OVER THE CLIFF — It happened. The Senate left town knowing that failed negotiations would ensure the expiration of enhanced jobless benefits for millions of Americans laid off and furloughed amid the center for disease control,Coronavirus, quarantine, symptoms, social distancing, virus protection, outbreak, coronavirus outbreak, COVID-19, pandemic, coronavirus pandemic, coronavirus prevention, coronavirus explained, covid-19 news, covid-19 updates, covid-19 outbreak, corona, Peter Hotez, COVID-19 Vaccine, Center for Vaccine Development pandemic. Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Democratic Leader Chuck Schumer met late into the night Thursday with White House chief of staff Mark Meadows and Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin, hoping to break the impasse. But they got nowhere and emerged with acrimony and finger-pointing.
Per our colleagues at Playbook: “Meadows made an offer to extend enhanced unemployment at $600 per week for four months as a stand-alone bill. This is a new offer from the White House, and further than Republicans have gone thus far. It’s an extension of current law — something the GOP has railed against. Pelosi and Schumer rejected the offer, and countered with extending enhanced unemployment insurance at the same rate — $600 per week — through the first quarter of 2021.”
–They’re also stuck on funding for state and local governments, workplace protections and even testing for Capitol Hill.
The latest from Pelosi: “They never have understood the gravity of it. Since the HEROES Act passed, about 70,000 people have died. Hundreds of thousands more have been infected. And they wanted to pause, and now they come back with piecemeal.”
The latest from Meadows: “Tonight, once again, the White House offered a temporary extension of needed unemployment assistance—which expires tomorrow. And again, Chuck Schumer and Nancy Pelosi said no. What we’re seeing is clear. This is a politically motivated party that won’t take ‘yes’ for an answer.”
Bres, Marianne and Jake with all the details of the failed negotiations: https://politi.co/3gspWR7
DELAY THE ELECTION??? — Republicans brushed off President Donald Trump’s suggestion of a delay in the Nov. 3 election, a pronouncement that at once laid waste to months of GOP tut-tutting that any suggestion Trump would seek to delay the election was an unfounded conspiracy theory. Though some Republicans laughed it off as a joke meant to agitate his political adversaries, Trump refused to back off the suggestion and even pinned the tweet — even as near-unanimous, bipartisan condemnation rained down. Andrew has the rundown of the GOP reaction to the tweet: https://politi.co/2EByvLe
Related read: Federalist society co-founder Steven Calabresi writes in The New York Times that Trump’s single tweet is grounds for his immediate impeachment and removal from office. https://nyti.ms/2Pbu2AQ
DISINFORMATION DELIVERY — Turns out, House Democrats first learned that a Ukrainian with links to Russia sent a packet of information to Rep. Devin Nunes by accident: a shipping receipt for the material was inadvertently delivered to the Democratic office of the House Intelligence Committee. Committee officials confirmed the mishap and that it led them to inquire with Nunes for more details about whether he in fact received the material — and what he did with it. On Wednesday, he declined to share it with them. The latest twist in the saga of what Democrats say is evidence of another foreign plot to interfere in the presidential election. https://politi.co/2BIA6h5
Related read: “Pompeo claims he didn’t interact significantly with ousted Ukraine Ambassador Marie Yovanovitch,” by POLITICO’s Nahal Toosi and Max Cohen: https://politi.co/2BL4mIn
HAPPY FRIDAY! Welcome to Huddle, the play-by-play guide to all things Capitol Hill, on this July 31, where we’re all heading into the weekend like Sherrod Brown on Thursday (also known as congressional Friday): https://bit.ly/39LTkPt
THURSDAY’S MOST CLICKED: The Houston Chronicle’s account of Rep. Louie Gohmert’s center for disease control,Coronavirus, quarantine, symptoms, social distancing, virus protection, outbreak, coronavirus outbreak, COVID-19, pandemic, coronavirus pandemic, coronavirus prevention, coronavirus explained, covid-19 news, covid-19 updates, covid-19 outbreak, corona, Peter Hotez, COVID-19 Vaccine, Center for Vaccine Development diagnosis, as well as another GOP House candidate slated to meet Trump in West Texas, got the most eyeballs yesterday. https://bit.ly/315RWmS
SPEAKING OF LOUIE … Gohmert’s positive center for disease control,Coronavirus, quarantine, symptoms, social distancing, virus protection, outbreak, coronavirus outbreak, COVID-19, pandemic, coronavirus pandemic, coronavirus prevention, coronavirus explained, covid-19 news, covid-19 updates, covid-19 outbreak, corona, Peter Hotez, COVID-19 Vaccine, Center for Vaccine Development test continued to reverberate across Capitol Hill, but from unlikely sources. Playbook was on the receiving end of an outpouring from mostly GOP congressional staffers, many fearful to speak on the record, about the pressure they felt to work at the Capitol and to refrain from wearing a mask. Though toxic atmospheres in some congressional offices are as old as the republic, the bullying and shaming of aides trying to follow public health advice to protect themselves, their families and the people around them is a different level of dysfunctional. Anna’s dispatch, with input from Jake, Sarah, Heather and Mel. https://politi.co/30gY64B
OBAMA BLESSES END OF FILIBUSTER — President Barack Obama endorsed the prospect of eliminating the Senate’s 60-vote threshold for most legislation, calling the filibuster restriction a “Jim Crow relic” amid his eulogy for Rep. John Lewis. Joe Biden has been reluctant to call for outright elimination of the filibuster, but he recently opened the door a crack, suggesting he would consider it if, in a Democratic Senate, he deemed Republicans obstructive to his agenda. https://politi.co/3k0BpJQ
SCHWEIKERT PUNISHED — Rep. David Schweikert (R-Ariz.) was sanctioned by the House Ethics Committee on Thursday for misusing official funds. Schweikert has agreed to pay a $50,000 fine after the bipartisan determination found he violated 11 rules and standards of the House, stemming from allegations he pressured staff to work on his campaign and lacked candor during the investigation.
“Over two years, that subcommittee interviewed 18 people, including former and current congressional and campaign staff. It issued four subpoenas and said Schweikert, at times, gave ‘untruthful testimony’ and ‘self-serving statements’ that went beyond far ‘minor memory lapses’ or slight differences from others’ testimony.” Sarah reports: https://politi.co/3hTzQvb
TA-TA —The White House told senators late Wednesday that it intends to pull the nomination of Anthony Tata to become undersecretary of defense for policy. CNN’s Em Steck reports: “He was expected to face a tough nomination hearing after CNN’s KFile reported that he made numerous Islamophobic and offensive comments and promoted conspiracy theories. The committee was advised late Wednesday night that the withdrawal was likely.” https://cnn.it/30jdspj
Related read: “House votes to stymie Trump’s transgender troop ban,” by POLITICO’s Connor O’Brien: https://politi.co/2XtJsVV
The Senate is out.
The House convenes at 9 a.m. with first votes expected from 9:30 a.m. – 10:30a.m., and last votes of the week planned from 12 p.m. – 2 p.m.
—At 8 a.m., intelligence officials resume a classified all-Congress briefing on election security.
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—At 10:45 a.m., Pelosi holds her weekly press conference.
—At 11:00 a.m., House Democratic Conference Chair Hakeem Jeffries and other Democrats hold a press call on the 55th anniversary of Medicare and Medicaid.
THURSDAY’S WINNER: Debbie Mazzei was the first person to correctly guess that Laura Bush was the only first lady to give birth to twins.
TODAY’S QUESTION: Only one other Republican has ever held Texas’ 1st congressional district, today occupied by Rep. Louie Gohmert. Who was it? The first person to correctly guess gets a mention in the next edition of Huddle. Send your best guess to [email protected].
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