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: Committees begin ObamaCare repeal work | Obama reportedly furious over Trump's claims | Warren hits Trump over Women's Day tweet | Ivanka's sales skyrocket | Cruz, wife to dine with Trump

HEIDI CRUZ HAS TO BE THINKING OF WAYS TO GET OUT OF TONIGHT: Remember my bursts of excitement and intrigue over President TrumpDonald John TrumpPence: It's not a "foregone conclusion" that lawmakers impeach Trump FBI identifies Pensacola shooter as Saudi Royal Saudi Air Force second lieutenant Trump calls Warren 'Pocahontas,' knocks wealth tax MORE's lunch with Sen. Lindsey GrahamLindsey Olin GrahamGOP senators request interview with former DNC contractor to probe possible Ukraine ties GOP senator blocks Armenian genocide resolution Hannity slams Stern for Clinton interview: 'Not the guy I grew up listening to' MORE (R-S.C.) yesterday? They've had some rocky times, to say the least. Well, that was nothing compared to tonight. President Donald Trump and first lady Melania Trump are having dinner with Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) and his wife Heidi Cruz. Please oh please let there be leaked video.

TIMING -- WE'RE ALL IN THIS TOGETHER: This comes at a time when President Trump is helping GOP leaders sell the ObamaCare repeal and replacement proposal to lawmakers and the public.

ONE YEAR AGO NOW -- THAT SURE WAS UGLY: It was less than a year ago that Trump tweeted an unflattering photo of Heidi Cruz next to Melania Trump with the quote "A picture is worth a thousand words."

I'M JUST GOING TO PLACE THIS TWEET HERE AND WALK AWAY: From Donald Trump on March 22, 2016: "Lyin' Ted CruzRafael (Ted) Edward CruzSunday talk shows: Lawmakers gear up ahead of Monday's House Judiciary hearing Trade deal talks expand as Congress debates tech legal shield Sanders meets with MLB Commissioner Rob Manfred MORE just used a picture of Melania from a G.Q. shoot in his ad. Be careful, Lyin' Ted, or I will spill the beans on your wife!"

UNRELATED, BUT WORTH MENTIONING: Today is International Women's Day.

ALL IN THE REAR VIEW MIRROR  -- KUUUUMBAYA: "In recent weeks, he's:
>Dined w Rubio, Cruz, Graham, Kasich, Walker, Christie
>Hired Carson, Perry
>Called Paul 'friend' [more on that]
Which 16er is next?" (Tweet from Politico's Gabe Debenedetti)

It's Wednesday -- today is International Women's Day! 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.

TALK TO THE HAND...ERR, THE SALES' NUMBERS: Ivanka Trump's eponymous women's fashion line is reporting record sales figures despite calls for a boycott and controversies surrounding President Trump. According to the e-commerce aggregator Lyst, from January to February, Ivanka Trump sales increased 346 percent, Refinery29 writes. Takeaway: All press is good press, huh?

THROW THOSE OLD WHITE HOUSE TABLE SETTINGS OUT THE WINDOW -- YEP, WE'RE THINKING A LOT MORE...GOLD.: Via The Hill's Niall Stanage, the old rules of how presidents deal with those who came before them are being rewritten in the Trump era. In his tweets over the weekend, Trump called Obama a "bad (or sick) guy" and compared his unfounded wiretapping allegation to Watergate and McCarthyism.

Presidential historians are among those startled by Trump's rhetoric toward Obama, which they view as significantly outside the recent norms. A more important reason to click this piece -- you also get to see a video of Niall discussing this column. 

BEHIND-THE-SCENES: Via The Wall Street Journal's Carol E. Lee and Peter Nicholas, former President Obama was reportedly furious after President Trump fired off tweets accusing him of wiretapping Trump Tower before the presidential election, but decided he would not respond to every one of his successor's tweets.

TALK OF TODAY -- WHO RUN THE WORLD?: President Trump tweeted this morning about International Women's Day. "I have tremendous respect for women and the many roles they serve that are vital to the fabric of our society and our economy ... On International Women's Day, join me in honoring the critical role of women here in America & around the world."

POLITICS ISN'T A SPORT. IT'S A LIFESTYLE: Sen. Elizabeth WarrenElizabeth Ann WarrenTrump calls Warren 'Pocahontas,' knocks wealth tax Warren, Buttigieg fight echoes 2004 campaign, serves as warning for 2020 race Democrats battle for Hollywood's cash MORE (D-Mass.) slammed President Trump over his International Women's Day tweets. "Talk is cheap, put your money where your mouth is. Give us some of the rules and regulations that will be helpful to this economy, helpful to women, helpful to our families, helpful to our communities."

THAT TWITTER ARCHIVE IS A GOLD MINE: "The Daily Show" Twitter account shared past comments the president has made about women, including Arianna Huffington and Megyn Kelly. It also shared a tweet by the president saying he doesn't like "seeing women in combat."



THE AMERICAN HEALTH CARE ACT'S NOT-SO-WARM RECEPTION: The American Medical Association, the nation's biggest doctors group, and The American Hospital Association came out in opposition to the GOP ObamaCare repeal-and-replace legislation. Conservatives in the House openly rebelled against it. Oh, and the bill will face steep, steep hurdles in the Senate. What to watch today: House committees are set to begin debating the bill today, which could be feisty. Anyway, has anyone had the "How are you really doing today?" check-in with Speaker Paul RyanPaul Davis RyanHouse Ethics Committee informs Duncan Hunter he can no longer vote after guilty plea Duncan Hunter pleads guilty after changing plea Trump campaign steps up attacks on Biden MORE (R-Wis.)?

-- TO SUM IT UP: "Ryan has long been the darling of conservative policy wonks. But on one of the biggest days of his political career, when House Republicans released their much-anticipated Obamacare replacement, many of Ryan's closest friends in the conservative intelligentsia expressed disappointment -- if not outright dismay -- with the legislation bearing the speaker's imprimatur. Indeed, virtually every prominent conservative health care expert -- precisely the sort of ideological allies that have backed Ryan in the past -- panned this legislation." (From Politico's Eliana Johnson)

BOOKMARK THIS -- WHO'S WHO ON AHCA: Here's a constantly updated list of where each Republican stands on the American Health Care Act, the GOP ObamaCare repeal plan:

THROWBACK -- CAMPAIGN PROMISES ARE ALWAYS A FUN COMPARISON: The Hill's Ben Kamisar pulled together President Trump's promises for healthcare on the campaign trail and how they compare with the newly revealed GOP replacement plan. 

  1. Universal coverage: The new Republican plan would repeal ObamaCare subsidies that help people buy insurance, replacing them instead with tax credits. The Congressional Budget Office hasn't considered the legislation yet, but most experts agree the plan would likely reduce the number of insured people.
  2. Health savings accounts: The new GOP legislation doesn't rely on health savings accounts as the primary vehicle for the replacement, instead using tax credits to help people buy insurance. But the new plan would revamp HSAs by lowering taxes on the funds, allowing spouses to contribute to one account and raising contribution limits
  3. Buying insurance across state lines: The new legislation does not address this issue, since it can't be achieved using the filibuster-proof budget reconciliation process that Republicans plan to use for the first repeal bill. But Trump tweeted Tuesday morning that the policy will be addressed in a later "phase" of the "healthcare rollout."
  4. Medicaid: Along with capping federal Medicaid payments, the new legislation would eventually amount to a cut in the program altogether, which could potentially cost support from key lawmakers.
  5. Pre-existing conditions: The GOP plan allots $100 billion for states to fund "high-risk pools" for residents with pre-existing conditions who couldn't afford coverage, but many experts say that isn't nearly enough funding to cover the pools' costs. 

IF HEALTHCARE POLICY ISN'T YOUR THING -- 'YOU HAVE ONE MINUTE TO EXPLAIN IT TO ME': Here's a short video of the debate over ObamaCare vs. the GOP replacement plan. Watch:



Lawyer Michael Adler
Just settled a divorce over visitation of a parrot. Neither may teach it negative phrases about the other. I went to law school for this.



The House and Senate are in.

Today: Sen. Al FrankenAlan (Al) Stuart FrankenThe job no GOP senator wants: 'I'd rather have a root canal' Take Trump literally and seriously in Minnesota Ninth woman accuses Al Franken of inappropriate contact MORE (D-Minn.) is hosting his seventh annual Hotdish Competition. Franken, and Minnesota Sen. Amy KlobucharAmy Jean KlobucharBiden: All-white debate not representative of party, but 'you can't dictate' nominee Delaney to DNC: Open second debate stage for candidates who qualified for past events There's a lot to like about the Senate privacy bill, if it's not watered down MORE (D) and Minnesota Reps. Collin Peterson (D), Betty McCollum (D), Keith Ellison (D), Tim Walz (D), Rick Nolan (D), Erik Paulsen (R), Tom Emmer (R) and Jason Lewis (D) will each submit a hotdish casserole to be judged. Keep in mind: "Tim Walz holds the record for most wins in the contest with three including last year's winning entry 'Turkey Taco Hotdish.'"

12:30 p.m. EST: President Trump hosts a strategic affairs lunch regarding infrastructure. Via Reuters, Tesla and SpaceX CEO Elon Musk is expected to join.

2:30 p.m. EST: President Trump meets with Rep. Elijah Cummings (Md.), the top Democrat on the Oversight Committee, to discuss high drug prices.

4 p.m. EST: President Trump meets with Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke and Republican Alaska Sens. Lisa MurkowskiLisa Ann MurkowskiHere are the Senate Republicans who could vote to convict Trump Senate confirms eight Trump court picks in three days The Hill's Morning Report - Dem impeachment report highlights phone records MORE and Dan Sullivan.

6:30 p.m. EST: President Trump and first lady Melania Trump have dinner with Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) and his wife. 

March 20: The House Intelligence Committee will have its first hearing on Russia's involvement with the 2016 presidential election.



Happening now: Organizers of January's "Women's March on Washington" are hosting a rally on the House East Front Steps of the U.S. Capitol. House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.), the Democratic Women's Working Group and House Democrats will walk off the House Floor dressed in red outside for a press conference. Live stream:

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



Today is National Peanut Cluster Day. 

ANNOUNCED TODAY -- *COUGH* HE'LL BE IN D.C. ON SEP. 19 (!) *COUGH*: Singer Ed Sheeran announced dates for his North American tour starting this summer. Pre-sale tickets go on sale next week.

*EAGERLY HOPES THERE'S A PHOTO OF GEORGE W. BUSH WEARING 'PRETTY, PRETTY PRINCESS' ACCESSORIES*: People's Tierney McAffee has an adorable feature about former President George W. Bush as a grandfather. "He's a spoiling grandfather. Spoiling," former first lady Laura Bush said. "You want to play a video game, I'm the guy," the former president says. "You want to eat ice cream?" asks the former first lady. "I'm the guy," says Bush, whose grandkids call him "El Jefe" (the boss). "I'm probably undermining every lesson that Jenna and [her husband] Henry are trying to teach little Mila but, you know, what the heck?" The one thing Bush won't do?: Tea parties. Lol.

NEW: Jenna Bush Hager and Barbara Bush Jr., the daughters of former President George W. Bush, are planning to release a book together about their "wild" lives -- poised to hit store shelves in October.

PROMISE YOU CAN CONTAIN YOURSELF IF I SHARE SOME EXCITING NEWS?: Starburst is releasing limited-edition bags of all pink Starbursts. Where to find them: Wal-Mart, Target, Kroger, Walgreens, H-E-B, Meijer and Amazon.

And because I kept you this long, here's a pony playing with a bouncy ball bigger than itself:


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