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

   

LATEST WITH THE MUELLER INVESTIGATION

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. http://bit.ly/2vMQrL9

Keep in mind: This is the first known subpoena of one of President TrumpDonald John TrumpTrump defends Stephanopolous interview Trump defends Stephanopolous interview Buttigieg on offers of foreign intel: 'Just call the FBI' 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 MuellerKamala Harris says her Justice Dept would have 'no choice' but to prosecute Trump for obstruction 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 probe and despite Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellElection security bills face GOP buzzsaw Election security bills face GOP buzzsaw Overnight Defense: Trump doubles down on claim Iran attacked tankers | Iran calls accusations 'alarming' | Top nuke official quietly left Pentagon | Pelosi vows Congress will block Saudi arms sale MORE saying it's time to move on from the Russia probe." 

Full report: http://bit.ly/2vMQrL9

  

REACTION FROM REPUBLICANS:

Republican lawmakers were not thrilled with the subpoena. For example -- Sen. Rand PaulRandal (Rand) Howard PaulOvernight Defense: Pompeo blames Iran for oil tanker attacks | House panel approves 3B defense bill | Trump shares designs for red, white and blue Air Force One Senate rejects effort to block Trump's Qatar, Bahrain arms sales Senate rejects effort to block Trump's Qatar, Bahrain arms sales 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."  http://bit.ly/2LzfX1l

 

A NOTE ON TIMING:

Axios's Jonathan Swan points out: "Committee sent subpoena several weeks ago, before McConnell declared 'case closed' on Russia probe." http://bit.ly/2Vc2PhS

  

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 cmartel@thehill.com -- and follow along on Twitter @CateMartel and Facebook.

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IN CONGRESS

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 MulvaneyElection security bills face GOP buzzsaw Election security bills face GOP buzzsaw White House mulling restoring daily press briefing with Sanders replacement: report MOREhttp://bit.ly/2HanpeU

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." http://bit.ly/2HanpeU

  

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

Yesterday, the House Judiciary Committee voted to hold Attorney General William BarrWilliam Pelham BarrTrump's Justice Department should change its tune on antitrust policy Schiff blasts DOJ over memo on withholding Trump tax returns Trump remarks deepen distrust with intelligence community MORE in contempt of Congress after Barr refused to give lawmakers an unredacted version of special counsel Robert Mueller's Russia report. https://cnn.it/2PUC4h4

The vote: 24 to 16 along party lines. 

 

THIS MORNING -- REACTION FROM PELOSI:

House Speaker Nancy PelosiNancy PelosiElection security bills face GOP buzzsaw Election security bills face GOP buzzsaw Dems eye repeal of Justice rule barring presidential indictments MORE (D-Calif.) said she agreed with House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerrold NadlerJerrold (Jerry) Lewis NadlerWatergate figure John Dean earns laughter for responses to GOP lawmakers The Hill's 12:30 Report - Presented by MAPRx - Nadler gets breakthrough deal with DOJ on Mueller docs The Hill's 12:30 Report - Presented by MAPRx - Nadler gets breakthrough deal with DOJ on Mueller docs 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. http://bit.ly/2PUC80i

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." http://bit.ly/2PUC80i

 

HOW DEMOCRATS ARE STRUGGLING TO MAKE THE TRUMP ADMINISTRATION BEND: 
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." http://bit.ly/2H8Kyxc

 

Happening today — two buzzy names joining forces: 

Via The Washington Post’s Renae Merle, “Sen. Bernie SandersBernie SandersButtigieg on Biden's Iraq War vote: 'that vote was a mistake' Buttigieg on Biden's Iraq War vote: 'that vote was a mistake' The generational divide of Joe Biden and the Democratic Party MORE and Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-CortezAlexandria Ocasio-CortezPolice say man trespassed into Ocasio-Cortez's office Police say man trespassed into Ocasio-Cortez's office Ocasio-Cortez starts petition to repeal Hyde Amendment MORE will introduce legislation on Thursday to cap credit card interest rates at 15 percent, a steep reduction from current levels.” Details: https://wapo.st/2VXhyli

  

IN THE WHITE HOUSE

Just now — Nobody likes surprises:

President Trump just urged Congress to pass legislation to protect patients from surprise medical bills. http://bit.ly/2VOpq8V

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: http://bit.ly/2WvVtat

 

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

 ^ahem^:

President Trump just criticized special counsel Robert Mueller, saying Mueller “loves” former FBI Director James ComeyJames Brien ComeyFive memorable moments from Sarah Sanders at the White House Five memorable moments from Sarah Sanders at the White House Under Trump, our democracy is for sale MORE and claimed there are “hundreds” of photos with Comey and Mueller. http://bit.ly/2JuAiCf

On his son Don Jr.’s subpoena: “Trump says he’s ‘very surprised’ that [Senate Intelligence Chairman Sen. Richard BurrRichard Mauze BurrElection security bills face GOP buzzsaw Election security bills face GOP buzzsaw Tillis dodges primary challenge in NC MORE (R-N.C.)] issued a subpoena for his son to testify and said “the last thing he needs is Washington, D.C.” http://bit.ly/2LvhJ3m

On John KerryJohn Forbes KerryOcasio-Cortez and Cruz's dialogue shows common ground isn't just for moderates 'Landslide' for Biden? A look at 40 years of inaccurate presidential polls Trump campaign considering making a play for blue state Oregon: report MORE: President Trump just called for John Kerry to be prosecuted under the Logan Act. Why: For talking with Iran. http://bit.ly/2VSVjNw

 

IN THE SUPREME COURT

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." http://bit.ly/2HbXK4j

The first case: The first is a challenge to an Indiana abortion law enacted by then-Gov. Mike PenceMichael (Mike) Richard PenceWhite House crowd sings 'Happy Birthday' to Trump Trump won't say if he'd endorse Pence in 2024 Trump has discussed backing Amash challenger: report 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: http://bit.ly/2HbXK4j 

 

IN LOCAL NEWS

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: http://bit.ly/2VrrGn8

Here are the lawmakers' recipes: I'm looking at you, Maine lobster stew from Sen. Angus KingAngus Stanley KingOn The Money: Economy adds 75K jobs in May | GOP senator warns tariffs will wipe out tax cuts | Trump says 'good chance' of deal with Mexico On The Money: Economy adds 75K jobs in May | GOP senator warns tariffs will wipe out tax cuts | Trump says 'good chance' of deal with Mexico Trump administration appeals ruling that blocked offshore Arctic drilling MORE (I-Maine) and his wife, Mary Herman.  http://bit.ly/2vNfPR9

 

THE WINNERS: 

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 PetersHillicon Valley: Lawmakers angered over Border Patrol breach | Senate Dems press FBI over Russian hacking response | Emails reportedly show Zuckerberg knew of Facebook's privacy issues | FCC looks to improve broadband mapping Hillicon Valley: Lawmakers angered over Border Patrol breach | Senate Dems press FBI over Russian hacking response | Emails reportedly show Zuckerberg knew of Facebook's privacy issues | FCC looks to improve broadband mapping Trump judicial nominee says he withdrew over 'gross mischaracterizations' of record MORE (D-Mich.) (Michigan Cherry, Goat Cheese and Sage Crostini) 

Best Preparation -- Sen. Jim RischJames (Jim) Elroy RischSenate rejects effort to block Trump's Qatar, Bahrain arms sales Senate rejects effort to block Trump's Qatar, Bahrain arms sales Senators take bipartisan step toward blocking Trump's Saudi arms sales MORE (R-Idaho) (Idaho Baked Potato Sunday) http://bit.ly/2Ygb4LV

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

 

NOTABLE TWEETS

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

This is gut-wrenching.

Watch: http://bit.ly/2W02bsE 

 

Hey, uh, senators...:

  

ON TAP

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: http://bit.ly/2V5p21e

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: http://bit.ly/2Wz2Iia

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 BrownCongress can defend against Russia by outlawing anonymous shell companies Democrats ask Fed to probe Trump's Deutsche Bank ties Democrats ask Fed to probe Trump's Deutsche Bank ties MORE (D-Ohio) and Rob PortmanRobert (Rob) Jones PortmanHouse passes bill to establish DHS cyber 'first responder' teams House passes bill to establish DHS cyber 'first responder' teams Democrats needle GOP on standing up to Trump MORE (R-Ohio); Reps. Lisa Blunt Rochester (D-Del.) and Tim WalbergTimothy (Tim) Lee WalbergPro-trade group targets Democratic leadership in push for new NAFTA The 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 MORE (R-Mich.); and Megan J. Smith, founder and CEO of Shift7 and former U.S. chief technology officer. Details and how to RSVP: http://bit.ly/2H9NHhq

  

WHAT TO WATCH

11:45 a.m. EDT: President Trump delivered remarks in the Roosevelt Room on ending surprise medical billing. Livestream: http://bit.ly/2WvVtat

3:45p.m. EDT: President Trump meets with the 2018 World Series Champions, the Boston Red Sox. Livestream: http://bit.ly/2YbmwZk

5:25 p.m. EDT: Vice President Pence delivers remarks at Gerdau Ameristeel. Livestream: http://bit.ly/2VRrwEV

 

NOW FOR THE FUN STUFF...

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: http://bit.ly/2YgbLov

  

And because you made it this far, here's a bear who bribed a dog so it could go through the family's trash: http://bit.ly/2vWNZlz

 

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