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 TrumpGOP senator introduces bill to hold online platforms liable for political bias Rubio responds to journalist who called it 'strange' to see him at Trump rally Rubio responds to journalist who called it 'strange' to see him at Trump rally 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 PelosiPelosi slated to deliver remarks during panel hearing on poverty The DNC's climate problems run deep Cracks form in Democratic dam against impeachment 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 JeffriesDems eye repeal of Justice rule barring presidential indictments Dems eye repeal of Justice rule barring presidential indictments Dem committees win new powers to investigate Trump MORE (D-N.Y.) has been elected chair of the Democratic caucus. Who he beat: Veteran Rep. Barbara LeeBarbara Jean LeeWarren introduces universal child care legislation Warren introduces universal child care legislation Biggs, Khanna launch bipartisan War Powers Caucus 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 PompeoOvernight Defense: Shanahan exit shocks Washington | Pentagon left rudderless | Lawmakers want answers on Mideast troop deployment | Senate could vote on Saudi arms deal this week | Pompeo says Trump doesn't want war with Iran Progressive nonprofits sue White House over missing notes from Putin meeting Progressive nonprofits sue White House over missing notes from Putin meeting MORE and Secretary of Defense James MattisJames Norman MattisShanahan drama shocks Capitol Hill, leaving Pentagon rudderless Top nuclear official quietly left Pentagon in April Top nuclear official quietly left Pentagon in April 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 TrumpTrump jokes he'd get 'electric chair' if he deleted even one 'love note' email to Melania Trump jokes he'd get 'electric chair' if he deleted even one 'love note' email to Melania The Hill's 12:30 Report — Presented by MAPRx — All eyes on Trump as 2020 bid begins 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'RourkePoll: Six Dems lead Trump in Florida match-ups Willie Nelson on supporting O'Rourke: 'Anything he wants to do, I'm with Beto' Willie Nelson on supporting O'Rourke: 'Anything he wants to do, I'm with Beto' 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 TrumpOn The Money: DOJ offers legal opinion backing refusal to release Trump tax returns | Centrist Democrats raise concerns over minimum wage | Trump bashes Powell ahead of crucial Fed meeting | Design leaks for Harriet Tubman bill On The Money: DOJ offers legal opinion backing refusal to release Trump tax returns | Centrist Democrats raise concerns over minimum wage | Trump bashes Powell ahead of crucial Fed meeting | Design leaks for Harriet Tubman bill Financial disclosure form shows Ivanka Trump earned M from DC Trump hotel 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 blasts Mueller, decries 'witch hunt' at 2020 launch Trump blasts Mueller, decries 'witch hunt' at 2020 launch Trump: I didn't fire Mueller since firings 'didn't work out too well' for Nixon 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 RyanPelosi slated to deliver remarks during panel hearing on poverty Indiana GOP Rep. Brooks says she won't seek reelection Indiana GOP Rep. Brooks says she won't seek reelection 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