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

The Hill's 12:30 Report: Washington nears coronavirus relief deal
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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: 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 CuomoChris CuomoTucker Carlson says he lies when 'I'm really cornered or something' American describes being left behind in Kabul: 'I don't believe in anybody anymore' Chris Cuomo's revisionist history 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 SchumerMcConnell signals Senate GOP will oppose combined debt ceiling-funding bill Centrist state lawmaker enters Ohio GOP Senate primary Biden discusses agenda with Schumer, Pelosi ahead of pivotal week 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 PelosiPelosi says House members would not vote on spending bill topline higher than Senate's McConnell privately urged GOP senators to oppose debt ceiling hike On The Money — Dems dare GOP to vote for shutdown, default MORE (D-Calif.), Treasury Secretary Steven MnuchinSteven MnuchinMenendez, Rubio ask Yellen to probe meatpacker JBS The Hill's Morning Report - Presented by Goldman Sachs - Biden rallies Senate Dems behind mammoth spending plan Mnuchin dodges CNBC questions on whether Trump lying over election MORE and White House chief of staff Mark MeadowsMark MeadowsGraham found Trump election fraud arguments suitable for 'third grade': Woodward book Allies see rising prospect of Trump 2024 White House bid The Hill's Morning Report - Presented by Facebook - US prepares vaccine booster plan 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.

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Trump puts immigration on hold:

President TrumpDonald TrumpTrump takes shot at new GOP candidate in Ohio over Cleveland nickname GOP political operatives indicted over illegal campaign contribution from Russian national in 2016 On The Money — Dems dare GOP to vote for shutdown, default 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 CastroHarris's delayed trip to Vietnam ratchets up Havana Syndrome fears Lawmakers flooded with calls for help on Afghanistan exit Lawmakers can't reconcile weakening the SALT cap with progressive goals 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 CottonProgressive foreign policy should not be pro-autocracy Overnight Defense & National Security — Milley becomes lightning rod Joint Chiefs Chairman Milley becomes lightning rod on right 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 HoyerThis week: Democrats face mounting headaches Budget chairman: Debt ceiling fight 'a ridiculous position to be in' Five questions and answers about the debt ceiling fight 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 CuomoZeldin says he's in remission after treatment for leukemia Letitia James holding private talks on running for New York governor: report Governors brace for 2022 after year in pandemic spotlight 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: