The Hill's 12:30 Report: Trump pushes immigration platform amid coronavirus pandemic

The Hill's 12:30 Report: Trump pushes immigration platform amid coronavirus pandemic
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The Hill’s 12:30 Report: Battle set for phase four of coronavirus relief | Senate passes $484B measure | Trump says U.S. will ‘shoot down and destroy’ Iranian ships harassing Americans | Dentists want testing kits before reopening | Five threats to food supply chains | Earth Day | Fauci tells 7-year-old tooth fairy is safe | What restaurants could look like going forward



Hey, Iran. Don’t mess:  

President TrumpDonald John TrumpVenezuela judge orders prison time for 6 American oil executives Trump says he'll leave White House if Biden declared winner of Electoral College The Memo: Biden faces tough road on pledge to heal nation MORE said this morning that he instructed the U.S. Navy to shoot down any Iranian boats that are harassing American ships. https://bit.ly/34XK0FV

Trump tweeted: “I have instructed the United States Navy to shoot down and destroy any and all Iranian gunboats if they harass our ships at sea.” https://bit.ly/2S0HFVv

What sparked this tweet??: “The president did not reference any specific incident, but his tweet follows a tense encounter between Iranian and U.S. Navy ships in the Persian Gulf last week. The U.S. military said that 11 Iranian ships repeatedly made ‘dangerous and harassing approaches’ of U.S. Navy and Coast Guard vessels in the Persian Gulf on Wednesday.” https://bit.ly/34XK0FV 

Here is video from last week of Iranian boats coming close to U.S. shipshttps://bit.ly/3cF3v8Y

Trump does not want to miss an opportunity:

Via The Hill’s Scott Wong and Mike Lillis, “President Trump is seizing on the coronavirus pandemic to engineer an immigration ban that he’s sought for years, framing it as a step to protect domestic jobs and public health amid waves of new unemployment claims.”  https://bit.ly/2RT7lDp

The politics of it: “The move is red meat for his die-hard supporters and has the potential to rally his conservative base ahead of his tough reelection bid this fall. Yet it’s also opened up the president to attacks from Democrats, now accusing the White House of trying to shift public attention away from his unsteady response to the coronavirus outbreak, which has killed more than 45,000 people, sickened 825,000 and shuttered the U.S. economy.”

It’s Wednesday — today is Earth Day!  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 


Onto the House!:

The Senate approved a $484 billion bill yesterday to help small businesses and hospitals amid the coronavirus pandemic. https://bit.ly/3eHp5vm

How it was passed: By voice vote. Senators are still home amid the COVID-19 outbreak.

What’s in the $484 billion bill: “The deal includes an additional $310 billion for the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP), including $60 billion specifically for community banks and smaller lenders, as well as $75 billion for hospitals, $25 billion for testing, and $60 billion for emergency disaster loans and grants, according to a summary obtained by The Hill.” 

What next: The House is expected to pass the bill tomorrow morning.


Via NPR, “Banks handling the government's $349 billion loan program for small businesses made more than $10 billion in fees — even as tens of thousands of small businesses were shut out of the program, according to an analysis of financial records by NPR.” https://n.pr/2S0uHH9

Now that that bill is on its way, time to start fighting over the next phase of coronavirus relief:

Via The Hill’s Alexander Bolton, “The Senate’s passage of a $484 billion coronavirus relief bill on Tuesday is setting the stage for negotiations on an even bigger package that could rival the $2.2 trillion CARES Act passed by Congress last month.” https://bit.ly/2Kmq7yV 

What to expect: “The legislation would funnel tens of billions if not hundreds of billions to state and local governments and could address infrastructure spending and election security.”



Via The Hill’s Cristina Marcos, after heavy criticism from Republicans, the House just decided to postpone a vote this week to enact remote voting during the coronavirus pandemic. https://bit.ly/3cKsojD 

Instead: A bipartisan group will study the issue of remote voting. 

The original plan: “The House had planned to vote Thursday on a rules change that would allow virtual committee hearings and proxy voting, in which absent members could authorize members physically present in the Capitol to cast votes on their behalf.” 

What changed: “But House Democratic leaders instead reversed course on Wednesday, after Speaker Nancy PelosiNancy PelosiGovernors take heat for violating their own coronavirus restrictions Spending deal clears obstacle in shutdown fight Ocasio-Cortez, Cruz trade jabs over COVID-19 relief: People 'going hungry as you tweet from' vacation MORE (D-Calif.) spoke with House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthyKevin Owen McCarthyTop Republicans praise Trump's Flynn pardon Richmond says GOP 'reluctant to stand up and tell the emperor he wears no clothes' Sunday shows preview: Biden transition, COVID-19 spike in spotlight MORE (R-Calif.), according to a Democratic leadership aide.” 


