12:30 Report

The Hill’s 12:30 Report — Battle for the Senate intensifies

Capitol building
AP/J. Scott Applewhite
The Senate side of the U.S. Capitol is seen on the morning of Election Day, Tuesday, Nov. 3, 2020, in Washington. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)

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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. 

TALK OF THE MORNING 

It’s getting tighter than Ross Geller’s leather pants:

Here’s a throwback if you don’t remember the reference. 

Just a few months ago, Republicans had been favored to win the majority in the Senate. But with less than 50 days until the midterms, the chances of Republicans winning the upper chamber are tighter than ever.  

How many seats do Republicans need to net to win control of the Senate?: Just one 

Which battleground races are starting to lean away from Republicans’ favor?: Arizona and New Hampshire 

Which battleground states are most likely to go in Republicans’ favor?: Nevada and Georgia, where incumbent Sens. Catherine Cortez Masto (Nev.) and Raphael Warnock (Ga.) are very vulnerable. And “the Senate race in Wisconsin has tightened substantially in recent weeks, pumping the brakes on Democrats’ hopes of ousting Sen. Ron Johnson (R) and adding another seat to their Senate roster.”  

What has changed the momentum a little more in Dems’ favor?: The Supreme Court overturning Roe v. Wade, former President Trump back in the news and dynamics of the candidates in each race. 

Where the race for the Senate now stands, via The Hill’s Max Greenwood and Al Weaver 

THE SEVEN SENATE SEATS MOST LIKELY TO FLIP:
Pennsylvania, Nevada, Georgia, Wisconsin, Ohio, North Carolina and Arizona 

Reasons for each, via The Hill’s Caroline Vakil 

‘POLLSTERS FEAR THEY’RE BLOWING IT AGAIN IN 2022’
Politico’s Steven Shephard writes, “Democrats seem to be doing better than expected with voters. But if the polls are wrong, they could be disappointed in November — again.” The full story 

It’s Monday. 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.

In Congress 

Let’s face it. No one wants a shutdown a month from the midterms, so let’s get to it:

The federal government will shut down Friday at midnight if lawmakers don’t reach an agreement for a short-term funding bill. 

One of the biggest hurdles holding up the deal: Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) wants to include changes to the permit process for energy projects. Democrats promised Manchin a vote in exchange for his support of the recently passed Inflation Reduction Act. But Manchin’s proposal has opposition from Democrats who think the proposal goes too far — and Republicans who argue it doesn’t go far enough. 

Another big hurdle: The White House wants more than $13.7 billion to help Ukraine, the COVID-19 and monkeypox responses and disaster relief. Republicans have been pushing back on components of this request.  

When does the Senate return to Washington?: Tuesday 

Where the government funding battle stands, from The Hill’s Aris Folley 

WHAT ELSE IS HAPPENING ON CAPITOL HILL THIS WEEK: 

Maybe a ban on lawmaker stock trading. 

“Lawmakers have been hashing out details on a stock ban for months, particularly after Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) expressed support for the measure in February.”  

How it would work: “[Members of Congress and Supreme Court justices], in addition to their spouses and dependent children, would be banned from trading stocks or investing in securities, commodities, futures, cryptocurrency and other similar investments. They would also be barred from shorting stocks. Individuals under the purview of the ban would have to either divest their holdings or place them in a qualified blind trust.” How this could play out 

HAPPENING ON WEDNESDAY:
The House committee investigating the Jan. 6, 2021, attack on the U.S. Capitol is holding a 1 p.m. hearing on Wednesday. 

What we know about Wednesday’s hearing — from Rep. Adam Schiff (D-Calif.): “We’re not disclosing yet what the focus will be. I can say that, as this may be the last hearing of this nature — that is, one that is focused on sort of the factual record — I think it’ll be potentially more sweeping than some of the other hearings,” Schiff told CNN’s “State of the Union.”

🪐 In space 

Happening tonight — One of the coolest views of Jupiter you’ll ever see:

Jupiter will reach its closest point to the Earth in nearly 60 years and is expected to appear the big and bright tonight.  

Besides hitting its closest point to the Earth: “The gas giant will become visible when it reaches opposition, meaning it rises in the east as the sun sets in the west, a move that happens every 13 months. How to see it, via CBS News 

NASA tweeted: “Stargazers: Jupiter will make its closest approach to Earth in 59 years! Weather-permitting, expect excellent views on Sept. 26. A good pair of binoculars should be enough to catch some details; you’ll need a large telescope to see the Great Red Spot.” Photo of Jupiter 

Wow, check out this photo of Jupiter: Captured by astrophotographer Andrew McCarthy, who took roughly 600,000 photos of the planet. Details from space.com 

A NASA spacecraft will intentionally crash into an asteroid today, nbd:

NASA via AP

NASA is planning to intentionally collide a spacecraft into an asteroid more than 6.5 million miles away from the Earth today, as a test for protecting the planet from potential futures collisions. 

When will this happen?: At 7:14 p.m. EDT today. Live coverage from NASA, beginning at 6 p.m. 

Does this intentional collision pose any risks for the Earth?: No, it’s far enough away that it’s a good test without posing a threat. 

What we know about tonight’s crash, via NBC News’s Denise Chow

🦠 Latest with COVID 

Canada is having a party at the border

“Canada is lifting its testing, quarantine and vaccination requirements at the border, a step in rolling back pandemic restrictions designed to stave off the spread of COVID-19, the government announced Monday.” 

Plus: “Compulsory masking on domestic planes and trains will also end, as will a longstanding requirement to share health information with the Canadian government via its ArriveCAN application prior to entry.”  

When will this start: Oct. 1 

What we know about the new policy 

 THE COVID-19 NUMBERS 

Cases to date: 95.7 million 

Death toll: 1,050,631 

Current hospitalizations: 24,035 

Shots administered: 616 million 

Fully vaccinated: 67.8 percent of Americans 

CDC data here.

📍 In other news 

A far-right leader will likely become Italy’s next prime minister

“The victory in Italian elections of the far-right and Euroskeptic leader Giorgia Meloni, who once wanted to ditch the euro currency, sent a tremor on Monday through a European establishment worried about a new right-wing shift in Europe.”  

Why European Union leader are nervous, from The New York Times’s Steven Erlanger

🐥Notable tweets 

An exclusive club that only a few women are in: 

C-SPAN’s Howard Mortman tweeted a clip: “[First lady] Jill Biden at Elton John concert: ‘First Lady [Laura Bush] is with us tonight. And Laura, it’s such an honor to welcome you and your family back to the White House.’” Watch the clip 

CNN’s Kate Bennett commented: “First lady camaraderie, you love to see it.”

On tap 

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

  • Today: Harris participated in a bilateral meeting with Japanese Prime Minister Kishida Fumio and then a dinner hosted by Prime Minister Kishida. 
  • 10:35 a.m.: Biden returned to the White House from Delaware. 

All times Eastern.

📺What to watch

  • 11:45 a.m.: Biden welcomed the Atlanta Braves to the White House. Watch 
  • 1:30 p.m.: White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre holds a press briefing. Livestream 
  • 4:15 p.m.: Biden delivers remarks at a meeting of the White House Competition Council. Livestream

🥟🥞 In lighter news 

Today is National Dumpling Day and National Pancake Day!

And to leave you smiling, here is a photo of rescue beagle puppies meeting Snoopy.

Tags 12:30 Report Asteroid Catherine Cortez Masto government shutdown Joe Manchin Jupiter nasa Ron Johnson Senate Spending Bill Trump

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