DACA IS UP AT THE SUPREME COURT TODAY … SCOTUS is hearing arguments in a group of cases this morning that could decide the fate of the Obama-era program, which was put in place in 2012 over the objection of Republicans, who have called it an illegal use of executive power. Supporters of the policy — formally known as Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals — say it merely codified the president’s existing power to set enforcement priorities. Either way, the fate of some 700,000 young people hangs in the balance, depending on how the court rules. We’ll get some clues today.
PRESIDENT DONALD TRUMP has said that he would take action of some sort if the Supreme Court confirms that DACA is an improper use of power.
HOUSTON CHRONICLE: “Trump’s decision to end DACA faces Supreme Court scrutiny,” by Lomi Kriel: “Diana Platas feels like everything in her life is at stake, riding on a politically charged debate about to play out more than 1,200 miles away.
“The 22-year-old is studying to get into law school and dreams of becoming an immigration attorney. But she doesn’t know whether a year from now she’ll be able to work or face deportation to Mexico, a country she hasn’t lived in since her parents brought her here illegally when she was 2. …
“The case, one of the most important of the justices’ term, will help define the scope of presidential powers over immigration. It also is seen as a test of Chief Justice John Roberts, who has lamented the politicization of the court and appeared reluctant to take on the DACA case, waiting until the last moment to do so.
“A majority of justices have consistently agreed that Trump has expansive latitude on immigration, green-lighting his travel ban preventing citizens of several Muslim-majority countries from entering the United States and declining to halt a policy ending asylum at the southern border.
“But in a 5-4 majority opinion, Roberts recently blocked the administration from adding a citizenship question to the 2020 census — seen by some as an attempt to suppress the participation of immigrant-heavy communities — by arguing that it had done so improperly, which is also at issue in the government’s termination of DACA.
“Whatever the justices decide will have tremendous impact on the lives of more than 700,000 young people known as ‘Dreamers’ who are enrolled in the program, including about 109,000 in Texas. To qualify, they had to fulfill several requirements, such as proving they came here before they turned 16, graduated from high school or had served in the military, and had committed no serious crimes. The renewable two-year status does not provide a path to citizenship.” Houston Chronicle
— SWAMP WATCH: It’s worth noting the case has produced some interesting bedfellows. Veteran GOP lawyer TED OLSEN is arguing this case on behalf of the DACA plaintiffs. And big business groups like the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, the National Association of Manufacturers and others have signed an amicus brief supporting DACA. NPR explainer
IMMIGRATION POLICY TODAY … AP/COMAYAGUA, HONDURAS: “U.S. held record number of migrant kids in custody in 2019”: “The 3-year-old girl traveled for weeks cradled in her father’s arms, as he set out to seek asylum in the United States. Now she won’t even look at him. After being forcibly separated at the border by government officials, sexually abused in U.S. foster care and deported, the once bright and beaming girl arrived back in Honduras withdrawn, anxious and angry, convinced her father abandoned her. …
“This month new government data shows the little girl is one of an unprecedented 69,550 migrant children held in U.S. government custody over the past year, enough infants, toddlers, kids and teens to overflow the typical NFL stadium. That’s more kids detained away from their parents than any other country, according to United Nations researchers. And it’s happening even though the U.S. government has acknowledged that being held in detention can be traumatic for children, putting them at risk of long-term physical and emotional damage.
“Some of these migrant children who were in government custody this year have already been deported. Some have reunited with family in the U.S., where they’re trying to go to school and piece back together their lives. About 4,000 are still in government custody, some in large, impersonal shelters. And more arrive every week.” AP
THE PRESIDENT is giving a speech at the Economic Club of New York today, and here’s what to expect, from Morning Money’s Ben White: “[T]he most interesting section will be on China. Investors around the world will be looking for signals about whether a ‘Phase One’ deal where tariffs on both sides are reduced and the further levies on consumer goods imported from China expected to go into effect in December disappear, at least for now. MM is told by a source familiar with Trump’s remarks that there will [be] a ‘constructive statement on China.’”
THE MORNING BEFORE … THE FIRST PUBLIC IMPEACHMENT HEARING is 10 a.m. Wednesday in 1100 Longworth, the high-ceilinged, historic Ways and Means Committee hearing room. GEORGE KENT, the deputy secretary of State for European and Eurasian affairs, and BILL TAYLOR, the charge d’affaires in Kyiv, are scheduled to testify.
— ANDREW DESIDERO and KYLE CHENEY: “The insider’s guide to the impeachment hearings”
— NEW … 18-PAGE MEMO FROM HOUSE REPUBLICAN AIDES involved in impeachment to lawmakers on how they see the impeachment evidence. The memo
— MULVANEY BACKS OFF … “Mick Mulvaney withdraws attempt to join suit over impeachment testimony,” by Josh Gerstein, Darren Samuelsohn and Kyle Cheney: “Mick Mulvaney, the acting White House chief of staff, on Monday backed away from an attempt to join a pending lawsuit concerning testimony in the impeachment inquiry against President Donald Trump.
“Mulvaney’s attorneys withdrew from the suit, involving a former senior national security official, that seeks to clarify whether the House can force testimony from presidential advisers. The move came after an objection from the official, Charles Kupperman, who stepped down last month as Trump’s deputy national security adviser, in which he said through his lawyers that it was inappropriate for Mulvaney to join the pending case.” POLITICO
QUITE THE STORY … DAN DIAMOND and ADAM CANCRYN: “Federal health contract funneled hundreds of thousands of dollars to Trump allies”: “At least eight former White House, presidential transition and campaign officials for President Donald Trump were hired as outside contractors to the federal health department at the cost of hundreds of thousands of dollars per year, according to documents newly obtained by POLITICO.
“They were among at least 40 consultants who worked on a one-year, $2.25 million contract directed by Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services Administrator Seema Verma. The contractors were hired to burnish Verma’s personal brand and provide ‘strategic communications’ support. They charged up to $380 per hour for work traditionally handled by dozens of career civil servants in CMS’s communications department.
“The arrangement allowed the Trump allies to cycle through the federal government’s opaque contracting system, charging hefty fees with little public oversight or accountability.
“Over a four-and-a-half month stretch from September 2018 to January, the contractors collectively billed at least $744,000. The Department of Health and Human Services halted the contract in April in the face of widespread criticism after POLITICO reported on Verma’s extensive use of communications consultants.” POLITICO
Good Tuesday morning.
QUOTE OF THE DAY, via Liz Crampton’s story on House Ag Chairman Collin Peterson (D-Minn.): “This year, Peterson sold his D.C. condo for $460,000, which the NRCC said is a sign he will retire at the end of his current term.
“Peterson dismissed the sale as any sign, saying he parted with his condo to have additional equity to expand his farm in Minnesota. He also said he grew tired of the growth explosion in ‘The Wharf’ in Southwest Washington. ‘It’s too many people,’ he said. ‘That’s the main reason I got out of there. You can’t drive, you can’t park, you can’t go to the grocery store. There’s lines. It’s all these millennials.’ He now rents a furnished apartment in a quiet location a few blocks from the Capitol.” POLITICO
NEW … GETTING THE TEAM BACK TOGETHER … MEREDITH KELLY, who ran comms at the DCCC last cycle, is joining Sena Kozar Strategies as a partner. Sena Kozar is run by Dan Sena, the former ED at the DCCC with whom Kelly worked closely. Most recently, Kelly was comms director for Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand’s (D-N.Y.) presidential campaign, and she’s also a Chuck Schumer alum. The full release
PAGING ANY NUMBER OF CONGRESSIONAL COMMITTEES … “Google’s ‘Project Nightingale’ Gathers Personal Health Data on Millions of Americans,” by WSJ’s Rob Copeland: “Google is engaged with one of the U.S.’s largest health-care systems on a project to collect and crunch the detailed personal-health information of millions of people across 21 states.
“The initiative, code-named ‘Project Nightingale,’ appears to be the biggest effort yet by a Silicon Valley giant to gain a toehold in the health-care industry through the handling of patients’ medical data. Amazon.com, Apple and Microsoft are also aggressively pushing into health care, though they haven’t yet struck deals of this scope.
“Google began Project Nightingale in secret last year with St. Louis-based Ascension, a Catholic chain of 2,600 hospitals, doctors’ offices and other facilities, with the data sharing accelerating since summer, according to internal documents.
“The data involved in the initiative encompasses lab results, doctor diagnoses and hospitalization records, among other categories, and amounts to a complete health history, including patient names and dates of birth.” WSJ
THE TRUMP ADMINISTRATION — “Trump weighs conditioning foreign aid on religious freedom,” by Nahal Toosi and Gabby Orr: “Aides to President Donald Trump are drafting plans to condition U.S. aid to other countries on how well they treat their religious minorities, two White House officials said.
“The proposal is expected to cover U.S. humanitarian assistance, and could also be broadened to include American military aid to other countries. If the proposal becomes reality, it could have a major effect on U.S. assistance in a range of places, from Iraq to Vietnam. Its mere consideration shows how much the White House prioritizes religious freedom, an emphasis critics say is really about galvanizing Trump’s evangelical Christian base.
“But experts on U.S. aid also warn that picking and choosing which countries to punish could be a very difficult task, not least because several countries that are partners or allies of the United States have terrible religious freedom records.” POLITICO
— BEN WHITE and DOUG PALMER: “Trump expected to delay auto tariff decision for 6 more months”: “President Donald Trump is expected to announce this week that he is putting off a decision on whether to impose tariffs on European Union autos for another six months, a person familiar with the decision said.
“That would avoid a new bruising dispute with one of the United States’ biggest trading partners, just as Trump is trying to put out another trade fire by striking an initial deal with China. But it would also set the stage for Trump to revisit the controversial trade issue in the throes of next year’s presidential campaign.” POLITICO
2020 WATCH … NYT’S JONATHAN MARTIN: “Deval Patrick, Ex-Governor of Massachusetts, Is Considering 2020 Presidential Race”: “Former Gov. Deval Patrick of Massachusetts has told Joseph R. Biden Jr. and other Democratic officials that he is considering making a last-minute entry into the 2020 presidential race, according to three Democrats familiar with the conversations, the latest evidence of how unsettled the party’s primary is less than three months before the Iowa caucuses.
“Mr. Patrick, a respected two-term governor and one of the highest-profile black leaders in the party, has told some of the Democratic officials that he doesn’t think any of the candidates have established political momentum and that he thinks there is an opening for somebody who can unite both liberal and moderate voters, according to Democrats who have spoken to him.
“He and some of his top advisers had a meeting Sunday in Boston to discuss what a campaign would look like, according to two Democrats. And on Monday, Mr. Patrick personally began reaching out to potential staffers, telling them he was strongly considering a bid and asking if they’d consider working for his campaign.” NYT
WAPO: “Maya Rockeymoore Cummings to seek her husband’s seat in Congress,” by Ovetta Wiggins and Erin Cox: “Maya Rockeymoore Cummings resigned as chair of the Maryland Democratic Party on Monday night and announced she would seek the congressional seat vacated by the death of her husband, Rep. Elijah E. Cummings (D-Md.).
“The longtime policy consultant has scheduled a formal announcement at her Baltimore home Tuesday morning. ‘I believe very strongly that I have the background, the focus, the commitment and the ability to take the reins and make a good run for this seat,’ she told Rachel Maddow on MSNBC. She said her husband ‘wanted me to continue this fight.’” WaPo
THE PRESIDENT’S TUESDAY … THE PRESIDENT will leave Trump Tower at 11:40 a.m. for the New York Hilton Midtown. At noon, the president will speak at the Economic Club of New York. At 1:15 p.m., he’ll leave for the InterContinental New York Barclay for a roundtable and fundraiser.
AT 3:20 P.M., he’ll leave for Washington. He’ll land at the White House at 5:25 p.m.
ACROSS THE POND — “U.K. government delay of Russia report is shaming, says Clinton,” by The Guardian’s Charlotte Higgins: “Hillary Clinton has called Downing Street’s suppression of a report into potential Russian infiltration of British politics ‘damaging, inexplicable and shaming.’
“The 2016 US presidential candidate told the Guardian it was ‘incredibly surprising and unacceptable that in your country there is a government report sitting there about Russian influence and your current government isn’t releasing it.’
“The potentially incendiary report by the intelligence and security committee has already been approved by the intelligence agencies. Downing Street was sent a final draft on 17 October and had been expected to sign off the report by the end of last month.
“However, No 10 indicated that the parliamentary report would not be made public before the election, citing a sign-off process that it said could take six weeks.” Guardian
FOR THOSE WHO CARE: Former White House press secretary Sean Spicer was booted from “Dancing with the Stars” on Monday night.
— CNN’s @brianstelter: “After Spicer was voted off ‘Dancing,’ @realDonaldTrump deleted his 8:33pm tweet urging people to ‘vote for Sean.’ Trump had written, ‘He is a great and very loyal guy who is working very hard.’ Now he’s posted a new message: ‘A great try by @seanspicer. We are all proud of you!’”
MEDIAWATCH — “I Was Fired From Deadspin for Refusing to ‘Stick to Sports,’” by Barry Petchesky, former deputy editor of Deadspin, in the NYT: “Two weeks ago, I was fired as acting editor in chief of Deadspin, where I’d worked since 2009. The entire staff resigned, following me out the door after we had refused a new company mandate to ‘stick to sports.’ Jim Spanfeller, installed as chief executive of G/O Media by the private equity firm that bought the company seven months ago, called me into his office, pointed to some offending stories on our home page and had me escorted from the building.
“This is the first time that I’m speaking up about my firing, and my stance remains the same as in the countless meetings with management where I explained and insisted that sports don’t end when the players head back to the locker room.” NYT
— ANOTHER PODCAST??? — “Giuliani considers launching an impeachment podcast amid public hearings,” by CNN’s Michael Warren and Pamela Brown: “Rudy Giuliani is considering re-entering the impeachment fray by launching a podcast to provide impeachment analysis of the public hearings in the House of Representatives scheduled for later this week.
“Giuliani was overheard discussing the plans with an unidentified woman while at a crowded New York City restaurant, Sant Ambroeus, over lunch on Saturday. The conversation, which lasted more than an hour, touched on details including dates for recording and releasing the podcast, settling on a logo, and the process of uploading the podcast to iTunes and other podcast distributors.
“Two people who overheard Giuliani’s discussion reached out to CNN and provided a recording they decided to make of the conversation.” CNN
— FT ANNOUNCEMENT: “The Financial Times today announces the appointment of Roula Khalaf as editor. She succeeds Lionel Barber, who has held the position since 2005 and will step down at the beginning of 2020.” FT
Send tips to Eli Okun and Garrett Ross at email@example.com.
NEW: American University’s Sine Institute for Policy & Politics is announcing its next class of fellows. They include: Alfonso Jackson, former HUD secretary under President George W. Bush; Cody Kennan, former chief speechwriter for President Barack Obama; Susan Molinari, strategist and former VP at Google; John Tass Parker, head of public policy and government at Instagram; Katherine Miller, VP of impact at the James Beard Foundation; and Janet Rodriguez, White House Correspondent for Univision.
— DINA POWELL, a member of Goldman Sachs’ management committee, and Australian Ambassador JOSEPH HOCKEY are also joining as distinguished lecturers at the institute.
FIRST IN PLAYBOOK — Heather Nauert is joining the Hudson Institute as a senior fellow focusing on U.S. foreign policy. She previously was State Department spokeswoman and is a member of the President’s Commission on White House Fellowships.
— WHITE HOUSE DEPARTURE LOUNGE: Drew Teitelbaum has left the White House, where he most recently was policy manager in the border and transportation security directorate at the NSC, to work on domestic finance issues at Treasury. He is also a Trump campaign alum.
— Ria Tabacco Mar will be director of the ACLU’s Women’s Rights Project. She previously was a senior staff attorney for the ACLU’s LGBT & HIV Project.
TRANSITIONS — Rotimi Adeoye is now press secretary for Rep. Dan Kildee (D-Mich.). He previously was a staff assistant for Sen. Bob Casey (D-Pa.). … CR Wooters and Adam Weiss are launching FIO365, a public affairs firm. … Hun Quach is now senior director of government relations at Under Armour. He previously was VP of international trade at the Retail Industry Leaders Association.
ENGAGED — Alex Angelson, who is now a principal at Michael Best Strategies after nearly three years in the Trump White House legislative affairs office, and Rebecca Card, deputy COS for Rep. Bob Latta (R-Ohio), got engaged at Card’s family home on Tripp Lake in Maine this weekend. They met while working at the Energy and Commerce Committee and have been dating for over three years. Pic
WEEKEND WEDDING — Madison Smith, who works on federal affairs at Amazon Web Services, and Ryann DuRant, press secretary at USDA, got married in Charleston, S.C. … SPOTTED: Rep. Will Hurd (R-Texas), Stoney Burke, Matt Haskins, Lauren Valainis, Jared Sawyer, Leigh Claffey, Lucas West, Kirsten Hartman, Mary Dee Beal, Casey Fitzpatrick, and Madison and John Porter.
BIRTHDAY OF THE DAY: Steve Guest, RNC rapid response director. How he got his start in politics: “I got my start on the press side of politics. While I was in college, I worked for Hugh Hewitt on his radio show. After college, I moved to D.C. and worked as a reporter for The Daily Caller. During the 2016 cycle, a position opened up at the RNC, so I jumped at the opportunity to work to help elect Donald Trump and Republicans up and down the ballot.” Playbook Q&A
BIRTHDAYS: Dr. Elena Allbritton … Sen. Jack Reed (D-R.I.) is 7-0 … Jeff Zients is 53 … former Transportation Secretary Norm Mineta is 88 … PBS NewsHour’s Stephanie Kotuby and Rhana Natour … Facebook’s Katie Harbath … Rex Elsass … Katie Stuntz … Ryan Coyne, founder and CEO of Olympic Media … POLITICO’s Bennett Richardson and Debra Kahn … Jenn Ridder, Steve Bullock’s campaign manager (h/t James Owens) … The Appeal’s Kira Lerner … Dave Weinberg … Kevin Gundersen is 38 … Michelle Perry … Amber Cottle … Harlan Hill … Iranian President Hassan Rouhani is 71 … Jeremy Skule, EVP and chief marketing officer at Nasdaq … Ian Bremmer, president and founder of the Eurasia Group, is 5-0 … Skift’s Nancy Trejos … Mark SooHoo of Ventec Life Systems … Maria Cardona, principal at Dewey Square Group …
… British Robinson, president and CEO of the Barbara Bush Foundation for Family Literacy (h/t Elly Spinweber Burke) … Ross Baird, president of Village Capital and co-founder of Blueprint Local … Libby Schaaf is 54 … Alex Brown … Leo DiBenigno … Luca Spinelli … Jessica Kahanek … Scott Beauchamp … Josh Britton is 35 … Patrick Hillmann … Morley Winograd … The Washington Free Beacon’s Alex Griswold is 3-0 … Olivia Lange is 3-0 … Pete DeAnna … Eddie Mair is 54 … Erica Sackin, senior director of communications at Planned Parenthood … Carol Gluck … Naomi Wolf is 57 … Jake Orta … Crozer Connor … Frank Mazza … former Rep. Diane Watson (D-Calif.) is 86 … Sheila O’Connell … Mica Strother (h/ts Teresa Vilmain) … Laura Mandy Mszar … David Lawrence … Tyler Boozer (h/t godfather Yebbie Watkins)
Article originally published on POLITICO Magazine