The Hill's 12:30 Report

The Hill's 12:30 Report

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--> A midday take on what's happening in politics and how to have a sense of humor about it.*

*Ha. Haha. Hahah. Sniff. Haha. Sniff. Ha--breaks down crying hysterically.


The Hill's 12:30 Report: Trump budget boosts defense spending by $54B | Why March is a crucial month for the GOP | Epic Oscars mistake | Inside Trump's first dinner out in DC | Spicer's leak crackdown | Tom Brady's skiing fail

BREAKING -- THE BIGGEST, THE BEST, THE MOST AMAZING MILITARY BUDGET YOU'VE EVER SEEN -- YUUUUGE: The Trump administration is proposing a budget it says will increase defense spending by $54 billion and cut non-defense spending by the same amount. Details: "Most federal agencies will see a reduction as a result," according to an Office of Management and Budget official, with cuts falling most heavily on "lower priority" programs as well as foreign aid. When asked where the extra $54 billion will be spent, the official said "predominantly it will go to the Pentagon" but declined to name specific offices.

EXPECT A SURPRISE ON INFRASTRUCTURE SPENDING: President Trump hinted that he will be making a "big" announcement on infrastructure during his joint address to Congress on Tuesday. 

DEMS REACT: Senate Minority Leader Charles SchumerCharles (Chuck) Ellis SchumerSchumer: GOP efforts to identify FBI informant 'close to crossing a legal line' Patients deserve the 'right to try' How the embassy move widens the partisan divide over Israel MORE (D-N.Y.) on Monday blasted President Trump's coming budget plan, saying that it will benefit the wealthy at the expense of the middle class.

Happy Monday. I've been on a big "Planet Earth" kick -- watch it immediately if you haven't -- so just a heads up to expect more of those references and videos in here. ;) I'm Cate Martel with a quick recap of the morning and what's coming up. Send comments, story ideas and events for our radar to and on Facebook.

THE NEXT 6 WEEKS ARE CRUCIAL FOR THE GOP -- WELCOME, MARCH MADNESS: Via The Hill's Bob Cusack and Ian Swanson, "March is shaping up to be the most important month for the Republican Party in more than a decade. ... The wish list begins with passing a budget, reforming the tax code and repealing and replacing ObamaCare. All three issues are divisive, making the next six weeks key." Why this time frame is key: "The House will be in session for five of them, while the Senate is scheduled only to take a short two-day break in March." What we'll know by April: "By the end of that intense run, it will be clear that the Trump agenda is moving along swiftly -- or stuck in its tracks."

MUST WATCH: Actual footage of Republicans walking into the Capitol gearing up for their epic month ;) -->


THIS WEEK IN CONGRESS -- HITTING THE GROUND RUNNING: Via The Hill's Cristina Marcos and Jordain Carney, this week will feature a scene few on Capitol Hill for last year's State of the Union could imagine: President Trump delivering an address to a joint session of Congress. White House press secretary Sean Spicer said the theme of Trump's address will be "renewal of the American spirit." Trump is expected to discuss border security and defense, along with economic agenda items like tax reform and overhauling the healthcare system. What else is going on in Congress this week: The GOP plans to bury a resolution that demands a probe of Trump conflicts of interest. Senators will also vote on Trump's nominees, including Wilbur Ross for Commerce secretary and Rep. Ryan Zinke (R-Mont.) for Interior secretary. Full rundown:

SPOTTED -- NIGHT ON THE TOWN: President Trump on Saturday had his first dinner out in Washington since taking office. Where: Trump's motorcade arrived at the Trump International Hotel on Pennsylvania Avenue for dinner at BLT Steakhouse. Photos:

FASCINATING READ: IJ Review's Benny Johnson sat a few tables over and chronicled the night from the restaurant's preparations to Trump's dinner. From a waiter: "The President ordered a well-done steak. An aged New York strip. He ate it with catsup as he always does. The sides and appetizers on the table were shared. Three jumbo shrimp cocktails were delivered before the meal. At one point, the President looked at his watch and remarked, 'They are filming "Saturday Night Live" right now. Can't wait to see what they are gonna do to me this week.' It was hard to serve him because he is so funny and relaxed, it makes you laugh."

A LEAK ABOUT THE LEAK THAT WAS LEAKED FROM THE LEAKER: Via Politico's Annie Karni and Alex Isenstadt, "Press secretary Sean Spicer is cracking down on leaks coming out of the West Wing, with increased security measures that include random phone checks of White House staffers, overseen by White House attorneys." How they are doing it: "Upon entering Spicer's office for what one person briefed on the gathering described as 'an emergency meeting,' staffers were told to dump their phones on a table for a 'phone check,' to prove they had nothing to hide."

OH HEY, BUSH 43!: Former President George W. Bush this morning said the media is an essential component to democracy, arguing it is necessary to hold the government accountable. "I consider the media to be indispensable to democracy. ... Power can be very addictive," he told NBC's "Today."

TALK OF THE MORNING -- BECAUSE EVERYONE LOVES RELIVING PAINFULLY AWKWARD MOMENTS...: "Moonlight" won the Academy Award for Best Picture after a mishap with the envelope at the Oscars last night. Here's the clip if you missed it -- or want to watch the cringe-worthy moment again:

Photo of the crowd as the mix-up happened:



Now This Is News's Colleen Hagerty
A full bottle of wine just rolled out from under a subway seat and now these 2 strangers popped it open & are drinking it. This is peak NYC

Joanne Stocker
So far today I've counted bomb threats against Jewish centers in AL, DE, FL, IN, MI, NJ, NY, NC, PA and RI 



Today: The J Street 2017 conference. Live stream:

Noon: The House and Senate meet.

12:30 p.m. EST: President Trump and Vice President Pence have lunch with United Nations Ambassador Nikki Haley.

2:30 p.m. EST: President Trump meets with House Speaker Paul RyanPaul Davis RyanStudents arrested protesting gun violence outside Paul Ryan’s office Parkland father calls out Trump, McConnell, Ryan after Santa Fe shooting GOP revolts multiply against retiring Ryan MORE (R-Wis.) and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellGOP lawmakers want Trump to stop bashing Congress Parkland father calls out Trump, McConnell, Ryan after Santa Fe shooting Overnight Finance: House rejects farm bill in conservative revolt | NAFTA deal remains elusive as talks drag on | Dodd-Frank rollback set for House vote MORE (R-Ky.)

3:15 p.m. EST: President Trump meets with Secretary of State Rex Tillerson.

6 p.m. EST: President Trump's former campaign manager Corey Lewandowski speaks at the New Hampshire Institute of Politics.

6:30 p.m. EST: The House votes on a series of suspension bills.

7 p.m. EST: The Senate votes on the confirmation of Wilbur Ross as Commerce secretary. The Senate will then vote to advance Rep. Ryan Zinke's (R-Mont.) nomination for Interior secretary.



1:30 p.m. EST: White House press secretary Sean Spicer gives the daily press briefing.

2 p.m. EST: House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) and Senate Minority Leader Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.) give a "prebuttal" to President Trump's address to Congress. Live stream:

10 p.m. EST: Fox News's Sean Hannity sits down with former President George W. Bush.

9 p.m. EST Tuesday: President Trump addresses Congress. Preview:



Today is National Strawberry Day and National Kahlua Day!

PATRIOTS FANS AND PATRIOTS HATERS CAN FINALLY UNITE: Patriots quarterback Tom Brady posted a video of himself skiing over a mound of snow and crashing. It's pretty funny:

PI DAY IS COMING UP: Via DCist's Rachel Kurzius, Washington, D.C.'s &Pizza is once again offering free weddings on Pi Day -- March 14. More than 50 couples have already signed up:

And because we need good vibes on a Monday, here's the cutest animal, just born at the National Zoo: a prehensile-tailed porcupine. The National Zoo even tweeted: "Not to be confused with a caterpillar with a marshmallow on its nose..."


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