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: House races toward ObamaCare repeal vote | Leaders play 'Rocky' theme, predict victory | Senate pessimistic about bill | Social media reacts to 'Morning Joe' co-hosts' engagement | Obama endorses Macron for French prez | Top 10 new DC restaurants | National Star Wars Day 

HAPPENING SOON -- HOUSE STAFFER SECRETLY CUES UP 'WE ARE THE CHAMPIONS': Speaker Paul RyanPaul Davis RyanRepublicans are avoiding gun talks as election looms The Hill's 12:30 Report Flake to try to force vote on DACA stopgap plan MORE (R-Wis.) and his GOP leadership team held what amounted to a pep rally for rank-and-file members in the Capitol basement this morning as they predicted victory in their push to repeal and replace ObamaCare.

Omg, guys. This isn't my usual joke. This actually happened (!): Leaders played the "Rocky" theme song as lawmakers walked into the meeting. House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) put an image of George S. Patton on the screen and read inspirational quotes from the general. "Let's get this f---ing thing done!" Rep. Martha McSally (R-Ariz.) told her colleagues, according to sources in the room. Oh to be a fly on that wall.

It's Thursday -- May the Fourth Be With You! 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.

WHAT TO KNOW ON THE HEALTHCARE VOTE -- SHOOT FIRST, AIM ... WELL, LATER: House Republicans are once again fast-tracking consideration of their ObamaCare replacement bill without knowing the full impact of the legislation they'll vote on today. Why they won't know: The nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office isn't expected to have completed its analysis in time for the vote. Details of the latest bill:

Timing: Via C-SPAN, the vote could happen as early as 1:15 p.m. EDT today.

Live blog of updates:

Latest vote count: 17 GOP no votes. All Dems are expected to vote against the bill, and one GOP lawmaker, Rep. Dan Newhouse (Wash.), will miss the vote. That means Republican leaders can't afford more than 21 GOP defections. Keep checking this page as the count evolves today:

Oh this is a bit sneaky: The latest repeal appears to still include an exemption for members of Congress and their staffs from losing the healthcare bill's popular provisions. Congress plans to address that separately today.

How Senate Republicans are feeling -- meh: Republicans in the Senate are pessimistic the healthcare bill could pass the upper chamber. "A senior GOP senator said the chances of getting 51 votes for legislation based on the House healthcare bill are less than 1 in 5."

Bill's full text

JUST NOW -- YOU DO YOU: President 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 signed an executive order this morning making it easier for churches and other religious groups to engage in politics without endangering their tax-exempt status. What it does: Eases enforcement in the federal tax code that bars religious institutions from endorsing or opposing political candidates and parties. It also eases regulations for those who object to ObamaCare's preventive service mandate on religious grounds.

THIS HAS BEEN FUN, A REAL BLAST. LET'S DO IT AGAIN IN, SAY, SEPTEMBER?: Via The Hill's Niv Elis, the House voted for the government spending bill to keep the government open through September and the Senate may vote today. The legislation is a real bipartisan compromise at a time when Republicans control both ends of Pennsylvania Avenue. But the fights this fall over spending will be tougher. Why: The debt ceiling, the border wall and the Trump factor. Reasons for each:

'OK ON THREE. ONE, TWO THREE' -- 'WE TOLD YOU SO': Via Page Six's Emily Smith, MSNBC's "Morning Joe" co-hosts Joe Scarborough and Mika Brzezinski are engaged to be married. When, where, how: "This past weekend during a romantic trip to the south of France and Monaco to celebrate Brzezinski's 50th birthday. We're told Scarborough, 54, got down on one knee and proposed at the scenic Bar Bellini at the Hotel du Cap-Eden-Roc in Antibes, which has a breathtaking moonlit outdoor terrace overlooking the Mediterranean Sea."

Omg, this is horrible: "imagine having your engagement being announced like this." Screenshot of the New York Post cover today:

Lol, too real: "I bet he interrupts her when she's saying her vows."

More hilarious social media reactions:

Strangest real reaction: Jared Kushner offered to marry the couple.

A B.O. ENDORSEMENT: Former President Barack ObamaBarack Hussein ObamaOvernight Energy: Dems ask Pruitt to justify first-class travel | Obama EPA chief says reg rollback won't stand | Ex-adviser expects Trump to eventually rejoin Paris accord Overnight Regulation: Trump to take steps to ban bump stocks | Trump eases rules on insurance sold outside of ObamaCare | FCC to officially rescind net neutrality Thursday | Obama EPA chief: Reg rollback won't stand Ex-US ambassador: Mueller is the one who is tough on Russia MORE this morning made an endorsement in France's presidential election, days ahead of a runoff vote, backing Emmanuel Macron. What to know about the election: Macron, a member of the centrist party En Marche! (In Motion!), backs remaining in the European Union. His opponent, Marine Le Pen, who leads the nationalist and populist National Front party, has frequently been compared with President Trump. Le Pen has suggested she could launch a referendum on leaving the EU should she win.



C-SPAN's Howard Mortman (Also TBT to what the internet looked like then...)
#TBT Sept. 7, 2001: AP story in Miami Herald reporting Rep. Joe Scarborough (R-FL) "left Congress quietly after seven years" as House member. Screenshot:

President Donald Trump (This tweet is from 2014, but has been resurrected today.)
"It's Thursday. How many people have lost their healthcare today?"



The House and Senate are in.

1 p.m. EDT: Last votes in the House.

1:45 p.m. EDT: The Senate will vote on the omnibus spending bill to keep the government open through September. Then they're o-u-t.

4 p.m. EDT: After traveling to New York City, President Trump meets with Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull of Australia.

4 p.m. EDT: Vice President Pence meets with members of the National Hispanic Advisory Council for Trump.

Sunday: Run-off for France's presidential election.

Announced this morning: Later this month, President Trump will visit Israel, the Vatican, Saudi Arabia, Belgium and Italy for his first foreign trip as president.



4:30 p.m. EDT: Vice President Pence hosts a Cinco de Mayo reception. Livestream:

7:20 p.m. EDT: President Trump speaks at the 75th Anniversary of the Battle of the Coral Sea on the aircraft carrier Intrepid at the Air and Space Museum. Livestream:



Today is National Orange Juice Day. It's also National Star Wars Day!

TRENDING TODAY -- PEOPLE CAN BE GREAT, SOMETIMES: A 7-year-old British girl got a new prosthetic leg and showed it off at school. Her classmates' reactions are adorable. Watch:

DON'T READ THIS IF YOU'RE HUNGRY: Via The Washington Post's "Going Out Guide," here are Tom Sietsema's top 10 new restaurants in Washington, D.C.

And because it's Thursday, here's a dog riding a horse through a jumping course:


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