The Hill's 12:30 Report

The Hill's 12:30 Report

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The Hill’s 12:30 Report: Merkel, not Trump, is Time’s Person of the Year | FBI chief on San Bernardino shooters | The return of Santorum's sweater vest?  

DEVELOPING NOW — SAN BERARDINO SHOOTERS RADICALIZED YEARS AGO: FBI Director James Comey told the Senate Judiciary Committee that both of the San Bernardino shooters were radicalized at least two years ago, before they met online. Comey said the couple talked about jihad and martyrdom before becoming engaged and living together.

BREAKING ON CAPITOL HILL — EDUCATION BILL SWEEPS THROUGH THE SENATE​ Via The Hill’s Jordain Carney, the Senate has passed a bipartisan overhaul of the Bush-era No Child Left Behind Act. The House passed the bill last week, so it's now headed to President Obama's desk. ​What it means: the legislation will reduce the federal government's oversight of the public school system (passing it off to state and local governments.) 

REVEALED THIS MORNING: TIME’S PERSON OF THE YEAR: Time magazine has named German Chancellor Angela Merkel as its Person of the Year.  Did Donald TrumpDonald John TrumpDem senator says Zelensky was 'feeling the pressure' to probe Bidens 2020 Dems slam Trump decision on West Bank settlements Trump calls latest impeachment hearings 'a great day for Republicans' MORE, who had been on Time's shortlist, publicly congratulate Merkel? Not exactly. He tweeted that Time picked the person who is "ruining Germany." Time then responded by posting a video of Trump from his photo shoot — dodging a bald eagle — lol. More on why Time chose Merkel: 

It’s T minus two days until Friday (Wednesday). I’m Cate Martel with a quick recap of what you missed this morning and what’s on tap for the rest of the day. Send story ideas, comments, and food truck suggestions to and @CateMartel.

BABY STEPS FOR GOVERNMENT FUNDING: The House overwhelmingly passed a bill to tighten restrictions on who can enter the U.S. without a visa. What this means: People traveling from Western Europe usually don’t need a visa to visit the U.S. But now, if they’re been to Syria, Iraq, Iran or Sudan in the past five years, they do. Countries participating in the program are now sharing information with U.S. authorities about suspected terrorists. 

– How this ties into government funding: A discussion over halting the flow of Syrian refugees into the U.S. has been stalling the bill to fund the government. This measure is a potential way to get the ball rolling.

HOW TO EXPLAIN FRIDAY’S DEADLINE TO YOUR FRIENDS: With a simple visual, this is where Congress stands right now in relation to Friday’s government funding deadline: 

SCOOP — BIG CYBER LEGISLATION MAY BE AROUND THE CORNER: Via The Hill’s Cory Bennett, the White House is reviewing a final draft of major cybersecurity legislation to encourage companies to share more data about hackers with the government. Why it’s important: If the White House does sign off, it will clear a path for Congress to wrap up, by the end of the week, long-delayed legislation on sharing cybersecurity info.

MUSLIM CONGRESSMAN GETS A DEATH THREAT: Via The Hill’s Julian Hattem, one of the two Muslim congressmen, Rep. Andre Carson (D-Ind.) received a death threat Monday that he linked to “demagoguery" from Donald Trump, calling it ”largely in part to this toxic environment.”  But wait: It’s unclear whether the death threat was received after Trump’s most recent comments about Muslims. 

NO LONDON GETAWAY FOR TRUMP: Via The Hill’s Jesse Byrnes, more than 100,000 have signed a petition to ban Donald Trump from the United Kingdom, meaning Parliament must consider the issue.

WHAT THE?: The Foundation for Defense of Democracies’ @OrenKessler: 
Adorable Palestinian girl winning hearts on Facebook swings knife, yells, "Stab! Stab!" 

THINGS TO GET US THROUGH THE DAY: BuzzFeed has a funny compilation of tweets about Donald Trump Here are some of the best: 

@goldengateblond: Donald Trump is what happens when you tell a child all his ideas are special. 
@ebrawley: The worst thing about Donald Trump is that he does manual RTs. 
@briangaar: Donald Trump is basically a YouTube comment section running for president
@ConanOBrien: I’m tempted to vote for Donald Trump just to hear the phrase “Secretary of State Gary Busey.” 

IT’S HOLIDAY PARTY SEASON!: Microsoft hosted a holiday open house last night where guests experienced the latest Xbox games. Spotted: Sen. Chuck GrassleyCharles (Chuck) Ernest GrassleyOvernight Health Care: GOP senator says drug price action unlikely this year | House panel weighs ban on flavored e-cigs | New York sues Juul Top GOP senator: Drug pricing action unlikely before end of year Key Republicans say Biden can break Washington gridlock MORE (R-Iowa), Rep. Steny Hoyer (D-Md.), Sen. Thom Tillis (R-N.C.), Rep. Suzan DelBeneSuzan Kay DelBeneModerate Democratic lawmakers back privacy bill favored by businesses The Hill's Morning Report - Presented by National Association of Manufacturers - Trump, Congress draw battle lines on impeachment Lawmakers beat Capitol Police in Congressional Football Game MORE (D-Wash.), Rep. Derek KilmerDerek Christian KilmerHouse extends Select Committee on the Modernization of Congress for another year Progressive freshmen jump into leadership PAC fundraising Hillicon Valley: Zuckerberg to testify on Libra | Extremists find home on Telegram app | Warren blasts Facebook for not removing anti-Biden ad | California outlaws facial recognition in police body cameras | China rips US tech sanctions MORE (D-Wash.), Del. Stacey Plaskett (D-Virgin Islands), Rep. Brad Wenstrup (R-Ohio), New America’s Anne-Marie Slaughter, Microsoft President Brad Smith, Microsoft Vice President of Government Affairs Fred Humphries, Google’s Susan Molinari and Burson-Marsteller’s Don Baer. 

REHM HAS SEEN IT ALL, EXCEPT MAYBE THIS ONE-OF-A-KIND ELECTION: Via The Washington Post’s Paul Farhi, NPR’s longtime radio host Diane Rehm will retire next year after nearly 40 years on air. “My thinking is that I’ll stay on the air until the election because I really want to see how this will go,” Rehm said in an interview. That’s a pretty good assessment, Diane. 



The Des Moines Register’s Kathie Obradovich
Rick Santorum says he “may risk” bringing back the sweater vest -- his daughters say they’ll disown him if he does. 

Actor Billy Corben
How are there still drivers in Florida that don't know you can make a right turn on a red light? And why can't Trump keep them out? 

C-SPAN’s Howard Mortman (The photos of props used on the floor of Congress are pretty ‘punny’ including “Jurassic Pork: Old earmarks have survived”)
Movies in Congress...(partial h/t to @cspanJeremy) 

NBC’s Alex Moe 
New Speaker Paul RyanPaul Davis RyanFormer Speaker Boehner's official portrait unveiled Krystal Ball issues warning to Biden supporters Saagar Enjeti: Crenshaw's conservatism will doom future of GOP MORE & President Obama are making their first public appearance together today at 150th Anniv of Ratification of 14th Amend. Ceremony. 

The Washington Post’s Jenn Amur (the photos of writing on the wall – literally - in this tweet are great)
The writing's on the wall. Today's the last day for most of us at the 1150 15th St @washingtonpost building 



1:15 - 4:30 p.m. EST: The House votes, including work on the Red River Private Property Protection Act.