Coronavirus cases in the U.S.: 826,184

Deaths in the U.S.: 45,150 

Breakdown of the numbershttps://cnn.it/2UAgW3y


  1. Virus outbreaks at food plants
  2. Agricultural reliance on guest workers
  3. Supply chain mismatches
  4. Increased food insecurity
  5. Crunch on delivery capacity

Context and details for each from The Hill’s Niv Elishttps://bit.ly/2yw3LZ0


The announcement of an announcement of a committee to announce the pick. ... Make sense?:

Former Vice President Joe BidenJoe BidenTrump says he'll leave White House if Biden declared winner of Electoral College The Memo: Biden faces tough road on pledge to heal nation US records 2,300 COVID-19 deaths as pandemic rises with holidays MORE said he will announce a committee by May 1 to help select his running mate. https://bit.ly/3bvOiXB

When Biden will make a decision: Well, Biden said it could take until July to narrow down his list to three.  

Biden said on “The Late Late Show with James Corden”: “We’re going to probably be announcing the setting up of that committee, which we’re doing now, between the people who have agreed to serve on it, and we will be announcing the formation of that I assume by May 1 we’ll have that done.” 


Dentists want coronavirus kits:

Via The Hill’s Alex Gangitano, “Dentists are calling on the Trump administration to provide them with coronavirus tests before reopening, arguing that conditions in dental offices make patients and staff more susceptible to exposure.” https://bit.ly/2yCTvhO

Keep in mind: “The high-speed instruments used by dental practices create aerosol clouds that can hold germs for up to three hours, increasing the odds of exposure for staff if a patient has the coronavirus.” 

The full storyhttps://bit.ly/2yCTvhO


Oh no:

When you see it… 




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

1 p.m. EDT: President Trump has lunch with Secretary of State Mike PompeoMichael (Mike) Richard PompeoBiden faces challenges, opportunities in Middle East O'Brien on 2024 talk: 'There's all kinds of speculation out there' Israeli military instructed to prepare for Trump strike on Iran: report MORE.

1 p.m. EDT: Vice President Pence participates in a phone call with the American Legislative Exchange Council.

2:30 p.m. EDT: President Trump receives an intelligence briefing. 

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

Today: Earth Day. Op-ed: https://bit.ly/352xtkv

Thursday — Saturday: The 2020 NFL Draft. Details and how to watchhttps://bit.ly/2RWCx4L


This morning: Secretary of State Mike Pompeo held a news conference. Livestreamhttps://cs.pn/2VOB55t

This morning: New York Gov. Andrew CuomoAndrew CuomoCardinal Dolan hails Supreme Court decision on churches, COVID-19 Cuomo blames new conservative majority for High Court's COVID-19 decision Vaccine skepticism emerges as early test for Biden MORE (D) gave an update on his state’s coronavirus response. Livestreamhttps://bit.ly/2VSwH5x

Noon: President Trump, first lady Melania TrumpMelania TrumpUSAID administrator tests positive for COVID-19 The Hill's Morning Report - Presented by the UAE Embassy in Washington, DC - COVID-19 fears surround Thanksgiving holiday The Hill's 12:30 Report: Trump holds his last turkey pardon ceremony MOREVice President Pence and second lady Karen PenceKaren Sue PenceSpaceX capsule arrives at International Space Station The Hill's 12:30 Report - Presented by Capital One - World reacts to news of second COVID-19 vaccine with 90 percent efficacy The Hill's Morning Report - Presented by UAE - US records 1 million COVID-19 cases in a week; governors crack down MORE participate in a tree planting ceremony for Earth Day and Arbor Day. Livestreamhttps://bit.ly/2VNNk2j

1 p.m. EDT: The House’s pro forma session. Livestreamhttps://cs.pn/3cxTryi 

5 p.m. EDT: The White House Coronavirus Task Force holds a press briefing. Livestreamhttps://bit.ly/2XUdrqL 

5 p.m. EDT: The House Rules Committee meets to discuss remote voting amid the coronavirus outbreak. Livestreamhttps://cs.pn/2RVM0t6


Today is National Jelly Bean Day.

The real news of the week — Fauci reassured everyone that the tooth fairy is safe:

Anthony FauciAnthony FauciVaccine skepticism emerges as early test for Biden Trump encourages Americans to 'gather' in Thanksgiving proclamation despite coronavirus surge Kamala Harris, Stacey Abrams among nominees for Time magazine's 2020 Person of the Year MORE, the nation’s top infectious disease expert, told a 7-year-old girl that the tooth fairy is not at risk in transmitting the coronavirus. https://bit.ly/2wZeWJn 

The girl asked on Will Smith’s new Snapchat series “Will From Home”: “Can the tooth fairy still come if I lose my tooth because of the coronavirus? And can she catch the virus?” 

Fauci’s response: “I don't think you need to worry about the Tooth Fairy. So when … your tooth [falls] out, you stick it under the pillow and I'll guarantee you that that Tooth Fairy is not going to get infected and is not going to get sick.”

What it could look like when restaurants reopen:

Via Eater, “Masks, temperature checks, and awkward bar vibes — one writer’s recent night out in Hong Kong could be a glimpse at America’s future.” The full storyhttps://bit.ly/2RZygxo

And to brighten your Wednesday afternoon, here’s a dog who has learned to entertain herself during the quarantine: https://bit.ly/2VNcHB7