The Hill’s Morning Report — What’s next for Jan. 6 committee - The Hill

Washington remains scorching hot, but the city took a mini breather over the weekend as questions surround the Jan. 6 committee's plans including possibly issuing a subpoena to Ginni Thomas and interviewing former Cabinet secretaries as part of the probe.

The select committee, days after capping off its summer hearings, is laying the groundwork for its fall season as it plans for a new set starting in September. Rep. Liz Cheney (R-Wyo.), the panel's vice chairwoman, said on Sunday that a subpoena directed at Thomas, a conservative activist and the wife of Justice Clarence Thomas, is not out of the question.

"We certainly hope that she will agree to come in voluntarily,"Cheney said of Ginni Thomas, whom investigators sent a letter to in mid-June seeking an interview. "But the committee is fully prepared to contemplate a subpoena if she does not. … It’s very important for us to speak with her."

Thomas is known to have had communication with individuals in former President Trump's universe ahead of Jan. 6 and on the day of the Capitol attack.

▪ The Wall Street Journal: Jan. 6 committee plans to pursue new witnesses, angles for probe, lawmakers say. 

▪ The Hill: The House Jan. 6 panel shows few signs of slowing down despite midterm risks. 

▪ The New York Times: In Jan. 6 hearings, gender divide has been strong undercurrent.

In addition, the panel is seeking interviews with former Cabinet members who were in place on Jan. 6, including some who resigned due to Trump's actions (or lack thereof) that day. Former Education Secretary Betsy DeVos and former Transportation Secretary Elaine Chaoboth stepped down due to the events, with DeVos having said publicly that she brought up possibly invoking the 25th Amendment with former Vice President Mike Pence. 

Other possible interview targets are former Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and former Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin as both former top Trump allies also reportedly discussed invoking the 25th Amendment (The Associated Press).

"The floodgates have opened,"Rep. Elaine Luria (D-Va.), a member of the panel, told "Meet The Press."  

On top of former Cabinet members, Cheney added that investigators are hopeful to talk with other members of Trump's campaign and the Secret Service. 

▪ Brett Samuels and Morgan Chalfant, The Hill: President Biden keeps his distance from Jan. 6 panel. 

▪ The Hill: Luria says Attorney General Merrick Garland "doesn't need to wait" to act on a criminal investigation of Trump over Jan. 6.

▪ Josh Kraushaar, Axios: Trump’s summer slump. 

▪ The Hill: Rep. Adam Kinzinger (R-Ill.) on Stephen Bannon conviction: "You'll pay the price" for ignoring congressional subpoena.

The final days of July are also shining a spotlight on the Democratic effort to pass a budget reconciliation bill — anyreconciliation bill — that will likely focus on lowering prescription drug prices and tacking on a two-year extension of Affordable Care Act subsidies. 

However, as The Hill's Alexander Bolton writes, Democrats are also hopeful to add other smaller priorities to the bill. For example, Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee Chairwoman Patty Murray(D-Wash.) is pushing for at least $10 billion to fund COVID-19 vaccines and therapies, while other members are seeking monies to deal with international COVID-19 vaccination efforts, affordable housing and elder care.

Senate Majority Leader Charles Schumer(D-N.Y.) is hoping to pass the bill by early August in order to kneecap increasing health care premiums, which is slated to begin shortly after.

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▪ The Hill: Permanent daylight saving time hits a brick wall in the House.



With some suspense, financial market analysts and economists await Wednesday's Federal Reserve rate hike. The consensus bet is that the Fed's Board of Governors will raise the benchmark rate another three-quarters of a percentage point to continue tamping down inflation. It would be the fourth rate hike in five months and mirror the Fed's action in June.

Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen, interviewed on NBC's "Meet the Press" on Sunday, said the U.S. economy shows no signs of being in recession. "A recession is a broad-based contraction that affects many sectors of the economy. We just don't have that,"she added, while acknowledging painfully high prices for many goods and services. She expressed confidence in the Fed and said U.S. fiscal policies are focused on reducing energy, food and health care costs, as well as the long-term deficit. 

▪ The Washington Post: Five economic forces behind the Fed's next rate hike decision.

▪ Bloomberg News: The Fed's downshift may come after July.

▪ The Washington Post: Big Tech is bracing for a possible recession, spooking other industries. 

🏠 Rising interest rates and economic headwinds are making it harder for the United States to fix a severe shortage in affordable housing. Home sales and new construction have fallen as the Federal Reserve hikes interest rates. The Fed's actions are intended to curb inflation but could also prolong the country's critical shortfall of housing stock that most Americans can afford to rent or buy (The Hill and The Associated Press). … The housing shortage isn't just a coastal crisis anymore (check out the map) (The New York Times).  

As costs rise for average consumers, cheaper beer, discount cigarettes and private label store brands for food items gain favor (The Wall Street Journal).

© Associated Press / Jeannie Nuss | Arkansas convenience store, 2011.

Biden over the weekend was "doing just fine" as he recovers from his Thursday diagnosis of COVID-19, which over the weekend presented mild symptoms including an upper respiratory infection (but without any serious breathing complications), according to White House coronavirus coordinator Ashish Jha,who appeared on CBS's "Face the Nation" (The Hill). … The White House on Saturday released a letter from Biden's physician saying the president likely contracted the highly infectious BA.5 cousin of omicron, a variant of COVID-19.  … The White House canceled planned presidential trips to Pennsylvania and Florida, two key battlegrounds, while awaiting Biden's full recovery (The Hill). 

Vice President Harris has a staffing problem that involves a lack of in-house institutional knowledge about her track record — a career-long issue for her, reports The Hill's Amie Parnes. "Just like every politician, she wants to tout her accomplishments, but the operation has a short-term memory again," one former Harris aide said. 

During Biden's recent trip to the Middle East, he vowed to expand cyber cooperation with Israel and Saudi Arabia, a move experts see as a direct response to the rising digital threat from Iran. The U.S. and Saudi Arabia signed bilateral agreements to strengthen their cybersecurity partnership and share information related to cyber threats and malicious actors, while Israel and the U.S. pledged to ramp up collaboration to combat cybercrime (The Hill). 



In the Senate, Republicans would much prefer to focus on a midterm narrative about high prices and administration foibles than get pulled into a debate about gay marriage. As The Hill's Alexander Bolton reports, Justice Thomas's recent Supreme Court opinion and a swift move by House Democrats to protect same-sex and interracial marriage could give some GOP lawmakers political heartburn. A bill last week to repeal the 1996 Defense of Marriage Act and require states to recognize same-sex marriages passed the House with support from 47 GOP lawmakers, signaling bipartisan momentum that could sway senators.

"The country has changed on it and unlike abortion there's no ongoing political movement at the grassroots in opposition to same-sex marriage as there was for 50 years in opposition to abortion on-demand," former Rep. Vin Weber (R-Minn.), a GOP strategist, told The Hill.

Politico: Sen. Tammy Baldwin (D-Wis.), a Midwestern pioneer, lobbies Republicans on same-sex marriage.

© Associated Press / Andres Kudacki | Marchers carry a rainbow flag at a pride parade, 2018.

Republicans are eager to investigate Anthony Fauci and the Biden administration’s response to the pandemic if they control either chamber next year. “One way or another, if we are in the majority, we will subpoena his records and he will testify in the Senate under oath,” said Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.), who has clashed with Fauci numerous times since 2021. Paul is in line to become the chairman of the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee if Republicans win the majority, and Fauci, 81, has announced plans to retire near the end of Biden's term after a long career as director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases at the National Institutes of Health. The White House and Democrats on Capitol Hill are ready to don some armor ahead of GOP oversight investigations next year, should their party lose control of one or both chambers (The Hill).

Liberals complain that centrists who work with Republicans in Washington make it more difficult to mount an effective, unified assault against the GOP ahead of the midterm contests in November — and they point to Biden."

Establishment Democrats are Republicans' best friends. If they would just get out of the way, progressives would love to kick Republican ass,"said Cenk Uygur, host of the left-wing program, "The Young Turks." "There's no way that Joe Biden, who has been in love with Republicans his whole life, is ever going to aggressively fight back against them," Uygur said. "He would rather hug a Republican than fight one" (The Hill). 

Niall Stanage, The Memo: A pair of recent controversies involving Democrats and the Latino community renewed questions about the party's political outreach when it comes to a culturally diverse and politically important segment of the electorate. First lady Jill Biden made an ill-advised remark likening Hispanic people to "tacos" during a speech in San Antonio — a misstep for which she later apologized. Last week, Rep. Vicente Gonzalez (D-Texas) became embroiled in a controversy when a blogger he hired repeatedly attacked Rep. Mayra Flores (R-Texas) in racist terms. The blogger referred to Flores, the first Mexican-born congresswoman, as "Miss Frijoles."

The Hill: The Atlanta-area district attorney who is conducting a criminal investigation into Trump's efforts to overturn his 2020 electoral defeat in Georgia poses a significant political threat to the former president.

The Hill: Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan (R) blames "collusion" between Trump and Democrats for conservative Dan Cox'sGOPprimary victory this month over Hogan's preferred candidate. The popular and term-limited governor on Sunday called Cox a "QAnon whack job."

The New York Times: The race this year for Texas governor could be the tightest since the 1990s and one of the most expensive. Republican Gov. Greg Abbott is being challenged by former Rep. Beto O'Rourke (D). 

The Hill: Democrats helped these GOP candidates during recent primaries.

Trump is scheduled to appear on Tuesday to address a conference of the America First Policy Institute in Washington, joining a think tank that's doing some transition planning for a potential second Trump presidency as well as publicizing its own 10-point policy agenda for conservative midterm candidates, beginning with "the greatest economy in the world," and ending with "draining the swamp" to combat "government corruption."

📝 Introducing NotedDC, The Hill's curated commentary on the beat of the Beltway. Click here to subscribe to our latest newsletter. 


■ Build back a better Joe Manchin, by Matthew Yglesias, columnist, Bloomberg Opinion. 

■ Why Trump is weakening,by Ross Douthat, columnist, The New York Times. 


The Housewill meet at noon on Tuesday.

The Senate convenes at 3 p.m. to resume consideration of the CHIPS-Plus Act.

The president will virtually receive the President's Daily Brief at 9:30 a.m. He will deliver virtual remarks to the National Organization of Black Law Enforcement Executives conference at 12:30 p.m. He is working in isolation at the White House after testing positive on Thursday for COVID-19.

The vice presidentwill travel to Indianapolis, where she will address state legislators about reproductive rights at 11:30 a.m.

The White House daily briefingis scheduled at 3:10 p.m. Jha will join White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre at the podium. 

🖥  Hill.TV's "Rising" program features news and interviews at, on YouTube and on Facebook at 10:30 a.m. ET. Also, check out the "Rising" podcast here.



In Ukraine, a House delegation led by Rep. Adam Smith (D-Wash.) visited Kyiv on Saturday. Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky told the group: "We appreciate the help of the United States in defending our territory," and he stressed the importance of U.S. security assistance to Ukraine. They also discussed plans for postwar reconstruction (The Washington Post). … A grain deal reached last week between Ukraine and Russia to allow exports through Ukrainian ports to move through the Black Sea appeared vulnerable following the firing of four Russian Kalibr missiles at the port of Odessa on Saturday (The Associated Press). Ukraine is working today on resuming its exports (Reuters). …Ukraine is struggling to identify Russians suspected of war crimes (The Wall Street Journal). … An estimated majority of Ukrainians who evacuated from the Donetsk region are returning to risk the hazards of war and death because they can't find jobs elsewhere and "the money is gone" (The A ssociated Press).

In Myanmar, the ruling military junta said Monday it executed four democracy activists accused of helping to carry out "terror acts," sparking widespread condemnation of the Southeast Asian nation. The killings were the first executions in decades and many more similarly accused democracy activists remain on death row (Reuters).

Congo this month plans to auction environmentally vulnerable land, including rainforests and peatlands, to oil companies for drilling, arguing that its aim is to reduce the country's poverty, "not to save the planet" (The New York Times). Global petroleum prices are up, and the country's leaders have taken notice. Eight months ago, President Félix Tshisekediendorsed along with other world leaders at a climate summit in Glasgow a 10-year agreement to protect its rainforest, part of the vast Congo Basin, which is second in size only to the Amazon.


Congressional leaders are pushing the Biden administration to outline a comprehensive federal plan to respond to monkeypox in the U.S. as confirmed cases rise, vaccine doses are in short supply and treatments are not always easily accessible (The Hill). … The White House said this weekend that the World Health Organization's declaration on Saturday that monkeypox is an international public health emergency amounts to a "call to action" to stop the spread of the disease, which has been confirmed in at least 16 countries as of late June (The Hill). … The Department of Health and Human Services is considering whether to declare monkeypox a public health emergency if current management tactics don't get the virus under control, Jha said on Sunday (The Hill). U.S. health officials have reported more than 2,800 cases of monkeypox in this country as of Friday, including eight women and two children (The Associated Press). … Anyone can contract monkeypox, but the majority of cases have been reported among men who have sex with men. The virus can also spread through contact with infected bedding, towels and clothing.

© Associated Press / Alex Brandon | Department of Health and Human Services, 2009.

▪ CNN: This week, Los Angeles County officials said they might reimpose an indoor mask mandate because of rising COVID-19 infections but would pause those plans if case numbers drop. 

▪ The Hill interviewed Benjamin Miller, president of Well Being Trust, about the U.S. mental health system and Americans' growing anxieties about everything from rising prices to predictions of recession.

Total U.S. coronavirus deaths reported as of this morning, according to Johns Hopkins University (trackers all vary slightly): 1,026,951. Current average U.S. COVID-19 daily deaths are 355, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

As of today, 77.8 percent of the U.S. population has received at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine and 66.4 percent is "fully vaccinated," according to the Bloomberg News global vaccine tracker and the government's definition. The percentage of Americans who have received third or booster doses is 31.8 percent.


© Associated Press / Nam Y. Huh | Mega Millions lottery ticket at a convenience store on Thursday.

And finally …Are you feeling lucky? Tuesday brings the next drawing in the Mega Millions lottery with a grand prize worth up to $790 million — the nation's fourth largest jackpot. For months, there has been no winner who had all six numbers. Mega Millions is played in 45 states as well as Washington, D.C., and the U.S. Virgin Islands. The game is overseen by state lottery officials (The Associated Press).

💰The highlighted pre-tax $790 million prize is the annuity option, paid out in 30 annual payments. Most winning players choose the cash option, which would be $464.4 million.

Cheney blasts Sen. Tom Cotton for criticizing Jan. 6 hearings Senate vote on semiconductor bill delayed due to weather

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