The Hill's 12:30 Report: Washington mourns loss of Elijah Cummings

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*Ha. Haha. Hahah. Sniff. Haha. Sniff. Ha--breaks down crying hysterically.


The Hill's 12:30 Report: Washington mourns loss of Eljiah Cummings | Pelosi calls Cummings 'North Star' for House | Trump says Cummings 'very hard, if not impossible, to replace' | Obama 'heartbroken' | Carolyn MaloneyCarolyn Bosher MaloneyHouse Democrats pull subpoena for ex-Trump national security official House Democrats ask Mulvaney to testify in impeachment inquiry Republicans look to expand impeachment strategy amid release of transcripts MORE to take over as interim Oversight chair | US Ambassador Sondland to say Trump pushed him to work with Giuliani | McConnell wants stronger Syria rebuke than House | Buttigieg emerges as threat to Biden | National Pasta Day deals  



Tapping in this morning:

Gordon Sondland, the U.S. ambassador to the European Union, is testifying on Capitol Hill today in the impeachment inquiry of President TrumpDonald John TrumpDemocrats face make-or-break moment on impeachment Here are the key players to watch at impeachment hearing George Kent: What you need to know MORE's dealings with Ukraine. 

What to know about Sondland: "Gordon Sondland [is] a wealthy hotel magnate, GOP mega-donor and late Trump convert." 

What Sondland is expected to tell lawmakers: That President Trump directed administration officials to work with his personal lawyer Rudy GiulianiRudy GiulianiTop diplomat said request for specific probes in Ukraine was 'contrary' to US policy Press: Another billionaire need not apply Condoleezza Rice says reports of an unofficial US policy in Ukraine are 'deeply troubling' MORE on matters related to Ukraine. Sondland is also expected to distance himself from Trump and Giuliani.

Read his opening statement:

Photo of Sondland arriving at his closed-door testimony:

Watch the scuffle as an NBC reporter tried asking Sondland a question this morning:


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.

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Rest in peace, congressman:

Longtime Rep. Elijah CummingsElijah Eugene CummingsMaya Rockeymoore Cummings, Elijah Cummings's widow, will run for his House seat Former NAACP president to run for Cummings's House seat Elijah Cummings's widow 'thinking carefully' about running for his old seat MORE (D-Md.), the son of a sharecropper who rose to become chairman of the powerful House Oversight and Reform Committee, has died at the age of 68.

What happened: Cummings passed away at 2:30 a.m. EDT at Gilchrist Hospice Care, a Johns Hopkins affiliate, "due to complications concerning longstanding health challenges."

In the past year: "Cummings relied on the use of a walker and motorized scooter to get around even as he continued at a frenetic pace in the Capitol, leading televised committee hearings and giving interviews to reporters."

Read his obituary in the Baltimore Sun:

This is a pretty cool photo of Cummings from 1997:

This morning outside Cummings’s office:



From his wife, Maya Rockeymoore Cummings: "Congressman Cummings was an honorable man who proudly served his district and the nation with dignity, integrity, compassion and humility. He worked until his last breath because he believed our democracy was the highest and best expression of our collective humanity and that our nation's diversity was our promise, not our problem. It's been an honor to walk by his side on this incredible journey. I loved him deeply and will miss him dearly." Read her full statement:

From Speaker Nancy PelosiNancy PelosiDemocrats sharpen their message on impeachment Congress hunts for path out of spending stalemate Siren song of impeachment lures Democrats toward election doom MORE (D-Calif.): "In the House, Elijah was our North Star. He was a leader of towering character and integrity, whose stirring voice and steadfast values pushed the Congress and country to rise always to a higher purpose. ... His principled leadership as Chair of the Committee on Oversight and Reform was the perfect testament to his commitment to restoring honesty and honor to government, and leaves a powerful legacy for years to come."

From President Trump: "My warmest condolences to the family and many friends of Congressman Elijah Cummings. I got to see first hand the strength, passion and wisdom of this highly respected political leader. His work and voice on so many fronts will be very hard, if not impossible, to replace!"

From former President Barack ObamaBarack Hussein ObamaSaagar Enjeti rips Buttigieg for praising Obama after misquote Steyer scores endorsement from key New Hampshire activist Saagar Enjeti dismisses Warren, Klobuchar claims of sexism MORE: "Michelle and I are heartbroken over the passing of our friend, Elijah Cummings ... he showed us all not only the importance of checks and balances within our democracy, but also the necessity of good people stewarding it." Read Obama's full statement:

From Senate Minority Leader Charles SchumerCharles (Chuck) Ellis SchumerDivided Supreme Court leans toward allowing Trump to end DACA Ilhan Omar blasts Pete King as an 'Islamophobe' after he announces retirement: 'Good riddance' Top Senate Dem: Officials timed immigration policy around 2020 election MORE (D-N.Y.): "Well, I read the paper this morning. First thing I saw was Elijah's passing and it was a like a gut-punch. He was an amazing man. He was not just a great congressman but he was a great man." Watch Schumer's full comments on MSNBC's "Morning Joe":

From Sen. Kamala HarrisKamala Devi HarrisOutsider candidates outpoll insider candidates Poll: Buttigieg leads Democratic field in Iowa Press: Another billionaire need not apply MORE (D-Calif.): "We lost a giant today. Congressman Elijah Cummings was a fearless leader, a protector of democracy, and a fighter for the people of Maryland. Our world is dimmer without him in it."

Here are more lawmaker reactions:

From Politico reporter Andrew Desiderio: "What I'll always remember about Elijah Cummings is that he took no BS from anyone. He would routinely spend several minutes fielding questions from us in the speaker's lobby or elsewhere, sometimes combatively, but he would always end with some version of: 'I appreciate you all.'"

At the White House: The flag over the White House has been lowered to half-staff. Watch:



Rep. Carolyn Maloney (D-N.Y.) will fill in as acting chairwoman of the House Oversight and Reform Committee. 

Why: "Maloney is the next in seniority on the Oversight and Reform Committee, which under House rules means that she becomes acting chairwoman in the event of a sudden vacancy, a leadership aide said."



'More is better than less because if stuff is not *deep breath* less there's more less stuff, then *deep breath* you might want to have some more.': 

--> ;) 

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellLindsey Graham basks in the impeachment spotlight Biden not ruling out Senate voting to impeach Trump: 'It will depend on what their constituency says' Congress hunts for path out of spending stalemate MORE (R-Ky.) said he wants "something stronger" than a House resolution to formally oppose President Trump's drawback of troops in Syria.

McConnell said on the Senate floor: "I believe it's important that we make a strong forward-looking strategic statement. For that reason my preference would be for something even stronger than the resolution that the House passed yesterday, which has some serious weaknesses." 

Keep in mind: "The House passed its resolution formally opposing Trump's troop drawback in northern Syria and urging Turkey to end its military incursion in a 354-60 vote." 




Don't do it, Lindsey:

Via The Hill's Alexander Bolton, "Senate Republicans are cautioning Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) against the prospect of bringing former Vice President Joe BidenJoe BidenDemocrats face make-or-break moment on impeachment Here are the key players to watch at impeachment hearing George Kent: What you need to know MORE before the Senate Judiciary Committee to testify about Ukrainian corruption, saying such a move could backfire." Reasoning:



Nipping on Biden's tail:

Via The Hill's Jonathan Easley and Amie Parnes, "Joe Biden faces a new threat from South Bend, Ind., Mayor Pete ButtigiegPeter (Pete) Paul ButtigiegPress: Another billionaire need not apply Saagar Enjeti dismisses Warren, Klobuchar claims of sexism Warren on winning over male voters: I was told to 'smile more' MORE, who is fresh off an eye-opening debate performance and positioning himself to be a top contender for the support of centrist Democrats if the former vice president falters." 

Right after the debate: Buttigieg's campaign says they raised $1 million from tens of thousands of donors.

