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 CruzSunday shows - All eyes on Senate impeachment trial Cruz: Hearing from witnesses could extend Senate trial to up to 8 weeks Sunday shows preview: Lawmakers gear up for Senate impeachment trial MORE (R-Texas) and Mike LeeMichael (Mike) Shumway LeeSenators are politicians, not jurors — they should act like it Sens. Kaine, Lee: 'We should not be at war with Iran unless Congress authorizes it' Overnight Defense: War powers fight runs into impeachment | Kaine has 51 votes for Iran resolution | Trump plans to divert .2B from Pentagon to border wall 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 McConnellDemocrats worry a speedy impeachment trial will shut out public George Conway group drops ad seeking to remind GOP senators of their 'sworn oaths' ahead of impeachment trial GOP senator 'open' to impeachment witnesses 'within the scope' of articles 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.

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HAPPENING SOON -- BONJOUR, MES AMIS!: President TrumpDonald John TrumpTrump rails against impeachment in speech to Texas farmers Trump administration planning to crack down on 'birth tourism': report George Conway on Trump adding Dershowitz, Starr to legal team: 'Hard to see how either could help' 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 GrassleyCharles (Chuck) Ernest GrassleyTrump administration planning to crack down on 'birth tourism': report Senate begins preparations for Trump trial Big Pharma looks to stem losses after trade deal defeat 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 ClintonNYT editorial board endorses Warren, Klobuchar for Democratic nomination for president Sanders v. Warren is just for insiders Alan Dershowitz: Argument president cannot be impeached for abusing power a 'strong one' 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

 

NOTABLE TWEETS:

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

 

ON TAP:

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.

 

WHAT TO WATCH:

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 CornynDemocrats worry a speedy impeachment trial will shut out public Sunday shows - All eyes on Senate impeachment trial Cornyn disputes GAO report on withholding of Ukraine aid: It's 'certainly not a crime' MORE (R-Texas) will exclusively join NBC's "Meet the Press with Chuck Todd."

 

NOW FOR THE FUN STUFF...:

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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