The Hill's 12:30 Report

The Hill's 12:30 Report
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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.

 

The Hill's 12:30 Report: Breaking - Deputy FBI director reportedly steps down | Powerful GOP chair won't seek reelection | Trump's State of the Union goals | Speculation mounts over vote to release secret memo | House freshman superlatives | Fitness tracking data revealed US bases

 

NEWS TO WATCH

I feel like this memo must have a giant, glittery, red stamp that reads, 'DO NOT OPEN (WE KNOW YOU WANT TO)': The House Intelligence Committee may vote tonight to release a controversial memo from Chairman Devin NunesDevin Gerald NunesJuan Williams: Trump, his allies and the betrayal of America Trump expected to nominate Texas GOP lawmaker to replace Dan Coats: report House Republicans claim victory after Mueller hearings MORE (R-Calif.) alleging surveillance abuses at the Department of Justice. What the memo is believed to contain: Allegations that senior leadership at the Justice Department did not adequately explain that some of the evidence for a surveillance warrant on a Trump campaign aide was sourced from an opposition research dossier funded by Democrats. http://bit.ly/2ElQpxn

HOW DEMOCRATS ARE REACTING: Committee Democrats say the Republican memo is full of misleading talking points. What they're doing: They have prepared a rebuttal memo. It is unclear whether the committee will vote to make that Democratic memo public as well. http://bit.ly/2ElQpxn

It's Monday -- welcome back! 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 cmartel@thehill.com@CateMartel and on Facebook.

 

BREAKING
FBI's deputy director -- out:

Via NBC News, FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabeAndrew George McCabeThe Hill's Morning Report — Will Congress do anything on gun control? McCabe sues FBI, DOJ, blames Trump for his firing McCabe says it's 'absolutely' time to launch impeachment inquiry into Trump MORE has stepped down, effective today. How it's happening: "Multiple U.S. officials say that FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe is stepping down from his post today and taking 'terminal leave' meaning that he will stay on until his retirement in March (that was always his plan) so he can receive full retirement benefits." http://bit.ly/2Ek3qY8
THROWBACK TO DEC. 23, 2017: President TrumpDonald John TrumpTrump pushes back on recent polling data, says internal numbers are 'strongest we've had so far' Illinois state lawmaker apologizes for photos depicting mock assassination of Trump Scaramucci assembling team of former Cabinet members to speak out against Trump MORE tweeted, "FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe is racing the clock to retire with full benefits. 90 days to go?!!!" http://bit.ly/2ElU66e

 

ALSO THIS MORNING

Another one bites the dust: Rep. Rodney FrelinghuysenRodney Procter FrelinghuysenThe 31 Trump districts that will determine the next House majority Top House GOP appropriations staffer moves to lobbying shop Individuals with significant disabilities need hope and action MORE (R-N.J.), the chairman of the powerful House Appropriations Committee, just announced he will not seek reelection in an increasingly competitive district. Why this is big: Frelinghuysen is only in his first term as House Appropriations Committee chairman, a top post that lawmakers traditionally serve in for years. In his statement: "I have worked in a bipartisan manner, not just in times of crisis but always, because I believe it best serves my constituents, my state and our country," Frelinghuysen said.  http://bit.ly/2nk8jcp

Full list of retiring membershttp://theatln.tc/2BBGHUF

 

FIRST IN THE 12:30 REPORT: 

Freshman superlatives: Quorum just published research on what the freshmen in the House have been up to so far.

HIGHLIGHTS:

The most bipartisan House freshman: Rep. Josh GottheimerJoshua (Josh) GottheimerRepublicans plot comeback in New Jersey Assault weapons ban picks up steam in Congress The 11 House Dems from Trump districts who support assault weapons ban MORE (D-N.J.), whose bills have found a Republican co-sponsor 60 percent of the time.

Best at pulling in co-sponsors: Rep. Stephanie MurphyStephanie MurphyDemocratic leaders seek to have it both ways on impeachment Senate committee advances 'deepfakes' legislation House Democrats delete tweets attacking each other, pledge to unify MORE (D-Fla.), with an average of 46 co-sponsors per sponsored bill. Murphy has introduced 11 sponsored bills. 

Most effective House GOP freshman: Rep. Mike GallagherMichael (Mike) John GallagherOvernight Defense: House votes to block Trump arms sales to Saudis, setting up likely veto | US officially kicks Turkey out of F-35 program | Pentagon sending 2,100 more troops to border House votes to block Trump's Saudi arms sale Lawmakers introduce bill to block U.S. companies from doing business with Huawei MORE (R-Wis.), who has introduced nine bills so far and averages 23 co-sponsors per bill. 

Freshman who has introduced the most bills: Rep. Brian FitzpatrickBrian K. FitzpatrickHouse Democrats targeting six more Trump districts for 2020 Ensuring quality health care for those with intellectual disabilities and autism House Democrats target 2020 GOP incumbents in new ad MORE (R-Pa.), who has introduced 21 bills.

Keep in mind: Only three freshmen have passed legislation as the lead sponsor: Reps. Brian MastBrian Jeffrey MastThe 9 House Republicans who support background checks Two cats visit Capitol Hill to thank lawmakers who helped end 'kitten slaughterhouse' Buzz Aldrin marks launch of Apollo 11 mission to the moon MORE (R-Fla.), Mike Gallagher (R-Wis.) and Ro KhannaRohit (Ro) KhannaKing incites furor with abortion, rape and incest remarks San Jose mayor proposes mandatory liability insurance for gun owners Democrats give cold shoulder to Warren wealth tax MORE (D-Calif.).

List of the runners-up: http://bit.ly/2noS8tt

 

THIS WEEK IN CONGRESS

Free idea: Trump should distribute 2018 agenda planners with photos of elephants to congressional Republicans: Via The Hill's Cristina Marcos and Jordain CarneyPresident Trump will deliver his State of the Union address this week as debate rages in Congress over immigration policy. 

Later this week: House and Senate Republicans are meeting for a retreat at the Greenbrier resort in West Virginia to discuss their 2018 agenda. President Trump and Vice President Pence are scheduled to speak at the retreat. 

Immigration: Senators are trying to jump-start their negotiations on reaching an immigration deal with less than two weeks before a Feb. 8 deadline, when the current government-spending bill expires.

State of the Union protests: Female lawmakers plan to wear black in solidarity with sexual misconduct victims. Some lawmakers are also bringing guests associated with the "Me Too" movement. At least five Democrats plan to boycott the event entirely. 

Defense spending: The House is expected to consider legislation this week to fund the Pentagon through September, amid slow action on bipartisan budget talks.

Abortion: Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellTrump faces crucial decisions on economy, guns Are Democrats turning Trump-like? House Democrat calls for gun control: Cities can ban plastic straws but 'we can't ban assault weapons?' MORE (R-Ky.) teed up a procedural vote on a 20-week abortion ban, after the House passed similar legislation last year. Yeah, but: It's not expected to pass the upper chamber.

Fallout from ex-USA Gymnastics doctor Larry Nassar's sentencing: The House is expected to consider legislation on Monday to make athletic organizations report sexual abuse allegations faster and establish policies to prevent misconduct from occurring in the first place.

Context for each: http://bit.ly/2nmH6F7

 

IN OTHER NEWS

Yiiikes: An online interactive map that tracks the location of fitness-device users has revealed highly sensitive information about the location and staffing of U.S. military bases, according to reports. http://bit.ly/2rOD2mK 

 

STATE OF THE UNION PREVIEW

Ahh, the State of the Union -- a night of planned applause breaks and attendees trying to look extremely focused: President Trump will deliver his first State of the Union address tomorrow, the biggest stage he will have to chart out an agenda for 2018. Why it's especially important: It's a big moment for Trump after his tumultuous January (Think: government shutdown, Michael Wolff's book and reports that he tried to fire special counsel Robert MuellerRobert (Bob) Swan MuellerTrump calls for probe of Obama book deal Democrats express private disappointment with Mueller testimony Kellyanne Conway: 'I'd like to know' if Mueller read his own report MORE). Why he has high hopes: Trump had one of his best days as president last year when he delivered a speech to a joint session of Congress. Via The Hill's Jordan Fabian, here are five goals of his speech: 

1. Pressure Congress on immigration -- He plans to use this speech as a sales pitch for his immigration proposal.
2. Lay out an infrastructure plan -- A senior administration official said Trump will spend time discussing his long-awaited plan.
3. Take an economic victory lap -- Unemployment is low, wages are rising. Trump will likely focus on these numbers.
4. Set stage for the midterms -- Trump will highlight his accomplishments and use positive, unifying rhetoric.
5. Shake things up -- Trump's script last February was traditional, but he could definitely spice things up this year. 

Context for each: http://bit.ly/2njfdPi

THROWBACK -- WE CAN ONLY HOPE FOR MORE STORIES LIKE THIS: Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg fell asleep during the State of the Union in 2015. The reason she fell asleep: "I was not 100 percent sober," she said. "The audience, for the most part, is awake because they are bobbing up and down and we sit there, stone faced," Ginsburg said. Lol. Photo of Ginsburg sleeping: http://politi.co/2FpYxMw

OP-ED ABOUT THE BOYCOTTS: Some Democrats are planning to boycott Trump's speech. George Washington University professor Jonathan Turley argues that boycotting the State of the Union only divides the country further: http://bit.ly/2DU7797

 

NOTABLE TWEETS:

These dresses are great because they're practical to re-wear without anyone noticing:

Because it's a Monday:

Hey, history buffs!:

 

ON TAP:

The House is in. The Senate will meet this afternoon.

12:10 p.m. EST: President Trump has lunch with representatives from the United Nations Security Council. 

5:30 p.m. EST: The Senate votes.

6:30 p.m. EST: Votes postponed in the House.

10 a.m. EST Tuesday: Treasury Secretary Steven MnuchinSteven Terner MnuchinPelosi warns Mnuchin to stop 'illegal' .3B cut to foreign aid Trump phoned bank CEOs as stock market plunged Wednesday: report The Hill's Morning Report — Trump and the new Israel-'squad' controversy MORE testifies at a Senate Banking Committee hearing. Details: http://bit.ly/2njBuMX

9 p.m. EST Tuesday: President Trump's State of the Union address.

Jan. 31: There will be a rare "super blue blood moon." What to know: http://cnn.it/2DAOjbF

Sunday, Feb. 4: The Super Bowl. 

February 14: The Hill is hosting an event on America's opioid epidemic and the role that recovery support services can play. Details and how to RSVPhttp://bit.ly/2EmtX7p

 

WHAT TO WATCH:

1:15 p.m. EST: White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders gives a press briefing. Livestream: 

2:30 p.m. EST: The Washington Post is hosting a State of the Union preview. Speakers include: White House counselor Kellyanne ConwayKellyanne Elizabeth ConwayIllinois state lawmaker apologizes for photos depicting mock assassination of Trump Trump health chief: Officials actively 'working on' ObamaCare replacement plan Campaign aide: Trump asking questions shared by 'millions of Americans' with Epstein conspiracy theory MORE; House Minority Leader Nancy PelosiNancy PelosiWhy President Trump needs to speak out on Hong Kong Anti-Trump vets join Steyer group in pressing Democrats to impeach Trump Pelosi warns Mnuchin to stop 'illegal' .3B cut to foreign aid MORE (D-Calif.); former interim Democratic National Committee Chairwoman Donna Brazile; former White House press secretary Ari Fleischer; the American Conservative Union's Matt Schlapp; Rep. Eric SwalwellEric Michael SwalwellHickenlooper ends presidential bid Scenes from Iowa State Fair: Surging Warren, Harris draw big crowds Nadler hits gas on impeachment MORE (D-Calif.); Sen. Shelley Moore CapitoShelley Wellons Moore CapitoAmerica is in desperate need of infrastructure investment: Senate highway bill a step in the right direction On The Money: Economy adds 164K jobs in July | Trump signs two-year budget deal, but border showdown looms | US, EU strike deal on beef exports Trump border fight throws curveball into shutdown prospects MORE (R-W.Va.); and Sen. Angus KingAngus Stanley KingNew intel chief inherits host of challenges Senators ask for committee vote on 'red flag' bills after shootings Top Democrat: 'Disqualifying' if Trump intel pick padded his résumé MORE (I-Maine). Details and livestream: http://wapo.st/2Eddtyb

Thursday: Former first lady Michelle ObamaMichelle LeVaughn Robinson ObamaJuan Williams: Democrats finally hit Trump where it hurts Michelle Obama to present Lin-Manuel Miranda with the Portrait of a Nation Prize Michelle Obama thanks her high school for naming new athletic complex after her MORE will appear on Ellen DeGeneres's show. This is her first TV interview since leaving the White House.

  

NOW FOR THE FUN STUFF...:

Today is National Corn Chip Day.

TRENDING -- to pull you out of the zone at work: Trip Advisor released its list of the 25 best hotels in the world: http://cnn.it/2Gt6ZvS

And because you read this far, here's a tiny puppy napping in cereal: http://bit.ly/2BBQ1Ib