**Want FOX News Halftime Report in your inbox every day? Sign up here.**
On the roster: House Dems ready emergency border bill - Not so ‘Middle Class Joe’ - Senate Dems borrow House playbook for 2020 - Trump says rape accuser ‘not my type’- Extreme weather warning
HOUSE DEMS READY EMERGENCY BORDER BILL
Roll Call: “House Democratic leaders sought to tamp down a rebellion among their party’s left flank Tuesday as they prepared for a floor vote on $4.5 billion in emergency funding for the surge of migrants at the U.S. southern border. Appropriations Chairwoman Nita M. Lowey, D-N.Y., offered a new manager’s amendment aimed at easing the concerns of Progressive Caucus and Hispanic Caucus members over the care of children who are in the custody of Customs and Border Protection. Her amendment would tack on requirements for CBP to develop standards for medical care, nutrition, hygiene and personnel training, as well as a plan to ensure access to translation services for individuals ‘encountered’ by U.S. immigration agencies. The move followed a late-night meeting Monday in Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s office, where Democrats made clear their irritation with President Donald Trump’s immigration policies.”
Trump threatens veto - AP: “The White House is threatening to veto a $4.5 billion House bill aimed at improving the treatment of migrant families detained after crossing the U.S. southern border, saying the measure would hamstring the administration’s border security efforts and raising fresh questions about the legislation’s fate. The warning came as Hispanic and liberal Democrats press House leaders to add provisions to the legislation strengthening protections for migrant children, changes that might make the measure even less palatable to President Donald Trump. Though revisions are possible, House leaders are still hoping for approval as early as Tuesday.”
Pence takes lead on Latino outreach - AP: “Vice President Mike Pence is launching a ‘Latinos for Trump’ coalition in Miami, an effort by the Trump campaign to engage Latino voters in advance of the 2020 election. The event comes a day ahead of the first Democratic presidential primary debates, also being held in Miami, and a week after President Donald Trump officially kicked off his campaign in Orlando. This signals Florida’s significance for the president’s reelection hopes. The state is home to more than 2 million registered Latino voters, and the Trump campaign believes they have an opening with them because of the president’s economic policies, which they say have contributed to low unemployment rates among Latinos, among other issues. Republicans see an opportunity particularly in South Florida, where the sizable Cuban population tends to lean conservative.”
THE RULEBOOK: FRIENDLY COMPETITION
“[The power of raising armies] gave birth to a competition between the States which created a kind of auction for men.” – Alexander Hamilton, Federalist No. 22
TIME OUT: THIN GRUEL
UPI: “When times were good, the dockworkers of Portus, the maritime port of Imperial Rome, enjoyed a surprisingly diversified diet. But new analysis of ancient animal and human remains – detailed in the journal Antiquity this week – suggests the diets of the city’s working class shifted as Rome fell into decline. Portus was established in the first century A.D. For four centuries, it served as the Romans’ gateway to the Mediterranean and a nexus of maritime trade. But archaeological analysis suggests the city had taken a defensive posture by the fifth century. Protective walls were built and warehouses, once a place to store imports from North Africa and elsewhere, were used to house the dead. … By the time the Vandals sacked Rome in 455 A.D., the diets of the port’s dockworkers looked a lot more like the diets of other peasants – more reliant on plant proteins, pottages and stews.”
Flag on the play? - Email us at HALFTIMEREPORT@FOXNEWS.COM with your tips, comments or questions.
Trump job performance
Average approval: 44.5 percent
Average disapproval: 52 percent
Net Score: -7.4 points
Change from one week ago: up 1.4 points
[Average includes: Monmouth University: 42% approve - 51% disapprove; USA Today/Suffolk: 49% approve - 48% disapprove; Fox News: 45% approve - 53% disapprove; NBC/WSJ: 44% approve - 53% disapprove; Gallup: 43% approve - 55% disapprove.]
WANT MORE HALFTIME REPORT?
You can join Chris and Brianna every day on Fox Nation. Go behind-the-scenes of your favorite political note as they go through the must-read headlines of the day right from their office – with plenty of personality. Click here to sign up and watch!
NOT SO ‘MIDDLE CLASS JOE’
WaPo: “[Joe] Biden points out on the presidential campaign trail that he was often the poorest member of the United States Senate, and for at least a decade has referred to himself as ‘Middle Class Joe.’ But since leaving office he has enjoyed an explosion of wealth, making millions of dollars largely from book deals and speaking fees that ranged to as much as $200,000 per speech, public documents show. … Since leaving the vice presidency, Biden has rented the McLean home and purchased a $2.7 million, 4,800-square-foot vacation house near the water in Rehoboth Beach, Del., to go along with his primary residence, the nearly 7,000-square-foot lakeside home he built more than two decades ago in Wilmington, Del. Biden’s accelerated income and the lifestyle it has financed have placed the former vice president in a much more rarefied world that the one he formerly occupied.”
NBC lays out debate rules - NBC News: “Politicians tend to be long-winded, but brevity will be the name of the game on the crowded stage in the first Democratic presidential debate in Miami on Wednesday and Thursday. Candidates will have 60 seconds to answer questions and 30 seconds to respond to follow-ups. And there will be no opening statements, though candidates will have a chance to deliver closing remarks. The two-hour debates will zip by quickly, with five segments each night separated by four commercial breaks. Ten candidates will face off each night on NBC News, MSNBC and Telemundo after a total of 20 candidates met the Democratic National Committee's threshold for participation. With so many candidates, there's only so much time to go around. ‘It's a little bit of exaggeration calling it a debate,’ former Vice President Joe Biden joked in Iowa earlier this month. ‘It's like a lightning round.’”
McConnell scoffs at vote delay for Dem debates - Roll Call: “Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell made clear Tuesday that Democrats are going to have to filibuster the fiscal 2020 defense authorization bill if they do not want final votes this week. The Kentucky Republican opened the Senate with criticism of Monday afternoon’s statement by Minority Leader Charles E. Schumer, D-N.Y., that defense policy bill votes, including consideration of a key amendment regarding limitations on the use of funds for war with Iran, should be delayed until after this week’s Democratic presidential debates. ‘Postpone legislation on our national defense to accommodate the presidential race? In the middle of this ongoing crisis overseas? Come on. Come on,’ McConnell said. McConnell described his own reaction to Schumer’s request as ‘incredulous.’”
Moulton makes small ad buy during debates - WashTimes: “Rep. Seth Moulton won’t be on the presidential debate stage in Miami, but his campaign released new television ads on Tuesday, to air in early states this week, in which the Massachusetts Democrat says it’s time for a ‘new generation’ of leadership. In a 30-second TV spot, Mr. Moulton touts himself as ‘progressive’ and ‘practical,’ noting that he served four combat tours in Iraq and that he has spoken out against the war. … Versions of the TV ad are scheduled to air in Iowa and New Hampshire on Wednesday, and in South Carolina and Nevada on Thursday.”
TRUMP LOOKS TO DRIVE WEDGE BETWEEN BIDEN, OBAMA
Fox News: “President Trump has renewed his attacks on Joe Biden, this time questioning why former President Barack Obama hasn't endorsed his former vice president. In a new interview, Trump wondered if there was a ‘big secret’ as to why Obama has not backed Biden. ‘How he doesn’t get President Obama to endorse him, there has to be some reason why he’s not endorsing him,’ Trump told The Hill. ‘He was the vice president. They seemed to have gotten along. President Obama not endorsing him is rather… a big secret.’ After the ponderance, the president accused Biden of lying when he previously stated he asked Obama not to endorse him. ‘Then he goes and lies and says, ‘I asked the president not to endorse me’… give me a break,’ Trump told The Hill.”
Booker open to meeting with notorious bigot Farrakhan - Fox News: “Sen. Cory Booker over the weekend expressed a willingness to meet with well-known anti-Semite Louis Farrakhan, raising eyebrows given his criticism just days earlier of 2020 presidential rival Joe Biden’s remarks about being able to work with segregationists. The New Jersey Democrat said many found Biden's remarks ‘hurtful.’ But at a campaign event in Nevada on Saturday, Booker was asked whether he would meet with Nation of Islam leader Farrakhan. Booker appeared to downplay the possibility but did not rule it out, while making clear he is ‘familiar’ with Farrakhan’s beliefs. ‘I don’t feel the need to do that, but I’m not one of these people that says I wouldn’t sit down with anybody to hear what they have to say,’ Booker said about a potential meeting with Farrakhan. He then discussed his own awareness of Farrakhan and the Nation of Islam from when he was mayor of Newark, N.J…”
Poll shows one-third of Americans say abortion top 2020 factor - Monmouth University: “One-in-three Americans rank abortion as a top issue in deciding how they will vote in the 2020 election. Democrats are more likely than Republicans to feel this way according to the latest Monmouth University Poll. Many Americans say that Republican politicians are spending too much time on the issue of abortion, at both the national and state level, especially when compared to Democratic officeholders. Most Americans support access to abortion, including 32% who say it should always be legal and 31% who say it should be legal with some limitations. Another 24% say abortion should be illegal except for cases of rape or incest or to save the mother’s life and 10% say abortion should be illegal in all cases. … One-third of American voters say that abortion will be a top factor in their vote for president next year, including 2% who say it is the most important issue and 32% who say it is very important to them.”
