With Andrew Desiderio, Burgess Everett, Marianne LeVine and Sarah Ferris.

SQUAD ASCENDENT — The progressive pressure campaign on Congressional leaders and the White House to extend the pandemic eviction moratorium didn’t just pay off Tuesday, it also signaled the power that young lawmakers with activist backgrounds are able to wield within the Democratic party.

“Boy, oh, boy. You guys are fabulous!” said Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.), embracing Reps. Cori Bush (D-Mo.) and Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.) in quick succession as he made his way to the same House steps Tuesday where the pair held a five-day, four-night demonstration to spur action from the White House and leaders like Schumer.

The renewal of the eviction freeze is supposed to give time for states and localities to distribute the millions of federal dollars in rental assistance that has only trickled to landlords and renters in recent months, the vast majority of it stuck in bureaucratic limbo. But that may take further effort from lawmakers.

Schumer is still calling on the Biden administration to put the screws on states to get that money flowing to landlords and renters. The Democratic House members who stayed in Washington, or flew back to Washington to join the demonstration, can now head to their districts and connect their communities to the bottlenecked rental funds.

“I particularly applaud Rep. Cori Bush who understands what it’s like to be evicted and who took her passion and turned it into amazingly effective action,” said Schumer in a statement.

More court challenges are expected ahead, given the Supreme Court’s recent decision signaling that the CDC doesn’t have the authority to implement the eviction freeze.

Pelosi’s Path: As Bush continued her protest outside, she got a notable (if not as well known) boost from House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.), who first publicly called on the White House to extend the moratorium Friday and worked the phones all weekend, continuing to press President Joe Biden, White House chief of staff Ron Klain and counselor to the president Steve Richetti to act. Bush’s strategy shifted over the weekend to align with Pelosi, going from calling for a House vote that was doomed to fail to also demanding White House action.

Related: Following Cori Bush’s protest, Biden reinstates eviction moratorium from Bryan Lowry at the Kansas City Star.

AUMF, GTFO — Later this morning, the Senate Foreign Relations Committee is expected to approve a bill repealing the 1991 and 2002 authorizations for the use of military force in Iraq — a significant milestone for war-powers advocates in Congress. And according to a POLITICO tally, the bill is almost certain to get the requisite 60 votes when Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) brings it up for a vote later this year.

It’s a long time coming, especially in the Senate — where substantive action on AUMFs has mostly failed over the years, while the House has had more success. But thanks to tectonic shifts in public opinion as well as growing support among Republicans, the repeal effort is slated to make it over the finish line. Biden, of course, supports the legislation.

“I mean, this is the most solemn thing we should do. And we’ve just put it on autopilot,” Sen. Tim Kaine (D-Va.) said, referring to Congress’ power to declare war. “And I think the longer you go, the more people are uncomfortable with that.”

When it happens, it will be the first time in 50 years that both chambers of Congress repeal an AUMF. The last time this happened was in 1971, when Congress repealed the Gulf of Tonkin Resolution. Yup.

From Andrew’s story: “In many ways, the Senate — which has routinely spurned similar AUMF repeal efforts in the past — will be catching up with public opinion, which has long turned against America’s seemingly endless involvement in Middle East wars, especially as the U.S. prepares to mark the 20th anniversary of the Sept. 11 attacks.”

Andrew has much more on the whip count, and how we got here: https://politi.co/2Vz8mW0

TRUCKING ALONG — Senators will keep chugging along today, considering amendments to the bipartisan infrastructure package. Members of the negotiating team on both sides of the aisle are swatting away troublesome poison pill proposals that could jeopardize the fragile deal that took more than a month to piece together.

Sen. Tom Carper (D-Del.), who is managing the bill on the floor for Democrats, used a musical reference to convey how he’s feeling about the amendment process.

“In the words of the immortal James Brown, I feel good,” said Carper. “I didn’t know that I would, but I feel good.”

