The Hill's 12:30 Report: Washington nears coronavirus relief deal

The Hill's 12:30 Report: Washington nears coronavirus relief deal
© Getty Images

To view past editions of The Hill's 12:30 Report, click here:

To receive The Hill's 12:30 Report in your inbox, please sign up here:

--> 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: Schumer predicts Senate will vote on coronavirus bill today | Says leaders reached a deal after midnight | House considers remote voting | National Spelling Bee canceled | Chris CuomoChristopher (Chris) Charles CuomoTrump dings CNN, 'Morning Joe' ratings as Tucker Carlson sets record CNN's Chris Cuomo lauds brother in panned interview: 'You're both awful' Ken Burns: 'Confederate monuments have to go' MORE leaves his basement after COVID-19 quarantine | Llamas will crash Zoom meetings for less than $100



You better believe it:

Senate Minority Leader Charles SchumerChuck SchumerOvernight Defense: House panel votes to ban Confederate flag on all Pentagon property | DOD report says Russia working to speed US withdrawal from Afghanistan | 'Gang of Eight' to get briefing on bounties Thursday Top intelligence officials to brief Gang of Eight on Thursday Over 1700 veterans ask Senate to pass statehood bill MORE (D-N.Y.) said that he believes the Senate could vote on a coronavirus stimulus deal by the end of the day.

To the tapes!: In an interview on CNN this morning, Schumer said, “I think we will be able to pass this today … There are still a few more i’s to dot and t’s to cross but we have a deal.” 

How leaders reached a deal: Schumer said he, House Speaker Nancy PelosiNancy PelosiHouse votes unanimously to extend deadline for coronavirus small-business loan program Overnight Defense: House panel votes to ban Confederate flag on all Pentagon property | DOD report says Russia working to speed US withdrawal from Afghanistan | 'Gang of Eight' to get briefing on bounties Thursday OVERNIGHT ENERGY: House approves .5T green infrastructure plan | Rubio looks to defense bill to block offshore drilling, but some fear it creates a loophole | DC-area lawmakers push for analysis before federal agencies can be relocated MORE (D-Calif.), Treasury Secretary Steven MnuchinSteven Terner MnuchinHouse votes unanimously to extend deadline for coronavirus small-business loan program Coronavirus Report: The Hill's Steve Clemons interviews Mark Penn The Hill's Morning Report - Republicans shift, urge people to wear masks MORE and White House chief of staff Mark MeadowsMark Randall MeadowsHouse Republicans urge White House to support TSA giving travelers temperature checks The Hill's Morning Report - Republicans shift, urge people to wear masks Overnight Defense: Democrats blast Trump handling of Russian bounty intel | Pentagon leaders set for House hearing July 9 | Trump moves forward with plan for Germany drawdown MORE came to an agreement after midnight last night. “Staff was up all night writing,” Schumer said. 

Watch Schumer describe the negotiation process last night

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  — 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:



Trump puts immigration on hold:

President TrumpDonald John TrumpHouse panel approves 0.5B defense policy bill House panel votes against curtailing Insurrection Act powers after heated debate House panel votes to constrain Afghan drawdown, ask for assessment on 'incentives' to attack US troops MORE announced last night that he will temporarily halt immigration into the United States through an executive order amid the coronavirus pandemic.

Details — much is still unclear: “It's unclear if Trump made other nations aware of the decision before tweeting it out, but his past attempts to clamp down on immigration have led to chaos abroad and at U.S. airports. Trump's tweet also did not provide details on when the suspension would go into effect or how long it would last.” 

Why the timing of the announcement is important: Just a few hours before the announcement, Trump “was speaking optimistically about the ability of certain states to begin reopening their economies despite the threat of the virus.” 

Trump’s announcement on Twitter: The president tweeted, “In light of the attack from the Invisible Enemy, as well as the need to protect the jobs of our GREAT American Citizens, I will be signing an Executive Order to temporarily suspend immigration into the United States!”


From Rep. Joaquin CastroJoaquin CastroSteyer endorses Markey in Massachusetts Senate primary Hispanic Caucus formally endorses George Floyd Justice in Policing Act Technical difficulties mar several remote House hearings MORE (D-Texas), the chairman of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus: "This action is not only an attempt to divert attention away from Trump’s failure to stop the spread of the coronavirus and save lives, but an authoritarian-like move to take advantage of a crisis and advance his anti-immigrant agenda. We must come together to reject his division.”

From Sen. Tom CottonTom Bryant CottonGOP senator calls reporting on Russia bounties 'absolutely inaccurate' after White House briefing New legislation required to secure US semiconductor leadership Sunday shows preview: With coronavirus cases surging, lawmakers and health officials weigh in MORE (R-Ark.): "22 million Americans have lost their jobs in the last month because of the China virus. Let’s help them get back to work before we import more foreigners to compete for their jobs.”

Some context from NBC’s White House correspondent Geoff Bennett: “Immigration was already functionally shut down. The WH had closed the U.S.-Canada border and started deporting asylum-seekers without due process. International air travel has largely been suspended. Formalizing it serves as a simple way for Trump to rile up his base.”


The National Spelling Bee is canceled:

Via The Associated Press’s Ben Nuckols, the Scripps National Spelling Bee is canceled this year for the first time since World War II. 

What about eight graders?: This decision “means kids who are in eighth grade this year will miss their final opportunity to compete in the national finals. Scripps will not change eligibility requirements for next year’s bee.”  

Dates for the next bee: June 1-3, 2021


Remote voting could actually happen:

Via The Hill’s Cristina Marcos, the House is expected to vote this week to allow members to vote remotely during the COVID-19 outbreak.

How it would work: “House Majority Leader Steny HoyerSteny Hamilton HoyerHouse to vote on removing bust of Supreme Court justice who wrote Dred Scott ruling Black Caucus unveils next steps to combat racism Democrats expect Russian bounties to be addressed in defense bill MORE (D-Md.) announced late Monday that a vote is planned on proxy voting, which would allow an absent member to authorize another member physically present in the chamber to cast a vote on his or her behalf.”  

Why proxy voting as the alternative: “House Rules Committee Chairman Jim McGovern (D-Mass.) made a recommendation last week that allowing proxy voting would be the easiest way to allow a form of remote voting without the kind of extensive security testing that electronic technologies would require.”

Where the coronavirus payments stand — lotsa confusion:

Via The Hill’s Naomi Jagoda, tens of millions of Americans are still waiting for their $1,200 economic stimulus checks, causing confusion and frustration. 

Who has received the payment so far: The IRS deposited funds for 80 million people who have direct deposit set up for their 2018 or 2019 tax returns. 

Even some with direct deposit set up have not received the stimulus: “A Treasury Department spokeswoman said that as of Thursday, about 1 percent of the direct deposit payments had been rejected by banks. It’s possible more could be rejected this week.”  

The impressive part: “[Experts have] said they have been impressed by how quickly the IRS started disbursing payments, even with a number of challenges including budget cuts over the past decade, antiquated technology and many IRS employees needing to work remotely during the pandemic.” 

What we know


Well, I’m not sleeping tonight:

Here is a video of protests against Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolf’s (D) stay-at-home order. 



More photos from the protest

CNN anchor Chris Cuomo is out of his basement:





The House and Senate are out. President Trump is in Washington, D.C. Vice President Pence is in Madison, Wis. for the day. 

11 a.m. EDT: Vice President Pence left for Madison, Wis. 

1:40 p.m. EDT: Vice President Pence tours the GE Healthcare Manufacturing Facility.

4 p.m. EDT: President Trump meets with New York Gov. Andrew CuomoAndrew CuomoNew York City delays plan to restart indoor dining, citing coronavirus outbreaks across the country Watch live: Gov. Cuomo holds press briefing The Hill's Morning Report - Republicans shift, urge people to wear masks MORE (D) in the Oval Office.

5:25 p.m. EDT: Vice President Pence lands in Washington, D.C. 

Wednesday: Earth Day. Op-ed:


10:30 a.m. EDT: The House’s pro forma session. Livestream 

2:05 p.m. EDT: Vice President Pence participates in a roundtable with GE Healthcare employees. Livestream

4 p.m. EDT: The Senate’s pro forma session. Livestream 

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


Today is National Chocolate Covered Cashew Day.

You can arrange for a llama to attend your Zoom meeting — Take my money.:

Via Business Insider’s Paige Leskin, “for less than $100, you can request a cameo appearance in your video chat from Sweet Farm's llamas, goats, and other farm animals.” Details

And to brighten your Tuesday afternoon, here’s a puppy-to-baby ratio that is just a bit off: