12:30 Report

The Hill’s 12:30 Report — Biden to ease Russia’s global food disruptions

President Biden addresses the U.N. General Assembly
Evan Vucci/The Associated Press
President Biden delivers remarks to the 76th session of the United Nations General Assembly in New York.

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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.

NEWS THIS MORNING 

Here’s $2.9 billion. Take it!

President Biden pledged on Wednesday morning to commit $2.9 billion to addressing global food insecurity. 

The context in which Biden made this announcement: During his speech to the United Nations General Assembly

Keep in mind: Food insecurity is exacerbated by Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, the pandemic and supply chain issues.  

How Russia worsened the issue: “Russia’s invasion of Ukraine earlier this year further threatened access to food, as Ukraine is one of the top exporters of wheat in the world. Russia blockaded the export of food for weeks at one point, threatening the supply chain and increasing the cost of food in other countries.”  

Breakdown of the $2.9 billion, via The Hill’s Brett Samuels 

Watch Biden’s address to the U.N. General Assembly this morning 

MEANWHILE IN THE RUSSIA-UKRAINE CONFLICT
‘Ukraine’s advances are exposing deep vulnerabilities in Russia’s military. Is it just the beginning?’  

The New York Times’s Marco Hernandez andDenise Lu explain where the conflict currently stands

‘PUTIN ANNOUNCES PARTIAL CALL-UP OF RUSSIAN MILITARY’:
“[Russian President Vladimir Putin] made the announcement during an address to his nation, marking the first time Russia has called up another round of troops since World War II. Kremlin officials said that up to 300,000 individuals could be called up to join the military.” What we know 

ALSO HAPPENING TODAY:
Following a meeting of the Federal Reserve, chairman Jerome Powell is holding a news conference where he could announce interest rate hikes. Livestream of Powell’s 2:30 p.m. news conference

It’s Wednesday and today is the last official day of summer! 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.

You guys! Today is the day. Here’s a throwback to the song.

📃 Breaking 

Another lawsuit on DJT’s hands: 

New York’s attorney general is suing President Trump and his three of his adult children — Ivanka, Eric and Donald Trump Jr. — for alleged fraud. 

What we know about the case: “Attorney General Letitia James’s (D) office has been leading a years-long investigation into whether the former president’s company misled investors and tax authorities by inflating property values to get investments and subsequently deflating them to get tax and loan benefits.”  

Keep in mind: Trump invoked his Fifth Amendment rights last month and declined to answer questions in the investigation.

The New York Times’s Jonah E. Bromwich, William K. Rashbaum and Ben Protess have a helpful explainer on the investigation and what happens now

🐘 On the GOP 

New tidbit — McConnell was apparently *much closer* to convicting Trump than we thought

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) reportedly came close to voting to convict former President Trump in the impeachment trial after the Jan. 6, 2021, attack on the U.S. Capitol.  

How we know: An excerpt from a new book by The Washington Post’s Karoun Demirjian and Politico’s Rachel Bade 

Short excerpt: “McConnell was still shaken by the siege of the Capitol. The night of the riot, when he returned to the building from Fort McNair, he had seen the splintered wood in the door to his Capitol suite left by marauders who had tried to break into his office and attack his staff. He had watched, stunned, as his aides moved furniture they had used to barricade the entrance out of the way to make room for his return. Overcome with emotion at the trauma they’d experienced, McConnell had made a vow to his aides.”  

Read the full excerpt — ‘Inside McConnell’s decision not to convict Trump’ 

When will the book publish?: “UNCHECKED: The Untold Story Behind Congress’s Botched Impeachments of Donald Trump” will be released on Oct. 18. More on the book

🍎 In the White House 

The 411 on the student debt forgiveness

The White House released a breakdown of borrowers who will be forgiven of up to $20,000 in student debt. 

For example: Roughly 90 percent of the forgiveness will go to Americans who make less than $75,000 per year 

If all eligible borrowers apply: The relief could help more than 40 million people. 

By state: California and Texas have the most eligible borrowers.  

A further breakdown of eligible borrowers 

Read the White House fact sheet 

If Biden wants to keep his job for another four years

Then Democrats *need* to have a strong performance in the November midterms, according to The Hill’s Amie Parnes.  

From a Democratic strategist: “If we don’t do well, I think the pressure will be on to turn the page. I think he’s aware of this … it’s a big test for him.”   

What Biden recently said about whether he plans to run again: “Look, my intention, as I said to begin with, is that I would run again,” Biden said on CBS’s “60 Minutes” that aired on Sunday. “But it’s just an intention. But is it a firm decision that I run again? That remains to be seen.”   

How this could play out if Democrats have either a strong or poor showing in the midterms

🍑 On the campaign trail 

~Party~ people all around me feeling hot, hot, hot:

The Georgia Senate race is getting even closer as former football star, Republican Herschel Walker, starts to close the gap with Sen. Raphael Warnock (D). 

What changed?: “After a series of early stumbles that prompted intense handwringing among top Senate Republicans, party officials say they’re beginning to see a more professional operation emerge from Walker’s campaign.” 

And Walker hired a veteran team of Republican operatives to run his campaign: Including strategist Chip Lake and Gail Gitcho. Gitcho was Sen. Mitt Romney’s (R-Utah) communications director during his 2012 presidential run.  

It’s a fascinating time for Republicans to close the gap in polling: Democrats have had a few strong months, so for a Republican Senate candidate to catch up now, it’s worth paying attention.   

Where this race stands, via The Hill’s Max Greenwood 

How is John Fetterman’s health?

Democratic Pennsylvania Senate candidate John Fetterman, who suffered a stroke in May, has been stepping up the number of public appearances after heavy scrutiny from Republicans over his health.  

How Fetterman is trying to prove otherwise: “Over the weekend, Fetterman drew a crowd of 1,000 at a Scranton rally and is slated to hold another rally in Philadelphia this weekend. The campaign said they saw a crowd of 3,000 attend a rally with Fetterman and Planned Parenthood earlier this month in Philadelphia, the same day as the home opener for the Philadelphia Eagles, no less.”  

How Republicans are spinning it: “’Yes, Fetterman has held some rallies, but he still doesn’t take any questions,’ said one Republican strategist, who noted that Oz has done local and national interviews. Fetterman has recently given interviews to The New York Times, Politico and MSNBC.”  

Will Fetterman debate Republican Mehmet Oz before Election Day?: Yes, Fetterman agreed to an Oct. 25 debate after facing pressure.  

How this race is playing out, from The Hill’s Julia Manchester

🦠 Latest with COVID 

Op-ed: ‘Why Biden’s ‘end of pandemic’ statement is not a big deal’ 

 THE COVID-19 NUMBERS 

Cases to date: 95.5 million 

Death toll: 1,048,532 

Current hospitalizations: 23,639 

Shots administered: 612 million 

Fully vaccinated: 67.7 percent of Americans 

CDC data here.

🐥Notable tweets 

Part of me loves this. But another part of me thinks this is a living hell:

Southwest Airlines tweeted, “We teamed up with [Guitar Center] to surprise a flight full of Customers flying out of Long Beach with a ukulele and a lesson. By the time they arrived in Honolulu they were pros.”Photo of the plane full of new ukulele players

On tap 

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

  • 10 a.m.: The Senate met. Wednesday’s Senate agenda 
  • 11 a.m.: Harris and second gentleman Doug Emhoff attended a service to celebrate the life of the late Queen Elizabeth II at Washington National Cathedral. 
  • 11:45 a.m.: Biden participated in a bilateral meeting with U.N. Secretary-General António Guterres. 
  • 1:15 p.m.: Biden hosts a bilateral meeting with U.K. Prime Minister Liz Truss
  • 1:30 ­– 3 p.m.: First votes in the House. Wednesday’s House agenda 
  • 2:15 p.m.: Harris delivers remarks on a press call with Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen to provide an update on Emergency Capital Investment Program (ECIP) investments. 
  • 7 p.m.: Biden and first lady Jill Biden host a leaders’ reception at the American Museum of Natural History. 

All times Eastern.

📺What to watch 

  • 10:35 a.m.: Biden delivered remarks before the 77th session of the United National General Assembly in New York City. Watch 
  • 4 p.m.: Biden speaks at the Global Fund’s Seventh Replenishment Conference. Livestream 

☕️ In lighter news 

Today is National Chai Day

And to leave you with a smile, watch this pup perfect its undercover mission.

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