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Happy Monday morning.
We’re very excited to share the first results from The Canvass: K Street. Just like we’ve done on Capitol Hill, Punchbowl News has put together an anonymous survey of senior downtown figures with the independent polling firm Locust Street Group.
Our goal is simple – We want to provide readers with incisive and timely insights on the issues driving business and advocacy in Washington. We’re the only media outlet regularly taking the pulse of K Street. We plan to compare the sentiment from leaders downtown with what senior aides are saying on Capitol Hill to give our readers a fuller picture of what’s happening in Washington.
We polled vice presidents, managing directors, principals in-house at companies, those working for outside networks such as labor unions and associations, as well as hired guns at lobbying and public affairs firms – with complete anonymity.
We’ll be sharing results all week so make sure you subscribe to Premium. After today, the data will be in our afternoon and evening editions.
Here’s a sneak peek:
→ A majority (52%) of K Street leaders believe that the Biden administration has been unsuccessful so far. Unsurprisingly, 81% of Republicans agreed. But 60% of Democrats said that the overall performance of the Biden administration has been successful.
→ Trump staffers are out of luck. Most (57%) K Street firms said they look less favorably on former Trump staffers. Only 2% of firms said they look at them more favorably.
We also polled the following questions: Which industries and groups do you believe are most effective at lobbying Congress? Did the COVID-19 pandemic have a positive or negative impact on advocacy and lobbying efforts? Who has more influence, lobbyists or constituents? And a LOT more! So make sure you subscribe to Premium to see the rest.
If you think you qualify to participate in The Canvass: K Street, sign up here.
And any senior congressional staffers (chiefs of staff, staff directors, legislative directors, communications directors, etc.) who haven’t yet signed up for The Canvass: Capitol Hill, click here.
THE WEEK AHEAD
Senate takes up abortion amid Roe furor
The House and Senate are in session this week. And the political firestorm over abortion – ignited by a looming decision by the Supreme Court that is expected to lead to Roe v. Wade being overturned – will move to center stage on the Senate floor.
Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer will file cloture today to codify Roe v. Wade in federal law, setting up a vote on Wednesday.
We already know the outcome of this vote – there aren’t 60 votes to overcome the GOP filibuster of the revised Women’s Health Protection Act. Not all 50 Democrats are likely to vote for cloture. Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.), who is opposed to abortion rights, crossed the aisle and voted with Republicans in February against an earlier version of the measure. And two GOP supporters of abortion rights – Sens. Susan Collins of Maine and Lisa Murkowski of Alaska – also opposed the earlier version of the bill. Collins says she’s still a “no” on the revised measure, authored by Sen. Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.). That means that even if the Senate had no filibuster, there aren’t the votes there to pass a bill through Congress codifying Roe.
Yet what has changed is the intensity around abortion as a political issue for this fall. It’s reached a level not seen in decades, and vulnerable Senate Democrats – while dreading a Roe decision – will use this issue in their own races.
The rhetoric over abortion is getting more heated, and more personal. Abortion rights supporters held protests at the homes of Chief Justice John Roberts and Justice Brett Kavanaugh over the weekend, while a security fence has been erected around the Supreme Court building. The office of an anti-abortion group in Madison, Wis., was vandalized over the weekend.
Republicans nationwide and GOP-controlled state legislatures have grown more aggressive in their anti-abortion tone as well. Louisiana lawmakers are working on legislation “that would allow women who terminate their pregnancies to be charged with murder.” That bill will be debated by the Louisiana House of Representatives this week. Louisiana already has a “trigger law” in place that would ban abortion if Roe is overturned.
Meanwhile, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell suggested a federal abortion ban was “possible” if Roe is overturned, although he cautioned that the Supreme Court hasn’t ruled yet. “It would depend on where the votes are,” McConnell told USA Today. There’s some inconsistency here for Republicans: they argue abortion should be left to states, but then if they win control, they’re considering a federal ban on abortion.
Democrats seized on the statement by McConnell, arguing that the anti-abortion push will actually help them in the end because the majority of Americans support abortion rights.
“Ultimately, I think this is going to push a lot of people to the polls this November, that may have otherwise stayed home because they see that this fight is coming not just in the state legislatures but in Washington as well,” Sen. Chris Murphy (D-Conn.) said on “Fox News Sunday.”
There are some other big issues facing lawmakers this week. House and Senate appropriators will step up their efforts to pass a new military and humanitarian aid package for war-torn Ukraine as it fights off a Russian invasion. The White House has requested $33 billion in emergency aid for Ukraine, but the matter has become bogged down in fights over Covid preparation funding and the ongoing migrant crisis at the U.S.-Mexico border.
President Joe Biden spoke with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky on Sunday, while first lady Jill Biden made a surprise visit to the country.
Another issue to watch is what happens with several outstanding nominations for the Federal Reserve and FTC, including a second term for Jay Powell as Fed chair. Senate Republicans have been filibustering Lisa Cook, who Biden has nominated to the Fed’s Board of Governors. A cloture vote on Cook’s nomination failed two weeks ago because two Democrats were out with Covid. As of now, Senate Democratic leadership aides weren’t aware of any potential absences heading into this week. Which means that with all 50 Senate Democrats and Vice President Kamala Harris – if needed for a tiebreaker – Cook can be confirmed. The same holds true for Alvaro Bedoya’s nomination to the FTC.
The issue for Schumer, however, is getting a time agreement on the Fed nominees if he decides to move ahead this week. There are 30 hours of post-cloture time on the Powell nomination, similar to a Cabinet official. Of course, Powell has overwhelming bipartisan support, but an agreement still has to be worked out to get it done this week. The nomination of Philip Jefferson has to be taken up as well.
These Fed nominations are even more important as the latest inflation data will be released by the Labor Department on Wednesday at 8:30 a.m. This will cover April 2022, and it’s going to be of huge interest to Wall Street, the White House and the Hill.
And finally, there will be a big vote this week in the House on a resolution by Rep. Andy Levin (D-Mich.) allowing House staffers to unionize. As we told you on Friday when we broke this news, it’s hard to overstate how big a deal this is. Coupled with Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s announcement that House staffers will be paid a $45,000 minimum salary starting in September, these are the most dramatic charges in the congressional workplace in decades.
Punchbowl News’ ESG platform
This week, we’ll bring to life our newest Punchbowl News platform … The Punch Up. The Punch Up will bring together leaders in the private and public sector to focus on issues of racial equity, sustainability and the greater ESG space. In our inaugural year, we’ve partnered up with Target to bring this platform to life.
Stay tuned for more coming this week.
What we’re watching this week
→ Tuesday: The Senate Armed Services Committee will hear about global threats in both closed and open session. Director of National Intelligence Avril Haines and Lt. Gen. Scott Berrier, the head of the Defense Intelligence Agency, will testify.
Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack will be in front of the Senate Appropriations Committee to talk about his department’s budget request. Army Secretary Christine Wormuth and Army Chief of Staff Gen. James C. McConville will also be in front of Senate Appropriations.
Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg will be in front of the House Appropriations Committee to talk about his budget request. The Senate Foreign Relations Committee will consider the nomination of Bridget Brink to be U.S. ambassador to Ukraine.
→ Wednesday: Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin and Joint Chiefs Chair Gen. Mark Milley will be in front of the House Appropriations Committee to talk about the FY 2023 defense budget. Customs and Border Protection Commissioner Chris Magnus will also be in front of House Appropriations to talk about his agency’s budget request.
Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo will testify before the Senate Appropriations Committee on the department’s budget request. USAID Administrator Samantha Power will be in front of the House Appropriations Committee and Senate Foreign Relations Committee.
Dr. Anthony Fauci and other health officials will testify before the House Appropriations Committee to discuss NIH’s budget request. HUD Secretary Marcia Fudge will be in front of the House Appropriations Committee on the FY 2023 budget request.
→ Thursday: Raimondo will be in front of House Appropriations. Fudge will testify before Senate Appropriations. The House Intelligence Committee will have a closed hearing on the military intelligence budget. Sam Bankman-Fried, the head of FTX, will be in front of the House Agriculture Committee.
→ Space Force Gen. John Raymond, Air Force Secretary John Kendall and Gen. Charles Brown, chief of staff of the Air Force, will be in front of the House Appropriations Committee to discuss their budget.
→ DISH Network has hired two West Virginia-based lobbyists – Michael Basile and Jason Pizatella of Spilman Thomas & Battle – to lobby on “[i]ssues relating to satellite broadband and broadband competition.”
→ News: BOLD PAC, the Congressional Hispanic Caucus’ campaign arm, is endorsing two Democratic candidates in open seats: Maxwell Alejandro Frost in Florida’s 10th congressional district and Yadira Caraveo in Colorado’s 8th congressional district.
Frost is a Gen Z political activist who is running an unabashedly progressive campaign. Frost is supporting Medicare for All. Frost, who’s running to succeed Rep. Val Demings (D-Fla.), is facing the more establishment state Sen. Randolph Bracy in the primary.
Caraveo, a pediatrician and Colorado state representative, is the only Democratic candidate in the primary in a newly created district that stretches from the northern Denver suburbs to Greeley, Colo. The seat may prove to be one of the most competitive House races in 2022.
Here’s more from CHC BOLD PAC Chair Rep. Ruben Gallego (D-Ariz.):
“These two candidates represent the best hope for us to win in November, expand Latino representation in Congress and improve the quality of life for communities in their districts and across the nation.”
→ House Republican Conference Chair Elise Stefanik’s E-Pac is endorsing a new slate of candidates including former GOP Gov. Sarah Palin in Alaska. Palin is running for the at-large seat held by the late Rep. Don Young (R). Also part of this slate of endorsements: Catalina Lauf, a former Trump administration official who is running against Rep. Bill Foster (D-Ill.); Jennifer-Ruth Green, who is running against Rep. Frank Mrvan (D-Ind.); and Carolina Serrano, who is running against Rep. Dina Titus (D-Nev.).
→ Chuck Edwards, the Republican running against Rep. Madison Cawthorn (R-N.C.), reported $29,400 in contributions May 4 and 5. Edwards got $5,800 from hedge fund titan Daniel Loeb. The primary is May 17.
→ Dave McCormick has cut an ad threading together Mehmet Oz’s discussions about transgender transition on his television show. The race between the Trump-endorsed Oz and McCormick is increasingly nasty. The GOP primary is May 17.
9:50 a.m.: President Joe Biden will arrive back at the White House from Wilmington, Del.
11:15 a.m.: Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris receive the daily intelligence brief.
1:30 p.m.: Biden and Harris deliver remarks on expanding high-speed internet access.
2:45 p.m.: Biden signs S. 3522, the “Ukraine Democracy Defense Lend-Lease Act of 2022,” into law. Harris will also attend.
3:00 p.m.: Jen Psaki will brief.
6:00 p.m.: Biden will participate in a DNC fundraiser in Potomac, Md.
Biden’s week ahead: Tuesday: Biden will speak about his plan to fight inflation and “contrast his approach with Congressional Republicans’ ultra-MAGA plan to raise taxes on 75 million Americans and threaten to sunset programs like Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid.” Biden will meet with Italian Prime Minister Mario Draghi.
Wednesday: Biden will visit a family farm in Kankakee, Ill. He will address the IBEW International Convention in Chicago and appear at a DNC fundraiser there as well.
Thursday: Biden will host leaders of ASEAN countries for dinner.
Friday: Biden will participate in the U.S.-ASEAN summit at the State Department.
→ “If Roe Falls, Is Same-Sex Marriage Next?” by Adam Liptak
→ “Supreme Court Leak Inquiry Exposes Gray Area of Press Protections,” by Jeremy Peters
→ “The Rift Between A.O.C. and Eric Adams: When Democratic Stars Collide,” by Jesse McKinley
→ “Head of U.N. Agency Resigns After Questions Arise About Loans,” by Farnaz Fassihi and David A. Fahrenthold
→ “How the future of Roe is testing Roberts’s clout on Supreme Court,” by Robert Barnes, Carol D. Leonnig and Ann E. Marimow
→ “Stock Futures Fall as Bond Yields Edge Higher,” by Serena Ng and Caitlin Ostroff
→ “Pentagon’s China Warning Prompts Calls to Vet U.S. Funding of Startups,” by Kate O’Keeffe
→ “Call Pence or Trump? It’s decision time for Jan. 6 panel,” by Mary Clare Jalonick and Farnoush Amiri
→ “The Democrats’ last, best chance to save the House,” by Ally Mutnick and Sarah Ferris
→ “How the Jan. 6 panel broke through Trump allies’ stonewalling,” by Kyle Cheney and Nicholas Wu
Crucial Capitol Hill news AM, Midday, and PM—5 times a week
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The Canvass Special Report
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