar is backed by Speaker Nancy Pelosi, House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer and House Majority Whip Jim Clyburn. Cisneros has endorsements from Sens. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) and Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.), as well as Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.) and other Squad members. Congressional Progressive Caucus Chair Pramila Jayapal (D-Wash.) also endorsed Cisneros last week.
– John Bresnahan
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What we’re watching
On Capitol Hill this week, there will be a lot of discussion of abortion, the threat of violence from white supremacists, Title 42, Covid funding and the “R” word – recession.
Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer will file cloture Tuesday on a motion to proceed to the Domestic Terrorism Prevention Act, which the House adopted last week 222-203. This will set up a vote Thursday.
The bipartisan legislation would create units inside the Department of Homeland Security, the Justice Department and FBI to counter domestic terror threats, especially from white supremacists. An interagency task force that includes the Pentagon would also be established “to combat white supremacist infiltration of the uniformed services and federal law enforcement.” Democrats have pushed this measure in the wake of the horrific Buffalo shooting by a white supremacist that left 10 Black people dead.
House Republicans overwhelmingly opposed this measure, with only retiring GOP Rep. Adam Kinzinger of Illinois voting yes. There’s no reason to think this legislation will get through the Senate, especially with possible 2024 White House hopefuls among Senate Republicans likely to fall over themselves bashing it.
Senate Republicans have made clear they’re not going to allow any Covid preparation funding to move at this point, at least not without a Title 42 vote, despite the surging number of cases nationwide.
Title 42 is the public health authority used to expel hundreds of thousands of migrants trying to cross the U.S.-Mexico border during the pandemic. The CDC announced that it would end the use of Title 42 authority starting today, but a federal judge on Friday blocked the Biden administration from such a move. The Justice Department will appeal the ruling.
Schumer and other Senate Democrats are now hoping the House can move first on a Covid prep bill, which the White House says is desperately needed to restock U.S. inventories of tests, therapeutics and vaccines. But with the House gone for two weeks, that bill isn’t going to move before early June.
We also expect Senate Democrats to continue hammering Republicans on abortion rights. A decision by the Supreme Court on whether to overturn Roe v. Wade is expected next month.
Republicans, in turn, will slam Biden and Democrats over the state of the U.S. economy, especially if Wall Street has another bad week. Biden got another bad poll on the economy over the weekend, this time from CBS News.
69% of those polled say the state of the economy is bad, up six points from April and 23 points from April 2021.
74% of Americans say things in America are going badly.
65% say that when important things come up, Biden is slow to act.
This is worth watching: Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.) is expected to introduce a revised Big Tech antitrust bill this week. Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) is a co-sponsor of the measure.
The Senate Judiciary Committee approved the bipartisan legislation back in January. Furious lobbying by Big Tech companies has delayed any broader Senate action on the issue, although Schumer has said he’d like to bring it up if it can overcome an expected filibuster.
Tuesday: The House Homeland Security Committee will have a hearing at Harry Reid International Airport in Las Vegas to examine DHS’s efforts to improve processing for international visitors. The Senate Appropriations Committee will hear from Education Secretary Miguel Cardona about his department’s budget. The Senate Foreign Relations Committee will consider a number of ambassadorial nominees. The Senate Intelligence Committee will have a closed briefing.
Wednesday: The House Administration Committee will hold a hearing in Tallahassee on “access to the ballot in Florida.” The Senate Appropriations Committee will hold a budget hearing on the Department of Interior’s budget with Secretary Deb Haaland. The Senate Foreign Relations Committee will hold a hearing on the JCPOA with Robert Malley, the special envoy for Iran. The House Appropriations Committee will have a hearing on FEMA’s budget with Administrator Deanne Criswell.
The Senate Appropriations Committee will hold a hearing on the budget for the Treasury Office of Terrorism and Financial Intelligence and the Treasury Financial Crimes Enforcement Network with Deputy Secretary Wally Adeyemo. House Appropriations will hold a hearing on the Secret Service’s budget with Director James Murray. Senate Appropriations will hold a hearing with FBI Director Christopher Wray on the FBI’s budget. Senate Intelligence has a closed briefing.
Thursday: The Senate Armed Services Committee will have a hearing to consider the re-nomination of Gen. Christopher Cavoli to be United States European Command and Supreme Allied Commander, Europe. The Senate Appropriations Committee will have a hearing on the Navy and Marine Corps’ budget with Navy Secretary Carlos Del Toro; Adm. Michael M. Gilday, the chief of Naval operations; and Marine Corps Commandant David Berger. The House Budget Committee will have a hearing on the CBO’s budget and economic outlook with CBO Director Phillip Swagel.
– Jake Sherman and John Bresnahan
Here’s a new ad in Rep. Markwayne Mullin’s (R-Okla.) run for the GOP Senate nomination in Oklahoma to succeed retiring Republican Sen. Jim Inhofe. It takes up gender politics: “Democrats can’t even tell us what a woman is.” The spot is airing in Tulsa and Oklahoma City.
It’s getting nasty in the race for mayor of Los Angeles between Rep. Karen Bass (D-Calif.) and Rick Caruso. A pro-Bass’ super PAC has a new spot up calling Caruso, a billionaire businessman, the Donald Trump of LA. Check out the disclaimer at the end to see who is putting lots of money behind this super PAC.
And here’s Caruso’s retort.
Sam Bankman-Fried, the crypto billionaire whose PAC put $15 million behind a losing effort to win a House seat in Oregon, put another $10 million in Protect our Future PAC April 14. Bankman-Fried also put $6 million into House Majority PAC.
– Jake Sherman
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MORE FROM PUNCHBOWL NEWS
From our searchable archive, to our events page, and original content, everything you could want from Punchbowl News is now on our site. Check it out today at punchbowl.news!
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Biden is having dinner with Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida.
The Senate comes into session this evening. The House has a “committee work week” and is mostly out of town.
2:30 p.m.: Vice President Kamala Harris will talk about mental health and wellness at Children’s National Hospital.
“Pence, Tiptoeing Away From Trump, Lays Groundwork for ’24 Run,” by Jonathan Martin in Ames, Iowa
“Kushner’s and Mnuchin’s Quick Pivots to Business With the Gulf,” by Kate Kelly and David D. Kirkpatrick
“Democrats Fight Headwinds in Georgia and Beyond: ‘The Problem Is Reality,’” by Shane Goldmacher and Katie Glueck in Atlanta
“Stock Futures Edge Up After Nearing Bear Market,” by Caitlin Ostroff
“Pentagon Weighs Deploying Special Forces to Guard Kyiv Embassy,” by Gordon Lubold, Courtney McBride and Warren Strobel
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Editorial photos provided by Getty Images. Political ads courtesy AdImpact.
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