Buttigieg's polling: "Recent polls of Iowa show Buttigieg on the rise. The mayor has picked up 4.5 points in the past month in the RealClearPolitics average, and a Firehouse-Optimus survey released this week found him in third place at 17 percent in the Hawkeye State, within striking distance of both Sen. Elizabeth WarrenElizabeth Ann WarrenOvernight Energy: BLM staff face choice of relocation or resignation as agency moves | Trump says he's 'very much into climate' | EPA rule would expand limits on scientific studies Krystal Ball credits Gabbard's upswing in 2020 race to 'feckless' Democratic establishment Outsider candidates outpoll insider candidates MORE (D-Mass.), at 25 percent, and [Joe Biden], at 22 percent."

What to expect in the final stretch before the early voting states:



A powerful voting bloc:

Via The Hill's Rafael Bernal, Virginia Democratic Sens. Mark WarnerMark Robert WarnerGOP senators warn against Trump firing intelligence community official GOP chairman says Senate impeachment trial could last 6-8 weeks Centrist Democrats seize on state election wins to rail against Warren's agenda MORE and Tim KaineTimothy (Tim) Michael KaineProgressive freshmen jump into leadership PAC fundraising Lawmakers wager local booze, favorite foods in World Series bets José Andrés: Food served in the Capitol came from undocumented immigrants MORE hosted Hispanic leaders from the commonwealth for breakfast at the Capitol Thursday.

On the agenda: The two senators discussed the growth of the Virginia Hispanic community and how Latino voters could make the difference in next month's state election and in 2020.

Kaine told The Hill: "When I was mayor of Richmond in 1998 I first started to really notice the growth of our Latino community." He also added: "The Latino vote can be the swing in virtually any statewide race in Virginia, just because we're a state that tends to have close races." 

Warner said of Virginia Hispanics: "I don't know if the community realizes how much potential power they have." 



An observation on this widely shared photo

Back story: President Trump tweeted this photo yesterday with the caption, "Nervous Nancy's unhinged meltdown!" Pelosi then made the photo her Twitter cover photo. This photo is everywhere today.



The House and Senate are in. President Trump is in Texas and Vice President Pence is traveling back to the United States from Turkey. 

8:15 a.m. EDT: Vice President Pence met with the president of Turkey.

10:30 a.m. EDT: President Trump leaves for Fort Worth, Texas.

Noon: The Senate holds a roll call vote. The Senate's full schedule today:

12:20 p.m. EDT: Vice President Pence leaves Turkey and heads back to Washington, D.C.

1:45 p.m. EDT: The Senate holds another roll call vote.

2–3 p.m. EDT: First and last votes in the House. The House's full schedule today:

2:45 p.m. EDT: President Trump holds a roundtable with supporters.

3:20 p.m. EDT: President Trump speaks at a joint fundraising committee luncheon in Fort Worth, Texas.

5:20 p.m. EDT: President Trump tours Louis Vuitton Rochambeau, delivers remarks and participates in the ribbon cutting.

12:35 a.m. EDT: President Trump gets back to the White House. 



10:45 a.m. EDT: Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) held a press briefing. Livestream:

11 a.m. EDT: Vice President Pence held a joint press conference with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan in Ankara, Turkey. Livestream:

12:30 p.m. EDT: Acting White House chief of staff Mick MulvaneyJohn (Mick) Michael MulvaneyMulvaney to file separate suit to fight impeachment subpoena Trump circuit court nominee in jeopardy amid GOP opposition White House struggles to get in sync on impeachment MORE holds a press briefing. Livestream

8:05 p.m. EDT: President Trump holds a campaign rally in Dallas. Livestream:



Today is National Pasta Day. Here's a list of pasta deals to celebrate:


One of the funniest nature photos I've seen:

Here's a list of winning photos from the Wildlife Photographer of the Year. I can't stop laughing at the first photo. The photos:


And because you made it this far, here's a pitbull with a pretty convincing Halloween costume: