The Hill's 12:30 Report: Dems give wiggle room on border funding | Trump says GOP 'wasting' time in wall talks | Senate GOP poised to rebuke Trump

To view past editions of The Hill's 12:30 Report, click here:

To receive The Hill's 12:30 Report in your inbox, please sign up here:

--> 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: Dems give wiggle room on border funding | Trump says GOP 'wasting' time in wall talks | Senate GOP poised to rebuke Trump on foreign policy | Trump looks for way back after rough month | Poll finds Ginsburg is public's 'favorite' justice | Midwest colder than Antarctica, Siberia | Good time for National Hot Chocolate Day | DC could hit 60 degrees next week | Chick-fil-A Valentine's Day gift



Lots of grumbling all around:

This morning, President TrumpDonald John TrumpDavid Axelrod after Ginsburg cancer treatment: Supreme Court vacancy could 'tear this country apart' EU says it will 'respond in kind' if US slaps tariffs on France Ginsburg again leaves Supreme Court with an uncertain future MORE questioned whether the new bipartisan congressional committee can come to a government spending agreement that includes border wall funding.

He tweeted: "Republicans on the Homeland Security Committee are wasting their time. Democrats, despite all of the evidence, proof and Caravans coming, are not going to give money to build the DESPERATELY needed WALL. I've got you covered. Wall is already being built, I don't expect much help!"

MEANWHILE FROM DEMOCRATS -- WIGGLE, WIGGLE, WIGGLE: Democrats are giving themselves some wiggle room to negotiate in border wall funding. How so: By downplaying the need for a physical wall, but not closing the door entirely. 


Call a spade a spade:

This morning, President Trump also urged others to "stop playing political games" and call any type of structure on the border a "wall."

He tweeted: "Lets just call them WALLS from now on and stop playing political games! A WALL is a WALL!"


Happy Thursday. It's finally the last day of January! Who knew there were 87 days in this month? 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.

Did someone forward this to you? Want your own copy? Sign up here to receive The Hill's 12:30 Report in your inbox daily:



What do we want? A reasonable temperature! When do we want it? NOW!:

Just in case you haven't heard this stat: The Midwest was colder than Siberia, Antarctica and Alaska yesterday.

Yikes these photos: The Minneapolis Star Tribune posted a series of photos of the deep freeze. Wow:

^ Including my personal favorite: A photo taken by Anthony Souffle features a college student wearing shorts in the cold. The caption: "Miles, a University of Minnesota student who declined to give his last name because he said his mom would be mad at him for how he was dressed, crossed University Avenue Southeast in shorts Tuesday." Photo with the caption -- amazing:

Get excited: Temperatures in the D.C. area could hit 60 degrees next week! The full Capital Weather Gang forecast:



Happening this afternoon -- Senate Republicans and Trump may need couples' counseling soon:

Via The Hill's Alexander Bolton and Jordan Fabian, "Frustrated Republicans say it's time for the Senate to reclaim more power over foreign policy and are planning to move a measure Thursday that would be a stunning rebuke to a president of their own party."

Why: "GOP lawmakers are deeply concerned over President Trump's reluctance to listen to his senior military and intelligence advisers, fearing it could erode national security. They say the Senate has lost too much of its constitutional power over shaping the nation's foreign policy and argue that it's time to begin clawing some of it back."

What Senate Republicans are doing about it -- a vote to rebuke Trump at 3:30 p.m.: The Senate is planning to vote on an amendment sponsored by Majority Leader Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellDavid Axelrod after Ginsburg cancer treatment: Supreme Court vacancy could 'tear this country apart' Pelosi asks Democrats for 'leverage' on impeachment Democrats press FBI, DHS on response to white supremacist violence MORE (R-Ky.) warning "the precipitous withdrawal" of U.S. forces from Syria and Afghanistan "could put at risk hard-won gains and United States national security." 

Details and how this could play out:




Loophole -- what if we get said troops to wear shirts with the word 'wall?':

Earlier this week, acting Defense Secretary Patrick ShanahanPatrick Michael ShanahanWhy Dave Norquist is the perfect choice for DOD's deputy secretary Five questions for Trump's new defense secretary on first major tour Trump says media is part of vetting his nominees: 'We save a lot of money that way' MORE announced that a "few thousand" more troops would be deployed to the U.S.-Mexico border.

THIS A.M. -- REACTION FROM TRUMP: President Trump tweeted, "More troops being sent to the Southern Border to stop the attempted Invasion of Illegals, through large Caravans, into our Country. We have stopped the previous Caravans, and we will stop these also. With a Wall it would be soooo much easier and less expensive. Being Built!"

INTERESTING READ -- HOW TRUMP COULD BOUNCE BACK AFTER A ROUGH STRETCH: Via The Hill's Niall Stanage, "President Trump looks to be close to the nadir of his presidency, beset by his defeat on the government shutdown, bad opinion polls, a Democratic House and special counsel Robert MuellerRobert (Bob) Swan MuellerMueller report fades from political conversation Trump calls for probe of Obama book deal Democrats express private disappointment with Mueller testimony MORE's probe." Yeah, but: "Republicans, including some beyond his base, insist he still has a plausible path to reelection in 2020." Reasoning:





Getting traction-- it does actually sound like 'S & L':


Poor Justices Kagan and Breyer :( 

The full poll:



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

11:05 a.m. EST: Vice President Pence was briefed at the Drug Enforcement Administration headquarters.

11:45 a.m. EST: President Trump signed an executive order in the Oval Office to boost the use of U.S.-made iron and steel in infrastructure projects. Details:

2:15 p.m. EST: President Trump receives an intelligence briefing.

3:30 p.m. EST: President Trump meets with the vice premier of the People's Republic of China.

3:30 p.m. EST: The Senate holds a procedural vote on an amendment related to Syria and Afghanistan. The Senate's full schedule today:

4:30 p.m. EST: Vice President Pence swears in James W. Carroll as director of the U.S. Office of National Drug Control Policy.

Feb. 15: The deadline to avert another partial government shutdown.



11:40 a.m. EST: Vice President Pence spoke at Drug Enforcement Agency headquarters. Livestream:



Today is National Hot Chocolate Day. How festive?


I mean, I can't think of a better Valentine's Day gift:

Until Feb. 14, Chick-fil-A is offering heart-shaped trays of chicken nuggets or mini sandwiches. Photos and details -- so beautiful:


This is right out of a movie:

Via Time's George Steer, "Florida public works employees called to investigate an apparent sinkhole were shocked to discover a recently excavated tunnel running below the street in the direction of a nearby bank. It remains unclear how many people were involved in digging the tunnel, reported to be 50 feet long."


And here's a puppy who has figured out the correct way to stay warm and cozy today: