The Hill's 12:30 Report

The Hill's 12:30 Report

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--> A midday take on what’s happening in politics and how to have a sense of humor about it.*

*Ha. Haha. Hahah. Sniff. Haha. Sniff. Ha--breaks down crying hysterically


The Hill's 12:30 Report: Dems boycott confirmation votes | Anticipation builds for court pick | Left hammers Trump for AG firing | Trump keeps Obama LGBTQ protections | Bobcat on the loose in DC

BREAKING -- 'GETTING SICK OF US YET?!': A flurry of committee votes were scheduled this morning to advance President Trump's Cabinet nominees. Biggest news: Senate Democrats on Tuesday refused to attend a committee vote on two of the more controversial nominees, effectively delaying their consideration. Here's the latest:

CONFIRMED — Elaine Chao for Transportation: The Senate has confirmed Elaine Chao for Transportation Secretary, 93-6. Who voted no: Senate Minority Leader Charles SchumerCharles (Chuck) Ellis SchumerOvernight Health Care: Trump officials making changes to drug pricing proposal | House panel advances flavored e-cig ban | Senators press FDA tobacco chief on vaping ban Chad Wolf becomes acting DHS secretary Schumer blocks drug pricing measure during Senate fight, seeking larger action MORE (D-N.Y.) and Sens. Kristen Gillibrand (D-N.Y.), Jeff MerkleyJeffrey (Jeff) Alan MerkleySenate committee advances budget reform plan Harris proposes keeping schools open for 10 hours a day Overnight Energy: Dems ask Trump UN ambassador to recuse from Paris climate dealings | Green group sues agencies for records on climate science | Dem wants answers on Keystone oil spill MORE (D-Ore.), Cory Booker (D-N.J.) Bernie SandersBernie Sanders2020 Democrats make play for veterans' votes 2020 Dems put focus on stemming veteran suicides The Memo: Democrats confront prospect of long primary MORE (I-Vt.) and Elizabeth WarrenElizabeth Ann WarrenWarren goes local in race to build 2020 movement 2020 Democrats make play for veterans' votes 2020 Dems put focus on stemming veteran suicides MORE (D- Mass.) 

SENT TO THE SENATE FLOOR -- Rick Perry for Energy: A Senate panel this morning signed off on former Texas Gov. Rick Perry's nomination to lead the Department of Energy, 17-6, sending it to the full Senate for a vote.

SENT TO THE SENATE FLOOR -- Ryan Zinke for Interior: A Senate committee this morning advanced Rep. Ryan Zinke's (R-Mont.) nomination to be Trump's secretary of the Interior, 16-6, sending it to the full Senate for a vote. Details: Four Democrats joined every Republican in backing Zinke. One, Sen. Ron WydenRonald (Ron) Lee WydenAlcohol industry races to save tax break by year-end deadline GOP senator blasts Dem bills on 'opportunity zones' Pelosi aide hopeful White House will support drug-pricing bill despite criticism MORE (D-Ore.), abstained from the vote.

DELAYED BY BOYCOTT -- Steve Mnuchin for Treasury: Senate Democrats this morning boycotted the committee vote on Mnuchin.

DELAYED BY BOYCOTT -- Tom Price for HHS: Senate Democrats this morning boycotted the committee vote on Rep. Tom Price (R-Ga.) to lead the Department of Health and Human Services.

HAPPENING NOW -- Jeff SessionsJefferson (Jeff) Beauregard SessionsSanford: 'It carries real weight' to speak against Trump 'while in office' Medill dean 'deeply troubled by the vicious bullying and badgering' of student journalists Trump has considered firing official who reported whistleblower complaint to Congress: report MORE for attorney general: "Grassley [just hinted] Sessions vote to slip to tomorrow morning if Dems invoke the two-hour rule re: committee hearings." (From Politico's Seung Min Kim) Watch:

SENT TO THE SENATE FLOOR -- Betsy DeVos for Education: A Senate committee approved Betsy DeVos's nomination to lead the Department of Education, sending it to the full Senate for a vote. Details: After some confusion, she just barely squeaked through 12 to 11, along party lines.

It's FINALLY the last day of January. It felt like a minimum of three months. 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.

ANNOUNCED TODAY -- IT'S RAINBOW FLAG TIME: The White House said early Tuesday that President Trump will continue to enforce an Obama-era executive order protecting the rights of the LGBTQ community in the workplace. Why it's especially newsy: The administration said Trump is proud to have been the first GOP presidential candidate to mention the LGBTQ community in his nomination acceptance speech.

IMPORTANT PSA: Today is the last day to sign up for ObamaCare coverage, except for special circumstances. What to know before signing up:

TALK OF THE MORNING -- YOU'RE FIRED: President Trump fired acting Attorney General Sally Yates last night, just hours after she refused to have the Justice Department defend his controversial executive order on immigration. Key details: Yates was an Obama appointee -- Trump had just asked her to stay until his nominee could be confirmed. Trump selected Dana Boente, U.S. attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia, to replace Yates.

Back story on Sally Yates:

Tweet from BuzzFeed's Ali Watkins: "This is extraordinary. House staffers independently signed [nondisclosure agreements] with Team Trump to work on immigration EO."

Why Dems are calling it the "Monday Night Massacre": It's a reference to President Richard Nixon's 1973 purge of an independent prosecutor investigating the Watergate scandal, which prompted his attorney general and deputy attorney general to turn in their resignations. That event was referred to as the "Saturday Night Massacre."

NEW HIRE ALERT: Widmeyer Communications has hired former Obama official Heather Foster as a vice president in the agency's PK- 12 Education Practice. Her last gig: Foster was a founding partner and director of strategic partnerships for the My Brother's Keeper Alliance, the nonprofit inspired by President Obama's Taskforce for Boys and Young Men of Color. 

TODAY IN 1971: Apollo 14 launched to the moon with astronauts Alan Shepard, Stuart Roosa and Edgar Mitchell:



CNN's Manu Raju
Paul RyanPaul Davis Ryan Retirees should say 'no thanks' to Romney's Social Security plan California Governor Newsom and family dress as 2020 Democrats for Halloween DC's liaison to rock 'n' roll MORE said he had "no involvement" in drafting executive order on travel ban. Learned about it as soon as it was issued 

D.C. Police Department (This gif is hilarious.)
When you see police sirens in your rear view but the person behind you gets pulled over & not you:



The House and Senate are in.

12:30 p.m. EST: The Senate votes on Trump's transportation nominee, Elaine Chao

12:30 p.m. EST: President Trump has lunch with former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani.

2 p.m. EST: President Trump meets with cybersecurity experts.

3:15 p.m. EST: President Trump signs an executive order on cybersecurity. The order will kick-start a government-wide review of cyber practices.

5 p.m. EST: First and last votes in the House. Their schedule today:

9:40 a.m. EST Wednesday: The Senate Homeland Security and Government Affairs Committee votes on Mick Mulvaney to head the Office of Management and Budget.



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

2 p.m. EST: Senate Minority Leader Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.) speaks with reporters about his party's agenda. Live stream:

Meanwhile...: Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellGOP senators balk at lengthy impeachment trial Graham: Senate trial 'must expose the whistleblower' Graham says Schiff should be a witness in Trump impeachment trial MORE (R-Ky.) does the same. Live stream:

8 p.m. EST: President Trump announces his pick for the Supreme Court. White House live stream:

Helpful read: Once a Supreme Court nominee has been picked, here's what the confirmation process looks like, via NBC News's Carrie Dann

Interesting tidbit: "White House official says Scalia's family will be at tonight's announcement of the next justice. Trump has kept close touch w Maureen Scalia (From The LA Time's Noah Bierman)

Already bad news bears: Dems are already talking about a filibuster of whomever Trump picks.

9 p.m. EST: CNN will host a town hall with House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.). 



Today is National Hot Chocolate Day! To get you in the spirit, here are the 15 best hot chocolate cafes in Washington, D.C.

BOBCAT SEARCH ALERT: Ollie the bobcat escaped from the National Zoo in Washington, D.C.

MAJOR BREAKING UPDATE -- OLLIE SPOTTED: Via WTOP Radio, the zoo has received calls "that the 25-pound female bobcat Ollie may be in the Woodley Park and Cleveland Park neighborhoods."

Now on that note, if anyone needs me ;) -->

HEY, YA WINE-ERS: Via Open Table's Nevin Martell, here are the top six D.C. wine bars where Scandal's Olivia Pope would go:

And to leave you with good vibes, here's a corgi wearing a propeller hat:


Updated at 1:22 p.m.


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