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 NunesTen post-Mueller questions that could turn the tables on Russia collusion investigators Schiff, Nunes pressed DOJ for Mueller briefing The Hill's Morning Report - Mueller report will dominate this week 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 McCabeTen post-Mueller questions that could turn the tables on Russia collusion investigators Electronic surveillance isn't spying — it's much more powerful Barr testimony opens new partisan fight over FBI spying on 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 TrumpGrassroots America shows the people support Donald Trump Trump speaks to rebel Libyan general attacking Tripoli Dem lawmaker: Mueller report shows 'substantial body of evidence' on obstruction 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) GottheimerOmar controversies shadow Dems at AIPAC Booker takes early lead in 2020 endorsements The 31 Trump districts that will determine the next House majority 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 MurphyLeft-center divide forces Dems to scrap budget vote Hillicon Valley — Presented by CTIA and America's wireless industry — Lawmaker sees political payback in fight over 'deepfakes' measure | Tech giants to testify at hearing on 'censorship' claims | Google pulls the plug on AI council Lawmaker alleges political payback in failed 'deepfakes' measure 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 GallagherHouse fails to override Trump veto on border wall The 25 Republicans who defied Trump on emergency declaration Graham to push for US to recognize Golan Heights as part of Israel 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. FitzpatrickFreshman House Dems surge past GOP in money race Cybersecurity Advisory Committee will strengthen national security through a stronger public-private partnership Congress is ready to tackle climate change 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 MastConservation remains a core conservative principle Lawmakers propose bill to end fed agency's deadly experiments on kittens Eight Republicans side with Dems on background checks for gun sales MORE (R-Fla.), Mike Gallagher (R-Wis.) and Ro KhannaRohit (Ro) KhannaEnvironmentalists see victory with Green New Deal blitz Hillicon Valley: Washington preps for Mueller report | Barr to hold Thursday presser | Lawmakers dive into AI ethics | FCC chair moves to block China Mobile | Dem bill targets 'digital divide' | Microsoft denies request for facial recognition tech Lawmakers, tech set for clash over AI 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 McConnellThe Hill's Morning Report — Mueller aftermath: What will House Dems do now? Overnight Health Care: McConnell offering bill to raise tobacco-buying age to 21 | NC gov vetoes 'born alive' abortion bill | CMS backs off controversial abortion proposal HR 1 brings successful local, state reforms to the federal level and deserves passage 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 Swan MuellerSasse: US should applaud choice of Mueller to lead Russia probe 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 MnuchinFormer Sears holding company sues ex-CEO, Mnuchin and others over 'asset stripping' On The Money: Inside the Mueller report | Cain undeterred in push for Fed seat | Analysis finds modest boost to economy from new NAFTA | White House says deal will give auto sector B boost The Hill's Morning Report — Category 5 Mueller storm to hit today 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 ConwayThe Hill's Morning Report — Mueller aftermath: What will House Dems do now? George Conway calls for Congress to remove Trump: He's 'a cancer' Hillicon Valley: Cyber, tech takeaways from Mueller report | Millions of Instagram passwords exposed internally by Facebook | DHS unrolling facial recognition tech in airports | Uber unveils new safety measures after student's killing MORE; House Minority Leader Nancy PelosiNancy Patricia D'Alesandro PelosiBoth sides were wrong about Mueller report, and none of it will likely matter for 2020 Elijah Cummings: 'I am begging the American people to pay attention to what's going on' Angus King: 'Mueller passed the obstruction question to the Congress and Barr intercepted the pass' 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 SwalwellThe Hill's Morning Report — Mueller aftermath: What will House Dems do now? Bernie Sanders calls on Congress to investigate after Mueller report release 2020 Dems call on Mueller to testify about redacted report MORE (D-Calif.); Sen. Shelley Moore CapitoShelley Wellons Moore Capito20 Dems demand no more money for ICE agents, Trump wall We can accelerate a cure for Alzheimer's Gillibrand, Grassley reintroduce campus sexual assault bill MORE (R-W.Va.); and Sen. Angus KingAngus Stanley KingAngus King: 'Mueller passed the obstruction question to the Congress and Barr intercepted the pass' Hillicon Valley: Washington preps for Mueller report | Barr to hold Thursday presser | Lawmakers dive into AI ethics | FCC chair moves to block China Mobile | Dem bill targets 'digital divide' | Microsoft denies request for facial recognition tech Dems introduce bill to tackle 'digital divide' MORE (I-Maine). Details and livestream: http://wapo.st/2Eddtyb

Thursday: Former first lady Michelle ObamaMichelle LeVaughn Robinson ObamaThe Hill's Morning Report — Category 5 Mueller storm to hit today Warren praises Ocasio-Cortez in Time 100 Beyoncé in 'Time 100' profile: Michelle Obama empowers black Americans 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