The Hill's 12:30 Report: Pelosi asks Trump to postpone State of the Union | US troops killed in Syria blast | Day 2 of Barr confirmation

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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 asks Trump to postpone State of the Union over shutdown | House, Senate leaders cancel recess week | Pelosi keeps tight grip on Dems in shutdown fight | US troops killed in Syria blast | White House calls King's comments 'abhorrent' | Day 2 of Barr confirmation | Gillibrand sets up 2020 committee | Gymnastics routine goes viral | National Fig Newton Day

 


DAY 26 OF THE GOVERNMENT SHUTDOWN

Recess is for governments that stay OPEN:

House and Senate leaders have decided to cancel the Martin Luther King Day recess unless the government reopens -- which appears to be unlikely. http://bit.ly/2HcEjeY  

 

^^And so are State of the Union addresses:

This morning, Speaker Nancy PelosiNancy PelosiNYT's Friedman repeatedly says 's---hole' in tirade against Trump on CNN GOP lawmaker: Trump's tweets 'obviously not racist' On the USMCA, Pelosi can't take yes for an answer MORE (D-Calif.) asked President TrumpDonald John TrumpCNN's Camerota clashes with Trump's immigration head over president's tweet LA Times editorial board labels Trump 'Bigot-in-Chief' Trump complains of 'fake polls' after surveys show him trailing multiple Democratic candidates MORE to delay his State of the Union address until the government reopens. 

Pelosi's reasoning: "Sadly, given the security concerns and unless government re-opens this week, I suggest that we work together to determine another suitable date after government has re-opened for this address or for you to consider delivering your State of the Union address in writing to the Congress on January 29th." http://bit.ly/2CqIj64

IF YOU'RE WONDERING HOW NEGOTIATIONS ARE GOING BETWEEN THE WHITE HOUSE AND DEMOCRATS..."  "Senate Democratic Leader Charles SchumerCharles (Chuck) Ellis SchumerNYT: Don't make Acosta a political martyr Charities say they never received donations touted by Jeffrey Epstein: report Schumer to donate Epstein campaign contributions to groups fighting sexual violence MORE (N.Y.), one of the principal negotiators, told reporters Tuesday that he hasn't spoken to President Trump in nearly a week, underlining the standstill in negotiations." http://bit.ly/2HcEjeY

 

'And you doubted me?!':

Via The Hill's Mike Lillis, "Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) has her troops locked down and walking in step as the Democrats face off against President Trump over border security." How so: "Just weeks ago, Pelosi had faced the toughest challenge to her leadership career from disgruntled Democrats fed up with her long reign, leading to questions of how effectively Pelosi would manage her diverse and restive caucus heading into the high-stakes 2020 presidential cycle. But 25 days into a partial government shutdown, virtually every Democrat has adopted Pelosi's position of refusing to negotiate on Trump's border wall before the government is reopened." http://bit.ly/2FHBrof

  

A scary tidbit -- Air Traffic Controllers Union says flying isn't as safe:

A top member of the National Air Traffic Controllers Association said on CNN that flying is "less safe today than it was a month ago" because of the partial government shutdown. http://bit.ly/2TSSs2e

From Trish Gilbert, the executive vice president of the labor union: "I would say [flying] is less safe today than it was a month ago, absolutely. ... We are working with barebones crews. We have controllers there doing what they do very, very well -- but how long can you expect them to do it without all of the systems behind them to keep the system safe? And the planes in the air?" Watch her explain: http://bit.ly/2TSSs2e

BTW, THE TYPICAL FEDERAL WORKER HAS MISSED $5K IN PAY: According to an analysis from The New York Times, the average federal worker has missed $5,000 in pay during the partial government shutdown. "While the median federal salary is $77,000, about one-fifth of workers make less than $50,000. Many have said they have less than a month of savings, and the shutdown is in its fourth week." Breakdown: https://nyti.ms/2RvUOrh

 

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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PROGRAMMING NOTE: The 12:30 Report will be off on Friday and Monday for the long weekend. Tuesday. Same time, same place. 

  

NEWS THIS MORNING

US troops killed in Syria:

U.S. service members were killed in a suicide blast in Syria. Officials are still gathering information, but: The explosion occurred while a patrol of the U.S.-led international coalition fighting ISIS was caught in a suicide blast, according to local reports. What we know: http://bit.ly/2RuoOno

FROM WHITE HOUSE PRESS SECRETARY SARAH HUCKABEE SANDERS: "The president has been fully briefed and we will continue to monitor the ongoing situation in Syria." http://bit.ly/2RuoOno

CONTEXT FROM CNN'S JAKE TAPPER: "I can't imagine how excruciating it is for Blue Star families with loved ones in Syria right now as we all wait for the Pentagon to deliver the horrible news." http://bit.ly/2CmZc1n

SEN. Lindsey GrahamLindsey Olin GrahamTrump shares Graham quote calling Ocasio-Cortez 'anti-America' Graham: Trump should focus on policy, not personal attacks The Hill's Morning Report - Presented by JUUL Labs - Trump attack on progressive Dems draws sharp rebuke MORE (R-S.C.) INTERRUPTS THE BARR HEARING: "Lindsey Graham interrupts Barr hearing to deliver warning to Trump on Syria, in wake of attack in Manbij: 'To those who lost their lives today in Syria, you were defending America, in my view ... I hope the president will look long and hard at what we're doing in Syria.' " Read Graham’s full statement: http://bit.ly/2FAI6R0

