The Hill's 12:30 Report

The Hill's 12:30 Report

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The Hill's 12:30 Report: Trump advances Keystone, Dakota pipelines | Supreme Court pick coming next week | Ryan invites Trump to address Congress | Trump aide allegedly punched guy at inaugural ball | Obama video outtakes

JUST ANNOUNCED -- WINTER IS COMING. GULP.: Via The Hill's Jordan FabianPresident Trump said Tuesday he will announce his selection to fill the Supreme Court vacancy "sometime next week." "I'll be making that decision this week, next week I'll be announcing," he told reporters in the Oval Office. Why this makes me anxious: Whoever Trump picks, it'll be an ugly nomination fight with Dems. Timing: Trump is huddling Senate leaders this afternoon to discuss the process.

ALSO BREAKING LATE THIS A.M. -- WOO, CARSON MADE IT THROUGH QUESTIONING WITHOUT ANOTHER BABY HITLER ABORTION REFERENCE: ...Did that reference just give anyone else 2016 PTSD symptoms? Anyway, the Senate Banking Committee just approved Ben Carson's nomination for secretary of Housing and Urban Development. What's next: Carson's nomination has been sent to the Senate floor, where he only needs a simple majority to clear, i.e., just Republican support!

BUT WITH SESSIONS, IT'S NOT ALL BUTTERFLIES AND RAINBOWS: Senate Democrats are delaying a key vote on Sen. Jeff SessionsJefferson (Jeff) Beauregard SessionsJustice Dept. considering replacing outgoing US attorney in Brooklyn with Barr deputy: report Tuberville campaign bus catches fire in Alabama Doug Jones cuts pro-mask campaign ad: 'Our health depends on each other' MORE's (R-Ala.) nomination to be President Trump's attorney general, arguing they want more time to review the pick. When was it scheduled: Today. How long they can push it back: A week.

It's Tuesday. 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 and on Facebook.

IF ANYONE CAN FIND VIDEO, I WOULD LIKE TO PERSONALLY SHAKE YOUR HAND: Via New York Daily News's Chris Sommerfeldt, Trump adviser Kellyanne Conway reportedly threw punches (!!) at a man during one of the invite-only inaugural balls. Yes, you read that right. Conway reportedly stepped between two men who were fighting and punched one of them when they wouldn't stop. Full story:

BREAKING -- MORE EXECUTIVE ORDERS: Via The Hill's Timothy CamaPresident Trump signed orders today to advance construction of the controversial Keystone XL and Dakota Access pipelines, The Hill has confirmed.

But keep in mind: The orders do not grant the final permits needed for the oil pipelines but will move both projects toward approval, a person familiar with the action said. Throwback to Trump's campaign promises: Trump on the campaign trail promised to approve both pipelines. Dems and environmentalists do not like that.

ANNOUNCED TODAY -- 'SCUSE ME, COMING THROUGH.: President Trump has been invited to speak before a joint session of Congress on Feb. 28, Speaker Paul RyanPaul Davis RyanBush, Romney won't support Trump reelection: NYT Twitter joins Democrats to boost mail-in voting — here's why Lobbying world MORE (R-Wis.) announced on Twitter. Keep in mind: This won't be considered a State of the Union address, but it is customary for incoming presidents to address Congress in the first few months.

The Hill's Bob Cusack: "Good news for Democrats: Feb. 28 is Fat Tuesday."

Politico's John Bresnahan: "Looking forward to Dem reaction if Trump gives a version of his inaugural speech during Feb. 28 address to Congress. Will be ... epic."

ONE VOTE, TWO VOTES, RED VOTES, BLUE VOTES: Via The Hill's Scott Wong, House Speaker Paul Ryan reiterated this morning that he's seen "no evidence" of rampant voter fraud during the 2016 election. What prompted his remarks: Yesterday, President Trump told Ryan and other congressional leaders during a private White House meeting that he lost the popular vote only because 3 million to 5 million "illegals" voted. "I've seen no evidence to that effect. I've made that very, very clear," Ryan told reporters at the Capitol, reiterating his position on Trump's claim of mass voter fraud.

BREAKING THIS A.M. -- COMEY GETS THE ROSE THIS WEEK: Via The New York Times's Michael S. Schmidt and Adam Goldman, President Trump has decided to keep James Comey on as director of the FBI. Let's not forget: Comey faced heavy criticism during the presidential election for his handling of the investigation into Democratic nominee Hillary ClintonHillary Diane Rodham ClintonCarville repeats prediction that Trump will drop out of race What's behind Trump's slump? Americans are exhausted, for one thing Trump campaign reserves air time in New Mexico MORE's private email server.

BREAKING SPORTS NEWS: For the first time, the NCAA Selection Committee is unveiling the current top 16 teams on Feb. 11. Why this is strange: It's not the final selections, just the top 16 at that point in the season:

GUYS, YOU'RE GOING TO WANT TO WATCH THE BUDGET HEARING TODAY: Liberal senators, most notably Bernie SandersBernie SandersOVERNIGHT ENERGY: Watchdog accuses Commerce of holding up 'Sharpiegate' report | Climate change erases millennia of cooling: study | Senate nixes proposal limiting Energy Department's control on nuclear agency budget Sanders calls for social distancing, masks and disinfection on planes as flights operate at full capacity Nina Turner addresses Biden's search for a running mate MORE (I-Vt.), are expected to grill Rep. Mick Mulvaney (R-S.C.), Trump's controversial pick to head the White House Office of Management and Budget this afternoon. Why there should be fireworks: Sanders has kept a relatively low profile since the election but has been gearing up for a fight on Medicare and Social Security. Mulvaney wants to reform them. Keep reading for the live stream link.

DON'T BE SURPRISED, I WILL STILL RISE: Federal deficits are expected to rise for the first time in nearly a decade, driving up the federal debt to almost unprecedented levels, according to an analysis from the non-partisan Congressional Budget Office. How much: $601 billion in 2019. Why: Thanks to rising Social Security and Medicare costs.



CNN's Andrew Kaczynski
Trump labor pick: 52% of country is dependent on government, 'votes benefits to themselves' 

Mic's Emily C. Singer retweeted adding: "It's like the 47% comment, but worse!"



The House and Senate are in. President Trump is in Washington, D.C.

Happening now: Rep. Tom Price (R-Ga.) is testifying before the Senate Finance Committee on his nomination for Heal and Human Services secretary. Live-stream and live blog:

Happening now: Trump's nominee for director of the Office of Management and Budget, Rep. Mick Mulvaney (R-S.C.), testifies at a confirmation hearing. Live-stream and live blog:

Happening now: Small Business Administration nominee Linda McMahon testifies at a confirmation hearing. Live-stream:

12:30–2:15 p.m. EST: The Senate recesses for weekly caucus luncheons.

1 p.m. EST: President Trump speaks with Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

1:30 p.m. EST: White House press secretary Sean Spicer gives the daily press briefing. Live-stream:

1:30 p.m. EST: President Trump meets with CIA Director Mike Pompeo. Pompeo was confirmed by the Senate Monday evening.

1:30 p.m. EST: First votes in the House. Today's schedule:

2 p.m. EST: The House Ways and Means Committee is holding a hearing examining effectiveness of ObamaCare's individual mandate. Details:

3 p.m. EST: President Trump huddles with Senate Leadership to discuss the Supreme Court vacancy. What to know:

3:45 p.m. EST: President Trump meets with Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnell'Comrade' Trump gets 'endorsement' from Putin in new mock ad by Lincoln Project ACLU calls on Congress to approve COVID-19 testing for immigrants Carville repeats prediction that Trump will drop out of race MORE (R-Ky.).

4:45 p.m. EST: Last votes in the House.

Wednesday–Friday: GOP retreat in Philadelphia. President Trump and British Prime Minister Theresa May are scheduled to speak. 



10 p.m. EST Wednesday: ABC's David Muir sits down with President Trump for his first one-on-one interview since taking office.

9 p.m. EST Sunday: NBC News celebrates Tom Brokaw's 50th anniversary with the network with a 2-hour special. It will include appearances from Oprah Winfrey, Bill Gates, Tom Hanks, Jon Stewart, Lin-Manuel Miranda, Colin Powell, David Letterman, Sheryl Sandberg, Lester Holt, Maria Shriver, Lorne Michaels, Nikki Haley, Jim Webb, Wes Moore and Thomas Friedman.



Today is National Peanut Butter Day!

PRESIDENTIAL OUTTAKES ARE THE BEST OUTTAKES: BuzzFeed published the outtakes of a video they shot with President Obama in 2015. Video:

LET'S PLAY: HOW MANY HIP, CULTURALLY RELEVENT MOVIES DID I SEE?: The 2017 Oscar nominations have been revealed. List:

THIS IS SUCH A BOSTON EXCUSE. I LOVE IT.: This is the best headline I've read all day: "'I'm drunk, I'm stupid, I'm a Pats fan,' said the man who told police he pulled the fire alarm at Steelers' hotel." Amazing! 

And because I kept you this long, here are tigers playing in cardboard boxes, just like the big cats they are:


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