WILL JAN. 6 PANEL TALK TO TRUMP, PENCE? The House committee investigating the Jan. 6 insurrection has interviewed nearly 1,000 people. But the nine-member panel has yet to talk to the two most prominent players in that day’s events — former President Donald Trump and former Vice President Mike Pence (AP). As the investigation winds down and the panel plans a series of hearings in June, members of the committee are debating whether to call the two men, whose conflict over whether to certify Joe Biden’s 2020 presidential election win was at the center of the attack. Trump pressured Pence for days, if not weeks, to use his ceremonial role presiding over the Jan. 6 count to try to block or delay Biden’s certification. Pence refused to do so, and rioters who broke into the building that day called for his hanging. There are reasons to call either or both of them. The committee wants to be as thorough as possible, and critics are sure to pounce if they don’t even try. But some lawmakers on the panel have argued that they’ve obtained all the information they need without Trump and Pence.

 

UTILITIES MAKE 265K DISCONNECTIONS: Indiana’s utilities shut off electricity to Hoosier households nearly 265,000 times over the last two years, according to a new report out this week. That’s the third most of any state across the country, according to the available data (IndyStar). The study — produced by advocacy groups Bailout Watch and the Center for Biological Diversity — showed that utilities raked in billions in pandemic aid and revenue while disconnecting roughly 3.6 million U.S. households. Disconnections across the nation increased by 79% from 2020 to 2021 as state-level moratoriums on electricity shut-offs to protect customers during the pandemic expired.

 

ASSESSOR CONFRONTED BY RESIDENTS WITH SKYROCKETING TAX BILLS: St. Joseph County residents are spending their Saturday getting answers from the Penn Township assessor after receiving property assessments in the mail last week (WNDU-TV). A line of taxpayers told 16 News Now: “My land, period, went up over 100 percent. My land went up 300 percent. My taxes have more than doubled in the last four years. Our land went up 50 percent, and the overall went up $40,000.” Penn Township Assessor Michael Castellon held a meeting to answer questions about the property assessment increases on Saturday at Mishawaka Fire Station Four, where dozens had to stand outside due to standing-room only. Castellon also heard from residents outdoors. “We’re coming off a really robust market that’s driving the values up based off the state’s requirement for fair market value in use. And a use’s mass appraisal as a technique to determine those values,” he explained.

 

U.S. COVID DEATH TOLL SURPASSES 1M: This week, the U.S. will likely reach the once unthinkable milestone of 1 million deaths from COVID-19. The actual number of lives lost is likely much higher. But the official tally is a reminder of how much the pandemic has dwarfed even the grimmest forecasts, Axios' Tina Reed writes. America is averaging around 300 deaths a day — down from highs that once exceeded 3,000 a day. The Biden administration is warning the U.S. could see 100 million COVID infections — and a big wave of deaths — this fall and winter, driven by new omicron subvariants, The Washington Post reports.

 

HUTCHINSON CALLS NATIONAL ABORTION RESTRICTION 'INCONSISTENT': Arkansas Gov. Asa Hutchinson (R) on Sunday said a national abortion ban floated by Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) is “inconsistent with what we’ve been fighting for.” McConnell told USA Today in an interview published on Saturday that a national ban on abortions is “possible” as the country reacts to a draft majority opinion from the Supreme Court that shows the bench poised to overturn Roe v. Wade. Asked by anchor Martha Raddatz on ABC’s “This Week” if he would oppose a national ban on the medical procedure, Hutchinson said such a move may have “some constitutional issues.” “I think it’s inconsistent with what we’ve been fighting for four decades, which is that we wanted the Roe v. Wade reversed and the authority to return to the states. And so as a matter of principle, that’s where it should be,” Hutchinson said.

 

MISSISSIPPI GOVERNOR EYES CONTRACEPTION: Mississippi Gov. Tate Reeves (R) on Sunday refused to rule out the possibility that his state would ban certain forms of contraception, sidestepping questions about what would happen next if Roe v. Wade is overturned (Washington Post). On CNN’s “State of the Union,” Reeves confirmed that, if the Supreme Court overturns Roe v. Wade, a trigger law passed in Mississippi in 2007 would go into effect that essentially outlaws abortions in the state, although it makes exceptions for rape and for the life of the mother. When asked if Mississippi might next target the use of contraceptives such as the Plan B pill or intrauterine devices, Reeves demurred, saying that was not what the state was focused on “at this time.” “My view is that the next phase of the pro-life movement is focusing on helping those moms that maybe have an unexpected and unwanted pregnancy,” Reeves said. “And while I’m sure there will be conversations around America regarding [contraceptives], it’s not something that we have spent a lot of time focused on.”

 

BONO, THE EDGE PLAY IN KYIV: U2’s Bono and The Edge held a surprise concert in a Kyiv subway station Sunday at the request of Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky (New York Post). The superstars performed such U2 classics as “With or Without You” and “Angel of Harlem” along with a cover of Ben E. King’s “Stand by Me” — although they changed the lyrics to “Stand by Ukraine.” “President Zelensky invited us to perform in Kyiv as a show of solidarity with the Ukrainian people and so that’s what we’ve come to do,” the band tweeted from its official account in a message signed by Bono and The Edge — who played acoustic guitar for the makeshift subway concert. The U2 frontmen performed on the central Kyiv subway platform as Ukraine’s transit stations have morphed into de facto bomb shelters for residents to hide from Russian attacks. Videos on social media captured the moving event in the Eastern European country’s capital city.

 

PUTIN DEFENDS UKRAINE INVASION ON 'VICTORY' DAY: President Vladimir V. Putin used his Victory Day speech on Monday to try to channel Russian pride in defeating Nazi Germany into support for this year’s invasion of Ukraine. But contrary to some expectations he did not make any new announcements signaling a mass mobilization for the war effort or an escalation of the onslaught (New York Times). Mr. Putin, speaking in Moscow’s Red Square on Russia’s most important secular holiday, marking the anniversary of the Soviet victory in World War II, restated his past claims that attacking Ukraine was “inevitable” and “the only correct decision.” He said Russian troops in eastern Ukraine were fighting “on their land,” an indication that Mr. Putin had no plans to relinquish control of the territory his forces had taken in recent months. “You are fighting for the Motherland, for its future, so that no one forgets the lessons of World War II,” Mr. Putin said, addressing Russian forces in Ukraine. “So that there is no place in the world for executioners, punishers and Nazis.”

 

HPI DAILY ANALYSIS: The Despot Vladimir Putin delivered a flat address at Red Square this morning, denied his “victory” in a criminal invasion of Ukraine. Putin was upstaged by First Lady Jill Biden, who joined her counterpart in Ukraine today, and U2’s Bono and The Edge who played a 45-minute concert in a Kyiv subway. - Brian A. Howey

 

Campaigns

 

TRUMP RAISES MONEY AT DERBY: Former President Donald Trump attended a fundraiser at the Kentucky Derby this weekend benefiting his primary super PAC, Make America Great Again, Again!, which raised $1.5 million, according to a person familiar with the event (Politico Playbook). The fundraiser was hosted by former U.S. Ambassador to the U.N. (and likely 2023 Kentucky gubernatorial candidate) Kelly Craft and her husband, coal magnate Joe Craft.

 

Congress

 

BRAUN SKEPTICAL OF FED IMPACT ON INTEREST RATES: The Fed raising interest rates in an effort to stop inflation from getting worse, but Indiana’s Sen. Mike Braun (R) is questioning if raising interest rates will be enough to stifle the problem (WIBC). The chairman of the Federal Reserve, Jerome Powell, said last week that employers having issues filling job openings and wages rising at the quickest rates in many years are some of the issues behind rising inflation. Rising wages can have side effects, one of which is a concept called “cost-push inflation.” Put simply, cost-push inflation occurs when the cost of producing materials and goods goes up. An example of cost-of-production is paying workers; the higher wages go, the prices of the goods made by those workers go up. “I’m wondering if the Fed can do much. I’m a believer that the cost-push side of inflation is what’s really kept a lid on it,” Braun said on Fox Business. “Powell accommodated that the balance sheet is bigger than it’s ever been. I don’t know how we get this back in Pandora’s Box. Last time it took high-interest rates and a long time.”

 

GOP CALLS FOR SCOTUS PROBE: Calls from high-ranking Republicans for the Department of Justice (DOJ) to launch its own investigation into the leak of a Supreme Court draft opinion are alarming those who say the DOJ would be blurring the separation of powers in pursuit of something that may not even be a crime (The Hill). The leak has set off a round of finger-pointing and calls for heads to roll following the history-making release of a draft opinion that would overturn Roe v. Wade. While Chief Justice John Roberts has ordered an investigation by the court’s marshal, some GOP lawmakers are concerned that won’t be adequate. “This lawless action should be investigated and punished to the fullest extent possible, the fullest extent possible,” Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) said during a floor speech Tuesday.

 

THE SENATE will meet at 3 p.m. to take up Ann Phillips nomination to head the Maritime Administration, with a cloture vote at 5:30 p.m. THE HOUSE is out.

 

Nation

 

WHITE HOUSE: BIDEN TO ANNOUNCE BROADBAND FOR POOR PROGRAM - Twenty internet providers, including AT&T Inc., Comcast Corp. and Verizon Communications Inc., have agreed to help offer high-speed internet to millions of unconnected households through the bipartisan infrastructure law, Biden administration officials said (Wall Street Journal). President Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris on Monday plan to join with telecom executives, members of Congress and others to highlight the $30-a-month subsidy now available to low-income households to access high-speed internet. The program has run up against an early hurdle because the people who need it most are the hardest to reach because they aren’t online.

 

WHITE HOUSE: BIDEN SCHEDULE - President Biden's schedule — 8:55 a.m.: The president will depart New Castle, Del., arriving at the White House at 9:50 a.m. — 11:15 a.m.: Biden and VP Harris will receive the President’s Daily Brief. — 1:30 p.m.: Biden and Harris will speak from the Rose Garden about the bipartisan infrastructure law’s efforts to expand high-speed internet access and lower costs. — 2:45 p.m.: Biden will sign the bill creating a lend-lease program for Ukraine into law, with Harris attending. — 6 p.m.: Biden will take part in a DNC fundraiser in Potomac, Md. — Tuesday: The president will speak about his efforts to tackle inflation (and contrast them with Sen. Rick Scott’s call for higher taxes, now labeled in official White House materials as “Congressional Republicans’ ultra-MAGA plan”). He’ll also have a bilateral meeting with Italian PM Mario Draghi. — Wednesday: Biden will have a busy day in Illinois: first visiting a family farm in Kankakee to tout the administration’s work on food supply and inflation, then addressing the 40th International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers International Convention in Chicago, then taking part in a DNC fundraiser in Chicago. — Thursday: Biden will host several foreign leaders for a dinner as part of the U.S.-ASEAN Special Summit. — Friday: Biden will take part in the summit at the State Department. Press secretary Jen Psaki will brief at 3 p.m.

 

MLB: CHISOX SWEEP BOSTON 3-2 -  Dallas Keuchel halted his three-start losing streak with six solid innings, José Abreu hit a two-run double and the Chicago White Sox beat the Boston Red Sox 3-2 Sunday for their season-high sixth straight victory (ESPN). Leury García added an RBI single for the White Sox (14-13), who moved over .500 for the first time since April 20 and completed a 5-0 road trip, including three wins at Fenway Park. Christian Vázquez had an RBI single for Boston (10-19), which has lost a season-most five straight and 14 of 18. Keuchel (2-3) allowed two runs on eight hits, fanning five and walking one after posting a 9.90 ERA in his previous three starts.

 

MLB: REDS DEFEAT PITTSBURGH 7-3 - Colin Moran hit a grand slam and a two-run homer against his former team, powering the Cincinnati Reds to a 7-3 victory over the Pittsburgh Pirates on Sunday (ESPN). Tyler Mahle pitched five solid innings and the Reds rallied from a 2-0 deficit in the sixth. Cincinnati took two of three against Pittsburgh to win a series for the first time this season, improving the majors' worst record to 5-23.

 

MLB: DODGERS DOWN CUBS 7-1 - Walker Buehler marked his 100th career start with his usual performance (ESPN). Cool. Calm. Efficient. Buehler pitched seven sparkling innings and the Los Angeles Dodgers beat the sliding Chicago Cubs 7-1 on Sunday night for their sixth consecutive victory. "Tonight was all about Walker," manager Dave Roberts said. Sure was. Buehler (4-1), a two-time All-Star who made his big league debut in 2017, improved to 3-0 with a 0.43 ERA over his last three outings. The right-hander allowed one run and four hits, struck out six and walked two. "Typical Walker," teammate Gavin Lux said.

 

Sunday Talk

 

MICHIGAN AG WARNS OF STATE ABORTION PROBE: Michigan’s Democratic attorney general warned on Sunday that Republican-led states would start investigating and prosecuting abortion providers and abortion patients if Roe v. Wade is overturned by the Supreme Court. Attorney General Dana Nessel told NBC’s “Meet the Press” that while she would “refuse to enforce laws that would endanger” women’s health, she believes more conservative leaders in offices across the country will criminalize abortion care, which could include the prosecution of doctors as well as women who take abortion pills. “We’re talking about not just throwing providers and anybody who works for the provider under aiding and abetting theories in prison but also women themselves who procured abortion through abortion medication,” Nessel told moderator Chuck Todd. “It’s a really scary set of circumstances for women here in Michigan.”

 

MACE SUPPORTS ABORTION EXCEPTIONS: Republican Rep. Nancy Mace (S.C.) on Sunday said she supports exceptions to abortion bans in cases of rape and incest and to save the life of the mother, citing her personal experience with rape when she was a young girl. Asked if she thinks exceptions to abortion bans for victims of rape and incest should be codified by federal law, Mace told moderator Margaret Brennan on CBS’s “Face the Nation,” “Absolutely.” Mace said she is a rape victim and cited the emotional, mental and physical trauma she experienced as a result. “I am pro-life, but I do support exceptions for rape. I’m a rape victim myself. And when you realize what’s happened in your life, the trauma, the emotional, the mental, the physical trauma in a woman’s life, that decision — she should make that decision with her doctor and between her and her God,” Mace said.

