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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: Dems back linking short-term debt hike, Harvey aid | GOP fears damage from DACA move | Schumer threatens to add DACA to other bills | Latest on Irma | Trump says hurricane 'not good' | State of emergency in Florida | Sanders brushes off Clinton criticism | Clinton also blasts Biden

ANNOUNCED THIS MORNING -- IT'S A YES FROM US: Via The Hill's Jordain Carney, top Democrats said that they will support linking immediate help for Hurricane Harvey recovery and a short-term debt limit increase. "Democrats are prepared to offer our votes for the Harvey aid package, and a short term debt limit increase of three months," Senate Minority Leader Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.) and House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) said in a joint statement. http://bit.ly/2wHTW5h

How Republicans reacted: Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) quickly shot down the Democratic offer, calling it "unworkable" and "ridiculous and disgraceful."

Ryan's reasoning:  "They want to play politics with the debt ceiling?" he asked reporters. "It could put in jeopardy the kind of hurricane response we need to have."

The challenge for lawmakers: Congress is trying to find a path forward by month's end on Harvey aid, raising the debt limit and spending bill to avoid a shutdown. Lawmakers are likely to settle on a short-term spending bill, setting up a larger funding fight at year's end.

What the White House and GOP leaders want: A longer debt-ceiling hike, preferably for a year.

Dems see an edge: Extending the debt ceiling through December, as Schumer and Pelosi are proposing, could give Democrats more leverage in end-of-the-year spending talks.

Lol, true: "Inside the Deal Where Republican and Democratic Leaders Swapped Talking Points on the Debt Ceiling" (tweet from Politico's Burgess Everett) http://bit.ly/2xOVU3J

HAPPENING NOW: The House is currently voting on Hurricane Harvey relief. Livestream of the vote: http://cs.pn/2xPjEF6

It's already Wednesday! 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 cmartel@thehill.com, @CateMartel and on Facebook.

LATEST PATH FOR HURRICANE IRMA: Via The Weather Channel, Hurricane Irma, currently a Category 5 storm, is passing over St. Martin and Anguilla and may hit Florida this weekend. Current path and projections: http://wxch.nl/2vLrXnT

BEING PROACTIVE: President Trump has declared a pre-landfall emergency for Florida, Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands ahead of Hurricane Irma. Why this is important: "This will free up much needed federal funding and assistance as we prepare for Irma," said Florida Gov. Rick Scott (R). http://bit.ly/2f2TCGq

YOU CAN DIVIDE EVERYTHING IN LIFE INTO TWO CATEGORIES -- 'GOOD' AND 'NOT GOOD': President Trump on Wednesday predicted that Hurricane Irma "will not be good." Full quote: "There is a new and seems to be record-breaking hurricane [heading] toward Florida and Puerto Rico and other places," he told reporters in the Oval Office. "It looks like it could be something that will be not good. Believe me, not good." http://bit.ly/2xaTDTC

At the shelters -- all, well, most are welcome: The Polk County Sheriff tweeted, "If you go to a shelter for Irma and you have a warrant, we'll gladly escort you to the safe and secure shelter called the Polk County Jail" http://bit.ly/2w6UgbV

HAPPENING THURSDAY -- IT'S TRUMP JR. TIME: Donald Trump Jr. is expected to speak with the Senate Judiciary Committee this Thursday. Keep in mind: It's behind closed doors. What the meeting's about: Trump Jr.'s 2016 meeting with a Russian lawyer who claimed to have damaging information about then-Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton. http://cnn.it/2eKL8Hf

REPUBLICAN STRATEGY FOR KEEPING THE GOVERNMENT OPEN -- A CIRCULAR FIRING SQUAD SEEMS FUN: Via The Hill's Alexander Bolton, Republicans leaders are crafting a must-pass bill that will likely infuriate both conservatives and President Trump's base. What it's likely to include: Funding to keep the government open until December, raising the debt limit through the 2018 midterm elections and Hurricane Harvey relief. What it likely won't include: Funding for the U.S.-Mexico border wall or significant spending reforms that conservatives want. But some don't think Trump will accept it: http://bit.ly/2j1MC1g

REPUBLICAN STRATEGY FOR THE DEBT CEILING -- SIMILAR ^^: Senate Majority Whip John Cornyn (R-Texas) vowed Tuesday to attach legislation raising the debt limit to a Hurricane Harvey relief bill the House is expected to approve on Wednesday, setting up a confrontation among Republicans in Congress. http://bit.ly/2xOGRao

EXCLUSIVE -- I'M MORE OF A TOMORROW GUY THAN A YESTERDAY GUY: Via The Hill's Alexander Bolton, Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) this morning brushed off Hillary Clinton's criticism of him in her new book, saying he's not interested in playing the blame game. Sanders response: "My response is that right now it's appropriate to look forward and not backward ... "I'm working overtime now to see we overturn Trump's decision on DACA, pass a $15-an-hour minimum wage and next week I'll be offering a Medicare-for-all single-payer system." Full response: http://bit.ly/2eLgyNB

Back story: Clinton blamed Sanders for Trump's 'Crooked Hillary' attack. http://bit.ly/2gMsm2Z

NEXT UP ON CLINTON'S HIT LIST -- JOEY B!: In her new book, Hillary Clinton openly questioned former Vice President's Joe Biden's assessment that the Democrats did not focus on the middle class during the presidential race.  Excerpt: "Joe Biden said the Democratic Party in 2016 'did not talk about what it always stood for -- and that was how to maintain a burgeoning middle class,'" Clinton wrote. "I find this fairly remarkable, considering that Joe himself campaigned for me all over the Midwest and talked plenty about the middle class." http://bit.ly/2j18PfC

OH, JK. YOU THOUGHT I WAS SERIOUS ABOUT THAT, BRO?: President Trump last night tweeted that he would revisit his decision to end the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program if lawmakers are unable to pass legislation on the matter in the next six months. Tweet: "Congress now has 6 months to legalize DACA (something the Obama Administration was unable to do). If they can't, I will revisit this issue!" I.e.: Softening what Attorney General Jeff Sessions announced earlier yesterday. http://bit.ly/2j34HMg

HOW CONGRESS IS REACTING -- EHHHHH: Early indications suggest his Republican allies, particularly in the Senate, have little inclination to take up the thorny issue of DACA soon. http://bit.ly/2wHvDEF

BUT THEN SCHUMER THREATENED TO ADD DACA TO MUST-PASS LEGISLATION: Senate Democratic Leader Charles Schumer (N.Y.) this morning threatened that if Republicans do not bring to the floor a bill to protect an estimated 800,000 immigrants brought to the country illegally as children from deportation, Democrats will try to attach it to any must-pass legislation that moves this fall. http://bit.ly/2eGhRdc

HOW THIS COULD AFFECT REPUBLICANS IN 2018: President Trump's decision to end DACA could cause the Republican Party grave damage with Latino voters, according to experts both inside and outside the GOP. http://bit.ly/2eKDX1M

JUST ANNOUNCED -- PEACE OUT, PUBLIC SECTOR: Federal Reserve Vice Chairman Stanley Fischer has decided to resign in October, after three years at the U.S. central bank. Why: "personal reasons." His resignation letter to President Trump: https://bloom.bg/2wHEXs9

A GOOD LUNCHTIME READ -- INSIDE THE POWERHOUSE THAT IS MAGGIE HABERMAN: The Cut's Kaitlin Menza interviewed The New York Times's Maggie Haberman on her daily routine, thoughts on President Trump and how she does her job. It's worth reading: http://bit.ly/2vLBtYd

JUST INTRODUCED -- I HATE THAT THIS IS EVEN NECESSARY: A bipartisan group of senators are introducing a joint resolution that condemns white supremacist groups and calls on President Trump to confront the threats hate groups present in the wake of the violence last month at a white supremacist rally in Charlottesville, Va.  Naming names: Sens. Mark Warner (D-Va.), Johnny Isakson (R-Ga.), Tim Kaine (D-Va.) and Cory Gardner (R-Colo.). http://bit.ly/2xaOHOC



Politico's Burgess Everett (Hahahah)

[Sen.] Tom Cotton just offered me money for a haircut http://bit.ly/2vMgu7F

NASA (Awwwww)

When 4th grader and self-proclaimed "Guardian of the Galaxy", Jack, wrote to us about applying for a job, we replied. Photos of the application and response: http://bit.ly/2w7eG4k



The House and Senate are in.

9 a.m. EDT: President Trump spoke with President Xi Jinping of China.

11 a.m. EDT: President Trump met with House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wis.), Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.), House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) and Senate Minority Leader Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.) to discuss the upcoming legislative agenda.

Noon: First votes in the House, including Harvey relief aid. Their schedule today: http://bit.ly/2jYhqPv

12:30 p.m. EDT: The Senate breaks for weekly caucus luncheons. They have no votes scheduled for today.

This afternoon: President Trump travels to Bismarck, N.D., for an event to pitch tax reform.

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



4:05 p.m. EDT: President Trump participates in a tax reform event in North Dakota with workers in the energy sector. Livestream: http://bit.ly/2eKW2ww

9 a.m. EDT Sunday: 2016 Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton sits down with CBS "Sunday Morning" anchor Jane Pauley to discuss her new book.

Sept. 28 -- 12:30 p.m.: Former White House press secretary Sean Spicer speaks at the Shale Insight Coalition Conference. Details: http://bit.ly/2gG80ER



Today is National Coffee Ice Cream Day.

IF YOU'VE BEEN WONDERING WHAT THOSE "VERRIT" REFERENCES ARE: Hillary Clinton tweeted her support over the weekend for "Verrit," a new media platform that includes verification codes to fact-check the information. Its deal: http://bit.ly/2w72q3V

And because you made it to the end, here's a duck on a mission. Trust me, you'll want to have the sound on. http://bit.ly/2w6eXor


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