First Read Flash: Capitol Hill field trip

Updated
United States President Barack Obama is accompanied by Sergeant at Arms of the U.S. Senate Terrance Gainer...
United States President Barack Obama is accompanied by Sergeant at Arms of the U.S. Senate Terrance Gainer...
Rex Features via AP Images

Obama heads to Capitol Hill. “President Barack Obama this morning diverts from a set of trips around the country promoting his economic agenda to make a shorter journey to Capitol Hill to meet with House and Senate Democrats,” the Wall Street Journal reports. “The back-to-back meetings will occur days before lawmakers are set to leave Washington for a five-week recess. According to congressional aides, the main purpose of the meetings is to ensure that Democrats in Congress and the White House bring the same message to voters during the August break. Mr. Obama is expected to update lawmakers on his renewed focus on the economy, which he has detailed in a number of speeches over the last week, most recently on Tuesday in Chattanooga, Tenn.”

Onward to Egypt.Sens. John McCain, R-Ariz., and Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., are hoping to travel to Egypt next week to help assess the situation on the ground and send a ‘unified message’ from the United States that persistent violence without elections would appear more like a ‘coup,’ Graham told reporters Tuesday,” Roll Call reports. “Graham said President Barack Obama asked McCain and him to travel to the region. Both McCain and Graham are members of the Senate Armed Services Committee, and Graham is the ranking member of the Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on State and Foreign Operations.”

Hope for peace? “Secretary of State John Kerry said Tuesday that Israeli and Palestinian negotiators would convene again in the Middle East within two weeks and that their goal would be to work out a comprehensive peace agreement within nine months that would lead to an independent Palestinian state,” the New York Times reports. “ ‘The parties have agreed to remain engaged in sustained, continuous and substantive negotiations on the core issues,’ Mr. Kerry said at the State Department, flanked by Tzipi Livni, Israel’s justice minister, and Saeb Erekat, the chief Palestinian negotiator.”

Weiner still not quitting. “Anthony Weiner’s campaign doesn’t back down from a fight. On Tuesday evening, responding to an expose penned by a former campaign intern in the New York Daily News, Weiner campaign communications director Barbara Morgan went into an expletive-laced tirade to the website Talking Points Memo,” NBC News reports. “Calling the young intern several disparaging names for the female anatomy, Morgan also threatened to sue the college student for the Daily News piece….Later Tuesday night, Morgan told NBC News in a statement: ‘In a moment of frustration, I used inappropriate language in what I thought was an off the record conversation. It was wrong and I am very sorry, which is what I said tonight when I called and emailed Olivia to apologize.’”

But Weiner reiterated on Tuesday he isn’t backing down, even as he’s slipped to fourth place in polling. USA Today: “A defiant Anthony Weiner said again Tuesday he will not quit the race for New York City mayor, vowing in a new video that he’ll continue to fight amid the furor over his lewd messages to women. ‘Quit isn’t the way we roll in New York City,’ Weiner said in the minute-long video posted on his campaign website. ‘We fight through tough things.’”

San Diego to Filner: Pay Up. “San Diego sued its own mayor on Tuesday and the City Council decisively rejected his request to have taxpayers cover his legal bills stemming from a sexual harassment lawsuit. The problems didn’t stop there for Mayor Bob Filner as an eighth woman — a director at San Diego City College — stepped forward to accuse him of unwanted sexual advances,” the San Diego Union-Tribune reports. The city’s actions “made it clear Filner won’t be able to seek any refuge from fellow city leaders as he tries to move forward amid scandal.” 

Grimes kicks off. “More than 1,000 people gathered on the large lawn of Carrick House in downtown Lexington Tuesday to help Democrat Alison Lundergan Grimes officially kick off her bid to be Kentucky’s next U.S. senator,” the Lexington Herald Leader reports. “The event, which lasted more than an hour, featured a Who’s Who of Kentucky Democrats, ranging from Gov. Steve Beshear to three former Democratic governors — Paul Patton, Martha Layne Collins and Julian Carroll — and a large video screen that showed messages from former President Bill Clinton and U.S. Rep. John Yarmuth of Louisville.” Grimes, on McConnell: ”There is a disease of dysfunction in Washington, and after almost 30 years, Sen. McConnell is at the center of it,” she said.

In the Senate Camp? House Ways and Means Chairman Dave Camp “is considering a possible Senate run in Michigan in 2014, a move that could put in play another Democratic seat heading into next year’s midterm elections. Camp has met with Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) about the race, he said in an interview,” Politico reports. Camp: “I have talked to McConnell…I’m looking at it…It’s a big decision, and I’m going to look at it very carefully and thoughtfully.”

Schriock says no. “Another candidate Democrats were hoping to recruit for Montana’s open Senate seat said Tuesday she won’t be running for the office,” AP reports. “Stephanie Schriock, who helped run U.S. Sen. Jon Tester’s 2006 campaign and is currently president of the Washington, D.C.-based group Emily’s List, said she considered the idea, but ultimately rejected it.” Schriock: “Montana raised me, and it will always be my heart, said Schriock, who grew up in Butte. “It has been truly incredible to hear from so many folks who believe in me. I would love to say yes, but this is not the right time.”

Tar Heel pass. Rep. Renee Ellmers (R-N.C.) “said Tuesday she won’t run for North Carolina’s U.S. Senate next year, opting instead to see re-election for a third term in the U.S. House,” the Charlotte Observer reports. Ellmers statement: ”There is still plenty of time to look at future positions like the Senate and I will do my best to support the Republican candidate for this seat. I feel the best job I can do for the people of North Carolina and the Second District is to continue fighting for them in the House. I will continue to do everything in my power to fight for a better future for my state, our nation, and the liberty that unites us all.”

First Read Flash: Capitol Hill field trip

Updated