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The Trump circus tests Dems’ legislative focus
With the national spotlight gripped by the former president, congressional Democrats and White House officials hope localized events and personalized messaging can break through the noise.
Trump’s Lauro completes “full Ginsburg” • If you’ve read any of the 45-page indictment of former President Donald Trump on charges related to his actions to overturn the 2020 election, then it’s easy to understand why his lawyer John Lauro appeared on all five Sunday shows yesterday — a feat known as a “full Ginsburg.”
Most of the crimes Special Counsel Jack Smith alleged in the document were previously reported by the major news organizations. And while Trump professes no wrongdoing and is innocent until proven guilty, it’s his own current and former allies who corroborate much of the public reporting. This state of play left Lauro with few cards to play other than to flood the zone with all sorts of wild defenses for his client’s indefensible behavior.
One of those posts was cited in a request for a protective order that would ban Trump from publicly disclosing specified evidence the government has gathered during its investigation. The former president was warned during his arraignment last Thursday that he was prohibited from attempting to influence jurors, threaten or bribe witnesses, retaliate against anyone for providing information, or otherwise obstruct justice.
The prosecutors argue Trump’s posts that mention or implicate the case could impact witness testimony and jeopardize a fair trial. Lauro asked for and was denied additional time to respond to the request. The response is due to the court this afternoon.
Dems focus on their record • Congressional Democrats have hoped for this particular indictment since the Jan. 6th insurrection — an event they maintain wouldn’t have happened without Trump’s incitement.
But in an environment where Republicans claim the Justice Department is doing the Biden administration’s bidding by holding Trump accountable for his alleged crimes, there’s minimal upside in expressing public satisfaction with the outcome.
Throw in a divided Congress, featuring a House Republican majority hellbent on hitching every so-called culture war policy to even the most mundane pieces of legislation, and Democrats are left to peddle the landmark bills they passed during the first two years of Biden’s presidency during the August recess.
Congressional Progressive Caucus Chair Rep. Pramila Jayapal (D-Wash.) said her members are spending significant time and resources on how constituents can access alternative student debt relief after the Supreme Court overturned President Biden’s plan in June. A similar push is underway to promote the $35 insulin cap for Medicare recipients passed in the Inflation Reduction Act.
“We have to show what benefits people can get right now,” Jayapal told Supercreator Daily in a recent interview.
Jayapal added that Democrats also have to acknowledge to disaffected voters the issues Congress has failed to act on that would be at the top of the legislative agenda if they regained the House and maintained the Senate and White House.
“We showed you what we could do with just two years in a bare majority. These are the things we have left to do. And so yes, trust us — but not just blindly. I don’t believe that we should just say to voters, ‘Trust us, we’re better than [Republicans],’ Jayapal said. “We have to do the work to show what we’ve delivered. We have to point out how extreme they are and then we have to show them what our agenda is and have them come with us.”
Biden heads west • Meanwhile, President Biden will make a pit stop at the White House today before traveling to Arizona and New Mexico this week for his first events following a vacation in Delaware filled with date nights, bike rides, and rounds of golf.
The west-coast swing will focus on the administration’s investments in climate, conservation, and clean energy leading up to the one-year anniversary, per a White House official.
Biden will also travel to Utah on the anniversary of the PACT Act to promote the progress the administration has made in expanding veterans’ benefits in the year since Biden signed it into law.
In other parts of the country, Vice President Kamala Harris and acting Labor Secretary Julie Su will be in Pennsylvania this week to discuss unions and Bidenomics. Cabinet and high-level members will also participate in five infrastructure project groundbreakings in red states, swing districts, and communities that will benefit the most from the projects.
These events may not attract as much online attention or national news coverage as Trump’s menacing social posts or latest legal developments. But they represent a steady drumbeat of results-oriented programming that Democrats hope will resonate against stiff political headwinds in a media environment preoccupied with one of most sensational stories of our time.
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House Agriculture Committee ranking member Rep. David Scott (D-Ga.) led the panel’s Democratic members in a letter to Speaker McCarthy warning against additional changes to SNAP eligibility or benefits in the 2023 farm bill. House Republicans expanded SNAP work requirements to childless people under 54 years old and limited the number of months they can receive benefits within a defined period in the deal President Biden reached with McCarthy in May to raise the debt limit.
House Minority Leader Hakeem Jeffries (D-N.Y.) and Rep. Steny Hoyer (D-Md.), the former number-two House Democrat are leading two dozen House Democrats to Israel this week, Jeffries’ second to the country as the top House Democrat. The trip comes after the passage of a bipartisan resolution to express a sense of support for Israel after Congressional Progressive Caucus Chair Rep. Pramila Jayapal (D-Wash.) claimed it was a “racist state.”
The Food and Drug Administration approved the first oral medication for postpartum depression. Until now, IV injection given by a health care provider in certain health care facilities was the only treatment for PPD, which the FDA defines as a major depressive episode that typically occurs after childbirth but can also begin during the later stages of pregnancy.
Vice President Harris and Second Gentleman Doug Emhoff made a surprise appearance at Beyoncé’s Renaissance World Tour stop in Maryland Saturday night. And, like a bona fide BeyHive member, she knew the vibes: Harris wore a fitted gold button-down from black, New York City-based designer LaQuan Smith. BTW, the second couple wasn’t the only power duo to attend RWT: Former President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama were also in attendance.
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All times Eastern
9:55 a.m. President Biden and First Lady Dr. Jill Biden will leave New Castle, Delaware to return to the White House, returning at 10:50 a.m.
1 p.m. The president will host the Houston Astros at the White House to celebrate their 2022 World Series title. The second gentleman will attend.
6:10 p.m. President Biden will travel from the White House to Grand Canyon, Arizona, arriving at 9:45 p.m.
Biden’s week ahead:
Tuesday: The president will speak about conservation and the Inflation Reduction Act’s climate investments in Arizona before traveling to Albuquerque, New Mexico and speaking at a campaign fundraiser.
Wednesday: President Biden will speak about clean energy manufacturing before traveling to Salt Lake City, Utah.
Thursday: The president will speak on the one-year anniversary of the PACT Act and at a campaign fundraiser before traveling back to the White House.
Friday: President Biden will travel to Rehoboth Beach, Delaware for the weekend.
Vice President Harris is in Washington, DC and has no public events on her schedule.
Harris’s week ahead:
Tuesday: Vice President Harris will travel to Philadelphia to speak about infrastructure.
Friday: The vice president will travel to Chicago and speak at the Everytown for Gun Safety’s Annual Conference.
Saturday: Vice President Harris will travel to Martha’s Vineyard, Massachusetts to speak at campaign fundraisers.
The House is out.
The Senate is out.
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