The Hill's 12:30 Report

The Hill's 12:30 Report

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The Hill's 12:30 Report: Obama takes action on guns | Another Romney eyes the game | Joe Kennedy's new daughter | Clinton joins MSNBC's 'Hardball' tonight

TODAY'S THE START TO A BIG YEAR FOR DEMS: From the East Room, President Obama announced his executive actions to fight gun violence. Democrats have decided this year it finally makes political sense to fight guns. Why now: Democrats are fighting to take back the Senate in November, it's Obama's last year as president and Democrats are hoping it will help Hillary ClintonHillary Rodham ClintonObama intel chief wonders if Trump is trying to make 'Russia great again' Trump Jr., Manafort reach deal to avoid public hearing next week House Intel panel to interview Kushner amid Russia probe MORE win the White House, especially in light of recent mass shootings. More about Obama's announcement from The Hill's Jordan Fabian

Here are some key moments:

Yahoo News' Meredith Shiner Giffords is in the audience
Obama tearing up talking about those trying days in Arizona five years ago when no one knew whether Gabby Giffords (D-Ariz.) would live or die.

The Hill's Sarah Ferris
Obama quotes MLK -- "We need to feel the fierce urgency of now"

NYT Opinion's Emma Roller
Obama on 2nd Amendment: "I taught Constitutional law. I know a little bit about this. I get it."

The Hill's Jordan Fabian
President Obama: "This is not a plot to take away everybody's guns."

Speaker Paul RyanPaul RyanWant bipartisan health reform? Make the debate honest again Ex-CBO directors defend against GOP attacks on ObamaCare analysis Ryan: CBO's healthcare estimate is 'bogus' MORE (R-Wis.) 
No matter what President Obama says, his word does not trump the Second Amendment. 

The New York Times' Jonathan Weisman
NRA lobbyist on Obama gun exec actions: "This is it, really? This is what they've been hyping for how long now?"


  • Expands background checks at gun shows.
  • Forces anyone selling a gun to register as a dealer and perform criminal background checks, an effort to close the so-called gun show loophole. Why "so-called"? Some argue people selling guns at gun shows perform the check anyway or are already legally responsible.
  • Looks to add 200 FBI agents (a 50 percent increase) to process background checks
  • Offers new requirements for reporting guns lost or stolen in transit. 
  • Enables healthcare providers to report mentally ill patients to an FBI firearms background check system, via Politico's David Pittman.

More details from The Hill's Jordan Fabian

It's Tuesday and a frigidly cold day in Washington, D.C. I'm Cate Martel with what you missed this morning -- and what's on tap for the rest of the day. Send tips, comments and gripes to and @CateMartel

BREAKING THIS MORNING: Via The Hill's Kristina Wong, a U.S. service member was killed Tuesday in southern Afghanistan. Additionally, two U.S. service members were wounded. The forces came under attack during a counter-terrorism operation in Helmand province. 

NOTE WHEN TALKING ABOUT OBAMA'S ANNOUNCEMENT TODAYPresident Obama is announcing executive actions on guns – not executive orders. An executive action has no legal weight but essentially calls on Congress or his administration to follow. Executive orders, on the other hand, are legally binding and published in the Federal Register. Congress or the courts, however, can undo them.

WAIT, WHAT?: Ben Carson reportedly delivered his second son using a hair clip after his wife went into premature labor in their home.

SAN BERNARDINO WORKERS BACK IN THE OFFICE: Via The Washington Post's Sarah Larimer, workers in the San Bernardino office where Syed Farook and Tashfeen Malik opened fire in December have returned to work.

ANOTHER ROMNEY MAY BE IN THE GAME: Via The Hill's Mark Hensch, Josh Romney, son of former Republican nominee Mitt Romney, is strongly considering running for governor of Utah in 2020.



The Senate is out of session this week. The House will meet today and will formally start the year's session.

GOP WANTS TO SAY BUH-BYE OBAMACARE: Wednesday, the House will vote to undo the healthcare law and defund Planned Parenthood. What makes this different: Unlike the previous 60-plus ObamaCare repeal votes, Wednesday's vote will send the legislation to President Obama's desk. Republicans are using a budget process to evade a Senate filibuster. Likely outcome: President Obama will veto it, then Republicans will try to override the veto (but without a two-thirds majority, Republicans' hands are tied). So why are Republicans doing this? To set their agenda for the election year.

CLASS ACTION LAWSUITS: The Fairness in Class Action Litigation Act would require each member of a class action lawsuit to have suffered the same type of injury in order to be eligible for monetary compensation.

UNESSESARY REGULATIONS: The SCRUB Act would establish a bipartisan commission to review federal regulations and identify which ones should be abolished.

REELING IN SPECIAL INTEREST GROUPS: A bill that aims to limit special interest groups' ability to push federal agencies to adopt regulations through litigation. 

More from The Hill's Cristina Marcos:



The Washington Post's Jenna Johnson The photo is insane
Thousands and thousands packed into arena in Lowell, Mass., for Donald TrumpDonald TrumpThe Memo: Spicer shock leaves WH staff bracing for more change Obama intel chief wonders if Trump is trying to make 'Russia great again' Trump Jr., Manafort reach deal to avoid public hearing next week MORE's rally.

Politico's Shane Goldmacher
Marco RubioMarco RubioBush ethics lawyer: Congress must tell Trump not to fire Mueller The private alternative to the National Flood Insurance Program  Cruz offers bill to weaken labor board's power MORE, justifying his missed votes, says, "We're not going to fix America with senators and congressmen."

The TODAY Show big goals, big goals
"I don't think I want to do porn or nudity in 2016. That's my goal." --Kirstie Alley tells Matt Lauer

Rep. Joe Kennedy (D-Mass.) the photo is adorable
[Our dog] Banjo meets [our new daughter] Ellie.


ON TAP (and live streams to bookmark):

12 p.m. EST: The New York Times's Charlie Savage will discuss his new book "Power Wars: Inside Obama's Post-9/11 Presidency" with Michael Glennon, Professor of International Law, Fletcher School, Tufts University at a CATO event. Live stream: 

12:30 p.m. EST: House Democratic Whip Steny Hoyer (D-Md.) is holding a pen-and-pad.

12:30 p.m. EST: API President and CEO Jack Gerard will give an address on the state of American energy in 2016. 

12:45 p.m. EST: Carly Fiorina speaks at the New Hampshire forum on addiction and the heroin epidemic. Here's her op-ed in Time magazine ahead of the speech:

12:45 p.m. EST: Ohio Gov. John Kasich (R) speaks at the New Hampshire Primary Student Convention. Live stream:

2 p.m. EST: Sen. Bernie SandersBernie SandersParliamentarian deals setback to GOP repeal bill OPINION | Hey Dems, Russia won't define 2018, so why not fix your party's problems instead? OPINION | They told us to abandon ObamaCare — then came the resistance MORE (I-Vt.) is giving a speech in New York about Wall Street. Sanders will pledge to break up the big banks within his first year in office. Live stream: 

4 p.m. EST: Carly Fiorina speaks at the New Hampshire Primary Student Convention. Live stream:

6 p.m. EST: Martin O'Malley speaks at the New Hampshire Primary Student Convention. Live stream:

7 p.m. EST: Donald Trump holds a rally in Claremont, N.H. 

12 p.m. EST tomorrow: David E. Bernstein, author of "Lawless," is speaking at the CATO Institute about the "Obama administration's unprecedented assault on the constitution and the rule of law." Live stream: 



7 p.m. EST: Hillary Clinton joins Chris Matthews on MSNBC's "Hardball."

8 p.m. EST: President Obama is holding a town hall on CNN with Anderson Cooper on the gun actions he announced today. 

10 p.m. EST: Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) will appear on Fox News's "Hannity"



Today is National Whipped Cream Day!

AN ODD GIFT...?: Vendors in China sell plastic key chains with live animals stuck inside neon-colored liquid. Sellers claim the plastic keychain bubbles contain enough oxygen and nutrients to keep the animals alive for a few days, but animal cruelty activists are condemning the "living graves." :(

DOMINATING SOCIAL MEDIA LAST NIGHT: A new season of "The Bachelor" has started. But what everyone is really talking about is when one contestant named Lace decided to confront the new Bachelor (after a few adult beverages) for not making eye contact with her at the rose ceremony. Yep, the online chatter has only begun.

PAST WHITE WINTERS: The New York Times has a photo gallery of how beautiful the winter can be.

And with that, here is the best hot chocolate recipe from Jacques Torres, for this cold day. Get at me


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This story was updated at 12:37 p.m.