The Hill’s Morning Report — McCarthy lays down marker in debt-limit showdown

Editor’s note: The Hill’s Morning Report is our daily newsletter that dives deep into Washington’s agenda. To subscribe, click here or fill out the box below.

McCarthy lays down marker in debt-limit showdown

Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.), with no GOP budget in hand, traveled to New York City on Monday to deliver a message to President Biden: Agree with conservatives to cut federal spending and debt, or the economic consequences of a continued impasse will be on him.

Speaking at the New York Stock Exchange, the Speaker said he has a general plan to resolve a looming debt ceiling crisis but is still working to unite his conference. He blamed the president for inaction, repeating a willingness to negotiate, although he and his party rejected increasing the nation’s $31 trillion debt ceiling without legislative conditions and want any new debt limit to expire in the middle of the 2024 presidential election year.

Faced with a four-vote House margin, it’s unclear that McCarthy has enough votes among fellow Republicans to advance his overall proposal, which is opposed by Democrats and unlikely to clear the Senate. Republicans in the upper chamber worry that brinkmanship over U.S. obligations and even the whiff of default would hurt the economy, rattle investors and could cost the GOP seats next year (The Washington Post).

McCarthy, who last met with Biden in February, insists that conservative fiscal principles will carry the day.

“Debt limit negotiations are an opportunity to examine our nation’s finances,” McCarthy said, later adding: “Defaulting on our debt is not an option, but neither is a future of higher taxes, higher interest rates, more dependency on China and an economy that doesn’t work for working Americans.”

Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) panned the Speaker’s proposal to extend the nation’s debt ceiling until May 2024 as a “terrible idea,” making it clear Democrats do not want to debate the issue anew before the next election (The Hill).

The Hill: McCarthy slammed Biden on Monday adding, “In the coming weeks, the House will vote on a bill to lift the debt ceiling into the next year.”

The Hill: Biden-McCarthy escalate tit-for-tat over a debt ceiling deal.

The Washington Post: Meet “the five families” that wield power in McCarthy’s House majority.

The Senate this week will take up a Democratic resolution to temporarily replace Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.), 89, on the Judiciary Committee, Schumer said Monday (The Hill). Feinstein, who has been in poor health since February, last week stepped down from the panel under fire from some House Democrats who said her absence delayed the process of confirming key Biden nominees. 

“I spoke to Sen. Feinstein just a few days ago,” Schumer said. “She believes she will return soon. She’s very hopeful of that and so am I,” he told reporters. “We think the Republicans should allow a temporary replacement until she returns.”

Senate Republicans are lining up to say they won’t vote to replace Feinstein on the Judiciary panel, reports The Hill’s Al Weaver. At least five on the Judiciary Committee — Sens. Tom Cotton (Ark.), Thom Tillis (N.C.), Marsha Blackburn (Tenn.), John Kennedy (La.) and John Cornyn (Texas) — said Monday they either oppose such a move or saw no reason to replace their colleague because Feinstein says she will be back.

The Hill: McConnell, 81, returned to the Capitol Monday, ending his own long absence after a health scare that included a concussion. “It’s good to be back,” he said.

Related Articles

Politico: Two House GOP bills soon headed to the floor on Monday were met with veto threats from the White House.

Roll Call: House and Senate Republicans seek a ban on members’ TikTok use.

Roll Call: House Republicans on Monday released a sweeping immigration bill.

KSHB, KCTV5, NewsNation: Biden on Monday phoned Missouri shooting victim Ralph Yarl, 16, “and shared his hope for a swift recovery,” the White House said. The president spoke with Yarl, who is recovering at home, after suspect Andrew Lester, 84, was charged with two felonies for shooting the teenager, who mistakenly arrived at Lester’s front door while trying to pick up his younger twin brothers.

The Wall Street Journal: This country’s $7 trillion retirement crisis is only getting worse. About 27 percent of Americans 59 and older have no retirement savings, according to a new survey.



Rep. Jerry Nadler (D-N.Y.) on Monday accused House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jim Jordan (R-Ohio) of “doing the bidding” of former President Trump during the committee’s field hearing on violent crime in Manhattan. The GOP-led committee announced the hearing shortly after a grand jury empaneled by Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg (D) voted to indict Trump on charges connected to hush money payments made in the leadup to the 2016 election. The hearing — titled “Victims of Violent Crime in Manhattan” — came nearly two weeks after Trump traveled to New York City and pleaded not guilty to 34 felony counts related to the payments, leading congressional Republicans to turn their attention to Bragg, arguing he is prosecuting Trump for partisan reasons while failing to crack down on crime (The Hill).

“They are using their public offices and the resources of this committee to protect their political patron, Donald Trump. It is an outrageous abuse of power,” Nadler said, adding, “It is, to use the chairman’s favorite term, a weaponization of the House Judiciary Committee,” a reference to the Select Subcommittee on the Weaponization of the Federal Government, which Jordan also chairs.

At a sometimes raucous hearing interrupted by protesters angry at Bragg, Republican-picked witnesses told lawmakers that the prosecutor’s policies had made the city more dangerous while Democrats pushed back with statistics to claim other cities were much more so (ABC News).

In The Memo, The Hill’s Niall Stanage details five key takeaways from the hearing.

The Atlantic: A cheatsheet for who’s running — and who isn’t — in 2024.

▪ The Hill: Here are the House and Senate members who have endorsed Trump for president in next year’s election.

Also looking to 2024 is verity-challenged Rep. George Santos (R-N.Y.), who announced Monday he will seek reelection. He has been a House member for three lively months and continues to be embroiled in controversy after falsifying much of his resume (The Hill).

Barring a surprise settlement, Fox News and Dominion Voting Systems are set to do battle in a Delaware courtroom starting today in one of the most closely watched defamation cases brought against an American media company in decades. The outcome of the case, which stems from the network’s coverage of the 2020 election and Trump’s false claims that voter fraud kept him from a second term, is widely seen as a precedent-setting moment for defamation law, writes The Hill’s Dominick Mastrangelo and Zach Schonfeld. Dominion is seeking $1.6 billion, contending Fox knowingly aired false information about the voting machine company’s software that was being promoted by Trump and his allies.

“Dominion has a strong case in spite of the substantial protections the Supreme Court has given to the press,” said John Culhane, a professor of constitutional law at Delaware Law School. “So now the only question is whether they were made with ‘actual malice.’ The documents unearthed during the pre-trial phase of the case make a strong argument that Fox knew—or at least acted with reckless disregard in not knowing— that the statements made on air were false.” 

The trial, which was slated to begin Monday, was abruptly delayed late Sunday amid a push by the network to settle (The Wall Street Journal).

The Hill: What to watch for in the Dominion vs. Fox News trial.

Trump, for his part, will face allegations by author E. Jean Carroll of rape and libel starting next week in a civil trial. A judge on Monday denied the former president’s request for delay. Trump has denied wrongdoing (The Hill).



Sudan’s paramilitary Rapid Support Forces (RSF) said they have agreed to a 24-hour humanitarian cease-fire on the recommendation of Secretary of State Antony Blinken, who spoke with the RSF and the Sudanese Army after a U.S. diplomatic convoy came under fire on the fourth day of fighting in the country. Their power struggle has killed at least 185 people, wounding more than 1,800, and derailed an internationally-backed deal for a shift to civilian government after decades of autocracy and military rule. It’s unclear what precisely triggered the fighting, but Jeffrey Feltman, a former U.S. special envoy for the Horn of Africa, said the “partnership of mutual interests” between Sudan’s commander of the armed forces, Gen. Abdel-Fattah Burhan and the head of the RSF, Gen. Mohammed Hamdan Dagalo, had broken down (Reuters, Bloomberg News and NPR).

Blinken appealed for a 24-hour ceasefire “to allow the Sudanese to be safely reunited with families” and to provide them with relief, as many aid organizations — as well as the United Nations — have suspended relief efforts in the area (The New York Times). The call comes after mortar rounds and artillery fire slammed into hospitals in the capital of Khartoum and the city struggled to deal with the mounting casualties. Yasir Yousif Elamin, spokesman for the Sudan Doctors Union, told The Washington Post three major hospitals were struck in the capital and another had been evacuated because it was between two front lines, while two others moved patients elsewhere after their backup generators failed.

“We are on the brink of collapse of the entire health-care system,” he said. “Supplies are running very low — we issued an appeal asking for intravenous fluids for blood and medicines.” 

The New York Times: Tracking the fighting in Sudan through maps and videos.

Russian President Vladimir Putin visited military headquarters in Russian-controlled Ukraine, the Kremlin said, where he discussed the war with a general from Russia’s airborne troops (Reuters). The move comes as Ukrainian officials on Monday accused Russia of sabotaging a deal allowing Ukrainian grain to be exported to international markets, saying that the agreement was under threat of “shutdown.” Brokered by the United Nations last summer, the Black Sea Grain Initiative stipulates that Russia is supposed to allow free passage for ships carrying grain from three Ukrainian ports on the Black Sea before traveling onward through the Bosporus.

However, Ukraine’s Ministry of Development of Communities, Territories and Infrastructure said that Russian representatives were preventing inspections of ships docked in Istanbul. Josep Borrell, the European Union’s foreign policy chief, tweeted that Moscow was not living up to its obligations. “Russia is once again blocking 50 ships with urgently needed grain in the Black Sea,” Borrell wrote (The Washington Post).

BBC: EU rejects grain bans by Poland and Hungary. 

The Associated Press: Russia’s U.N. council presidency is most contentious in memory.

The Washington Post: Egypt nearly supplied rockets to Russia, agreed to arm Ukraine instead, leak shows.

USA Today: Department of Justice bolsters effort to prosecute Russian war criminals.

The New York Times: The Russian invasion of Ukraine has revolutionized NATO military strategy.

Meanwhile, top diplomats from the Group of Seven wealthy democracies — including Blinken — on Monday vowed a tough stance on China’s increasing threats to Taiwan and on North Korea’s unchecked tests of long-range missiles, while building momentum on ways to boost support for Ukraine and punish Russia for its invasion (The Associated Press).

U.S. Ambassador to Russia Lynne Tracy made her first visit to detained Wall Street Journal reporter Evan Gershkovich on Monday, more than two weeks after Russia imprisoned the journalist on espionage charges. The case, the first of its kind since the Cold War, is a proxy for tensions between the Kremlin and the U.S. amid Russia’s war with Ukraine (NBC News). 

“He is in good health and remains strong,” Tracy wrote in a tweet from the U.S. Embassy account. “We reiterate our call for his immediate release.”

A Moscow court is set to hear Gershkovich’s appeal today; the journalist denies the Russian charges that he’s a spy who attempted to obtain state secrets (The Wall Street Journal and The Washington Post). 

Federal officials on Monday announced the arrest of two men who were charged with conspiring to act as agents of the Chinese government in connection with a secret police outpost they operated in Manhattan’s Chinatown. The New York City outpost, which court papers say was run by Chinese security officials, is one of more than 100 Chinese police operations around the world that have unnerved diplomats and intelligence officials (The New York Times).


Apple Inc. is woven into daily lifestyles and our pockets. The company on Monday launched an Apple Card savings account with a current interest rate of 4.15 percent (CNBC).

Twitter got the heave-ho from National Public Radio stations and the Public Broadcasting System because of swipes about “government-funded media” by mercurial owner Elon Musk (The Hill). On Monday, CBC-Radio-Canada used a tweet to say it is “pausing our activities on Twitter.” During a recent interview with the BBC, Musk pushed back at accounts in the news media that hate speech is on the rise on Twitter (New York Post).

Amazon put the brakes on a major headquarters construction project in Northern Virginia near Washington, but the move has not dampened enthusiasm for an expected economic boost in the region, writes The Hill’s Adam Barnes.  


■  America’s educational superpower is fading, by Adrian Woolridge, columnist, Bloomberg Opinion.

■ Republicans’ cult of the assault weapon won’t withstand Gen Z, by Karen Treverton and Gregory F. Treverton, opinion contributors, The Hill.


📲 Ask 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 will convene at 10 a.m. 

The Senate meets at 10 a.m. to resume consideration of the nomination of Radha Plumb to be a deputy under secretary of Defense. Sens. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.), Tom Carper (D-Del.), Shelley Moore Capito (R-W.Va.) and Rep. Scott Peters (D-Calif.) will speak about federal permitting and the energy industry during a U.S. Chamber of Commerce in-person event at 8 a.m. ET. Information is HERE.

The president will receive the President’s Daily Brief at 11 a.m. Biden will speak at 2 p.m. in the Rose Garden while signing an executive order aimed at helping families who need caregivers and support aides (The Hill).

Vice President Harris departs Los Angeles and heads to Reno, Nev., where she will participate in a moderated conversation at the University of Nevada, Reno at 12:40 p.m. PT with Reno Mayor Hillary Schieve (I) and actress Rosario Dawson about protecting reproductive freedom (2News). The vice president will return to Washington late tonight. 

Secretary Blinken is in Karuizawa, Japan, to wrap up meetings of the Group of Seven foreign ministers. A G7 discussion about Africa started the day before a session on nuclear disarmament and non-proliferation. Blinken meets at 11:15 a.m. local time with British Foreign Secretary James Cleverly, then holds a press conference at midday. The secretary will meet in Tokyo with Japanese Prime Minister Kishida Fumio at 3:40 p.m local time.

Second gentleman Doug Emhoff will speak at a political finance event in Los Angeles at noon PT. 

The White House daily press briefing is scheduled at 2:45 p.m.   



Schools and policymakers have been scrambling since a national report last fall said students lost decades of progress in reading and math because they missed out on in-person instruction during the pandemic. With summer break fast approaching, The Hill’s Lexi Lonas reports, the focus on how to keep students academically and socially engaged for the vacation has new urgency as parents look for ways to ensure their children don’t fall further behind. Chase Nordengren, principal research lead for effective instructional strategies at NWEA, a nonprofit education research organization, said he has heard from teachers that students have “less practice with the skills of school going.”

“They lost practice with being around other groups of students, working with them, compromising, resolving conflicts [and] a lot of the social skills that help students be really effective in a school environment,” Nordengren said.

Meanwhile, in an industry that has dealt with complaints about how slow it can be to adapt, education companies have bucked the trend with its embrace of artificial intelligence (AI). As The Hill’s Lexi Lonas reports, late last year, ChatGPT took the education industry by storm, growing at enormous speeds that even outpaced popular social media platforms such as Instagram’s initial growth. Since the popularity has grown among students and teachers, education companies — Brainly, Memrise, Duolingo, Turnitin, Grammarly — have followed market interest and quickly released AI-powered tools to their sites and products.

The New York Times: The college data you probably can’t find, but definitely need.


Moderna and Merck’s mRNA cancer vaccine has helped prevent relapse for melanoma patients, results from a mid-stage trial showed, a step forward in the pursuit of shots to ward off cancer by jump-starting the immune system. Researchers said Sunday that about 79 percent of high-risk melanoma patients who got the personalized vaccine and Merck’s immunotherapy Keytruda were alive and cancer-free at 18 months, compared with about 62 percent of patients who received immunotherapy alone. The 157-person trial offers some of the strongest evidence yet that such vaccines could benefit cancer patients (The Wall Street Journal). 

The Washington Post: Cage-free or free range? What labels on egg cartons really mean.

The Atlantic: Attention deficit-hyperactivity disorder in adults is the Wild West of psychiatry.

Minnesota has settled its lawsuit against e-cigarette company Juul and its largest former investor, Altria, over allegations the companies intentionally marketed to young people. In total, Juul has now reached agreements with 48 states and territories. The company last week announced a $462 million settlement with New York, California, Colorado, the District of Columbia, Illinois, Massachusetts and New Mexico (The Hill).

“After three weeks of trial highlighting and bringing into the public record the actions that Juul and Altria took that contributed to the youth vaping epidemic, we reached a settlement in the best interest of Minnesotans,” Attorney General Keith Ellison (D) said in a statement. “One of my goals in bringing this case was to send a message: we will not tolerate youth marketing of nicotine products in Minnesota. My office will continue to do its part to protect kids from getting hooked on these harmful products.”


And finally … ⏳ Procrastinators, it’s time to get busy!

April 18, the dreaded IRS tax filing deadline is here. Those who owe the government more in 2022 taxes must pay up before midnight to avoid penalties (even if seeking an extension to file).

Average IRS refunds are trending lower than this time last year based on data pulled from the punctually proficient filers who got busy early. The Hill’s Tobias Burns has everything you might want to know about this tax season, plus a few useful tips. And remember, the Treasury Department is tallying all those fresh tax payments with care, knowing that any surge in spring revenues could help pay accumulating U.S. obligations for a few more weeks as the government shuffles accounts until Congress and the White House end their $31 trillion debt-limit cage match.

Stay Engaged

We want to hear from you! Email: Alexis Simendinger and Kristina Karisch. Follow us on Twitter (@asimendinger and @kristinakarisch) and suggest this newsletter to friends!

Copyright 2023 Nexstar Media Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Scroll to Top