The Hill's 12:30 Report

The Hill's 12:30 Report
© Greg Nash

The Hill's 12:30 Report: What to watch in today's elections | Virginia a must-win for Dems | Trump says 'hundreds more' would have died in Texas with tougher gun laws | Air Force lapse with shooter draws scrutiny | Day two of tax bill markup | Tom PerezThomas Edward PerezClinton’s top five vice presidential picks Government social programs: Triumph of hope over evidence Labor’s 'wasteful spending and mismanagement” at Workers’ Comp MORE talks to The Hill | Landscaping led to Rand PaulRandal (Rand) Howard PaulRand Paul's neighbor sentenced to 30 days in prison over assault Dems best GOP as Scalise returns for annual charity baseball game The Hill's Morning Report — Can the economy help Republicans buck political history in 2018? MORE assault | Nike's NBA jerseys keep tearing



Why Virginia Dems will be nervously pacing today: Via The Hill's Lisa Hagen and Ben Kamisar, the stakes are high in Virginia, as polls show Republican Ed Gillespie gaining on Democrat Ralph NorthamWhy this race is critical for Dems: Democrats haven't won a major race since President TrumpDonald John TrumpEx-ethics chief calls on Trump to end 'monstrous' migrant policies Laura Bush blasts Trump migrant policy as 'cruel' and 'immoral' US denies report of coalition airstrike on Syria MORE took office. If Northam wins, it'll give Democrats their much-needed momentum for 2018. But if they lose, it'll likely lead to more party infighting and blaming.

PRIMER: The Hill's Niall Stanage has a good breakdown of where the race stands:

OTHER THAN VIRGINIA, HERE'S WHAT TO WATCH: The Hill's Reid Wilson has a list of the other races to keep an eye on today:

JUST NOW -- COUGH, WRONG DAY AGAIN, COUGH: Donald Trump Jr. just tweeted, "Virginia, the future of the Commonwealth is at stake tomorrow. Find your polling place at to vote Ed for #VAGov." This is the SECOND time he made this mistake today. 

INTERVIEW WITH TOM PEREZ: The Hill's Jonathan Easley spoke with Democratic National Committee Chairman Tom Perez about the upcoming elections. Perez spent Sunday talking about party unity on the campaign trail, but he knows he'll be judged in the short term on the party's electoral success. Winning, he hopes, will be a salve for party wounds until Democrats can bury 2016 once and for all. Excerpt: "This is an outcomes business and legacies will be determined in no small measure by our success in winning elections," Perez said. "We've lost too many elections. I came here so we can start winning elections." Full interview:

It's Tuesday -- Happy Election Day! 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.



Latest on Texas shooting -- A failed line of communication: Rep. Mac Thornberry, the chairman of the House Armed Services Committee this morning said it's "appalling" that the Air Force failed to notify the FBI about the criminal record of the man who attacked a church in Texas. That led to...: The lapse by the Air Force likely allowed the identified gunman, Devin Kelley, to purchase a weapon despite his conviction on a domestic violence charge.

Read his full statement -- it's pretty powerful:

Trump was asked about gun laws: President Trump was asked during a press conference in South Korea whether he would consider "extreme vetting" for purchasing a gun. His response: "If you did what you're suggesting, there would have been no difference three days ago, and you might not have had that very brave person who happened to have a gun or a rifle in his truck go out and shoot him, and hit him and neutralize him. And I can only say this: If he didn't have a gun, instead of having 26 dead, you would have had hundreds more dead. So that's the way I feel about it. Not going to help."

Watch the interaction -- it's been getting traction:

TRENDING VIDEO -- DEM WALKS OUT OF A MOMENT OF SILENCE: Rep. Ted Lieu (D-Calif.) posted a video during a moment of silence on the House floor for the victims of the mass shooting in Texas, saying he "will not be silent" after yet another massacre. Watch


New info on Sen. Paul's assault -- I take decorative shrubbery very seriously: Via The New York Times's Nicholas Fandos, Noah Weiland and Jonathan Martin, Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) and his longtime next-door neighbor had disagreements over landscaping, according to neighbors, which led to Paul's assault last week.

ObamaCare is getting lots swipes to the right: Via The Hill's Peter Sullivan, a record number of people signed up for ObamaCare in the first few days of open enrollment this year compared to the same period in previous years, several sources close to the process told The Hill. The numbers: On the first day of enrollment alone, more than 200,000 people selected a plan for 2018, compared with about 100,000 last year. More than 1 million people visited that day, compared to about 750,000 last year.

LATEST -- WILL THE GOP REPEAL THE OBAMACARE INSURANCE MANDATE?: Probably not -- the House is unlikely to repeal the mandate to buy insurance under ObamaCare as part of its tax-reform bill, GOP sources say, though the issue could return down the road.



Oh wow, they do look similar...:


Feels like yesterday, huh? ;)


Ohhh boy:



The House and Senate are in.

12:30 p.m. EST: The Senate breaks for weekly caucus luncheons. Vice President Pence attends the Republican lunch.

This afternoon: President Trump's former bodyguard, Keith Schiller, is meeting with the House Intelligence Committee for its Russia probe.

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

2:15 p.m. EST: Vice President Pence meets with lawmakers.

5:15 p.m. EST: Last votes in the House.

7 p.m. EST: The polls close in Virginia.

11:25 p.m. EST: President Trump leaves South Korea for Beijing.

NEW DETAIL -- Dec. 12: An international climate change summit in France. Via Reuters, President Trump, who pulled the U.S. out of the 2015 Paris climate change agreement, is not invited for now. How many countries are invited: More than one hundred.



Today: Day two of the House Ways and Means Committee markup of the Republican tax-reform bill. Livestream and live blog with updates:

How day one went: In short -- it was contentious:

Op-ed: In an op-ed for The Hill, former House Speaker Newt Gingrich (R-Ga.) writes why he thinks tax reform is never easy but that GOP majorities hang in the balance.

2 p.m. EST: Senate Republicans brief reporters. Livestream:

2:30 p.m. EST: Senate Democrats brief reporters. Livestream:

9:05 p.m. EST: President Trump delivers a speech to the National Assembly in South Korea.

8 a.m. EST Wednesday: National Journal is hosting its 2017 Leadership Summit at the Newseum in Washington, D.C. Livestream:

2:30 p.m. EST Wednesday: Sen. Cory GardnerCory Scott GardnerSessions floats federal law that would protect states that decriminalize marijuana RNC mum on whether it will support Trump-backed Corey Stewart Overnight Health Care — Sponsored by PCMA — Dems see midterm advantage in new ObamaCare fight MORE (R-Colo.) speaks at a Heritage Foundation event on North Korea. Livestream:

Just announced -- 9 p.m. EST Thursday: CNN's Alisyn Camerota is moderating a prime time discussion on sexual harassment in America. Former Fox News anchor Gretchen Carlson and Sen. Kirsten GillibrandKirsten Elizabeth GillibrandCongress must confront sexual abuse of military children The Hill's Morning Report — Can the economy help Republicans buck political history in 2018? Sanders gets best reception at early 2020 audition MORE (D-N.Y.) are among the participants. 



Today is Bittersweet Chocolate with Almonds Day.

The photos are pretty funny: NBA jerseys have been easily ripping this season, and Nike now says the company is working on a solution. Keep in mind: Nike is in its first season of providing jerseys to all teams in the NBA. Photos of the torn jerseys:

And because you read this far, here's a lazy dog lounging on the couch eating a bag of tortilla chips:


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