The Hill's 12:30 Report: DC moves toward Phase Two of reopening

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The Hill’s 12:30 Report: DC moves toward Phase Two of reopening | Juneteenth | GOP worried Biden’s low-key campaign is working | Nasdaq tops 10k | Klobuchar drops out of VP consideration | GOP rift over qualified immunity | ‘Into the Wild’ bus removed | Man runs through every DC street and alley 



Phase Two, Phase Two, Phase Two!:




Washington, D.C., Mayor Muriel Bowser announced that the district will ease restrictions by moving to “Phase Two” amid the coronavirus pandemic. 

What that means: “Restrictions on indoor dining, services at houses of worship, nail salons, playgrounds and more will be loosened under phase two, Bowser said Wednesday. Gatherings of up to 50 people will be permitted. Indoor dining will be permitted at 50% capacity.” Details

Read Bowser’s announcement

Breakdown of what Phase Two means

Nasdaq topped 10,000 points:

Via The Hill’s Sylvan Lane, “Stocks opened with gains Friday, sending the Nasdaq composite above 10,000 points for the second time in its history.”

It’s Friday and today is Juneteenth. 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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Qualified immunity is becoming a touchy subject with Republicans:

Via The Hill’s Jordain Carney, a rift has opened in the Republican Party over whether to change qualified immunity for police officers as part of the reform bill. 

What is qualified immunity?: A legal doctrine that protects police officers from civil lawsuits.

Where Democrats stand: Democrats want to scale back the legal protections. 

Where Republicans stand: “Getting rid of qualified immunity altogether is viewed as a nonstarter for Senate Republicans, but there are ongoing conversations among senators about the doctrine that has been thrust into the national spotlight following the killing of George Floyd in the custody of Minneapolis police last month … Some Republicans, while stressing they do not support ending qualified immunity, are signaling they are open to discussing changes if they’re part of negotiations on a larger police reform deal.”  

What to expect


Republicans want Joe BidenJoe BidenJoe Biden looks to expand election battleground into Trump country Trump puts Supreme Court fight at center of Ohio rally Special counsel investigating DeVos for potential Hatch Act violation: report MORE out there letting gaffes fly left and right:

Via The Hill’s Jonathan Easley and Amie Parnes, “Joe Biden hasn’t held a press conference in 77 days, but Democrats aren’t feeling much pressure to put their presumptive presidential nominee front and center at the moment.”

What Biden has been up to: “Biden has, for the most part, kept a low profile throughout the coronavirus pandemic and weeks of demonstrations for racial justice across the country. Over that time, Biden has built up a healthy lead in the polls and emerged as the heavy favorite for now to be the next president.”  

Why Republicans are nervous: “Republicans have watched with growing alarm as President TrumpDonald John TrumpBubba Wallace to be driver of Michael Jordan, Denny Hamlin NASCAR team Graham: GOP will confirm Trump's Supreme Court nominee before the election Southwest Airlines, unions call for six-month extension of government aid MORE’s polling numbers have fallen to frightening new lows for an incumbent. The Trump campaign is desperate to draw Biden into the fray, believing the gaffe-prone former vice president would make some potentially game-changing mistakes during unscripted moments in the public eye.” 

Trump’s biggest worry in November:

In an interview with Politico’s Alex Isenstadt, President Trump has described mail-in voting as the biggest threat to his reelection.

In Trump’s words: “My biggest risk is that we don’t win lawsuits,” Trump said. “We have many lawsuits going all over. And if we don’t win those lawsuits, I think — I think it puts the election at risk.”

In the veepstakes:

Via The Hill’s Julia Manchester and Scott Wong, “Rep. Val DemingsValdez (Val) Venita DemingsFlorida Democrat introduces bill to recognize Puerto Rico statehood referendum Sunday shows - Trump team defends coronavirus response Demings slams GOP coronavirus relief bill: Americans 'deserve more than the crumbs from the table' MORE (D-Fla.) is coming under intense scrutiny from progressives over her record as Orlando police chief a decade ago, posing a potential hurdle to her prospects of becoming Joe Biden's running mate.” 

Keep in mind: “Many Democrats have pointed to Demings, a second-term Florida congresswoman, as someone who could straddle the emotional divide over police reform: a former police chief who can speak personally about police brutality and systemic racism against blacks but who insulates Democrats from GOP charges they are soft-on-crime liberals.”  

^ Yeah, but: “As Demings’s star rises, some Black Lives Matter (BLM) and other progressive activists are taking aim at her tenure as Orlando's first female police chief, which spanned 2007 to 2011, and they are questioning whether someone who spent a decades-long career in law enforcement is right for this moment.”


Via The New York Times’s Reid Epstein, Sen. Amy KlobucharAmy KlobucharBattle lines drawn on precedent in Supreme Court fight Sunday shows - Ruth Bader Ginsburg's death dominates Klobuchar: GOP can't use 'raw political power right in middle of an election' MORE (D-Minn.) announced that she is withdrawing her name as a potential running mate to presumptive Democratic presidential nominee Biden. 

In Klobuchar’s words: “After what I’ve seen in my state and what I’ve seen across the country, this is a historic moment and America must seize on this moment.  I truly believe, as I told the vice president last night, that I believe that this is a moment to put a woman of color on that ticket.”


Via The New York Times’s Derrick Bryson Taylor, “On June 19, 1865, enslaved African-Americans in Galveston, Texas, were told they were free. Now, 155 years later, people in cities and towns across the U.S. continue to mark the occasion with celebrations.” Q&A of what you should know about the holiday


Via The Atlantic’s Kellie Carter Jackson, “Black Joy—Not Corporate Acknowledgment—Is the Heart of Juneteenth: Companies and state governments are finally recognizing Emancipation Day as an official holiday, but black Americans have honored its significance all along.”


In an interview with The Wall Street Journal, President Trump said he made the holiday “very famous” by originally scheduling a campaign rally on that date. 

In Trump’s words: “I did something good: I made Juneteenth very famous. It’s actually an important event, an important time. But nobody had ever heard of it.” 

Keep in mind: Trump was widely criticized for choosing that date for his campaign rally, so he postponed it until Saturday.

More from Trump’s Wall Street Journal interview


Via The Washington Post’s Michael E. Ruane, “The National Archives on Thursday located what appears to be the original handwritten ‘Juneteenth’ military order informing thousands of people held in bondage in Texas they were free. The decree, in the ornate handwriting of a general’s aide, was found in a formal order book stored in the Archives headquarters building in Washington. It is dated June 19, 1865, and signed by Maj. F.W. Emery, on behalf of Union Maj. Gen. Gordon Granger.” Photos


Coronavirus cases in the U.S.: 2,191,371

Deaths in the U.S.: 118,436 

Breakdown of the numbers 

For context: This time last week, 2,027,521 Americans had tested positive for the coronavirus and 113,899 had died.


Remember this bus from ‘Into the Wild?’:





VALID point:




The full giraffe photos for reference


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

12:30 p.m. EDT: President Trump receives an intelligence briefing in the Oval Office.

2:30 p.m. EDT: Vice President Pence meets with Air Force Secretary Barbara Barrett and John “Jay” Raymond, the chief of space operations.

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

Today: Juneteenth. Op-ed:

3 p.m. EDT Monday: The Senate meets. The Senate’s full schedule on Monday


Noon: The House Oversight & Reform Committee is holding a virtual briefing on structural racism in policing. Livestream 

1 p.m. EDT: White House press secretary Kayleigh McEnany holds a press briefing. Livestream

8 p.m. EDT Saturday: President Trump holds a campaign rally in Tulsa, Okla. Livestream 

9 p.m. EDT Sunday: ABC News’s Martha Raddatz exclusively interviews former national security adviser John BoltonJohn BoltonDiplomacy with China is good for America The Hill's Morning Report - Sponsored by The Air Line Pilots Association - Pence lauds Harris as 'experienced debater'; Trump, Biden diverge over debate prep DOJ launches probe into Bolton book for possible classified information disclosures MORE.


Today is National Martini Day. And for planning purposes, tomorrow is National Vanilla Milkshake Day, and Sunday is National Onion Ring Day.

Maaaan, this is impressive:

Via Washingtonian’s Hannah Good, a man ran through every street and alley in Washington, D.C. “It took around 9 months, 186 runs, and 2,425 miles.”

And because you made it to Friday afternoon, here’s a dog who is completely over the week: