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'RourkeVeronica Escobar to give Spanish-language response to Trump State of the Union address Biden calls for revoking key online legal protection Trump mocks Booker over suspended presidential campaign 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 TrumpTrump says his advice to impeachment defense team is 'just be honest' Trump expands tariffs on steel and aluminum imports CNN's Axelrod says impeachment didn't come up until 80 minutes into focus group 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 RiceHouse Dems demand answers regarding holding of Iranian-Americans at border Buttigieg picks up third congressional endorsement from New York lawmaker Democratic lawmaker introduces bill to tackle online terrorist activity 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 CollinsSchiff sparks blowback with head on a 'pike' line Schiff closes Democrats' impeachment arguments with emotional appeal to remove Trump Democrats feel political momentum swinging to them on impeachment MORE (Maine), Lisa MurkowskiLisa Ann MurkowskiSchiff sparks blowback with head on a 'pike' line Democrats feel political momentum swinging to them on impeachment Nadler calls Trump a 'dictator' on Senate floor MORE (Alaska), Thom TillisThomas (Thom) Roland TillisProgressive group launches campaign targeting vulnerable GOP senators on impeachment Senate braces for bitter fight over impeachment rules Juan Williams: Counting the votes to remove Trump MORE (N.C.) and Rand PaulRandal (Rand) Howard PaulLindsey Graham will oppose subpoena of Hunter Biden Marsha Blackburn shares what book she's reading during Trump Senate trial Sekulow indicates Trump should not attend impeachment trial MORE (Ky.) had said before today that they would back the resolution.

^^New additions to the motley crew: GOP Sens. Lamar AlexanderAndrew (Lamar) Lamar AlexanderThe Hill's Morning Report — Dems detail case to remove Trump for abuse of power Senate Republicans confident they'll win fight on witnesses Administration to give Senate briefing on coronavirus MORE (Tenn.), Mike LeeMichael (Mike) Shumway LeeThe self-fulfilling Iran prophecy No patriotic poll bump for Trump, but Soleimani strike may still help him politically Senators are politicians, not jurors — they should act like it 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 RubioCommerce Department withdraws Huawei rule after Pentagon pushback: reports  Veronica Escobar to give Spanish-language response to Trump State of the Union address Senators press DHS over visa approval for Pensacola naval base shooter MORE (Fla.), Lamar Alexander (Tenn.), Johnny IsaksonJohnny IsaksonOvernight Health Care: New drug price hikes set stage for 2020 fight | Conservative group to spend M attacking Pelosi drug plan | Study finds Medicaid expansion improved health in Southern states New Georgia senator takes spot on health committee Loeffler sworn in to Georgia seat MORE (Ga.), Ron JohnsonRonald (Ron) Harold JohnsonGraham vows Biden, Ukraine probe after impeachment trial GOP warns of 'drawn out' executive privilege battle over Bolton testimony  Senate Republicans confident they'll win fight on witnesses MORE (Wis.), Ben SasseBenjamin (Ben) Eric SasseCommerce Department withdraws Huawei rule after Pentagon pushback: reports  The Hill's 12:30 Report: Dems to present case on abuse of power on trial's third day Restlessness, light rule-breaking and milk spotted on Senate floor as impeachment trial rolls on MORE (Neb.) and Jerry MoranGerald (Jerry) MoranSchiff closes Democrats' impeachment arguments with emotional appeal to remove Trump Senate Republicans confident they'll win fight on witnesses McConnell keeps press in check as impeachment trial starts 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 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'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 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

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 OmarSanders wants one-on-one fight with Biden Jayapal: 'We will end up with another Donald Trump' if the US doesn't elect a progressive Media's selective outrage exposed in McSally-Raju kerfuffle 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 MurphyTensions between McConnell and Schumer run high as trial gains momentum Nadler gets under GOP's skin Senate Republicans muscle through rules for Trump trial 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 RossDesperate Democrats badmouth economy even as it booms Trump scheduled to attend Davos amid impeachment trial Let's remember the real gifts the president has given America 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 TrumpThe Hill's 12:30 Report: Trump beefs up impeachment defense with Dershowitz, Starr Trump welcomes LSU to the White House: 'Go Tigers' The Hill's Morning Report — President Trump on trial 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