The Hill's 12:30 Report

The Hill's 12:30 Report

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The Hill's 12:30 Report: Scalise returns to standing ovation in the House | Trump temporarily lifts Jones Act for Puerto Rico | How Trump tax plan is playing out | Price says he has Trump's 'confidence' | Sad NY Jets fans | National Drink Beer Day

BREAKING -- TRUMP SUSPENDS JONES ACT FOR PUERTO RICO AID: Via The Hill's Melanie Zanona, the Trump administration said Thursday it would waive the Jones Act to enable faster aid shipments to Puerto Rico in the wake of grave damage caused by Hurricane Maria. The White House had dragged its feet on issuing a waiver, despite giving Texas and Florida a two-week break after they were hit by their own Category 5 storms. The waiver will only be in effect for 10 days though.


GET SMART FAST: Can't remember what the Jones Act does? Tons of explainers out today from NBC News, CNN and the Los Angeles Times.

It's Thursday. I'm Reid Wilson, in today for Cate Martel, with a quick recap of the morning and what's coming up. Send comments, story ideas and events for our radar to, or hit me up on Twitter. None of this 280 character nonsense.

SCALISE BACK ON THE HILL: House Majority Whip Steve Scalise (R-La.) returned to Capitol Hill today for the first time since being shot at a baseball practice in June. Scalise received a standing ovation before his remarks on the House floor, where he hailed Capitol Police officer David Bailey, who saved his life. The Hill's Cristina Marcos:

Scalise tweeted his return: to the Capitol: "I'm back."

From CBS News's Norah O'Donnell: "Speaker Paul RyanPaul Davis RyanHow does the 25th Amendment work? Sinema, Fitzpatrick call for long-term extension of Violence Against Women Act GOP super PAC drops .5 million on Nevada ad campaign MORE brought to tears as he embraces Steve Scalise..."

Scalise also thanked Rep. Brad Wenstrup (R-Ohio) for saving his life by quickly applying a tourniquet after the shooting.

THE REVENGE OF GUCCI GULCH: Heck of a start to the tax reform fight. The House Freedom Caucus and business groups like the National Federation of Independent Business are behind the GOP push to raise the lowest tax rate to 12 percent from 10 percent and to cut the corporate tax rate from 35 percent to 20 percent. One stumbling block: Some Republicans are against a proposal to end deductions for state and local taxes. The Hill's Naomi Jagoda:


  • The New York Times's Thomas Kaplan: "A new tax cut is emerging to rival those of the Bush years, and the deficit hawks have hardly peeped."
  • The Times's Binyamin Appelbaum: "The tax plan ... is a potentially huge windfall for the wealthiest Americans. It would not directly benefit the bottom third of the population."
  • The Washington Post's Fact Checker: "President Trump's speech on the administration's still-somewhat-vague tax plan ... was filled with many of his favorite, inaccurate claims."
  • USA Today lead editorial: "Many Trump voters will get zero from Republican tax 'framework'"

OFFICIAL CLAIMS MENENDEZ STAFFER INTERVENED ON BEHALF OF BIG DONOR: The Associated Press's David Porter reports jurors in Sen. Bob MenendezRobert (Bob) MenendezDems urge tech companies to remove 3D-gun blueprints Dem senators introduce resolution calling on Trump to stop attacking the press Booming economy has Trump taking a well-deserved victory lap MORE's (D-N.J.) corruption trial heard testimony Wednesday that a Menendez staffer dropped the boss's name in an effort to settle a dispute between Florida eye doctor Salomon Melgen and the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services. Former Sen. Tom HarkinThomas (Tom) Richard HarkinOn Nicaragua, the silence of the left is deafening Dem Senator open to bid from the left in 2020 Senate GOP rejects Trump’s call to go big on gun legislation MORE (D-Iowa) told jurors he met with Melgen at Menendez's request over the dispute, but he said nothing came of the meeting.

RUSSIAN TROLLS PROMOTING NFL PROTESTS: Sen. James LankfordJames Paul LankfordConservatives left frustrated as Congress passes big spending bills Outdated global postal system hurts US manufacturers Tech mobilizes to boost election security MORE (R-Okla.) says Russian trolls are promoting both sides of the dispute over NFL players taking a knee during the national anthem to sow divisiveness. "We've continued to be able to see that. We will see that again in our election time," Lankford said during a Senate Homeland Security Committee hearing.

HOUSE GOP TO SET ASIDE $10 BILLION FOR BORDER WALL: The Hill's Mike Lillis says the House Homeland Security Committee will mark up legislation allocating $10 billion for a border wall next week. The bill would also allow for 10,000 new border patrol agents and officers.

And/But: The Department of Homeland Security has had trouble finding applicants for 5,000 border patrol jobs already open. Los Angeles Times:

BREITBART'S MOMENT: The Hill's Jonathan Easley reports that Breitbart chief Stephen Bannon will aim to take out Republican incumbents or influence primaries in Arizona, Tennessee, Mississippi, Utah, West Virginia, Nebraska, Montana and Wisconsin next year. Bannon has his eye on Sen. Deb FischerDebra (Deb) Strobel FischerEPA signs off on rule exempting farmers from reporting emissions GOP senators introduce resolution endorsing ICE The real reason Scott Pruitt is gone: Putting a key voting bloc at risk MORE (R-Neb.), not exactly a centrist swamp creature. The expanded target list comes after Roy Moore, who had Bannon's backing, took down incumbent Sen. Luther StrangeLuther Johnson StrangeAnn Coulter believes Kushner wrote anonymous op-ed bashing Trump Mulvaney: Trump regularly asks why Roy Moore lost The Hill's Morning Report — General election season underway with marquee Senate races set MORE in Tuesday night's Alabama GOP runoff.



Ex-White House comms director Nicolle Wallace
I used to read a handful of my haters and console myself by thinking "can't please everyone" - now I think "what time is it in Russia?"

The New York Times's Jonathan Martin
A Big Luther official tells me their polling had him close the gap some, but Trump off-msg rally comments only gave permission for folks to bail.

The Weekly Standard's Jeryl Bier
I won't mention any names, but spelling "whoa" as "whoah" calls into question one's fitness to tweet, or possibly even be an American.

Hot Air's Ed Morissey



This morning: Health and Human Services Secretary Tom PriceThomas (Tom) Edmunds PriceWhite House officials discussing potential replacements for FEMA chief: report Overnight Health Care: CBO finds bill delaying parts of ObamaCare costs B | Drug CEO defends 400 percent price hike | HHS declares health emergency ahead of hurricane HHS should look into Azar's close ties to the drug industry MORE spoke about influenza prevention at the National Press Club and was photographed getting his flu shot. Oh, about that controversy: Price also told reporters he believes he still has the president's "confidence" amid criticism of his use of private jets to travel.

Today: President Trump will meet with Sens. Bill CassidyWilliam (Bill) Morgan CassidyOvernight Health Care: Opioids package nears finish line | Measure to help drug companies draws ire | Maryland ObamaCare rates to drop Overnight Health Care: HHS diverts funds to pay for detaining migrant children | Health officials defend transfers | Lawmakers consider easing drug company costs in opioids deal Overnight Health Care: Senators target surprise medical bills | Group looks to allow Medicaid funds for substance abuse programs | FDA launches anti-vaping campaign for teens MORE (R-La.) and Lindsey GrahamLindsey Olin GrahamKim, Moon toss ball to Trump in ‘last, best chance’ for Korean peace GOP senator: Kavanaugh accuser 'moving the goalposts' Collins: Kavanaugh accuser should 'reconsider,' testify on Monday MORE (R-S.C.) at the White House. The two Republicans authored the last ObamaCare repeal bill. Senate GOP leaders didn't bring it up for a vote because it lacked enough support, but the pair say they aren't giving up on repeal.

12:15 p.m. EDT: Former White House press secretary Sean Spicer speaks at the Shale Insight Coalition Conference. Details:

7 p.m. EDT: Eric Draper and Callie Shell, two former presidential photographers, talk about their experiences and access in the White House during a Newseum event. Details:

7:00 p.m. EDT: Vice President Mike PenceMichael (Mike) Richard PenceIndiana sisters with history of opposing Pence donate millions to Dems Hillicon Valley: Trump signs off on sanctions for election meddlers | Russian hacker pleads guilty over botnet | Reddit bans QAnon forum | FCC delays review of T-Mobile, Sprint merger | EU approves controversial copyright law Overnight Defense: Trump marks 9/11 anniversary | Mattis says Assad 'has been warned' on chemical weapons | US identifies first remains of returned Korean war troops MORE takes part in a Republican National Committee reception in Milwaukee. He will fly back to Washington, D.C. tonight.

12:30 p.m. EDT Friday: Food and Drug Administration Commissioner Dr. Scott Gottlieb speaks at the National Press Club. Details:



2 p.m. EDT: The American Enterprise Institute is holding a discussion on the Senate filibuster. Livestream:

2 p.m. EDT: White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders gives the daily press briefing. Livestream:



Today is National "Drink Beer" Day. It's also National Strawberry Cream Pie Day. The former, we got covered. Don't know about the latter.

GOOD JOB, ARIZONA: Arizona now has a higher percentage of women in its state legislature, 40 percent, than any other state, after a new appointee took office last month. Nevada is second, at 39.7 percent. Wyoming's legislature is just 11 percent female, the lowest in the nation. My story today:

'MEET THE PRESS' WINS RATINGS RACE: Congrats to our buddy Chuck Todd, whose show averaged 3.6 million viewers during the 2016–2017 season, tops on the Sunday show circuit. 'Meet the Press' celebrates its 70th anniversary -- making it the longest-running show on television -- in November.

TRUMP THE ARTIST: A sketch of the Empire State Building drawn by President Trump back in 1995 will be offered at auction in Los Angeles next month. Julien's Auctions expects to nab $8,000 to $12,000 for the 12-by-9 inch sketch, with part of the proceeds going to those noted Trump fans at NPR.

And because you read this far, here's three minutes of Jets fans trying to name five of the team's current players. Cc: The Hill's biggest Jets fan.


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