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 - CBO predicts 22M more uninsured under latest Senate bill | Sessions to stay on despite Trump criticism | McCain says he'll 'be back soon' after brain cancer diagnosis | GOP reverses course on healthcare | Bernie the senator meets 'Bernie' the puppy | New 'Harry Potter' books this October

BREAKING — CBO SCORES REVISED REPUBLICAN HEALTHCARE PLAN: The Congressional Budget Office has just released the score of the revised Senate healthcare plan. Topline: The bill would increase the number of uninsured Americans by 22 million in 2026 and would reduce federal deficits by $420 billion over the next decade. http://bit.ly/2ueYy30 The CBO report: http://bit.ly/2tj58CX

Insight from CNN’s MJ Lee: "Key here is deficit reduction number: first Senate bill saved $321 billion. So revised bill would save ~$100 billion more." http://bit.ly/2uDnzGj

Don't forget: Before Republicans revised their healthcare plan, the CBO’s first score estimated that 22 million more Americans would be uninsured.

Keep in mind: Sen. Ted CruzRafael (Ted) Edward CruzSasse statement: Trump nominee who spread conspiracy theories has a ‘tinfoil hat’ Coalition of 44 groups calls for passage of drug pricing bill For the sake of our democracy, politicians must stop bickering MORE (R-Texas) added an amendment to the current bill, but the Cruz measure will take longer to score. http://bit.ly/2tKFBBM

It's Thursday — today marks six months in office for President TrumpDonald John TrumpTillerson: Russia already looking to interfere in 2018 midterms Dems pick up deep-red legislative seat in Missouri Speier on Trump's desire for military parade: 'We have a Napoleon in the making' MOREHere's a list of his milestones: http://bit.ly/2tKl7ZS I'm Cate Martel with a quick recap of the morning and what's coming up. Send comments, story ideas and ice cream flavor recommendations (please) to cmartel@thehill.com@CateMartel and on Facebook.

NEWS OF THE MORNING — WHOEVER HANDED Jeff SessionsJefferson (Jeff) Beauregard SessionsDems pick up deep-red legislative seat in Missouri Grassley to Sessions: Policy for employees does not comply with the law New immigration policy leaves asylum seekers in the lurch MORE THE PAPER TODAY HOPEFULLY PUT A LITTLE BAILEYS IN HIS COFFEE: President Trump sat down with The New York Times's Peter Baker, Michael S. Schmidt and Maggie Haberman for a wide-ranging interview, during which he tore into Attorney General Jeff Sessions and said he never would have hired him had he known Sessions would recuse himself from the Russia investigation.

Full interview: http://nyti.ms/2uLZBZO

The line everyone's talking about: "Sessions should have never recused himself, and if he was going to recuse himself, he should have told me before he took the job and I would have picked somebody else," Trump said. He also called Sessions's decision "very unfair to the president." Ouch, he used third person

Just don't look at my bank accounts, k?: "Asked if Mr. Mueller's investigation would cross a red line if it expanded to look at his family's finances beyond any relationship to Russia, Mr. Trump said 'I would say yes' and wouldn't rule out firing him. 

Who was with Trump during the interview?: Just one aide, Hope Hicks. Why this is noteworthy: When Trump sat down with The New York Times in April, at least six (!) White House aides were there. http://nyti.ms/2ucuDa2

The part that made me laugh: "Over the course of 50 minutes, the often-fiery Mr. Trump demonstrated his more amiable side, joking about holding hands with the president of France and musing about having a military parade down a main avenue in Washington. 

Lol sorry, Baltimore peeps: "The president also expressed discontent with Deputy Attorney General Rod J. Rosenstein, a former federal prosecutor from Baltimore. When Mr. Sessions recused himself, the president said he was irritated to learn where his deputy was from. 'There are very few Republicans in Baltimore, if any,' he said of the predominantly Democratic city." Note: Rosenstein was born in Philadelphia and grew up in Pennsylvania; he was the U.S. attorney for the District of Maryland prior to his current post.

CAPTION FOR THIS SESSIONS PHOTO — WELP [SHRUG EMOJI]: Attorney General Jeff Sessions said he plans to continue to serve in his post "as long as that is appropriate." His words: "I have the honor of serving as attorney general. It's something that goes beyond any thought I would have ever had for myself," Sessions said during a press conference this morning, one day after President Trump expressed frustration with the top Justice Department official. http://bit.ly/2vntsVp 

LATE THIS A.M. — ONE STEP FURTHER TO CONFIRMATION: Christopher Wray, President Trump's pick to lead the FBI, unanimously cleared the Senate Judiciary Committee this morning. The unanimous 'yes' votes: 11 Republicans, nine Democrats. Next step: Full Senate vote, likely before August recess. http://on.wsj.com/2uMr3H7

NEWS OF THE MORNING NO. 2 — WE'RE ALL THINKING IT SO I'M JUST GOING TO SAY IT: EFF. CANCER.: Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) has been diagnosed with brain cancer. How he was diagnosed: The tumor was discovered after McCain underwent a minor procedure last week to remove a blood clot from above his left eye. Next steps: The senator and his family are reviewing treatment options, which include chemotherapy and radiation. Keep in mind: This is not McCain's first battle with cancer. He has had melanomas removed in the past, most recently in 2002. Return to the Senate?: His office said further consultations with his doctors will determine when he will return to the Senate. http://bit.ly/2uFCe3w

JUST NOW — McCain tweeted: "I greatly appreciate the outpouring of support — unfortunately for my sparring partners in Congress, I'll be back soon, so stand-by!" http://bit.ly/2uMI4AT

REACTIONS — well wishes from almost any lawmaker and politician you can think of: http://bit.ly/2uer70H

President Trump: "Senator John McCainJohn Sidney McCainMcConnell: 'Whoever gets to 60 wins' on immigration Meghan McCain: Melania is 'my favorite Trump, by far' Kelly says Trump not likely to extend DACA deadline MORE has always been a fighter. [First lady] Melania and I send our thoughts and prayers to Senator McCain, Cindy, and their entire family. Get well soon."

Vice President Pence: "Karen & I are praying for Sen. John McCain. Cancer picked on the wrong guy. John McCain is a fighter & he'll win this fight too. God bless!" http://bit.ly/2tiicbt

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellDems confront Kelly after he calls some immigrants 'lazy' McConnell: 'Whoever gets to 60 wins' on immigration Overnight Defense: Latest on spending fight - House passes stopgap with defense money while Senate nears two-year budget deal | Pentagon planning military parade for Trump | Afghan war will cost B in 2018 MORE (R-Ky.): "John McCain is a hero to our Conference and a hero to our country. He has never shied away from a fight and I know he will face this challenge with the same extraordinary courage that has characterized his life..." http://bit.ly/2uFCe3w

Senator Minority Leader Charles SchumerCharles (Chuck) Ellis SchumerGOP lawmaker: Dems not standing for Trump is 'un-American' Trump called for unity — he didn’t even last a week Overnight Defense: GOP plays hardball by attaching defense funding to CR | US reportedly drawing down in Iraq | Russia, US meet arms treaty deadline | Why the military wants 6B from Congress MORE (D-N.Y.): "You are a true fighter & I'll be praying for you until you beat this. I know you will." http://bit.ly/2uebuXb

His buddy: Sen. Lindsey GrahamLindsey Olin GrahamMcConnell: 'Whoever gets to 60 wins' on immigration Overnight Tech: Uber exec says 'no justification' for covering up hack | Apple considers battery rebates | Regulators talk bitcoin | SpaceX launches world's most powerful rocket Overnight Cybersecurity: Tillerson proposes new cyber bureau at State | Senate bill would clarify cross-border data rules | Uber exec says 'no justification' for covering up breach MORE (R-S.C.), a close friend of McCain and one of his most ardent allies on Capitol Hill, spoke with McCain yesterday. He said they talked only briefly about McCain's diagnosis before shifting to a conversation about the Senate's healthcare reform efforts and the National Defense Authorization Act, the federal defense spending bill.

Former President Barack ObamaBarack Hussein ObamaGOP lawmaker: Dems not standing for Trump is 'un-American' Forget the Nunes memo — where's the transparency with Trump’s personal finances? Mark Levin: Clinton colluded with Russia, 'paid for a warrant' to surveil Carter Page MORE: "John McCain is an American hero & one of the bravest fighters I've ever known. Cancer doesn't know what it's up against. Give it hell, John." http://bit.ly/2gMTQ8e

Former President Bill ClintonWilliam (Bill) Jefferson ClintonLongtime Clinton confidant blames Comey for 2016 loss Trump’s national monument rollbacks take effect A year after Obama, Dems still looking for replacement MORE: "As he's shown his entire life, don't bet against John McCain. Best wishes to him for a swift recovery." http://bit.ly/2uBYA6e

Former Vice President Joe BidenJoseph (Joe) Robinette BidenBiden says he would advise Trump against Mueller interview Biden on Trump's 'treason' comments: 'He's a joke' Joe Kennedy: Biden likely would have defeated Trump MORE: "John and I have been friends for 40 years. He's gotten through so much difficulty with so much grace. He is strong — and he will beat this." http://bit.ly/2tt32EH

Former Democratic presidential nominee Hillary ClintonHillary Diane Rodham ClintonTrump touts report Warner attempted to talk to dossier author Poll: Nearly half of Iowans wouldn’t vote for Trump in 2020 Rubio on Warner contact with Russian lobbyist: It’s ‘had zero impact on our work’ MORE: "John McCain is as tough as they come. Thinking of John, Cindy, their wonderful children, & their whole family tonight." http://bit.ly/2tizLsf

Sen. McCain's daughter Meghan, a Fox News host: "It won't surprise you to learn that in all this, the one of us who is most confident and calm is my father. He is the toughest person I know. The cruelest enemy could not break him. The aggressions of political life could not bend him. So he is meeting this challenge as he has had every other. Cancer may afflict him in many ways: but it will not make him surrender. Nothing ever has." Full statement: http://fxn.ws/2vFLoKB

FIRST IN THE 12:30 REPORT — HOW DO YOU LIKE THEM — POTHOLES?: ReBuild USA is releasing a new six-figure ad campaign in six states to advocate for a federal infrastructure bill. "It's far past time that Washington acted on infrastructure— too many of our roads and bridges are crumbling, our children's schools are in disrepair, and everyday there's reports of our water systems in decay and our national energy grid at risk," said Brent Booker, secretary treasurer of North America's Building Trades Unions, which supports the ReBuild USA national campaign. Which states you can find the ads in: Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Ohio, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin. Timing: Don't forget, this is President Trump's "Made in America" week! What the ads look like: http://bit.ly/2uCMBFp

MCCONNELL SPOTTED BY THE SENATE SUBWAY WITH A CARDBOARD SIGN — 'WILL WORK 4 VOTES': Senate Republican leaders are desperately searching for the 51 votes they need to open a debate on ObamaCare repeal-and-replace legislation after a Wednesday scolding from President Trump. How we know they're desperate: Leaders have reopened negotiations on their previous bill, reversing course from their plans to move to a vote on a straight repeal of ObamaCare. http://bit.ly/2uczTdR

Must-read analysis: From The Hill's Niall Stanage, "President Trump sought to strong-arm Senate Republicans into passing ObamaCare repeal-and-replace legislation on Wednesday in an attempt to turn the weight of his office into impetus for action." How Trump is trying to bend Congress to his will and how that's goinghttp://bit.ly/2vn70vH

AT LEAST THE TV NETWORKS HAVE PLENTY OF PODIUMS FROM THE 2016 REPUBLICAN PRIMARY...: Via The Hill's Amie Parnes, Democrats are expecting one of their party's biggest fields in history will battle to take on President Trump in the 2020 election. Major factor: The lack of a big-name candidate who might scare off other rivals. For the first time since Kerry was the party's nominee, no one named Clinton or Obama is expected to run for the Democratic nomination. The potential Dem field for 2020: http://bit.ly/2vntsVp



NBC's Frank Thorp (Yiiiiiiikes)
Ummm, Congressional reporting as a full contact sport featuring Seung Min Kim. Photo: http://bit.ly/2uCs03W

Journalist Matt Laslo
Rep. Chris Collins is on the phone off the House floor - surrounded by reporters - discussing stock trades http://bit.ly/2uFXaY5



The House is in, wrapping up last votes for the week. The Senate is in. 

This morning: President Trump participated in a meeting at the Pentagon.

1:30 p.m. EDT: Vice President Pence will be interviewed by Fox News's Tucker Carlson, followed by Sean Hannity

1:45 p.m. EDT: The Senate will hold a roll call vote on David Bernhardt to be deputy secretary of the Interior. 

This afternoon: Defense Secretary James Mattis and Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Joseph Dunford brief House members in a closed briefing on the strategies to fight the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria.

Happening today: O.J. Simpson's parole hearing. Latest updates from NYT: http://nyti.ms/2tjc5DL 

Monday: President Trump's son-in-law and senior adviser Jared Kushner will testify before the Senate Intelligence Committee in a closed hearing. Why this is big: http://abcn.ws/2tivLYr

Wednesday: Donald Trump Jr. and former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort are slated to testify before the Senate Judiciary Committee in a public hearing. Details: http://bit.ly/2vFxcRy



What you can't watch — 2:15 p.m. EDT: White House deputy press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders gives the press briefing off-camera.

3 p.m. EDT: President Trump announces a "pharmaceutical glass packaging initiative" from the Roosevelt Room of the White House.



Today is National Lollipop Day!

MARK YOUR CALENDARS FOR OCT. 20: J.K. Rowling is releasing two new "Harry Potter" books this fall. What to know about each: http://bzfd.it/2gMVXsI

I LAUGHED WAY TOO HARD AT THESE: A writer for "Saturday Night Live" has been responding to President Trump's tweets as if they were texts. Trump: "Will be at the Women's U.S. Open today!" Josh Patten: "Ok text if you need anything." They're pretty entertaining regardless of your political views: http://cnn.it/2uctpMg

BERNIE MEETS HIS NAMESAKE: Sen. Bernie SandersBernard (Bernie) SandersTrump has declared war on our climate — we won’t let him win Stock slide bites boastful Trump, but rising wages great for GOP Millions should march on DC to defeat Trump Republicans MORE (I-Vt.) appeared on "The View," where co-host Joy Behar introduced him to her new puppy, which she named "Bernie." Sanders's reaction is great. 58-second video: http://bit.ly/2uFAp6m

And to keep you away from your work for another few seconds, here's a viral video of a girl impersonating all of us. It's too accurate. http://bit.ly/2uMn8dp


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