The Hill's 12:30 Report

The Hill's 12:30 Report

If you'd like to subscribe to The Hill's midday political newsletter, please click here:


The Hill's 12:30 Report: Exclusive: Shaheen asks Obama for more funds to tackle heroin abuse | CNN interviews Hillary at 7 p.m. EST | Sanders surges in Iowa | Obama's last SOTU

12:30 REPORT EXCLUSIVE -- SHAHEEN ASKS OBAMA TO INCREASE FUNDING FOR HEROIN ABUSE: As the fiscal year 2017 budget is finalized, Sen. Jeanne ShaheenCynthia (Jeanne) Jeanne ShaheenBiden tries to tamp down tensions with Putin call Biden administration resists tougher Russia sanctions in Congress GOP holds on Biden nominees set back gains for women in top positions MORE (D-N.H.) is writing to President Obama today urging him to increase funding to address substance abuse. Shaheen points to opioid overdose deaths, which have increased 14 percent in 2014 alone and resulted in the death of 47,000 people.


In New Hampshire specifically, the number of people admitted to state programs for heroin use increased 90 percent in the last decade -- and 500 percent (!) for prescription drug use. Shaheen has also recently introduced a bill in the Senate proposing $600 million to address the heroin and opioid crisis.

"On good days, our first responders and treatment providers are barely able to keep up," said Shaheen in a press release. "On the bad days, they're totally overwhelmed. This is completely unsustainable. The federal government needs to do much more to stem the tide of this crisis and the President's budget should reflect this urgency."

Here's the signed letter from Shaheen to Obama:

JUST RELEASED - SANDERS SURGES IN IOWA: Sen. Bernie SandersBernie SandersSenate rejects attempt to block Biden's Saudi arms sale Overnight Defense & National Security — Lawmakers clinch deal on defense bill White House 'strongly opposes' Senate resolution to stop Saudi arms sale MORE (I-Vt.) is leading Hillary ClintonHillary Diane Rodham ClintonBen Affleck: Republicans 'want to dodge the consequences for their actions' through gerrymandering Republican Ohio Senate candidate slams JD Vance over previous Trump comments Budowsky: Why GOP donors flock to Manchin and Sinema MORE 49 to 44 percent, in a new Quinnipiac Iowa poll. Martin O’Malley has a distant 4 percent. There is also a major gender gap, with 61 percent of men polled supporting Sanders, 30 percent supporting Clinton and 6 percent for O’Malley. Full results: 

OBAMA'S LAST SOTU -- WHAT TO WATCH TONIGHT: President Obama will be delivering his final State of the Union address tonight at 9 p.m. EST -- and his aides have said it will be unlike any SOTU address he's given. How it'll be different: Instead of a laundry list of policy proposals that won't be able to get done in a year, he'll be setting a vision for the country and explain his progress (i.e. writing his legacy). Here's what to watch for tonight:

Donald TrumpDonald TrumpSenate rejects attempt to block Biden's Saudi arms sale Crenshaw slams House Freedom Caucus members as 'grifters,' 'performance artists' Senate confirms Biden's nominee to lead Customs and Border Protection MORE: President Obama won't address Donald Trump by name but is expected to rebut Trump's "Make America Great Again" vision. Oh, and Obama has already mocked Trump today ahead of the SOTU. Because why not? Everything else revolves around Trump these days.

MIDDLE EAST: Tumultuous events in the Middle East have complicated Obama's case that America is stronger than ever -- and are hurting his poll numbers. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellSchumer tees up key Thursday vote on debt deal House approves bill to ease passage of debt limit hike Senate rejects attempt to block Biden's Saudi arms sale MORE (R-Ky.) predicted that Obama would "try to paint a rosy picture where one does not exist."

ECONOMY: Obama will tout the new jobs created. He wants this to be a big part of his positive legacy.

NOTICE THE APPLAUSE LINES: It'll be worth watching how many lawmakers in the audience stand to applaud on trade, criminal justice reform, gun control and Vice President Biden's "moon shot" to cure cancer.

GITMO: Obama could stress the possibility of taking action if Congress rejects his yet-to-be-released proposal to shut down the military prison.

More from The Hill's Jordan Fabian: 

2016-ERS: Via The Hill's Lisa Hagen: Sen. Ted CruzRafael (Ted) Edward CruzMcConnell faces GOP pushback on debt deal Democrats seek to avoid internal disputes over Russia and China GOP senators introduce bill targeting Palestinian 'martyr payments' MORE (R-Texas) is the only presidential candidate in Congress who will skip the State of the Union. Instead, he'll be campaigning in New Hampshire.

It's Tuesday and the New Hampshire primary was held this Tuesday during the 2012 cycle. Yeesh, that was early. I'm Cate Martel with what you missed this morning -- and what's on tap for the rest of the day. Send your tips, comments, complaints and State of the Union-themed drinking games to and @CateMartel.

