After a month away from the Hill, House divisions reemerge this week
House Republican leadership will attempt to pull its partisan Pentagon funding bill across the finished line while keeping a pack of conservative rabble rousers in check. Good luck with that.
NEVER FORGET ➟ As the nation observes the 22nd anniversary of the September 11th attacks, the Biden administration will award $4 million in funds from the 9/11 Memorial Act grant program to the National September 11th Memorial & Memorial Plaza in New York City.
See HAPPENINGS below for a roundup of the key events White House principals and cabinet officials will attend to honor the lives we lost, the loved ones who still feel pain, and the heroes who rushed into action to save lives that day.
A HOUSE DIVIDED ➟ The House returns to Washington on Tuesday with 18 days to keep the government open. The chamber will only be in session 11 of those days.
The chamber is expected to take up the bill that funds the Defense Department this week. The Rules Committee will meet Tuesday afternoon to set the length of the floor debate and the number of amendments that will be considered. The rule is expected to hit the floor on Wednesday with a vote on final passage of the bill to come on Thursday.
The Defense bill passed out of the House Appropriations Committee along party lines in late June.
The bill provides more than $826 billion in new defense spending for next year—up almost $286 million over President JOE BIDEN’s budget request and nearly $29 billion more than the enacted level for last fiscal year. But House Republicans have called for the rest of the government to be funded at levels below the deal President Biden reached with Speaker KEVIN McCARTHY (R-Calif.) to avoid a default on the nation’s debt, so the bill requires deep cuts across the other appropriations bills that would underfund vital social programs to plus-up military resources.
Republicans claim their plan for funding the Pentagon provides the military with the resources it needs to deter or defeat American adversaries, enhances the Defense Department’s role in battling the fentanyl crisis, and expands support for servicemembers and their families. At the same time, the House GOP says the bill prevents taxpayer dollars from investments in “[diversity, equity, and inclusion programs], wasteful green initiatives, military drag shows, or gender reassignment surgery.”
But Democrats on the committee, all of whom unanimously opposed the bill this summer, argue the bill harms military readiness, undermines morale, and fails to support US armed services in favor of harmful anti-abortion, anti-climate, anti-LGBTQ, and anti-DEI policy riders.
“My primary concern is that the impact of these provisions will be more harmful in this bill because they signal to Americans who want to join our volunteer military that many are not welcome,” Rep. BETTY McCOLLUM (D-Minn.), the ranking member on the House Appropriations Defense subcommittee said. “These totally unnecessary provisions divide us, not unite us, and they will have harmful consequences for recruitment and retention across the force.”
The House passed the military construction and Veterans Affairs funding bill before it broke for the August recess. But before adjourning early, House Republican leadership pulled a bill to fund the Department of Agriculture and FDA once it was clear they lacked the votes to overcome internal GOP division over spending cuts to the FDA and an abortion-related provision.
If the committee vote on the Defense bill is any indication of the final tally, House GOP leadership has its work cut out to get the bill over the finished line with just a handful of votes to spare. It’s also another tough vote so-called moderates who won Biden districts will be forced to take now and answer for later despite the House version of the bill lacking any real chance of becoming law under a Democratic-controlled Senate and White House.
The Senate is expected to begin consideration of a “minibus” package of three bills this week to fund (1) military construction and the Veterans Affairs Department, (2) the USDA and FDA, and (3) the Transportation Department and Department of Housing and Urban Development.
THE OTHER FUNDING DEBATE ➟ I’m told advancing the Biden administration’s supplemental request for billions of dollars in Ukraine funding and disaster relief to support FEMA’s recovery efforts in response to recent extreme weather events, particularly the wildfires in Maui, will be an emphasis for House Democrats.
But about a quarter of the House Republican Conference is opposed to additional Ukraine aid and wants it uncoupled from disaster relief. However, the Senate is expected to attach the White House’s entire supplemental to a continuing resolution to keep the government open beyond the Oct. 1 deadline. This would take one less item off the legislative agenda while lawmakers attempt to pass the other funding bills.
We’ll know how this will shake out once the House is back in town this week.
PELOSI TO RUN IT BACK FOR 20TH TERM ➟ Former Speaker NANCY PELOSI (D-Calif.) announced on Friday morning that she intends to run for reelection in her deep-blue San Francisco district next year.
Pelosi, currently in her 19th term after winning a special election in 1987, said in her reelection launch video and in two separate interviews that the fragility of American democracy was a key factor in her decision.
“Our country needs us to show the world that our flag is still there, with liberty and justice for all,” she said.
She also told reporters in separate Politico and Washington Post interviews that she’s running again to reprise her role as House Democrats’ leading fundraiser as they look to reclaim the majority and elect Democratic Leader HAKEEM JEFFRIES to be the first Black speaker.
“If you’re not a candidate, you really can’t raise money for yourself,” Pelosi said to Politico. “And raising money for myself enables me to spend that on other people.”
But two sources familiar close to the House Democratic Caucus said Pelosi missed an opportunity to pass the baton.
“This is the problem with the Democratic Party,” a source said in a text to Supercreator Daily. “We don’t know how to get out of the way and elevate the next generation.”
But a Pelosi ally told me that she did exactly that when she, former House Democratic Leader STENY HOYER (D-Md.), and former House Democratic Whip JIM CLYBURN (D-S.C.) stepped down after two decades as the top party leaders to make way for Jeffries, KATHERINE CLARK (D-Mass.), and PETE AGUILAR (D-Calif.).
The ally added that Pelosi also wants to prioritize the needs of San Francisco, including resources to respond to a local housing crisis, as another reason she wants to run it back for a 20th term, a motivator she mentioned in the launch video and interviews.
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THEY DID THAT
➟ Rep. BARBARA LEE (D-Calif) took offense to Democratic Gov. GAVIN NEWSOM of California saying he would appoint a temporary replacement if Sen. DIANNE FEINSTEIN (D-Calif.)’s seat became vacant. Newsom previously promised to pick a Black woman to fill the seat. Lee is currently one of the three House Democrats running to succeed the 90-year-old Feinstein.
➟ Sen. TAMMY DUCKWORTH (D-Ill.) announced she tested positive for COVID-19.
➟ Rep. TED LIEU (D-Calif.), the number-four House Democrat, called the suspension of New Mexico’s open and concealed carry laws by Democratic Gov. MICHELLE LUJÁN GRISHAM unconstitutional.
➟ Danco, the manufacturer of the abortion drug Mifepristone, asked the Supreme Court to reverse a lower court ruling that would restrict access to the drug if allowed to go into effect.
➟ Democratic Gov. JOSH GREEN of Hawaii announced the number of missing people following the Maui wildfires last month has dropped to 66.
➟ Related: President Biden amended Hawaii’s disaster declaration. The order increased the federal share of public assistance to 90 percent of total eligible costs except assistance previously approved at 100 percent.
➟ Vice President Harris went viral dancing at the celebration of hip-hop’s anniversary she hosted at her residence.
➟ Blueberries surpassed peaches as Georgia’s top fruit crop.
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All times Eastern
6:05 a.m. Vice President Harris will travel from Washington, DC to New York, arriving at 7 a.m.
8:30 a.m. The vice president will attend the 9/11 Commemoration at the National 9/11 Memorial & Museum.
10:40 a.m. Vice President will leave New York and return to Washington at 11:40 a.m.
2 p.m. Second Gentleman DOUG EMHOFF will participate in the Flight 93 National Memorial Observance Wreath Laying Ceremony in Shanksville, Pennsylvania. He’ll arrive in Pennsylvania at 1 p.m. and leave to return to Washington at 4 p.m.
3 p.m. The Senate is in and will vote at 5:30 p.m. to advance the nomination of TANYA BRADSHER to be Deputy Secretary of Veterans Affairs.
4:05 p.m. President Biden arrived in Anchorage, Alaska.
4:20 p.m. First Lady Dr. JILL BIDEN will lay a wreath at the National 9/11 Pentagon Memorial in Arlington, Virginia. Defense Secretary LLOYD AUSTIN and Joint Chiefs of Staff Army General MARK MILLEY will attend.
4:45 p.m. The president will speak to service members, first members, and their families on the anniversary of 9/11.
5 p.m. Dr. Biden will speak at the National Archivist swearing-in ceremony of Dr. COLLEEN SHOGAN, the first woman appointed to the position, at the National Archives Museum in Washington, DC.
6 p.m. The president will travel from Anchorage to the White House, arriving at 12:35 a.m.
The House is out.
While you were sleeping, President Biden in Vietnam…
received his daily intelligence briefing.
met with Prime Minister PHAM MINH CHÍNH of Vietnam.
dropped by a meeting of CEOs with Prime Minister Chính.
met with President VÕ VĂN THƯỞNG of Vietnam.
had a state lunch with President Thưởng.
met with Chairman VUONG DINH HUE of the National Assembly of Vietnam.
departed Hanoi, Vietnam en route to Anchorage, Alaska.
Biden’s week ahead:
Wednesday: The president will meet with his Cancer Cabinet before traveling to McLean, Virginia to speak at a campaign fundraiser.
Harris’s week ahead:
Wednesday: The vice president will travel to Chicago to speak at a campaign fundraiser.
Thursday: Vice President will travel to Hampton University as part of her college tour.
Friday: The vice president will travel to North Carolina A&T University as part of her college tour.
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