The Hill's 12:30 Report: Dems raise stakes with talk of 'constitutional crisis'

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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: Breaking - Trump says he's 'very surprised' by Senate Intel subpoena for Trump Jr. | Calls for Kerry to be prosecuted for talking to Iran | Pelosi agrees US faces 'constitutional crisis' | Why the GOP is frustrated with Trump's chief of staff | Trump to tackle surprise medical bills | Ocasio-Cortez, Sanders team up on bill targeting credit card industry | Justices fuel speculation over key abortion, LGBT rights cases | Red Sox headed to White House | Lawmakers compete in cook-off for March of Dimes



Will the real Don Jr. please stand up? 

I repeat, will the real Don Jr. please stand up?:

Via Axios's Jonathan Swan, Alayna Treene and David Nather, the Republican-controlled Senate Intelligence Committee has subpoenaed Donald Trump Jr. as part of the Russia investigation.

Keep in mind: This is the first known subpoena of one of President TrumpDonald John TrumpTrump administration eyes proposal to block jet engine sales to China: report Trump takes track to open Daytona 500 Brazile 'extremely dismayed' by Bloomberg record MORE's children. 

Why this is important: "It's also a sign that the Russia investigations in Congress aren't over despite the conclusion of special counsel Robert MuellerRobert (Bob) Swan MuellerCNN's Toobin warns McCabe is in 'perilous condition' with emboldened Trump CNN anchor rips Trump over Stone while evoking Clinton-Lynch tarmac meeting The Hill's 12:30 Report: New Hampshire fallout MORE's probe and despite Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellTrump declares war on hardworking Americans with new budget request The Hill's Morning Report — AG Barr, GOP senators try to rein Trump in Overnight Health Care: Nevada union won't endorse before caucuses after 'Medicare for All' scrap | McConnell tees up votes on two abortion bills | CDC confirms 15th US coronavirus case MORE saying it's time to move on from the Russia probe." 

Full report:



Republican lawmakers were not thrilled with the subpoena. For example -- Sen. Rand PaulRandal (Rand) Howard PaulPelosi names first-ever House whistleblower ombudsman director The Hill's Morning Report — AG Barr, GOP senators try to rein Trump in Overnight Defense: Senate votes to rein in Trump war powers on Iran | Pentagon shifting .8B to border wall | US, Taliban negotiate seven-day 'reduction in violence' MORE (R-Ky.) tweeted: "Apparently the Republican chair of the Senate Intel Committee didn't get the memo from the Majority Leader that this case was closed."



Axios's Jonathan Swan points out: "Committee sent subpoena several weeks ago, before McConnell declared 'case closed' on Russia probe."


It's Thursday. 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.

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Thanks, MICK. You're really helpful, MICK. Really appreciate it, MICK.:

Via The Hill's Alexander Bolton, Senate Republicans are getting frustrated with President Trump's acting chief of staff, Mick MulvaneyJohn (Mick) Michael MulvaneyTrump declares war on hardworking Americans with new budget request Scaramucci thanks John Kelly for speaking up against Trump Trump lashes out over Kelly criticism: 'He misses the action' MORE

Why: Republicans think Mulvaney is getting in the way of making spending deals. 

For example: The stalled disaster relief package. Republicans worry the tension could still into raising the debt ceiling and avoiding another government shutdown.

Keep in mind about Mick Mulvaney: "Before joining the administration, Mulvaney was a founding member of the conservative House Freedom Caucus, which rose to prominence after the Tea Party wave of 2010 by opposing spending increases and the implementation of ObamaCare. Some GOP lawmakers worry that Mulvaney has ingrained the Freedom Caucus's staunch conservative worldview to the White House, making it tougher to cut deals with Democrats."


Latest with the Bill Barr contempt vote -- crisis mode:

Yesterday, the House Judiciary Committee voted to hold Attorney General William BarrWilliam Pelham BarrSunday shows - Spotlight shines on Bloomberg, stop and frisk GOP senator on Trump's Roger Stone tweet: 'Just because you can sing ... doesn't mean you should sing' Short defends Trump's tweets as a 'very effective way' to communicate with Americans MORE in contempt of Congress after Barr refused to give lawmakers an unredacted version of special counsel Robert Mueller's Russia report.

The vote: 24 to 16 along party lines. 



House Speaker Nancy PelosiNancy PelosiPelosi: 'I'm not counting Joe Biden out' Short defends Trump's tweets as a 'very effective way' to communicate with Americans Democrats fear rule of law crumbling under Trump MORE (D-Calif.) said she agreed with House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerrold NadlerJerrold (Jerry) Lewis NadlerTrump adviser presses House investigators to make Bezos testify Nadler demands answers from Barr on 'new channel' for receiving Ukraine info from Giuliani Trump predicts Ocasio-Cortez will launch primary bid against Schumer MORE (D-N.Y.) that the U.S. is facing a "constitutional crisis" after the panel voted to hold Attorney General William Barr in contempt of Congress.

In Pelosi's words: "Yes, I do agree with Chairman Nadler because the administration has decided that they're not going to honor their oath of office." 

Pelosi echoed Nadler's comments yesterday: "We've talked for a long time about approaching a constitutional crisis. We are now in it," Nadler told reporters. "Now is the time of testing whether we can keep a republic, or whether this republic is destined to change into a different, more tyrannical form of government. We must resist this."


Via The Hill's Cristina Marcos, "House Democrats are struggling to find a way to make the Trump administration pay for refusing to cooperate with their investigations."


Happening today — two buzzy names joining forces: 

Via The Washington Post’s Renae Merle, “Sen. Bernie SandersBernie SandersDemocrats redefine center as theirs collapses Speculation swirls around whether Bloomberg will make Las Vegas debate stage Pelosi: 'I'm not counting Joe Biden out' MORE and Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-CortezAlexandria Ocasio-CortezJulián Castro endorses Rep. Cuellar's primary opponent in Texas Overnight Energy: Controversial Trump adviser reportedly returning to EPA | Delta aims to be first carbon neutral airline | Dem senator gives EPA D-minus on 'forever chemicals' Intercept Bureau Chief: Culinary Union concerns over "Medicare for All" are faulty MORE will introduce legislation on Thursday to cap credit card interest rates at 15 percent, a steep reduction from current levels.” Details:



Just now — Nobody likes surprises:

President Trump just urged Congress to pass legislation to protect patients from surprise medical bills.

How that would work: “Officials told reporters they want Congress to ban balance billing for out of network emergency care. Balance billing happens when out-of-network providers bill patients for the difference between a billed charge and a health plan’s allowed amount. Those charges are often large and unexpected.” 

Livestream of Trump’s remarks:


Breaking — ^ the real surprise at the no surprises press conference ^ 


President Trump just criticized special counsel Robert Mueller, saying Mueller “loves” former FBI Director James ComeyJames Brien ComeyDOJ attorney looking into whether CIA withheld info during start of Russia probe: NYT Graham requests interviews with DOJ, FBI officials as part of probe into Russia investigation Raising the Barr isn't always the best way to combat corruption MORE and claimed there are “hundreds” of photos with Comey and Mueller.

On his son Don Jr.’s subpoena: “Trump says he’s ‘very surprised’ that [Senate Intelligence Chairman Sen. Richard BurrRichard Mauze BurrUS prosecutors bring new charges against China's Huawei Graham vows to approach Hunter Biden probe with caution: 'I'm not going to be the Republican Christopher Steele' McConnell displays mastery of Senate with impeachment victory MORE (R-N.C.)] issued a subpoena for his son to testify and said “the last thing he needs is Washington, D.C.”

On John KerryJohn Forbes KerryNew Hampshire primary turnout is a boost to Democrats New Hampshire only exacerbates Democratic Party agita If Trump renegotiates Iran's nuclear deal, should it be a treaty this time? MORE: President Trump just called for John Kerry to be prosecuted under the Logan Act. Why: For talking with Iran.



The Supreme Court is teasing us:

Via The Hill's Jacqueline Thomsen, "The Supreme Court has yet to announce whether it will take up two of this year's most closely watched cases, fueling speculation about the justices' closed-door deliberations."

The first case: The first is a challenge to an Indiana abortion law enacted by then-Gov. Mike PenceMichael (Mike) Richard PenceShort defends Trump's tweets as a 'very effective way' to communicate with Americans Trump's 'two steps forward, one step backward' strategy with China The state of the Democratic primary: Heading to a brokered convention?   MORE.

Where it stands: The Supreme Court has put this case on its weekly private list of cases to consider more than a dozen (!) times since January.

The second case: The other case involves an Oregon bakery that was fined for refusing to bake a cake for a lesbian couple.  

Where it stands: The court has included this case on its private list eight (!) times since March.

Why the number of times on the private list matters: "Court watchers said that while the content of the weekly deliberations is secret, it's very unusual for potential cases to be listed for consideration this many times." 

A possible reason: "[Court watchers] also said it's possible that the sensitivity of the topics -- LGBT and abortion rights -- is causing the justices to be overly cautious in deciding whether to hear oral arguments."

What to watch: 



Top Chef: Capitol Hill: 

More than 50 U.S. senators and representatives competed in a cook-off last night in Washington, D.C., for the March of Dimes Gourmet Gala.

Photos of the event:

Here are the lawmakers' recipes: I'm looking at you, Maine lobster stew from Sen. Angus KingAngus KingUse of voting tabulation apps raise red flags on Capitol Hill Patrick Dempsey to star in pilot for CBS political drama 'Ways and Means' McConnell, Romney vie for influence over Trump's trial MORE (I-Maine) and his wife, Mary Herman.



Judge's Choice -- Sen. Angus King (I-Maine) (Lobster Stew) 

People's Choice -- Rep. Dean Philips (D-Minn.) (Miriam's Potato Latkes) 

Healthiest Recipe -- Rep. Salud CarbajalSalud CarbajalLawmakers with first-hand experience using food stamps call on Trump not to cut program House Democrat: 'Trump needs to give more consideration to the safety of our troops' Lawmakers react, predict Trump's next move MORE (D-Calif.) (Central Coast Ceviche)

Hometown Hero -- Rep. Bob Latta (R-Ohio) (Johnny Appleseed Crisp)  

Easiest Presentation -- Sen. Gary PetersGary Charles PetersState officials press Congress for more resources to fight cyberattacks Bipartisan lawmakers introduce bill to combat cyberattacks on state and local governments Senate drama surrounding Trump trial starts to fizzle MORE (D-Mich.) (Michigan Cherry, Goat Cheese and Sage Crostini) 

Best Preparation -- Sen. Jim RischJames (Jim) Elroy RischLawmakers wary as US on cusp of initial deal with Taliban Senators condemn UN 'blacklisting' of US companies in Israeli settlements Dairy industry doesn't own the word 'milk' MORE (R-Idaho) (Idaho Baked Potato Sunday)

The event's media sponsors: The Hill, National Journal, Washington Life and the Washington Diplomat.



Trending video -- a little boy describing the shooting in Colorado:

This is gut-wrenching.



Hey, uh, senators...:



The House and Senate are in.

1:05 p.m. EDT: Vice President Pence visits R&J Johnson Farms in Fargo, N.D.

1:30 p.m. EDT: First votes in the House. The House's full schedule today:

1:45 p.m. EDT: President Trump receives an intelligence briefing.

1:45 p.m. EDT: The Senate votes on a judicial nomination. The Senate's full schedule today:

4:45 p.m. EDT: Vice President Pence tours Gerdau Ameristeel in Minnesota.

5 p.m. EDT: Last votes in the House.

9 p.m. EDT: Vice President Pence gets back to Washington, D.C.

May 16: The Hill is hosting an event on the future of work, "Workers and The Innovation Age." Featured speakers: Sens. Sherrod BrownSherrod Campbell BrownTrump pick for Fed seat takes bipartisan fire On The Money: Deficit spikes 25 percent through January | Mnuchin declines to say why Trump pulled Treasury nominee who oversaw Roger Stone case | Lawmakers trade insults over Trump budget cuts Mnuchin defends Treasury regulations on GOP tax law MORE (D-Ohio) and Rob PortmanRobert (Rob) Jones PortmanGOP senators offering bill to cement business provision in Trump tax law Mnuchin defends Treasury regulations on GOP tax law Bipartisan lawmakers introduce bill to combat cyberattacks on state and local governments MORE (R-Ohio); Reps. Lisa Blunt Rochester (D-Del.) and Tim WalbergTimothy (Tim) Lee WalbergHillicon Valley: Facebook to still allow misinformation in ads under new rules | New child privacy bill in House | Election vendors support more federal oversight House lawmakers introduce bill to protect children's privacy online Pro-trade group launches media buy as Trump and Democrats near deal on new NAFTA MORE (R-Mich.); and Megan J. Smith, founder and CEO of Shift7 and former U.S. chief technology officer. Details and how to RSVP:



11:45 a.m. EDT: President Trump delivered remarks in the Roosevelt Room on ending surprise medical billing. Livestream:

3:45p.m. EDT: President Trump meets with the 2018 World Series Champions, the Boston Red Sox. Livestream:

5:25 p.m. EDT: Vice President Pence delivers remarks at Gerdau Ameristeel. Livestream:



Today is National Butterscotch Brownie Day. It's also National Moscato Day.


For all the scared pups in your life:

Ford Europe has created a noise-canceling kennel for dogs who are scared of loud noises like fireworks and thunder. Photo of the prototype:


And because you made it this far, here's a bear who bribed a dog so it could go through the family's trash:


This story was updated at 1:55 p.m.