The Hill's 12:30 Report: Trump orders more troops to Mideast amid Iran tensions

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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 sending 1,500 troops to Mideast to counter Iran | Conservative blocks $19B disaster relief bill | Senate Dems urge House to tamp down impeachment talk | Frustration in Congress as legislative work slows to a crawl | Trump to end transgender health protections | Lawsuits pile up over Alabama abortion law | GOP spent $4M at Trump properties | Theresa MayTheresa Mary MayTrump, Boris Johnson discuss Brexit, trade issues in Monday phone call Pence to travel to United Kingdom, Ireland and Iceland in September Pelosi vows no UK free trade deal if Brexit undermines Good Friday accord MORE resigns after Brexit failure | Retiring mailman goes viral | National Escargot Day



May comes to an end (in more ways than one):

Via The New York Times's Stephen Castle, British Prime Minister Theresa May announced that she is resigning on June 7 after failing to get support for her Brexit plan.

She announced outside of 10 Downing Street: "I feel as certain today as I did three years ago that in a democracy, if you give people a choice you have a duty to implement what they decide. I have done my best to do that.  I have done everything I can to convince MPs to back that deal. Sadly, I have not been able to do so." 

Timing: President TrumpDonald John TrumpSarah Huckabee Sanders becomes Fox News contributor The US-Iranian scuffle over a ship is a sideshow to events in the Gulf South Korea: US, North Korea to resume nuclear talks 'soon' MORE is scheduled to meet with May on June 3 as part of a state visit. 

Watch May's tearful announcement:



"Anyone seeking the job first has to be nominated by two members of Parliament. If there is only one candidate, he or she automatically becomes the new leader. If there are more than two, lawmakers vote among themselves to narrow the field to two candidates, who then are put to a vote by the 120,000 mostly white, mostly aging Conservative Party members." When the nomination process would start: Around June 10. 

Possible successors: Boris Johnson, Dominic Raab, Andrea Leadsom, Michael Gove, Jeremy Hunt, Sajid Javid and David Lidington. What to know about each of the possible successors:


Happy Friday before the long weekend! 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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PROGRAMMING NOTE: The 12:30 Report will be off on Monday for Memorial Day. Have a good long weekend and don't do anything I wouldn't do! ;) 



More troops are being deployed in the Middle East:

President Trump just announced that the U.S. will send roughly 1,500 troops to the Middle East amid tensions with Iran. 

What the new troops will do: Provide backup to existing troops in the region. 

Trump just told reporters: "We want protection.”



The classic 'Which came first, the tornado or Congress?' debate:

Washington, D.C., was under a tornado warning for a short period of time yesterday.

Oh man, you can't make up this irony: "Senate officials telling people over loudspeakers in the Capitol to seek shelter during the disaster aid vote."


Here is video of the tornado alert going off in the U.S. Capitol: 






Nothing is ever a sure thing:

Via CNN's Ashley Killough, "A disaster relief bill was prevented from advancing in the US House of Representatives on Friday after Republican Rep. Chip RoyCharles (Chip) Eugene RoyGOP lawmaker blasts Omar and Tlaib: Netanyahu right to block 'enemies' of Israel The Hill's Campaign Report: 2020 Democrats step up attacks ahead of Detroit debate Conservatives call on Pelosi to cancel August recess MORE of Texas objected to passing the bill, meaning the more than $19 billion in aid may not go to President Donald Trump's desk for his signature before June."


Why can't we be friends? Why can't we be friends!?: 

Via The Hill's Jordain Carney, "Senators are growing increasingly frustrated as legislative activity has slowed to a crawl during the first half of the year." 


And don't expect it to change much: "The lack of floor action has left lawmakers publicly complaining, even though the high-profile feuding between President Trump and congressional Democrats makes it highly unlikely that large-scale bipartisan legislation will succeed heading into the 2020 elections." 

Yesterday was big!: "The Senate voted on two bills Thursday, breaking a nearly two-month drought during which Majority Leader Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellMcConnell rejects Democrats' 'radical movement' to abolish filibuster Hickenlooper announces Senate bid Trump orders elimination of student loan debt for thousands of disabled veterans MORE (R-Ky.) has focused instead on judicial nominations, his top priority."

How tensions are boiling over:


Senate Democrats to House Dems -- Come on, be cool guys!:

Via The Hill's Alexander Bolton, "Senate Democrats want the House to cool it on impeachment. They see an impeachment drive as hurting more than helping their efforts to win back the Senate majority, and generally back Speaker Nancy PelosiNancy PelosiCutting tariffs is better than cutting payroll taxes to boost the economy Pelosi speaks with Israeli president after Trump controversy In debate over internet speech law, pay attention to whose voices are ignored MORE's (D-Calif.) efforts to keep a lid on the issue."

It's all about the voters: "Democratic senators say the subject of impeachment rarely even comes up in caucus-wide meetings, and that it distracts from issues like health care they see as more important to voters."


