Wake up with the Washington Examiner: Biden on the burner and Congress gets back to work – Washington Examiner

Biden’s big week

President Joe Biden is ready to put last week in the rearview mirror. We had a comprehensive look at just how bad his week following a disastrous debate performance with former President Donald Trump was, in case you were enjoying some time away from the news with your Fourth of July holiday. 

But like it or not, the fractured alarms about Biden’s fitness to continue as the Democratic Party’s nominee will centralize in Washington when members of Congress return to work on Monday evening. Spending the long recess back home didn’t stop a handful of House members from chiming in that Biden is not the party’s best chance for success to beat Trump in November, and as Congressional Reporter Cami Mondeaux points out for us this morning, all of them piling into one building isn’t likely to tamp down the concerns. 

“There will be no escaping the topic as Democrats are bound to be asked by reporters whether they think Biden is capable of carrying out a second term,” she writes. “Several Democratic lawmakers were thrust into the spotlight the morning following the debate, even those who have typically enjoyed a mostly anonymous presence in Congress.” 

Biden hasn’t lost complete control of his party. A simmering effort by Sen. Mark Warner (D-VA) to whip a group of senators to call on the president to step aside in favor of an alternative nominee appears to have stalled. As a whole, senators have been far more supportive of Biden than their House colleagues, at least in public. 

Four more Democratic representatives abandoned the “Biden” portion of their party’s Biden-Harris ticket during a Sunday afternoon meeting with House leadership. Reps. Jerry Nadler (D-NY), Adam Smith (D-WA), Mark Takano (D-CA), and Joe Morelle (D-NY) joined Reps. Lloyd Doggett (D-TX), Raul Grijalva (D-AZ), Angie Craig (D-MN), and Seth Moulton (D-MA) in making their demands known. And “two others, Reps. Jared Golden (D-ME) and Marie Gluesenkamp Perez (D-WA), have said they believe Trump will win in November,” Cami reminds us.

And Biden can’t be sure that no message is a good thing. His longtime ally Rep. Jim Clyburn (D-SC), who is widely considered responsible for clinching Biden’s 2020 nomination when he was scuffling following poor performances in early primaries, bowed out of appearing on the Sunday news shows yesterday. That about-face came following a week of possible waffling, though he maintains he fully supports the president in whatever decision he makes. 

“I’m a Biden-Harris person, so I’m not getting away from that. I’m for Biden-Harris,” Clyburn told USA Today. “I’m going to be for Biden if Harris ain’t there, and I’m going to be for Harris if Biden ain’t there.”

Click here to read more about what’s at stake for Biden this week.

Coming out in the wash

When representatives aren’t fielding questions about the strength of the president, they will be getting back to the whole reason to be in the Capitol — marking up and passing legislation. 

Being in the minority, Democrats will have a smaller role to play in the committee processes this week as the House considers several bills, Congressional Reporter Rachel Schilke writes. 

“The GOP-led House Rules Committee will take up several bills and a resolution next week condemning Biden administration policies and advancing a Republican flash point on election integrity, the latest set of bills that could bring another party-line fight to the House floor.”

Major items on the agenda this week include Republican pet projects, though some of them have more bipartisan support than others. A push to put restrictions on the Biden administration’s regulation of several household appliances, such as refrigerators, gas stoves, etc., won over a handful of Democrats the last time it was discussed. But with the party cracking over external pressures, it’s not clear how cooperative Democrats are going to be now.

“House Republicans were forced to drop their coveted ‘Appliance Week’ in April after Iran launched a counterattack on Israel as the Jewish state continues its war against Hamas,” Rachel writes. “Six bills revolving around washing machines, refrigerators, and air conditioners were on deck for review, but the House retooled its schedule for resolutions offering additional support to Israel and condemning Iran and Hamas.” 

Click here to read more about “Appliance Week” as well as bills dealing with election security and the Biden administration’s Title IX enforcement.

Spending saga

Republican efforts in the House might result in nothing more than messaging bills bound to die in the Senate. But the upper chamber, which has historically been more conducive to dealmaking, is going to have to wrestle with the biggest sticking point for any president — federal spending and a budget. 

Senate Reporter Ramsey Touchberry gives us a brief overview of the struggles senators face in the coming weeks if they want to avoid adding the possibility of a government shutdown to the talking points in an election year. 

Political tensions over spending and hot-button policy issues will be intensified in an election year when the balance of power in Washington could dramatically shift and alter which party controls the nation’s purse strings,” Ramsey writes.

“The panel, led by Chairwoman Patty Murray (D-WA) and ranking member Susan Collins (R-ME), passed all 12 last year in the summer for the first time in several years.”

The pressure isn’t on for senators to hammer out spending plans this week — they have until Oct. 1. But July is already into its second week, and all of Congress is set to vacate the Capitol for a month in August. And lawmakers don’t exactly have a sterling record of meeting deadlines when it comes to spending proposals. 

“Congress has until the start of the new fiscal year on Oct. 1 to approve government funding, otherwise a temporary spending bill must be passed to avoid a shutdown,” Ramsey writes. “With lawmakers having met that deadline only four times in the past 40 years and the November election fast approaching, a stopgap measure known as a continuing resolution will almost certainly be required until after the election.”

Click here to read more about the spending fights set to unfold in the coming months.

New this morning 

Growing number of Latino Democrats support more ‘control’ of border: Poll

UK’s Keir Starmer has a rocky road ahead on the ‘woman problem’ and transgender issues

In case you missed it

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A top Parkinson’s disease expert has made several trips to the White House since 2022

Biden’s personal physician is in hot water with James Comer

French voters shocked the world on Sunday when they rebuked Marine Le Pen’s National Rally

The White House fed questions to two black radio hosts who interviewed the president

Biden ditched his notecards and teleprompter in Pennsylvania

For your radar

Vice President Kamala Harris will join Biden for the president’s daily brief at 10:45 a.m. — Harris is not usually included in the briefing. 

White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre holds a press briefing at 1:30 p.m. 

Former first lady Melania Trump is hosting a fundraiser with the Log Cabin Republicans.

First lady Jill Biden is hitting the campaign trail for her husband, visiting North Carolina, Florida, and Georgia today.