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

To view past editions of The Hill's 12:30 Report, click here: http://bit.ly/1M1mIfw

To receive The Hill's 12:30 Report in your inbox, please sign up here: http://bit.ly/1Tt4hqN

--> 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'RourkeThe Hill's 12:30 Report: Trump digs in ahead of House vote to condemn tweet Poll: Biden, Sanders and Warren lead 2020 Democrats in New Hampshire Poll: Biden leads 2020 Democrats by 13 points, followed by Sanders, Warren and Harris 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 TrumpPompeo changes staff for Russia meeting after concerns raised about top negotiator's ties: report House unravels with rise of 'Les Enfants Terrible' Ben Carson: Trump is not a racist and his comments were not racist 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 RiceDemocrat offers measure to prevent lawmakers from sleeping in their offices Hillicon Valley: Pelosi blasts Facebook for not taking down doctored video | Democrats push election security after Mueller warning | Critics dismiss FCC report on broadband access | Uber to ban passengers with low ratings Lawmakers raise security concerns about China building NYC subway cars 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.

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: http://bit.ly/2kjMNnn

  

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 CollinsTrump angry more Republicans haven't defended his tweets: report Republicans scramble to contain Trump fallout The Hill's 12:30 Report: Trump digs in ahead of House vote to condemn tweet MORE (Maine), Lisa MurkowskiLisa Ann MurkowskiOvernight Defense: Highlights from Defense pick's confirmation hearing | Esper spars with Warren over ethics | Sidesteps questions on Mattis vs. Trump | Trump says he won't sell F-35s to Turkey Epstein charges show Congress must act to protect children from abuse PBS premieres first nationally distributed kids' show with Native American lead MORE (Alaska), Thom TillisThomas (Thom) Roland TillisRepublicans scramble to contain Trump fallout McConnell says Trump is not a racist, but calls for better rhetoric GOP senator: 'Outrageous' to say Trump's tweets about Democratic congresswomen are racist MORE (N.C.) and Rand PaulRandal (Rand) Howard PaulSenate ratifies long-stalled tax treaty On The Money: Senators unload on Facebook cryptocurrency | Tech giants on defensive at antitrust hearing | Democrats ask Labor Department to investigate Amazon warehouses The buck stops here: How to restore accountability to the federal regulatory system 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 - Presented by JUUL Labs - Trump attack on progressive Dems draws sharp rebuke Republicans make U-turn on health care Trump announces, endorses ambassador to Japan's Tennessee Senate bid MORE (Tenn.), Mike LeeMichael (Mike) Shumway LeeSenate ratifies long-stalled tax treaty On The Money: Senators unload on Facebook cryptocurrency | Tech giants on defensive at antitrust hearing | Democrats ask Labor Department to investigate Amazon warehouses Liberal think tank: GOP paid parental leave proposals are too narrow 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 RubioTrump administration denies temporary immigrant status to Venezuelans in US Colombian official urges more help for Venezuelan migrants Lawmakers introduce bill to block U.S. companies from doing business with Huawei MORE (Fla.), Lamar Alexander (Tenn.), Johnny IsaksonJohn (Johnny) Hardy IsaksonSenate GOP raises concerns about White House stopgap plan to avoid shutdown VA chief pressed on efforts to prevent veteran suicides Senators revive effort to create McCain human rights commission MORE (Ga.), Ron JohnsonRonald (Ron) Harold JohnsonAlarm sounds over census cybersecurity concerns Ex-Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker takes job as president of conservative group, won't seek office soon Democratic Senate hopes hinge on Trump tide MORE (Wis.), Ben SasseBenjamin (Ben) Eric SasseAcosta on shaky ground as GOP support wavers Some good advice for Democrats to ignore in 2020 Swing-state Democrats see trouble in proposed pay hike MORE (Neb.) and Jerry MoranGerald (Jerry) MoranEpstein charges show Congress must act to protect children from abuse Bottom Line Senate GOP raises concerns about White House stopgap plan to avoid shutdown 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 MuellerTop Republican considered Mueller subpoena to box in Democrats Kamala Harris says her Justice Dept would have 'no choice' but to prosecute Trump for obstruction Dem committees win new powers to investigate Trump 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 ManafortWebb: Questions for Robert Mueller Top Mueller prosecutor Zainab Ahmad joins law firm Gibson Dunn Russian oligarch's story could spell trouble for Team Mueller 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 OmarBen Carson: Trump is not a racist and his comments were not racist Trump thanks 'vicious young Socialist Congresswomen' for his poll numbers House expected to vote Wednesday on Green's impeachment effort 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 MurphyDemocratic Sen. Chris Murphy announces book on gun violence Lawmakers join Nats Park fundraiser for DC kids charity Democrats look to demonize GOP leader 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 RossHillicon Valley: Senators unload on Facebook cryptocurrency plan | Trump vows to 'take a look' at Google's ties to China | Google denies working with China's military | Tech execs on defensive at antitrust hearing | Bill would bar business with Huawei Judge signs order permanently blocking citizenship question from 2020 census Lawmakers introduce bill to block U.S. companies from doing business with Huawei 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 TrumpCruz in 2016 said 'something fundamentally wrong' with Christians who back Trump: book Designer defends Melania Trump statue: 'People may laugh but the context still resonates' Melania Trump heading to West Virginia to discuss opioid epidemic 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