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: Breaking – Senate GOP unveils new healthcare bill | Cruz measure aims to win over conservatives | Trump in Paris | DOJ let Russian lawyer into US | Senate panel asking Trump Jr. to testify | Trump World lawyers up | Conway uses flashcards to defend Trump Jr. | National French Fry Day!

JUST RELEASED -- THAT WAS 'BETTER CARE.' THIS IS 'BETTER, BETTER CARE': Senate Republicans just unveiled a revised healthcare bill as they race toward a high-stakes vote next week. The gist: Much of the bill is similar, but there are some key changes targeted at winning support from conservatives. http://bit.ly/2udy3vG

The controversial part: A version of an amendment from ... you guessed it ... Sens. Ted CruzRafael (Ted) Edward CruzTed Cruz, Seth Rogen trade insults as Twitter spat flares Biden leans on Obama-era appointees on climate Ethics complaint filed against Biggs, Cawthorn and Gosar over Capitol riot MORE (R-Texas) and Mike LeeMichael (Mike) Shumway LeeOvernight Defense: Austin takes helm at Pentagon | COVID-19 briefing part of Day 1 agenda | Outrage over images of National Guard troops in parking garage Austin sworn in as nation's first Black Pentagon chief The Hill's 12:30 Report: Next steps in the Trump impeachment MORE (R-Utah) that would allow insurers to sell plans that do not meet ObamaCare regulations if they also sell one plan that does meet those rules. Conservatives say it would allow people to buy cheaper plans, but centrists worry it will raise premiums on the sick. http://bit.ly/2t7qgzV

Sorry, centrists: Importantly, the revised bill largely keeps the Medicaid sections the same, meaning that deeper cuts to the program will still begin in 2025, and the funds for ObamaCare's expansion of Medicaid will still end in 2024.

Opioids: The new bill gives $45 billion for opioid treatment. http://bit.ly/2vh6Q8h

Full text of the new bill, if you're into that kinda thing: http://bit.ly/2sUvcnr

MCCONNELL'S FACIAL EXPRESSION STANDING NEXT TO CRUZ IN THIS PHOTO IS. TOO. PERFECT.: But will the new bill fare have an easier path in the upper chamber? Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellBiden attends first church service as president in DC, stops at local bagel shop Harry Reid 'not particularly optimistic' Biden will push to eliminate filibuster Senators spar over validity of Trump impeachment trial MORE (R-Ky.) is ramping up pressure on Senate Republicans to allow healthcare reform legislation to move forward. What changed: McConnell yesterday urged colleagues to drop procedural objections to the bill, a sign that his patience is wearing thin -- and that he is uncertain he can win the day. http://bit.ly/2uci80Y

It's Thursday -- you can do it! 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 cmartel@thehill.com@CateMartel and on Facebook.


HAPPENING SOON -- BONJOUR, MES AMIS!: President TrumpDonald TrumpMore than two-thirds of Americans approve of Biden's coronavirus response: poll Sarah Huckabee Sanders to run for governor Mexico's president tests positive for COVID-19 MORE and French President Emmanuel Macron are holding a joint press conference in Paris. Livestream: http://bit.ly/2uVKlXp

ALSO NEW -- STEP INTO MY OFFICE: Sen. Chuck GrassleyChuck GrassleyOn The Money: Treasury announces efforts to help people get stimulus payments | Senate panel unanimously advances Yellen nomination for Treasury | Judge sets ground rules for release of Trump taxes Senate panel unanimously advances Yellen nomination for Treasury Finance Committee vote on Yellen nomination scheduled for Friday MORE (R-Iowa) is inviting Donald Trump Jr. to publicly testify before the Senate Judiciary Committee about his meeting with a Russian lawyer offering compromising information on Hillary ClintonHillary Diane Rodham ClintonBiden must wait weekend for State Department pick Texas Supreme Court rejects Alex Jones request to toss lawsuits from Sandy Hook parents Paris Agreement: Biden's chance to restore international standing MOREHow we know: Grassley will send Trump Jr. a letter on Thursday asking him to appear before the committee, according to CNN. http://bit.ly/2tiM4DQ

EXCLUSIVE -- WELCOME TO THE LAND OF THE FREE, HOME OF THE BRAVE: Via The Hill's John Solomon and Jonathan Easley, the Russian lawyer who penetrated Donald Trump's inner circle was initially cleared into the United States by the Justice Department under "extraordinary circumstances" before she embarked on a lobbying campaign last year that ensnared the president's eldest son. Why this is huge: This revelation means it was the Obama Justice Department that allowed the newest and most intriguing figure in the Russia-Trump investigation to enter the country without a visa. Full story: http://bit.ly/2t703S9

IF YOU DON'T HAVE A GUY, I KNOW A GUY-GUY WHO CAN GET YOU A GUY: A growing number of White House and Trump campaign officials are hiring their own lawyers to handle the wide-ranging probe into whether the president's associates colluded with Russia's 2016 election-meddling effort. Why this is complicating things: The increasing number of lawyers involved is limiting communication and creating divisions among aides, making it harder to advance Trump's agenda. http://bit.ly/2sTqTcp

HEY, 'SATURDAY NIGHT LIVE.' SUP? SEE YOU SATURDAY!: White House adviser Kellyanne Conway pulled out flash cards on Fox News yesterday to explain collusion. "What's the conclusion? Collusion? No. We don't have that yet. I see illusion and delusion." Watch: http://bit.ly/2tQ8f6a

How I reacted when I saw Kellyanne Conway using flashcards on TV --> http://bit.ly/2vgOuEo

Reaction on social media: http://nydn.us/2vgTJDY

YESTERDAY -- I HAVEN'T SEEM DEMS THIS EXCITED SINCE BERNIE SANDERS PROMISED HE'D CONSIDER JOINING THE PARTY: Rep. Brad Sherman (D-Calif.) formally introduced an article of impeachment against President Trump yesterday that accuses the president of obstructing justice during the federal investigation into Russia's meddling in the 2016 presidential election. Context: This is the first time a lawmaker has offered an impeachment article against Trump. Any chance this would pass?: No way. http://bit.ly/2udp261

CONTEXT -- TALK OF THE 'I' WORD: CNN's Z. Byron Wolf has a helpful piece explaining how far we actually are from a potential impeachment effort. The gist: We're still a very, very, very long way. Reasoning: http://cnn.it/2t6VWFr



Yahoo's Hunter Walker
A framed version of the mystical orb photo is now being displayed in the West Wing. See for yourself: http://bit.ly/2t6STxe

NBC's Alex Moe
Wow... Speaker Ryan announces that his office is working with SAA office to modernize dress code rules in Speaker's Lobby http://bit.ly/2umWRSw

What spurred this: A CBS News story last week about the dress code: http://cbsn.ws/2tu8wvG

The Hill's Jordan Fabian
"oh boy" Screenshot of NYT's Maggie Haberman's pool report from Paris: http://bit.ly/2tj9MQh



The House and Senate are in.

This morning: President Trump met with French President Emmanuel Macron.

This morning: First lady Melania Trump visited a children's hospital in France. Photos: http://bit.ly/2tQ05e9

1:30 p.m. EDT: First votes in the House. Their schedule today: http://bit.ly/2uURmr6

1:45 p.m. EDT: The Senate votes to confirm an ambassador.

3 p.m. EDT: President Trump and first lady Melania Trump have dinner at Le Jules Verne with the French president.

3 p.m. EDT: Former Speaker Newt Gingrich (R-Ga.) answers questions with IJR's Benny Johnson on Facebook Live. http://bit.ly/2uigGd4

5 p.m. EDT: Last votes in the House.

4:10 a.m. EDT Friday: President Trump participates in the French National Day Parade with the French president. He then heads to the airport to fly back to the U.S.

3:15 p.m. EDT Friday: President Trump arrives at the Bedminster Trump National Golf Club in New Jersey.



12:30 p.m. EDT: President Trump holds a joint press conference with French President Emmanuel Macron.

4 p.m. EDT: The National Governors Association is holding its 2017 summer meeting in Providence, R.I.  Livestream: http://cs.pn/2vgjO6q

Sunday: Senate Majority Whip John CornynJohn CornynThe Memo: Biden gambles that he can do it all Trump impeachment trial to begin week of Feb. 8 Limbaugh falsely says Biden didn't win legitimately while reacting to inauguration MORE (R-Texas) will exclusively join NBC's "Meet the Press with Chuck Todd."



Today is National French Fry Day (!!!!)

JUST IN CASE ANYONE ELSE HAS BEEN EAGERLY AWAITING THIS LAUNCH: The Olympic Channel, which was announced during the 2016 Summer Olympic Games, will launch this Saturday at 6 a.m. "The Olympic Channel will launch in more than 35 million homes, available to most subscribers of Altice, AT&T DirecTV, Comcast, Spectrum and Verizon." Inaugural schedule: http://bit.ly/2tPzluw

THE 'IN-N-OUT BURGER' OF COFFEE: The popular West Coast café and coffee roaster Blue Bottle Coffee opened a location in the Georgetown neighborhood of Washington, D.C. Their deal: http://wapo.st/2udwCh3

And because you made it this far, here's a mesmerizing video of rainbow sprinkles being made: http://bit.ly/2t7gqOs


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