12:30 Report

The Hill’s 12:30 Report: Jan. 6 committee regroups after key witness pulls out

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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.


This is another day to be glued to your TVs

The House committee investigating the Jan. 6, 2021 attack on the U.S. Capitol is holding its second hearing today. 

But unlike the first: Today’s hearing is a more standard, day-time hearing — instead of Thursday’s prime-time testimony. 

The theme of today’s hearing — the ‘Big Lie’: The committee will try to prove that former President Trump knew he had lost the 2020 presidential election, but still pushed the false narrative that it had been stolen.  

Who is testifying?: Former Fox News political editor Chris Stirewalt, who was part of the team to call Arizona for President Biden on election night in 2020.  

C-SPAN hearing livestream 

Live blog of hearing updates 


Former President Trump’s campaign manager Bill Stepien, a key witness in today’s testimony, canceled right before the start of the hearing, citing a “family emergency.”

Instead: Stepien’s lawyer will make a statement on his behalf. 

What is the family emergency?: Stepien’s wife is in labor.  


View from the hearing roomPhoto from Vice’s Elizabeth Landers 

Fox News IS airing today’s hearing: Unlike Thursday’s prime time hearing, Fox News is airing today’s hearing live — along with the other cable and TV networks (Via CNN’s Brian Stelter

Former Attorney General William Barr described election night: “Right out of the box on election night, the president claimed that there was major fraud underway. I mean, this happened, as far as I could tell, before there was actually any potential of looking at evidence.” (Via NBC’s Allan Smith)  

A Trump aide said Giuliani was drinking on election night: “[Former Trump campaign manager] Bill Stepien testified to the Jan. 6 committee that he believed [Trump’s lawyer] Rudy Giuliani had had too much to drink on election night. [Former Trump aide] Jason Miller also testified Giuliani was ‘intoxicated.’ Stepien said Giuliani was trying to talk to Trump but was initially directed his way instead.” (Via CNN’s Kaitlan Collins

Ah, Monday mornings: Journalist Matt Laslo tweeted, “Lots of milling about, yawning, and cursing life decisions going on in the press corps outside the Jan. 6 hearing.” Photos

Op-ed: “The Jan. 6 hearings are exposing just how divided America has become.”

IT’S A BEAUTIFUL MONDAY IN DC. 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.

🐻 Inflation 

We’re not talking about a cute and fuzzy teddy-type bear:

U.S. stocks fell this morning, reaching “bear market” territory. 

What makes a bear market?: A fall of 20 percent or more. This morning, the market dipped to a 20 percent decline since January.   

Plus: “Markets around the world tumbled, as higher-than-expected inflation and lower-than-expected economic growth upend the outlook for interest rates and corporate profits. Stocks in Asia and Europe fell, investors dumped government bonds, oil prices slipped and cryptocurrencies crashed.” Context, numbers and explanation, via The New York Times’sAlexandra Stevenson andJason Karaian 

Keep in mind about bear markets: “Bear markets, or when stocks drop at least 20 percent from their most recent peaks, are relatively rare and signal that investors are viewing the economy with serious pessimism.” More on what this meansvia The New York Times’s Melina Delkic

How the economy got to be this way

Via The Hill’s Sylvan Lane, “President Biden’s bet on a rapid rebound from the coronavirus recession may have backfired.”  

How we got here — in 2021: “The president and his top economic officials rallied Democrats around a $1.9 trillion stimulus bill in March 2021, urging Congress not to repeat the mistakes of the Great Recession and cut off support for the economy too soon.” 

Where we stand now — the good: “U.S. unemployment rate is nearly at pre-pandemic levels, the economy has added more than 10 million jobs, and gross domestic product is well above where it was when COVID-19 shattered the economy.” And the bad: “Consumer prices rose 1 percent in May alone and by 8.6 percent over the past 12 months.”  

What happened?? Here’s an explainer: “Top Biden administration and Fed officials — along with dozens of economists — expected inflation to cool off last year as the world adjusted to life after COVID-19 … But COVID-19 adjusted quicker. The emergence of the delta and omicron variants didn’t curb consumer spending or cost the economy jobs. Instead, it shifted a glut of saved-up money toward goods, which had been in high demand since the start of the pandemic, instead of services … The new variants also led to factory shutdowns, port backlogs and other pandemic-related snarls, making it even harder for manufacturers and suppliers to meet even higher demand powered in part by federal stimulus.” More on the risky gamble Biden took and backfired

📝In Congress 

Hey, a bipartisan gun deal could actually pass the Senate: 

A group of 10 Democratic senators and 10 Republican senators agreed to a gun deal over the weekend (!) 

Why the number of Republicans is significant: To overcome a filibuster, 60 votes are needed. If all 50 Democrats vote “yes” on this gun proposal, at least 10 Republicans are needed. 

The gist of the deal: “The nine-point bipartisan plan would send federal resources to set up red flag laws to keep guns out of the hands of people deemed dangerous to the community, invest billions of dollars in children and family mental health services, fund school-based mental health services, fund new safety measures at schools and strengthen criminal background check requirements for gun buyers younger than 21.” What we know about the agreement 

Where’s the text?: That is still being worked out. Senators agreed to measures and are now drafting text.  

‘Here are the 10 Senate Republicans who are backing the bipartisan bill.’ 

Via CNN’s Lauren Fox and Devan Cole 

Here is some analysis to the meat of the deal, via The New York Times’s Carl Hulse 


Via The Hill’s Mychael Schnell

🦠 Latest with COVID 

Interesting read — ‘Covid is making flu and other common viruses act in unfamiliar ways’:

Via The Washington Post’s Frances Stead Seller, “More than two years into the coronavirus pandemic, familiar viruses are acting in unfamiliar ways. Respiratory syncytial virus, known as RSV, typically limits its suffocating assaults to the winter months.”  

How doctors are rethinking things: “The upheaval is being felt in hospitals and labs. Doctors are rethinking routines, including keeping preventive shots on hand into the spring and even summer.”  

An interesting side effect: “Researchers have a rare opportunity to figure out whether behavioral changes like stay-at-home orders, masking and social distancing are responsible for the viral shifts, and what evolutionary advantage SARS CoV-2 may be exercising over its microscopic rivals.” The full story 


Cases to date: 85.3 million 

Death toll: 1,006,451 

Current hospitalizations: 20,589 

Shots administered: 590 million 

Fully vaccinated: 66.8 percent of Americans 

CDC data here. 

🐥Notable tweets 

Lol, I’m sure many of us have had this thought

@Ygrene tweeted a photo of his view from the highway. “I’m gonna do it,” he tweeted of the temptation in front of him. More than 96,000 Twitter users clearly agree. 

On tap 

The House and Senate are in. President Biden and Vice President Harris are in Washington, D.C.

  • 11:10 a.m.: Biden left Delaware and returned to the White House. 
  • 12:30 p.m.: Biden receives the President’s Daily Brief. 
  • 3 p.m.: The Senate meets.Today’s Senate schedule 
  • 6:30 p.m.: First and last votes in the House. Today’s House schedule 

All times Eastern.

📺What to watch 

  • 2 p.m.: Biden signs the “Commission To Study the Potential Creation of a National Museum of Asian Pacific American History and Culture Act” into law. Harris also attends. Livestream 
  • 3 p.m.: White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre holds a press briefing. Livestream 

🧁 In lighter news 

Today is National Cupcake Lover’s Day.

And to leave you on a happy note, I want to you meet Rico. He’s currently eating an ear of corn.

Tags 12:30 Report Bill Stepien Capitol riot Chris Stirewalt economy Gun control Jan. 6 hearings Rudy Giuliani Trump William Barr
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