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: ObamaCare repeal gains momentum after new amendment | Comey 'nauseous' over idea FBI affected election | Trump targets Obama brand | Facebook team to monitor videos for violent content

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NEWS OF THE MORNING -- IT'S ALWAYS THE COMEY SHOW THESE DAYS, AMIRITE? Director James Comey is back in the spotlight today, testifying before the Senate Judiciary Committee. Timing: This is his first public testimony since announcing the agency's investigation into potential ties between President TrumpDonald John TrumpWH aides intentionally compose Trump tweets with grammatical mistakes: report Holder: DOJ, FBI should reject Trump's requests Ex-Trump campaign adviser rips claims of spy in campaign: It's 'embarrassing' MORE's campaign and Russia. Why this hearing is different: This is normally slated to be the annual hearing about general oversight of the FBI but is expected to cover Comey's role during the 2016 presidential election. Keep in mind: This is one of two hotly anticipated Comey hearings. The second will be behind closed doors Thursday. All the reasons his job is "quiet" these days: 


Live blog with updates:

Most memorable line: "It makes me mildly nauseous to think we might have had some impact on the election."

Pause...what?: "Comey just referred to Anthony Weiner as 'this fella Anthony Weiner'"

What a phrase: Comey referred to WikiLeaks as "intelligence porn."

It's Hump Day! 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.

THIS A.M. -- 'OOH, THIS OBAMACARE REPEAL COULD NOW ACTUALLY HAPPEN' TAKE 37: Reps. Fred Upton (R-Mich.) and Billy Long (R-Mo.) said today they will support the GOP's ObamaCare repeal-and-replace bill with the addition of a new amendment Upton drafted. The two Republicans made the announcement at the White House after meeting with President Trump. Both previously opposed the bill, which is backed by Trump and Republican leaders.

Could it pass?: "I think it is likely now to pass the House," Upton said. But he added he's "not in the whip count" and can't definitively say there are enough votes for the American Health Care Act to pass.

Timing: Upton said a vote could be held as soon as Thursday.

Latest vote count: 20 GOP no votes. Three more no votes would kill the bill. Earlier today, there were 22 GOP no votes, so there's progress for GOP leaders.

NOT BAD FOR A FAILING, REALLY DISGUSTING, DISHONEST, DYING PAPERThe New York Times added more than 300,000 digital subscriptions in the first three months of 2017, the newspaper announced this morning, higher than in any other quarter in its history.

GHOST OF FORMER ADMINISTRATIONS PAST: Via The Hill's Niall Stanage, President Trump is going in with all guns blazing in an effort to eradicate former President Barack ObamaBarack Hussein ObamaThe true commander in tweet Meghan Markle's pre-royal 'finishing lessons' and an etiquette of equality Hannity on Acosta claim he was tough on Obama: 'Only thing missing were the pom-poms' MORE's legacy. The push encompasses everything from the attempt to repeal the Affordable Care Act to unwinding smaller initiatives that are primarily identified with former first lady Michelle ObamaMichelle LeVaughn Robinson ObamaAl Sharpton: Royal wedding shows white supremacy is ‘on its last breath' Meghan Markle's pre-royal 'finishing lessons' and an etiquette of equality Place your royal wedding bets: Website offers odds on surprise American guests MORE. On Monday, the Trump administration targeted two of the former first lady's signature programs. Details:

MICHELLE OBAMA REACTS: Obama tweeted: "Excited by the potential of the Obama Pres. Center. Barack & I will continue to champion the issues close to our hearts, including girls ed."

HAPPENING TOMORROW -- LIBERTY FOR ALL: President Trump has reportedly invited conservative leaders to visit the White House on Thursday for the signing of an executive order on religious liberty. What we know: One source noted that the language of the order has not yet been finalized by White House lawyers, but a draft leaked in February would give businesses and individuals the ability to claim broad religious objections.

LOL, JUST IMAGINE THIS HEADLINE FOR SEAN SPICER'S JOB: Former Donald Trump campaign adviser Roger Stone claims he "had to kill" an "insane effort" by Fox News host Sean Hannity to become White House chief of staff. Roger Stone Tweet: "Sean Hannity and his lackey Bill Shine blocked me from Fox because I blocked Sean's insane effort to become @realDonaldTrump [White House chief of staff]."

WELP, THIS IS AN ODD JOB TO APPLY FOR...: Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg announced today that the company will hire 3,000 new employees to review its videos for crime and suicides. Why this is even necessary: The company's staffing expansion follows a recent murder in Cleveland and murder of a baby in Thailand that were both broadcast on Facebook Live. Many people had also broadcast their own suicides on the platform. We should start a collection for "Cupcake Friday" for this team...



Politico's Elana Schor
[Overheard], Capitol tour guide training in progress: "They don't care ... 24 hours from now, they're not going to remember anything you just said." 

The Fiscal Times's Michael Stothard
Exhausted by the news? Take solace that there is a sport where Finnish people pretend to be horses: 

The Hill's Cristina Marcos (Lol.)
Reporters ask Rep. Issa his position on the revised healthcare bill. "None of your business," he says. 



The House and Senate are in.

12:30 p.m. EDT: President Trump has a working lunch with President Mahmoud Abbas of the Palestinian Authority.

1:30 p.m. EDT: First votes in the House. Their schedule today:

3 p.m. EDT: Last votes in the House.

6:30 p.m. EDT: President Trump has dinner with religious leaders.



12:15 p.m. EDT: President Trump gives a joint statement with President Mahmoud Abbas of the Palestinian Authority. 

2 p.m. EDT: White House press secretary Sean Spicer gives the daily press briefing. 

Good times...: Spicer stunned reporters yesterday by leaving his daily press briefing without taking questions. "Sean. Sean! SEAN!" Watch:

2 p.m. EDT: House Homeland Security Committee hearing on visa security and the risk of terrorism. Livestream:

9 p.m. EDT: Vice President Pence speaks at the Susan B. Anthony List's 2017 Campaign for Life gala.



Today is National Chocolate Custard Day. It's also National Raspberry Popover Day. Both oddly specific.

THIS IS COOL AND FUTURISTIC: Via Mashable, a new concrete made with bacteria (!) can fix its own cracks. Video:

REMEMBER THE SIMPLE DAYS OF JUST THE UNICORN FRAPPE...?: New Starbucks Frappuccinos include the "Dragon," "Narwhal" and "Mermaid."

And because you read this far, here's a man who catches a 1-year-old's falling birthday cake. Not all heroes wear capes:


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