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The Hill's 12:30 Report: Lawmakers near deal on stimulus

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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: Lawmakers near deal on coronavirus stimulus | Stocks surge | 2020 Olympics postponed one year | Trump faces criticism over daily briefings | Biden under pressure to be more visible during crisis | Trump, Pence to join Fox News virtual town hall | How Americans are helping each other during the outbreak

  

NEWS OF THE MORNING

2021 is the new 2020:

Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe announced this morning that the International Olympic Committee will postpone this summer's Olympic Games in Tokyo until the summer of 2021. https://nyti.ms/2Uvld7n

What this means: "[The change] will wreak havoc with sports schedules but should bring great relief to the athletes, organizers and health officials who had increasingly pressed that the coronavirus pandemic made it unsafe to go forward with the event."

Was this expected?: Organizers had insisted they were going ahead with preparations, even as countries expressed reluctance about sending athletes. Canada's Olympic Committee announced on Sunday its withdrawal from the 2020 games amid the pandemic. 

 

It's Tuesday. 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.

Did someone forward this to you? Want your own copy? Sign up here to receive The Hill's 12:30 Report in your inbox daily: http://bit.ly/2kjMNnn

 

HAPPENING NOW

Trump and Pence are taking your questions:

President TrumpDonald John TrumpTrump alludes to possible 2024 run in White House remarks Trump threatens to veto defense bill over tech liability shield Tiger King's attorney believes they're close to getting pardon from Trump MORE and Vice President Pence are participating in a Fox News virtual town hall to take questions about the coronavirus outbreak.

Timing: Pence is speaking now. Trump will join around 1 p.m. EDT. Livestream: https://bit.ly/2UeD17A

  

IN CONGRESS

One of the only times where 'we're getting closer' during social distancing is actually a good thing:

Via The Hill's Alexander Bolton, Senate Minority Leader Charles SchumerChuck SchumerMcConnell: COVID-19 relief will be added to omnibus spending package Overnight Health Care: Moderna to apply for emergency use authorization for COVID-19 vaccine candidate | Hospitals brace for COVID-19 surge | US more than doubles highest number of monthly COVID-19 cases The five biggest challenges facing President-elect Biden MORE (D-N.Y.) and Treasury Secretary Steven MnuchinSteven Terner MnuchinPressure builds for coronavirus relief with no clear path to deal Top GOP senator warns government funding deal unlikely this week Overnight Health Care: CDC panel recommends who gets vaccine first | McConnell offering new relief bill | Hahn downplays White House meeting on vaccines MORE are getting close to a deal for an economic stimulus amid the coronavirus outbreak. https://bit.ly/3bpOPto

Follow along -- here's a livestream of the Senate today: https://cs.pn/2wpXNIF

 

THE STOCK MARKET SURGED THIS MORNING:

Stocks surged this morning as the Senate nears a stimulus deal. https://bit.ly/2QEI9Qb

The numbers: "The Dow Jones Industrial Average was up more than 1,300 points, or 7.3 percent, while the S&P 500 increased 150, or 6.7 percent, in the opening minutes of trading." 

 

TIDBIT -- THIS MORNING AT THE CAPITOL:

"Mark MeadowsMark Randall MeadowsPressure builds for coronavirus relief with no clear path to deal Overnight Health Care: CDC panel recommends who gets vaccine first | McConnell offering new relief bill | Hahn downplays White House meeting on vaccines On The Money: McConnell offering new coronavirus relief bill | Biden introduces economic team, vows swift action on relief | Rare Mnuchin-Powell spat takes center stage at COVID-19 hearing MORE, the incoming chief of staff, joining Steven Mnuchin and Eric Ueland this morning in the Capitol as they meet with Senate leaders to close out the stimulus talks. Mnuchin said they spoke to [President] Trump this morning and hoped for a bipartisan deal today" (Via CNN's Manu Rajuhttps://bit.ly/2WDsPqT

 

WHAT COULD HAPPEN IN THE HOUSE:

Here's an interesting breakdown of what could happen, via Politico's Heather Caygle: https://bit.ly/3bkARsX

 

THIS A.M. -- PRESIDENT TRUMP WEIGHED IN:

The president tweeted, "Republicans had a deal until Nancy PelosiNancy PelosiPressure builds for coronavirus relief with no clear path to deal Top GOP senator warns government funding deal unlikely this week Houston will send residents checks of up to ,200 for pandemic relief MORE rode into town from her extended vacation. The Democrats want the Virus to win? They are asking for things that have nothing to do with our great workers or companies. They want Open Borders & Green New Deal. Republicans shouldn't agree!" https://bit.ly/2QXDg5h

  

IN THE WHITE HOUSE

Have you been watching the briefings? What do you think about them?:

Via The Hill's Niall Stanage, President Trump's Coronavirus Task Force daily briefings are facing criticism from critics who are argue they are more harmful than helpful. https://bit.ly/2UAshPQ

How so: "The daily briefings have seen Trump give misleading information, tangle with members of the media and go off on unrelated tangents. They have been conducted by the president and a rotating group of officials who have been in close physical proximity to each other-- a practice that is in defiance of the rules of social distancing that are aimed at blunting the spread of COVID-19."

For example: Trump said he may lift social distancing because of the economic impacts. "But lifting the policies too early would contravene the advice of health experts, who are worried that a flood of cases could be too much for the nation's hospitals to take." 

  

ON THE CAMPAIGN TRAIL

Remember Joe BidenJoe BidenTrump alludes to possible 2024 run in White House remarks Tiger King's attorney believes they're close to getting pardon from Trump Cruz urges Supreme Court to take up Pennsylvania election challenge MORE? Remember the 2020 presidential race?:

Via The Hill's Jonathan Easley and Amy Parnes, "Former Vice President Joe Biden is under pressure to find new ways to command the spotlight amid criticism that he's cut too low of a profile as the coronavirus crisis has worsened." https://bit.ly/2QIEFfM

Keep in mind: President Trump's approval ratings have risen amid the coronavirus outbreak. Meanwhile, Biden had not spoken on camera in almost a week until yesterday when he addressed the outbreak from his living. 

From a former Obama administration official: "You're constantly hearing about [New York Gov. Andrew] Cuomo and I know he's the governor of New York, but Joe Biden is going to be the Democratic nominee. He needs to show his leadership."

 

WHERE THINGS STAND

Interesting description of what it's like to work in the emergency room right now: From Dr. Craig Spencer, Director of Global Health in Emergency Medicine at Columbia Medicine. It's worth reading: https://bit.ly/2UxwWCb

Some hospitals are not allowing women in labor to have someone with them: "Women giving birth at two leading New York City hospital networks are being told they must labor without spouses, partners or doulas by their side -- leaving the expectant mothers anxious and frightened about their upcoming deliveries." The full story: https://nyti.ms/2y5JedC

  

LIGHTER TIDBITS

Penguins get to tour the aquarium!: I know I've shown you a video from this already, but this angle is even better. Watch: https://bit.ly/3drpCAQ

A Maryland girl's birthday party was canceled so friends threw a parade for her: https://bit.ly/2WDllUP

 

PEOPLE HELPING PEOPLE DURING THE PANDEMIC:

The Hill put together a list of selfless deeds in the news amid the coronavirus outbreak. It's a good thing to check out: https://bit.ly/2QFJxSK

  

NOTABLE TWEETS

Hahaha -- I think we need to get their mom on the air:

 

Watch: https://bit.ly/2WEa32F 

 

ON TAP

The Senate is in. The House is out. President Trump and Vice President Pence are in Washington, D.C.

10 a.m. EDT: The Senate met. The Senate's full schedule today: https://bit.ly/2UBMlkY

10:30 a.m. EDT: Vice President Pence held a call with conservative leaders.

2:15 p.m. EDT: Vice President Pence holds a call with educators to discuss the COVID-19 response.

3 p.m. EDT: Vice President Pence leads a Coronavirus Task Force meeting in the Situation Room.

  

WHAT TO WATCH

Today: The Senate continues to work on a coronavirus stimulus package. Livestream: https://cs.pn/2wpXNIF

Noon: Vice President Pence participates in a Fox News virtual town hall from the Rose Garden. Livestream: https://bit.ly/2UeD17A

1 p.m. EDT: President Trump participates in the Fox News virtual town hall. Livestream: https://bit.ly/2UeD17A

 

NOW FOR THE FUN STUFF...

Today is National Cheesesteak Day. It's also National Chocolate Covered Raisin Day.

 

And because you made it this far, here's a science experiment for you -- how many puppies can fit into this tub: https://bit.ly/2wyBoJ2