Congress faces abortion questions abroad

June 30, 2022
Presented by The American Petroleum Institute (API)
ROE ON THE WORLD STAGE — The NATO summit is buzzing about something besides key agenda items like Ukraine and China. When foreign ministers from 30 NATO nations met for dinner this week, the talk of the town (Madrid, that is) was abortion rights in the United States.
Rep. Gerry Connolly (D-Va.), who leads NATO’s Parliamentary Assembly, joined Secretary of State Antony Blinken. And at least four diplomats at the dinner aired their concerns with the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision last week to strike down the constitutional right to abortion.
· “Normally in diplomatic circles, people are going to be a little circumspect in criticizing your internal domestic policies,” Connolly said, adding that in each of the four separate encounters, foreign ministers “initiated the conversation” and “made a point of sharing with me their sense of outrage.”
Sen. Chris Coons (D-Del.), said the senators themselves haven’t even talked about the abortion decision while on the trip.
· “That subject [of abortion] probably divides us more than any other,” Coons said, adding: “If your goal is to represent our country well in a critical moment for the future of NATO, focus on the things that bring us together. We will have plenty of time immediately when we return to disagree sharply.”
Sen. Jeanne Shaheen (D-N.H.) was asked at a NATO public forum event on Wednesday whether the U.S. has lost credibility on global women’s issues as a result of the Supreme Court decision. As of Wednesday, the abortion issue had not come up among leaders at the NATO summit, according to a senior Biden administration official.
Andrew has much more on the delicate dynamics from Madrid: The elephant in the NATO room: America’s Roe reversal
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GOOD MORNING! Welcome to Huddle, the play-by-play guide to all things Capitol Hill, this Thursday, June 30, where we’ve got that Friday feeling…a little ahead of schedule.
Programming Note: We’ll be off this Monday for Independence Day but will be back in your inboxes on Tuesday. 
WHAT ARE DEMS TO DO? — Democrats don’t have the votes to push back against the Supreme Court’s abortion decision, but they want the debate over abortion access front and center. When a legislature doesn’t have the votes to legislate, what are the other options?
· Messaging vote: Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) suggested Monday that the House could bring up (once again) a bill to codify Roe, but holding another vote on legislation that’s failed multiple times this year already is a tough sell in the Senate. 
· Kaine-Collins: Sens. Tim Kaine (D-Va.) and Susan Collins (R-Maine) are cooking up a proposal that seeks to codify Roe.  A Kaine spokesperson said he is “engaged in efforts to find bipartisan support to federally protect reproductive freedom.”
· Carveouts: Democrats have floated votes on narrow bills focused on specific issues, like protecting access to contraception or carveouts from abortion restrictions for pregnancies as a result of rape and incest. 
· Hearings: Committees is already gearing up to put a spotlight on abortion care in the post-Roe reality. 
This is just a little taste. Marianne and Sarah have much, much more on different approaches Dems could take: What Dems can — and might — do in Congress to fight the end of Roe
RELATED: Sen. Tina Smith’s Planned Parenthood tenure primes her to be ‘leading voice’ post-Roe , from Hunter Woodall at The Minneapolis Star Tribune
A KENTUCKY GAMBLE? — President Joe Biden plans to nominate a conservative anti-abortion lawyer to the federal bench in Kentucky, reports The Courier-Journal. Chad Meredith previously served as Kentucky’s solicitor general and represented a number of Kentucky’s top GOP officials in cases curbing abortion access, including then-Gov. Matt Bevin in a 2019 legal battle against an abortion clinic.
“The nomination of Chad Meredith appears to be the result of a deal with U.S. Sen. Mitch McConnell, ostensibly in exchange for the Senate Majority Leader agreeing not to hold up future federal nominations by the Biden White House, according to [Rep. John] Yarmuth and other officials who confirmed the pending nomination to The Courier-Journal” More from the Kentucky paper that broke the story.
A message from The American Petroleum Institute (API):
According to the Energy Information Administration, U.S. refineries are operating at or near-maximum capacity. So how can we meet ever-growing demand when production is already near all-time highs? To build out refinery capacity, the US natural gas and oil industry needs an energy policy agenda that incentivizes long-term investment in domestic production. On June 14th , the American Petroleum Institute (API) released a plan to achieve just that. It’s a 10 in 2022 plan – 10 policies that policymakers can advance today to unlock American energy, fuel economic recovery, and strengthen national security. API is calling on policymakers to confront the global mismatch between energy demand and available supply that has driven higher fuel prices by supporting greater U.S. production and infrastructure. Read the plan.
COMMISSION VOTE COMES CALLING — The dramatic Jan. 6 hearings and vehement criticism from Republicans about the partisanship of the inquiry all could have been avoided if Congress had chosen to establish a 9/11-style bipartisan commission last spring. The 35 House Republicans who voted in favor of the commission are getting hammered at the polls (and bombarded by angry constituents), reports Ally Mutnick. That vote was more than a year ago, but Republican members from Utah to Texas to South Dakota who voted for the Jan. 6 commission are running 13 points weaker than their average colleague in their primaries, according to a POLITICO analysis of 2022 primary results so far. The vote for the commission has shown up in debates, TV ads, and mailers as challengers seized on the move for bipartisan accountability as a sign of disloyalty to President Donald Trump. Ally dives deep into how a vote from May 2021 is impacting the midterms. RELATED: Most House Republicans who backed a Jan. 6 commission have won primaries so far, from Bridget Bowman at NBC
CIPOLLONE SUBPOENA — After weeks of publicly calling on former White House Counsel Pat Cipollone to cooperate with the Jan. 6 select committee’s investigation, the select committee subpoenaed on Wednesday evening him for a deposition scheduled for July 6.
Also: Liz Cheney didn’t hold back in a speech last night at the Reagan Library. Watch for yourself or read Myah Ward: Liz Cheney: ‘Republicans cannot be both loyal to Donald Trump and loyal to the Constitution
Supreme Court Justice Stephen Breyer | C-SPAN
BYE, BREYER — And hello Justice Ketanji Brown Jackson. Justice Sephen Breyer’s retirement will be effective at noon today. He gave President Joe Biden a heads up in a Wednesday letter.
A very summery fact about Breyer: He was on vacation in the summer of 1994 when he was confirmed, but nearby where then-Chief William Justice Rehnquist was staying. Rather than wait to take the oaths, he drove to meet Rehnquist in Vermont where the chief justice administered them. (You can’t beat summer in New England.)
Ketanji Brown Jackson will be sworn in as the newest associate justice of the Supreme Court at noon, in a small ceremony. Chief Justice John Roberts will administer the constitutional oath and Breyer will administer the judicial oath. The formal investiture ceremony will happen at a later date at a special sitting of the court.
IMMIGRATION TALKS RESTART…IN MADRID — Senate Majority Whip Dick Durbin (R-Ill.) told Andrew that he has resumed his discussions on immigration reform with Sen. Thom Tillis (R-N.C.) while they have both been traveling in Europe on CODEL.
What Durbin said: “We’ve been talking the last couple of days about reviving that effort. And I think what happened at the border with finding 51 dead migrants in that tractor-trailer is what I would call a ‘Uvalde moment.’ I hope it sparks an interest in finding a bipartisan approach to dealing with immigration.” More from Andrew .
JOHN WOOD MADE LIKE A TREE — And left the Jan. 6 committee, where he was the top investigator until a few weeks ago. But now he is launching an independent bid to fill the seat of retiring Sen. Roy Blunt (R-Mo.). He’s betting that former Gov. Eric Greitens will clinch the GOP primary on Aug 2 and told the St. Louis Dispatch he wants to give voters an alternative to the scandal-laden Greitens. More from Jack Suntrup from the St. Louis Post-Dispatch on Wood’s entry into the race.
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VANITY FAIR FOR VAL — Rep. Val Demmings (D-Fla.), who is challenging Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) in November, got the full Vanity Fair treatment , complete with Annie Leibovitz portraits on her red Harley-Davidson. Your Huddle host would like to know who got hair plugs in hopes of being chosen as an impeachment manager (feel free to fill us in…like someone did with their hair.)
THAT MANCHIN DANCE — Democrats are trying to dance to Sen. Joe Manchin’s (D-W.Va.) beat, once again.
· Democrats forge ahead on drug pricing, eyeing a wider deal with Manchin, from Tony Romm at The Washington Post
· Democrats Weigh Paring Biden Tax Hike to Win Over Manchin, from Laura Davison, Erik Wasson, and Ari Natter at Bloomberg 
Award-winning… U.S. Capitol Police Officer Aquilino Gonell was honored Wednesday by the Carnegie Corporation of New York as one of their 2022 “Great Immigrants” honorees . Gosnell was born in the Dominican Republic and after emigrating in 1992 was the first in his family to go to college. He was seriously injured defending the Capitol on Jan. 6 and called the attack worse than anything he experienced during his Army service in Iraq.
Cheney to debate Wyoming GOP foes after Jan. 6 hearings, from Mead Gruver at The Associated Press in Cheyenne, Wyo.
Democrats push for a campaign reset in the most pro-abortion rights swing state, from Lisa Kashinsky
Jennifer Kuskowski is leaving her role as a top adviser to McConnell to lead government affairs for the Americas for Siemens’ health care arm, Siemens Healthineers. Kuskowski previously served as the health policy director on the Senate Finance Committee and as McConnell’s legislative director.
Preston Mizell is now comms director for Rep. David Schweikert (R-Ariz.). He previously was deputy press secretary for Rep. Darrell Issa (R-Calif.).
Dawn-Marie Sullivan is now legislative director for Rep. Andrew Clyde (R-Ga.). She most recently was on Sen. Ted Cruz’s (R-Texas) policy team and is a Matt Rosendale and Andy Biggs alum.
The House and Senate are out.
9 a.m. The House Appropriations Committee marks up its Labor-HHS-Education and Transportation-HUD funding bills for the fiscal year 2023 (Longworth 1100).
WEDNESDAY’S WINNER: Lauren Reamy correctly answered that John Ashcroft, Larry Craig, James Jeffords, and Trent Lott were the Singing Senators.
TODAY’S QUESTION: What five states have each produced two Senate majority leaders?
The first person to correctly guess gets a mention in the next edition of Huddle. Send your answers to
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A message from The American Petroleum Institute (API):
Washington policymakers must confront the global mismatch between demand and supply that has driven higher fuel prices by supporting greater U.S. production. The American Petroleum Institute’s 10 in ’22 plan outlines a plan for achieving just that. “These 10 in ’22 policies are a framework for new energy leadership for our nation, unleashing investment in America and creating new energy access while avoiding harmful government policies and duplicative regulation. It’s time to lead,” said API President and CEO Mike Sommers. Read the full plan here.

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