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 RyanFormer Speaker Boehner's official portrait unveiled Krystal Ball issues warning to Biden supporters Saagar Enjeti: Crenshaw's conservatism will doom future of GOP 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) MenendezSenate passes legislation supporting Hong Kong protesters Graham blocks resolution recognizing Armenian genocide after Erdoğan meeting Trump encounters GOP resistance to investigating Hunter Biden 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 HarkinDemocrats must question possible political surveillance Wisconsin lawmaker gets buzz-cut after vowing not to cut hair until sign language bill passed Democratic debates kick off Iowa summer sprint 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 LankfordSenate GOP waves Trump off early motion to dismiss impeachment charges On The Money: Lawmakers dismiss fears of another shutdown | Income for poorest Americans fell faster than thought | Net employment holds steady in September | Groups press Senate on retirement bill Lawmakers dismiss fresh fears of another government shutdown 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 FischerEleven GOP senators sign open letter backing Sessions's comeback bid Female lawmakers make bipartisan push for more women in politics at All In Together gala Former Nebraska Sen. Bob Kerrey endorses Biden 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 StrangeState 'certificate of need' laws need to go GOP frets over nightmare scenario for Senate primaries Roy Moore trails Republican field in Alabama 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 PriceOvernight Health Care — Presented by Partnership for America's Health Care Future — Warren faces tough choices on 'Medicare for All' funding | Dems demand answers on Tom Price's charter flights | Medicaid expansion nears 2020 ballot in Oklahoma Senate Democrats demand answers on payment for Tom Price's charter flights Industrial food system is at the heart of biodiversity degradation and climate change 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 CassidySchumer: Leadership trying to work out competing surprise medical bill measures UN Security Council to meet after Turkey launches Syria offensive Trump faces growing GOP revolt on Syria MORE (R-La.) and Lindsey GrahamLindsey Olin GrahamMcConnell hopes Senate impeachment trial 'not too lengthy a process' Hillicon Valley: Progressives oppose funding bill over surveillance authority | Senators call for 5G security coordinator | Facebook gets questions over location tracking | Louisiana hit by ransomware attack Prisons chief: FBI investigating whether 'criminal enterprise' played role in Epstein death 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 PenceTrump cannot gaslight his way out of impeachment The Hill's 12:30 Report — Presented by Johnson & Johnson — Vindman defends witnesses from 'cowardly' attacks at third day of hearings READ: Jennifer Williams's opening statement in impeachment hearing 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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