The Hill's 12:30 Report

The Hill's 12:30 Report

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The Hill's 12:30 Report: Ellison will resign seat if he wins DNC chair | Trump is Time's Person of the Year | Senators to honor Biden | What's in year-end spending bill | Hillary to visit Capitol Hill Thursday

CONFIRMED THIS A.M. -- TRUMP'S CHI-NUH PICK: Iowa Gov. Terry Branstad (R) has accepted the job as U.S. ambassador to China in President-elect Donald Trump's administration. He will need to be confimed by the Senate. Keep in mind: Branstad is a longtime friend of Chinese President Xi Jinping. Fun fact: Branstad is the longest-serving governor in U.S. history.

JUST NOW -- WE HAVE A DHS PICK, TOO: Via The New York Times's Mark Lander and Maggie Haberman, President-elect Donald TrumpDonald John TrumpMcCabe says he was fired because he 'opened a case against' Trump McCabe: Trump said 'I don't care, I believe Putin' when confronted with US intel on North Korea McCabe: Trump talked to me about his election victory during 'bizarre' job interview MORE has selected retired Gen. John Kelly as his pick to head the Department of Homeland Security.

What to watch for: On NBC's "Today" this morning, Trump said he will announce his pick for secretary of State next week.

It's Wednesday, and today is the 75th anniversary of the attack on Pearl Harbor. 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 comments, story ideas and events for our radar to, @CateMartel and on Facebook.

MAKE ME FUNDRAISER IN CHIEF -- I'LL GIVE IT MY 110 percent!: Rep. Keith Ellison (D-Minn.) says he will resign from Congress if he is elected chair of the Democratic National Committee. Why: That was a weak spot in Ellison's bid. Many of his rivals said the next party chair should serve full-time.


TBH, THIS MUST HAVE BEEN MORE INTERESTING THAN A SEMESTER ABROAD: Speaking at a Women Rule event this morning, Kellyanne Conway, a top aide to President-elect Donald Trump who served as his campaign manager, talked about her time working for Trump as a mother of four young children. Conway said she told her children, "Mommy's on her semester abroad." Lol, fair. Notable moment: Conway made a point of bringing up the Electoral College. "It's the road to 270, not the popular vote. Wink, wink." 

TALK OF THE MORNING -- IT'S HIS PARTY, HE'LL DO WHAT HE WANTS: Time magazine had been teasing the release of its Person of the Year for 7:30 a.m. today, with an interview of the recipient on NBC's "Today." Well, a few minutes before the big reveal, President-elect Donald Trump tweeted, "I will be interviewed on the TODAY Show at 7:30. Enjoy!" Welp, sorry Time.

Time flies when you're having fun!: Trump tweeted in October 2012: "I knew last year that TIME Magazine lost all credibility when they didn't include me in their Top 100..."

Well, when you put it that way...: Here are Time's recent Trump covers. Lol, wow.

Past winners: Here's the story behind the Person of the Year, with photos of every past cover:

WE HAVE A BILL. YES, ONLY A BILL. AND I'M SITTING HERE ON CAPITOL HILL: Republican leaders released a bill to keep the government funded for the next six months. Why six months: Republicans want to give Trump time to take office and settle in before the next spending fight. Timing: The House could take up the bill as early as tomorrow, aiming to clear the Senate by Friday's deadline. What you need to know: House Appropriations Committee Chairman Hal Rogers (R-Ky.) said in a statement late Tuesday that the bill "does not include controversial riders, or major changes in existing federal policy." But Dems say "ehhhhh." What to know:

Total spending: Government funding would remain at the same level: $1.07 trillion.

Fast-track for James Mattis: The bill includes a fast-track procedure to ease the confirmation of Trump's pick for Defense secretary. It would lower the amount of time one has to be out of the military before he or she can serve as Pentagon chief. Currently there is a 7-year barrier, but Mattis only retired in 2013. This could be the most controversial element, with many Dems unhappy it's tied to the funding bill.

Increase in defense spending: Defense spending would receive a boost through the Pentagon's war fund for overseas contingency operations.

Flint water crisis: $170 million in grants for drinking water safety and to establish a lead exposure registry -- ending the lengthy funding fight over lead-contaminated water in Flint, Mich.

Flood aid: $4.1 billion for a flood relief package.

21st Century Cures: Funding for the bipartisan medical cures bill

FULL BILL, If you're into that kinda thing...

SEEEEE YAAAAAAAAAA: Via The Hill's Alexander Bolton, Senate Republicans are breathing a sigh of relief that Harry ReidHarry Mason ReidConstitutional conservatives need to oppose the national emergency Klobuchar: 'I don't remember' conversation with Reid over alleged staff mistreatment Dems wary of killing off filibuster MORE (Nev.) is retiring after 12 years as Democratic leader. The nice, PR way of saying it: From Senate Republican Whip John Cornyn (Texas): "I've had a good working relationship with [incoming Senate Democratic Leader Charles] Schumer, and I hope that continues. He's basically a pragmatist at heart. I think he's a very different personality than Sen. Reid."

HAPPY ANNIVERSARY, Y'ALL!: "Facebook memories reminds me that one year ago this week, Donald Trump first announced the Muslim ban." (h/t The Hill's Megan R. Wilson

HA, HA HA, HA-SNIFF, HAHA SNIFF, HA-*BREAKS DOWN CRYING HYSTERICALLY*: Via Politico's Tara Palmeri, the Secret Service is being advertised as a hot "new amenity" at the Trump Tower in New York City. A prominent real estate agency sent out an email flyer: "Fifth Avenue Buyers Interested in Secret Service Protection? .. The New Aminity [sic] – The United States Secret Service."



Reuters's Jim Oliphant
Comet is packed. Standing-room only. Good to see. Also good to see: Two MPD cruisers parked across the street.

CNN's Manu Raju
McCain just now: "I'm not talking about Trump. I'm not talking about Trump. I'm not talking about Trump. I'm not talking about Trump."

The Hill's Sarah Ferris
Pic of the day: Biden + Rosa DeLauro embrace post caucus meeting. (She used to work for [Sen. Chris] Dodd, Biden's old colleague)

Bradley P. Moss, Esq(Safe bet...)
My prediction for how Trump will handle his entrance on Inauguration Day.



The House and Senate are in session.

Noon: White House press secretary Josh Earnest gives the daily press briefing.

2 p.m. EST: The Senate votes on final passage of the 21st Century Cures Act.

2 p.m. EST: The House votes. House schedule today:

2 p.m. EST: The House Armed Services Committee will hold a hearing on the National Guard bonus scandal. 

5:30 p.m. EST: The House votes.

3 p.m. EST: Vice President Biden presides over the Senate. Sens. Chris CoonsChristopher (Chris) Andrew CoonsTrump got in Dem’s face over abortion at private meeting: report Live coverage: Trump delivers State of the Union Actor Chris Evans meets with Democratic senators before State of the Union MORE (D-Del.), Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellGOP Green New Deal stunt is a great deal for Democrats The national emergency will haunt Republicans come election season Trump: McConnell should keep Senate in session until nominees are approved MORE (R-Ky.), Harry Reid (D-Nev.), Tom CarperThomas (Tom) Richard CarperDems slam EPA plan for fighting drinking water contaminants EPA to announce PFAS chemical regulation plans by end of year Overnight Energy: Zinke joins Trump-tied lobbying firm | Senators highlight threat from invasive species | Top Republican calls for Green New Deal vote in House MORE (D-Del.), Orrin HatchOrrin Grant HatchOrrin Hatch Foundation seeking million in taxpayer money to fund new center in his honor Mitch McConnell has shown the nation his version of power grab Overnight Health Care — Presented by PCMA — Utah Senate votes to scale back Medicaid expansion | Virginia abortion bill reignites debate | Grassley invites drug execs to testify | Conservative groups push back on e-cig crackdown MORE (R-Utah), and Patrick LeahyPatrick Joseph Leahy‘Contingency’ spending in 3B budget deal comes under fire How the border deal came together Winners and losers in the border security deal MORE (D-Vt.) will honor Biden's legacy with a series of bipartisan tributes on the Senate Floor. 

10 a.m. EST tomorrow: The Senate Foreign Relations Committee will hold a hearing on the State Department and the U.S. Agency for International Development in the next administration.

10:30 a.m. EST tomorrow: The House Energy Committee is holding a hearing titled "Mixed Martial Arts: Issues and Perspectives."

4 p.m. EST tomorrow: Hillary ClintonHillary Diane Rodham ClintonFemale Dems see double standard in Klobuchar accusations Klobuchar, O'Rourke visit Wisconsin as 2020 race heats up McCabe's shocking claims prove the bloodless coup rolls on MORE (!) will attend the unveiling of retiring Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid's (D-Nev.) portrait. Who else is attending: Vice President Joe BidenJoseph (Joe) Robinette BidenKlobuchar, O'Rourke visit Wisconsin as 2020 race heats up Biden: 'The America I see does not wish to turn our back on the world' DNC chair defends debate schedule after Biden says election process starts 'too early' MORE, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.)House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) and Sen. Chuck SchumerCharles (Chuck) Ellis SchumerGOP Green New Deal stunt is a great deal for Democrats National emergency declaration — a legal fight Trump is likely to win House Judiciary Dems seek answers over Trump's national emergency declaration MORE (D-N.Y.), the Senate's next Democratic leader. Details: 

Noon Friday: President-elect Donald Trump will attend a Louisiana get-out-the-vote rally in Baton Rouge. Note: Louisiana's runoff election is Saturday, with the Senate race still undecided.



9 p.m. EST: "The Legacy of Barack ObamaBarack Hussein ObamaMiami Herald publishes names of all kids killed by guns since Parkland shooting 
 Virginia can be better than this Democrats have a chance of beating Trump with Julian Castro on the 2020 ticket MORE" airs on CNN.



Today is National Cotton Candy Day (!!)

OH. COME. ON. GUYS. YOU HAVE TO BE KIDDING: Via The Washington Post's Travis M. Andrews, 22 heavily armed men performed their version of mannequin challenge. Now the problem: "Two of the men in the firearm-studded mannequin challenge have, perhaps unsurprisingly, been arrested; one of them for -- you guessed it -- possessing guns." Face palm

And because you read this far, here's a kitten playing with virtual fish. Millennials, man.


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