The Hill's 12:30 Report: O'Rourke jumps into 2020 fray

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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: Beto O'RourkeBeto O'RourkeOvernight Energy: Top presidential candidates to skip second climate forum | Group sues for info on 'attempts to politicize' NOAA | Trump allows use of oil reserve after Saudi attacks Five top 2020 Democrats haven't committed to MSNBC climate forum Yang campaign says it received 450K entries for 'Freedom Dividend' contest MORE jumps into 2020 race | Trump mocks O'Rourke's 'crazy' hand moves | Trump braces for Senate rebuke | Last-ditch effort to sway GOP senators | Trump threatens veto on emergency resolution | Top Mueller aide leaving post | Speculation grows probe may be winding down | House votes for Mueller report to be public | Dems critical of Omar seek primary challenger | Pi Day pizza and pie deals

  

TALK OF THE MORNING

You Beto believe it!:

Former Texas Rep. Beto O'Rourke, who ran against Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) in 2018, has jumped into the 2020 Democratic presidential primary. http://bit.ly/2FbJJnw

Why Beto's unsuccessful Senate bid is important: "While he ultimately lost to Cruz in November, O'Rourke managed to come within less than 3 points of a win in Texas, a state with a reputation as a Republican stronghold. Voters in the Lone Star State haven't elected a Democrat to the Senate in roughly three decades." http://bit.ly/2FbJJnw

Watch Beto's 2020 announcement video: http://bit.ly/2UBG5bG

Photo of Beto's Vanity Fair cover -- what a glamour shot!: Tyra Banks would have nice things to say about this. Photo: http://bit.ly/2HtoRd3

Cable networks are pumped: All three major cable networks aired Beto's campaign event in Iowa. Screenshots: http://bit.ly/2J8Ytrc

Want a quick taste of Beto's campaign style?: Here's a clip from his first campaign event in Iowa. Watch: http://bit.ly/2u79AGL

Something to notice about Beto's speaking style: He uses a lot of hand motions when he speaks. A few examples of his animated speaking style: http://bit.ly/2JqG1L5

REACTION FROM President TrumpDonald John TrumpBusiness, ballots and battling opioids: Why the Universal Postal Union benefits the US Sanders supporters cry foul over Working Families endorsement of Warren California poll: Biden, Sanders lead Democratic field; Harris takes fifth MORE:

President Trump noticed Beto O'Rourke's animated hand movements and questioned whether O'Rourke "is crazy." (Via Reuters' Jeff Masonhttp://bit.ly/2HlLH6T

HOW PRIMARY COMPETITOR KAMALA HARRIS IS FUNDRAISING OFF BETO'S ANNOUNCEMENT:

Here's a photo of a fundraising email the California senator's campaign sent out: http://bit.ly/2O1WXGj

THAT WAS FAST -- BETO'S FIRST CONGRESSIONAL ENDORSEMENT:

Rep. Kathleen RiceKathleen Maura RiceMarijuana industry donations to lawmakers surge in 2019: analysis Pelosi backers feel vindicated after tumultuous stretch Democrat offers measure to prevent lawmakers from sleeping in their offices MORE (D-N.Y.) almost immediately endorsed Beto O'Rourke. She tweeted: "He's honest, authentic and has the courage of his convictions and a bold vision for our future. Most importantly, he'll build a movement that will rise above the toxic division in our politics and unite this country." http://bit.ly/2W1nJRY

^Context from The Washington Post's Matt Viser: "Perhaps it's true that few may rival Beto's hand movement. But Trump is certainly one who would." http://bit.ly/2TRutEg

KEEP UP!:

Here's a list of 2020 presidential candidates -- and who still may run: https://nyti.ms/2IKvzxA

 

It's a warm, beautiful Thursday in D.C. -- oh and Happy Pi Day! Keep reading for celebratory deals on pie and pizza. ;) 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 TODAY IN CONGRESS

We've been talking about this vote for so long, I'm running out of material!:

The Republican-controlled Senate is set to pass a resolution rebuking President Trump's national emergency declaration to build a wall on the U.S.-Mexico border. http://bit.ly/2W125wT

Weren't Republicans trying to avoid this vote?: Well yes, but talks within the Republican conference fell apart yesterday.

Which Republican senators are voting with Democrats: GOP Sens. Susan CollinsSusan Margaret CollinsThe Hill's Morning Report - Trump takes 2020 roadshow to New Mexico The 13 Republicans needed to pass gun-control legislation Congress passes bill to begin scenic byways renaissance MORE (Maine), Lisa MurkowskiLisa Ann MurkowskiMcConnell lashes out at Democrats over 'unhinged' criticism of Kavanaugh The 13 Republicans needed to pass gun-control legislation Overnight Energy: Trump administration to repeal waterway protections| House votes to block drilling in Arctic refuge| Administration takes key step to open Alaskan refuge to drilling by end of year MORE (Alaska), Thom TillisThomas (Thom) Roland Tillis The 13 Republicans needed to pass gun-control legislation Bolton returns to political group after exiting administration Tillis places big ad buy as he faces wealthy GOP challenger MORE (N.C.) and Rand PaulRandal (Rand) Howard PaulRand Paul: Almost every mass shooter 'is sending off signals' Liz Cheney says world is more stable, 'safer' under Trump Sunday shows preview: Democratic candidates make the rounds after debate MORE (Ky.) had said before today that they would back the resolution.

^^New additions to the motley crew: GOP Sens. Lamar AlexanderAndrew (Lamar) Lamar Alexander The 13 Republicans needed to pass gun-control legislation Liberal group urges Senate panel to vote against Scalia as Labor secretary Suburban anxiety drives GOP on guns MORE (Tenn.), Mike LeeMichael (Mike) Shumway LeeExclusive: Kushner tells GOP it needs to unify behind immigration plan Manufacturing group leads coalition to urge Congress to reauthorize Ex-Im Bank Overnight Defense: GOP grumbles after Trump delays military projects for wall | House panel hints at subpoena for Afghanistan envoy | Kabul bombing raises doubts about Taliban talks MORE (Utah) and Mitt Romney (Utah) have also decided to vote with Democrats. http://bit.ly/2HE7kPx

Which other Republican senators could join this camp: Sens. Marco RubioMarco Antonio RubioCalifornia poll: Biden, Sanders lead Democratic field; Harris takes fifth The 13 Republicans needed to pass gun-control legislation GOP group's ad calls on Graham to push for election security: 'Are you still trying?' MORE (Fla.), Lamar Alexander (Tenn.), Johnny IsaksonJohnny IsaksonGOP senator presses VA after veteran reportedly bitten by ants at nursing home GOP buys JonOssoff.com after Democrat launches Georgia Senate bid Jon Ossoff launching Georgia Senate campaign MORE (Ga.), Ron JohnsonRonald (Ron) Harold JohnsonDemocratic senator warns O'Rourke AR-15 pledge could haunt party for years Conservatives offer stark warning to Trump, GOP on background checks Hillicon Valley: Google to promote original reporting | Senators demand answers from Amazon on worker treatment | Lawmakers weigh response to ransomware attacks MORE (Wis.), Ben SasseBenjamin (Ben) Eric SasseManufacturing group leads coalition to urge Congress to reauthorize Ex-Im Bank The Hill's Morning Report - Trump ousts Bolton; GOP exhales after win in NC Trump endorses Sasse in 2020 race MORE (Neb.) and Jerry MoranGerald (Jerry) MoranPompeo pressed on possible Senate run by Kansas media Jerry Moran: 'I wouldn't be surprised' if Pompeo ran for Senate in Kansas Senators introduce bill aimed at protecting Olympic athletes in response to abuse scandals MORE (Kan.) are undecided.

  

Spoiler alert -- we know what happens next:

President Trump vowed to veto the resolution. http://bit.ly/2O2PXsC

He tweeted: "A big National Emergency vote today by The United States Senate on Border Security & the Wall (which is already under major construction). I am prepared to veto, if necessary. The Southern Border is a National Security and Humanitarian Nightmare, but it can be easily fixed!" http://bit.ly/2HlxqaB

He also defended the legality of the national emergency: "Prominent legal scholars agree that our actions to address the National Emergency at the Southern Border and to protect the American people are both CONSTITUTIONAL and EXPRESSLY authorized by Congress," Trump tweeted. "If, at a later date, Congress wants to update the law, I will support those efforts, but today's issue is BORDER SECURITY and Crime!!! Don't vote with Pelosi!" http://bit.ly/2HknhuE

  

OTHER NEWS THIS MORNING

A special counsel retiree:

Via NPR's Carrie JohnsonAndrew Weissmann, a top prosecutor in special counsel Robert MuellerRobert (Bob) Swan MuellerFox's Cavuto roasts Trump over criticism of network Mueller report fades from political conversation Trump calls for probe of Obama book deal MORE's investigation, is leaving his position. https://n.pr/2T5eBK0

What this may mean: It's leading to speculation that the special counsel investigation is wrapping up. 

Weissmann's position: He was a key figure in the case against President Trump's former campaign chairman, Paul ManafortPaul John ManafortDemocrats return to a battered Trump Manafort's legal team argues NY prosecution constitutes double jeopardy Clip surfaces of Paul Manafort and wife on Nickelodeon game show MORE

Where Weissmann is headed: To teach and study at New York University. 

SPEAKING OF THE MUELLER INVESTIGATION:

This morning, the House voted for special counsel Robert Mueller's report to be made public. The vote: 420-0, plus four Republicans voted "present."  Yeah, but: The resolution is non-binding. Details: http://bit.ly/2XZWp8b

 

This is the congressional equivalent of 'you can't sit with us':

Via The Hill's Reid Wilson, "Some Minnesota Democrats, aghast at controversial comments made by Rep. Ilhan OmarIlhan OmarTrump seeks to expand electoral map with New Mexico rally Omar says she hopes Netanyahu not reelected Sunday shows - Guns dominate after Democratic debate MORE (D), are taking initial steps to recruit a candidate to run against her in next year's primary election, seeking to buck history in one of the nation's most progressive legislative districts."

 

Tidbit from the Capitol -- cue everyone telling Sen. Murphy, 'you should be flattered!':

"Capitol police are in the basement checking IDs because of Irish lunch ... They just stopped [Sen. Chris MurphyChristopher (Chris) Scott MurphyProspects for Trump gun deal grow dimmer This week: House jump-starts effort to prevent shutdown Senators struggle to get spending bills off ground as shutdown looms MORE(D-Conn.)] to ask for his ID. (Young-ish senator problems?)" (Via The Hill's Jordain Carneyhttp://bit.ly/2T3jP93

 

NOTABLE TWEETS

OK, fine. We'll give you this one, WMATA:

Details on the bald eagle incident: https://wapo.st/2Ck6svM

  

Oh hello there, McDreamy:

Earlier on Wednesday: ABC's Meridith McGraw tweeted that Patrick Dempsey was touring Georgetown University with his daughter. http://bit.ly/2O232CF

  

ON TAP

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

8:30 a.m. EST: Vice President Pence hosts a St. Patrick's Day breakfast with the prime minister of Ireland.

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

10:45 a.m. EDT: President Trump meets with the prime minister of Ireland and holds an expanded bilateral meeting.

Noon: President Trump participates in a friends of Ireland luncheon at the U.S. Capitol.

March: U.S. Military Caregivers Month. Op-ed: http://bit.ly/2Hylz8i

  

WHAT TO WATCH

This morning: Commerce Secretary Wilbur RossWilbur Louis RossOvernight Energy: Top presidential candidates to skip second climate forum | Group sues for info on 'attempts to politicize' NOAA | Trump allows use of oil reserve after Saudi attacks Group sues Trump administration for info related to 'attempts to politicize NOAA' NOAA chief praises agency scientists after statement backing up Trump tweet MORE testifies on preparation for the 2020 census. Livestream of the hearing: https://cs.pn/2Cj70SL

6 p.m. EDT: President Trump, first lady Melania TrumpMelania TrumpTrump introduces Mariano Rivera for Medal of Freedom ceremony with Metallica's 'Enter Sandman' Trump awards Yankees legend Mariano Rivera the Medal of Freedom The Hill's Morning Report - Trump takes 2020 roadshow to New Mexico MORE and Vice President Pence participate in the Shamrock Bowl presentation by the prime minister of Ireland. Livestream: http://bit.ly/2FaYE1b

  

NOW FOR THE FUN STUFF...

Today is National Potato Chip Day! It's also National Pi Day.

Nationally: Here's where you can find pizza deals today: http://bit.ly/2CuDnxZ

Locally: Here's where to celebrate Pi Day in Washington, D.C.: http://bit.ly/2Co2zG9

  

Elsa looks so different without the smokey eye!:

Via BuzzFeed's Loryn Brantz, here is what Disney princesses look like without their makeup: https://bzfd.it/2TzF9s5

 

And because you made it to the end, here's a dog who is captain of the welcome committee: http://bit.ly/2TCOZcH