The Hill's 12:30 Report: Congress returns with gun violence, funding atop agenda

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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: Congress returns with gun violence, funding atop agenda | Dems probe whether Trump, Giuliani pressured Ukraine over Biden | Nadler sets vote to formalize impeachment procedures | Trump picks Twitter fight with John Legend, Chrissy Teigen | GOP faces must-win North Carolina race | Trump heading to NC for rally | Controversy over plans for secret Taliban meeting at Camp David | Andrew YangAndrew YangAndrew Yang's wife, Evelyn Yang, calls for 'big structural change' at 4th annual Women's March DNC announces new criteria for New Hampshire debate Poll: Sanders holds 5-point lead over Buttigieg in New Hampshire MORE crowdsurfs during rally | Disney sells cake topped with chocolate axe



Picking a fight with John Legend and Chrissy Teigen right before an election year?

Oh that's bold:

President TrumpDonald John TrumpSanders apologizes to Biden for supporter's op-ed Jayapal: 'We will end up with another Trump' if the US doesn't elect progressive Democrats: McConnell impeachment trial rules a 'cover up,' 'national disgrace' MORE slammed celebrity couple John Legend and Chrissy Teigen for "taking the praise" for criminal justice reform legislation that Trump said he helped pass.

Trump's complained about not getting credit: "When all of the people pushing so hard for Criminal Justice Reform were unable to come even close to getting it done, they came to me as a group and asked for my help. I got it done with a group of Senators & others who would never have gone for it. Obama couldn't come close"

He then criticized them by name. Well, sorta...: "Musician @johnlegend, and his filthy mouthed wife, are talking now about how great it is -- but I didn't see them around when we needed help getting it passed. "Anchor" @LesterHoltNBC doesn't even bring up the subject of President Trump or the Republicans when talking about the importance or passage of Criminal Justice Reform. They only talk about the minor players, or people that had nothing to do with it...And the people that so desperately sought my help when everyone else had failed, all they talk about now is Impeaching President Trump!" 



"Imagine being president of a whole country and spending your Sunday night hate-watching MSNBC hoping somebody--ANYBODY--will praise you.  Melania, please praise this man.  He needs you ... Your country needs you, Melania"



lol what a p---- ass b----. tagged everyone but me. an honor, mister president." Here's the full tweet if you want to see:


It's Monday, 9/9/19.  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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Back to school, back to school, to prove to my constituents that I'm not a fool:

--> ;)

The House and Senate are returning to Washington today after a six-week summer recess for the first time since the mass shootings in Ohio and Texas -- and with roughly three weeks left to fund the government.



Gun legislation: Gun proposals are expected to be a central debate as Congress returns, but so far no proposals could pass both chambers and get signed on President Trump's desk. The Trump administration has said it will offer a package but has not said what it would include.

Government shutdown: The House has passed 10 of 12 funding bills to keep the government open. The Senate has passed zero but will start working on four of them this week. The backup plan: House Democrats are moving forward with a short-term continuing resolution to push the funding deadline. One aide said it could be pushed to Nov. 22.

Environment: The House is expected to work on bills this week to tamp down on offshore drilling. 

House Republicans have a retreat: Republicans are heading to Baltimore to discuss their legislative priorities for the rest of the year. President Trump is expected to attend on Thursday.

Nominations: The Senate is working on a series of nominations including Kelly Craft to be the United States' representative to the United Nations General Assembly, Michelle Bowman to be a member of the Federal Reserve Board, Thomas Feddo to be assistant secretary of the Treasury for investment security and Jennifer Nordquist to be United States executive director of the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development. 

Context and details for each:






This morning -- the House prepares to prepare to impeach:

House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerrold NadlerJerrold (Jerry) Lewis NadlerMcConnell locks in schedule for start of impeachment trial Pelosi: Trump's impeachment 'cannot be erased' House to vote Wednesday on sending articles of impeachment to Senate MORE (D-N.Y.) scheduled a vote this week for his panel to formalize procedures to determine whether to impeach President Trump 

When is the committee vote: Thursday.

For example: The vote "would solidify several key policies, including that the panel's staff be allowed to question witnesses for an additional hour -- split equally between the majority and minority -- after each committee member goes through their five-minute line of questioning." 

Full details:



The Taliban won't get to enjoy the comforts of Camp David:

Via The New York Times's Peter Baker, Mujib Mashal and Michael CrowleyPresident Trump planned secret peace talks with the Taliban over the weekend at Camp David, but the meeting was abruptly canceled.

Back story to the meeting: "On the Friday before Labor Day, President Trump gathered top advisers in the Situation Room to consider what could be among the profound decisions of his presidency -- a peace plan with the Taliban after 18 years of grinding, bloody war in Afghanistan." 

Where Trump's key advisers stood: The discussion pitted Secretary of State Mike PompeoMichael (Mike) Richard PompeoCountries reach agreement in Berlin on Libya cease-fire push, arms embargo Trump Jr.: If 'weaker' Republicans only call for certain witnesses, 'they don't deserve to be in office' House Democrats may call new impeachment witnesses if Senate doesn't MORE and national security adviser John BoltonJohn BoltonDemocrats: McConnell impeachment trial rules a 'cover up,' 'national disgrace' Romney pledges 'open mind' ahead of impeachment trial McConnell proposes compressed schedule for impeachment trial MORE against each other. Pompeo was for the peace talks, while Bolton was against them. 

Why the meeting was canceled: "Aides told Mr. Trump about a suicide car bomb attack that killed an American soldier and 11 others. At this point, according to senior officials, Mr. Trump and his team were unified. He could not host Taliban leaders at Camp David just days after an American was killed even though it was unclear whether the insurgents had actually agreed to come in the first place."

Here is what happened behind the scenes:





Not again:

Via The Hill's Max Greenwood in Charlotte, N.C., "Republicans are scrambling to avoid what would be a devastating loss in the special House election in North Carolina's 9th District."

How so: "Internal polls from both sides show Republican Dan Bishop and Democrat Dan McCready running neck and neck in a traditional GOP stronghold that was unexpectedly competitive in 2018. But privately, several Republican officials and strategists have conceded that Democrats may have an edge in voter enthusiasm in a district that President Trump won by nearly 12 points in 2016." 

What to expect:

When is the special election: Tuesday.



Everyone, we are all in this wild ride together:

Yes, this is presidential candidate Andrew Yang crowd-surfing. 




The House and Senate return this afternoon. President Trump is in Washington, D.C., and is heading to North Carolina this afternoon. Vice President Pence is in North Carolina all day.

9:25 a.m. EDT: Vice President Pence left for North Carolina.

11 a.m. EDT: Vice President Pence receives a briefing on Hurricane Dorian in Charlotte, N.C.

1:30 p.m. EDT: Vice President Pence campaigns for GOP congressional candidate Dan Bishop in North Carolina. More on that race:

2 p.m. EDT: The House meets.

2:15 p.m. EDT: President Trump leaves for North Carolina.

3 p.m. EDT: The Senate meets.

5:30 p.m. EDT: The Senate votes to invoke cloture on a nomination. The Senate's full schedule today:

6:30 p.m. EDT: Postponed votes in the House. The House's full schedule today

9:15 p.m. EDT: Vice President Pence gets back to Washington, D.C.

10:25 p.m. EDT: President Trump gets back to the White House.



11 a.m. EDT: President Trump presented the Medal of Valor and heroic commendations in the East Room of the White House. Livestream:

12:30 p.m. EDT: Acting Commissioner of Customs and Border Protection Mark Morgan holds a press briefing in the White House. Livestream:

7 p.m. EDT: President Trump holds a campaign rally in Fayetteville, N.C. Livestream:



Today is National Wiener Schnitzel Day.


Nothing says romance quite like a wedding cake topped with an axe:

The best-selling dessert at Walt Disney World right now is a mini wedding cake with a chocolate axe on top. 

Um, why...?: For Mickey's Not-So-Scary Halloween Party. The mini cake is sold outside of the Haunted Mansion. 

OK, so what everyone really wants to know: "The For Better or For Worse Wedding Cake, which is available for $7.50 outside the Haunted Mansion, has a citrus-scented cake, is filled with Raspberry Bavarian Cream and layers of glaçage, and is topped with buttercream pearls and a chocolate axe." YUM. 

Photos of the cake:


And because this is hilarious, here are dogs who didn't expect their owner to come home that early: