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It’s official: Trump is in for 2024
As the GOP faces internal turmoil over disappointing midterms showing, former President Trump has added a new variable to the calculus: his own 2024 bid.
Trump on Tuesday announced his candidacy from his Florida residence, just a week after Election Day. Of other Republican midterm failures, Trump claimed that Americans had “not yet realized the full extent and gravity of the pain our nation is going through.”
“We always have known that this was not the end. It was only the beginning of our fight to rescue the American dream,” Trump said. “In order to make America great and glorious again, I am tonight announcing my candidacy for president of the United States.”
The announcement comes as the GOP is starting to distance itself from the former president after the midterms. Many of the candidates Trump endorsed this cycle had disappointing showings in their races, and party leaders are left wondering whether the best bet for the GOP’s future is to leave Trump in the past (The Hill and The New York Times).
▪ The Hill: 65 percent in new poll say Trump should not run again.
▪ The Washington Post: Trump campaign operation takes shape ahead of expected 2024 announcement.
▪ Politico: Four ex-presidents who ran again — and what they mean for Trump.
House Republicans nominated Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (Calif.) to be Speaker in a closed-door meeting on Tuesday as the conference sits on the cusp of securing the majority in the lower chamber. He had faced a last-minute protest challenge from Rep. Andy Biggs (R-Ariz.), a former chair of the conservative House Freedom Caucus.
McCarthy won easily, 188 to 31, in the internal conference meeting, writes The Hill’s Emily Brooks. But in the eyes of Biggs and his supporters, the goal was merely to demonstrate that McCarthy lacks the support to seize the gavel when the full House meets to choose the Speaker early next year, when he’ll need to secure a majority of the chamber’s vote.
“The promised red wave turned into a loss of the United States Senate, a razor-thin majority in the House of Representatives, and upset losses of premiere political candidates,” Biggs said in a Tuesday statement (Roll Call).
In the same meeting, House Republicans elected Rep. Tom Emmer (Minn.) to be House majority whip and gave Rep. Elise Stefanik (N.Y.) another term as conference chairwoman (The Hill). They separately voted to elect Rep. Steve Scalise (La.) as majority leader by voice vote. Scalise had been serving as minority whip (The Hill).
Across the aisle, Democrats are on the cusp of losing the House, meaning eyes are on Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s (D-Calif.) next move, and the party is frozen in place until she decides what to do. Pelosi, who is the first woman to hold the Speakership, said in 2018 that she’d limit herself to four more years in the role.
A new option for her future has emerged in recent days: stepping down from her post but remaining in Congress, in a quasi-emeritus role (The New York Times).
Senate Republicans, meanwhile, vented their frustrations over what went wrong in the 2022 election at a Tuesday conference lunch ahead of their own leadership elections, scheduled for Wednesday, writes The Hill’s Alexander Bolton. The closed-door meeting revealed the bitter feelings left over from crushingly disappointing midterm elections.
Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) and Sen. Rick Scott (R-Fla.), who have been at odds for months, traded recriminations over who was to blame for the GOP’s failure to win back the Senate.
“I’ve never seen Scott so fired up. It was a very impassioned, very direct confrontation with McConnell that McConnell did not expect,” a person who witnessed the tense back-and-forth between senators told The Hill. “It started off tense and it got very acrimonious.”
The conference is set to hold leadership elections on Wednesday, when McConnell will run to remain minority leader. McConnnel was initially expected to run unopposed, but Scott unexpectedly announced a challenge during Tuesday’s lunch, catching many Senate Republicans by surprise. The Senate GOP campaign chief mounted his opposition, expected to fall short, as he told reporters that he is “not satisfied with the status quo,” (Politico).
▪ New York Magazine: The McConnell vs. Scott spat is heating up.
▪ The Hill: A Super PAC with ties to McConnell pledges over $14 million in Georgia Senate runoff amid tensions with Scott.
Kari Lake and her supporters are seizing on claims of a rigged election after her loss to Democrat Katie Hobbs in the Arizona governor’s race, complicating GOP efforts to move past such claims after disappointing midterms for the party, writes The Hill’s Julia Manchester. Republicans are increasingly seeing the years-long cries of a rigged election in 2020 as hurting their party, especially after the GOP failed to win back the Senate and appears likely to win back the House by a slim margin. But false claims about fraud also appear to have taken over the party, with Trump backing Lake’s claims while repeating his own about 2020.
