The Hill’s 12:30 Report — Hurricane Ian regains strength, hits Carolinas
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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
Go home, Ian:
Ian has regained strength in the Atlantic Ocean and is hitting South Carolina as a Category 1 hurricane.
To get ahead of the storm: President Biden has already approved an emergency declaration for South Carolina. That basically allows for the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and the Department of Homeland Security to help with the response in the state.
Btw, the Charleston Airport has closed: It is expected to reopen at 6 a.m. on Saturday.
How many people have died?: At least 12 people are confirmed dead, according to NBC News. But President Biden said that “this could be the deadliest hurricane in Florida’s history,” with a “substantial” loss of life.
SIGHTS AND SOUNDS:
Ugh, look at this flooded home in Naples, Fla.: From meteorologist Jason Brewer
Here is aerial video over Fort Myers: From congressional candidate Jared Moskowitz, who is also the former director of the Florida Division of Emergency Management
Photos of southwestern Florida: Taken before and during the storm
Phew, this cat was rescued: CBS News tweeted a video of a man rescuing a cat that was trapped in the flood. Watch the rescue
The Sanibel Causeway was severed: The Weather Channel’s Chris Dolce tweeted a before-and-after comparison. This is so sad.
Photos of Sanibel Island: From @JulieMartinTV
‘HURRICANE IAN’S STAGGERING SCALE OF WRECKAGE BECOMES CLEAR IN FLORIDA’:
From The New York Times’s Patricia Mazzei, Nicholas Bogel-Burroughs, Frances Robles and Jack Healy
‘STORIES OF SURVIVING IAN: NARROW ESCAPES, HARROWING RESCUES, FLOODWATER FISH’:
From Washington Post’s Tim Craig
It’s Friday and today is the last day of September! 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
We’re not really feeling a government shutdown right now:
The Senate voted on Thursday to keep the government open through mid-December (!)
Now, what?: The House is expected to pass the bill on Friday and send it to President Biden’s desk.
When’s the deadline?: Midnight on Friday night. Congress loves a buzzer beater, huh?
Why mid-December?: It buys lawmakers more time to come up with a real spending agreement for fiscal 2023.
What’s included in the bill, besides the obvious?: It includes more than $12 billion in assistance to Ukraine and funding for disaster relief.
What’s *not* included in this bill?: Funding for COVID-19 and monkeypox, which the White House had wanted.
For context: There has been discussions and drama for weeks on whether the Senate would pass this bill with Sen. Joe Manchin’s (D-W.Va.) energy project proposal, but that was cut earlier this week.
INTERESTING READ — ‘WHY THE PENTAGON HATES CONTINUING RESOLUTIONS — ESPECIALLY NOW’:
From The Hill’s Jordan Williams
OK, so if Republicans win control of Congress, what happens to the Trump probes?:
“Congressional Republicans will likely find themselves in a sticky situation next year when it comes to Justice Department investigations of former President Trump should they win control of the House or the Senate in the face of pressure by the ex-president to thwart the work of federal investigators.”
One option: “Some Republicans have floated defunding parts of the FBI in response to what they call a politically motivated search and seizure at Trump’s Mar-a-Lago property.”
Would the investigations go away entirely?: Probably not. “Taking an ax to funding for Trump probes is unlikely. And congressional investigations may do more to sway the court of public opinion than stop DOJ probes into the former president.”
How this could play out for each investigation, via The Hill’s Emily Brooks and Mychael Schnell
🚫 News this morning
Another round of sanctions — on the house:
“The Biden administration on Friday announced a new round of sanctions in response to Russia’s annexation of four Ukrainian territories, targeting government and military officials and their family members.”
🗳 On the campaign trail
Trump is headed to Michigan:
Former President Trump is holding a campaign rally in Michigan on Saturday.
Why this is particularly noteworthy: “The event, to be held in Warren, will only sharpen questions about whether Trump’s influence is backfiring against the GOP in general election campaigns.”
Keep in mind: Trump endorsed conservative commentator and gubernatorial candidate Tudor Dixon, who is currently down in the polls to incumbent Gov. Gretchen Whitmer (D) by double digits (!)
And this is a race where Republicans were optimistic: “Not so long ago, Whitmer was a top Republican target. Conservatives believed they could capitalize on discontent with her handling of the COVID-19 pandemic, in particular. Instead, the GOP has a candidate who hews to a hard-line anti-abortion position, meanders on whether the 2020 election was legitimate, and is suffering from a massive fundraising disadvantage.”
The Hill’s Niall Stanage explains why the Michigan race matters so much.
NEW POLL — FETTERMAN’S LEAD IN PENNSYLVANIA IS SHRINKING A BIT:
A new Emerson College Polling-The Hill survey shows that Senate Democratic candidate John Fetterman is leading Republican Mehmet Oz by 2 percentage points. The margin for error is plus or minus three, so it’s very close. Poll takeaways from The Hill’sJulia Manchester
🦠 Latest with COVID
➤ THE COVID-19 NUMBERS
Cases to date: 96 million
Death toll: 1,053,173
Current hospitalizations: 22,796
Shots administered: 619 million
Fully vaccinated: 67.9 percent of Americans
If you haven’t heard of the butter board yet:
CNN tweeted an explainer of the food trend of spreading butter and toppings on a charcuterie-style board. I have … thoughts about this. Watch
The House is in. The Senate is out. President Biden and Vice President Harris are in Washington, D.C.
- 8:55 a.m.: A pro forma session in the Senate. The Senate’s agenda through Nov. 14
- 9 a.m.: Biden received his daily briefing.
- 10 a.m.: Biden, Harris, first lady Jill Biden and second gentleman Doug Emhoff attended the investiture ceremony for Associate Supreme Court Justice Ketanji Brown Jackson.
- 10 a.m.: First House votes. Friday’s House agenda
- 1 p.m.: Last House votes.
- Nov. 14: The Senate will hold its next roll call vote. Watch the announcement on the Senate floor
All times Eastern.
📺What to watch
- 8:45 a.m.: Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis (R) gave an update on Hurricane Ian. Watch
- 11:30 a.m.: Biden delivered remarks on the ongoing response to Hurricane Ian. Watch
- Noon: The Bidens host a reception to celebrate the Jewish New Year. Harris attends and Emhoff delivers remarks. Livestream
- 2 p.m.: FEMA provides an update on Hurricane Ian. Livestream
- 2:45 p.m.: White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre gives a press briefing. Livestream
- 4 p.m. The Bidens host a Hispanic Heritage Month reception. Livestream
🍎 In lighter news
Today is National Mulled Cider Day. Saturday is National Pumpkin Spice Day and Sunday is National Fried Scallops Day!
It’s all just a bunch of hocus pocus:
The time has finally come and the Sanderson sisters are back. Hocus Pocus 2 is now streaming on Disney Plus (!) Details from Tom’s Guide
And to leave you on happy note, here’s the popular pastime of playing drums on a puppy belly.