The Hill's 12:30 Report: Trump turns to lawmakers to advise on reopening

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The Hill’s 12:30 Report: Trump taps lawmakers to advise on reopening | White House to release new social distancing guidelines today | How reopening became a partisan fight | Small business loan program out of money | Lawmakers divided on next steps | Another 5.2M file for unemployment | 200 days until Election Day | NBC Sports to air 100 hours from past Olympics



How to reopen an economy, a step-by-step guide:

Via The Hill’s Morgan Chalfant, the White House is expected to release a plan today for how states can relax social distancing guidelines and reopen businesses amid the coronavirus pandemic.

Trump’s reasoning: President TrumpDonald John TrumpLincoln Project ad dubs Jared Kushner the 'Secretary of Failure' Pence: Chief Justice Roberts 'has been a disappointment to conservatives' Twitter bans Trump campaign until it deletes tweet with COVID-19 misinformation MORE claimed yesterday that the U.S. has “passed the peak” of coronavirus cases nationwide. 

When to expect the announcement: After President Trump and Vice President Pence’s 3 p.m. call with governors.


This a.m. — Trump chooses a group of lawmakers to advise on reopening:

Via The Hill’s Morgan Chalfant, Jordain Carney and Scott Wong, Trump is asking a bipartisan group of lawmakers to help with determining when and how to reopen the U.S. economy.

Democrats invited to be on the panel: Senate Democratic Whip Dick DurbinRichard (Dick) Joseph DurbinDemocrats seek to exploit Trump-GOP tensions in COVID-19 talks The Hill's Campaign Report: Who will Biden pick to be his running mate? Don't count out Duckworth in Biden VP race MORE (D-Ill.); Sens. Mark WarnerMark Robert WarnerGOP chairmen hit back at accusation they are spreading disinformation with Biden probe Hillicon Valley: Facebook removes Trump post | TikTok gets competitor | Lawmakers raise grid safety concerns Senate Intel panel approves final Russia report, moves toward public release MORE (D-Va.), Martin HeinrichMartin Trevor HeinrichOVERNIGHT ENERGY: 20 states sue over Trump rule limiting states from blocking pipeline projects | House Democrats add 'forever chemicals' provisions to defense bill after spiking big amendment | Lawmakers seek extension for tribes to spend stimulus money Lawmakers seek extension for tribes to spend stimulus money following Treasury delays The Hill's Coronavirus Report: Rep. Rodney Davis says most important thing White House can do on COVID-19 is give consistent messaging; US new cases surpass 50k for first time MORE (D-N.M.), Dianne FeinsteinDianne Emiel FeinsteinYates spars with GOP at testy hearing Democrats want Biden to debate Trump despite risks Mini-exodus of Trump officials from Commerce to lobby on semiconductors MORE (D-Calif.), Maggie HassanMargaret (Maggie) HassanHillicon Valley: Feds warn hackers targeting critical infrastructure | Twitter exploring subscription service | Bill would give DHS cyber agency subpoena power Senate-passed defense spending bill includes clause giving DHS cyber agency subpoena power Lawmakers push NOAA to prevent future 'Sharpiegate' MORE (D-N.H.), Patrick LeahyPatrick Joseph LeahyYates spars with GOP at testy hearing Vermont has a chance to show how bipartisanship can tackle systemic racism VOA visa decision could hobble Venezuela coverage MORE (D-Vt.), Tammy DuckworthLadda (Tammy) Tammy DuckworthDuckworth: Republican coronavirus package would 'gut' Americans With Disabilities Act Trump campaign on Biden VP pick: 'He's going to tear the party apart' Should Biden consider a veteran for vice president? MORE (D-Ill.) and Angus King (I-Maine); Reps. Josh GottheimerJoshua (Josh) GottheimerThe Hill's Campaign Report: Florida's coronavirus surge raises questions about GOP convention New Jersey Rep. Gottheimer wins House primary New Jersey incumbents steamroll progressive challengers in primaries MORE (N.J.), Stephanie MurphyStephanie MurphyLawmakers weigh in on role of private equity firms in economic recovery The Hill's 12:30 Report - Presented by Facebook - Coronavirus relief negotiations underway with lawmakers back in Washington The Hill's Morning Report - Presented by Facebook - Divided GOP to unveil COVID-19 bill MORE (Fla.), Ro KhannaRohit (Ro) KhannaSanders supporters launch six-figure ad campaign explaining why they're voting for Biden Schiff, Khanna call for free masks for all Americans in coronavirus aid package The Hill's Morning Report - Presented by the Air Line Pilots Association - Progress slow on coronavirus bill MORE (Calif.), Jimmy PanettaJames Varni PanettaOn The Money: McConnell previews GOP coronavirus bill | Senate panel advances Trump Fed nominee who recently supported gold standard | Economists warn about scaled-back unemployment benefits Bipartisan bill introduced to provide tax credit to food and beverage distributors Overnight Defense: US formally rejects Beijing's South China Sea claims | House set to consider defense policy bill next week | 57 injured as firefighters battle warship blaze MORE (Calif.) and Tom Suozzi (N.Y.)

Republicans we know have been asked: Via Politico, “Among the Senate Republicans asked to be on the task force are Senate HELP Committee Chairman Lamar AlexanderAndrew (Lamar) Lamar AlexanderThe Hill's Campaign Report: COVID-19 puts conventions in flux  Negotiators hit gas on coronavirus talks as frustration mounts Chamber of Commerce endorses Ernst for reelection MORE of Tennessee and Sens. John BarrassoJohn Anthony BarrassoLatest Trump proposal on endangered species could limit future habitat, critics say Republicans dismiss Trump proposal to delay election Barrasso nuclear bill latest GOP effort to boost uranium mining MORE of Wyoming, Rob PortmanRobert (Rob) Jones PortmanSenators holding behind-the-scenes talks on breaking coronavirus package stalemate Overnight Defense: Pompeo pressed on move to pull troops from Germany | Panel abruptly scraps confirmation hearing | Trump meets family of slain soldier Pompeo, lawmakers tangle over Germany troop withdrawal MORE of Ohio, Joni ErnstJoni Kay ErnstAnalysis finds record high number of woman versus woman congressional races The Hill's Campaign Report: COVID-19 puts conventions in flux  Sabato's Crystal Ball shifts Iowa Senate race to 'toss-up,' Georgia toward GOP MORE of Iowa, Josh HawleyJoshua (Josh) David HawleyYates spars with GOP at testy hearing Democrats seek to exploit Trump-GOP tensions in COVID-19 talks Negotiators hit gas on coronavirus talks as frustration mounts MORE of Missouri, Mike BraunMichael BraunSkepticism grows over Friday deadline for coronavirus deal Negotiators hit gas on coronavirus talks as frustration mounts Lawmakers aim for COVID-19 relief deal this week MORE of Indiana, Shelley Moore CapitoShelley Wellons Moore CapitoAnalysis finds record high number of woman versus woman congressional races Former VA staffer charged with giving seven patients fatal insulin doses Senate GOP hedges on attending Trump's convention amid coronavirus uptick MORE of West Virginia, Pat ToomeyPatrick (Pat) Joseph ToomeyDunford withdraws from consideration to chair coronavirus oversight panel GOP senators push for quick, partial reopening of economy NSA improperly collected US phone records in October, new documents show MORE of Pennsylvania, John CornynJohn CornynSkepticism grows over Friday deadline for coronavirus deal Republicans uncomfortably playing defense Negotiators hit gas on coronavirus talks as frustration mounts MORE of Texas, Ted CruzRafael (Ted) Edward CruzThe Hill's Campaign Report: COVID-19 puts conventions in flux  Ted Cruz bashes Oprah for 'lecture' on race: 'What utter, racist BS' Senate Democrats prepare seven-figure spending spree in Texas MORE of Texas and Kevin CramerKevin John CramerThe Hill's Coronavirus Report: iBIO Chairman and CEO Thomas Isett says developing a safe vaccine is paramount; US surpasses 150,000 coronavirus deaths with roughy one death per minute McConnell tees up showdown on unemployment benefits Senate panel scraps confirmation hearing for controversial Pentagon nominee at last minute MORE of North Dakota … Among House Republicans invited is House Minority Whip Steve ScaliseStephen (Steve) Joseph ScaliseGaetz set to endorse primary opponent of fellow Florida GOP lawmaker Hillicon Valley: Trump backs potential Microsoft, TikTok deal, sets September deadline | House Republicans request classified TikTok briefing | Facebook labels manipulated Pelosi video Top House Republicans request classified TikTok briefing MORE of Louisiana, Greg WaldenGregory (Greg) Paul WaldenHillicon Valley: Trump backs potential Microsoft, TikTok deal, sets September deadline | House Republicans request classified TikTok briefing | Facebook labels manipulated Pelosi video Top House Republicans request classified TikTok briefing Pelosi huddles with chairmen on surprise billing but deal elusive MORE of Oregon and Patrick McHenryPatrick Timothy McHenryCheney battle raises questions about House GOP's future Hillicon Valley: Democrats request counterintelligence briefing | New pressure for election funding | Republicans urge retaliation against Chinese hackers House Republicans urge Trump to take action against Chinese hackers targeting coronavirus research MORE of North Carolina.”


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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The sharpest rise in unemployment in U.S. history:

More than 5.2 million people filed unemployment claims during the week ending on April 11, according to the Department of Labor.

For context: More than 22 million people have filed for unemployment benefits in the last four weeks. Today’s report is the fourth in a row with more than 1 million claims. That level had never been reached.

What to expect with the unemployment rate: “Economists believe that the unemployment rate is likely already up to at least 15 percent, a stunning rise from a 50-year low of 3.5 percent earlier this year. Some predict that number could end up reaching as high as the Depression-era peak of 20 percent.”


The small business loan program is out of money:

Via The Hill’s Jordain Carney and Sylvan Lane, “The initial $349 billion pool for emergency loans for small businesses derailed by the coronavirus pandemic has run dry as Republicans and Democrats squabble over how to replenish the relief program.”

Details: “The Treasury Department and Small Business Administration (SBA) have tapped the entirety of funding allotted for the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP), which offers forgivable loans to small businesses intended to keep workers on payroll and small firms from going under.” 



Cases in the U.S.: 640,014

Deaths in the U.S.: 31,002

Breakdown of the numbers:



Using mouse traps and ping-pong balls. Watch:



Interesting read — Reopening the economy has become a partisan debate:

Via The Hill’s Mike Lillis, the question of when and how to reopen the U.S. economy amid the coronavirus pandemic has become a divisive issue for Republicans and Democrats.

Where Republicans stand — open sooner rather than later: “Behind President Trump, Republicans are increasingly eager to get businesses reopened and customers into their doors, warning that a prolonged economic shutdown — even in the name of protecting public health — will do more harm to the nation’s long-term viability than the coronavirus itself.”

Where Democrats stand — wait until we know it’s safe: “Democrats are sounding a different alarm. While they, too, want to get the economy back up and running as quickly as possible, they warn that scaling back public safeguards too soon would cause more infections, kill more people, spark deeper societal fears and undermine the economic rebound that any reopening was intended to promote.” 

Where the decision ~actually~ lies — think local: “The ultimate decision about when and how to reopen the country's economy is largely in the hands of state and local officials, and governors in both parties have suggested they fear opening their state economies and relaxing social distancing policies too early could backfire.”

President Trump has a lot at stake: “The balance they’re seeking is a delicate one — more nuanced than just a simple case of economic versus public health, since the two are intrinsically entwined. And perhaps no one is walking a finer line than the president, who believes his best chance at reelection is a booming economy but is also wary that reopening the country prematurely could backfire if it spikes the number of coronavirus cases, spooks markets and drives the economy further downward.” 

How this could play out:

Op-ed on how to reopen:



200 days until Election Day:

Via The Hill’s Julia Manchester and Max Greenwood, “Democrats are growing more confident about their chances of retaking power in Washington with 200 days to go before Election Day. It’s an election that both sides now see as turning on the coronavirus pandemic and the American public’s views on how President Trump steers the country through the worst public health crisis in modern memory.”

What to expect:



If you’ve been watching Andrew CuomoAndrew CuomoCuomo to serve as National Association of Governors chair New York City adding 'key entry point' checkpoints to enforce quarantine Iconic NY columnist Pete Hamill dies MORE’s briefings, you will find this Twitter account funny




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

8:30 a.m. EDT: President Trump participated in a Group of Seven video teleconference to discuss the coronavirus.

10 a.m. EDT: President Trump held a phone call with members of the House.

11 a.m. EDT: President Trump held a phone call with senators.

1 p.m. EDT: Vice President Pence speaks with Senate Democrats.

3 p.m. EDT: President Trump and Vice President Pence participate in a video teleconference with governors.



2:15 p.m. EDT: President Trump gives remarks to celebrate America’s truckers. Livestream:

5 p.m. EDT: The White House Coronavirus Task Force holds a press briefing. Livestream:



Today is National Eggs Benedict Day.


Remember sports?:

NBC Sports is airing nearly 100 hours from previous Olympics each night for the rest of April. Details


And because you made it this far, here’s a dad who figured out a way for his daughters to keep skiing this season: