The Hill's 12:30 Report — Lawmakers meet Trump on Day 14 of shutdown | Trump demands wall in letter | Pelosi sets bar high for impeachment

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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: Pelosi sets bar high for impeachment | Trump rips Dems' impeachment talk | Lawmakers meet Trump on Day 14 of shutdown | Trump demands wall in letter to Congress | Cracks show in GOP resolve | Court sides with Trump on transgender military ban | Fed chief won't resign if Trump asks | Strong December jobs report | Mark Ruffalo on Capitol Hill 



New Speaker in da Hooouse:

Rep. Nancy PelosiNancy PelosiThe Hill's Morning Report - Trump takes 2020 roadshow to New Mexico This week: House jump-starts effort to prevent shutdown Schumer, Pelosi push Trump to back universal background check bill MORE (D-Calif.) became Speaker of the House yesterday -- and gained the enormous power to decide whether to impeach President TrumpDonald John TrumpTed Cruz knocks New York Times for 'stunning' correction on Kavanaugh report US service member killed in Afghanistan Pro-Trump website edited British reality star's picture to show him wearing Trump hat MORE

What it would take for her to launch impeachment proceedings: Pelosi set the bar high and said that any effort to do so would have to be "so clearly bipartisan."

Why the impeachment issue could damage Democrats: "[A] hungry crop of younger and more progressive lawmakers is itching to use their newfound power to aggressively go after Trump. More senior lawmakers, meanwhile, worry that premature calls for impeachment could be seen as pure partisan overreach -- and could hurt the party's chances of ousting Trump in the 2020 election."

THIS A.M. -- REACTION FROM TRUMP: "How do you impeach a president who has won perhaps the greatest election of all time, done nothing wrong (no Collusion with Russia, it was the Dems that Colluded), had the most successful first two years of any president, and is the most popular Republican in party history 93%?" 


Meanwhile -- Oh.:

Yesterday, newly sworn-in Rep. Rashida TlaibRashida Harbi TlaibOmar says she hopes Netanyahu not reelected Bill Maher, Michael Moore spar over Democrats' strategy for 2020 Young insurgents aren't rushing to Kennedy's side in Markey fight MORE(D-Mich.) told a crowd of supporters that she would take on President Trump by impeaching "the mothef---er."

Reaction from Pelosi: House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) told MSNBC, "I probably have a generational reaction to it, but in any event, I'm not in the censorship business."


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

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I really wish this letter started like a stereotypical wedding toast

"Merriam Webster defines 'wall' as ___":

President Trump just sent a letter to lawmakers demanding a border wall. From the letter: "Walls work. That's why rich, powerful, and successful people build them around their homes. All Americans deserve the same protection." How it will be delivered: The letter is being hand-delivered to all congressional offices. Details:


Happening now -- Round two, ding ding:

President Trump is currently meeting with top congressional leaders in the White House's Situation Room to discuss reopening the government. It's the second meeting this week with no signs the two sides are any closer to a deal.

After the meeting: President Trump is expected to speak in the Rose Garden.



Day 14 of the shutdown...

Did you hesitate?! I saw you hesitate!:

Via The Hill's Alexander Bolton, "Republican unity on the partial government shutdown is starting to crack in the face a tough election map in 2020 and no end in sight to the standoff that has hobbled key departments and agencies."

The cracks that are forming: At least three Senate Republicans have called on Congress to reopen the closed agencies.

For example: GOP Sen. Cory GardnerCory Scott Gardner The 13 Republicans needed to pass gun-control legislation Bolton returns to political group after exiting administration The Hill's Morning Report — Trump's hurricane forecast controversy won't go away MORE (Colo.) called for legislation to reopen the government even without border wall funding. 

ADVICE FROM TRUMP'S ACTING CHIEF OF STAFF: Via Politico's Nancy Cook, acting White House chief of staff Mick MulvaneyJohn (Mick) Michael MulvaneyNOAA chief praises agency scientists after statement backing up Trump tweet The Hill's Morning Report — Biden steadies in third debate as top tier remains the same Democrats ramp up calls to investigate NOAA MORE is advising President Trump to stand firm on border wall funding.

BTW, SENATORS ARE WARMING TO THE IDEA OF AN IMMIGRATION DEAL: With no signs of reaching an agreement on reopening the government, senators are starting to think about immigration reform as part of the negotiations.


Last night -- passing a bill just for funsies:

A few hours after Democrats took the majority in the House, the chamber passed legislation yesterday to reopen the government without funding for President Trump's proposed border wall. Why I said this is just for fun: The House bill appears to be dead on arrival in the Senate and with President TrumpYeah, but: Democrats are hoping this will shift the debate and put pressure on Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellThe Hill's 12:30 Report: NY Times story sparks new firestorm over Kavanaugh Senator asked FBI to follow up on new information about Kavanaugh last year Congress must reinstate assault weapons ban MORE (R-Ky.) and the White House. 

^MCCONNELL CONFIRMS THAT: Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) blasted the House bill as "a time-wasting act of political posturing." In McConnell's words: "Any viable compromise will need to carry the endorsement of the president before it receives a vote in either House of Congress. Under these conditions ... the package presented by the House's new Democratic leaders yesterday can only be seen as a time-wasting act of political posturing." 


How does Jan. 29 sound to you?:

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) invited President Trump to deliver the State of the Union address at the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 29.

Context from The Hill's Niall Stanage: "State of the Union visuals, with Trump speaking and Pelosi right behind him, are going to be a treat."



Show me the money:

The U.S. economy added a robust 312,000 jobs in December. Why this is important: It shows that the labor market is growing even amid worries about a turbulent stock market. For context: Economists predicted around 182,000 jobs to be added last month. Oh and: The unemployment rate raised from 3.7 percent to 3.9 percent.

Chart showing hourly wages increasing to $27.48:



Breaking late this morning -- Court sides with Trump on the transgender military ban:

"A federal appeals court on Friday overturned a lower court's ruling blocking President Trump's ban on transgender people serving in the military from taking effect. The ruling hands Trump a win in a case that has seen several courts block the policy. But the policy still cannot take effect because of those other injunctions, which applied nationwide." 


*Covers ears* -- Sorry, I can't hear you:

Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell said during an event this morning that he would not resign if President Trump asked him to. Where Powell said this: At the American Economic Association's annual meeting in Atlanta, where he was joined by his predecessors Ben Bernanke and Janet YellenJanet Louise YellenWhat economic recession? Think of this economy as an elderly friend: Old age means coming death On The Money: Rising recession fears pose risk for Trump | Stocks suffer worst losses of 2019 | Trump blames 'clueless' Fed for economic worries MORE



New black market item:

Via WAMU's Jacob Fenston, Washington, D.C., officially banned plastic straws on Jan. 1. Yeah, but: Businesses have until July to make the change without fines. Details:



Spotted in the Capitol:

^You mean Matt Flamhaff from '13 Going On 30'! ;)


Such a good reference: 

Here's the '30 Rock' clip:



10 a.m. EST: The Senate met.

11 a.m. EST: The Senate adjourned until 3 p.m. Tuesday.

10:15–11:15 a.m. EST: First and last votes in the House.

11:30 a.m. EST: President Trump met with congressional leadership in the Situation Room.

2 p.m. EST: President Trump receives an intelligence briefing.

3 p.m. EST: President Trump meets with Secretary of State Mike PompeoMichael (Mike) Richard PompeoThe Hill's 12:30 Report: NY Times story sparks new firestorm over Kavanaugh Gabbard warns Trump: Acting like 'Saudi Arabia's b---- is not "America First"' Trump ramps up rhetoric on Iran MORE.

March 6: When President Trump's former lawyer Michael Cohen has to surrender for his prison sentence.



11 a.m. EST: Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) held a press conference about the legislative agenda. Livestream:

Noon -- 1 p.m. EST: Rep. Matt GaetzMatthew (Matt) GaetzState probes of Google, Facebook to test century-old antitrust laws Five takeaways on Trump's ouster of John Bolton GOP lawmakers, states back gunmaker in Sandy Hook appeal MORE (R-Fla.) is on Fox News's 'Outnumbered.'



Today is National Spaghetti Day.


And to get your weekend off to the right start, here's a dog who doesn't need any toys to have fun: