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 bans transgender people from military service | LGBT groups slam move | Lawmakers react | Scalise discharged | Clinton book to double down on Russia, Comey | Trump's new Sessions attack | Latest on Senate ObamaCare votes | The Hill's 50 Most Beautiful 2017

BREAKING -- HAPPY #AMERICANHEROESWEEK: President Trump this morning announced that he would ban transgender people from any military service. What this means: It's a major shift in military policy. How he made the announcement: Twitter, obviously. Tweets: "After consultation with my Generals and military experts, please be advised that the United States Government will not accept or allow Transgender individuals to serve in any capacity in the U.S. Military. Our military must be focused on decisive and overwhelming victory and cannot be burdened with the tremendous medical costs and disruption that transgender in the military would entail. Thank you."

Don't forget: The White House branded this week as "American Heroes Week."

From the Pentagon: "Pentagon referring questions on Trump's transgender announcement to the White House. Mattis is on vacation this week" (From The Washington Post's Abby Phillip

Flashback to June 2016: Trump tweeted, "Thank you to the LGBT community! I will fight for you while Hillary brings in more people that will threaten your freedoms and beliefs."

It's Wednesday. The 2016 Democratic National Convention was one year ago. Oh how we've aged. 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.


Sen. John McCainJohn Sidney McCainMcCain rips Trump for attacks on press NSA spying program overcomes key Senate hurdle Meghan McCain says her father regrets opposition to MLK Day MORE (R-Ariz.), chair of the Senate Armed Services Committee: McCain released a statement blasting Trump's announcement. Excerpt: "Any American who meets current medical and readiness standards should be allowed to continue serving." Read the full statement:

House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.): Pelosi slammed the ban. Tweets: "69 years ago, President Truman desegregated the US Military. This morning, [President Trump] turned anti-trans prejudice into policy ... [his] decision ... is a vile attack on brave individuals defending our country." Full series of tweets:

GOP Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (Fla.): Ros-Lehtinen spoke against the ban. Tweet: "No American, no matter their sexual orientation or gender identity, should be prohibited from honor + privilege of serving our nation LGBT." Keep in mind: Ros-Lehtinen has a transgender son.

GOP Sen. Orrin HatchOrrin Grant HatchKoch groups: Don't renew expired tax breaks in government funding bill Hatch tweets link to 'invisible' glasses after getting spotted removing pair that wasn't there DHS giving ‘active defense’ cyber tools to private sector, secretary says MORE (Utah): A grassroots group in Utah that opposes Trump tweeted at the senator to ask if he stands with members of the transgender community. Hatch's Twitter account responded "yes."

Former Vice President Joe BidenJoseph (Joe) Robinette BidenDemocrats will need to explain if they shut government down over illegal immigration Trump thinks he could easily beat Sanders in 2020 match-up: report Biden marks MLK Day: Americans are 'living through a battle for the soul of this nation' MORE: "Every patriotic American who is qualified to serve in our military should be able to serve. Full stop," he tweeted.

LGBT groups -- what you'd assume: LGBT advocacy groups slammed President Trump's decision, calling it a "direct attack" on trans people and a "desperate action." Reactions:

JUST ANNOUNCED -- SCALISE IS OUT OF THE HOSPITAL!: House Majority Whip Steve Scalise (R-La.) has been discharged from the hospital a month and a half after he was critically injured in a shooting at a congressional baseball practice in Virginia. Part of the statement: "He is in good spirits and is looking forward to his return to work once he completes rehabilitation. He and his family are grateful for the care he received..."


FIRST HEALTHCARE BILL AMENDMENT -- *CUE ANNOYING BUZZER SOUND*: Via The Hill's Jordain Carney, the Senate rejected a key proposal repealing and replacing ObamaCare on Tuesday night as senators start a dayslong debate on healthcare. The vote: 43-57. What it included: The Senate GOP's repeal-and-replace bill, the Better Care Reconciliation Act, as well as proposals from GOP Sens. Ted Cruz (Texas) and Rob PortmanRobert (Rob) Jones PortmanFlake's anti-Trump speech will make a lot of noise, but not much sense Top GOP candidate drops out of Ohio Senate race Overnight Tech: Regulators to look at trading in bitcoin futures | Computer chip flaws present new security problem | Zuckerberg vows to improve Facebook in 2018 MORE (Ohio). Was it expected to fail: Yes, it needed 60 votes and the Congressional Budget Office hasn't scored parts of it yet. Does this mean repeal-and-replace is over?: Nah, GOP leadership can offer another repeal-and-replace amendment or another version of BCRA.

The Huffington Post's Matt Fuller: Guess who voted for BCRA? 
Oh, John McCain, who said about 6 hours earlier that he was opposed to the current bill. Guess he came around... 

Protesters: "Protestors chanting 'Kill the bill' in the Senate gallery as voting began. Being escorted out here" Video:

The next few days for Republicans -- a delightful firing squad: The successful procedural vote sets up 20 hours of floor debate and votes on a virtually unlimited number of amendments, known as a vote-a-rama. Why it's a tough road for McConnell:

THE HILL'S 50 MOST BEAUTIFUL 2017 -- HE'S BEAUTY AND SHE'S GRACE. THEY'RE MR. AND MRS. UNITED STATES --> It's that time of year again! The Hill has released its 14th annual 50 Most Beautiful list. See who made the list:

THIS IS A GOOD TIME FOR Jeff SessionsJefferson (Jeff) Beauregard SessionsSessions: 'We should be like Canada' in how we take in immigrants DOJ wades into archdiocese fight for ads on DC buses Overnight Cybersecurity: Bipartisan bill aims to deter election interference | Russian hackers target Senate | House Intel panel subpoenas Bannon | DHS giving 'active defense' cyber tools to private sector MORE TO MUTE HIS PERSONAL GOOGLE ALERTS: President Trump this morning opened a new line of attack against Attorney General Jeff Sessions. Tweet: "Why didn't A.G. Sessions replace Acting FBI Director Andrew McCabe, a Comey friend who was in charge of Clinton investigation but got big dollars ($700,000) for his wife's political run from Hillary ClintonHillary Diane Rodham ClintonIntel Dem decries White House 'gag order' after Bannon testimony 'Total free-for-all' as Bannon clashes with Intel members Mellman: On Political Authenticity (Part 2) MORE and her representatives. Drain the Swamp!"

SPOTTED AT THE WHITE HOUSE THIS MORNING: "AG Jeff Sessions leaving the West Wing" (From OANN's Trey Yingst

Now this is good television: Newly appointed White House communications director Anthony Scaramucci sparred with CNN's Chris Cuomo on "New Day" this morning. Scaramucci's defense of Trump's tweets against Sessions is pretty interesting. Video:

PLEASE OH PLEASE HAVE EACH CHAPTER TITLED "...AND ANOTHER THING!": Via The Hill's Amie ParnesHillary Clinton's upcoming book will discuss Russian interference and James Comey's involvement in her 2016 election defeat. "Privately, Clinton has told friends and longtime associates that she 'wants the whole story out there' as she rushes to tweak and put the finishing touches on the book due out in September." What to expect from the book: An ally said the book of personal essays will be a "bombshell."

WHY EXXON AND SHELL ARE HAVING A BAD DAY: The United Kingdom will stop selling new diesel and gasoline vehicles by 2040 as a way to fight pollution, officials have announced. Prime Minister Theresa May's government is also aiming to make most cars and vans in the country zero-emission by 2050. Keep in mind: Electric cars account for only 5 percent of new registrations in the U.K., according to Reuters.



Vox's Dylan Scott
[parental discretion is advised] 
lol, email from a congressional source ends: 
"who the f--k knows what's actually going to happen" 

Politico's Caitlin Emma
RIP "EDibles," the pun-tastic name of U.S. Department of Education's cafeteria. You'll be sorely missed:



The House and Senate are in.

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

3:30 p.m. EDT: The Senate votes.

10 p.m. EDT: Last votes in the House (!)



2 p.m. EDT: White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders gives the daily press briefing on-camera (!!). Livestream:

3 p.m. EDT: President Trump speaks to the American Legion Boys Nation and the American Legion Auxiliary Girls Nation. Livestream:

3 p.m. EDT: Sens. Sheldon WhitehouseSheldon WhitehouseSenate Finance Dems want more transparency on trade from Trump Trump, Kushner meet with advocates on prison reform Democrats search for Russians — any Russians — for collusion story MORE (D-R.I.) and Brian Schatz (D-Hawaii) speak at an American Enterprise Institute event about carbon taxes. Livestream:

5 p.m. EDT: President Trump makes an announcement about jobs in the East Room of the White House. Livestream:



Today is National Coffee Milkshake Day. It's also National Bagelfest Day!

TRENDING -- ATTENTION, WONDER WOMAN FANS!: Warner Bros. announced that "Wonder Woman 2" will officially hit theaters Dec. 13, 2019.

THIS IS #FAKENEWS. RIGGINS WAS ROBBED: IJ Review released its list of the top 25 cutest dogs on Capitol Hill. Why I'm personally offended: Riggins is wearing a bow tie and was only ranked No. 9. #FakeNews, I tell you!

And because you read this far, here's a zoo trainer playing with pandas, dressed up as one. It's so adorable!:


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