WILD STUFF IN MISSOURI … ST. LOUIS POST DISPATCH: “Hawley says Greitens may have committed felony after using donor list to raise money,” by Jack Suntrup in Jefferson City: “Attorney General Josh Hawley said Tuesday that his office had uncovered evidence that Gov. Eric Greitens may have committed a felony after using a charity donor list to solicit donations to fuel his 2016 campaign for governor.
“Hawley announced an investigation into The Mission Continues charity last month with a focus on Missouri's charitable giving laws. “In the course of this investigation, we have uncovered evidence of wrongdoing that goes beyond Missouri's charity laws,’ Hawley, who like Greitens is a Republican, told reporters Tuesday morning. ‘To be specific, within the past several days, we have obtained evidence of potential criminal violations.’” http://bit.ly/2qFhfKu
-- HAWLEY is the Republican running for Senate against Claire McCaskill in Missouri and he’s targeting the scandal-plagued GOP governor in his home state.
YIKES -- “IRS payment system crashes on last tax filing day,” by Aaron Lorenzo: “The IRS has been unable to accept direct tax return payments today, the last day of tax filing season, because of a technical glitch, the agency chief said.
“The problem stems from a disconnect between the revenue agency and tax preparation software companies. They’re not able to submit returns to the IRS Direct Pay system, acting IRS Commissioner David Kautter said during a House Oversight Committee hearing.
“‘The challenge is the transmission,’ he said. Kautter couldn’t forecast when the matter would be resolved but said he hoped for a quick solution. He learned of the problem before beginning his testimony. ‘On my way over here this morning, I was told a number of systems are down at the moment,’ he said. ‘We are working to resolve the issue and taxpayers should continue to file as they normally would.’” https://politi.co/2qDWgIC
NICE WORK IF YOU CAN GET IT! -- The House has canceled votes that were scheduled for Thursday, per a memo from House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy. The last votes of the week are set for around 5:15 p.m. tomorrow.
BEHIND THE SCENES … HOUSE REPUBLICANS met this morning at the Capitol Hill Club, their private club across the street from the Capitol, to discuss politics. Here is what was said:
-- NRCC CHAIRMAN STEVE STIVERS of Ohio presented polling that showed the public has not heard from their elected representatives about the new tax bill. This is problematic, because Republicans are counting on this law to keep them in the majority. Stivers implored lawmakers to go out and sell the bill.
-- SPEAKER PAUL RYAN (R-WIS.) touted his massive fundraising numbers -- which we’ve reported in these pages -- and said he would keep at it. He also spoke about the party’s gains in the generic ballot.
PENNSYLVANIA REP. CHARLIE DENT announced he’ll leave Congress in May. He was going to retire anyway. But he won’t even stick around the next nine months. He’s expressed interest in a television analyst position.
NOTE FROM PENNSYLVANIA GOV. TOM WOLF’S OFFICE: “Once Governor Wolf receives an official resignation notice with an exact date, he will make a formal decision regarding scheduling the date of a special election.
“Pennsylvania’s Election Code requires the governor to issue a writ when the vacancy occurs during a session of Congress or if the vacancy occurs at a time when Congress shall be required to meet any time prior to the next general election. The governor must issue the writ within 10 days of the vacancy to set the special election date. The date of the election must not be sooner than 60 days after the governor issues the writ.” http://bit.ly/2HGLwAD
-- STEVE SHEPARD tells us that a special election would be held under the old map, which was thrown out by the courts earlier this year. But Wolf could wait to schedule the special concurrent with the general in November, when there will be a vote for a full term under the new lines, which favor Democrats.
-- PROBLEMATIC FOR THE GOP IN PENNSYLVANIA, from a new Muhlenberg survey: DEMS lead on the generic ballot 47% to 38% across the state. 55% of Pennsylvania voters disapprove of TRUMP'S performance, 39% support Trump's performance as president. http://bit.ly/2vouogo
Good Tuesday afternoon. WHITE HOUSE REVOLVING DOOR -- Michael Catanzaro is returning to CGCN Group as a partner after serving as the White House’s top adviser on energy and environmental policy for the National Economic Council.
THE TRUMP ADMINISTRATION …
-- PRUITT! … JULIET EILPERIN and BRADY DENNIS: “Pruitt upgraded to a larger, customized SUV with bullet-resistant seat covers”: “[EPA] Administrator Scott Pruitt upgraded his official car last year to a costlier, larger vehicle with bullet-resistant covers over bucket seats, according to federal records and interviews with current and former agency officials.