Several of the most high-profile election deniers lost their election battles in this year’s midterms — Doug Mastriano in Pennsylvania, Don Bolduc in New Hampshire, Tudor Dixon in Michigan and, most recently, Lake in Arizona. The Hill’s Niall Stanage asks if their losses paint a clear signal that running on this kind of platform is a vote-loser, or are there other issues at play?
The New York Times: Republicans’ 2022 lesson: Voters who trust elections are more likely to vote.
▪ The Atlanta Journal-Constitution: Think tank: Trump in legal peril in Fulton, Ga. as he preps White House bid.
▪ CNN: Former Trump Organization CFO testifies he didn’t pay taxes on $1.76 million in personal expenses.
▪ Time: How running for president impacts Trump’s various legal challenges.
▪ Roll Call: Senate Democrats plan spree of judicial confirmations in lame duck.
▪ Politico: “The weirdest election I’ve ever been a part of”: How the GOP almost blew the House.
LEADING THE DAY
The Senate is set to enshrine same-sex marriage into federal law on Wednesday, a historic moment that elected leaders across the political spectrum say is a milestone for the Congress and the country, write The Hill’s Brooke Migdon and Al Weaver. Majority Leader Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.) has scheduled vote on a bill to codify the right to same-sex and interracial marriage after a group of senators announced a deal on changes to the legislation.
Democrats warned that same-sex marriage and other rights could be at risk since June, when the Supreme Court overturned the constitutional right to an abortion under Roe v. Wade. The House passed the Respect for Marriage Act in July, but the Senate delayed its vote on the bill until after the midterm elections (The Washington Post and CNN).
The bipartisan group leading the bill, which includes Sens. Rob Portman (R-Ohio), Tammy Baldwin (D-Wis.), Susan Collins (R-Maine), Kyrsten Sinema (D-Ariz.), and Thom Tillis (R-N.C.), released a statement on Monday calling the Respect for Marriage Act a “needed step to provide millions of loving couples in same-sex and interracial marriages the certainty that they will continue to enjoy the freedoms, rights, and responsibilities afforded to all other marriages.”
“Through bipartisan collaboration, we’ve crafted commonsense language to confirm that this legislation fully respects and protects Americans’ religious liberties and diverse beliefs, while leaving intact the core mission of the legislation to protect marriage equality,” the statement reads.
The New York Times: Schumer urges Republicans to jettison Trump and work with Democrats.
Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) is taking another shot at permitting reform with Congress in the lame-duck session, writes The Hill’s Rachel Frazin, but his plan hinges on talks with Republicans, who may not want to hand him a win.
WV MetroNews: Rep. Alex Mooney (R-W.Va.) announces bid for Senate, revving up race to take on Manchin.
Two people died in an explosion in a Polish village near the border with Ukraine on Tuesday, according to firefighters. The explosion occurred after Russia attacked cities across Ukraine with missiles on Tuesday in what Kyiv said was the heaviest wave of missile strikes since Moscow first invaded in February. Some attacks were reported in the western city of Lviv, which is less than 50 miles from the Polish border (The Washington Post and CNN).
World leaders discussed the situation at an emergency meeting on the sidelines of the Group of 20 (G-20) summit in Bali, Indonesia, on Wednesday. The circumstances surrounding the incident, which marks the first time a NATO country has been directly hit during the almost nine-month conflict, remain unclear. It is not known who fired the missile, or precisely where it was fired from, though the Polish Foreign Ministry has described it as “Russian-made.” President Biden told reporters early indications suggested the missile was not fired from Russia, which has denied responsibility (CNN).
“We agreed to support Poland’s investigation into the explosion … And I’m going to make sure we figure out exactly what happened,” Biden said reporters at the summit. “Then we’re going to collectively determine our next step as we investigate and proceed. There was total unanimity among the folks at the table.”
Early media reports this morning from unnamed U.S. officials said that preliminary assessments suggest “the missile that struck Poland had been fired by Ukrainian forces at an incoming Russian missile,” according to The Associated Press. Reuters reported that Biden told allies the missile was a Ukrainian air defense missile, according to an unnamed NATO source.
The Hill: Following missile strikes in NATO member Poland, here’s an explainer of Article 5 of the NATO treaty.
The heavy missile strikes followed Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky’s speech on Tuesday to G-20 leaders. Speaking via video link just days after Ukraine liberated the strategic city of Kherson from invading Russian forces, Zelensky compared the victory to the D-Day landing of allied troops in Normandy, a key turning point of World War II (Politico Europe).
“For Ukraine, this liberation operation of our defense forces is reminiscent of many battles of the past, which became turning points in the wars of the past,” Zelensky said in his speech to world leaders. “It is like, for example, D-Day — the landing of the allies in Normandy.”
CNN: US intelligence suggests Russia put off announcing Kherson retreat until after midterm elections.
Leaders of most of the world’s economic powers are nearing approval of a declaration strongly denouncing Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. Even China, which has mostly declined to censure Russia until now, and India, which purchases weapons from Russia, are providing encouraging words (The Hill).
There are now 8 billion people on Earth, according to a new United Nations report — just 12 years after the global population passed 7 billion, and less than a century after the planet supported just 2 billion people (Nature).
▪ Reuters: Developing countries and China seek a “loss and damage” fund in a COP27 draft proposal.
▪ The New York Times: As Britain braces for painful budget cuts, the mood is gloomy.
IN FOCUS/SHARP TAKES
Biden on Tuesday met with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan on the margins of the G-20 summit. Biden made clear that the U.S. stands with Turkey, a NATO ally, following a bombing in Istanbul on Sunday that left at least six people dead.
Meanwhile, Biden and Chinese President Xi Jinping, who met earlier during the conference, are offering allies dual visions of how to solve global issues, from poverty to the war in Ukraine. The rivalry can sometimes be beneficial to middle powers by generating competition for providing aid and support but also leave other countries fearful of being caught between the two major players (The New York Times).
“This grouping is not interested in choosing sides,” Courtney Fung, an associate fellow at the Lowy Institute in Sydney, told the Times, referring to Southeast Asian countries like Indonesia. “They would rather that these two states figure it out so that they don’t get crushed in the middle.”
▪ Reuters: Wrangling over Ukraine war dominates summit of G-20 major economies.
▪ CNN: China’s Xi starts first day at G-20 with a whirlwind of meetings with US allies.
▪ The Guardian: Russia strives to avoid G-20 isolation as China and India distance themselves.
Vice President Harris will visit the Philippine islands of Palawan on the edge of the disputed South China Sea, Reuters reports. The visit, scheduled for Tuesday, will make Harris the highest-ranking American official to visit the island chain, which lies adjacent to the Spratly Islands. China has built harbors and airstrips on the Spratlys, parts of which are also claimed by Brunei, Malaysia, the Philippines, Taiwan and Vietnam.
Danny Werfel, Biden’s nominee for IRS chief — a former acting IRS commissioner currently in the private sector — is taking over the tax collection agency as it gets an $80 billion funding boost over the next 10 years to collect $428 billion in unpaid taxes, writes The Hill’s Tobias Burns. Tax experts say the biggest chunk of that money is in business income for individuals.
The White House is urging Congress to provide nearly $48 billion in emergency cash this fall for Ukraine and to battle COVID-19 and other infectious diseases.
In a Tuesday letter to congressional leaders, the administration outlined a nearly $38 billion request to help Ukraine continue fending off Russian attacks. The White House is also asking for $10 billion in emergency health funding, more than $9 billion of which would go toward COVID-19 vaccine access, next-generation COVID-19 vaccines and long COVID research (Politico).
■ Donald Trump’s presidential rerun: Will the GOP nominate the man Democrats know they can beat? by The Wall Street Journal editorial board. https://on.wsj.com/3hLRK8d
■ How the pandemic ended America’s bad romance with work, by Helaine Olen, columnist, The Washington Post. https://wapo.st/3Ezj2Yt
WHERE AND WHEN
👉 The Hill: Share a news query tied to an expert journalist’s insights: The Hill launched something new and (we hope) engaging via text with Editor-in-Chief Bob Cusack. Learn more and sign up HERE.
The House meets at 10 a.m.
The Senate meets at 1:45 p.m. and will resume consideration of the Respect for Marriage Act. A cloture vote on the motion to proceed is expected at 3:15 p.m.
The president is in Bali as the G-20 summit concludes and he participates in a mangrove tree planting. Biden and British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak will meet before the president departs Bali and begins a long flight back to Washington through Guam and Hawaii for refueling.
First lady Jill Biden will deliver remarks at the College Promise Careers Institute in Washington, D.C., at 1:15 p.m. ET. At 2 p.m., ET, she will attend and deliver remarks at the Smithsonian’s Hirshhorn Sculpture Garden groundbreaking.
Secretary Blinken is with the president at the G20 summit in Bali.
🆉 White House Director of Digital Strategy Rob Flaherty will join author Kahlil Greene, Harvard pollster John Della Volpe and Zfluence founder Ava McDonald to discuss outlooks among America’s youth and their impact on the future during Wednesday’s “Gen Z: Writing Their Own Rules” newsmaker event in Washington, live and remote beginning at 5 p.m. ET.RSVP HERE.
➤ TECH & JOBS
Major tech companies are bleeding jobs as high interest rates and a slowing economy are turning against the sector, writes The Hill’s Sylvan Lane. Amazon, Meta, Twitter, Stripe and other Silicon Valley powerhouses that grew rapidly during the pandemic have announced thousands of layoffs in recent days. While experts say the tech sector was bound to come back down to Earth after a torrid decade of growth, it may also be the start of a broader downturn.
▪ Business Insider: If you want to land a job or get a raise in the tech industry, you have to pass a test — and pretty much everyone is cheating on the exams.
▪ NPR: It’s the end of the boom times in tech, as layoffs keep mounting.
▪ Protocol: Is this the end of the cushy Big Tech job?
Elon Musk’s short-lived rollout of a process allowing users to pay for blue verification check marks wreaked havoc on Twitter, especially for journalists, celebrities and other newsmakers on the site, write The Hill’s Dominick Mastrangelo and Rebecca Klar. With Musk indicating the process to let users pay to be verified is likely to return soon, it’s leading journalists and media companies to pause as they consider how to maintain credibility, verify information put out on Twitter and connect with audiences on a platform that appears to be changing by the day. The change is part of Musk’s larger vision after closing his $44 billion deal to buy Twitter to create a platform where information is allowed to flow more freely, and top accounts from media companies, entertainment personalities and other top influencers face “increased competition from citizens” on the site.
The New York Times: Elon Musk fires Twitter employees who criticized him.
A new five-year study released by Burning Glass Institute looked at the histories of more than 3 million workers at America’s largest companies and found considerable mobility among those who started their careers in nonprofessional positions — such as retail clerks, logistic techs and customer service representatives. The findings show there’s more opportunity for upward career mobility than commonly thought (Forbes).
➤ PANDEMIC & HEALTH
Higher COVID-19 vaccination rates among children could prevent thousands of pediatric hospitalizations and millions of missed school days, an analysis published Tuesday by the Commonwealth Fund and the Yale School of Public Health found.
According to the study, if school-aged children received the updated COVID-19 booster shot at the same rate they were vaccinated against the flu last year — between 50 and 60 percent coverage — it could avert at least 38,000 pediatric hospitalizations, including about 9,000 intensive care unit stays, through March. And if 80 percent of school aged-children received the booster vaccines by the end of the year, it could avert more than 50,000 hospitalizations (CNN).
Information about COVID-19 vaccine and booster shot availability can be found at Vaccines.gov.
▪ The New York Times: As the pandemic drags on, Americans struggle for new balance.
▪ Wednesday: When should you test for COVID-19 before holiday gatherings?
Walmart on Tuesday agreed to a $3.1 billion settlement to resolve allegations that the company failed to regulate opioid prescriptions contributing to the nationwide opioid crisis (CNN).
Total U.S. coronavirus deaths reported as of this morning, according to Johns Hopkins University (trackers all vary slightly): 1,075,112. Current U.S. COVID-19 deaths are 2,344 for the week, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). (The CDC shifted its tally of available data from daily to weekly, now reported on Fridays.)
And finally … 🚀 Liftoff! After multiple delays due to technical issues and hurricanes, NASA finally launched its 322-foot Space Launch System from Cape Canaveral, Fla. at 1:47 a.m., sending the unmanned spacecraft Orion on a 26-day journey to the moon and back.
The space agency had been struggling to get the multibillion-dollar Artemis I rocket off the ground to send a capsule — without a crew on board — around the moon and back, allowing managers to perform critical tests of its systems. The launch marks a key milestone for NASA’s Artemis program, which is setting out to put the first woman and first person of color on the lunar surface. The agency has not launched a space vehicle designed to send astronauts to the moon since 1972 (NPR).
“We are all part of something incredibly special,” Charlie Blackwell-Thompson, the launch director, told her team at the Kennedy Space Center after the launch. “The first launch of Artemis. The first step in returning our country to the moon and on to Mars.”
The next Artemis mission, which is set to take four astronauts on a journey around the moon but onto its surface, is estimated to launch in 2024. Artemis III, in which astronauts will land near the moon’s south pole, is currently scheduled for 2025 (The New York Times).
Watch a replay of the launch HERE.