SENATE DEMS BORROW HOUSE PLAYBOOK FOR 2020
Politico: “Senate Democrats want you to forget about Stacey Abrams, Steve Bullock and Beto O’Rourke. Instead, they’re hoping voters can get pumped about Theresa Greenfield, Cal Cunningham and Sara Gideon. After their highest-profile recruits passed on Senate campaigns, Democrats are relying on a collection of relatively unknown and untested candidates to retake the Senate in 2020 — a challenging task given a map tilted toward Republican territory. But what the recruits lack in name ID, party leaders say, they compensate for with their profiles: Several are women and military veterans, boasting the type of résumés that Democrats rode to the House majority last year. ‘These are sort of on the 2018 House model,’ Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) said… Democrats need to net three Senate seats to win control of the chamber — four if they fail to win back the White House. But they’re competing in only two states that President Donald Trump lost in 2016…”
Schumer is recruiting for Iowa - Time: “At a time when Democrats are largely focused on the presidential primary, Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer is trying to clear the way for a woman challenging Iowa Sen. Joni Ernst. A source familiar with the situation told TIME that Schumer flew J.D. Scholten, the Democrat who gained a national profile when he came close to beating Iowa Rep. Steve King, to Washington in March to discuss his plans and later attempted to dissuade him from jumping into the race in a phone call. Few Democrats in the state have the statewide recognition to pull off a competitive bid for the Republican’s seat, but currently Theresa Greenfield, the president of a Des Moines real estate business, is the frontrunner for the nomination. She is backed by the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee.”
Dems get a top-drawer recruit for Maine Senate - NYT: “Sara Gideon, the speaker of the Maine House of Representatives, said on Monday that she would challenge Senator Susan Collins, making her the most formidable opponent yet for a United States Senate seat that Democrats have identified as a target in the 2020 election. Ms. Gideon, a Democrat, said that her decision was spurred partly by the vote that Ms. Collins, a Republican expected to seek her fifth term, cast in support for Justice Brett M. Kavanaugh’s confirmation to the Supreme Court. … Ms. Gideon, 47, of Freeport, had sponsored legislation in Maine – signed into law this year – to expand abortion access by permitting health care professionals who are not physicians to perform the procedure. She was also behind an effort to expand benefits to families in poverty.”
Shaheen draws a crowd of would-be challengers - WMUR: “WMUR first reported Friday that retired Brig. Gen. Donald Bolduc of Stratham will announce his bid to challenge incumbent Democratic Sen. Jeanne Shaheen on Monday at VFW Post 1631 in Concord. WMUR also reported first that former New Hampshire House Speaker Bill O’Brien of Nashua will announce his candidacy for the Senate seat on July 23. And a third Republican, attorney Bryant ‘Corky’ Messner of Wolfeboro, continues to seriously consider running for the seat, with an announcement anticipated in the coming weeks. Bolduc’s announcement, and the expected candidacies of O’Brien and Messner, have been anticipated since Gov. Chris Sununu announced in mid-May that he will seek a third term as governor and will not challenge Shaheen next year.”
Bernie allies announce House Dem primary targets - HuffPo: “Roots Action, a left-wing group led largely by supporters of Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), drafted a report on 15 House members it considers ripe targets for progressive primary challenges, arming the Democratic Party’s populist wing with a new organizing tool as it seeks to unseat a growing number of incumbents. … The incumbent House members its identifies are: Cheri Bustos of Illinois, who chairs House Democrats’ campaign arm; Jim Cooper of Tennessee; Jim Costa of California; Henry Cuellar of Texas; Eliot Engel of New York; Josh Gottheimer of New Jersey; Jim Himes of Connecticut; Majority Leader Steny Hoyer of Maryland; Derek Kilmer of Washington; Dan Lipinski of Illinois; Gregory Meeks of New York; Brad Schneider of Illinois; Kurt Schrader of Oregon; David Scott of Georgia; and Juan Vargas of California.”
TRUMP SAYS RAPE ACCUSER ‘NOT MY TYPE’
ABC News: “President Donald Trump fired back at a woman who accused him of sexual assault saying ‘she's not my type’ and insisting the incident ‘never happened.’ The accusation is the latest in a string of allegations against the president dating back decades, all of which he has denied. In response, E. Jean Carroll, who made the latest accusation, could only laugh. The writer, who said Donald Trump sexually assaulted her in the mid-1990s, told Anderson Cooper in an interview Monday night: ‘I love that. I am so glad I'm not his type. I'm so glad.’ Earlier in the day, the president, who also said Carroll was ‘totally lying’ that he sexually assaulted her, told The Hill during an interview in the Oval Office: ‘I'll say it with great respect: No. 1, she’s not my type. No. 2, it never happened. It never happened, OK?’ Carroll had repeated the accusation a few hours earlier during a TV interview.”
Stephanie Grisham gets nod as press secretary, comms director - NYT: “Stephanie Grisham, Melania Trump’s loyal and sometimes combative communications director, will replace Sarah Huckabee Sanders as White House press secretary, the first lady announced on Tuesday. She will also take on the added role of communications director, a job that has been vacant since the departure of Bill Shine in March. … On the day Ms. Sanders’s announced her resignation, it had been 94 days since she held a briefing with the press, and some officials have argued it would be a powerful tool that would help elevate Mr. Trump above his Democratic opponent in the 2020 race. Ms. Grisham, who has earned the president’s trust, is expected to institute real changes to an office that has been in flux for two-and-a-half years. In the White House, she has emerged as a ferocious defender of Mrs. Trump, writing op-eds criticizing the news media for the way it covers her.”
Steve Dunlevy, R.I.P. - NY Post
DOJ tries to save dubious deal for sex offender made by now-Trump cabinet official - AP
West Wing rivals talk down Mulvaney - Politico
Pergram: ‘Capitol Hill spending talks haunted by uncertainty’ - Fox News
AUDIBLE: THAT’S A LOT OF CHARDONNAY
“It just gets worse, if it's possible; the intensity and volume level, the bombardment level just keeps going up.” – Lobbyist Larry O’Brien talking to Roll Call about the enormous number of congressional fundraising events in Washington this week, 118 by one count.
FROM THE BLEACHERS
“Do I ever feel like a sucker! Both Senator Sanders and Senator Warren are proposing paying off outstanding student loan debts. How foolish of me to have paid them off already! So much for scrimping and saving to pay off a legitimate debt that I incurred with the full (but mistaken) understanding that I would be required to pay it back. Since I was well under the income limits when I paid the loan off, do you think that there’s any hope that the two benevolent senators might find it in their hearts to reimburse me for what I foolishly paid? Not that I expect to be rewarded for being fiscally responsible by those who are anything but (and by that I mean both the House and the Senate). Any chance that I could get my unpaid taxes paid/forgiven if I stop my withholdings?” – Kent Haldorson, Beaverton, Ore.
[Ed. note: I think the odds of either plan becoming law are rock-bottom indeed, Mr. Haldorson. The good news for Democrats is that the dragging-to-the-far-left component of the primary has been limited by the fact that the two most prominent far left candidates are fighting each other more than they are fighting mainstream candidates. The bad news is that long as Sens. Warren and Sanders are in this bidding war, what counts as “far left” will get wilder and wilder. By the time the more radical faction in the party has settled on their champion, one can only imagine what the price of admission will be.]
Share your color commentary: Email us at HALFTIMEREPORT@FOXNEWS.COM and please make sure to include your name and hometown.
FIRST THE BRUINS NOW THIS…
WHDH: “Several residents [of the Boston suburb of Melrose] were forced to leave their home when an underground blockage caused raw sewage to spew uncontrollably out of toilets in four homes on Thursday. City workers responding to a call about a possible sewerage blockage on Brazil Street around 9:30 a.m. learned the main sewer line was blocked, resulting in a backup of the entire system, Melrose Mayor Gail Infurna said in a statement. The bathrooms in four neighborhood homes were left covered in a river of filth and feces when the sewage suddenly poured out without warning. Siliva Ortiz, who captured video of her toilet overflowing, says the mess has left a rancid stench in her home. ‘I was getting ready for work and then I heard a bubble,’ she said. ‘It was a crazy scene. It literally just spun and flowed out.’ Photos of the aftermath showed the entire bathroom coated in sewage. ‘A tornado of poop started forming and started spewing out,’ Ortiz added.”
AND NOW, A WORD FROM CHARLES…
“Chester [the black lab] is what psychiatrists mean when they talk about unconditional love. Unbridled is more like it. Come into our house, and he was so happy to see you, he would knock you over. (Deliverymen learned to leave things at the front door.)” – Charles Krauthammer (1950-2018) writing in Time magazine on June 10, 2003.
Chris Stirewalt is the politics editor for Fox News. Brianna McClelland contributed to this report. Want FOX News Halftime Report in your inbox every day? Sign up here.