The Hill's 12:30 Report

The Hill's 12:30 Report

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The Hill's 12:30 Report: Trump questions Cruz's faith | Obama's Valentine's Day poem | Trump swears off swearing | GOP delays budget decision

BREAKING – HOUSE SENDS NORTH KOREA BILL TO OBAMA: Via The Hill's Cristina Marcos, The House on Friday easily cleared new sanctions on North Korea following their recent provocative moves. What's in the bill: It requires the Obama administration to sanction anyone involved with North Korea's nuclear program, luxury goods, money laundering and human rights abuses. It also authorizes $10 million annually over the course of five years for expanding North Koreans' access to media and providing humanitarian assistance to refugees. What's next: It heads to President Obama's desk.

JUST RELEASED – DEBATE LINEUP TOMORROW: CBS News has announced the lineup for the Republican presidential debate tomorrow in Greenville, S.C. Candidates included: Donald TrumpDonald John TrumpFacebook releases audit on conservative bias claims Harry Reid: 'Decriminalizing border crossings is not something that should be at the top of the list' Recessions happen when presidents overlook key problems MORE, Sen. Ted CruzRafael (Ted) Edward CruzGOP strategist predicts Biden will win nomination, cites fundraising strength 3 real problems Republicans need to address to win in 2020 The Hill's Morning Report - Trump on defense over economic jitters MORE (Texas), Sen. Marco RubioMarco Antonio RubioTrump moves forward with F-16 sale to Taiwan opposed by China The Hill's Morning Report — Trump and the new Israel-'squad' controversy Trump crosses new line with Omar, Tlaib, Israel move MORE (Fla.), Jeb Bush, Ben Carson and Ohio Gov. John Kasich – no surprises.

Happy FRIDAY! For your radar, D.C. is expected to get snow this afternoon (approx. 5–11 p.m. EST). The mayor is already trying to avoid a repeat of last month's rush-hour snow -- keep reading to see how. I'm Cate Martel with a brief update of what you missed this morning -- and what's on tap for the rest of the day. Send comments, story ideas and plans for the long weekend to and on Facebook

PROGRAMMING NOTE: The Hill's 12:30 Report will be off Monday for Presidents Day. Enjoy your weekend and we'll be back on Tuesday! 

AND THIS BRINGS US TO THE 'HOW RELIGIOUS ARE YOU' PART OF THE ELECTION: Donald Trump laid into Ted Cruz's faith in tweets this morning. "How can Ted Cruz be an Evangelical Christian when he lies so much and is so dishonest?" he tweeted, followed by "Lying Cruz put out a statement, 'Trump & Rubio are w/Obama on gay marriage.' Cruz is the worst liar, crazy or very dishonest. Perhaps all 3?" So, where's this coming from? During an event yesterday, Cruz accused Trump and Marco Rubio of siding with President Obama on gay marriage. More about the back and forth from The Hill's Mark Hensch:

TRUMP V. POPE FRANCIS: Via Politico's Nick Gass, Donald Trump ripped Pope Francis for visiting the Mexican border, saying it showed a lack of understanding of the U.S. immigration debate. "So I think that the pope is a very political person. I think that he doesn't understand the problems our country has. I don't think he understands the danger of the open border that we have with Mexico," Trump said. "Mexico got him to do it because Mexico wants to keep the border just the way it is because they're making a fortune and we're losing."

TELL ME MORE, TELL ME MORE: Via The Hill's Scott Wong and Sarah Ferris, House Speaker Paul RyanPaul Davis RyanPaul Ryan moving family to Washington Embattled Juul seeks allies in Washington Ex-Parkland students criticize Kellyanne Conway MORE (R-Wis.) met with House Republicans this morning to pitch them on passing a budget and warn about the bad consequences if they don't. In a 20-minute talk with charts and graphs, Ryan laid out their options. But House lawmakers are punting any decisions until after the Presidents Day recess.

Tweet from The Hill's Scott Wong: Republicans saying it could be three weeks before they produce a budget. They're on recess next week

NEW POLL -- 4 IN 10 BACK TRUMP: Via The Hill's Mark Hensch, four in 10 Americans are backing Donald Trump after his victory in New Hampshire, giving him 44 percent support. Ted Cruz comes in a distant second with 17 percent. Marco Rubio and Ben Carson are tied for third at 10 percent. Jeb Bush has 8 percent support and John Kasich has 4 percent. 

N.H. HAS FROZEN GOP DONORS: Via The Hill's Jonathan Swan, Republican donors aren't stampeding toward John KasichJeb Bush or Marco Rubio. Instead, some of the party's wealthiest donors are either staying on the sidelines or sticking with their chosen candidate, with many hoping that South Carolina clarifies whom they should support. 

READY, SET -- SPRINT!: Via The Hill's Niall Stanage, fresh off their debate last night in Milwaukee, Hillary ClintonHillary Diane Rodham ClintonThe exhaustion of Democrats' anti-Trump delusions Poll: Trump trails three Democrats by 10 points in Colorado Soft levels of support mark this year's Democratic primary MORE and Bernie SandersBernie SandersHarry Reid: 'Decriminalizing border crossings is not something that should be at the top of the list' The exhaustion of Democrats' anti-Trump delusions Warren offers plan to repeal 1994 crime law authored by Biden MORE begin a two-week sprint that could remake the Democratic race. Here's what could happen: 

CYBER HACKS IN THE FEDERAL GOVT THIS WEEK: Via The Hill's Katie Bo Williams, the Department of Justice and the Internal Revenue Service have had cyber breaches this week. How lawmakers feel about this: Lawmakers in both parties say this is another example of the government's weak cyber defenses. How the White House feels about this: The White House is downplaying the incidents.

SICK CLOUDS, BRO: During a hearing about whether using an e-cigarette on planes should be illegal, Rep. Duncan Hunter (R-Calif.) vaped on the House floor. Here's a video: 

SHOWDOWN SCARS: After interviews with dozens of lawmakers and administration officials, here's a fascinating (and very comprehensive) bird's eye view of Obama's presidency. In the latest installment, Sarah Ferris explains how the $4 trillion 'grand bargain' collapsed. 

BETWEEN FRIENDS, LET'S ALL FORGET ABOUT THAT CRIPLING 1 INCH OF SNOW LAST MONTH: Via PoPville, in anticipation of snow this afternoon, Washington, D.C., Mayor Muriel Bowser has already deployed 200 snow plows by noon in hopes of saving the afternoon commute. But with a throwback to last month's horrendous commute, stock up on supplies and call your loved ones. But actually, you should fill up your car and bring snacks.

TRUMP'S 'LENTEN' PROMISE: Via Adam SmithDavid (Adam) Adam SmithWarren's pledge to avoid first nuclear strike sparks intense pushback Landmark US-Russia arms control treaty poised for final blow Young Democrats look to replicate Ocasio-Cortez's primary path MORE of the Tampa Bay Times, here's Trump's promise for future rallies: "I won't use foul language. I'm just not going to do it. I'll never do it again actually, and I'll never even copy what somebody asks me to say."

NO COMMENT IS NECESSARY: Donald Trump signed a baby following his rally last night. Check out this photo: 

A N.H. GEM PLACES IN 4TH: Via CBS News, Vermin Supreme, who wears a boot on his head and gives out free candy at campaign events, came in 4th place in the New Hampshire Primary. His platform: more ponies, mandatory toothbrushing and zombie apocalypse awareness. 

FOR PLANNING PURPOSES: The District of Columbia Republican Caucuses are one month from today on March 12. The Democratic Caucus in D.C. is March 26.



IJ Review's Justin Green
Fun fact: A Bush has never lost a South Carolina Republican primary

Politico's Gabe Debenedetti
No new tactic from Sanders here after his big NH win: he goes straight to his stump speech to kick this debate off.

The Boston Globe's Matt Viser
The order of the opening statements was determined by a coin toss... Just like some Iowa precincts decided the winner of the caucus.

The Hill's Niall Stanage
Well I never expected this: The Kissinger segment.

Politico's Glenn Thrush
Hillary Clinton has got that Jon Lovitz/Dukakis can-you-believe-this-guy-is-beating-me look.

CNN's Tal Kopan (with video)
Feisty Sanders tonight

The Atlantic's Molly Ball (HAHA to the photo)
Less Glass-Steagall, more GRASS BEAGLE

Politico's Burgess Everett
The polling in Nevada is so sparse that RealClearPolitics has Michigan polls in a more prominent place on its website



Today: President Obama leaves Los Angeles for Palm Springs, Calif. 

11 a.m.–noon EST: House votes.

12:30–5:30 p.m. EST: Jeb Bush, Ben Carson, Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) and Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) speak at the Faith & Family Presidential Forum in Greenville, S.C.

4:30 p.m. EST: Restaurant workers and others who support an increase in D.C.'s minimum wage to $15 an hour are protesting at the D.C. Chamber of Commerce. Details: 

5:30 p.m. EST: The Senate votes.

7 p.m. EST: Donald Trump holds a rally in Tampa, Fla.



3 p.m. EST: President Obama's interview with Ellen DeGeneres airs. And to preview it, here is the most painfully awkward Valentine's Day poem ever, which Obama reads to Michelle. 

7 p.m. EST: Hillary Clinton and Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) deliver remarks at the Democratic-Farmer-Labor Party's annual Humphrey-Mondale dinner in St. Paul, Minn. Live stream 

9 p.m. EST: CBS News's Republican presidential debate, live from Greenville, S.C. John Dickerson will moderate. 



Today is National PB&J Day!

ALRIGHT, I SAW TITANIC AND I KNOW HOW THAT WENT DOWN: Via CNN, Australian billionaire Clive Palmer has announced that Titanic II, a near exact replica of Titanic I, will be set to sail in 2018. So by exact replica, how many lifeboats does that mean? Either way, this makes me incredibly nervous.

FOR THE MEN IN THE ROOM THAT FORGOT ABOUT VALENTINE'S DAY THIS WEEKEND: If you still need a cute Valentine's Day idea, here are some adorable mini "bite size" cupcakes -- Cate tested and approved ;)

THE ENTERTAINMENT SECTION: Reality star Khloe Kardashian shares her OkCupid dating profile on her website. See it here: 

And for good weekend vibes, check out Maple, a very photogenic dog just taking in the essence of snow. You go, Maple.


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