We have a deal!:

Via The Hill's Morgan Chalfant, "An unexpected breakthrough in negotiations between the Justice Department and the House Intelligence Committee is about to offer some lawmakers an intimate look at highly sensitive intelligence files collect by special counsel Robert MuellerRobert (Bob) Swan MuellerMueller report fades from political conversation Trump calls for probe of Obama book deal Democrats express private disappointment with Mueller testimony MORE."



Just now -- Abortions have been restricted in Missouri, too:

Missouri Gov. Mike Parson (R) just signed into law a bill that bans abortions after eight weeks of pregnancy.

Any exceptions?: Medical emergencies are an exception to the new law, but not cases of rape or incest.

When it goes into effect: Aug. 28.



The American Civil Liberties Union and Planned Parenthood are filing a challenge to Alabama's new abortion law.

From senior staff attorney at the ACLU Reproductive Freedom Project Alexa Kolbi-Molina: "This law is blatantly unconstitutional, and the ACLU will not stand by while politicians emboldened by President Trump's anti-abortion agenda exploit our health and our lives for political gain."  

Read the details from ACLU Alabama:


The other big story in Alabama -- marriage, schmarriage:

The Alabama House voted to end the requirements for a marriage license in the state.

The next step: The bill heads to Alabama Gov. Kay Ivey's (R) desk for her to sign or veto. 

What this means: "The bill ends the requirements for both a license and a wedding ceremony, according to If the governor signs the legislation, marriage in the state will only require a couple to file for a certificate. ... The legislation works around the Alabama probate judges who have refused to issue same-sex marriage licenses since the Supreme Court legalized same-sex marriage in 2015."




Transgender health protections face rollback:

The Trump administration announced a new proposal this morning that end health care protections for transgender people. 

Specifically: The new proposal would remove ObamaCare's definition of "sex discrimination." 

What that current provision means: "That provision said patients cannot be turned away because they are transgender, nor can they be denied coverage if they need a service that's related to their transgender status." 

Timing: Earlier this week, the Department of Housing and Urban Affairs announced a proposed rule to end transgender protections in housing. Oh and: Earlier this month, the Trump administration's transgender military ban took effect. 

What to expect next:



This morning, President Trump criticized Democrats for requesting testimony from special counsel Robert Mueller, arguing that the Russia report should be all that is necessary.

Trump tweeted: "I don't know why the Radical Left Democrats want Bob Mueller to testify when he just issued a 40 Million Dollar Report that states, loud & clear & for all to hear, No Collusion and No Obstruction (how do you Obstruct a NO crime?) Dems are just looking for trouble and a Do-Over!"



It's all in the family:

Via The Hill's Reid Wilson, "Republican candidates and campaign committees have spent more than $4 million at hotel, golf and vineyard properties that bear President Trump's name since he was inaugurated in 2017."

How much of that money was for the Trump campaign itself: Trump's campaign has paid his businesses nearly $1.5 million for rent and fundraisers. 

Breaking down the spending by Republican candidates and committees at Trump properties: 

"Trump Hotel DC - $2m

Trump Doral - ~$1.1m

Trump Tower - $1m

Trump Plaza - $78k

Trump Bedminster - $48k

Trump Vegas - $26k

Trump Chicago - $22k

Trump Winery - $315"

Why this matters: "Watchdog groups have raised concerns over the propriety of President Trump profiting off businesses as foreign governments and corporate interest groups currying favor in Washington book rooms at Trump hotels -- including Trump's hotel in Washington, D.C." 




Getting traction -- this story is worth reading:

This viral story of a retiring mailman has really struck a chord. 

Read the full thread:



Delta Air Lines reacted to the man's story, offering him free airfare to Hawaii. Delta tweeted: "A trip to Hawaii is the perfect way to celebrate a wonderful career. We'd love to take care of Mr. Martin's flight. Let's connect on the details in DM."



The House and Senate are out for Memorial Day recess.

President Trump is on his way to Japan. Vice President Pence has no public events on his schedule. 

Noon: President Trump and first lady Melania TrumpMelania TrumpEx-Melania Trump adviser raised concerns of excessive inauguration spending weeks before events: CNN The Hill's Morning Report - Trump moves green cards, citizenship away from poor, low-skilled White House seeks volunteers, musicians for Christmas celebrations MORE left for Tokyo.

Just announced -- July 9: "A federal appeals court has set a July 9 hearing date in the appeal of a judge's decision to strike down the Affordable Care Act (ACA)."



Released today: The remade Aladdin movie. NPR review:



Today is National Escargot Day. And for planning purposes, tomorrow is National Wine Day! 


It's the most wonderful time of the year:

Via DCist, here's a list of 13 things to do in the Washington, D.C., area over the holiday weekend:


And to get your weekend off to the right start, here's a dog who really believes he's still a lap dog. Please don't break it to him.:


Have a great long weekend, friends!