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

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--> A midday take on what's happening in politics and how to have a sense of humor about it.*

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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

 

HAPPENING TODAY

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. https://bit.ly/3bg1foj

Trump’s reasoning: President TrumpDonald John TrumpTrump rages against '60 Minutes' for interview with Krebs Cornyn spox: Neera Tanden has 'no chance' of being confirmed as Biden's OMB pick Pa. lawmaker was informed of positive coronavirus test while meeting with Trump: report 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. https://bit.ly/3et6Jhi

Democrats invited to be on the panel: Senate Democratic Whip Dick DurbinDick DurbinThe Hill's Morning Report - Presented by the UAE Embassy in Washington, DC - COVID-19 fears surround Thanksgiving holiday Feinstein departure from top post sets stage for Judiciary fight Whitehouse says Democratic caucus will decide future of Judiciary Committee MORE (D-Ill.); Sens. Mark WarnerMark Robert WarnerHarris shares Thanksgiving recipe: 'During difficult times I have always turned to cooking' Biden leans on foreign policy establishment to build team Trump relents as GSA informs Biden transition to begin MORE (D-Va.), Martin HeinrichMartin Trevor HeinrichFormer Sen. Carol Moseley Braun stumps for Interior post: 'A natural fit for me' Five House Democrats who could join Biden Cabinet House Democrats push Biden to pick Haaland as next Interior secretary MORE (D-N.M.), Dianne FeinsteinDianne Emiel FeinsteinThe Hill's Morning Report - Presented by the UAE Embassy in Washington, DC - COVID-19 fears surround Thanksgiving holiday Feinstein departure from top post sets stage for Judiciary fight Whitehouse says Democratic caucus will decide future of Judiciary Committee MORE (D-Calif.), Maggie HassanMargaret (Maggie) HassanCut tariffs and open US economy to fight COVID-19 pandemic Senate passes bill to secure internet-connected devices against cyber vulnerabilities Overnight Defense: Trump campaign's use of military helicopter raises ethics concerns | Air Force jets intercept aircraft over Trump rally | Senators introduce bill to expand visa screenings MORE (D-N.H.), Patrick LeahyPatrick Joseph LeahyThe Hill's Morning Report - Presented by the UAE Embassy in Washington, DC - Trump OKs transition; Biden taps Treasury, State experience Durbin seeks to become top-ranking Democrat on Judiciary panel Feinstein to step down as top Democrat on Judiciary Committee MORE (D-Vt.), Tammy DuckworthLadda (Tammy) Tammy DuckworthOvernight Defense: Trump orders troop drawdown in Afghanistan and Iraq | Key Republicans call Trump plan a 'mistake' Top Democrat calls Trump's Afghan drawdown 'the right policy decision' as others warn of 'mistake' Overnight Defense: Another Defense official resigns | Pentagon chief says military 'remains strong' despite purge | Top contender for Biden DOD secretary would be historic pick MORE (D-Ill.) and Angus King (I-Maine); Reps. Josh GottheimerJoshua (Josh) GottheimerDemocrats face increasing pressure to back smaller COVID-19 stimulus Democrat Gottheimer wins reelection in New Jersey Cook Political Report shifts 8 more House races toward Democrats MORE (N.J.), Stephanie MurphyStephanie MurphyWhy it's time for a majority female Cabinet Democrats scramble on COVID-19 relief amid division, Trump surprise Bank lobbying group launches ad backing Collins reelection bid MORE (Fla.), Ro KhannaRohit (Ro) KhannaBiden Cabinet picks largely unify Democrats — so far OVERNIGHT ENERGY: Biden eyes new leadership at troubled public lands agency | House progressives tout their growing numbers in the chamber at climate rally | Trump administration pushes for rollback of Arctic offshore drilling regulations House progressives tout their growing numbers in the chamber at climate rally MORE (Calif.), Jimmy PanettaJames Varni PanettaAmericans want to serve — it's up to us to give them the chance On 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 MORE (Calif.) and Tom Suozzi (N.Y.) https://bit.ly/3et6Jhi

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 AlexanderCongress set for chaotic year-end sprint We need a college leader as secretary of education As Biden administration ramps up, Trump legal effort drags on MORE of Tennessee and Sens. John BarrassoJohn Anthony BarrassoOVERNIGHT ENERGY: Barrasso to seek top spot on Energy and Natural Resources Committee | Forest Service finalizes rule weakening environmental review of its projects | Biden to enlist Agriculture, Transportation agencies in climate fight Senate advances energy regulator nominees despite uncertainty of floor vote Barrasso to seek top spot on Energy and Natural Resources Committee MORE of Wyoming, Rob PortmanRobert (Rob) Jones PortmanBiden says transition outreach from Trump administration has been 'sincere' The Hill's 12:30 Report: Trump holds his last turkey pardon ceremony The Hill's Morning Report - Presented by the UAE Embassy in Washington, DC - Trump OKs transition; Biden taps Treasury, State experience MORE of Ohio, Joni ErnstJoni Kay ErnstThe Memo: Trump plows ahead with efforts to overturn election More conservatives break with Trump over election claims Peggy Noonan: 'Bogus dispute' by Trump 'doing real damage' MORE of Iowa, Josh HawleyJoshua (Josh) David HawleyBiden's Cabinet a battleground for future GOP White House hopefuls The Memo: GOP mulls its future after Trump O'Brien on 2024 talk: 'There's all kinds of speculation out there' MORE of Missouri, Mike BraunMichael BraunRepublicans ready to become deficit hawks again under a President Biden Meadows meets with Senate GOP to discuss end-of-year priorities McConnell reelected as Senate GOP leader MORE of Indiana, Shelley Moore CapitoShelley Wellons Moore CapitoAs Biden administration ramps up, Trump legal effort drags on The Hill's 12:30 Report: Trump holds his last turkey pardon ceremony The Hill's Morning Report - Presented by the UAE Embassy in Washington, DC - Trump OKs transition; Biden taps Treasury, State experience MORE of West Virginia, Pat ToomeyPatrick (Pat) Joseph ToomeyAppeals court rules NSA's bulk phone data collection illegal Dunford withdraws from consideration to chair coronavirus oversight panel GOP senators push for quick, partial reopening of economy MORE of Pennsylvania, John CornynJohn CornynCornyn spox: Neera Tanden has 'no chance' of being confirmed as Biden's OMB pick Cornyn on Biden aides' undisclosed ties: 'The Senate is not obligated to confirm anyone who hides this information' Cornyn says election outcome 'becoming increasingly clear': report MORE of Texas, Ted CruzRafael (Ted) Edward CruzTrump banking proposal on fossil fuels sparks backlash from libertarians Former CIA head, Cruz trade jabs over killing of Iranian nuclear scientist: 'You are unworthy to represent the good people of Texas' O'Brien on 2024 talk: 'There's all kinds of speculation out there' MORE of Texas and Kevin CramerKevin John CramerRepublicans ready to become deficit hawks again under a President Biden The Hill's Morning Report - Presented by the UAE Embassy in Washington, DC - Calls mount to start transition as Biden readies Cabinet picks Pressure grows from GOP for Trump to recognize Biden election win MORE of North Dakota … Among House Republicans invited is House Minority Whip Steve ScaliseStephen (Steve) Joseph ScaliseTop Republicans praise Trump's Flynn pardon Richmond says GOP 'reluctant to stand up and tell the emperor he wears no clothes' New RSC chairman sees 'Trumpism' as future MORE of Louisiana, Greg WaldenGregory (Greg) Paul WaldenHillicon Valley: Leadership changes at top cyber agency raise national security concerns | Snapchat launches in-app video platform 'Spotlight' | Uber, Lyft awarded federal transportation contract Lawmakers urge FCC to assist in effort to rip out, replace suspect network equipment OVERNIGHT ENERGY: Barrasso to seek top spot on Energy and Natural Resources Committee | Forest Service finalizes rule weakening environmental review of its projects | Biden to enlist Agriculture, Transportation agencies in climate fight MORE of Oregon and Patrick McHenryPatrick Timothy McHenryMaxine Waters says Biden win is 'dawn of a new progressive America' McCarthy: 'I would think I already have the votes' to remain as House GOP leader Ex-RNC, Trump fundraiser Elliott Broidy charged in covert lobbying scheme MORE of North Carolina.” https://politi.co/2VgVrFz

  

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 cmartel@thehill.com — and follow along on Twitter @CateMartel and Facebook.

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NEWS THIS MORNING

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. https://bit.ly/34FeNqV

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.” https://bit.ly/2VBfo8G

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.” 

 

WHERE THINGS STAND

Cases in the U.S.: 640,014

Deaths in the U.S.: 31,002

Breakdown of the numbers: https://cnn.it/2UAgW3y

 

TIDBIT — WOW, THAT’S AN EFFECTIVE PSA:

Using mouse traps and ping-pong balls. Watch: https://bit.ly/3eoHnRQ

  

NEXT STEPS

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. https://bit.ly/34Kki7Q

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: https://bit.ly/34Kki7Q

Op-ed on how to reopen: https://bit.ly/2KbtVCQ

  

ON THE CAMPAIGN TRAIL

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.” https://bit.ly/2VBDPTJ

What to expect: https://bit.ly/2VBDPTJ

  

NOTABLE TWEETS

If you’ve been watching Andrew CuomoAndrew CuomoFor Thanksgiving, the Supreme Court upholds religious liberty Cardinal Dolan hails Supreme Court decision on churches, COVID-19 Cuomo blames new conservative majority for high court's COVID-19 decision MORE’s briefings, you will find this Twitter account funny

 

 

ON TAP

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.

  

WHAT TO WATCH

2:15 p.m. EDT: President Trump gives remarks to celebrate America’s truckers. Livestream: https://bit.ly/3afpRw6

5 p.m. EDT: The White House Coronavirus Task Force holds a press briefing. Livestream: https://bit.ly/3ad5m37

 

NOW FOR THE FUN STUFF...

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. Detailshttps://on.today.com/3coITS9

 

And because you made it this far, here’s a dad who figured out a way for his daughters to keep skiing this season: https://bit.ly/2Vu7Gxg