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: Breaking - Dems launch 'no confidence' resolution on Trump | Senate GOP meeting Trump for lunch | Tensions between Trump, GOP grow | Conservatives blame Congress for repeal failure | Trump vows to find 'full truth' as voter fraud panel meets | Trump Jr. reportedly 'miserable' as first son | National Hot Dog Day!

NOW'S THE TIME TO PULL OUT THAT DASHING SMILE AND THE EMERGENCY 'APPLES TO APPLES' GAME TO BREAK THE ICE: Tensions are bubbling over between President TrumpDonald John TrumpKoch-backed group launches six-figure ad buy against Heitkamp Anti-abortion Dem wins primary fight Lipinski holds slim lead in tough Illinois primary fight MORE and Senate Republicans. Why this time: The White House blames Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellGOP senator blocking Trump's Intel nominee Spending bill delay raises risk of partial government shutdown support GOP leaders to Trump: Leave Mueller alone MORE (R-Ky.) for the ObamaCare debacle, while GOP senators say Trump didn't help at all. The good, old-fashioned blame game: A member of Trump's team says their boss bears no responsibility for the embarrassing loss because McConnell was in charge of putting together a Senate package.

A LITTLE BUTTERING UP BEFORE THE MEETING NEVER HURT ANYONE: President Trump complimented Senate Republicans' healthcare plan this morning, tweeting, "The Republicans never discuss how good their healthcare bill is, & it will get even better at lunchtime. The Dems scream death as OCare dies!"

When they're meeting: 12:30 p.m. EDT at the White House for lunch.

How many Republicans are actually going: Unclear.

Spotted getting lunch at 11:30 a.m.: "Sen. Richard BurrRichard Mauze BurrOvernight Cybersecurity: Senate Intel releases election security findings | Facebook to meet with officials on Capitol Hill amid Cambridge Analytica fallout | Orbitz admits possible breach Senate Intel releases summary of election security report Overnight Cybersecurity: Trump-linked data firm Cambridge Analytica attracts scrutiny | House passes cyber response team bill | What to know about Russian cyberattacks on energy grid MORE R-N.C.) is ordering lunch in the Senate carry out. Not going to WH while investigation under way he says."

The field trip bus: Photo of the bus taking GOP senators to the White House. I hope it smells like sunscreen -- that would be festive.

The eager beaver of the group: Sen. Chuck GrassleyCharles (Chuck) Ernest GrassleyGOP senator blocking Trump's Intel nominee GOP leaders to Trump: Leave Mueller alone GOP leaders back second special counsel MORE (R-Iowa) tweeted: "I'm eager to replace Obamacare and I'm the first one on the bus to the Whitehouse to find the magic to get to 'yes.'"

Notice the seating chart: "Waiting senators for lunch at White House. Trump seated next to Sens. Dean HellerDean Arthur HellerRepublican drops Senate primary challenge to Heller after Trump's urging Three states where Dems can pick up Senate seats GOP senator: Justice Kennedy is going to retire this summer MORE and Tim ScottTimothy (Tim) Eugene ScottSenators demand cyber deterrence strategy from Trump CNN's Bakari Sellers: Democratic leadership is 'old and stale' Politicians, faith leaders react to passing of Billy Graham MORE." Photo of the seating arrangement

TAKING THE BRUNT OF THE OBAMACARE BLAME -- CONGRESS, NOT TRUMP: Via The Hill's Jordan Fabian and Jonathan Easley, conservatives are lashing out at the Republican-controlled Congress over the lack of progress on President Trump's agenda. Conservative radio host Hugh Hewitt even compared the list of Republican defectors to "Game of Thrones" character Arya Stark's fictional revenge list.

It's Wednesday. Tomorrow marks six months since President Trump took office --> 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.

JUST NOW -- HERE ARE 25 NAMES COMING DIRECTLY OFF THE WHITE HOUSE'S CHRISTMAS CARD LIST...: Via The Hill's Mike Lillis, a group of liberal House Democrats stepped up criticism of President Trump, introducing a "no confidence" resolution that officially questions Trump's fitness to serve as commander in chief. Their reasoning: His campaign's many contacts with Russian officials; his refusal to release his taxes; his verbal attacks on women and the press; and his firing of FBI Director James Comey. Sponsor: Rep. Steve Cohen (D-Tenn.). List of 24 Dems who endorsed it his resolution:

MAYBE DON JR. SHOULD LET OFF A LITTLE STEAM THE WAY JENNA BUSH DIDVia People's Sandra Sobieraj and Tierney McAfee, President Trump's son Donald Trump Jr. is "miserable." From a friend of the Trump brothers: "Eric and Don, they never wanted this." Another source: "Don can't do any deals, because he'll be overly scrutinized. He just goes to work every day and is miserable ... [Don Jr.] can't wait for these four years to be over." 


TALKED -- NO, ARGUED ABOUT, THIS MORNING -- WHEN YOU MEET UP WITH YOUR EX BUT KNOW YOUR FRIENDS WON'T APPROVE: President Trump held a second, informal talk with Russian President Vladimir Putin on the sidelines of the Group of 20 summit in Hamburg, Germany, earlier this month, the White House confirmed late yesterday. Details: Trump spoke with the Russian leader for roughly an hour, joined only by Putin's translator. The meeting had previously gone without mention by the administration.

Trump's reaction: "Fake News story of secret dinner with Putin is 'sick.' All G 20 leaders, and spouses, were invited by the Chancellor of Germany. Press knew!"

Dems' reaction: Rep. Adam SchiffAdam Bennett SchiffOvernight Tech: Lawmakers zero in on Zuckerberg | AT&T, DOJ preview trial arguments | First lady vows to tackle cyberbullying Schiff: Cambridge Analytica CEO's mocking description of GOP 'all too accurate' Cambridge Analytica whistleblower to speak to House Intel Dems MORE (Calif.), the top Democrat on the House Intelligence Committee, called President Trump's previously undisclosed conversation with Russian President Vladimir Putin "deeply troubling."

HAPPENING NOW -- IT'S ALL ABOUT THE VOTES: President Trump's Presidential Advisory Commission on Election Integrity is holding its first public meeting, chaired by Vice President PenceLivestream:

SPECIAL GUEST: President Trump stopped by and made brief remarks warning of the dangers of voter fraud. Trump called the commission's work a "sacred duty" and said he hopes its findings will give way to the "full truth." "Every time voter fraud occurs, it cancels out the vote of a lawful citizen and undermines democracy ... Can't let that happen. Any form of illegal or fraudulent voting, whether by noncitizens or the deceased, and any form of voter suppression or intimidation must be stopped."

Why the commission is already under fire: From The New York Times's Michael Wines:

REMEMBER CARRIER? -- THE TIMING IS A BIT, WELL, HMMM...: Via IndyStar's Tony Cook and James Briggs, Carrier Corp. is laying off 300 employees at its Indianapolis factory. Timing: It's happening Thursday, which happens to be exactly six months since Inauguration Day.

Back story: One of Trump's biggest campaign pledges was to keep jobs in the United States. An air-conditioning company, Carrier, planned to move 2,000 jobs to Mexico. Then President-elect Trump and Vice President-elect Pence announced a deal to keep roughly 1,000 jobs in the state.

WHAT DO WE WANT?! TAX REFORM! WHEN DO WE WANT IT?! PLEASE, PLEASE BEFORE 2018: Via The Hill's Naomi Jagoda, the GOP's setback on healthcare is creating even more pressure for Republicans to accomplish tax reform before the midterms. Why: Expectations were set high because of the party's control of Washington.

Tidbit on tax reform: President Trump's former campaign manager, Corey Lewandowski, forecasted that the president's tax reform plan will have three parts. The gist: Lewandowski said Americans can expect a plan that will lead to less cash flow going overseas, deductions for middle-class families and a simplified tax code.

A LITTLE NEW HEMPSHIRE NEWS -- MARY-JOO-AHNA: New Hampshire Gov. Chris Sununu (R) has signed a new law decriminalizing marijuana, making the Granite State the 22nd in the nation to eliminate the possibility of jail time for those convicted of simple possession. What it means: The new law will reduce fines for possession of up to three-quarters of an ounce of marijuana from $2,000 to just $100 for a first or second offense. When it takes effect: Two months from now.

NEWLY REPORTED -- AT LEAST CYBERSECURITY ISN'T A HOT BUTTON ISSUE RIGHT NOW: Via Bloomberg's Nick Wadhams and Nafeesa Syeed, Secretary of State Rex TillersonRex Wayne TillersonTrump formally sends Pompeo nomination to Senate Trump uses Nowruz to hit Iranian government Trump informally offered Cohn CIA job before changing his mind: report MORE is closing a State Department office that works with other countries on cyber as part of an internal reorganization. What's happening to the office: It will become part of the State Department's Bureau of Economic and Business Affairs. What's different: "The coordinator will no longer report directly to the secretary of state, going instead through the bureau's chain of command."



CBS's Rebecca Kaplan (AH, PUPPY!!!! Oh wait...

Creative way to avoid swarm of Qs: bring a dog to Senate votes. Won't keep reporters away, but may distract them. Photo of the puppy swarm:



The House and Senate are in. President Trump is in Washington, D.C. 

12:30 p.m. EDT: President Trump has lunch with Senate Republicans.

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

3 p.m. EDT: President Trump holds a "Made in America" roundtable in the State Dining Room.

5 p.m. EDT: Last votes in the House.



2 p.m. EDT: A House Ways and Means subcommittee hearing on tax reform. Livestream:

What you can't watch -- 2 p.m. EDT: White House deputy press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders gives the daily press briefing, but off-camera.

7 p.m. EDT: Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein will appear exclusively on Fox News with Martha MacCallum



Today is National Hot Dog Day! It's also National Daiquiri Day!

ADJUSTS GLASSES AND BREATHS THROUGH HER MOUTH -- SCIENCE!: Here's a list of every total solar eclipse that will happen in your lifetime and maps of their paths. It's pretty fascinating.

TRENDING -- WELL ​SHE'S SETTLING IN NICELY TO HER ROYAL DUTIES: During a royal visit in Germany, Princess Charlotte stole the show. Photos and video:

And to perfectly describe my current mood, meet Emma, the baby who loves ice cream more than any other human:


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