The Hill's 12:30 Report

The Hill's 12:30 Report
© Getty Images

The Hill's 12:30 Report: Trump to declare opioid crisis a health emergency | House passes Senate budget; next up: tax reform | Brady plans Nov. 6 tax bill mark up | GOP worries Trump feuds could hurt tax push | Grassley steps up Russia probe | National Pumpkin Day!


New info about Trump's opioid announcement: President Trump will declare the opioid epidemic a national public health emergency, stopping short of calling it a national emergency, which the administration's opioid commission had recommended. The difference: This is not what Trump had said to expect in the last few months. A public health emergency declaration would allow Eric Hargan, the acting director of the Department of Health and Human Services, to loosen certain regulations and issue some grants. A national emergency would give additional federal funding. This is typically reserved for a terror attack or natural disaster, and officials said it wouldn't allow for the kind of regulatory flexibility.


OVERDOSE NUMBERS FOR CONTEXT: The number of Americans dying from drug overdoses jumped by more than 200 percent in the last 16 years (!), a spike that crosses economic, geographic and racial lines. The numbers: More than 52,000 Americans died of a drug overdose in 2015, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. That's 211 percent higher than the 16,849 people who died of overdoses in 1999, and double the 25,785 who died that way in 2003.

OP-ED: In an op-ed for The Hill, Michael Fraser and Andy Baker-White of the Association of State and Territorial Health Officials argue five reasons why President Trump should declare the opioid crisis a national emergency.

It's Thursday and Christmas is officially less than two months away! 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 and on Facebook.

Breaking -- if this was Candyland, tax reform just passed 'Peppermint Forest' and made it to 'Gumdrop Mountains' Republicans just narrowly adopted the Senate's version of the 2018 budget resolution, overcoming a key hurdle for the party's tax reform plan. The vote: 20 Republicans voted against the budget in the 216-212 vote, more than the 18 who voted against the original House version earlier this month. The budget: That plan included billions more in defense spending, cuts to nondefense spending, and $203 billion in mandatory spending cuts over a decade. More importantly: Republicans have viewed this budget as little more than a vehicle for tax reform.


THE PRESIDENT IS HAPPY: Trump then tweeted, "Big news - Budget just passed!"

LATEST ANNOUNCEMENT -- WE HAVE A DATE. IT'S REALLY HAPPENING: The House Ways and Means Committee will begin debating the Republican tax bill on November 6 (!), Chairman Kevin BradyKevin Patrick BradyHouse GOP bill a mixed bag for retirement savers China imposes new tariffs on billion of US goods: report Trump announces tariffs on 0B in Chinese goods MORE just announced. Keep in mind: That's a week after the GOP tax plan is set to be released.

'But the GOP loves tax reform!' -- Now just picture this woman saying that quote --> The Hill's Jordain Carney, Republicans are warning that the growing feuds between President Trump and key GOP senators will threaten the party's efforts to pass tax reform and move its agenda. While many GOP senators have offered supportive public words for retiring Sens. Bob CorkerRobert (Bob) Phillips Corker GOP senator: Kavanaugh accuser 'moving the goalposts' Grassley willing to send staff to California to speak with Kavanaugh accuser Corker blasts Trump's 'ready, fire, aim' trade policy MORE (R-Tenn.) and Jeff FlakeJeffrey (Jeff) Lane FlakeThe Memo: Tide turns on Kavanaugh Key GOP senators appear cool to Kavanaugh accuser's demand Gillibrand: Kavanaugh accuser shouldn't participate in 'sham' hearing MORE (R-Ariz.) amid feuds with Trump, they are also feeling fatigued by all the infighting and say it is time to move on. How this could stall the GOP's agenda:

JUST NOW — HOOOO BOY: "Asked if he's concerned Trump won't like some of decisions unveiled re: tax plan, Ryan jokes: 'Well, he's gonna be in Asia, number one.'" (From CNN's Phil Mattingly) And then: "'I'm just kidding, that was kind of a joke,' Ryan said, while giggling. 'I was just sort of joking on that one.'" (From The Hill's Jordan Fabian) 

Started from the bottom, now we're here. Started from the bottom, now the whole team here BuzzFeed's Jason Leopold, Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Chuck GrassleyCharles (Chuck) Ernest GrassleyDem: 'Bulls---' to say GOP doing everything to contact Kavanaugh accuser Grassley wants unredacted version of letter from Kavanaugh's accuser Attorney for Kavanaugh accuser criticizes Senate panel's ‘rush to a hearing’ MORE (R-Iowa) is intensifying the probe into Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election. How: Grassley reportedly wants financial and banking information on a long list of businesses and individuals.

New development -- Mark Halperin is out at NBC: Via CNN's Oliver Darcy, veteran journalist Mark Halperin has left MSNBC over sexual harassment claims from five women while he was at ABC News. Halperin's reaction: "During this period, I did pursue relationships with women that I worked with, including some junior to me," Halperin said in a statement to CNN. "I now understand from these accounts that my behavior was inappropriate and caused others pain. For that, I am deeply sorry and I apologize. Under the circumstances, I'm going to take a step back from my day-to-day work while I properly deal with this situation."

SOMETHING YOU SHOULD KNOW -- THIS WHOLE STORY IS SO UPSETTING: Via Politico's Michael Calderone and Jason Schwartz, "A right-wing blogger and filmmaker who promised to publish the names of male journalists who were cited by female colleagues as sexual harassers on the list of 'Shitty Media Men' told Politico on Wednesday that he was holding back, calling the men on the list and consulting with his lawyer." Back story to the "Shitty Media Men" list:



There's always something to celebrate!: By the way, the House carry out is one of the lunch spots in the Capitol.



The House and Senate are in. President Trump is in Washington, D.C., and Vice President Pence travels to Aurora, Colo.

3 p.m. EDT: President Trump meets with Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Scott PruittEdward (Scott) Scott PruittGovernment watchdog probing EPA’s handling of Hurricane Harvey response Wheeler won’t stop America’s addiction to fossil fuels Overnight Energy: Trump rolls back methane pollution rule | EPA watchdog to step down | China puts tariffs on US gas MORE.

4:35 p.m. EDT: Vice President Pence tours the Lockheed Martin Waterton Canyon Facility.

8:20 p.m. EDT: Vice President Pence speaks at a Colorado Republican Party event at the Denver Marriott Tech Center.



2 p.m. EDT: President Trump speaks about the opioid crisis in the East Room of the White House. Livestream:

2:30 p.m. EDT: State Department spokeswoman Heather Nauert holds a press briefing. Livestream:

3 p.m. EDT: Pentagon spokesman Dana White and Joint Staff Director Kenneth McKenzie hold a press briefing. Livestream:



Today is Pumpkin Day!

Interesting read -- they're not cute. They're sophisticated: Via The Atlantic's Isabel Fattal, science now suggests that when children scribble unrealistic drawings, those images can actually show "deep creative intention." The hidden meaning behind kids' shapes and scribbles:

Getting traction on social media -- oh wow: Someone photoshopped famous paintings behind President Trump to mock him. It has over 57,000 retweets and 111,000 likes on Twitter. The photos:

And because you read this far, here's a puppy eating a whole banana with his hands. How civilized!


To view past editions of The Hill's 12:30 Report, click here:

To receive The Hill's 12:30 Report in your inbox, please sign up here: