The Hill's 12:30 Report — Presented by Kidney Care Partners — Lawmakers scramble as shutdown deadline nears

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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 — Presented by Kidney Care Partners — Lawmakers scramble to pass border deal as deadline nears | Conservatives push Trump to use executive power | Trump blasts McCabe after bombshell interview | McCabe says DOJ talked 25th Amendment | New drama over Senate Russia probe | Anniversary of Parkland shooting | Clintons attend Dingell's DC funeral | Dating app discloses data breach on Valentine's Day | Parents say cartoon is making toddlers speak in British accent



Lay it out for all to see:

Last night, lawmakers released a bill to fund the government and prevent another partial shutdown.

When Congress will vote to keep the government open: The Senate will vote on the bill this afternoon. Then the House will take up the bill this evening.

Just now — a change to the House schedule: "NO votes expected in the House on Friday so long as Senate & House pass border deal/funding package tonight, according to lawmakers & aides in both parties. Trump expected to sign it before midnight Saturday to avert shutdown." (Via The Hill’s Scott Wong

What the bill includes: $1.375 billion in funding for physical barriers along the border. Keep in mind: Trump has demanded $5.7 billion in border wall funding. 

Is Trump expected to agree to the deal?: So far, yes. But Trump did say he is "not happy" with the deal, so stay tuned.

Exclusive — tidbit about some unhappy conservatives: A group of conservative House members sent a letter this morning urging President TrumpDonald John TrumpTrump denies telling Bolton Ukraine aid was tied to investigations Former senior Senate GOP aide says Republicans should call witnesses Title, release date revealed for Bolton memoir MORE to declare a national emergency to secure the necessary funds for a border wall. Details via The Hill's Juliegrace Brufke:

To ruffle some feathers: "To try to slow things down, the far-right House Freedom Caucus rolled out a one-week stopgap funding bill, or continuing resolution (CR), to buy lawmakers more time to read the bill — an effort that will be ignored by Democrats who control the floor."

Mood at the Capitol yesterday: "Border deal negotiators Henry Cuellar (D) & Chuck Fleischmann (R) were just hugging and laughing while they joked w/ reporters…" (Via Politico's Melanie Zanona)

Read the full text of the bill, if you're into that kinda thing:


Happy Valentine's Day to all my 12:30 valentines! I'm Cate Martel with a quick recap of the morning and what's coming up. Send comments, story ideas and chocolate to  — and follow along on Twitter @CateMartel and  Facebook.

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Not exactly the valentine Trump was hoping for…:

Former acting FBI Director Andrew McCabeAndrew George McCabeMcCabe accuses Trump officials of withholding evidence in lawsuit over firing McCabe: Being accused of treason by Trump 'quite honestly terrifying' Horowitz report is damning for the FBI and unsettling for the rest of us MORE gave his first interview since being fired to CBS's "60 Minutes," where he described the Russia investigation.

Watch the excerpt:

The most newsy part of the interview — behind the scenes after FBI Director James ComeyJames Brien ComeyCNN's Axelrod says impeachment didn't come up until 80 minutes into focus group NYT: Justice investigating alleged Comey leak of years-old classified info Bernie-Hillary echoes seen in Biden-Sanders primary fight MORE was fired: CBS's Scott Pelley previewed the interview with this tidbit: "There were meetings at the Justice Department at which it was discussed whether the vice president and a majority of the Cabinet could be brought together to remove the president of the United States under the 25th Amendment," Pelley said. "These were the eight days from Comey's firing to the point that Robert MuellerRobert (Bob) Swan MuellerSchiff: Trump acquittal in Senate trial would not signal a 'failure' Jeffries blasts Trump for attack on Thunberg at impeachment hearing Live coverage: House Judiciary to vote on impeachment after surprise delay MORE was appointed special counsel. And the highest levels of American law enforcement were trying to figure out what do with the president."

^ Yes, the 25th amendment: That amendment allows the president to be removed from office. What to know about the amendment:

And on wearing a wire in meetings with Trump: "Pelley said McCabe confirms in their interview that Deputy Attorney General Rod RosensteinRod RosensteinRosenstein says he authorized release of Strzok-Page texts Journalist alleging Obama administration spied on her seeks to reopen case Rosenstein on his time in Trump administration: 'We got all the big issues right' MORE offered to wear a wire in meetings with President Trump. Previously, a Justice Department statement claimed that Rosenstein made the offer sarcastically, but McCabe said it was taken seriously." 

When the interview will air: Sunday at 7 p.m. EST


Late this morning — President Trump has THOUGHTS:

President Trump reacted to the "60 Minutes" interview, mocking former acting FBI Director Andrew McCabe

Trump tweeted: "Disgraced FBI Acting Director Andrew McCabe pretends to be a 'poor little Angel' when in fact he was a big part of the Crooked Hillary Scandal & the Russia Hoax — a puppet for Leakin' James Comey. I.G. report on McCabe was devastating. Part of 'insurance policy' in case I won. Many of the top FBI brass were fired, forced to leave, or left. McCabe's wife received BIG DOLLARS from Clinton people for her campaign — he gave Hillary a pass. McCabe is a disgrace to the FBI and a disgrace to our Country. MAKE AMERICA GREAT AGAIN!"

REACTION FROM 'FOX & FRIENDS' HOST BRIAN KILMEADE: "Are they trying to overthrow the government? Was this a coup?" Fox's Brian Kilmeade asked Rep. Devin NunesDevin Gerald NunesDemocratic lawmaker dismisses GOP lawsuit threat: 'Take your letter and shove it' House Democrats release second batch of Parnas materials Democratic lawmaker says Nunes threatened to sue him over criticism MORE (R-Calif.), the former chairman of the House Intelligence Committee. Nunes did not answer the question directly. Watch the back and forth:



Breaking — Amazon changes its mind on New York: 

Amazon just announced that it will no longer open a second headquarters in New York City. What we know:

Why: Aggressive opposition from local lawmakers and activists. Reasoning: Critics said it would displace poor residents and increase rents. 

Is there an alternative?: No, Amazon said it will not search for another location. 

What about the new D.C.-area headquarters?: Amazon will still open its new headquarters in the outskirts of Washington, D.C.


Exclusive — Come one, come all to the greatest show on earth:

Via The Hill’s Amie Parnes, former Vice President Joe BidenJoe BidenTrump denies telling Bolton Ukraine aid was tied to investigations Former senior Senate GOP aide says Republicans should call witnesses Title, release date revealed for Bolton memoir MORE is almost certain to enter the 2020 race for the Democratic presidential nomination. From a source: “It’s pretty clear he’s jumping in,” said one source with direct knowledge of the would-be campaign’s moves, adding that Biden is “95 percent there.” What we know:


A dating app hack on Valentine's Day — this sounds like a PR student's final exam prompt:

The popular dating app Coffee Meets Bagel announced this morning that the platform had a data breach.

What data was breached?: Names and email addresses, not financial information. 

Read the announcement to users: 



Judge rules Manafort's pants are on fire:

A federal judge ruled that President Trump's former campaign chairman Paul ManafortPaul John ManafortDOJ releases new tranche of Mueller witness documents Treasury adviser pleads guilty to making unauthorized disclosures in case involving Manafort DOJ argues Democrats no longer need Mueller documents after impeachment vote MORE intentionally lied multiple times to the FBI and to special counsel Robert Mueller during his cooperation.

From Manafort's attorneys: "Mr. Manafort did not lie. Despite the considerable efforts of the Office of Special Counsel … it cannot prove what did not happen."

When Manafort will be sentenced: March 13 in Washington, D.C.

HOW DRAMA IS BUILDING IN THE SENATE INTELLIGENCE COMMITTEE'S RUSSIA INVESTIGATION: "The Senate probe is viewed as the most bipartisan congressional investigation into Russian interference, with committee Chairman Richard BurrRichard Mauze BurrMarsha Blackburn shares what book she's reading during Trump Senate trial GOP senator provides fidget spinners to Senate colleagues at lunch Juan Williams: Counting the votes to remove Trump MORE (R-N.C.) and Vice Chairman Mark WarnerMark Robert WarnerDemocrats worry Trump team will cherry-pick withheld documents during defense Commerce Department withdraws Huawei rule after Pentagon pushback: reports  Hillicon Valley — Presented by Philip Morris International — Bezos phone breach raises fears over Saudi hacking | Amazon seeks to halt Microsoft's work on 'war cloud' | Lawmakers unveil surveillance reform bill MORE (D-Va.) walking in lockstep on most matters. However, fractures have emerged recently after Burr publicly stated that none of their evidence indicates the Trump campaign conspired with Russia during the 2016 presidential campaign."


