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Happy Thursday morning. There are 40 days until Election Day.
The House is only expected to be in session two more days until members leave to run for reelection – today and tomorrow. So when will the House Democrats’ effort to ban stock trading come up for a vote? Sounds like not anytime soon.
Here’s what House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer told us last night: “Well, it was just introduced. … I gotta look at it and see what it is.” Hoyer said it appears unlikely the bill will come to the floor for a vote this week.
Other sources inside the House Democratic leadership said there was “very little chance” this bill would be acted upon before the House adjourns for the election.
At Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s request – which we first reported back in February – House Administration Committee Chair Zoe Lofgren (D-Calif.) took the lead in drafting a stock-trading bill. The 26-page proposal unveiled by Lofgren on Tuesday night would ban stock trading by lawmakers, their spouses, and dependent children, the president and vice president, Cabinet officers, federal judges including Supreme Court justices, and other senior government officials.
Covered public officials would be required to divest their financial investments or place them in a qualified blind trust upon entering government service.
Pelosi has gotten criticism over stock trading by her husband, investor Paul Pelosi, although there’s been no allegation of improper or unethical behavior. Business Insider also reported that dozens of lawmakers may have violated a federal law barring insider trading or conflicts of interest.
But the Lofgren bill has come under heavy criticism on and off Capitol Hill. House Majority Whip Jim Clyburn acknowledged there were concerns inside the Democratic Caucus following a leadership meeting Wednesday night. “Oh yeah,” Clyburn said when asked whether he’d heard such complaints. Hoyer also has stated in closed-door leadership meetings that he didn’t like what was being proposed, as we reported on Tuesday.
Lofgren said she’d received “pretty positive” feedback from members on her plan, but she did admit there were concerns from fellow Democrats. “Well, we’re Democrats, we always have a point of view,” Lofgren told reporters.
Lofgren, though, said she doesn’t believe the bill is dead if the House fails to pass it this week.
“I don’t think so because the Senate is not going to get theirs done this week either,” Lofgren added. In fact the Senate has had legislation floating around for months, and there’s been no action to speak of.
Pelosi and other senior Democrats have repeatedly promised a vote on the stock-trading ban this month, but the complexity of the Lofgren proposal and the apparent scale of the opposition make it difficult to see this happening.
One senior aide suggested “Pelosi never really wanted a vote on this anyway” when describing how the speaker handled this issue.
Republicans complain they didn’t have any role in drafting the measure and will vote no. Other Democrats say they haven’t been given time to properly vet it. These Democrats also point out there was no markup or chance to formally review the measure, even if they back the overarching concept.
Today is key for government funding
Top Senate negotiators have yet to agree to a deal on a short-term funding bill to keep the federal government open. But both Democratic and GOP leaders believe the issue will be resolved today, just one day before the end of the fiscal year.
Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer has formally filed cloture on the continuing resolution to fund federal agencies through Dec. 16. That normally means a cloture vote on Friday.
But Schumer’s move is really designed to keep up the pressure on Republicans to continue negotiating. Some GOP senators are seeking amendment votes, although this hasn’t been agreed to yet.
Schumer and Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell are still trying to work to set a time for the CR vote. It’s in both McConnell and Schumer’s interest to schedule a quick vote on the funding bill so lawmakers can get back home to campaign. Schumer has threatened to bring senators back into session in October, although there’s doubt in both parties that he will actually do so.
Schumer has set up a vote on an appeals court judge, Arianna Freeman, for this morning. That will give senators a chance to get together and discuss a compromise, according to Senate aides.
Confirming Freeman, a public defender, is also something of a priority for Democrats.
The Senate failed to confirm Freeman for a Third Circuit Court of Appeals post two weeks ago. Freeman would be the first Black woman and first woman of color to serve on that panel. The vote was 50-47 against Freeman. Schumer voted no – a maneuver that allowed him to offer a motion to reconsider the vote.
Two Democrats – Sens. Tammy Duckworth of Illinois and Maggie Hassan of New Hampshire – missed that vote but are in Washington this week, while several Republicans are out. Meaning Democrats should be able to confirm Freeman first, and then get a CR deal passed later.
– John Bresnahan, Jake Sherman and Heather Caygle
PRESENTED BY META
Students will be able to explore outer space in the metaverse.
With the metaverse, students in a classroom will be able to travel to the depths of our galaxy, helping them get up close to the planets and gain a deeper understanding of how our solar system works.
The metaverse may be virtual, but the impact will be real.
The Punch Up Profile: Marc Morial
As part of The Punch Up, which launched in May, we’ll be featuring four trailblazers who are leading the charge for change when it comes to racial equity and sustainability.
We’re excited to share our second Punch Up Profile featuring National Urban League President and CEO Marc Morial. We sat down with Morial to discuss his unique perspective on America’s path toward racial justice.
Check out the full profile here.
Here are our top takeaways from our conversation:
Morial applauded the White House for a stated commitment to racial justice.
President Joe Biden “has taken some very important steps in how he’s staffed up, some very important steps in how he has made appointments to his cabinet, to the Supreme Court, to the vice presidency,” Morial said.
Morial said there’s “an ugly and nasty backlash” to the racial equity movement in the United States. Morial described it as “an effort to suppress the vote, an effort to marginalize and dilute the votes and the voices of people of color, African Americans, Latinos and others.”
These efforts, Morial added, are eerily similar to the opposition to Brown v. Board of Education nearly 70 years ago.
Morial’s also vowed never to relent in striving for equity:
“We will continue to work and we will continue to fight because the direction of the moral arc is going to bend towards racial justice. It always has, and it always will.”
— Max Cohen
PREMIUM MEMBERS EVENT
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INSIDE THE HOUSE GOP
Hageman begins playing the inside game
Republican candidate Harriet Hageman handily beat Rep. Liz Cheney (R-Wyo.) in a primary last month. Now she’s spreading money around the House GOP.
Since defeating Cheney by 38 points, Hageman has transferred $150,000 to the NRCC and given more than $100,000 to other House candidates.
Hageman was in D.C. last night for the first event for her new PAC. The co-hosts: Wyoming GOP Sens. John Barrasso and Cynthia Lummis. House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy was also in attendance.
Hageman has used her newfound political celebrity to send fundraising emails for the RNC, NRCC, CLF, McCarthy’s political operation, House Republican Conference Chair Elise Stefanik’s team, the House Conservatives Trust and Save America, the Trump-linked group.
She will campaign in person for Eli Crane, who is trying to unseat Rep. Tom O’Halleran (D-Ariz.); Zach Nunn, who is running against Rep. Cindy Axne (D-Iowa); and Bo Hines, who is running in North Carolina.
Here’s what senior adviser Nick Trainer said of Hageman’s political activity in a statement:
“Harriet knows the most effective thing she can do right now to put Wyoming in the best position is to help build the biggest possible Republican Conference in the House. Electing more conservatives for her to serve with in the House is a top priority and she’ll continue doing what she can to provide momentum to the growing red wave.”
– Jake Sherman
ON THE SCENE
CBC week is in full swing
Tens of thousands of people have descended on Washington for the Congressional Black Caucus’ annual legislative conference. The conference is sponsored by Amazon this year, and the motto is “Advancing our purpose, elevating our power.” It’s a highlight for many on Capitol Hill. Here’s what’s happening today.
Deputy Treasury Secretary Wally Adeyemo will be on a panel about “Economic Equity: What’s In Our Wallets?”
MSNBC’s Joy Reid is on a panel with Monica Simpson, the executive director of SisterSong. They will speak on a panel entitled: “50 Years Since the Chisholm Campaign: Black Women in Leadership. How Far We’ve Come and Where We’re Going.”
CBC Chair Joyce Beatty will be feted at an invite-only event celebrating her chairmanship of the caucus.
Patrick Gaspard the president and CEO of CAP, Billy Mitchell, the president of the National Black Caucus of State Legislators, Damon Jones, CCO of Procter and Gamble, and Rashad Robinson, the president of Color of Change, will talk about “Gary 50 Years Later: The National Conversation on the Black Agenda.”
Google is sponsoring a conversation with House Majority Whip James Clyburn and EPA Administrator Michael Regan on environmental justice.
At noon, four CEOs will talk about “Black CEOs in the Green Economy.” The CEOs: Anthony Kinslow II, the founder and CEO, of Gemini Energy Solutions; Gilbert Campbell, the founder and CEO of Volt Energy Utility; Ralph Cleveland, the president and CEO of American Association of Blacks in Energy; and Ron DeLyons, the CEO of Creekwood Energy Partners.
Important context: The CBC is the most powerful voting bloc in the House Democratic Caucus. This conference – the 51st Annual Legislative Conference – is a chance for the group to bring together top corporate executives, lawmakers and supporters of the caucus for a weeklong meeting of the mind. That the ALC attracts blue chip sponsors such as Amazon and Google shows the important space the CBC occupies in D.C. power circles.
– Jake Sherman
PRESENTED BY META
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New: North Carolina Democratic Senate candidate Cheri Beasley is dinging her GOP opponent, Rep. Ted Budd (R-N.C.), for voting against funding apprenticeship programs in Congress.
“Cheri Beasley gets it. She knows that you shouldn’t need to go to college to get ahead,” Skylar, a Durham, N.C., resident who took part in an apprenticeship programs says in the spot. “And she’ll fight to expand skills training programs.”
Beasley is running a strong campaign against Budd in the red terrain of North Carolina. The FiveThirtyEight polling average has Budd narrowly in front, 46%-45%.
— Max Cohen
PRESENTED BY META
8:30 a.m.: President Joe Biden will get his daily intelligence briefing.
10 a.m.: House Republican leadership will hold an event on the “Commitment to America” on the East Front of the Capitol.
10:15 a.m.: House Democratic Caucus Chair Hakeem Jeffries and Vice Chair Pete Aguilar will brief after their party meeting.
11:35 a.m.: Biden will leave the White House for FEMA headquarters, where he’ll get a briefing on Hurricane Ian. He is scheduled back at the White House at 1:15 p.m.
2:40 p.m.: Biden will leave the White House for the State Department, where he will host the U.S.-Pacific Island Country Summit. Biden will return to the White House at 5:20 p.m.
6:40 p.m.: Biden will host the summit participants at the White House for a photo and dinner.
Vice President Kamala Harris is on her way back to Washington from South Korea.
Also happening today: The New Dem Coalition will hear from U.S. Trade Representative Katherine Tai at their weekly member lunch.
The Congressional Progressive Caucus will host Labor Secretary Marty Walsh at their meeting. Here’s more from a CPC aide:
“Progressives are expected to urge Walsh to take action on worker power items from the Progressive Caucus Executive Action agenda released in March, including raising the overtime threshold. The CPC has called for the threshold to be raised above $82,000 per year, which would cover 55% of workers at one-and-a-half times their regular pay and give millions of people a raise — rather than the only 15% of full-time salaried workers who are compensated for their full hours on the job now.”
“First on CNN: European security officials observed Russian Navy ships in vicinity of Nord Stream pipeline leaks,” by Katie Bo Lillis, Natasha Bertrand and Kylie Atwood
“Sabotaged Pipelines and a Mystery: Who Did It? (Was It Russia?),” by Katrin Bennhold in Berlin and David Sanger in D.C.
“As Storm Hits, DeSantis Pauses Political Bomb-Throwing,” by Reid Epstein and Alan Rappeport
“E.U. warns of ‘robust’ response against sabotage after Nord Stream blasts,” by Meg Kelly and Michael Birnbaum
“Russia’s Mobilization, Plunging Oil Prices Weaken Putin’s Economic Hand,” by Georgi Kantchev, Yuliya Chernova and Joe Wallace
“US Urges China to Resume Talks Ended After Pelosi Went to Taiwan,” by Rebecca Choong Wilkins
“VP Harris to visit DMZ after North Korean missile tests,” by Chris Megerian in Seoul
PRESENTED BY META
Future surgeons will get hands-on practice in the metaverse.
Surgeons will engage in countless hours of additional low-risk practice in the metaverse.
The impact: patients undergoing complex care will know their doctors are as prepared as possible.
The metaverse may be virtual, but the impact will be real.
Editorial photos provided by Getty Images
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