He pointed to GOP manager Sen. Shelly Moore Capito (W.Va.) arguing against her GOP colleague Mike Lee’s (Utah) amendment as evidence that the defense from core negotiators is working.

“I feel good at the idea that we have this many bipartisan amendments that are bipartisan,” he said. “It’s a new day. But unfortunately I don’t think it’s going to last forever. But it’s nice to smell the roses when they come along.”

So far, they’ve adopted five amendments, including proposals on high priority corridors for national highways and renovation of Indian Health facilities. Three amendments have been rejected so far, including one from Sen. Tammy Duckworth (D-Ill.) on accessibility planning for transit systems that Republicans said would lead to “wokism” at transit agencies.

A vote is tee’d up on a Sen. Ron Johnson (R-Wis.) proposal on border wall contracts (not an issue for consensus-seekers) for midday today.

There’s no sign of stopping action on the bill anytime soon. Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) warned Schumer Tuesday against any effort to stop debate on the bill at this point, because Republicans have more amendments they want considered.

“My best advice to the majority leader would be that slow and steady wins the race,” McConnell said.

CHIPPING AWAY AT SUPPORT — While the Senate races to advance Biden’s legislative agenda, there’s an important drama playing out behind the scenes on Biden’s most endangered nominee: David Chipman to lead the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives. Schumer offered no commitment to bring Chipman up for a vote on Tuesday when asked: “We are still trying to garner all the votes that we can. Stay tuned.”

Undecided senators weren’t exactly offering any clarity. “Still looking at it,” Sen. Jon Tester (D-Mont.) said. Asked if the White House should pick someone else, he said: “It’s the administration’s call … we’ll continue to look at him.” Sen. Angus King (I-Maine) was even less enthusiastic: “I’m working on the infrastructure bill right now. I’m not going to give you an answer.” King has told colleagues in the past week that he is currently a “no” on the nomination, according to a Democratic senator.

For more on how Chipman’s nomination hit the rocks and the scramble to salvage it, Burgess, Marianne and Anita Kumar have the story: https://politi.co/37i2JOe

AN ARIZONA FIRST — Sen. Mark Kelly (D-Ariz.) is set to tout his involvement in the bipartisan infrastructure bill as part of his maiden speech on the Senate floor at noon, eight months after he first took office.

“I advocated for Arizona’s priorities, and we worked together to find common ground and work out our differences. And now, we are on the verge of passing it. This is going to fix roads and bridges, improve tribal water and transportation infrastructure, expand affordable high-speed internet access, and make Arizona more resilient to drought and wildfires,” Kelly will say, according to a preview provided to Huddle.

Cindy McCain will be looking on from the gallery. Kelly cites her husband, the late Sen. John McCain as an inspiration.

GETTING TO GILLETTE — Multiple Republican senators told Huddle that they don’t expect any votes on Friday, which works for the group of lawmakers planning to head to GIllette, Wyoming to pay their respects to the late Sen. Mike Enzi (R-Wyo.).

Republicans, of course, don’t run the Senate schedule. But a half a dozen GOP lawmakers (both those planning to attend Enzi’s funeral and those staying behind) were confident that Friday would be clear.

Senators are trying to make a same-day round trip, leaving together early Friday morning and returning the same night before what is anticipated to be another weekend of work in the Senate.

EARMARK OLYMPICS — Who are the top earmark-getters in the House? An analysis out this morning from CQ Roll Call reports that Rep. Pete DeFazio (D-Ore.) ranked is No. 1 in the House with $43.8 million in directed spending for his district and Majority Whip Jim Clyburn (D-S.C.) came in second with $41.4 million sprinkled throughout the bills for his Columbia, S.C., district.