“Recent EPA administrators have traveled in a Chevrolet Tahoe, and agency officials had arranged for Pruitt to use the same vehicle when he joined the administration in February. But he switched to a larger, newer and more high-end Chevy Suburban last June.
“One former EPA official, who spoke on the condition of anonymity out of fear of retaliation, said that Pruitt remarked that he wanted the larger car because it was similar to ones in which some other Cabinet officials rode. The first year’s lease of the vehicle cost $10,200, according to federal contracting records.” https://wapo.st/2HJ4qXm
-- ZINKE! … “Ryan Zinke refers to himself as a geologist. That’s a job he’s never held,” by CNN’s Sara Ganim: “Since becoming leader of the 70,000-employee agency, Zinke has suggested that he was a geologist or former geologist at least 40 times in public settings, including many under oath before Congress. He uses it as a credential booster, saying things such as, ‘I can tell you, from a geologist, offshore mining of sand is enormously destructive environmentally, as in comparison to seismic,’ as he told the House Natural Resources Committee last month. …
“Zinke, however, has never held a job as a geologist. … His LinkedIn page, his book, and various news clips piecing together his post-military life -- compiled by the left-leaning group American Bridge -- show that once Zinke retired as a SEAL he went into business and politics, never mentioning work in the field of geology.”
“Interior spokeswoman Heather Swift provided this statement to CNN: ‘Ryan Zinke graduated with honors with a B.S. in Geology. His intended career path was underwater geology -- and he had college jobs to support that career. Upon graduation he was recruited to be an officer in the U.S. Navy SEALs where he proudly served for 23 years and retired with the rank of Commander.’” https://cnn.it/2HLyEtb
SIDELINED -- “Health and Human Services secretary diagnosed with intestinal infection,” by Dan Diamond: “HHS Secretary Alex Azar has been diagnosed with diverticulitis, which led to a brief hospital stay this weekend and forced him to postpone an appearance before a Senate committee this week, a department official told POLITICO.
“Azar was hospitalized at St. Vincent Health in his home state of Indiana on Sunday night, where he was treated with intravenous antibiotics before being discharged on Monday. The department official, who asked not to be identified, said it’s the first time Azar has suffered from diverticulitis, an infection that strikes the colon and can cause abdominal pain.
“Azar was scheduled to testify on his agency's budget request at a Senate Labor-HHS Appropriations hearing on Thursday, but that will be postponed. As of Tuesday morning, it wasn’t clear when Azar will return to Washington, and he may cancel or postpone other events on his schedule as he recovers.” https://politi.co/2HLV4dP
NEW REGULATORY WORLD ORDER -- “GOP maneuver could roll back decades of regulation,” by Zach Warmbrodt: “As soon as Tuesday, GOP senators are expected to use the Congressional Review Act to topple safeguards issued by the CFPB in 2013 that were intended to discourage discrimination in auto lending.
“While Republicans in the Trump era have already taken advantage of the 1996 law to remove more than a dozen recently issued rules, this would be the first time that Congress will have used it to kill a regulatory policy that is several years old. Now, actions going back to President Bill Clinton’s administration could be in play under the procedure GOP lawmakers are undertaking, forcing numerous agencies to reconsider how they roll out new regulations.” https://politi.co/2HJ4eaA
HMM… -- “Congressman Pushed Bills That Would’ve Helped Drug Company He Owns,” by Justin Glawe in The Daily Beast: “Rep. Chris Collins (R-NY) has sponsored several bills that would have benefited a drug company in which he is the lead shareholder, a Daily Beast investigation has found. Collins is also trying to make changes to a government program that would save the company millions of dollars if its drug is approved by the FDA.
“Collins’s office says he doesn’t believe his bills represent a conflict of interest, but he is already accused by independent Office of Congressional Ethics of violating House ethics rules and U.S. securities law for his dealings with the drug company.” https://thebea.st/2HGt62X
TRUMP SPEAKS -- @realDonaldTrump at 8:24 a.m.: “Employment is up, Taxes are DOWN. Enjoy!” … (also) at 8:24 a.m.: “I am in Florida and looking forward to my meeting with Prime Minister Abe of Japan. Working on Trade and Military Security.” ... (again) at 8:24 a.m.: “Looks like Jerry Brown and California are not looking for safety and security along their very porous Border. He cannot come to terms for the National Guard to patrol and protect the Border. The high crime rate will only get higher. Much wanted Wall in San Diego already started!” … (still) at 8:24 a.m.: “So many people are seeing the benefits of the Tax Cut Bill. Everyone is talking, really nice to see!”
-- TRUMP’S OP-ED in USA Today: “America’s economy is back and roaring and its people are winning” https://usat.ly/2HHoOsd
BOB CORKER PROFILE -- WaPo’s BEN TERRIS: “It took Bob Corker 21 seconds to begin answering the question. If the election were held today, would you vote for Donald Trump?
“The retiring Republican senator from Tennessee sat silently in a coffee shop that doubled as a church. His gray-blue eyes flicked from his plate of over-hard eggs toward a mural featuring two angels -- one wielding a sword and the other clutching a dove -- hanging above the pulpit. He fiddled with his tie, steepled his hands, grimaced, and glanced down at his phone.
“‘If the election were held today between the same two candidates,’ he offered, ‘I would.’ He reconsidered. ‘Why don’t you say, ‘probably,’ he said, running his hand through a tuft of white hair and bouncing a shiny black shoe under the table.” https://wapo.st/2HG1r2a
GORSUCH SPLITS IN SCOTUS -- “Gorsuch joins liberals on deportation ruling,” by Josh Gerstein: “President Donald Trump’s only pick for the Supreme Court, Justice Neil Gorsuch, joined with the court's liberal justices in a 5-4 ruling for the first time Tuesday, providing the swing vote for an opinion that will make it more difficult to deport immigrants who have committed violent crimes.
“In a decision likely to irritate the White House, Gorsuch agreed with his liberal colleagues that a clause in federal law allowing deportation of foreigners found guilty of ‘a crime of violence’ is unconstitutional because it is overly vague.” https://politi.co/2HGrhmF
GOOD READ -- “‘I Appreciate the Forthright Conversations’: Emmanuel Macron Opens Up About Iran and his New Pal in the West Wing,” by Tom Sancton in May’s Vanity Fair: “Macron, at 40, is a sophisticated and highly educated aesthete who quotes Hegel in his speeches; Trump, 71, is more at home with reality TV. One sleeps four hours a night and, more or less, works the other 20. The other watches four hours of television a day. One married a teacher 24 years his senior. The other married a model 24 years his junior. On policy questions, they have some sharp differences: Macron has criticized Trump’s decisions to pull out of the Paris agreement on climate change and clamp stiff tariffs on steel imports, as well as his threats to tear up the nuclear deal with Iran. ‘I have always been very clear and straightforward about our disagreements,’ Macron tells me.
“‘It is not because we are allies that we cannot disagree—that is the other way around! Our strong bilateral relations actually enable us to address our divergences in a constructive way.’ In terms of their personal histories, the two presidents have much in common: both are products of the private sector; both were political outsiders elected on their first try; both benefited from a populist rejection of traditional parties; both have authoritarian streaks; both have relentlessly decried what they consider radical Islam; and both, for better or worse, are seeking to carry out their campaign promises.” http://bit.ly/2EToMKB
WATCH TONIGHT -- THE FUTURE OF ENERGY: As the government debates the role of renewable energy, the private sector is charging forth. Tonight, tune into a conversation on how private business can address clean energy and build a more sustainable future at The Future of Renewable Energy: Private Sector Solutions at 6 p.m. Livestream https://politi.co/2HFyxPt
COMING ATTRACTIONS -- STEVE KORNACKI, a national correspondent for MSNBC and NBC News, this fall will release “The Red and the Blue: The 1990s and the Birth of Political Tribalism.” The book, Kornacki’s first, will be published by Ecco on Oct. 2. $29.99 on Amazon https://amzn.to/2J3SIGy
TRANSITIONS -- Emily Home will join Brookings as VP of communications in July. She is currently head of global policy communications for Twitter. … Michael Monrroy has joined the LIBRE Initiative as director of coalitions. He previously served on the RNC’s Virginia Hispanic Advisory Council and as chairman of the Loudoun Young Republicans. ...
… Zach Hudson joined American Bridge as the communications director for its gubernatorial program. He most recently served as communication director for Sen. Catherine Cortez-Masto’s (D-Nev.) campaign. … Ryan Taylor joined Forbes Tate Partners as VP in its strategic communications and public affairs practice. He was most recently Sen. Roger Wicker’s (R-Miss.) communications director.’
ENGAGED -- Jason Gorey, COO of the non-profit No One Left Behind and a reserve Army officer and veteran of the Afghan and Iraq wars, proposed to Lauren Ehrsam, a spokesperson at DOJ and alum of DCI Group, Javelin and several GOP campaigns, in a private proposal at their home in Alexandria. The couple were set up by a friend. Pic http://bit.ly/2H7yHy5