The Hill's 12:30 Report

The Hill's 12:30 Report

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The Hill's 12:30 Report -- Super Tuesday 2.0 | Could Trump cost GOP the House? | International Women's Day | Trump dismisses 'ridiculous' Nazi salute controversy

JUST RELEASED -- HILLARY HOLDS HER LEAD: Democratic presidential candidate Hillary ClintonHillary Diane Rodham ClintonWoman behind pro-Trump Facebook page denies being influenced by Russians Trump: CNN, MSNBC 'got scammed' into covering Russian-organized rally Pennsylvania Democrats set to win big with new district map MORE is leading rival Bernie SandersBernard (Bernie) SandersDems ponder gender politics of 2020 nominee 2020 Dem contenders travel to key primary states After Florida school shooting, vows for change but no clear path forward MORE nationally, but only by single digits, 53 to 44 percent, according to a new NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll. http://nbcnews.to/1R5xavu

CUE EYES BUGGING OUT -- IT AIN'T A SURE THING ANYMORE: Via The Hill's Scott Wong, House Republicans are becoming concerned about the increasing possibility of losing their majority. Why: Because of the most unpredictable Republican race in recent memory. What it would take: It would be historic, but possible, for the GOP to lose 30 seats. How they're reacting: One vulnerable House Republican told The Hill he'll begin polling his swing district in May to figure out who might show up to vote if Trump is the nominee. http://bit.ly/21j7FGB

It's Tuesday, and today is International Women's Day. I'm Cate Martel with a quick recap of what you missed this morning -- and what's on tap for the rest of the day. Send comments, story ideas and requests for life advice to cmartel@thehill.com@CateMartel and on Facebook.

WHAT TO WATCH TONIGHT: Michigan, Mississippi, Idaho and Hawaii have their primary contests today. Here's what The Hill is watching: 

More from The Hill's Ben Kamisar: http://bit.ly/1LbjIUk 

SO WHEN EXACTLY SHOULD WE ALL START PANICKING ABOUT THE BUDGET...?: Via The Hill's Alex Bolton, Senate Republicans are signaling that they are unlikely to pass a budget this year unless the House follows through on plans to pass a blueprint later this month. Also, Republicans told The Hill the chances of a budget passing the House are below 50 percent. Back story: Not passing a budget would break a promise Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellLawmakers feel pressure on guns Bipartisan group of House lawmakers urge action on Export-Import Bank nominees Curbelo Dem rival lashes out over immigration failure MORE (R-Ky.) made in 2014, but it would also shield vulnerable incumbents from politically damaging votes. http://bit.ly/1OYvGvh

THE INTERNET FOR ALL: Via The Hill's Mario Trujillo, the chairman of the Federal Communications Commission is privately circulating an order today that would start offering Internet subsidies to low-income Americans. How: The plan would expand the $1.7 billion Lifeline program that currently offers subsidies for phone and cell service. GOP says waaait a minute: Republicans point to lingering waste and inefficiencies in the current program. They want a budget cap on the program. http://bit.ly/1W64n81

OH, THE STEREOTYPES WRITE THEMSELVES: This morning in the Capitol, I passed a House staffer with a full-screen stream of season four of "House of Cards" on his computer. Yay, recess!

HAPPY BIRTHDAY CLOTURE!: 99 years ago today, cloture was made law -- "to stop the obstructionist monologue known as filibuster," as The New York Times puts it.

Tweet from Roll Call's Niels Lesniewski: Looking forward to next year's 100th birthday celebration for cloture. The party will run for 30 hours. http://bit.ly/1RygB5C

WELL THAT WAS A BIG STRIKE: Via The Washington Post's Thomas Gibbons-Neff, the U.S. launched a series of airstrikes at terrorist camp in Somalia, killing more than 150. U.S. intelligence had been watching the camp for weeks, and its fighters were scheduled to depart soon, according to a defense official. http://wapo.st/1Ys06NU

"I CAN'T BELIEVE WE'RE TALKING ABOUT THIS" – DRINK: Donald TrumpDonald John TrumpAccuser says Trump should be afraid of the truth Woman behind pro-Trump Facebook page denies being influenced by Russians Shulkin says he has White House approval to root out 'subversion' at VA MORE says it's "ridiculous" to compare his request that supporters raise their hands and pledge to vote for him to the "Heil Hitler" salute. Alright, this is my cue. I'm done today. Back story: Video from a Trump rally over the weekend triggered controversy that the pledge looks like a Hitler salute. Decide for yourself: http://bit.ly/1W6hjLo



THE CNN/RUBIO RELATIONSHIP MAY BE STRAINED: A CNN report suggested that Marco Rubio might drop out of the Republican presidential race before Florida. But shortly after the story posted, Rubio's communications director Alex Conant rushed to join CNN's Wolf Blitzer on set to heatedly dispute the claims. "Jamie's report was utter nonsense," Conant said of CNN reporter Jamie Gangel for reporting the story without contacting the campaign for comment. "I'm gonna ask you to stop reading that sort of fiction on air. That is fiction, and CNN should stop reporting it." http://bit.ly/1X9P5j1

TIDBIT: Shortly after leaving CNN, Conant sent a letter to supporters beginning with, "I'm typing this email from my iPhone on the way back to HQ from CNN and, frankly, I'm angry."

CNN's PR Team: "Regarding tonight's Marco Rubio campaign story: CNN had multiple sources on this reporting, and we stand by it 100 percent." http://bit.ly/1U1Prdb

UNCLE MIKE IS SKIPPING OUT ON THE FUN: Michael Bloomberg announced he won't be running for president as a third-party candidate. Why: Bloomberg believes that would hand the election over to Donald Trump or Ted CruzRafael (Ted) Edward CruzOvernight Health Care: Trump eases rules on insurance outside ObamaCare | HHS office on religious rights gets 300 complaints in a month | GOP chair eyes opioid bill vote by Memorial Day HHS official put on leave amid probe into social media posts Trump, Pence to address CPAC this week MORE. Although the way this election has been going, shouldn't an announcement that he's not running only further speculation that he is? Read his rationale: http://bv.ms/24OhPU7 

DRUGS ARE BAD, KIDS: Professional tennis player Maria Sharapova will be suspended from tennis after she admitted to failing a drug test at the Australian Open in January. Her reasoning: She had been taking the drug meldonium, which can be used to treat heart issues, since 2006. The drug was banned by the World Anti-Doping Agency at the start of this year. Usual penalty: The penalty for first-time offenders is usually two years. 



NBC's Frank Thorp V
Sen. Grassley's (R-IA) newly announced Dem challenger, Patty Judge, will attend the Senate Dem policy luncheon Tuesday in the Capitol http://bit.ly/1U8ZgVv

Business Insider's Josh Barro
People don't want to admit Florida is a strong state for Trump, but remember, Pat Buchanan did remarkably well in Palm Beach County in 2000. http://bit.ly/1LOJcqH

CQ Roll Call's Katherine Scott
BREAKING: Harry ReidHarry Mason ReidWATCH: There is no Trump-Russia collusion and the media should stop pushing this The demise of debate in Congress ‘North by Northwest,’ the Carter Page remake MORE is explaining what a pinata is on the Senate floor http://bit.ly/1SwWycO

The Hill's Jordain Carney with the backstory: http://bit.ly/1pvJt8c



Today: Idaho, Michigan and Mississippi vote in their primaries. Hawaii Republicans will also caucus. 

12:50 p.m. EST: Kevin Counihan, CEO of the HealthCare.gov marketplace, will give an overview of the exchanges.

2 p.m. EST: Brookings' Institute is holding an event on how to make politics healthier through state parties. Details: http://brook.gs/21O9yNp 

2:30 p.m. EST: Two Senate Armed Services subcommittees are holding hearings, one on Air Force modernization and the other on military personnel. 

3:45 p.m. EST: President Obama meets with Secretary of Defense Ash Carter.

5 p.m. EST: Ohio Gov. John Kasich (R) holds a rally in Cleveland, Ohio. 

5 p.m. EST: Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) holds a rally in Sarasota, Fla.

5 p.m. EST: Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) holds a rally in Kannapolis, N.C. -- a bit northeast of Charlotte. Details: http://bit.ly/1RxBY72 

5 p.m. EST: Politico is hosting an event about Canada and the U.S.'s role in the global economy, energy, security and the refugee crisis. Live stream: http://politi.co/21VSOY1 

7 p.m. EST: Hillary Clinton holds a campaign rally in Cleveland.

7:45 p.m. EST: Rubio holds another rally in Ponte Vedra, Fla.

9 p.m. EST: Donald Trump holds a press conference in Jupiter, Fla. 

9:30 a.m. EST tomorrow: Attorney General Loretta Lynch will testify on oversight of the Justice Department during a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing.



Today is National Pancake Day -- Pancakes at IHOP are free today, but they ask guests to consider leaving a donation for charity. http://bit.ly/1W4P4wo

"CHERRY BLOSSOM" IS THE NEW "PUMPKIN SPICE": As the national overflow of tourists coming to see cherry blossoms is getting underway, here are some cherry blossom-inspired drinks and foods in D.C. http://bit.ly/1QGSaTV

IF YOU'RE A PARENT, DON'T CLICK THIS: Now, I realize how tempting I made that, but you won't want to watch this. During an MLB spring training game, a Pirates outfielder lost control of his bat and shot it into the stands. The bat was headed directly for a boy's face, but a man put his arm out to protect him. Yipes. http://on.today.com/1R58tz8

And to make you change your dinner plans, here's a mesmerizing video of ways to up your pancake game: http://bit.ly/1QIMUz6


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