The next three top earners are all Republicans, with Texas’ Tony Gonzales placing third overall with just under $39 million. More on who’s raking in earmark cash in House appropriations bills: https://bit.ly/2VlLWHU

GOLD AND GUNS — Capitol Police arrested a couple from Richmond earlier this week after they allegedly brought two loaded guns near the Capitol, including two 9mm handguns and a “high capacity magazine.”

USCP said they did not have any “information to indicate” whether “either suspect was targeting a member of Congress or the Capitol complex.” Neither has a prior record with the Capitol Police, officials said.

The incident sparked concern on Capitol Hill, but it is not clear if this event signals an uptick in firearms issues around Capitol or if the Capitol Police are simply sharing more information on incidents in a timely manner. An event like this may have previously been tucked into a weekly arrest roundup, without identifying information on the suspects.

Medals: Capitol Police will be collectively awarded a Congressional Gold Medal for their efforts to protect the Capitol on Jan. 6, under a bill cleared by both chambers and headed to the White House for President Joe Biden’s signature. Pelosi holds an enrollment ceremony for the bill today.

The bill will award four Congressional Gold Medals, including one each to the U.S. Capitol Police force and the Metropolitan Police Department. A third medal will be on display within the Smithsonian Institution complex, with a plaque that lists all the law enforcement agencies that protected and defended the Capitol. A fourth medal will be given to the Architect of the Capitol, “for display in a prominent location in the United States Capitol.”

DEMS’ MIDTERM WARNING — DCCC Chairman Sean Patrick Maloney (D-N.Y.) delivered a blunt warning to a group of frontliners last week: If the midterms were held now, Democrats would lose the House.

That warning was based off a troubling new poll for House Dems, which showed the party behind **6 points** in a generic poll of key battleground districts, as Sarah & Heather scooped. The same survey showed only 42 percent of people trusted Dems on the economy, despite the popularity of Biden agenda items like infrastructure.

Maloney and his advisors insist it’s not over yet. They are pushing Dems toward a major messaging reboot — particularly about the economy — in hopes of shielding their majority.

“Here’s the good news: Everything we are doing and everything we’ve talked about doing is incredibly popular,” Tim Persico, the DCCC’s executive director said. But he said Maloney wanted to make sure that members “understand the stakes” and “get in action.”

It’s not just the DCCC chief: Rep. Debbie Dingell (D-Mich.), who co-leads caucus messaging, gave a wake-up call to another group of fellow Democrats last week, telling colleagues that the party needed to better explain what Democrats have been doing to help the Covid-ravaged economy. “We’re not breaking through,” Dingell said at last week’s whips meeting.

A warning to the GOP, though: The DCCC’s survey also revealed serious weak spots for GOP candidates, including extremism tied to Jan. 6 and vaccines. Close to 60 percent of battleground voters said they have serious doubts about GOP lawmakers after hearing that those members “helped spread Trump’s lie about the election” and are “spreading lies about the COVID vaccine.” Sarah and Heather have more here: https://politi.co/3fwugAi

GREEN LEADERSHIP PERKS — An entire pallet of luscious green plants were delivered to Senate leadership offices Tuesday, sparking envy in your Huddler, who also needs water and sunlight to thrive.

A kind and helpful worker from the Botanical Gardens division of the Architect of the Capitol carefully unloaded dozens of plants and delivered them to the offices. He took compliments on the health of the plants in stride, perhaps with some pride. (If you’re just realizing that the U.S. Botanical Gardens are part of the legislative branch, that’s okay. Now you know!)

When asked if just leadership offices were getting deliveries, he acknowledged it as “a nice perk.”

The plants were first spotted by Bloomberg’s Laura Davidson and by the time your Huddler scooted down to the correct corridor, a whole layer of plants had already been unloaded.

With an amateur eye, your Huddler spotted snake plants, spider plants, something that looked like pothos or philodendron and others heading into the Senate Democratic Policy Committee offices. A list on the cart holding the plants had McConnell, Schumer and Durbin’s names crossed off. It’s not clear if that meant they, too, got greenery delivered.