With an assist from Andrew Desiderio
GUNS, VOTES AND A DEAL— After all that waiting, the Senate is expected to clear the bipartisan gun violence prevention compromise by the end of the week. It cleared a procedural hurdle last night with the backing of 14 Senate Republicans.
It is the first significant piece of firearms legislation that has the chance of becoming law in nearly 30 years and was carefully tailored to get the support it needs to clear the filibuster. It is far from the sweeping changes that Democrats want to see, but moves the ball forward beyond anything they’ve been able to accomplish in decades.
Boyfriend loophole: The measure would change federal law to include misdemeanor assaults on a dating partner or a recent former dating partner under the umbrella of domestic violence, therefore barring those perpetrators from purchasing a firearm.
Under the deal, that person’s right to purchase a firearm would be reinstated after five years if he or she is not involved in any violent acts or felonies during that period. This would apply to people in this newly created category who are first-time offenders. Marianne has more: Senate makes first move on bipartisan gun safety bill
GOP Yea Votes: Sens. John Cornyn (Texas) was joined by Sens. Roy Blunt (Mo.), Richard Burr (N.C.), Shelley Moore Capito (W.Va.), Bill Cassidy (La.), Susan Collins (Maine), Joni Ernst (Iowa), Lindsey Graham (S.C.), Mitch McConnell (Ky.), Lisa Murkowski (Alaska), Rob Portman (Ohio), Mitt Romney (Utah), Thom Tillis (N.C.) and Todd Young (Ind.). Sen. Pat Toomey of Pennsylvania wasn’t at the vote, but issued a statement in support of the measure, bringing the tally of GOP supporters to 15.
But the National Rifle Association has come out against the bill, as has the conservative House Freedom Caucus.
What’s next: Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) has set up a cloture vote for Thursday, where the filibuster-proof support will be tested again.
Cornyn shakes off rebuke: After facing boos for working on the bipartisan gun violence prevention measure, Sen. John Cornyn (R-Texas) says that the deal is worth the political risk he faces. He stepped up to the negotiating table after a shooter killed 19 children and two teachers in his state. He feels “confident in what we’ve done,” the fourth-term senator told Burgess in an interview on Monday.
“I’m committed to getting a result here. And I understand that some people are unwilling to listen,” Cornyn said of the boos back home. “I was there to explain my position and why I believed it would not jeopardize Second Amendment rights of law-abiding citizens. And some people didn’t want to hear about it.”
More from Burgess and Olivia on Cornyn’s calculation, how his GOP and Texan colleagues are responding and how his dealmaking on guns could change his place in the Senate Republican caucus: Texas hold’em: Top Republican risks conservative cred for a gun deal
GOOD MORNING! Welcome to Huddle, the play-by-play guide to all things Capitol Hill, on this Wednesday, June 22, where there will be enough defense amendments for everyone (and then some.)
WILL BIDEN’S GAS TAX HOLIDAY HAVE THE JUICE? — President Joe Biden is calling on Congress to suspend the federal gas tax for much of the summer, but Democratic sources on Capitol Hill aren’t sure the proposal can get the support the president hopes for.
“The more likely scenario, multiple Democrats acknowledged on Tuesday evening, was for Biden to put pressure on states to enact their own gas tax holidays, as states like Maryland have already done, though with limited political gains. Privately, some Democratic lawmakers dismissed the move as ‘too little, too late,’ with gas prices expected to rise even more sharply through the summer and no long-term strategy to combat it,” write Sarah Ferris and Adam Cancryn.
Weekend rumblings: Sarah talked to multiple Dems who got phone calls from aides in the legislative affairs office over the weekend, informing them Biden was strongly considering the idea.
MARKUP MARATHON — Ready your Rip-Its, it’s time for the House Armed Services Committee’s markup of the annual National Defense Authorization Act. (One of your Huddle host’s favorite days on the Congressional calendar.) The panel meets this morning and, if tradition holds, they will not gavel out until they are ready to send the massive defense policy bill to the floor. That often takes until dawn the next morning. Among the scores of amendments HASC will consider is a proposal from Rep. Jared Golden (D-Maine) that would boost the Pentagon budget by $37 billion over President Joe Biden’s proposal, report Connor O’Brien and Lee Hudson. They note that even if the panel adopts the Golden proposal, it would still leave the House bill around $7 billion short of the Senate’s NDAA topline of $847 billion (The Senate Armed Services Committee tacked on $45 billion more last week).
NO MORE MO, BRITT TAKES ‘BAMA — Katie Britt is the Republican Senate candidate in deep red Alabama, ousting Rep. Mo Brooks, whom Trump turned against over the course of the primary race. Britt is the former chief of staff to retiring Sen. Richard Shelby. More on the race that sent MAGA-world spiraling from Natalie Allison.
HUNGER CLIFF— Child nutrition waivers put in place to help school districts feed kids in need, despite pandemic upheavals through generous reimbursement rates, were set to expire at the end of June. But on Tuesday, Senate Agriculture Chair Debbie Stabenow (D-Mich.), Republican ranking member John Boozman (R-Ark.) and House Education and Labor Chair Rep. Bobby Scott (D-Va.) and ranking member Virginia Foxx (R-Va.) struck an agreement to help schools and summer food providers keep feeding kids. Senate Republicans won’t back a year-long extension, citing costs of $11 billion. The compromise is about $3 billion that aims to help schools struggling under the weight of surging food prices, according to two people familiar with the plans, per POLITICO’s Meredith Lee. The agreement aims to keep summer feeding programs afloat and provide some financial assistance to schools this fall.
The release is here. More from Lauren Camera at U.S. News: Congress Inks Bipartisan Deal to Extend Child Nutrition Waivers
FIRST IN HUDDLE: MARKETPLACE DISCRIMINATION — Sen. Ed Markey (D-Mass.) is urging the Federal Trade Commission to use the “the full scope of its authority” to protect marginalized groups from discriminatioj in the marketplace, including Black and indigenous consumers and those from immigrant communities. The letter focuses on biased algorithms and data collection and artificial intelligence, discriminatory biometrc tools and the targeting of fraud and scams on marginalized communities. Joining Markey on the letter are Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.), Brian Schatz (D-Hawaii), Cory Booker (D-N.J.), Ron Wyden (D-Ore.), Tina Smith (D-Minn.) and Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.). Read the letter.
CODEL UPDATE — A group of Senate Intelligence Committee members traveled to Finland, Latvia and Turkey over the weekend, where they met with intelligence officials and heads of state about NATO expansion. The big issue the four senators had to confront? Turkey’s demands that Finland and Sweden check some important boxes before Ankara approves the pair’s accession to the defensive alliance. Sen. Angus King (I-Maine) — who was joined by Sens. Mark Warner (D-Va.), Richard Burr (R-N.C.), and Roy Blunt (R-Mo.) — told reporters that their goal was to nudge both countries toward resolving the issues with Turkey, which center around the PKK.
Turkey has “sincere concerns” surrounding the terror-designated PKK, King said, and wants to see both countries take a harder line. “This is not an academic or a made-up issue… It’s probably their number-one foreign and domestic concern.” But King predicted that the differences could be resolved as soon as this weekend, and said Finland and Sweden are taking Turkey’s concerns seriously. The quartet of lawmakers also met with their former colleague on Monday night, Jeff Flake, who now serves as the U.S. ambassador to Turkey.
IT’S OFFICIAL: CUELLAR CLINCHES — Rep. Henry Cuellar (D-Texas), the last House Democrat to oppose abortion rights, has survived a tough challenge from progressive attorney Jessica Cisneros after a recount. Ally Mutnick has more.
Scoops on scoops… Right after you send along a big news tip to your Huddle host, head on down to the annual Capitol Hill Ice Cream Party. A scoop for me, a scoop for you! The International Dairy Foods Association is hosting from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. at Union Square Park (which is by the Grant memorial, the reflecting pool, the Peace Circle etc.)
Open house… Sen. Susan Collins (R-Maine) is selling her 1909-built colonial-style home in Bangor with hopes to downsize to a one-story place with more yard for her dogs. Here’s the Bangor Daily News story and the Zillow listing (spoiler alert, the 4 bed, 3 bath beauty is going for what some 1 bed condos are listed for in D.C.)
Senators unroll bipartisan plan to curb insulin prices, from Rachel Roubein and Tony Romm at The Washington Post
‘The system held, but barely’: Jan. 6 hearings highlight a handful of close calls, from Kyle and Nicholas
Colbert team members arrested at Capitol given court date, from The Washington Examiner
Scott Matus is joining Lucid as a policy manager. He was previously a senior policy advisor for Rep. Yvette Clarke (D-N.Y.)
Caroline Fenyo is starting tomorrow as the new digital press secretary in Rep. Jake Auchincloss’ (D-Mass.) office and as the digital director on his campaign. She was previously at political communications firm GMMB working on paid and earned digital strategy and back in 2020 was the student digital and engagement lead on Pete for America.
Thomas Mancinelli is now principal deputy assistant secretary of Defense for legislative affairs. He most recently was national security adviser for Sen. Chris Coons (D-Del.) and previously served in the State Department during the Obama administration.
Dylan Opalich Peachey is now communications director for the House Ways and Means Committee. She joined the committee staff in 2020 and previously worked for Sen. Cory Booker (D-N.J.)
TODAY IN CONGRESS
The House convenes at noon for legislative business.
The Senate convenes at 11 a.m.
AROUND THE HILL
10 a.m. House Appropriations Committee markup of the chamber’s draft fiscal 2023 Defense and Legislative Branch appropriations bills (Longworth 1100).
10 a.m. House Armed Services Committee markup of the fiscal 2023 National Defense Authorization Act (Rayburn 2118).
10:15 a.m. House Democratic Caucus Chair Hakeem Jeffries (D-N.Y.) and Vice Chair Pete Aguilar (D-Calif.) hold their weekly news conference (Studio A).
11 a.m. House Oversight Committee hearing on the National Football League’s handling of workplace misconduct at the Washington Commanders. NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell testifies (Rayburn 2154).
11:30 a.m. The Congressional Hispanic Caucus (CHC) holds a press conference with Dolores Huerta, President of the Dolores Huerta Foundation and United Farm Workers Cofounder and Sen. Alex Padilla (D-Calif.) (House Triangle).
4:15 p.m. Senate Appropriations Legislative Branch Subcommittee hearing on the fiscal 2023 budget for the Library of Congress and Government Accountability Office (Dirksen 138).
TUESDAY’S WINNER:Michael Ramos correctly answered that Jeb Bush provided the quarter taped inside New Horizons as a counterweight when it was launched in 2005. He was the governor of Florida at the time.
TODAY’S QUESTION from Mochael: Who was the only U.S. President to learn English as a second language?
The first person to correctly guess gets a mention in the next edition of Huddle. Send your answers to [email protected]
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