12:30 Report

The Hill’s 12:30 Report — French president in DC; British royals spotted around Boston

President Biden and French President Emmanuel Macron speak prior to a meeting at La Villa Bonaparte in Rome
Associated Press/Evan Vucci

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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 little engine that could go on strike:

The House brought us one step closer yesterday to averting a railroad worker strike that would begin on Dec. 9. 

What’s in the bill?: The House passed a resolution to give railroad workers a 24 percent raise over five years and the ability to take time off for medical appointments.

What about paid sick time, which has been a key sticking point for the unions?: That was *not* included, though the House passed a second bill to give workers seven days of paid sick leave per year. 

What happens now: Both bills head to the Senate where their fate is uncertain. “Majority Leader Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.) could either bring the measures up as a package or consider them separately.”  

So, stay tuned, folks! 


“Eight Democrats crossed party lines and voted against the bill, and 79 Republicans supported it.” The list of House lawmakers who broke with their party 


“Roughly 1 in 5 civilian workers lack paid sick days, but the prevalence of the benefit varies widely by occupation and wage, according to federal data.” Breakdown from CNN Business’s Tami Luhby

Happy December! Writing with my peppermint mocha in hand and Christmas music playing, 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 the White House 

Macron est dans la maison Blanche:  

^ Here’s to hoping my high school French skills hold up.

French President Emmanuel Macron and his wife, Brigitte Macron, are in Washington, D.C., to meet with President Biden and first lady Jill Biden. The Macrons will attend an official State Dinner at the White House tonight. 


President Biden and French President Macron used their official arrival ceremony to highlight their support for Ukraine in its conflict with Russia. Their remarks 


200 live lobsters arrived at the White House: CNN’s Kate Bennett tweeted, “200 live lobsters were shipped from Maine to the White House yesterday morning to prep the butter-poached lobster course of tomorrow night’s State Dinner … per Chef Comerford.” Photo — including first lady Jill Biden watching in the background 

Want to see what’s on the menu for Thursday’s State Dinner?: TBH, it would have been funny if the “American artisanal cheeses” included Kraft singles. Photo of the menu

Tidbit — the plates for tonight are rented: The Daily Mail’s Emily Goodin tweeted, “the plates for the State Dinner are rented. Because the official White House china (from various administrations) is not allowed to leave the White House. And the dinner is being held in a tent on the South Lawn.” Photo of the plates and tablescape 

Who is performing at the dinner?: Musician Jon Batiste. Details and why Batiste was chosen 


The Bidens and Macrons got dinner in Georgetown last night: The couples ate at Fiola Mare on the Georgetown waterfront. Is that ice cream I see in front of Biden? Photo of the couple on their double date in Georgetown

Wow, that’s an impressive gift: The Hill’s Alex Gangitano pointed out, “Macron will gift Biden a Vinyl and CD of the original soundtrack of Claude LELOUCH’s film ‘Un Homme et une Femme,’ which is the film that Biden and Jill Biden went to see on their first date.”  

^ What did the Bidens gift the Macrons?: “A custom mirror made of fallen wood from WH grounds by a US furniture maker, which is a copy of a mirror in the West Wing. Biden also gifted Macron a vinyl record collection of US musicians & a print of Edison’s 1877 Patent of the American Phonograph.”  

Watch Macron arrive at NASA’s headquartersVideo from @PenguinSix

In Congress 

Well, the fight is over now. Dems have Trump’s tax returns

The House Ways and Means Committee has received six years of former President Trump’s tax returns after a yearslong battle that was capped by the Supreme Court rejecting an emergency appeal to keep the documents secret. 

Back story: “The committee, led by Democratic Rep. Richard Neal of Massachusetts, had sought six years of Trump’s tax records, primarily from the time he served as president. That included records about both Trump personally and several of his corporate entities.” 

What happens now?: “The panel is planning to meet Thursday to get briefed on the legal ramifications of the section of the tax law that Neal used to request Trump’s tax returns, according to a Neal aide. Democrats are not expected to review the tax returns at this session, and the documents are not expected to be immediately released to the public.”  

The full story — and what we know, via CNN’s Katelyn Polantz

👑 In Boston 

Kate Middleton and her husband are in Boston!: 

Prince William and Kate, the Duchess of Cambridge, are visiting Boston this week. 

Why are they visiting?To attend the Earthshot Prize Awards, an initiative to fight climate change. Details from Mass Live

The awards will happen Friday at the MGM Music Hall at FenwayDetails and how to watch, via Newsweek


They watched some basketball: William and Kate were seen at the Boston Celtics-Miami Heat NBA game Wednesday night. The couple tweeted they were rooting for the Celts. Photos of the royals at the game 

Oh: Big 2 Sports’ Avi Carr-Gloth tweeted, “Prince William and Princess Kate on the Jumbotron at TD Garden followed by a smattering of boos and USA chants.” Video 

Lip reading: WPLG News’s Will Manso posted a clip where Prince William appears to be saying, “he’s very good” after Celtic Jason Tatum hit a three-pointer. See for yourself 

William and Kate were greeted by Charles Baker Jr.: Massachusetts Gov. Charlie Baker (R) greeted the couple when they arrived in Boston. Photo from WCVB-TV 


President Biden will be in Boston on Friday for a fundraising event. Biden does plan to see the Prince and Princess of Wales, but the details have not been finalized, according to White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre.

🦠 The COVID-19 numbers 

Cases to date: 98.4 million 

Death toll: 1,075,779 

Current hospitalizations: 25,224 

Shots administered: 653 million 

Fully vaccinated: 68.8 percent of Americans 

CDC data here.

🐥Notable tweets 

Mitt Romney briefly had a beard — I mean, it was No-Shave November?!:

“My wife says it’s cute,” HuffPost’s Igor Bobic tweeted on Monday. Photo of Romney sporting his beard 

Easy come, easy go: Romney shaved his beard. “It was itchy,” Romney said, according to Punchbowl News’s Jake Sherman.

On tap 

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

  • 8 a.m.: Biden received his daily briefing. 
  • 10 a.m.: Biden held a bilateral meeting with Macron. 
  • 11:30 a.m.: Two Senate cloture votes on judicial nominations. Today’s Senate agenda 
  • 1:10 p.m.: Harris and Secretary of State Antony Blinken host a State Luncheon for French President Emmanuel Macron and Mrs. Brigitte Macron
  • 2:30 – 4:30 p.m.: First and last votes in the House. Today’s House agenda 
  • 7 p.m.: The Bidens and Macrons take a photo together and then attend a State Dinner at the White House. 
  • Today – Sunday: The Democratic National Committee’s rules and bylaws committee meets to discuss the 2024 presidential nominating calendar. I.e.: Will Iowa and New Hampshire be bumped as the first nominating states? What we know 

All times Eastern.

📺What to watch

  • 9 a.m.: Biden and first lady Jill Biden greeted the Macrons on the South Lawn of the White House. Harris and second gentleman Doug Emhoff also attended. Watch 
  • 11:45 a.m.: Biden and French President Macron held a joint press conference. Watch 

🍭 In lighter news 

Today is National Fried Pie Day?!

How does one ~not~ click on this headline?

From CNN: “Smells the cat presented with a Thanksgiving spread after TSA rescue from suitcase.” The full story if, like me, you must now know 

And because you made it this far, here’s what happens if you gasp at your dog.

Tags 12:30 Report Biden Biden Brigitte Macron Charles Schumer Emmanuel Macron Emmanuel Macron Jill Biden Macron visit Maine lobsters Mitt Romney royal family State visit trump tax returns
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