By Ted Hesson | 12/05/2017 10:00 AM EDT
With help from Ian Kullgren and Andrew Hanna
TRUMP'S TRAVEL BAN VICTORY: The Supreme Court on Monday allowed the third version of President Donald Trump's travel ban to take effect in full while a pair of federal appeals courts consider its legality. The high court's order may signal smoother sailing for the policy: Only two justices opposed it, Ruth Bader Ginsburg and Sonia Sotomayor. Attorney General Jeff Sessions called it a "substantial victory" for national security, even as opponents vowed to continue legal challenges.
Travel Ban 3.0 rolled out in September, placing varying restrictions on travelers from six majority-Muslim countries - Chad, Iran, Libya, Somalia, Syria, and Yemen - and also on two non-majority-Muslim countries, North Korea and Venezuela. Unlike previous iterations, Ban 3.0 didn't block travelers across the board from the targeted countries; instead, it imposed specific (though indefinite) visa restrictions.
Still, federal judges halted the policy nationwide before its full implementation, which took the fight to appeals courts. The 9th Circuit agreed in November to allow the third ban to be applied to travelers who lacked "bona fide" ties to people or entities in the U.S. - a partial victory that encouraged the administration to seek more from SCOTUS. The high court delivered, at least temporarily: Travel Ban 3.0 can now be applied to all targeted travelers pending the outcome of legal challenges.
The Supreme Court decision differs dramatically from the court's earlier posture, POLITICO's Josh Gerstein notes. When the justices faced the question in June of whether to allow Travel Ban 2.0 to take effect, they ruled 6-3 that people will "bona fide" ties to the U.S. should be exempted. At the time, "three justices from the conservative wing - Clarence Thomas, Samuel Alito and Neil Gorsuch - were the only members of the court willing to let the president implement that policy," writes Gerstein. The latest order flipped that balance, with what appeared to be a 7-2 decision to allow the restrictions to move forward. More from POLITICO here.
GOOD MORNING! It's Tuesday, Dec. 5, and this is Morning Shift, POLITICO's daily tipsheet on employment and immigration policy. Send tips, exclusives and suggestions to firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org and email@example.com. Follow us on Twitter at @tedhesson, @marianne_levine, @IanKullgren and @TimothyNoah1.
WELCOME ANDREW HANNA!: Morning Shift welcomes Andrew Hanna to the employment and immigration beat. Andrew will replace Marianne LeVine, a founding member of the employment policy team, who after three years of first-rate work is moving on to a new reporting assignment at POLITICO. Andrew previously worked as a reporter on POLITICO's Europe Brief (just call him Mr. Brexit) and was a member of the 2016 POLITICO Journalism Institute. Send your tips and well-wishes to firstname.lastname@example.org and follow him at @AndrewBHanna.
DOL CONFIRMATION HEARING: The Senate HELP Committee this morning will hold a joint confirmation hearing for Scott Mugno, Trump's pick to lead OSHA, and William Beach, the nominee for Bureau of Labor Statistics commissioner. Mugno is director of corporate safety, health and fire prevention for FedEx Ground, and Beach is vice president for policy research at the Mercatus Center at George Mason University. The hearing starts at 10 a.m.; watch a livestream here.
The HELP Committee will vote Thursday on the nominations of Preston Rutledge for assistant labor secretary for the Employee Benefits Security Administration, and of Kate O'Scannlain for solicitor of labor. The committee hasn't announced a time for a vote, but a livestream can be found here.
NIELSEN NOMINATION ADVANCES: The Senate voted Monday to invoke cloture on the nomination of Kirstjen Nielsen to become Homeland Security secretary. Senators convene at 10 a.m. today to resume consideration of the nomination. More here.
DHS YEAR-END STATS: The Homeland Security Department will announce today year-end statistics on enforcement, border security and national security. A press conference is scheduled for 10 a.m. at U.S. Customs and Border Protection's press room in the Ronald Reagan Building and International Trade Center. In attendance will be Thomas Homan, acting director of Immigration and Customs Enforcement, Ronald Vitiello, acting deputy CBP commissioner, and Francis Cissna, director of U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services.
