With Burgess Everett.

GETTING THE WORD OUT: One of the most common and simple mantras about politics is people vote by how their pockets feel. Democrats are racing to control the narrative around their Covid relief bill, launching a PR campaign to tell the country its turning the corner because of this latest $1.9 trillion package as well as efforts to secure more vaccinations.

This quote from President Joe Biden, who said yesterday that $100 million in checks will be in Americans pockets within the next 100 days, encapsulates Dems push: “Shots in arms and money in pockets.

Democrats are making the bet that this major piece of legislation will give them a boost in 2022, when they will be playing defense in an effort to protect their slim majorities in both the House and Senate. Every Democrat supported the bill, except one Dem member in the House, while no Republicans voted for it. And right now, polling is on Dems side. A new CNN/SSRS poll

released this week finds that 61 percent of Americans favor the coronavirus relief package, while 37 percent oppose it.

“The American people will remember that House Republicans voted against cutting childhood poverty in half, getting stimulus checks into the hands of struggling Americans, extending unemployment insurance, giving parents confidence their kids could return to school safely and they could get back to work, DCCC Spokesperson Chris Taylor tells me. House Republicans left American families out to dry — the people won’t forget that.”

Dems are looking to tie themselves to the legislation while Republicans are looking to link them to the big price tag. The GOP also plans to hammer the point that the bill was riddled with provisions that dont address Covid, all at the expense of the tax-payers.

We look forward to ensuring every voter knows that Democrats passed a corrupt, $1.9 trillion boondoggle that cuts Medicare, raises taxes and doesnt require schools to reopen and then left the taxpayers to foot the bill, NRCC Spokesman Michael McAdams said in a statement to your Huddle host.

After Biden signed the bill, Speaker Nancy Pelosi in a Dear Colleague encouraged rank-and-file Dems to hold town halls and send mailers about the bill and what it means for families and the economy. Sarah noted to methat shes observed a bunch of Dems working to schedule tele-town halls about this bill, especially frontliners like Reps. Elissa Slotkin (Mich.) and Jahana Hayes (Conn.).

Senate Dems are on the same page. This is absolutely something I will campaign on next year, Sen. Raphael Warnock (D-Ga.), a vulnerable Senate Democrat who is on the ballot in 2022, told NYTs Jonathan Martin


JOIN THE CONVERSATION, SUBSCRIBE TO THE RECAST: Power dynamics are shifting in Washington, and more people are demanding a seat at the table, insisting that all politics is personal and not all policy is equitable. The Recast is a new twice-weekly newsletter that breaks down how race and identity are recasting politics, policy and power in America. Get fresh insights, scoops and dispatches on this crucial intersection from across the country, and hear from new voices that challenge business as usual. Dont miss out on this new newsletter, SUBSCRIBE NOW. Thank you to our sponsor, Intel.

Democrats, for their part, plan to paint Republicans as refusing to help the country when people were in need.

In 2017, the GOP used reconciliation to jam a $1.9 trillion, imperfect measure targeted to the countrys wealthiest during an economic expansion. In 2021, Democrats used reconciliation to jam a $1.9 trillion, imperfect measure targeted to the countrys neediest during a pandemic and economic contraction, Rep. Dean Phillips (D-Minn.), a moderate who defeated the GOP incumbent in his district in 2018, tells me. If facts prevail, I suspect Americans will recognize and reward the party and policies that met their moment in their time of need.

Still, Republicans also think voters will not remember this bill by the time they arrive at polling places in 2022, or if they do, then it is about footing the cost. And they are shifting focus on a series of other issues to hit Democrats with, like the surging number of migrants detained at the border and what they say is Bidens too-slow push to re-open schools.

Right now, Americans are really excited about the opportunity for an economic impact payment…The euphoria of the bill will pass, people will get their economic impact payment, theyll spend it, and then we have the burden of paying for it, Sen. Joni Ernst (R-Iowa) told Iowa reporters, per the Des Moines Gazette

. And when all of that other stuff comes to light, thats when it becomes extremely unpopular.

Related: Why the popular Covid relief bill may not pay off electorally for Democrats, by CNNs Harry Enten: http://cnn.it/30Jovr2

| History dictates that Senate Republicans should have the advantage in 2022, but already theyre holding a far-worse hand than their opponents, by The National Journals Charlie Cook: http://bit.ly/3bRp4FD

FIRST IN HUDDLE: Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) is pushing forward with his effort to have Rep. Eric Swalwell (D-Calif.) removed from the House Intelligence Committee, sending a Dear Colleague letter to GOP members today in which he argues that he became deeply disturbed by what he learned about the California Democrats relationship with a suspected Chinese spy in a classified briefing with Pelosi on December 18.

I firmly believe that if any other member attended that briefing with us, he or she would reach this same conclusion, McCarthy wrote, voicing dismay that Swalwell is still allowed to sit on the House Intelligence Committee. To be clear: I do not make a motion for Rep. Swalwells removal from this committee lightly.

The problem is, this could just be a case of he-said-she-said about a closed-door briefing we may never hear more about. In 2015, the FBI provided a defensive briefing to Swalwell about the activities of Christine Fang, or Fang Fang, after which he immediately cut ties with her. His relationship with her started in 2012, before he was in the House. He is not suspected of sharing classified information with her, per Axios

, which first reported how the spy was targeting California politicians. Swalwell, who Pelosi has stood by, has accused the Trump administration of leaking this information in an effort to hurt him.

Read the full letter here: https://politi.co/3vuNTis

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HAPPY TUESDAY! Welcome to Huddle, the play-by-play guide to all things Capitol Hill on this March 16, where there are some mask lovers out there

, who like wearing them even without the threat of Covid removed.

MONDAYS MOST CLICKED:The National Journal’s story

on Dems laying out their vision for a big-ticket climate bill was the big winner.

PUPS OF CAPITOL HILL:Voting starts tomorrow for our Pups of Capitol Hill photo competition. Keep sending them in. Quick note: If you are a Huddler, you are welcome to participate. Pick your favorite pic of your pup and email it to me at [email protected]

with your poochs name.

IMMIGRATION PROSPECTS PLUMMET: Despite the movement this week on the House floor, its now an open question whether even piecemeal legislation like the DREAM Act or farm-focused bills can even pass the Senates supermajority requirement. Senate Majority Whip Dick Durbin (D-Ill.), who chairs the Judiciary Committee, said it was going to take awhile before he can even decide if theres a path forward in the Senate with a surge at the border and Republicans revving up their messaging.

We need more time, Durbin told reporters on Monday. I wish we could [do] just one piece at a time, but I dont think thats in the cards. Just a few minutes earlier, Sen. John Cornyn (R-Texas) said that unless theres some way to bring control and order to that situation [at the border], I think it makes it very hard to do other things on a bipartisan basis if youre going to reverse Trump policies, whats your plan? They didnt have a plan. Its hard to imagine anything getting 60 votes if someone like Cornyn doesnt support it.

DISPATCH: Republicans take Trump’s playbook to the border, our Sabrina Rodriquez with the dispatch from El Paso: http://politi.co/2NkyLCY

SPEAKING OF DURBIN, Marianne and Burgess have a new profile on the Senate No. 2, writing: Durbin never ascended to lead the Democratic caucus but is now one of the party’s most important members in Washington under President Joe Biden. Hes also got two of its toughest jobs, counting votes in a 50-50 Senate while running the committee that considers some of the White Houses top priorities.

If Durbin stumbles in either of his dual roles, the success of Biden’s agenda is almost instantly on the line, especially as the president prepares to roll out nominees as soon as this week to the judiciary and Justice Department.

To get to where he was also required jockeying against some of his colleagues. The Illinois Democrat describes his battle with Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse (D-R.I.) to lead the Senate Judiciary Committee as the hardest election he’s ever faced because he knew all the voters and saw them every day. But Durbin sought to make amends with Whitehouse immediately afterwards. “I went up to him the day after the caucus battle and said, it’s over, you did a respectable job, and I have no hard feelings,” he said in an interview.But this wasnt Durbin’s first intra-party squabble.

More on Durbin here from the fab Senate duo: http://politi.co/3cGp5vr

WHOOP, THERE IT IS: Senior Democrat hot mic says GOP foot-dragging will force fast-track process for infrastructure, by our Sam Mintz: http://politi.co/2NkcxB0

Related: Dems pass on repealing Trump regulations for now, by our Burgess and Marianne: http://politi.co/30NDWP2

ACROSS THE CAPITOL, Melanie also has a new profile out: Jaime Herrera Beutler is not one to make waves on Capitol Hill. But during Donald Trumps second impeachment trial, she almost created a tsunami.

The Washington Republican became the focal point during the impeachment trial, after she publicly revealed damaging details about Trumps phone call with House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) during the Jan. 6 Capitol riot. Then, she nearly became a witness in the Senate trial herself, which landed her a visit to the principal’s office erm the GOP leader’s office. It was all a remarkable twist of fate for a member who had spent 12 years in the House steering clear of controversy. More here from Mel: http://politi.co/3tnWNwq

Related: Democrats loved Katie Porter when she bashed Trump. Now she is making them squirm, by LA Times Jennifer Haberkorn: http://lat.ms/3cFpIFt

HAPPENING THURSDAY – PLAYBOOK INTERVIEW WITH CONGRESSMAN LEE ZELDIN: The GOP has not won a statewide election in New York in nearly two decades. Rep. Lee Zeldin (R-N.Y.), an ally of former President Donald Trump, is one of several Republicans considering a challenge against embattled New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo. Join Playbook co-authors Tara Palmeri and Ryan Lizza for a conversation with Rep. Zeldin to discuss a potential gubernatorial run and how he is working with Democrats in Congress. REGISTER HERE.

HEY THIS IS CRAZY…CALL ME MAYBE: There was a House-wide glitch yesterday, your Huddle host first reported, where every time a caller went to ring a House member’s office line, their calls were redirected to Speaker Pelosi’s voicemail. While the incident was quickly resolved, it certainly caused quite the overload in the speakers office, which is trying to get an explanation as to what caused the unusual commotion with the phone systems. Just think, a caller trying to reach Rep. Jim Jordan’s (R-Ohio) office got Speaker Pelosi’s voicemail instead.

BACK, BACK, BACK IT UP: The House acting sergeant-at-arms announced

yesterday that some of the fencing around the Capitol will shrink to a smaller perimeter and that the razor wire is coming down this week. And more of the fence is expected to be taken down next week, as Capitol Police have determined there does not exist a known, credible threat against Congress or the Capitol Complex that warrants the temporary security fencing. (h/t Sarah Ferris)

KEEPING UP WITH THE COMMISSION: Pelosi is reiterating her calls to establish a 9/11-style commission for the Jan. 6 attack, writing in a Dear Colleague letter

yesterday that she wants GOP involvement: “It is essential that we proceed in a bipartisan way in order to have a respected outcome.” She also attached a draft proposal that she says she sent to Republicans last month, which turns up the pressure on the GOP to negotiate.

MEANWHILEA Capitol Police officer has been suspended after a congressional staffer took photos of the law enforcement official reading an antisemitic document — a printed copy of the Protocols of the Meetings of the Learned Elders of Zion — which was seen at a checkpoint in a House office building. WaPos Mike DeBonis and Tyler Pager with the scoop: http://wapo.st/3lmgAcw

Related: Authorities charge two men for assault on U.S. Capitol Police officer Brian Sicknick, by Josh Gerstein and Kyle: http://politi.co/3bR571S

| Capitol riot suspect ordered detained after a hearing featuring daughters testimony, also by Kyle and Josh: http://politi.co/38JoveS

ANOTHER VAXXER SHOUTOUT: Rep. Kim Schrier (D-Wash.), a pediatrician by trade, did a volunteer shift yesterday

vaccinating members of her district.

ON CLIMATE: Green groups launch $10 million ad campaign pressuring Biden, Congress to spend huge on climate, by NBCs Josh Lederman: http://nbcnews.to/3tpQd8B

TOUR TIME: Marjorie Taylor Greene tours Orthodox spots in Brooklyn, by Forwards Jacob Kornbluh: http://bit.ly/3lx9UJ3

A message from Freight Rail Works:


-Super PAC supporting potential Senate candidate J.D. Vance gets $10 million donation from PayPal cofounder by Cincinnati Enquirers Jesse Balmert: http://bit.ly/3cPNxur

-This California Democrat’s survival in 2020 could provide a road map for party in Congress, by San Francisco Chronicles Tal Kopan: http://bit.ly/3liZMDi

-Gregg Smith ends his bid to unseat Republican Lauren Boebert, by the Colorado Suns Jesse Paul: http://bit.ly/30JtRTa

(That was fast!)

-Alaska GOP censures, vows primary challenge to Murkowski, by The Hills Reid Wilson: http://bit.ly/2NtfcZq



-The Senate convenes and will resume consideration of Isabella Guzman to be Bidens Administrator of the Small Business Administration. The Senate today will also proceed with a vote to invoke cloture on the nomination of Katherine Tai to be U.S. trade representative.

-The Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee has a 10 a.m. hearing

on the nomination of Julie Su to serve as deputy secretary of Labor.


-Deb Haaland becomes first-ever Native American

in presidential Cabinet

-Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) signals he’ll support Vanita Gupta as No. 3 at DOJ, bolstering her chance at confirmation, CNNs Manu Raju reports: http://cnn.it/3vsQMQG


Former Rep. Jason Chaffetz (R-Utah) will join the Government Accountability Institute as a distinguished fellow.


The House meets at 2 p.m. for legislative business. First votes are not expected until after 6:30 p.m.

The Senate convenes at 10 a.m.


10 a.m.: House Appropriations Homeland Security Subcommittee virtual hearing

on the role of FEMA in the response to Covid-19, featuring Bob Fenton, senior Official Performing the Duties of FEMA Administrator.

11 a.m.: The House Rules Committee will meet

to prepare the two Dem immigration bills for floor consideration, a bill that would halt sequestration cuts totaling as much as $90 billion set to occur in January because Bidens Covid relief package increased projected deficits, as well as other bills.

2 p.m.: The U.S. Chamber of Commerce holds a virtual discussion about modernizing the government. Sen. Maggie Hassan (D-N.H.), Rep. Darrell Issa (R-Calif), and others are slated to participate.


MONDAYS WINNER: Eric Buetens was the first person to correctly guess that the Senate has been split evenly four times since its founding. Eric answered Republican had the slight upper hand in 1881 and 1953 and then Democrats had control in 2000 and now.

TODAYS QUESTION: From Eric: When was the last time there were no living ex-presidents?

The first person to correctly guess gets a mention in the next edition of Huddle. Send your answer to [email protected]


GET HUDDLEemailed to your phone

each morning.

Follow Olivia on Twitter: @Olivia_Beavers

A message from Freight Rail Works:

Once again, rail receives top marks in safety and infrastructure. The American Society of Civil Engineers just awarded freight rail the highest accolade of any U.S. infrastructure. How does the industry keep almost 140,000 rail miles running smoothly? Through healthy private investment that prioritizes improvements in safety and efficiency. Over the last 40 years, freight railroads have spent nearly $740 billion to maintain and modernize todays network, averaging $25 billion a year. And as policymakers work to address infrastructure challenges and advance other priorities, railroads stand as ready partners to help craft well-designed, viable solutions. See how rail is uniquely poised to be a key player in helping the U.S. meet future climate, economic and infrastructure goals.