New poll on the Robert Mueller probe — carry on: 

According to a new Navigator poll, a majority of Americans back special counsel Robert Mueller's investigation and believe the probe has "uncovered crimes." Details:

The poll numbers: Fifty-six percent of Americans back the probe. For context: In the same poll in June 2018, only 43 percent of respondents backed the probe. 



The shooting in Parkland, Fla.:

Last Valentine's Day, 17 people were killed and 17 were wounded when a gunman opened fire at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Fla.  

HOW THE COMMUNITY IS DOING A YEAR LATER: Via The New York Times, here are short interviews with nine members of the Stoneman Douglas community:  

HOW DEMOCRATS ARE ESCALATING THE GUN DEBATE A YEAR LATER: "Democrats have a long wish list of gun reform proposals they'd like to see adopted. They're starting with universal background checks, since the idea enjoys broad public backing. The proposal is a key priority of March for Our Lives, the national advocacy group Parkland students formed to address gun violence after the shooting." Details and what to expect on these proposals:

TRIBUTES FROM PARENTS WHO LOST CHILDREN THAT DAY: Here are tweets and photos from parents whose children were murdered:

A MESSAGE FROM TRUMP: "One year ago today, a horrific act of violence took the lives of 14 students and 3 educators in Parkland, Florida.  On this somber anniversary, we honor their memory and recommit to ensuring the safety of all Americans, especially our Nation's children." Read the full statement:

FROM FORMER PRESIDENT OBAMA: Obama tweeted this morning, "In the year since their friends were killed, the students of Parkland refused to settle for the way things are and marched, organized, and pushed for the way things should be — helping pass meaningful new gun violence laws in states across the country. I'm proud of all of them."




Thanks for this, senator…:


Welcome to Congress: 

CNN's Manu Raju then added: "Asked about her tweet this AM attacking Trump for trafficking in hate, she angrily said: 'Yes I tweeted, and there's a response. You can run that. Have a nice day.' And she walked into a meeting."



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

9:50 a.m. EST: Vice President Pence participated in a wreath laying ceremony at the Warsaw Uprising Monument.

11:45 a.m. EST: President Trump held a conference call with anti-abortion activists.

2:45 p.m. EST: President Trump meets with Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen.

6:30 p.m. EST: First votes in the House.



This morning A funeral service for former Rep. John DingellJohn DingellTrump suggests LBJ is in hell: 'He's probably looking down — or looking up' Change with minimal risk: Trump's Jimmy Carter problem 10 controversies that rocked the Trump White House in 2019 MORE (D-Mich.). Participating: Former President Clinton, former Secretary of State Hillary ClintonHillary Diane Rodham ClintonGOP senator says idea that Ukraine interfered in US election is 'not a conspiracy theory' Cotton: Democrats are 'upset that their witnesses haven't said what they want them to say' Trump's troubles won't end with a Senate acquittal MORE and Rep. John LewisJohn LewisObama marks MLK Day by honoring King for his 'poetic brilliance' and 'moral clarity' The Hill's Morning Report — President Trump on trial John Lewis to miss Martin Luther King Jr. Day event MORE (D-Ga.). Livestream:

10 p.m. EST Monday: A CNN town hall with presidential candidate Sen. Amy KlobucharAmy Jean KlobucharPoll: Sanders leads Biden by 9 points in Iowa Democrats step up pressure over witnesses after Bolton bombshell The Memo: Impeachment dominates final Iowa sprint MORE (D-Minn.). Details:



Today is National Cream-Filled Chocolates Day. I sincerely appreciate when these holidays are timely.



*pause to catch my breath* 

 Ahh hahahaha:

American toddlers are starting to speak in a British accent because of the popular children's TV show "Peppa Pig."

Omg: "Up until the age of 20 months, my daughter was a pristine developmental specimen, untouched by screen-time. Then we flew to Australia. After 21 hours of flight time spent binge-watching Peppa Pig episodes on the iPad, my kid had adopted Peppa Pig's plum British accent, calling me 'Mummy' and finishing her sentences with Peppa's trademark snort ... call it the Peppa effect."

One child now regularly uses the word "straightaway": "Daddy, when we get home do I have to go to bed straightaway?" 

My abs hurt from laughing: "The most entertaining aspect of my life right now is that my toddler has been watching Peppa Pig and now speaks with a British accent."

If anyone has video evidence of the Peppa effect, please, please send it to me. 


And because you made it to Thursday afternoon, here's a dog who is definitely in for happy hour tonight: