The Hill's 12:30 Report — Latest on Dem leadership votes | Trump threatens new auto tariffs | Senators briefed on Khashoggi

The Hill's 12:30 Report — Latest on Dem leadership votes | Trump threatens new auto tariffs | Senators briefed on Khashoggi

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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: Trump threatens new auto tariffs | Trump would 'totally' shut down government over border wall | GOP leaders try to calm shutdown worries | Latest on Dem leadership votes | Intrigue surrounds Pelosi | Jeffries to be Dem caucus chair | Senators briefed on Khashoggi | CIA director doesn't attend | Obama World's love for O'Rourke | National Christmas Tree lighting today | DC road closures | Schumer's new grandson | Giant cow goes viral

 

NEWS THIS MORNING

(Psssssst, auto tariffs. Pass it on.):

Via The Hill's Jordan FabianPresident TrumpDonald John TrumpZuckerberg launches public defense of Facebook as attacks mount Trump leaning toward keeping a couple hundred troops in eastern Syria: report Warren says making Israel aid conditional on settlement building is 'on the table' MORE hinted that he might support new auto tariffs in response to General Motors' major layoffs. http://bit.ly/2PZyMMJ

He tweeted: "The reason that the small truck business in the U.S. is such a go to favorite is that, for many years, Tariffs of 25% have been put on small trucks coming into our country. It is called the 'chicken tax.' If we did that with cars coming in, many more cars would be built here and G.M. would not be closing their plants in Ohio, Michigan & Maryland. Get smart Congress. Also, the countries that send us cars have taken advantage of the U.S. for decades. The President has great power on this issue -- Because of the G.M. event, it is being studied now!" http://bit.ly/2BEgPLb

What sparked this: A report that Trump is considering a 25 tariff on car imports, except for Mexico and Canada. http://bit.ly/2PZyMMJ

HOW THE GM LAYOFFS COULD BE A PROBLEM FOR TRUMP IN 2020: 
Via The Hill's Sylvan Lanehttp://bit.ly/2r8Mtdt

 

Border wall, total winner:

In an interview with Politico's Jake Sherman and Anna PalmerPresident Trump said he would "totally be willing" to have a government shutdown over the issues of border wall funding. In Trump's words: "I don't do anything ... just for political gain. But I will tell you, politically speaking, that issue is a total winner. People look at the border, they look at the rush to the police, they look at the rock throwers and really hurting three people, three very brave border patrol folks -- I think that it's a tremendous issue, but much more importantly, is really needed. So we have to have border security." https://politi.co/2E2oyoD

MEANWHILE…: Senate Republican leaders are trying to calm fears of a shutdown, acknowledging it would be a political liability for the GOP. Full explanation from The Hill's Alexander Boltonhttp://bit.ly/2DPnGTg

 

It's Wednesday. 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 -- and follow along on Twitter @CateMartel and Facebook.

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HAPPENING ON CAPITOL HILL TODAY

This afternoon -- a predictable win that may not feel like a big win:

House Democrats are huddling behind closed doors to vote for the party's nominee for House Speaker. What to expect: The outcome is totally predictable. House Minority Leader Nancy PelosiNancy PelosiTurkey sanctions face possible wall in GOP Senate Trump lashes out at Pelosi as she visits Jordan to discuss Syria Thomas D'Alesandro III, brother of Nancy Pelosi, dies at 90 MORE (D-Calif.) is expected to easily win, but the real vote is on Jan. 3 when the vote for speaker is brought to the House floor. That's where things may get sticky. http://bit.ly/2SfQtEv

What's unclear: Whether Pelosi can get the 218 votes necessary to become House Speaker.

Op-ed: http://bit.ly/2FJo5cw

NEW DEVELOPMENT FROM THE DEM MEETING: Rep. Hakeem JeffriesHakeem Sekou JeffriesLawmakers from both sides of the aisle mourn Cummings House chairman: Pompeo not complying with impeachment inquiry Sunday shows - Second whistleblower grabs spotlight MORE (D-N.Y.) has been elected chair of the Democratic caucus. Who he beat: Veteran Rep. Barbara LeeBarbara Jean LeeDeLauro enters race to succeed Lowey as Appropriations chief The 13 House Democrats who back Kavanaugh's impeachment Lawmakers mourn death of 'Julia' star Diahann Carroll MORE (D-Calif.), a former Congressional Black Caucus chairwoman. The vote: 123-113. http://bit.ly/2r9VAdZ

 

At 11 a.m. -- senators (finally) briefed on Khashoggi:

Secretary of State Mike PompeoMichael (Mike) Richard PompeoGOP lawmaker: Trump administration 'playing checkers' in Syria while others are 'playing chess' Trump-Graham relationship tested by week of public sparring White House officials work to tamp down controversies after a tumultuous week MORE and Secretary of Defense James MattisJames Norman MattisAmash rips Trump over move to send troops from Syria to Iraq Defense chief says US troops leaving Syria will go to western Iraq White House staggers after tumultuous 48 hours MORE briefed senators on Saudi Arabia and the killing of journalist Jamal Khashoggihttp://bit.ly/2Q3Cxkj

Well, technically the meeting is about...: "The principle subject of the meeting is the civil war in Yemen, where the United States has helped a Saudi coalition fighting Iran-backed Houthi rebels. But the topic of Khashoggi's killing at the Saudi Consulate in Istanbul is sure to come up."

The real story -- who is *not* attending the meeting: CIA Director Gina HaspelWhy this is important: There are reports that the White House blocked Haspel attending, despite senators on both sides suggesting they want to hear from her. https://cnn.it/2P9BIBr

WHAT WILL LIKELY HAPPEN -- SENATORS VS. TRUMP: Via The Hill's Jordain Carney and Rebecca Kheel, "Senators are expected to force a vote as soon as this week to end U.S. support for Saudi Arabia's military campaign in Yemen, marking the first test of the U.S.-Saudi relationship in Congress since the journalist's slaying. If supporters are able to pass the resolution, it would be a significant break from Trump, who signaled last week that he is standing by the Saudi government." http://bit.ly/2BDJH5S

  

HAPPENING THIS AFTERNOON

The National Christmas Tree will be ~lit~:

--> http://bit.ly/2ztmBNQ;)

President Trump and first lady Melania TrumpMelania TrumpMelania Trump breaks ground on new White House tennis pavilion Overnight Health Care — Presented by Coalition Against Surprise Medical Billing — Buttigieg unveils aggressive plan to lower drug prices | Supreme Court abortion case poses major test for Trump picks | Trump takes heat from right over vaping crackdown Kroger to stop sales of e-cigarettes at stores MORE will attend the National Christmas Tree Lighting at 4:30 p.m. EST on the Ellipse. 

LIVESTREAM: http://bit.ly/2KDdleJ

TICKETS: Tickets to attend the ceremony were given out through a lottery. http://bit.ly/2BCb1l0

WHO IS PERFORMING: "Antonio Sabàto Jr. will host the event, with performances by Abby Anderson, the Dominican Sisters of MaryAnthony KearnsGabby Barrett and The United States Army Band 'Pershing's Own.'http://bit.ly/2BCb1l0

STREET CLOSURES: Streets in downtown Washington, D.C. will start closing at 1 p.m. until 8 p.m. for the lighting. List of which streets will close: https://wapo.st/2P5sAxt

IF YOU MISS TONIGHT'S LIGHTING: The U.S. Capitol Christmas Tree will be lit on Dec. 5. https://wapo.st/2P5sAxt

 

IN OTHER NEWS

Announced this morning -- a 'Handmaid's Tale' sequel:

Author Margaret Atwood announced she is writing a sequel to her popular book "The Handmaid's Tale." The new book, "The Testaments," will be published in September. http://bit.ly/2KEMQpc

 

Beto O'Bama:

Via The Hill's Amie Parnes, excitement for Rep. Beto O'RourkeBeto O'RourkeAuthorities seize weapons from alleged neo-Nazi leader under 'red flag' law Super PAC seeks to spend more than million supporting Yang Krystal Ball rips media for going 'all-in' on Buttigieg's debate performance MORE (D-Texas) to run for president in 2020 is growing among former Obama aides and allies. Why: They see similarities between O'Rourke, 46, and former President Obama, who was 47 years old when he was elected president. For example: "Both are political upstarts with unusual names who seemingly came out of nowhere and inspired thousands upon thousands of people to be part of a movement. In many ways, say the Obama supporters, O'Rourke is a 2020 version of their former boss." How this is shaking up the Democratic field: http://bit.ly/2P9FCu5

 

NOTABLE TWEETS

Trending -- Holy cow:

Watchhttp://bit.ly/2BCxQFx

 

Welcome to the world, Noah!:

Full-size photos: http://bit.ly/2AwAXwU 

 

ON TAP

The House and Senate are in. 

Today: The Republican Governors Association annual conference starts. Where: Scottsdale, Ariz. http://bit.ly/2Shb7UN

10:20 a.m. EST: Vice President Pence attended the portrait unveiling for Rep. Jeb HensarlingThomas (Jeb) Jeb HensarlingHas Congress lost the ability or the will to pass a unanimous bipartisan small business bill? Maxine Waters is the Wall Street sheriff the people deserve Ex-GOP congressman heads to investment bank MORE (R-Texas) in the Longworth House Office Building.

12:15 p.m. EST: The Senate votes on a Commerce Department confirmation. The Senate's full schedule today: http://bit.ly/2Si6TfE

12:45 p.m. EST: President Trump has lunch with New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D). 

2 p.m. EST: Vice President Pence is meeting with the prime minister of Finland. 

5 p.m. EST: President Trump and first lady Melania Trump attend the National Christmas Tree lighting ceremony on the Ellipse. 

6:30 p.m. EST: Vice President Pence hosts a reception for new Republican members of Congress.

Saturday: The inauguration of Mexican President-elect Andrés Manuel López ObradorKeep in mind: The president's elder daughter, Ivanka TrumpIvana (Ivanka) Marie TrumpCareer State official warned about Biden's son: report Trump speaks with NASA astronauts on all-female spacewalk Biden praises Buttigieg for criticizing GOP attacks: 'That's a good man' MORE, will attend. https://reut.rs/2P6nOjl

Sunday: The 41st annual Kennedy Center Honors in Washington, D.C. Who is hosting: Gloria Estefan. https://hrld.us/2zu2TBV 

Dec. 7: Deadline for lawmakers to pass spending bills to avoid a government shutdown.

 

WHAT TO WATCH

This morning: First lady Melania Trump speaks at Liberty University about opioids. Livestream: http://bit.ly/2P4lWrr

This morning: Deputy Attorney General Rod RosensteinRod RosensteinTrump attacks Sessions: A 'total disaster' and 'an embarrassment to the great state of Alabama' Mueller rejoins DC law firm Lewandowski says Mueller report was 'very clear' in proving 'there was no obstruction,' despite having 'never' read it MORE announces efforts to combat computer hackers and scammers. Livestream: https://cs.pn/2RpWu1C

9 p.m. EST: The Rockefeller Center tree lighting in New York. Details and how to watch: https://on.today.com/2SePC6Y

9 a.m. EST Thursday: The Washington Post's Paul Kane interviews House Speaker Paul RyanPaul Davis RyanAmash: Trump incorrect in claiming Congress didn't subpoena Obama officials Democrats hit Scalia over LGBTQ rights Three-way clash set to dominate Democratic debate MORE (R-Wis.) during a Washington Post event. Details and livestream: https://wapo.st/2DZl0Ud 

 

NOW FOR THE FUN STUFF...

Today is National French Toast Day.

 

And because you made it to the end, here's a "parade" of dogs in their best attire "marching" down the mall escalator: http://bit.ly/2P7IY0y