The Hill’s 12:30 Report — Dems hold gun rally outside the Capitol
To view past editions of The Hill’s 12:30 Report, click here: https://bit.ly/30ARS1U
To receive The Hill’s 12:30 Report in your inbox, please sign up here: https://bit.ly/3qmIoS9
–> 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.
TALK OF THE MORNING
The gunman was in the school for roughly 40 minutes before police entered:
Via The Associated Press’s Jake Bleiberg, Jim Vertuno and Elliot Spagat, “Frustrated onlookers urged police officers to charge into the Texas elementary school where a gunman’s rampage killed 19 children and two teachers, witnesses said Wednesday, as investigators worked to track the massacre that lasted upwards of 40 minutes and ended when the 18-year-old shooter was killed by a Border Patrol team.”
From one parent whose daughter was killed: “[He] said he raced to the school when he heard about the shooting, arriving while police were still gathered outside the building. Upset that police were not moving in, he raised the idea of charging into the school with several other bystanders. ‘Let’s just rush in because the cops aren’t doing anything like they are supposed to,’ he said. ‘More could have been done.’ ” What we know
Beto O’Rourke interrupted a press conference:
Texas Democratic gubernatorial candidate Beto O’Rourke stood up during Texas Gov. Greg Abbott’s (R) press conference to confront him.
O’Rourke yelled: “You are doing nothing. You said this was not predictable, this was totally predictable, and you choose not to do anything.”
The mayor of Uvalde yelled back at O’Rourke: “Sir, you are out of line. Sir, you are out of line. Please leave this auditorium. I can’t believe you’re a sick son of a bitch who would come to a deal like this to make a political issue.”
A British journalist, Sky News’ Mark Stone, confronted Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) and asked the senator why these incidents “only happen in your country?”
Cruz’s response: “I’m sorry you think American exceptionalism is so awful. You know what, you’ve got your political agenda, God love you.” Watch the full back and forth
IT’S THURSDAY. I’m Cate Martel with a quick recap of the morning and what’s coming up. Did someone forward this newsletter to you? Sign up here.
➤IN THE AFTERMATH OF THE UVALDE SHOOTING:
From a teacher who brought her children to safety: NBC’s Mike Hixenbaugh interviewed a teacher from Robb Elementary School, who described how she and her community are doing. Her students were watching a Disney movie as part of their year-end celebration when the shooting began. The interview — teachers are heroes
This is completely gut-wrenching: In an interview with CNN’s Anderson Cooper, “Amerie Jo Garza‘s father, a med aide, says he found out she was one of the victims when he arrived on the scene and was helping another little girl covered in blood. She told him her best friend had been shot. When he asked her name, she said his daughter’s. There aren’t words.” Her father tells Cooper about his daughter
Photo of each of the victims: And a little bit about each of them
Police officers have been helping to build a memorial: “The school is a crime scene — but officers have been walking flowers from the public across police lines to place at the memorial.” Video from CBS Mornings
Here’s the front page of the Uvalde Leader-News today: Via WFAA’s Adriana De Alba
Tidbit from a reporter — the gun store wouldn’t let him in: Financial Times’ Dave Lee tweeted, “Tried to visit the gun store that sold weapons to the Uvalde gunman. Was stopped in parking lot by management. It’s open but I’m not allowed in. Asked why… ‘You have a notepad… and an accent.’ ”
🎤News this morning
There’s a big group of activists outside the Capitol:
Sens. Chris Murphy (D-Conn.), Ed Markey (D-Mass.), Alex Padilla (D-Calif.), Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.), Sheldon Whitehouse (D-R.I.), Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.), Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.) and others held a news conference this morning to rally for gun safety legislation. Watch the press conference
Sen. Murphy’s message: “The great social changes movements in this country… they don’t succeed in a year or two years. Sometimes they take time… they are so confident in the righteousness of their cause… that they never ever give up.” Via Vice’s Elizabeth Landers
Photo of the presser: Via Latino Rebels’ Pablo Manríquez
Photo from another angle: This is a pretty big turnout. Via NBC’s Scott Wong
Why Democrats can’t pass any gun-related laws:
Senate Democrats are trying to move legislation that already passed in the House but face significant hurdles in the upper chamber.
What, specifically?: “The two leading proposals now under discussion are expanded background checks and so-called red-flag procedures to take guns away from people deemed dangerous to themselves or others.”
Could it pass?: That’s not likely. Republicans have enough votes to block it.
How it went down Wednesday: First, Senate Majority Leader Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.) said Republicans could block any legislation, so they would hit a dead end.
^ But later Wednesday: “Schumer said he would allow votes on gun-control related amendments to a domestic terrorism bill that’s coming to the floor Thursday.”
From Schumer: “If Republicans can vote with us to get on that bill, we can have a debate on considering common-sense, strong gun safety amendments, hopefully with bipartisan support. Let me be clear: We are going to vote on gun legislation, and the Republicans could let us start doing that as soon as tomorrow, if they simply voted yes on the motion to proceed.”
Here’s an explainer of what to expect, via The Hill’s Alexander Bolton
➤INTERESTING TIDBIT OF HOW THE SENATE HAS CHANGED:
Bloomberg’s Steven Dennis tweeted: “Legislating on Senate floor used to mean lots of votes on amendments, some of your stuff passes and some stuff you don’t like passes, and then the bill gets big bipartisan majorities. Cloture used to be *rare.* Now it’s an every week thing.”
Dennis also pointed out: “There were a bunch of Republicans back then who voted aye on the assault weapons ban. From states like Kansas and Indiana. (Mitt Romney later enacted one in Massachusetts.) Now it’s a no-go zone for every Republican senator.” Read the full series of tweets
🗓 Latest with the Jan. 6 investigation
Give me all your materials:
Rep. Jim Jordan (R-Ohio), who was subpoenaed by the House committee investigating the Jan. 6, 2021, attacks, has requested to see the materials he will be asked about before deciding whether to comply.
Jordan sent a letter to the committee: “In a six-page letter, Jordan berates the committee on a number of points before asking that it ‘provide all documents, videos, or other material in the possession of the Select Committee that you potentially anticipate using, introducing, or relying on during questioning.’”
Keep in mind: “The subpoena notes that Jordan was in contact with former President Trump on Jan. 6 and participated in several calls discussing strategy for the day.” The full story
🦠 Latest with COVID
➤ BY THE NUMBERS
Cases to date: 83.4 million
Death toll: 1,000,254
Current hospitalizations: 20,254
Shots administered: 585 million
Fully vaccinated: 66.6 percent of Americans
A little bit of good news for the weekend:
@AP_Planner tweeted, “Tomorrow: ‘Stranger Things’ season four, volume one becomes available on Netflix (27 May).”
The Senate is in. The House is out. President Biden and Vice President Harris are in Washington, D.C.
- 11:30 a.m.: Two Senate votes. Today’s Senate agenda
- 1:45 p.m.: Biden and Harris receive the President’s Daily Brief.
- 1:45 p.m.: A Senate confirmation vote for Marcia Stephens Bloom Bernicat, to be director general of the foreign service.
All times Eastern.
📺What to watch
- 10:30 a.m.: Sens. Chris Murphy (D-Conn.), Ed Markey (D-Mass.), Alex Padilla (D-Calif.), Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.), Sheldon Whitehouse (D-R.I.) and others held a news conference on gun safety. Livestream
- 10:30 a.m.: Food and Drug Administration (FDA) Commissioner Robert Califf testified on the formula shortage. Livestream
- 3 p.m.: White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre holds a press briefing. Livestream
In lighter news
Today is National Blueberry Cheesecake Day.
And to leave you with something to smile about, here’s a productive shopping trip. Make sure your sound is on.