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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--> 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: 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 TrumpBiden says his faith is 'bedrock foundation of my life' after Trump claim Coronavirus talks on life support as parties dig in, pass blame Ohio governor tests negative in second coronavirus test MORE said this morning that he instructed the U.S. Navy to shoot down any Iranian boats that are harassing American ships.

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.”

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.” 

Here is video from last week of Iranian boats coming close to U.S. ships

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.”

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  — and follow along on Twitter @CateMartel and Facebook.

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Onto the House!:

The Senate approved a $484 billion bill yesterday to help small businesses and hospitals amid the coronavirus pandemic.

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.”

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.” 

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. 

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 PelosiCoronavirus talks on life support as parties dig in, pass blame On The Money: Pessimism grows as coronavirus talks go down to the wire | Jobs report poised to light fire under COVID-19 talks | Tax preparers warn unemployment recipients could owe IRS Top Democrats say postmaster confirmed changes to mail service amid delays MORE (D-Calif.) spoke with House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthyKevin Owen McCarthyJudge throws out House GOP lawsuit over proxy voting Republicans fear disaster in November Gaetz set to endorse primary opponent of fellow Florida GOP lawmaker 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 numbers


  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 Elis


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

Former Vice President Joe BidenJoe BidenBiden says his faith is 'bedrock foundation of my life' after Trump claim Biden clarifies comments comparing African American and Latino communities Kanye West may have missed deadline to get on Wisconsin ballot by minutes: report MORE said he will announce a committee by May 1 to help select his running mate.

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.”

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 story


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 PompeoOvernight Defense: Air Force general officially becomes first African American service chief | Senators introduce bill to block Trump armed drone sale measure | State Department's special envoy for Iran is departing the Trump administration State Department offers M reward for foreign election interference information State Department's special envoy for Iran is departing the Trump administration 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:

Thursday — Saturday: The 2020 NFL Draft. Details and how to watch


This morning: Secretary of State Mike Pompeo held a news conference. Livestream

This morning: New York Gov. Andrew CuomoAndrew CuomoCuomo calls on wealthy to return to New York City: 'You got to come back!' The Hill's Morning Report - Presented by the Air Line Pilots Association - Key 48 hours loom as negotiators push for relief deal Cuomo to serve as National Association of Governors chair MORE (D) gave an update on his state’s coronavirus response. Livestream

Noon: President Trump, first lady Melania TrumpMelania TrumpThe Hill's Morning Report - Presented by Facebook - Senate GOP, House Democrats begin battle over trillion bill Melania Trump announces plans to renovate White House Rose Garden Trump tweets photo of himself wearing a mask MOREVice President Pence and second lady Karen PenceKaren Sue PenceBiden pays his respects to John Lewis at the Capitol Trump will not visit Capitol to pay respects to civil rights icon John Lewis The Hill's 12:30 Report - Presented by Facebook - High-ranking White House official tests positive MORE participate in a tree planting ceremony for Earth Day and Arbor Day. Livestream

1 p.m. EDT: The House’s pro forma session. Livestream 

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

5 p.m. EDT: The House Rules Committee meets to discuss remote voting amid the coronavirus outbreak. Livestream


Today is National Jelly Bean Day.

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

Anthony FauciAnthony FauciThe Hill's 12:30 Report: White House, Dems debate coronavirus relief package Trump: COVID-19 vaccine may be ready 'right around' Election Day Fauci: It's 'entirely conceivable' we could be 'way down' on level of cases by November 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. 

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 story

And to brighten your Wednesday afternoon, here’s a dog who has learned to entertain herself during the quarantine: