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Happy Friday morning.
— Max Cohen
ICYMI: Don’t miss out on our conversation with Rep. Beth Van Duyne (R-Texas) on Thursday, July 27 at 8:45 a.m. ET. This conversation will focus on the role of private capital in supporting small businesses, jobs and the economy. RSVP here.
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WASHINGTON X THE WORLD
Risch vents at Turkey, Hungary over NATO blockade
The top Republican on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee said the NATO memberships of Turkey and Hungary should be reviewed as the two countries stonewall Sweden’s accession to the Western military alliance.
Speaking with a handful of reporters in his Capitol Hill office on Thursday, Sen. Jim Risch (R-Idaho) accused Ankara and Budapest of acting in their own self-interest rather than in that of the alliance — which, in this case, is to expand NATO in the face of Russia’s war in Ukraine.
Turkey’s concerns about Sweden’s accession to NATO are “irrelevant to the foundation or purpose of the alliance,” Risch said, adding that he has raised this directly with Turkish officials ahead of the NATO summit next week in Vilnius, Lithuania.
More from a heated Risch:
“I’m to the point where… maybe it’s time that we did review the way people join and the way people are retained.
“If you’re going to be a member of this alliance, you’ve got to act like a member of this alliance. And that is important for the strength of the alliance. It’s no secret these [countries], particularly Turkey, have been using the accession issue to resolve some unrelated problems. That’s not the right way to be a member of this alliance.”
Risch’s comments are a reflection of long-simmering tensions between Ankara and the rest of the alliance. The Biden administration and NATO’s leadership have pushed hard for Sweden’s accession to be finalized in time for the Vilnius summit, but that appears unlikely to happen. What’s more, U.S. lawmakers have long raised concerns about human rights in Turkey, as well as Turkish overflights of Greek airspace.
Turkey is demanding Sweden crack down on Islamophobia and enhance its counterterrorism measures in order to win Ankara’s support for NATO accession. Hungary’s government is holding out on Sweden’s approval in a show of support for Turkey. Risch recently exercised his authority over arms sales to block a proposed sale to Budapest.
Risch warned that if NATO members are having this much trouble on the issue of expanding the alliance, the invocation of Article 5 could also be a chaotic process. Article 5 of the NATO charter stipulates that an attack on one member-nation is an attack on all and would be met with a military response backed by all members.
“We need everybody to embrace Article 5 and embrace the alliance and say, ‘Look, if a country is attacked, we’re all in,’” Risch said. “We’re not going to sit around and talk about, ‘Well, gee, you’re not doing this, that, or the other thing right on some side issue.’”
Risch said there are “a half-dozen ways” to go about regulating individual countries’ membership, but he declined to offer specifics.
“This is not a good position to be in,” Risch added. “It does not add to the strength of the organization.”
As we’ve been reporting all week, Sweden’s accession has been the focal point leading up to next week’s summit. President Joe Biden and a group of senators will attend.
The Biden administration is working to placate Turkey by potentially using a proposed sale of F-16 fighter jets as a bargaining chip. Foreign Relations Committee Chair Robert Menendez (D-N.J.) has been blocking that proposed sale. We scooped on Tuesday that the State Department is in talks with him to allow it to move forward if it would pave the way for Turkey’s backing of Sweden.
Menendez and Risch aren’t the only senators looking to punish Turkey. Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell told us in an interview that Turkey shouldn’t get the advanced American fighter jets until it stops blocking Sweden’s NATO accession.
— Andrew Desiderio
Heads up: A big June jobs number is expected
Financial markets were wobbly Thursday — and guess why? Analysts expect the jobs market will continue to show its strength today, and that means that interest rates may be heading up again soon.
The Bureau of Labor Statistics will release June jobs data today at 8:30 a.m. The ADP Research Institute — which releases its own data — estimated that the U.S. economy added 497,000 jobs in June.
If you’re looking for more evidence that the Federal Reserve will continue its rate-hike campaign when it meets later this month, this would be it. Fed Chair Jay Powell and other top officials at the central bank have been looking for any “softening” in the U.S. labor market as a sign that inflation is cooling.
But that ADP estimate — if it’s backed up by today’s job report — signals the Fed may have to raise rates higher for longer than Wall Street has hoped.
Bank stocks in particular got hammered as higher interest rates continue to put even more pressure on that sector and raise questions about the health of small and medium-sized banks.
Additional rate hikes are growing more unpopular with members of Congress. We’ve seen progressives on Capitol Hill call on Powell and the Fed to hold off on additional rate hikes as borrowing has become more expensive. The average 30-year mortgage rate was 7.7% Thursday, and two-year Treasury bills hit their highest levels in more than 15 years.
Bloomberg: “Traders Brace for US Payrolls With Global Yields at 15-Year High,” by Ruth Carson, Yumi Teso and Garfield Reynolds
CNBC: “Stock futures are little changed as investors look toward Friday jobs report,” by Brian Evans
— Jake Sherman and John Bresnahan
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Capitol Hill staffers confident McCarthy will finish term as speaker
The survey of senior congressional staffers was conducted June 5 to June 26 in partnership with Locust Street Group.
Back in April — when the speakership fight was still fresh on everyone’s mind — only 34% of staffers believed McCarthy would hold onto the speaker’s gavel for the entire Congress.
But McCarthy is exceeding expectations. We reported on Monday that 85% of senior staffers think McCarthy is more effective as speaker than they initially thought he would be. But the speaker is neck and neck with House Minority Leader Hakeem Jeffries among survey respondents when asked: “Who do you believe is a more effective House leader?”
Fifty-two percent of survey respondents said Jeffries is a more effective House leader than McCarthy. In April, that figure was 60%. We will continue to track staffers’ opinions on House leadership as this congressional term continues.
— Robert O’Shaughnessy
… AND THERE’S MORE!
Andreessen Horowitz, the venture capital giant, has hired McDermott+Consulting to lobby on “[i]ssues relating to artificial intelligence in health care, drug and device approval, reimbursement policies.” Rachel Stauffer, a former health policy aide to Rep. Diana DeGette (D-Colo.), is the lobbyist on the account.
Michelin, the French tire giant, has hired Adams and Reese to assist in “navigating manufacturing and labor issues as it relates to plants in and around various states including South Carolina and Oklahoma.”
News: EMILYs List is endorsing former Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee’s (D-Texas) bid to be the next mayor of Houston.
— Jake Sherman and Max Cohen
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10 a.m.: President Joe Biden will get his daily intelligence briefing.
1 p.m.: Karine Jean-Pierre and Jake Sullivan will brief.
3:30 p.m.: Biden will speak about “lowering costs for hardworking Americans.”
6 p.m.: Biden will leave for Joint Base Andrews, where he’ll fly to Dover, Del., and then to Rehoboth Beach, Del.
“An Uneasy Quiet at NATO’s Newest Border With Russia,” by Michael Crowley, on the Finnish-Russian border
“Biden Weighs Giving Ukraine Weapons Banned by Many U.S. Allies,” by David Sanger and Eric Schmitt
“Prosecutors in Trump classified documents case are facing threats,” by Perry Stein and Devlin Barrett
“US Says Beijing’s Moves ‘Risky’ as Chinese Ships ‘Swarm’ Sea,” by Andreo Calonzo
“Yellen Says U.S. Doesn’t Seek ‘Winner Take All’ Fight With China,” by Brian Spegele in Beijing
Editorial photos provided by Getty Images. Political ads courtesy of AdImpact.
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