LABOR UNIONS PUSH FOR TPS: A coalition of labor unions will press congressional leaders today to preserve temporary protected status, a humanitarian program that allows people to remain in the U.S. after a natural disaster or armed conflict. Members of UNITE HERE, UFCW, IUPAT, and the Iron Workers and Bricklayers will deliver 40,000 petitions to top congressional Republicans and Democrats, along with Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.). The Trump administration faces a deadline in early January to decide the fate of 263,000 people from El Salvador covered under the program, more than half the total program enrollment.
APPRENTICESHIP TIPS: The left-leaning New America Foundation will release a report Wednesday that lays out eight recommendations to bolster federal apprenticeship programs, according to an advance copy provided to Morning Shift. Many of the recommendations strive to fulfill the same goals as Trump's executive order on apprenticeships - but New America's proposal calls for more government oversight than Trump's, which would give industry more freedom to set its own standards. New America would allow state education agencies to register apprenticeship programs, provided they met certain criteria. The think tank will host a panel discussion on incorporating apprenticeships into higher education at 9 a.m. Wednesday. It will feature opening remarks from Diane Jones, a senior policy adviser to Labor Secretary Alexander Acosta. More here.
CHUCK AND NANCY AND DONALD: "Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer and House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi said Monday they will meet with [Trump] to resume high-stakes negotiations to avoid a government shutdown at week's end," Sarah Ferris, Jennifer Scholtes and Seung Min Kim report.
"The Thursday sit-down at the White House with Trump and GOP leaders would amount to a do-over of the meeting Democrats ditched last week over a fiery Trump tweet that slammed the Democrats and cast doubt on the prospect of reaching a deal," the trio report. "The boycott caused a political spectacle and temporarily halted talks on a broader spending deal congressional leaders have been negotiating behind the scenes."
"Government funding runs out Friday at midnight, though Republican leaders believe they have the votes to push back that deadline until just before Christmas," POLITICO reports. "Both parties hope to have reached a bipartisan, two-year agreement on overall spending levels for defense and nondefense programs by the time funding runs out again on Dec. 22."
Democrats have pushed for a spending deal to include a fix for DACA enrollees, whose protections will begin to expire in large numbers on March 5. Republican leaders have opposed that idea, but some GOP legislators are taking action anyway. "Sen. Jeff Flake (R-Ariz.) quietly began working with Sen. Michael Bennet (D-Colo.) several weeks ago in a new 'gang' to craft Dreamer legislation that could pick up 60 votes, according to a Flake spokesman," POLITICO reports. "Flake and Bennet worked together nearly five years ago to write the Gang of Eight comprehensive immigration reform measure. Aides declined to name all the senators who are involved, although Democratic officials said Sen. Dick Durbin of Illinois is also engaged in the talks." More here.
DRAINING THE TIP POOL: "The Trump administration [on Monday] proposed rescinding an Obama-era rule that prevents employers from redistributing servers' tips to back-of-house employees," POLITICO's Ian Kullgren reports. "The 2011 rule prevented employers from dividing tips, giving a cut to kitchen staff and others who don't receive tips directly. The Trump administration's proposal would apply only to employees already making minimum wage - not 'tip-credit' employees whose base pay is below minimum wage."
The Labor Department said businesses "would have the freedom to allow sharing of tips among more employees," adding that it "would help decrease wage disparities between tipped and non-tipped workers." The National Restaurant Association applauded the move and said it looks forward to submitting its comments.
Democrats bashed the proposal and argued it would put too much power in the hands of owners and managers. "Nothing in this proposed rule would require employers to redistribute tips to workers," Rep. Bobby Scott (D-Va.), the ranking member of the House Education and the Workforce Committee, said in a written statement. Saru Jayaraman, president of the pro-labor Restaurant Opportunities Center United, said it could make female workers vulnerable to harassment, since managers "will actually have the power to keep [their] tips." More from POLITICO's Kullgren here.
SEXUAL HARASSMENT UPDATE:
"A New York judge will hear oral arguments [today] about whether a defamation lawsuit against [President Trump] should be allowed to proceed," Jessica Garrison and Kendall Taggart report in BuzzFeed News. "Summer Zervos, a former contestant on Trump's reality TV show The Apprentice, has said that he kissed her and grabbed her when she went to see him in 2007 about a possible job at the Trump Organization. She filed suit this past January, after Trump said her claim was a lie."
"Trump's attorneys have sought to have the suit dismissed or delayed until after his presidency, arguing that her claims are false and that the suit is 'politically motivated,'" BuzzFeed reports. "His lawyers also argued, in a court filing in October, that when Trump took to Twitter and the debate stage and called Zervos and other women who made similar claims liars, it was an expression of First Amendment-protected political opinion." More here.
Former Fox News host Bill O'Reilly also faces a lawsuit for defamation and breach of contract from a woman who reached a settlement with O'Reilly over harassment allegations. The woman said "public statements he and the network made violated the settlement and portrayed her as a liar and politically motivated extortionist," Emily Steel reports in the New York Times. "The woman, Rachel Witlieb Bernstein, is one of six known to have reached settlements after making accusations against Mr. O'Reilly. (Her allegations did not include sexual harassment.) None of the others have said anything publicly about their claims, which involved sexual harassment." More here.
"Peter Martins, the longtime leader of New York City Ballet, has been removed from teaching his weekly class at the School of American Ballet while the two organizations jointly investigate an accusation of sexual harassment against him," Robin Pogrebin writes in the New York Times. "The accusation against Mr. Martins, 71, was made in an anonymous letter, both organizations confirmed on Monday. Mr. Martins is the artistic director and chairman of the faculty of the ballet school. He has led City Ballet, the company founded by the famed choreographer George Balanchine, since the 1980s." More here.
Conductor James Levine, another leading figure in New York's performing arts scene, was suspended Sunday by the Metropolitan Opera for allegations of sexual misconduct, and yesterday a fourth accuser stepped forward. All four were young men at the time they allege Levine made sexual advances, three of them at Meadow Brook, a summer music program in Michigan where Levine taught in the late 1960s. Two of the Meadow Brook students were 17 and one was 20. The other accuser was 16 when he encountered Levine at Illinois' Ravinia Festival in 1986. More here.
"North Carolina native Lauren Greene aspired to a career in politics when she arrived on Capitol Hill as an intern in 2009," POLITICO's Rachael Bade reports. "She spent the next five years climbing the Capitol Hill ladder, ultimately becoming a communications director for a congressman in 2014. But Greene's budding career imploded, she said, the minute she accused Rep. Blake Farenthold (R-Texas) of sexually harassing her."
"Since the summer of 2014, when she says Farenthold fired her for raising concerns about a hostile work environment, Greene has been unable to land a full-time job," writes Bade. "She's making $15 an hour working temporary gigs for a homebuilder. She babysits on the side to earn extra cash." Greene told Bade she's dropped any idea of working in politics. "I was told right away that I would be, quote-unquote, 'blackballed' if I came forward. ... That's exactly what happened," she said. More here.
TRUMP REACHED OUT TO ICE UNION: President Trump reached out to a union that represents ICE officers, Maria Sacchetti reports in the Washington Post. Chris Crane, president of the National ICE Council, posted a letter to Trump online last month that detailed management problems at the agency. Crane said the treatment amounted to "a stab in the back" to the personnel who supported Trump in the election (the ICE union endorsed Trump, as did a union for Border Patrol agents). The website, dubbed JIC Report, posted last month that Trump had "personally called" Crane to set up a meeting at the White House. More from the Post here.
-"There are 170,000 fewer retail jobs in 2017 - and 75,000 more Amazon robots," from Quartz
-"How the Trump administration is using local cops to widen its immigration dragnet," from Mother Jones
-"Is the GOP tax plan an unprecedented windfall for the wealthy? We look at 50 years of data to find out," from the Washington Post
-"How the GOP tax bills hurt undocumented immigrants," from CNN Money
-"Tax bill on its way to conference committee, but not without a hiccup," from CNN
-"The fight to make bad jobs better," from Vox
THAT'S ALL FOR MORNING SHIFT.
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