Op-ed on Syria: http://bit.ly/2DedzHa

  

WEDNESDAYS ARE FOR CONFIRMATION HEARINGS

OK, I'll let this go, William Barr. But blink twice if you change your mind:

President Trump's nominee for attorney general, William Barr, is testifying during the second day of his confirmation hearing. Livestream: http://bit.ly/2W06Wj5

 

And joining in the confirmation hearing fun today:

Acting EPA Administrator Andrew Wheeler is testifying before the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee this morning for his confirmation hearing. Expect Dems to grill him on the agency's deregulatory agenda. Livestream: https://cs.pn/2swtRom

Protests: Environmental protesters interrupted the hearing. Video: http://bit.ly/2ARIxmF

 

IN OTHER NEWS

"A presidential announcement a day..."

Last night, Sen. Kirsten GillibrandKirsten Elizabeth GillibrandThe Hill's Morning Report - Presented by JUUL Labs - Trump attack on progressive Dems draws sharp rebuke 2020 Democrats upend digital campaign playbook Gillibrand speaks of how she benefits from white privilege MORE (D-N.Y.) announced she is setting up an exploratory committee for the 2020 presidential race. Where she made the announcement: On "The Late Show with Stephen Colbert." Timing: Gillibrand is heading Iowa this weekend. http://bit.ly/2Rys94Y 

  

More fallout for Rep. Steve KingSteven (Steve) Arnold KingYoung Turks reporter tricks Steve King into tweeting about 'A Few Good Men' villain Holocaust survivor who offered to tour Auschwitz with Ocasio-Cortez calls for her to 'be removed from Congress' Liz Cheney hits back at Ocasio-Cortez over concentration camp comments: 'This isn't model Congress' MORE:

President Trump's top spokesperson condemned Rep. Steve King's (R-Iowa) remarks about white supremacy and white nationalism. From press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders: "Steve King's comments were abhorrent." She also said: "The Republican leadership, unlike Democrats, have actually taken action when their members have said outrageous and inappropriate things." http://bit.ly/2TQYVef

Oh and: The largest newspaper in King's district has called for King to resign from office. Excerpt: "It's time for Steve King to go. He should resign his seat in the U.S. House. A new election should be held for voters in Iowa's 4th Congressional District to choose a replacement," The Sioux City Journal wrote in an editorial. http://bit.ly/2FxaqEC 

 

NOTABLE TWEETS

Aaah, 2020 jokes...:

 

Spotted around D.C. today -- actual fake news:

  

ON TAP

The House and Senate are in. President Trump and Vice President Pence are in Washington, D.C.

11:30 a.m. EST: President Trump met with the Problem Solvers Caucus in the Situation Room of the White House.

12:30 p.m. EST: The Senate votes to invoke cloture on a resolution opposing Trump's plans to lift sanctions on three Russian companies. The Senate's full schedule today: http://bit.ly/2AMkHsw

1 p.m. EST: President Trump has lunch with Secretary of State Mike PompeoMichael (Mike) Richard PompeoTrump's Iran policy proves the primacy of US power — but to what end? The Hill's Morning Report - Presented by JUUL Labs - Trump attack on progressive Dems draws sharp rebuke State Department raises concerns about Sweden's treatment of detained American rapper MORE.

1 p.m. EST: Vice President Pence meets with the U.S. Ambassador to Germany Richard Grenell.

1:15 p.m. EST: Vice President Pence meets with the U.S. Ambassador to the European Union Gordon Sondland.

1:30 p.m. EST: First votes in the House. The House's full schedule today: http://bit.ly/2TBiAPc

1:45 p.m. EST: Vice President Pence meets with the U.S. Ambassador to the United Kingdom Woody Johnson.

2:15 p.m. EST: President Trump signs the Government Employee Fair Treatment Act of 2019 in the Oval Office.

3:45 p.m. EST: Vice President Pence meets with "Angel Families," the White House's term for families of people killed by undocumented immigrants

5 p.m. EST: Last votes in the House.

  

WHAT TO WATCH

10:20 a.m. EST: Vice President Pence spoke at the Global Chiefs of Mission Conference at the State Department. Livestream: http://bit.ly/2zl0CZY

Today: Day 2 of the confirmation heading for President Trump's attorney general nominee, William BarrLivestream: http://bit.ly/2W06Wj5

Today: Andrew Wheeler, President Trump's nominee for EPA administrator, testifies on Capitol Hill for his confirmation hearing. Livestream: https://cs.pn/2swtRom

9 p.m. EST: Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.), who announced an exploratory presidential committee, will appear on MSNBC's "The Rachel Maddow Show." http://bit.ly/2De6rdG

  

NOW FOR THE FUN STUFF...

Today is National Fig Newton Day.

 

I've watched this video so many times:

UCLA gymnast Katelyn Ohashi earned a perfect 10 in her viral floor routine last weekend. It has 37.5 million views so far. Watch: http://bit.ly/2Fw60Oa

 

And because this video made me awkwardly laugh out loud in a quiet coffee shop (whoops), here's a little girl who is ~thrilled~ to meet her new baby brother. That stare!: http://bit.ly/2VWhZtq