 

GILLIBRAND ON ROE CODIFY VOTE: Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.) said on Sunday that she and her colleagues plan to vote this week to codify Roe v. Wade, in response to the leaked Supreme Court draft opinion to overturn that indicated the court would overturn the landmark ruling. During an appearance on CNN’s “State of the Union,” moderator Jake Tapper shared a clip of California Gov. Gavin Newsom (D) criticizing party officials for not doing enough in the fight for abortion rights.  Gillibrand responded that she and her colleagues are doing everything possible in response to the leaked draft opinion, citing it as the “biggest fight” of the generation.

 

PELOSI DESCRIBES SCOTUS 'SLAP IN THE FACE': House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) on Sunday said the draft Supreme Court opinion that shows a majority of justices favor overturning Roe v. Wade “slapped women in the face.” “Here we are on Mother’s Day, a week where this court has slapped women in the face in terms of disrespect for their judgment about the size and timing of their families,” Pelosi told moderator Margaret Brennan on CBS’s “Face the Nation.” “So the fact is, let’s keep our eye on the ball. The ball is in the court of those justices, one of them at least said over and over again,” she added.

 

GOV. REEVE SEES 'CORRECT DECISION': Mississippi Gov. Tate Reeves (R) said on Sunday that overturning the landmark Roe v. Wade decision, which legalized abortion in the U.S., would be the “correct decision” for the Supreme Court. During an appearance on CNN’s “State of the Union,” moderator Jake Tapper asked Reeves if his state is going to target birth control methods such as IUDs and Plan B emergency contraception. “That is not what we’re focused on at this time. We’re focused on looking at what the court allows for the bill that is before the court,” Reeves told Tapper. “We believe that the overturning of Roe is the correct decision by the court,” he added. “In Mississippi, we don’t have laws on the books that would lead to arresting individuals or anything along those lines.”

 

UN AMBASSADOR DECRIES TALIBAN: Linda Thomas-Greenfield, the U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, said on Sunday that it is “unconscionable” for the Taliban to order women in Afghanistan to cover their faces. During an appearance on CNN’s “State of the Union,” moderator Jake Tapper asked Thomas-Greenfield about the new order by the Afghan government that requires women to cover their faces in public, a return to hard-line restrictions that were in place by the Taliban prior to the U.S.-led invasion. The order also punishes the father or closest male relative to a woman caught exposing her face. “Doesn’t this underlying even further the problem of the U.S. withdrawal without a competent government in place?” Tapper asked Thomas-Greenfield.

 

Local

 

FORT WAYNE: ROE PROTESTS OUTSIDE OF COURTHOUSE - At least 40 to 50 people came out to the Allen County Courthouse this afternoon to make their voices heard on Mother’s Day (WPTA-TV). The rally was called “The Choice for Mother’s Day Rally for Reproductive Justice and Freedom.” People say it’s about the future of abortion access in the United States. This comes after the recent Supreme Court leak about the possible reversal of Roe V. Wade. The action would not outlaw abortion, but it would leave it up to state legislatures to decide whether there should be restrictions. Some people at the courthouse were in support of the changes, while others were not.

 

SOUTH BEND: 50 PROTEST FOR ROE - About 50 people gathered in downtown South Bend this weekend to demonstrate in support of abortion rights (WVPE). The protest comes a week after a leaked Supreme Court draft opinion showed it likely to overturn Roe v. Wade, and follows others around the state and country. Linda Scopelitis and Mary Ellen Hegedus were two of the protesters in the Jon R. Hunt Plaza on Saturday. They said they remember a time before the Roe v. Wade decision, when abortion was illegal in the U.S. “We’ve lived through high school and college with women having to leave mid-semester to — quote unquote — ‘take care of their grandmother,’” or in college, ‘Oh, my daughter’s taking a semester abroad.’” Scopelitis said. “I don’t want to see that again.” “We did this 50 years ago — why are we doing it again?” Hegedus added. “I thought things were going to get better for them. Not this.”

 

MIAMI COUNTY: COUNCIL APPROVES $200K FOR HOUSING IN PERU - A $20 million housing development can move forward after the Miami County Council approved the final funding to help the developer pay for a special foundation due to soil compaction issues at the site (Gerber, Kokomo Tribune). The council last month voted 5-2 to allocate $200,000 from its American Rescue Plan dollars to fund the project. Councilmen John Donaldson and Bryan Nutt voted against the proposal. The decision came after the Peru City Council last month also approved $400,000 in tax-incremental financing (TIF) revenue and $200,000 in economic development money to fund the construction of the special foundation. Jim Tidd, executive director of the Miami County Economic Development Authority (MCEDA), said the $800,000 in total allocated by the city and the county is enough for Wabash River Equities LLC to install a special foundation for its 174-unit housing project.