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

To view past editions of The Hill's 12:30 Report, click here:

To receive The Hill's 12:30 Report in your inbox, please sign up here:

--> 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 TrumpA better VA, with mental health services, is essential for America's veterans Pelosi, Nadler tangle on impeachment, contempt vote Trump arrives in Japan to kick off 4-day state visit 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 MuellerThe Hill's 12:30 Report: Trump orders more troops to Mideast amid Iran tensions Trump: Democrats just want Mueller to testify for a 'do-over' Graham: Mueller investigation a 'political rectal exam' MORE's probe and despite Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellThe Hill's 12:30 Report: Trump orders more troops to Mideast amid Iran tensions What if 2020 election is disputed? Immigration bills move forward amid political upheaval 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 PaulOvernight Defense: 1,500 troops heading to Mideast to counter Iran | Trump cites Iran tensions to push through Saudi arms sale | Senate confirms Army, Navy chiefs before weeklong recess Trump to send 1,500 troops to Middle East to counter Iran Frustration boils over with Senate's 'legislative graveyard' 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.

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:



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 arrives in Japan to kick off 4-day state visit On The Money: Judge rules banks can give Trump records to House | Mnuchin pegs debt ceiling deadline as 'late summer' | Democrats see momentum in Trump tax return fight | House rebukes Trump changes to consumer agency House rebukes Mulvaney's efforts to rein in consumer bureau 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 BarrPelosi, Nadler tangle on impeachment, contempt vote Five takeaways from Barr's new powers in 'spying' probe Trump declassification move unnerves Democrats 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, Nadler tangle on impeachment, contempt vote Hillary Clinton slams Trump for spreading 'sexist trash' about Pelosi Hillicon Valley: Facebook won't remove doctored Pelosi video | Trump denies knowledge of fake Pelosi videos | Controversy over new Assange charges | House Democrats seek bipartisan group on net neutrality MORE (D-Calif.) said she agreed with House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerrold NadlerJerrold (Jerry) Lewis NadlerDemocrats are running out of stunts to pull from impeachment playbook Trump asks if Nadler will look into Clinton's 'deleted and acid washed' emails Trump tweets conservative commentator's criticism of FBI director 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 SandersGillibrand seizes on abortion debate to jump-start campaign DNC boss says candidates to be involved in debate lottery CEO pay rising twice as fast as worker pay: AP MORE and Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-CortezAlexandria Ocasio-CortezOcasio-Cortez defends Dem lawmaker who said child migrant deaths were 'intentional' On The Money: Senate passes disaster aid bill after deal with Trump | Trump to offer B aid package for farmers | House votes to boost retirement savings | Study says new tariffs to double costs for consumers Murkowski celebrates birthday with electric scooter ride 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 ComeyFive takeaways from Barr's new powers in 'spying' probe Trump orders intel agencies to cooperate with Barr probe into 'spying' on 2016 campaign Attorney General Barr puts former intel bosses on notice 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 BurrFive takeaways from Barr's new powers in 'spying' probe The Hill's Morning Report — After contentious week, Trump heads for Japan Trump Jr. slams Republican committee chairman: 'Too weak to stand up to the Democrats' 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 KerryTrump's rejection of the Arms Trade Treaty Is based on reality Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie becomes first African to deliver Yale graduation speech Dem Sen. Markey faces potential primary challenge in Massachusetts 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 PenceDozens of graduates walk out in protest of Pence address Trudeau on tariff deal: Canadian and US businesses can get back to 'working constructively together' Congress has a duty to go through with the impeachment and public trial of President Trump 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 Stanley KingSenate panel approves Interior nominee over objections from Democrats Trump, Europe increasingly at odds on Iran The Hill's 12:30 Report: Dems raise stakes with talk of 'constitutional crisis' 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 CarbajalThe Hill's 12:30 Report: Dems raise stakes with talk of 'constitutional crisis' House Dem vets press McConnell on emergency declaration Dem rep 'surprised' more Republicans didn't vote to block Trump emergency declaration MORE (D-Calif.) (Central Coast Ceviche)

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

Easiest Presentation -- Sen. Gary PetersGary Charles PetersOvernight Energy: Democrats push EPA to collect 4K in 'excessive' Pruitt travel expenses | Greens angered over new rules for rocket fuel chemical | Inslee to join youth climate strikers in Las Vegas Democrats push EPA to collect 4K from Pruitt for 'excessive airfare expenses' Senate Commerce chair to renew push for regs on self-driving vehicles MORE (D-Mich.) (Michigan Cherry, Goat Cheese and Sage Crostini) 

Best Preparation -- Sen. Jim RischJames (Jim) Elroy RischOvernight Defense: 1,500 troops heading to Mideast to counter Iran | Trump cites Iran tensions to push through Saudi arms sale | Senate confirms Army, Navy chiefs before weeklong recess Senators say Trump using loophole to push through Saudi arms sale On The Money: Senate passes disaster aid bill after deal with Trump | Trump to offer B aid package for farmers | House votes to boost retirement savings | Study says new tariffs to double costs for consumers 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 BrownOn The Money: Judge upholds House subpoena for Trump financial records | Trump vows to appeal ruling by 'Obama-appointed judge' | Canada, Mexico lift retaliatory tariffs on US | IRS audit rate falls Lawmakers grapple with the future of America's workforce The Hill's Morning Report - Presented by Pass USMCA Coalition - Restrictive state abortion laws ignite fiery 2020 debate MORE (D-Ohio) and Rob PortmanRobert (Rob) Jones PortmanHouse votes to boost retirement savings The Hill's Morning Report - White House, Congress: Urgency of now around budget WANTED: A Republican with courage MORE (R-Ohio); Reps. Lisa Blunt Rochester (D-Del.) and Tim WalbergTimothy (Tim) Lee WalbergThe Hill's Morning Report - Presented by Pass USMCA Coalition - Restrictive state abortion laws ignite fiery 2020 debate On The Money: Mnuchin signals officials won't release Trump tax returns | Trump to hold off on auto tariffs | WH nears deal with Mexico, Canada on metal tariffs | GOP fears trade war fallout for farmers | Warren, regulator spar over Wells Fargo The Hill's 12:30 Report: Alabama abortion bill revives national debate 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.