The Hill’s 12:30 Report — Biden agenda moves closer to finish line
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.
NEWS THIS MORNING
It’s show time:
The House has briefly returned from August recess on Friday to pass the Democrats’ massive climate, tax and health care package that has been in the works for almost the entirety of President Biden’s administration.
Are we expecting any drama?: Not really. House Democrats are pretty much all on board for passing this bill. It’s possible it will pass without a single Democratic “no” vote.
^ Why that’s notable: House Democrats passed a considerably larger bill last year. Some progressives have grumbled about the smaller bill, but don’t seem willing to tank it so far.
Democrats don’t have many votes to spare: Every Republican is expected to vote “no,” so with the small majority in the House, Democrats can’t afford many defections.
The gist of what’s in the bill: “The package features major changes across the spectrum of domestic policy, including efforts to slash drug costs for seniors, expand health care subsidies for the working classes, cut deficit spending via corporate tax hikes and incentivize both businesses and individuals to reduce their greenhouse gas emissions. All told, it represents the most comprehensive effort to combat climate change in the nation’s history.”
How we got here, via The Hill’s Mike Lillis
Watch the action: Here’s the C-SPAN livestream of the House on Friday
‘HOW THE DEMOCRATS’ INFLATION BILL COULD CUT CONSUMER ENERGY COSTS’:
Via The Hill’s Rachel Frazin
HAPPY FRIDAY! 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.
⚕️ News this morning
Oh, that’s what you want to hear:
The Associated Press reports that “the polio virus has been found in New York City’s wastewater in another sign that the disease, which hadn’t been seen in the U.S. in a decade, is quietly spreading among unvaccinated people, health officials said Friday.”
How to protect yourself — from New York City Health Commissioner Ashwin Vasan: “The risk to New Yorkers is real but the defense is so simple — get vaccinated against polio. … Polio is entirely preventable and its reappearance should be a call to action for all of us.”
🌴 In Mar-a-Lago
It’s not like he has classified nuclear weapon info or anything.
*pauses for a whispered update in my ear* — or did he?:
The Washington Post’s Devlin Barrett, Josh Dawsey, Perry Stein and Shane Harris report that “classified documents relating to nuclear weapons were among the items FBI agents sought in a search of former president Donald Trump’s Florida residence on Monday, according to people familiar with the investigation.”
Did they find such documents?: We don’t know.
TRUMP CALLED THIS REPORT A ‘HOAX’:
Former President Trump posted on his social media platform Truth Social: “Nuclear weapons issue is a Hoax, just like Russia, Russia, Russia was a Hoax, two Impeachments were a Hoax, the Mueller investigation was a Hoax, and much more. Same sleazy people involved. Why wouldn’t the FBI allow the inspection of areas at Mar-a-Lago with our lawyer’s, or others, present. Made them wait outside in the heat, wouldn’t let them get even close — said ‘ABSOLUTELY NOT.’ Planting information anyone? Reminds me of a Christofer [sic] Steele Dossier!”
LIGHTER TIDBIT — THIS MADE ME CHUCKLE:
The Onion, in all of its glory, writes: “Mar-A-Lago Assistant Manager Wondering If Anyone Coming To Collect Nuclear Briefcase From Lost And Found.” The Onion even included a photo 😉
FIVE QUESTIONS AND ANSWERS ON THE FBI PROBE:
1. “What was sought and what was found? We don’t know but we soon might.”
2. “Can Biden maintain his silence? So far, yes.”
3. “Does the whole episode complicate life for Trump’s GOP rivals? Yes, unquestionably.”
4. “What does it all mean for Democrats? It’s too early to tell.”
5. “Will the story fade? Not anytime soon.”
Explanations for each, from The Hill’s Niall Stanage
FWIW, Trump says he wants the warrant publicly released:
Late Thursday, former President Trump called for the release of the FBI warrant that allowed for the search of his Mar-a-Lago residence.
Excerpt from Trump’s statement: “Not only will I not oppose the release of documents related to the unAmerican, unwarranted, and unnecessary raid and break-in of my home in Palm Beach, Florida, Mar-a-Lago, I am going a step further by ENCOURAGING the immediate release of those documents, even though they have been drawn up by radical left Democrats and possible future political opponents.” Part 1 of Trump’s statement and part two
👔 In the White House
Biden is feeling awkward in his job:
“President Biden, wary of appearing to influence the ongoing Justice Department investigation into the former president, doesn’t want to talk about the FBI search earlier this week at Mar-a-Lago. Democrats say that’s the right approach, but it means Republicans hurling accusations and condemnations at the Justice Department and FBI will largely go unanswered by the White House.”
This is a good point: “Biden is likely to shy away from openly criticizing his predecessor for the time being, despite most signs pointing to a Trump-Biden rematch in 2024.”
How the White House is handling the uncomfy situation, via The Hill’s Morgan Chalfant and Amie Parnes
What is Biden up to on Friday?:
The Biden family is staying on Kiawah Island in South Carolina for a summer getaway.
What we know about the trip, via The Associated Press’s Seung Min Kim and Zeke Miller
The New York Post reported where Biden is staying: At the house of Democratic donor Maria Allwin
🦠 Latest with COVID
‘I’m not like a regular CDC. I’m a ~cool~ CDC.’
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) eased its COVID-19 guidelines on Thursday, relaxing quarantine requirements for unvaccinated people who have been exposed to the virus.
The new mindset: A shift to living with the virus instead of preventing infection
The gist of the new guidelines:
- Not quarantining after a COVID-19 exposure regardless of vaccination status
- No contact tracing except in health care and some high-risk settings
- No more physical distancing
- Consider your own risk in settings
- “CDC will also no longer recommend screening testing of asymptomatic people without known exposures, except in certain high-risk settings like nursing homes and prisons.”
Read the new guidelines from the CDC
➤ THE COVID-19 NUMBERS
Cases to date: 92.4 million
Death toll: 1,030,777
Current hospitalizations: 36,305
Shots administered: 606 million
Fully vaccinated: 67.3 percent of Americans
Throwback — Trump wasn’t the first presidential candidate to use the expression ‘make America great again’:
C-SPAN’s Howard Mortman tweeted a clip of then-candidate Bill Clinton announcing his presidential campaign in 1991. “I believe that together we can make America great again,” he said. Watch the 1991 clip
It’s a shame that 47 percent of you are just wrong:
University of Maryland data journalism professor Derek Willis tweeted a screenshot of a YouGov poll, which asks, “How many holes are there in a straw?”
46 percent of respondents said one and 47 percent said two.
“We are a polarized nation,” Willis added.
The House is in (!) and the Senate is out. President Biden is in South Carolina with no public events scheduled. Vice President Harris is in Oakland, Calif., and Los Angeles on Friday.
- 10 a.m.: First votes in the House. Today’s House agenda
- 2:05 p.m.: Harris delivers remarks on higher education.
- 2:30 p.m.: Last House votes.
- 3:10 p.m.: Harris meets with commercial space companies during a tour at the Chabot Space & Science Center in Oakland, Calif.
- 5:40 p.m.: Harris leaves Oakland and flies to Los Angeles.
All times Eastern.
📺What to watch
4:35 p.m.: Harris delivers remarks in Oakland, Calif., on the commercial space sector. Livestream
🍟 In lighter news
Today is National Julienne Fries Day.
And to leave you on a mystical note, watch this baby cow disappear.