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 TrumpREAD: Transcript of James Comey's interview with House Republicans Klobuchar on 2020: ‘I do think you want voices from the Midwest’ Israel boycott fight roils Democrats in year-end spending debate 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 Patricia D'Alesandro PelosiIsrael boycott fight roils Democrats in year-end spending debate McConnell predicts no shutdown: Trump 'flexible' on border deal Ocasio-Cortez had highest percentage of small donors in midterms: report 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 JeffriesOcasio-Cortez eyeing Jeffries as 2020 target: report Pelosi agrees to term limits vote; insurgency collapses Pelosi divides Democrats with term-limit proposal MORE (D-N.Y.) has been elected chair of the Democratic caucus. Who he beat: Veteran Rep. Barbara LeeBarbara Jean LeeOcasio-Cortez eyeing Jeffries as 2020 target: report McConnell’s marijuana conundrum: Cory Gardner Democrats must stand up for Israel 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 PompeoTrump to attend World Economic Forum in Davos for second straight year Pompeo to lead delegation to 'Trump of the Tropics' inauguration The Hill's Morning Report — No deal in sight as shutdown looms MORE and Secretary of Defense James MattisJames Norman MattisPoll: Majority of Americans believe midterm elections were secure from hacking Trump directs creation of Space Command as 11th combatant command Overnight Defense: Almost half of border deployment sent home | Trump, Dems dig in as shutdown nears | Flynn associates charged over illegal lobbying 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 TrumpWhite House release Trumps' 2018 official Christmas portrait Three biggest immigration issues Congress needs to tackle The Hill's 12:30 Report — Trump rips Dems as shutdown looms | Congress deadlocked | Flynn associates charged will illegal lobbying 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'RourkeRobert (Beto) Francis O'RourkeDem pollster says it's 'misstated wisdom' to assume competitive primaries damage presidential nominees Group launches campaign to 'Draft Beto' for 2020 White House bid Kamala Harris top 2020 choice in poll of women of color 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 HensarlingRare bipartisanship in lame duck Congress battling the ‘WTO’ of insurance regulation On The Money: Markets roiled by trade tensions | Rally on hopes of Fed pause on rate hikes | Senate sends two-week spending measure to Trump | Consumer bureau pick confirmed | Trade deficit at highest level since 2008 McHenry to lead GOP on banking panel, duel with Maxine Waters 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 TrumpTrump to attend World Economic Forum in Davos for second straight year Trump charity agrees to dissolve amid allegations of a 'shocking pattern of illegality' Chris Matthews: Trump Jr., Ivanka ‘stand as the next dominoes to fall’ 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 Jay Rosenstein10 pieces of evidence against most diabolical Russian spy ever No glory in James Comey getting away with his abuse of FBI power Mueller’s real challenge 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 RyanThe Hill's 12:30 Report — Flynn awaits sentencing | White House signals it wants to avoid shutdown Missing: Fiscal sanity in Washington On The Money: Latest on border wall fight | Dems prep for long shutdown | Trump finds himself isolated | Stocks sink ahead of Fed meeting, funding deadline | Trump offers new round of farm aid 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