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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 - Deputy FBI director reportedly steps down | Powerful GOP chair won't seek reelection | Trump's State of the Union goals | Speculation mounts over vote to release secret memo | House freshman superlatives | Fitness tracking data revealed US bases

 

NEWS TO WATCH

I feel like this memo must have a giant, glittery, red stamp that reads, 'DO NOT OPEN (WE KNOW YOU WANT TO)': The House Intelligence Committee may vote tonight to release a controversial memo from Chairman Devin NunesDevin Gerald NunesTrump likely to approve release of Dem memo: report Trump called for unity — he didn’t even last a week Mark Levin: Clinton colluded with Russia, 'paid for a warrant' to surveil Carter Page MORE (R-Calif.) alleging surveillance abuses at the Department of Justice. What the memo is believed to contain: Allegations that senior leadership at the Justice Department did not adequately explain that some of the evidence for a surveillance warrant on a Trump campaign aide was sourced from an opposition research dossier funded by Democrats. http://bit.ly/2ElQpxn

HOW DEMOCRATS ARE REACTING: Committee Democrats say the Republican memo is full of misleading talking points. What they're doing: They have prepared a rebuttal memo. It is unclear whether the committee will vote to make that Democratic memo public as well. http://bit.ly/2ElQpxn

It's Monday -- welcome back! 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.

 

BREAKING
FBI's deputy director -- out:

Via NBC News, FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe has stepped down, effective today. How it's happening: "Multiple U.S. officials say that FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe is stepping down from his post today and taking 'terminal leave' meaning that he will stay on until his retirement in March (that was always his plan) so he can receive full retirement benefits." http://bit.ly/2Ek3qY8
THROWBACK TO DEC. 23, 2017: 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' MORE tweeted, "FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe is racing the clock to retire with full benefits. 90 days to go?!!!" http://bit.ly/2ElU66e

 

ALSO THIS MORNING

Another one bites the dust: Rep. Rodney FrelinghuysenRodney Procter FrelinghuysenSEC paperless mandate a bad deal for rural, elderly investors The GOP could lose 40 House seats this November With GOP mass exodus, pro-choice Democratic women will flip the House MORE (R-N.J.), the chairman of the powerful House Appropriations Committee, just announced he will not seek reelection in an increasingly competitive district. Why this is big: Frelinghuysen is only in his first term as House Appropriations Committee chairman, a top post that lawmakers traditionally serve in for years. In his statement: "I have worked in a bipartisan manner, not just in times of crisis but always, because I believe it best serves my constituents, my state and our country," Frelinghuysen said.  http://bit.ly/2nk8jcp

Full list of retiring membershttp://theatln.tc/2BBGHUF

 

FIRST IN THE 12:30 REPORT: 

Freshman superlatives: Quorum just published research on what the freshmen in the House have been up to so far.

HIGHLIGHTS:

The most bipartisan House freshman: Rep. Josh GottheimerJoshua (Josh) GottheimerA path to break the immigration impasse The Hill's 12:30 Report House GOP highlights 16 ‘On the Radar’ candidates MORE (D-N.J.), whose bills have found a Republican co-sponsor 60 percent of the time.

Best at pulling in co-sponsors: Rep. Stephanie MurphyStephanie MurphyThe Hill's 12:30 Report Trump-state Dems introduce bill to withhold lawmaker pay during shutdown Trump faces backlash over M Holocaust Museum cuts MORE (D-Fla.), with an average of 46 co-sponsors per sponsored bill. Murphy has introduced 11 sponsored bills. 

Most effective House GOP freshman: Rep. Mike GallagherMichael (Mike) John GallagherThe Hill's 12:30 Report Refocusing our politics on the issues that matter Defense hawks warn spending fix could hobble military MORE (R-Wis.), who has introduced nine bills so far and averages 23 co-sponsors per bill. 

Freshman who has introduced the most bills: Rep. Brian FitzpatrickBrian K. FitzpatrickGOP eyes changes to 'right to try' bill Supreme Court denies GOP request to block Pennsylvania gerrymandering decision The Hill's 12:30 Report MORE (R-Pa.), who has introduced 21 bills.

Keep in mind: Only three freshmen have passed legislation as the lead sponsor: Reps. Brian MastBrian Jeffrey MastThe Hill's 12:30 Report Green group poll: Arctic refuge drilling unpopular in key GOP districts MORE (R-Fla.), Mike Gallagher (R-Wis.) and Ro KhannaRohit (Ro) KhannaOvernight Finance: GOP eyes vote to fund government through March 23 | How much credit should Trump get for economy? | Dems vow to repeal parts of GOP tax law | Mulvaney shakes up office policing racism in lending Dems vow to repeal parts of GOP tax law The Hill's 12:30 Report MORE (D-Calif.).

List of the runners-up: http://bit.ly/2noS8tt

 

THIS WEEK IN CONGRESS

Free idea: Trump should distribute 2018 agenda planners with photos of elephants to congressional Republicans: Via The Hill's Cristina Marcos and Jordain CarneyPresident Trump will deliver his State of the Union address this week as debate rages in Congress over immigration policy. 

Later this week: House and Senate Republicans are meeting for a retreat at the Greenbrier resort in West Virginia to discuss their 2018 agenda. President Trump and Vice President Pence are scheduled to speak at the retreat. 

Immigration: Senators are trying to jump-start their negotiations on reaching an immigration deal with less than two weeks before a Feb. 8 deadline, when the current government-spending bill expires.

State of the Union protests: Female lawmakers plan to wear black in solidarity with sexual misconduct victims. Some lawmakers are also bringing guests associated with the "Me Too" movement. At least five Democrats plan to boycott the event entirely. 

Defense spending: The House is expected to consider legislation this week to fund the Pentagon through September, amid slow action on bipartisan budget talks.

Abortion: 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.) teed up a procedural vote on a 20-week abortion ban, after the House passed similar legislation last year. Yeah, but: It's not expected to pass the upper chamber.

Fallout from ex-USA Gymnastics doctor Larry Nassar's sentencing: The House is expected to consider legislation on Monday to make athletic organizations report sexual abuse allegations faster and establish policies to prevent misconduct from occurring in the first place.

Context for each: http://bit.ly/2nmH6F7

 

IN OTHER NEWS

Yiiikes: An online interactive map that tracks the location of fitness-device users has revealed highly sensitive information about the location and staffing of U.S. military bases, according to reports. http://bit.ly/2rOD2mK 

 

STATE OF THE UNION PREVIEW

Ahh, the State of the Union -- a night of planned applause breaks and attendees trying to look extremely focused: President Trump will deliver his first State of the Union address tomorrow, the biggest stage he will have to chart out an agenda for 2018. Why it's especially important: It's a big moment for Trump after his tumultuous January (Think: government shutdown, Michael Wolff's book and reports that he tried to fire special counsel Robert MuellerRobert Swan MuellerSasse: US should applaud choice of Mueller to lead Russia probe MORE). Why he has high hopes: Trump had one of his best days as president last year when he delivered a speech to a joint session of Congress. Via The Hill's Jordan Fabian, here are five goals of his speech: 

1. Pressure Congress on immigration -- He plans to use this speech as a sales pitch for his immigration proposal.
2. Lay out an infrastructure plan -- A senior administration official said Trump will spend time discussing his long-awaited plan.
3. Take an economic victory lap -- Unemployment is low, wages are rising. Trump will likely focus on these numbers.
4. Set stage for the midterms -- Trump will highlight his accomplishments and use positive, unifying rhetoric.
5. Shake things up -- Trump's script last February was traditional, but he could definitely spice things up this year. 

Context for each: http://bit.ly/2njfdPi

THROWBACK -- WE CAN ONLY HOPE FOR MORE STORIES LIKE THIS: Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg fell asleep during the State of the Union in 2015. The reason she fell asleep: "I was not 100 percent sober," she said. "The audience, for the most part, is awake because they are bobbing up and down and we sit there, stone faced," Ginsburg said. Lol. Photo of Ginsburg sleeping: http://politi.co/2FpYxMw

OP-ED ABOUT THE BOYCOTTS: Some Democrats are planning to boycott Trump's speech. George Washington University professor Jonathan Turley argues that boycotting the State of the Union only divides the country further: http://bit.ly/2DU7797

 

NOTABLE TWEETS:

These dresses are great because they're practical to re-wear without anyone noticing:

Because it's a Monday:

Hey, history buffs!:

 

ON TAP:

The House is in. The Senate will meet this afternoon.

12:10 p.m. EST: President Trump has lunch with representatives from the United Nations Security Council. 

5:30 p.m. EST: The Senate votes.

6:30 p.m. EST: Votes postponed in the House.

10 a.m. EST Tuesday: Treasury Secretary Steven MnuchinSteven Terner MnuchinMnuchin wants to know how consumer bureau is handling Equifax breach Overnight Finance: Senators near two-year budget deal | Trump would 'love to see a shutdown' over immigration | Dow closes nearly 600 points higher after volatile day | Trade deficit at highest level since 2008 | Pawlenty leaving Wall Street group The Hill's 12:30 Report MORE testifies at a Senate Banking Committee hearing. Details: http://bit.ly/2njBuMX

9 p.m. EST Tuesday: President Trump's State of the Union address.

Jan. 31: There will be a rare "super blue blood moon." What to know: http://cnn.it/2DAOjbF

Sunday, Feb. 4: The Super Bowl. 

February 14: The Hill is hosting an event on America's opioid epidemic and the role that recovery support services can play. Details and how to RSVPhttp://bit.ly/2EmtX7p

 

WHAT TO WATCH:

1:15 p.m. EST: White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders gives a press briefing. Livestream: 

2:30 p.m. EST: The Washington Post is hosting a State of the Union preview. Speakers include: White House counselor Kellyanne ConwayKellyanne Elizabeth ConwayOvernight Health Care: GOP chair blasts DEA over opioid enforcement | House passes bill to ease ObamaCare calorie rule | Patient groups oppose 'right to try' drug bill Conway freezing out experts, relying on political staff in drug policy office: report Conway: None of the SOTU guests being leaked is 'great sign of a very tight White House' MORE; House Minority Leader Nancy PelosiNancy Patricia D'Alesandro PelosiGOP lawmaker: Dems not standing for Trump is 'un-American' Rep. Gutiérrez: 'Complete betrayal' if Pelosi backs budget caps deal without DACA Senate leaders say they're zeroing in on two-year budget deal MORE (D-Calif.); former interim Democratic National Committee Chairwoman Donna Brazile; former White House press secretary Ari Fleischer; the American Conservative Union's Matt Schlapp; Rep. Eric SwalwellEric Michael SwalwellDem lawmaker introduces bill to protect journalists from violence Lawmakers dispute ‘vindication’ for Trump in Intel memo House Intel Dem blasts GOP rep for failing to disclose key info in Nunes memo MORE (D-Calif.); Sen. Shelley Moore CapitoShelley Wellons Moore CapitoConway freezing out experts, relying on political staff in drug policy office: report Republican agenda clouded by division Fractured GOP struggles with immigration strategy MORE (R-W.Va.); and Sen. Angus KingAngus Stanley KingSen. King: Releasing memo would be ’reckless,’ ‘could expose sources’ The Hill's 12:30 Report Azar sworn in as HHS chief MORE (I-Maine). Details and livestream: http://wapo.st/2Eddtyb

Thursday: Former first lady Michelle ObamaMichelle LeVaughn Robinson ObamaSNL's Melania Trump gets advice from former first ladies ahead of the State of the Union Trump to host Super Bowl watch party at Florida golf club Michelle Obama: Bad behavior in the age of Trump makes teachers' jobs more difficult MORE will appear on Ellen DeGeneres's show. This is her first TV interview since leaving the White House.

  

NOW FOR THE FUN STUFF...:

Today is National Corn Chip Day.

TRENDING -- to pull you out of the zone at work: Trip Advisor released its list of the 25 best hotels in the world: http://cnn.it/2Gt6ZvS

And because you read this far, here's a tiny puppy napping in cereal: http://bit.ly/2BBQ1Ib 

 

To view past editions of The Hill's 12:30 Report, click here: http://bit.ly/1M1mIfw

To receive The Hill's 12:30 Report in your inbox, please sign up here: http://bit.ly/1Tt4hqN