The Hill's 12:30 Report: Manchin decides to stay in Senate

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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: Manchin to stay in Senate, declining run for governor | Trump tweetstorm as Dorian heads to southeast coast | Latest on hurricane | Stocks fall after Trump's China tweets | Congress faces chaotic fall | Seven issues on the agenda | Pence staying at Trump resort far from meetings during Ireland visit | Costco selling 72-pound cheese wheel



Senate Democrats, you may exhale:

Sen. Joe ManchinJoseph (Joe) ManchinLawmakers push back at Trump's Pentagon funding grab for wall Overnight Health Care: Appeals court strikes down Medicaid work requirements | Pelosi's staff huddles with aides on surprise billing | Senate Dems pressure Trump to drop ObamaCare lawsuit Senate Democrats pressure Trump to drop ObamaCare lawsuit MORE (D-W.Va.) has decided he will not run for governor in 2020 and will instead stay in the Senate.

Manchin said in a statement: "I have always said that 'public service is not self-service.' So, when considering whether to run for Governor, I couldn't focus just on which job I enjoyed the most, but on where I could be the most effective for the Mountain State. Ultimately, I believe my role as U.S. Senator allows me to position our state for success for the rest of this century."

Why this is a big win for Democrats: "Manchin, who has held statewide office since 2001, is one of the only Democrats who has proven capable of winning West Virginia as it turns increasingly red. He won reelection in 2018 by a slim 3-point margin over Attorney General Patrick Morrisey (R)."


It's Tuesday and it's already September. Welcome back! 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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RIP, Trump's phone battery:

Via The Hill's Brett SamuelsPresident TrumpDonald John TrumpFed saw risks to US economy fading before coronavirus spread quickened Pro-Trump super PAC hits Biden with new Spanish-language ad in Nevada Britain announces immigration policy barring unskilled migrants MORE tweeted more than 100 times over the three-day weekend, mainly focusing on the impending hurricane. 

But there were a few shots at the media: For example, Trump tweeted that South Carolina, North Carolina, Georgia and Alabama would likely get hit by the storm. The National Weather Service in Birmingham, Ala., quickly refuted Trump's forecast for Alabama. Trump then criticized ABC News anchor Jon Karl for a report about his inaccurate forecast. Karl wasn't the only journalist to receive Trump's ire.

Here's a quick catch-up:


The market didn't have the best morning:

"U.S. stock markets took a dive Tuesday morning, as President Trump vowed to keep up the pressure on China in the year-plus trade war."

Trump tweeted before the opening bell: "We are doing very well in our negotiations with China. While I am sure they would love to be dealing with a new administration so they could continue their practice of 'ripoff USA'($600 B/year),16 months PLUS is a long time to be hemorrhaging jobs and companies on a long-shot … And then, think what happens to China when I win. Deal would get MUCH TOUGHER! In the meantime, China's Supply Chain will crumble and businesses, jobs and money will be gone!"

Followed by: "The Dow Jones Industrial Average has since fallen 377 points to 26,062, a 1.43 percent drop."  




Go away, Dorian:

Hurricane Dorian is headed for the southeast coast today after battering the Bahamas. Here's the latest forecast from The Weather Channel:

Watch CNN correspondent Patrick Oppman, who is in the Bahamas, describes what it has been like: It is heartbreaking.

Where is Dorian now?: Here's a CNN storm tracker:

The view from space: Here is NASA video of Hurricane Dorian from space:

Wow: Check out the lightning from Dorian. Watch:

Deaths: At least five people have died so far:

Flight cancellations: More than 1,600 flights have been canceled for Tuesday.

Evacuations: At least 1 million people are under evacuation orders. Here is a list of evacuations in Florida, Georgia and South Carolina:

Walt Disney World is closing early: The parks are all closing by 3 p.m. EDT today. How Disney is handling the storm:


To give you an idea of the flooding:




Via WTOP, "The immediate D.C. area is expected to see only showers with gusty winds on Dorian's outskirts. Places such as Virginia Beach and the Maryland and Delaware beaches, were being told to keep a close eye on the latest official forecast."



Congress rolls into September like...:


Via The Hill's Jordain Carney, Congress is returning to a legislative sprint in the fall. 

How many days both chambers will be in session this year: Around 40 days. 



Gun legislation: Congress is returning for the first legislative session since the mass shootings in Texas and Ohio. Lawmakers have floated responses to the shootings, including expanded background checks and studying mental health. 

Government funding: Congress has just 13 working days to fund the government and avoid another shutdown. "Though the House has passed 10 of its 12 annual funding bills, the Senate didn't pass any as they waited for congressional leaders and Trump to strike a two-year budget deal."

Impeachment: "Impeaching Trump isn't on the House agenda for the fall, but the debate within the chamber's Democratic caucus is likely to loom over the relationship between Capitol Hill and Trump." 

Trade: President Trump's trade deal with Mexico and Canada is expected to be a Republican priority this fall. 

Surveillance: "Congress will need to tackle an end-of-the-year surveillance fight, with three provisions in the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act set to expire in mid-December."

Saudi relations: "Senators are expected to force a vote this month on a resolution related to arms sales and U.S. security assistance to Saudi Arabia -- a growing flashpoint on Capitol Hill in the wake of Washington Post contributor Jamal Khashoggi's death last year at the Saudi consulate in Istanbul."

Defense policy: "Congress needs to finalize a mammoth defense policy bill, viewed as must-pass legislation that has successfully made it through Congress for almost 60 consecutive years." 

Context and details for each:


It’s up to the big guy:

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellKentucky state official says foreign adversaries 'routinely' scan election systems Don't let 'welfare for all' advocates derail administration's food stamp program reforms Whistleblower retaliation: Stop confusing unlawful attacks with politics MORE (R-Ky.) said President Trump’s support is critical for gun legislation getting a vote on the Senate floor.

McConnell told radio host Hugh Hewitt: "If the president is in favor of a number of things that he has discussed openly and publicly and I know that if we pass it, it will become law, I'll put it on the floor." 

What to expect:



The Hill's Miranda Green tweeted a photo of a Jamba Juice under construction in the Longworth House Office Building. Photo:



August recess in the Capitol




The House and Senate are out.

President Trump is in Washington, D.C. 

Vice President Pence is in Ireland. By the way: Pence is staying at a Trump resort in Ireland that is roughly 180 miles away from his meetings.

6:10 a.m. EDT: Vice President Pence and Karen PenceKaren Sue PencePence to make swing through New Hampshire on eve of primary The Hill's 12:30 Report: Democrats gear up for crucial New Hampshire debate The Hill's 12:30 Report: Democrats turn to obstruction charge MORE met with Irish President Michael D. Higgins and his wife, Sabrina Higgins

9:30 a.m. EDT: Vice President Pence participated in a roundtable with U.S.-Ireland business leaders in Dublin.

11:45 a.m. EDT: President Trump received an intelligence briefing.

12:55 p.m. EDT: Vice President Pence and Karen Pence land in Shannon, Ireland. 

3:30 p.m. EDT: President Trump meets with Defense Secretary Mark EsperMark EsperTrump thanks Pentagon official said to be pressured to resign Top Pentagon official leaving Trump administration Overnight Defense: Dem senator met with Iranian foreign minister | Meeting draws criticism from right | Lawmakers push back at Pentagon funding for wall MORE in the Oval Office. 



8:45 a.m. EDT: Vice President Pence delivered joint remarks with Taoiseach Leo Varadkar in Dublin. Livestream:



Today is National Welsh Rarebit Day.



Costco is now selling at 72-pound wheel of cheese for $900. Details:


And because you made it this far, here’s a turtle that really wants to play: