What to Know in Washington: N.Y. Looms Large in House GOP Plans

Bloomberg Government subscribers get the stories like this first. Act now and gain unlimited access to everything you need to know. Learn more.

House Republicans are trying to hang on to six seats in New York districts that President Joe Biden won in 2020.

Democrats, who need to pick up five seats to retake the House majority, are betting New Yorkers’ unease with the GOP’s focus on social issues like abortion, transgender rights, and book bans give them an edge.

The Republicans in these districts in turn are de-emphasizing culture-war fights to lean into pocketbook issues and concrete local concerns. Their priorities run the gamut from farm subsidies to electrical vehicle requirements for school buses to the cap on the state and local tax deduction, which hits downstate voters particularly hard.

Republicans in November took four New York districts — and kept seats in two other moderate-to-liberal areas — by hammering Democrats on skyrocketing inflation and the broader US economy. The party went on to win a narrow House majority.

Photographer: Dana Ullman/Bloomberg

At a lakeside event with veterans just north of New York City, Mike Lawler (R-N.Y.) answered questions on military medical insurance.

Jack Duncan, a 66-year-old who served in the Marines and Army, confided he and his son are Republicans, his wife a Democrat, and his daughter an independent voter.

“That’s pretty reflective of things around here. If Lawler wants to stick around, he needs to find middle ground,” Duncan said. “You’ll find being in lockstep with an extreme position — either the extreme left or the extreme right — won’t work.”

But Rep. Hakeem Jeffries (N.Y.), the House Democratic leader, argued recently that Lawler and the other Republican freshmen in his state merely “project moderation.”

“They have failed to distance themselves from the most extreme elements of their party,” Jeffries said.

These Republicans supported the House GOP’s initial offering in the fight to suspend the nation’s debt ceiling, a package that would have rolled back veterans’ health benefits and threatened food assistance programs. Democrats also point to the votes most cast in favor of measures restricting military access to abortion services as contradictory to their statements the federal government needed to stay out of the issue.

However, these Republicans do align — at least in part — with the majority of their party on immigration. They’ve spoken out against New York City Mayor Eric Adams’ handling of the migrant surge in his city, and its impacts in the surrounding counties. But they’re also willing to break with Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.), if need be, to get what they want on other matters.

Yet, non-partisan analyses suggest they are among the least conservative of House Republicans. Lawler’s voting record is more liberal than 98% of fellow House Republicans, putting him at the current Congress’s ideological center, according to Voteview.com. Read the full story from Billy House.


  • Biden has no public events scheduled today.
  • Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre gives a briefing at 3:30 p.m.


  • The House is back tomorrow to tackle spending bills on the floor this week.
  • Senators convene tomorrow at 3 p.m. to resume floor work on the annual defense policy bill.

Spending Bills, Infrastructure & Lobbying on the Hill

BGOV OnPoint: House Spending Votes Planned; Panels Make Progress

House and Senate Appropriators advanced additional spending bills the week of July 17 as the House tees up the first floor votes of the year this week.

Self-Driving Car Rules Get Renewed Push

Congress is renewing efforts to accelerate the deployment of autonomous vehicles, drawing concerns from safety and labor groups.

Railroads, Unions Form Rare Alliance

A recent cut in railroad workers’ sickness and unemployment benefits has made bedfellows of usually-adversarial groups—railroad companies and their employees—now pushing Congress to fix an issue that could strain their workforce and the nation’s supply chain it supports.

IRS’s Danny Werfel Picks His Battles

His best opportunity for a honeymoon period evaporated when House Republicans and the White House agreed to rescind $20 billion of what the the IRS received in last year’s tax-and-climate law. Still, the goodwill IRS Commissioner Danny Werfel has built through decades of experiences may buy him time to mollify the agency’s critics.

Credit Suisse Pressed by Senators Over Nazi Accounts

Top Senators accused Credit Suisse of failing to follow through on pledges to cooperate with a probe into allegations the bank concealed information about accounts held by Nazis in the decades after World War II.

United Airlines, Meta, Chamber Drop Big Money on Hill Lobbying

United Airlines spent more on federal lobbying in the second quarter of this year than ever before, while the Chamber of Commerce, Meta, and Amazon also spent big to influence lawmakers.

Politics, Probes and 2024

Up-for-Grabs Latino Voters Signal 2024 Fight for Democrats

A wavering group of Latino voters is up for grabs as the 2024 election nears, signaling a warning flare for the Democratic Party.

Alabama Map With 40%-Black District Risks Clash

Alabama’s Republican-controlled legislature raced to enact a new congressional map Friday, declaring that they did enough to comply with a court order to improve the ability of Black voters to elect the lawmakers they want.

Gen Z Roiled by Supreme Court Rulings

Many members of Gen Z are struggling to decipher what the recent student loan and abortion decisions issued by the Supreme Court mean for their life choices, Bloomberg Law found in interviews with dozens of people in their late teens and early 20s across the country.

  • Iowa is taking its fight against abortion to the state’s highest court after a judge issued an injunction halting the enforcement of its latest law banning the procedure. Read more.
  • States positioning themselves as abortion safe havens are beginning to shield location information that can be gleaned from mobile phones, and to protect the privacy of other data that can show who is visiting a health care facility. Read more.

Biden Campaign Hits DeSantis Over Slavery Curriculum

Biden’s reelection campaign condemned Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis (R) in a clash over how the history of slavery in America is taught in his state, saying he supported the notion that an “utterly evil” system had benefits for the enslaved.

Trump Attempt to Stoke Auto Worker Tension With Biden Is Failing

Trump wants the United Auto Workers, with its almost 1 million active and retired members, to endorse his candidacy for president by saying that Democrats are “setting the stage for the destruction of American auto production.”

What Else We’re Reading

Biden Elevates CIA Director to Cabinet

Biden announced he would make CIA Director Bill Burns a member of his Cabinet, crediting the spy agency’s work surrounding Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and amid rising tensions with China.

  • Biden also plans to nominate Admiral Lisa Franchetti as chief of naval operations, a move that would make her the first woman to be a US military service chief. Read more.

Biden Urges Netanyahu to Delay Vote on Judicial Reform Bill

Biden is making a last-ditch effort to urge Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to reconsider a vote on a reform of Israel’s judicial branch.

  • Netanyahu left the hospital today after having a pacemaker installed and within hours was at parliament for the divisive vote that has sparked mass protests. Read more.

Military Power Display Jars With Australia’s Diplomacy Stance

Australia’s alliance with the US will be on full display as high-level talks and military exercises get under way — a demonstration of power that may overshadow Canberra’s efforts at a nuanced foreign policy in the Asia-Pacific.

Pentagon Weapons Software Built Using Obsolete Systems, GAO Says

The Pentagon is failing to apply its own updated software development processes in weapons programs, increasing failure risk and potentially setting its efforts back by years, a new report said.

More Than Government Emails Likely Exposed in Hack Tied to China

Suspected Chinese hackers who infiltrated the emails of Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo and government officials from around the world may have had access beyond emails, according to a cloud security firm.

To contact the reporters on this story: Giuseppe Macri in Washington at gmacri@bgov.com; Brandon Lee in Washington at blee@bgov.com

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Kayla Sharpe at ksharpe@bloombergindustry.com

Stay informed with more news like this – from the largest team of reporters on Capitol Hill – subscribe to Bloomberg Government today. Learn more.