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House bills propose $767 million in domestic cuts to HIV care and prevention funding and include harmful new riders. This is unprecedented and unacceptable. HIV cases will increase, and people will die. Join thousands of advocates and write to your representatives today at bit.ly/savehivfunding2024!
Happy Wednesday morning.
Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) has often stood alone on Capitol Hill as she’s pushed for more aggressive reforms of the U.S. financial system.
Lately, though, one of Congress’ staunchest progressives has taken part in some of the Senate’s oddest pairings. Warren has been teaming up with some of the most conservative Republicans on what might otherwise be partisan battles over banking policy.
Whether it’s efforts to claw back executives’ pay from failed banks or calling for the creation of an independent watchdog for the Federal Reserve, nearly all of Warren’s banking reform priorities have captured a rare ideological overlap between the two parties’ left and right flanks.
Warren says she isn’t surprised at her alignment with populist conservatives. “We’ve been bipartisan from the very beginning,” the Massachusetts Democrat told us.
Start with Warren’s approach to banker clawbacks. The original version of her bill was a joint effort with Sen. Josh Hawley (R-Mo.) that included support from Sens. Catherine Cortez Masto (D-Nev.) and Mike Braun (R-Ind.). Some tweaks offered by Sen. J.D. Vance (R-Ohio) helped bring several Senate Banking Republicans on board.
“I don’t want to speak for her,” Hawley said of Warren. “She might not agree with this, but I think Sen. Warren is a populist. And listen — banking is her area of expertise as a law professor.”
“Holding these people accountable, holding these big corporations accountable, is important,” Hawley added. “And we agree on that.”
The clawback effort was ultimately a mixed success. Senate Banking Committee Chair Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio) teamed up with Sen. Tim Scott (R-S.C.) to introduce the RECOUP Act — another clawback bill that proposed narrower penalties than the Warren-Hawley bill while also introducing broader reforms, such as fresh bank board governance standards.
The Brown-Scott package cleared the Senate Banking Committee by a huge bipartisan margin. Nine of the panel’s 11 Republicans voted in favor of the measure. Warren backed the RECOUP Act during the committee’s markup last week, calling it a “reasonable compromise.”
Warren maintained that support when we spoke after the markup. “This is a very significant improvement over current law, where the CEOs keep it all,” she said. Hawley, meanwhile, said he was “disappointed” the panel didn’t take up his and Warren’s bill.
“I’m afraid they’re watering it down,” Hawley added.
In another unusual coupling, Warren and Sen. Rick Scott (R-Fla.) have a bill that would establish an independent inspector general to oversee the Federal Reserve and the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. The Fed’s current inspector general reports to the central bank’s chair.
Scott, who isn’t known for praising Democrats, was particularly laudatory of Warren on this issue.
“She wants to make sure our banking system works,” Scott said of Warren. “There’s no accountability at the Federal Reserve … They want to hold the private sector accountable, but they never get held accountable.”
Warren is already laying the groundwork for her next bipartisan coalition, targeting the crypto sector with new anti-money laundering requirements. She and Sen. Roger Marshall (R-Kan.) introduced the Digital Asset Anti-Money Laundering Act in late 2022.
Crypto is increasingly a partisan topic on the Hill, with Republicans broadly embracing the sector and Democrats skeptical of its merits. But Warren sees room for collaboration, an approach that revolves around bipartisan buzzwords like “China” and “fentanyl.”
“Crypto needs to be subject to the same money laundering rules that banks, credit unions, gold traders, stockbrokers, credit card issuers and the Western Union have to meet every single day,” Warren said. “Crypto has become the payment of choice for 90 Chinese companies that are supplying the precursor drugs to Mexico so that they can mix up enough fentanyl to kill billions of people.”
We asked Warren before recess about the prospects of her crypto anti-money laundering bill. The Massachusetts Democrat said she was “working with a lot of other people on it — to build a coalition.”
“Coalitions are the way you get things done, so I’ve been told,” she added.
— Andrew Desiderio and Brendan Pedersen
PRESENTED BY META
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People will be able to use augmented reality to explore Viking era settlements–helping them see, feel and fully experience what life was like.
The metaverse may be virtual, but the impact will be real.
Jordan steps up clashes with Biden administration
House Judiciary Committee Chair Jim Jordan (R-Ohio) has a busy summer ahead of him — to put it mildly.
The House is only in session for 12 days in July before the August recess. But the committee already has a crammed schedule featuring several high-profile hearings and testimony from top Biden administration officials.
Key hearings: Jordan will bring in FBI Director Christopher Wray on July 12. The following day, the committee will hear from Federal Trade Commission Chair Lina Khan.
Jordan has relentlessly railed against the FBI, which he claims is targeting conservatives. He’s also gone after Khan for investigating Twitter after the social media company was purchased by Tesla CEO Elon Musk.
The Weaponization of the Federal Government Subcommittee, which Jordan also chairs, will have Robert F. Kennedy Jr. testify on July 20. The Democratic presidential candidate is expected to discuss censorship. Kennedy is a longshot candidate who has been criticized for his fringe views on vaccines. Republicans have pushed Kennedy as a disruptive force against Democrats and President Joe Biden.
Impeachment watch: Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas — the House GOP’s top target for impeachment — will testify the week of July 24, according to sources familiar with committee scheduling. Committee leaders were still coordinating with DHS over a specific date that week at press time.
The majority of Judiciary Republicans have signaled or openly expressed support for impeaching Mayorkas over what they say is intentional neglect of border security measures.
Jordan has long said impeachment is a decision the full GOP conference must approve, but conservative hardliners have been getting antsy in recent weeks.
The Ohio Republican is coordinating with Homeland Security Committee Chair Mark Green (R-Tenn.) about their respective work related to border oversight.
When we spoke to Green, he told us his “five-phase accountability plan” is expected to be complete by the end of summer, meaning Republicans likely wouldn’t move on Mayorkas’ impeachment until sometime in the fall.
Biden probes: As we reported earlier this week, Speaker Kevin McCarthy has threatened to open an impeachment inquiry into Attorney General Merrick Garland if the Justice Department doesn’t turn over information related to Hunter Biden’s criminal probe.
Sources close to the Judiciary Committee told us there’s strong interest in receiving testimony from U.S. Attorney David Weiss, who is overseeing the Hunter Biden case.
The House Judiciary Committee is expected to contact Weiss this week requesting his testimony, which could set up a clash with DOJ.
Citing testimony from two IRS whistleblowers to the House Ways and Means Committee, Republicans allege that senior DOJ officials meddled in Weiss’ investigation, including refusing to seek felony tax charges against the younger Biden. One of the whistleblowers, IRS supervisor Gary Shapley, has now gone public with his allegations.
Meanwhile, Weiss said he had “ultimate authority” over the Hunter Biden case. Weiss, a Trump appointee, has declined to turn over internal DOJ information related to the probe, citing long-standing policy on open cases. Garland backed up Weiss’ statement during a press conference on Friday.
We also broke the news on Tuesday that Garland will appear before the full Judiciary Committee on Sept. 20.
Garland has been one of Jordan’s targets as he looks into claims that the DOJ is overly politicized and biased against conservatives.
And the Judiciary Committee now has oversight of Rep. Lauren Boebert’s (R-Colo.) proposed resolution to impeach Biden. The House voted to refer the resolution to the Judiciary and Homeland Security committees last week.
— Mica Soellner
WASHINGTON X THE WORLD
Shaheen and Tillis’ big NATO codel
News: Sens. Jeanne Shaheen (D-N.H.) and Thom Tillis (R-N.C.) will lead a six-person Senate delegation to the NATO summit next month in Vilnius, Lithuania.
Shaheen and Tillis — the co-chairs of the Senate’s NATO observer group — will be joined by Senate Majority Whip Dick Durbin and Sens. Pete Ricketts (R-Neb.), Angus King (I-Maine) and Dan Sullivan (R-Alaska).
President Joe Biden is also expected to attend the summit.
The gathering comes at a critical time for Washington and the Western alliance. The Biden administration is expected to ask Congress to approve more money to support Ukraine in the coming months — a herculean task given the skepticism in the Republican-controlled House.
Russia’s internal problems, including the recent armed rebellion by the Wagner Group, a private military force, and what it means for Russian President Vladimir Putin’s hold on power, will also be heavily scrutinized as the 16-month-old war in Ukraine continues.
Here’s a statement from Shaheen and Tillis:
“In response to Putin’s further invasion of Ukraine and his barbaric campaign of violence against a sovereign nation and civilian populations, NATO responded with historic unity and strength.
“To stand by our partners and defend democracy worldwide – from Putin or any adversary who threatens our rules-based order – the Alliance must continue to work in lock-step. We look forward to conveying that message and reaffirming the United States’ commitment to that promise at the 2023 NATO Summit in Vilnius.”
— Jake Sherman and Andrew Desiderio
PRESENTED BY META
Jeffries hauls in $1.5 million at DCCC Chicago fundraiser
House Minority Leader Hakeem Jeffries brought in $1.5 million at a Chicago fundraiser for the DCCC on Tuesday night.
The fundraiser was hosted by Rep. Raja Krishnamoorthi (D-Ill.), who serves as the ranking member on the bipartisan China select committee.
Illinois Democratic Gov. J.B. Pritzker and Chicago Mayor Brandon Johnson also attended the fundraiser, as well as DCCC Chair Suzan DelBene.
Jeffries will next head to California this weekend. He will attend fundraisers in Los Angeles, Marin County and Silicon Valley.
— Mica Soellner
All times eastern.
8 a.m.: President Joe Biden will get his daily intelligence briefing.
8:30 a.m.: Biden departs the White House en route to Joint Base Andrews. Then, Biden travels to Chicago. Principal Deputy Press Secretary Olivia Dalton will gaggle aboard Air Force One.
11 a.m.: Biden delivers a major address on “Bidenomics.”
12:15 p.m.: Biden participates in a campaign reception.
3:50 p.m.: Biden departs Chicago en route to Joint Base Andrews, arriving at the White House at 7:45 p.m.
PRESENTED BY META
“Rudy Giuliani interviewed in special counsel’s 2020 election interference probe,” by Paula Reid and Sara Murray
“German Defense Minister Vows Stronger Geopolitical Role Ahead of U.S. Visit,” by Erika Solomon in Berlin
“It’s not just Mar-a-Lago: Trump charges highlight his New Jersey life,” by Jacqueline Alemany, Josh Dawsey and Spencer S. Hsu
“UBS Preparing to Cut Over Half of Credit Suisse Workforce,” by Marion Halftermeyer, Laura Benitez and Myriam Balezou
“Impeachment? Censure? Stigma is falling away from Congress’ most severe punishments,” by Stephen Groves and Farnoush Amiri
Editorial photos provided by Getty Images. Political ads courtesy of AdImpact.
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Visit the archiveHouse bills propose $767 million in domestic cuts to HIV care and prevention funding and include harmful new riders. This is unprecedented and unacceptable. HIV cases will increase, and people will die. Join thousands of advocates and write to your representatives today at bit.ly/savehivfunding2024!