2:15 p.m. EST: Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) is holding an enrollment ceremony for the Every Student Succeeds Act in the Rayburn Room of the Capitol. Expected to attend: Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellOvernight Health Care: GOP senator says drug price action unlikely this year | House panel weighs ban on flavored e-cigs | New York sues Juul McConnell hopes Senate impeachment trial 'not too lengthy a process' Former Speaker Boehner's official portrait unveiled MORE (R-Ky.), House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi (Calif.), Rep. John Kline (R-Minn.), Sen. Lamar AlexanderAndrew (Lamar) Lamar AlexanderOvernight Health Care: GOP senator says drug price action unlikely this year | House panel weighs ban on flavored e-cigs | New York sues Juul Overnight Energy: Mark Ruffalo pushes Congress on 'forever chemicals' | Lawmakers spar over actor's testimony | House Dems unveil renewable energy tax plan | Funding for conservation program passes Senate hurdle Schumer: Leadership trying to work out competing surprise medical bill measures MORE (R-Tenn.), Sen. Patty MurrayPatricia (Patty) Lynn MurrayOvernight Health Care: GOP senator says drug price action unlikely this year | House panel weighs ban on flavored e-cigs | New York sues Juul Schumer: Leadership trying to work out competing surprise medical bill measures Hillicon Valley: Commerce extends Huawei waiver | Senate Dems unveil privacy bill priorities | House funding measure extends surveillance program | Trump to tour Apple factory | GOP bill would restrict US data going to China MORE (D-Wash.) and Rep. Bobby ScottRobert (Bobby) Cortez ScottEducation Department finalizes new regulations to relax college-accreditation requirements Trump admin gave over million in aid to students at unaccredited for-profit colleges CBO: Pelosi bill to lower drug prices saves Medicare 5 billion MORE (D-Va.).

2:20 p.m. EST: President Obama is meeting with Israeli President Reuven Rivlin. Vice President Biden also attends.

2:30 p.m. EST: GOP presidential hopeful Ben Carson is unveiling an alternative to ObamaCare at a town hall in Lansing, Mich. Details:

4-8 p.m. EST: NPR is reopening the lobby of their D.C. headquarters for dozens of unique crafts and homemade gifts from New England to D.C. The original event was called #AllCraftsConsidered. Round two is today! Here’s everything you need to know:

5 p.m. EST: Sen. Kelly AyotteKelly Ann AyotteGOP fears Trump backlash in suburbs Trump makes rare trip to Clinton state, hoping to win back New Hampshire Key endorsements: A who's who in early states MORE (R-N.H.) is holding a Facebook Q&A. How to participate: 

6 p.m. EST: Armenian Caucus leaders Reps. Bob Dold (R-Ill.) and Frank Pallone Jr. (D-N.J.) are co-chairing an event with the Armenian Assembly of America. 

9 a.m. – 4 p.m. EST tomorrow: AtlanticLIVE is holding an LGBT summit. Featured speakers include Sen. Tammy BaldwinTammy Suzanne BaldwinIt's time for Congress to establish a national mental health crisis number The Hill's Morning Report - Presented by Better Medicare Alliance - Dems unveil impeachment measure; Vindman splits GOP The Hill's Morning Report - Presented by Better Medicare Alliance - Dems shift strategy on impeachment vote MORE (D-Wis.), WNBA Player Layshia Clarendon and former Rep. Barney Frank (D-Mass.) Live stream: 



6 a.m. EST tomorrow: Sen. Ted CruzRafael (Ted) Edward CruzLawmakers spar over surveillance flight treaty with Russia Senators voice support for Iran protesters but stop short of taking action Prisons chief: FBI investigating whether 'criminal enterprise' played role in Epstein death MORE (R-Texas) joins MSNBC’s "Morning Joe"


Now for the fun stuff...

WILL THE REAL REPUBLICAN PLEASE. STAND. UP.: This rap video of the first GOP presidential debate has gone viral. A) the creator has too much free time on his hands, but B) it’s pretty catchy. 

THIS WEEKEND, COMIN’ IN HOT: In the D.C. area, temperatures are going to surge well into the 60s starting Friday, with a chance to hit 70 degrees on Sunday and Monday (!!!!!!) Excuse me while I go do a cartwheel on the street. 

APPLE LAUNCH IS A GETTING A SAD REVIEW: Apple has created an iPhone case that adds battery life. It looks like a big lump jutting out of a silicone case.  From The Guardian: “But the biggest complaint so far from users seems to be the design, which looks like a cheap Chinese knockoff.” :( 

Today is National Pastry Day!

And while we’re on the topic, here’s a subscriber comment from Emily Seils, client experience manager at Triple Mint NYC: @CateMartel, my biggest takeaway from your 12:30 report is that you somehow manage to make every day some sort of national dessert day. 

I don’t make the rules ;-)


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