POLITICO

With Olivia Beavers.

DISCORD DRIVES DEMS TO RECALCULATE — Democrats are recalculating both the scope and path forward for President Joe Biden’s massive social spending plan in an attempt to keep the package from stalling out.

In a Dear Colleague letter to her caucus Monday night, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) warned that the big, bold agenda Democrats were trying to enact may have to be scaled back as pressure from moderates collides with rulings from the Senate parliamentarian and other problems to put the package at risk.

“I have promised Members that we would not have House Members vote for a bill with a higher topline than would be passed by the Senate…..We must be prepared for adjustments according to the Byrd rule and an agreed to number,” she wrote.

The caucus meets this morning as the internal disputes continue to publicly play out through leaks, lines in the sand and fights over the topline number.

“None of us know where this is gonna go,” said Rep. Dean Phillips (D-Minn.). “This is where leadership is made or broken, plain and simple. And that’s true of the president, that’s true of speakers, that’s true of majority leaders.”

This could be the make-or-break week for Democrats to sort out their discord and move forward, or watch the chances for victory on Biden’s signature domestic efforts evaporate all together.

“We are at a critical moment,” said Senate Majority Whip Dick Durbin (D-Ill.). “The total amount to be spent has to be negotiated with those who are questioning the $3.5 trillion. So, this is the key week.”

Burgess and Heather dig into Democrats’ attempt to escape the legislative quicksand of their own making: https://politi.co/3lGRd65

IMMIGRATION PLAN B — Democrats have a plan B on immigration waiting in the wings after the Senate parliamentarian tanked their first effort to include sweeping immigration provisions in the reconciliation bill. But the backup plans could meet a similar fate.

Durbin (D-Ill.) said Monday that Democrats “have a Plan B, C and D” and that they’d be meeting with the parliamentarian again soon. Asked whether he’d support trying to overrule her if Democrats’ back-up plans are rejected, Durbin replied: “I don’t think that’s realistic.” Marianne and Sarah have details on Democrats’ alternative proposals: https://politi.co/2XCw9FX

HAVEN’T THE FOGGIEST — Democratic leaders mapped out a plan Monday to tackle both of the upcoming fiscal crises, government funding running dry and the debt limit, but the plan to link the stopgap spending bill to a debt limit suspension through the 2022 midterm elections is still broadly opposed by Republicans. The path forward is far from clear.

Text of the continuing resolution isn’t out yet, but Democrats were still wrangling over details Monday night, including emergency funding to help Afghan refugees settle in the U.S. Leaders have yet to lay out the specifics of billions of dollars in disaster aid as well, even to Republican lawmakers from storm-struck states who are likely to vote in support of the package.

Some Republicans have said they’re willing to back a continuing resolution with extra aid — as long as Democrats drop their debt limit dare, which would mean ceding a major point of leverage. Sarah and Caitlin Emma unpack the showdown: https://politi.co/3ks2WpN

GOP WHIP COUNT — Fewer than a dozen House Republicans are expected to vote for the $550 billion infrastructure bill — which got 19 Senate GOP votes last month, multiple GOP lawmakers told Olivia. But the infrastructure measure’s House GOP support could triple if Democrats detach its fate from a party-line social spending bill with a multitrillion-dollar price tag, several House Republicans estimated in Monday interviews. More from Olivia on where House Republicans stand: https://politi.co/3zuEnMS

FIRST IN HUDDLE: CEOs PUSH CHILDCARE — More than 50 CEOs of major companies including Vanguard, Re/Max, Pizza Hut and others are calling on lawmakers to allocate more federal dollars for childcare, calling lack of affordable and quality childcare “one of the biggest barriers to economic recovery and growth.” Read the letter here: https://politi.co/3nQemFF

MISSISSIPPI MEETING — In a closed-door House GOP whip meeting Monday evening, guest speakers, including Mississippi Attorney General Lynn Fitch, attended to talk about abortion. Earlier in the day the Supreme Court announced it would hear a Mississippi abortion ban case in early December.

“Here in this week where they’re trying to bring an abortion-on-demand bill on the House floor, we also wanted to get real deep background on the Mississippi case that’s going to be heard before the United States Supreme Court on Dec. 1, which is a really important landmark case dealing with the ability for states to to put limits on abortion,” House Minority Whip Steve Scalise (R-La.) told Olivia. “It’s going to be, might be one of the most significant cases since Roe v. Wade, and she talks about what they’re going to be presenting to the Supreme Court.”

Scalise added that Marjorie Dannenfelser, the head of Susan B. Anthony List and former Rep. Marilyn Musgraves (R-Colo.), who’s been actively involved with the anti-abortion group, also attended their meeting.

CALLING CAPITOL COFFEE CONNOISSEURS — The grand opening of Rako Coffee (pronounced ray-co) in the Cannon basement is today, although the newest coffee option within the Capitol complex got a warm welcome Monday when staff ordered so much coffee the stand sold out by 2:30 p.m., including the 15lb of espresso the barista had stocked for the day. Your Huddle host was right there as the espresso ran dry and the barista had to announce to the dozen or so staff lined up that only a few servings of cold brew remained.

Based on day one, Rako is considering staffing the kiosk with as many as three baristas to handle the constant flow of staff lining up for a caffeine fix. The barista estimated that the Virginia-based, women-owned small business made more money from just six hours at their little Cannon basement table than they do in their brick and mortar location. The new coffee joint will be more prepared for Tuesday’s grand opening and ribbon cutting, where Virginia Democrat Rep. Don Beyer is expected to make an appearance to root for a home-state small business snagging a House coffee contract. (Huddle hears that Beyer’s go-to is a large, black, dark roast.)

For cash-strapped coffee connoisseurs of Capitol Hill (I see you): An espresso at Rako (a double by default) runs $3.75, compared to $2.80 at Cups. A Rako cold brew runs $5 compared to $3.45 at Dunkin’ in Longworth.

ANOTHER, VERY DIFFERENT, RALLY — There’s another rally coming to Capitol Hill protesting injustice within the legal system, but this time it’s all about Britney. The D.C.-area group Free Britney America plans a second rally for Spears this coming Saturday at the Capitol, at the same location where far-right supporters of Jan. 6 insurrectionists held a lackluster gathering last weekend.

Reps. Charlie Crist (D-Fla.) and Nancy Mace (R-S.C.) are going on the group’s Instagram page on Wednesday evening, a bipartisan pairing united by the cause of conservatorship and guardianship reform. More from The Washingtonian: https://bit.ly/3ztk4Qf

FAT BEAR WEEK (JUNIOR) — The bracket is up for the inaugural “junior” version of Fat Bear Week, the annual tournament celebrating the bears of Katmai National Park, Alaska’s success in preparation for winter hibernation. Your Huddle host is an enthusiastic participant and invites you to join in this celebration of survival (and snacks) as you try to survive this legislative session.

POLITICO is now accepting applications for the 2022 Fellows Program in partnership with the National Association of Black Journalists. One NABJ member will be chosen for one of the four available slots. Two fellows will begin in January, and two fellows will begin in June. https://politi.co/3tZZmpH

TODAY IN CONGRESS

The House convenes at 9 a.m. for morning hour and 11 a.m. for legislative business.

The Senate convenes at 10:30 a.m. with votes at 11:30 a.m. and 2:30 p.m. with a recess for caucus lunches.

AROUND THE HILL

9 a.m. House Democrats and Republicans hold their caucus and conference meetings, followed by press conferences with leadership.

10 a.m. Reps. Robin Kelly (D-Ill.), Jodey Arrington (R-Texas) and Ted Lieu (D-Calif.) hold a press conference to announce legislation to improve safety standards to prevent accidental ingestion of button cell batteries.

10 a.m. The Senate Small Business and Entrepreneurship Committee considers the nomination of Dilawar Syed to be deputy administrator of the Small Business Administration.

11 a.m. Pelosi and other members of Congress join artist Suzanne Brennan Firstenberg near the Washington Monument to plant flags and give remarks at the public art installation commemorating all Americans who have died due to Covid-19.

11:30 a.m. House Armed Services Chair Adam Smith (D-Calif.), Pelosi and others hold a press conference reintroducing a bill aimed at tackling abuses of presidential power.

11:30 a.m. Sens. Joni Ernst (R-Iowa) and Maggie Hassan (D-N.H.) hold a press conference on the introduction of a bill on a memorial for the Global War on Terror.

Noon Senate Democrats and Republicans hold caucus lunches, followed by press conferences around 2 p.m.

Noon Rep. Cori Bush (D-Mo.), Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) and seven other progressive Democrats hold a press conference introducing legislation that would give the Department of Health and Human Services the authority to create federal eviction moratoriums, rebutting the SCOTUS ruling that the agency lacks such authority.