- “ICE arrests in the interior plunged after President Biden took office and set new limits on immigration enforcement, including a 100-day ‘pause’ on most deportations. A federal judge quickly blocked that order. But while ICE’s arrests have increased in recent months, enforcement levels under Biden’s new priority system remain lower than in previous years.”
About those 'funeral crashers' otherwise known as 'Javanka'
Family matters: In her new book, “Bad Republican,” Meghan McCain dredges up an old feud, calling Ivanka Trump and Jared Kushner “funeral crashers” in reference to the couple's attendance at the 2018 funeral for her father, former senator John McCain (R-Ariz.).
But Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.), the late McCain's close friend turned loyal Donald Trump defender, says “their presence was approved.”
“She was upset they were there — I understand that, and she has hard feelings but I know what happened and nobody showed up uninvited,” Graham told The Early over the phone. “I love Meghan McCain and I understand how stressful all this has been for her and those who attack her dad will never be forgiven by her.”
The New York Times reported at the time that Graham “had cleared” the couple's invitation “with the senator’s widow.” A source close to Jared and Ivanka told us the couple was invited by McCain's widow, Cindy McCain, via Graham.
Graham's willingness to go on the record defending Donald Trump's daughter and son-in-law in a minor spat over their attendance at a funeral that took place more than three years ago highlights the former president's continued influence over the Republican Party. Graham criticized Trump after the Jan. 6 assault on the Capitol but weeks later returned to praising him.
“The way I look at it, there is no way we can achieve our goals without Trump,” he told The Post in February.
In her book, Meghan McCain writes: “I saw Ivanka Trump and Jared Kushner sitting towards the back. As far as I knew, they had not been invited but they showed up anyway. Funeral crashers. It never even crossed my mind that they would come. Why would you go to something like that. It seemed audacious even for them. When I saw them I thought, ‘I hope this is the most uncomfortable moment of your entire life.’”
In an interview with Bravo TV's Andy Cohen last week, Meghan McCain said that “it was her understanding that the power couple attended the ceremony at the National Cathedral memorial because it was an ‘event they wanted to go to,’” the Daily News's Brian Niemietz reports.
But an email reviewed by The Early indicated the funeral organizers were aware the senior White House aides, also known as “Javanka,” would be attending the funeral and were in touch with the Secret Service to provide logistical guidance for their arrival.
“Meghan was unaware of any invitation to a member of the Trump family to her father’s funeral. She stands by the accuracy of her memoir,” said a spokesperson her.
“Jared and Ivanka had about as much interest in attending the funeral as they did the half dozen or so dinner invitations that Ben and Meghan pestered them with after the funeral,” said the source close to Kushner and Ivanka Trump of Meghan McCain and her husband, Ben Domenech.
On K Street
Two months after PhRMA pledged to share plan to lower prescription prices, still no proposal
More pharma lobbying details: Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America, the pharmaceutical industry's powerful trade group, has said it supports efforts to lower prescription drug prices, as Theo and our colleague Rachel Roubein reported on Monday. It just opposes Democrats' current plans to do so, which it argues would cost jobs and hinder the discovery of new drugs.
But the trade group hasn't rushed to put out a counter-proposal.
Stephen Ubl, PhRMA's president and chief executive, pledged on Sept. 1 to share details of the trade group's own plan to bring down prescription drug prices with the Biden administration in a meeting with Susan Rice, the head of the White House's Domestic Policy Council, and pharmaceutical company executives, according to a person familiar with the matter.
Nearly two months later, though, the White House hasn't received any such proposal, according to the person.
Reached for comment, a PhRMA spokesperson declined to comment beyond PhRMA's previous statement that it's had “constructive engagement with policymakers" on lowering "costs for patients, while protecting choice, access and future innovation.”
On the Hill
Democrats continue negotiations on billionaires income tax, paid leave
Déjà vu all over again: Will Democrats finally agree on a framework this week to help pass their massive child care, health care and climate change bill, giving President Biden something to brandish as he heads to Glasgow for the United Nations climate summit?
There are many outstanding issues that lawmakers must hash out for that to happen — including whether Democrats will include a last-minute “Billionaire's Income Tax” to help pay for the bill and how, exactly, such a tax would work.
- The concept, our colleague Annie Linskey reports, is similar to the wealth tax popularized by Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) during the 2020 presidential campaign. It “was abruptly revived when Sen. Kyrsten Sinema (D-Ariz), a centrist, objected to raising corporate income tax rates to help pay for Biden’s expanded safety net, leaving Democrats with a revenue shortfall.”
- Still, it's far from certain the idea will make it into the bill. Adam Jentleson, a onetime top aide to former Senate Majority Leader Harry M. Reid (D-Nev.) who praised such a tax as an “extremely good” idea, nevertheless "said it was unusual for such a major idea to arise in the final stages of a negotiation. ‘I can’t remember an idea this big, and that is this much of a flash point, sliding in under the wire at this late stage of a negotiation,’ he said.”
The latest: Democratic senators are lobbying Sen. Joe Manchin III (D-W.Va.) directly on “efforts to expand health care benefits and create a federal paid leave program,” Politico's Marianne LeVine and Burgess Everett report.
- "Acknowledging the headwinds that paid leave faces with Manchin, Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.) said on Monday evening she is ‘starting a new conversation’ with him on what he might accept. 'I can tell you Sen. Manchin is interested in an employer and employee based [plan], and I am negotiating with him right now to see if we can include paid leave in a final package,' she said."
- “Gillibrand isn’t alone. Sens. Raphael Warnock (D-Ga.) and Jon Ossoff (D-Ga.) are also working to assuage Manchin’s concerns about the party's push to close the Medicaid coverage gap.”
Manchin also “wants to remove or modify a provision that would impose a fee on emissions of methane, a powerful planet-warming pollutant that leaks from oil and gas wells,” the New York Times' Coral Davenport writes. At least one of Manchin's fellow Democratic senators, though, appears ready to fight to make sure a methane fee makes it into the bill.
What we’re reading:
- Additional Medicare, Medicaid benefits may be whittled or cut as Democrats woo moderates. By The Post’s Dan Diamond, Rachel Roubein, Amy Goldstein and Tony Romm.
- In Taiwan war game, few good options for U.S. to deter China. By The Post’s Dan Lamothe.
- In advance of climate summit, tension among Biden aides on China policy. By The Post’s John Hudson and Ellen Nakashima.
- Federal judges would face tougher stock-trading rules under bipartisan bill. By the Wall Street Journal’s James V. Grimaldi, Coulter Jones and Joe Palazzolo.
- Border Patrol repeatedly gave agents light punishments, report finds. By the New York Times’s Eileen Sullivan.