Your guide to the latest Hill developments, news narratives, and media headlines provided by the Hogan Lovells Government Relations and Public Affairs team.
- The Trump administration continues to pressure local officials to open its schools for children to return to class, as the Department of Education Secretary Betsy DeVos threatened to cut federal funding to schools that don’t fully physically reopen. This morning, President Trump tweeted, “In Germany, Denmark, Norway, Sweden, and many other countries, SCHOOLS ARE OPEN WITH NO PROBLEMS. The Dems think it would be bad for them politically if U.S. schools open before the November Election, but is important for the children & families. May cut off funding if not open!” It is unknown how the administration would withhold the funding; according to a House Appropriations Committee spokesperson, the President doesn’t have the authority to do so.
- Today Vice President Pence said the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) will issue additional guidance next week on reopening schools. The comments came just after President Trump criticized the agency’s current guidelines as “very tough and expensive.” “We don’t want the guidance from CDC to be a reason why schools don’t open,” Pence said, “We want, as the president said this morning, to make sure that what we’re doing doesn’t stand in the way of doing that.”
- Prime Minister Justin Trudeau skipped today’s United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA) summit meeting with President Trump and Mexican President López Obrador. The Prime Minister’s office announced that he would not be attending the meeting because of a scheduling conflict, but most speculate that Canada’s handling of the coronavirus has more to do with the decisions. Trudeau is an ardent social distance and mask wearer, while President Trump and Obrador choose not to practice the same safety measures. Furthermore, though Trudeau, would be exempt from Canada’s 14-day quarantine reentry requirements, his staff would not be.
- Harvard and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) have moved to sue the Trump administration over its order to strip visas from international students who’s college courses have been moved entirely online. The universities filed a lawsuit today at the U.S. District Court in Boston seeking a temporary restraining order to pause the July 6 order.
- A Treasury Department audit found that while some people never received their expected coronavirus stimulus payment, others got paid more than once. The Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration said that about 46,000 people received two payments totaling $69 million.
In the News:
- More than 131,000 people in the United States have died from the new coronavirus and over 3 million Americans have been infected, according to data compiled by Johns Hopkins University. Worldwide, over 11.8 million cases of Covid-19 have been reported, including at least 544,000 deaths.
- Walgreens announced Wednesday it would add doctor offices through a partnership with VillageMD at its stores after a successful test run last year to bring more health care access under one roof, the pharmacy chain announced.
- The number of Americans unable to make their full on-time housing payment hit a new high in July, as a resurgence in coronavirus cases threatened to derail the economy’s nascent recovery. Roughly one-third of households, 32 percent, have not made their complete housing payment in July, according to a survey published Wednesday by Apartment List, an online rental platform.
- New York Mayor Bill de Blasio announced that the nation’s largest public school system would not fully reopen in the fall.