A LIGHTER WAY TO PREVIEW THE SOTU: CNN's Chris Moody has a short video explaining how the State of the Union address works with footage from the underground tunnels of the Capitol that continue to seriously confuse your author. But I digress... Anyway, it's worth watching:

MOVEON.ORG ENDORSES: Via The Associated Press's Ken Thomas, the liberal grassroots organization MoveOn has endorsed Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) for president. MoveOn says Sanders was supported by 78.6 percent of its membership in an online vote of more than 340,000 members. Hillary Clinton received 14.6 percent; Martin O'Malley received 0.9 percent.

SWING ... AND A MISS: The Hill's Vicki Needham looks back at some of President Obama's previous requests during State of the Union addresses and how they turned out. This includes climate change, healthcare reform, ending "Don't ask, don't tell," a spending freeze, easier mortgage refinancing, preventing a rise in student loan rates and more trade. Here's the list:

WHAT EVERYONE'S TALKING ABOUT ON TWITTER TODAY: In an interview with CNN's Gloria Borger, Vice President Biden revealed that when his son Beau was sick, his family was concerned how they would support themselves without his salary. Vice President Biden and his wife discussed selling their house.

-- When President Obama heard, "He said, 'I'll give you the money,'" Biden recalled. "'Whatever you need, I'll give you the money. Don't, Joe -- promise me. Promise me.'"

RAND DEFENDS DOUBLE-RUN: In an op-ed for The Lexington Herald Leader, Sen. Rand PaulRandal (Rand) Howard PaulSenate rejects attempt to block Biden's Saudi arms sale Overnight Defense & National Security — Lawmakers clinch deal on defense bill White House 'strongly opposes' Senate resolution to stop Saudi arms sale MORE (R-Ky.) defends running for president and for Senate at the same time.

A VIDEO WORTH WATCHING: The Hill's Eric Garland has a great short video of the top State of the Union response flops and flubs. Think Sen. Marco RubioMarco Antonio RubioRubio calls on Airbnb to delist some properties in China's Xinjiang region Democrats seek to avoid internal disputes over Russia and China GOP senators introduce bill targeting Palestinian 'martyr payments' MORE's (R-Fla.) infamous water moment. Watch: 



Politico's Burgess Everett (Also, cool photo from NBC's Frank Thorp
Just last week the Senate side was covered in scaffolding and tin foil. Now back to usual splendor

The Los Angeles Times's Matt Pearce
El Chapo offered for The New Yorker's Patrick Radden Keefe to write his memoirs. He said no.

Del. Eleanor Holmes Norton (D-D.C.)
Glad President Obama will stay in DC until Sasha graduates high school. He's already read the fine print. Can #DCStatehood be closer than we think?

Politico's Bob King
Is this common among big companies? The New York Times' HR department's voice mail has an option for "reporting the death of an employee."

TIME's Zeke Miller
I count at least 4 RNC members on ATL-CHS flight



1:15–5 p.m. EST: The House votes on the STREAM Act and North Korea sanctions, which were postponed from yesterday.

2:30 p.m. EST: The Senate will vote on legislation to audit the Federal Reserve.

3:45 p.m. EST: Ohio Gov. John Kasich (R) campaigns in Reno, Nev.

8:20 p.m. EST: Senators will gather in the Senate Chamber and proceed together to the State of the Union address.



7 p.m. EST: CNN's Alisyn Camerota interviews Hillary Clinton.

9 p.m. EST: President Obama will deliver his last State of the Union address. Live stream: 

When the SOTU finishes: South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley (R) delivers the Republican response to the State of the Union. 



Today is National Curried Chicken Day -- and National Marzipan Day!

FILE THAT UNDER "FANTASTIC CUSTOMER SERVCE": Via The Tampa Bay Times, a few Chick-fil-A restaurants in Florida have started a service called "Mom's Valet," through which parents can order meals from the drive-through, then park. By the time they've got the kids out of the car, a table is waiting for them with their food and high chairs inside. Keep being awesome, Chick-fil-A!

WELL, YOU'VE GOT MY ATTENTION: Via PopVille, Moxie's restaurant in Washington, D.C., is featuring hot-pressed ice cream sandwiches. Must. Know. More.

BMW BEATS GOOGLE, DISNEY: BMW has been named the world's most reputable company, according to the Reputation Institute's 2015 rating. Last year, it was ranked third behind Walt Disney and Google. 

NOW FOR SOME PRACTICAL SOTU INFO: Here's the bar situation on where to watch President Obama's State of the Union address tonight. Hint: One bar has a drinking game involving a Jell-O shot whenever Obama says certain words. Oh, D.C.

And to leave you on this dreary Tuesday, here's a video of goats in pajamas.


To view past editions of The Hill's 12:30 Report, click here:

To receive The Hill's 12:30 Report in your inbox, please sign up here: