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: Shutdown fallout | Sights and sounds from the long night | Blame game begins -- Trump signs bill, says Dems 'forced' terms | Republicans lash out at Rand PaulRandal (Rand) Howard PaulA Senator Gary Johnson could be good not just for Libertarians, but for the Senate too Conservatives left frustrated as Congress passes big spending bills Senate approves 4B spending bill MORE | Knives out for Kelly | Trump reportedly complaining to Priebus | Winter Olympics begin | Pence avoids North Korean officials | National Pizza Day AND National Bagel Day (!) | L.L. Bean ends lifetime return policy


It's Groundhog Day (for government shutdowns): Senate leaders officially ended a months-long partisan standoff on the budget, voting on the biggest budget deal of Donald Trump's presidency and ending another (brief) government shutdown. The House followed suit before 6 a.m., and President TrumpDonald John TrumpGrassley: Dems 'withheld information' on new Kavanaugh allegation Health advocates decry funding transfer over migrant children Groups plan mass walkout in support of Kavanaugh accuser MORE signed the bill this morning.

WHAT'S IN THE DEAL: Here's a list of what is in the two-year budget deal:

THIS A.M. -- TRUMP REACTS: President Trump expressed displeasure with the government funding bill just after he signed it. He tweeted: "Without more Republicans in Congress, we were forced to increase spending on things we do not like or want in order to finally, after many years of depletion, take care of our Military. Sadly, we needed some Dem votes for passage. Must elect more Republicans in 2018 Election!" He later added: "Costs on non-military lines will never come down if we do not elect more Republicans in the 2018 Election, and beyond. This Bill is a BIG VICTORY for our Military, but much waste in order to get Dem votes. Fortunately, DACA not included in this Bill, negotiations to start now!"

NEXT UP IN THE SENATE -- IMMIGRATION: Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellGrassley: Dems 'withheld information' on new Kavanaugh allegation Kavanaugh accuser set to testify Thursday McConnell told Trump criticism of Kavanaugh accuser isn't helpful: report MORE (R-Ky.) is turning attention in the Senate toward a fight over immigration. How: This morning, he teed up a House-passed shell bill being used as the vehicle for the Senate's immigration debate. The debate over immigration will consume much of the next week.

Happy Friday!  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 and on Facebook.

PROGRAMMING NOTE: The 12:30 Report will be off next week for vacation. We will return after Presidents Day!



Didn't that seem like a dream? That's because you were likely sleeping for the entire shutdown: The federal government briefly shut down last night as lawmakers scrambled for a deal. Both chambers passed the bipartisan budget deal and President Trump signed it into law this morning, ending the shutdown.

Recap of the night...

Breaking news alert at 2:01 a.m. -- 'Senate passes bill to end shutdown':

Breaking news alert at 5:42 a.m. -- 'House passes deal to end shutdown':

Breaking news alert at 9:07 a.m. -- 'Trump signs budget deal ending shutdown':

Getting traction -- ouuuch, tell us how you really feel: "This is the stupidest thing to happen to Congress in three weeks," said one Senate GOP aide. "This is even more stupid than the name of the new Kardashian baby (Stormi). This is dumber than a screen door on a submarine. This is even stupider than the kid who didn't recognize Justin Timberlake at the Super Bowl." (Via Politico's Rachael Bade and Seung Min KimFull story -- 'The dumbest shutdown ever':

Who's getting blamed for this shutdown? -- That's R-A-N...: Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) is receiving the blame for last night's shutdown. Why: GOP senators accused the libertarian-leaning senator of wasting the chamber's time.


Back story to the neighbor comment: 

It's tradition!:



*Scrolls through this Gallup poll: "Majority not interested in watching Winter Olympics"

*Slowly pulls out American flag beads, face paint, shirt and imitation gold medals while making direct eye contact*: 

The 2018 Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang have officially begun! Here's what to know today:

Opening ceremony: It will air at 8 p.m. EST on NBC. 

Keep in mind -- the opening ceremony has already happened: I won't give any spoilers, but if you do want to see photos and footage, The New York Times has a cool wrap-up:

Pool report: The Washington Post's Ashley Parker describes the opening ceremony with Vice President Pence. It involves two impersonators -- one of President Trump and one of North Korean leader Kim Jong UnRead:

Tidbit -- Pence avoids greeting North Korean official: Vice President Pence shook hands with every leader at an Olympic reception yesterday except North Korea's ceremonial head of state, Kim Yong Nam

Dates for each Olympic event: Here are the dates for each event, a brief description and which countries are favored:

Jamaica, we have a bobsled team!: Here's a list of the best Winter Olympics movies.



It's like texting one best friend to complain about the other. (Well, then The New York Times publishes your complaints): Via The New York Times's Peter Baker and Maggie HabermanPresident Trump reportedly called former White House chief of staff Reince PriebusReinhold (Reince) Richard PriebusBannon says right must support ‘RINOs’ CNN: Trump searching for Woodward sources in White House Woodward book rocks Trump White House MORE to complain about current chief of staff John KellyJohn Francis KellyMOREWhat this means for the White House: "The idea that the president would confide grievances over Mr. Kelly with the person he pushed out to hire Mr. Kelly is yet another indication of how upside-down Mr. Trump's world can be. In the West Wing, various characters fall in and out of favor with such rapidity that it is never entirely clear who has the president's ear."

JOHN KELLY'S BAD DAY: Via The Hill's Niall Stanage, sources close to the White House say chief of staff John Kelly has suffered a serious blow to his standing from the bungled resignation of staff secretary Rob Porter, who left the White House after allegations that he had abused his two ex-wives. Kelly's most vehement critics even suggest the episode could herald his demise within the administration.

YIKES, THIS QUOTE IS PRETTY INTENSE: Jennie Willoughby, one of the ex-wives of former White House staff secretary Rob Porter, said she was worried for communications director Hope HicksHope Charlotte HicksHouse panel signals Russia probe document dump before midterms White House aides tried to get Trump to fact-check his tweets: Woodward book Omarosa: Trump hired Hope Hicks because she is pretty MORE, who is reportedly dating Porter. In her words: "I don't think he's changed," Willoughby said. "It definitely worries me because, if I'm being frank with you, if he hasn't already been abusive with Hope, he will."



Same, President Trump. SAME.  That's why I'm looking into hiring a life intern to read me the paper every day ;) Via The Washington Post's Carol D. Leonnig, Shane Harris and Greg Jaffe, breaking with tradition, President Trump prefers to have oral intelligence briefing instead of a written document. What do I mean 'breaking with tradition': His past seven predecessors received written intelligence reports.




Because Fridays are for dog pictures:



The House and Senate are o-u-t, OUT. 

11:30 a.m. EST: President Trump met with Secretary of State Rex TillersonRex Wayne TillersonSunday shows preview: Trump sells U.N. reorganizing and Kavanaugh allegations dominate Pompeo working to rebuild ties with US diplomats: report NYT says it was unfair on Haley curtain story MORE.

3:30 p.m. EST: President Trump meets with EPA Administrator Scott PruittEdward (Scott) Scott PruittGovernment watchdog probing EPA’s handling of Hurricane Harvey response Wheeler won’t stop America’s addiction to fossil fuels Overnight Energy: Trump rolls back methane pollution rule | EPA watchdog to step down | China puts tariffs on US gas MORE.



Sunday morning: Sen. Jeff FlakeJeffrey (Jeff) Lane FlakeGrassley panel scraps Kavanaugh hearing, warns committee will vote without deal Coulter mocks Kavanaugh accuser: She'll only testify 'from a ski lift' Poll: More voters oppose Kavanaugh’s nomination than support it MORE (R-Ariz.) and George Washington University's Clint Watts will appear exclusively on NBC's "Meet the Press."



Today is National Pizza Day! It's also National Bagel Day! Or, as @IanCass eloquently put it, it's National Cheat Day.

Pizza deals: Here's an updated list of National Pizza Day deals around the country. I'm lookin' at you, Baskin-Robbins ice cream pizza! List:

Bagel deals: Here's a list of bagel deals today:

I have a lot of feelings about this. Specifically: WHEN CAN I GO?: Via Food Network, here's a pizza restaurant in Yonkers that makes two-foot long slices of pizza. It looks so overwhelming, yet, beautiful. Video:

This is why we can't have nice things: L.L. Bean just ended its famous lifetime return policy. In a letter to customers: "Increasingly, a small, but growing number of customers has been interpreting our guarantee well beyond its original intent. Some view it as a lifetime product replacement program, expecting refunds for heavily worn products used over many years. Others seek refunds for products that have been purchased through third parties, such as at yard sales."'

And because I won't be here next week, I will leave you with one of the best videos I've seen in a while. Here's a woman walking outside in the middle of the night to discover her neighbor's corgi had snuck onto her property and was riding her pony. I kid you not.