The Hill's 12:30 Report - Presented by Facebook - Mnuchin previews GOP coronavirus relief package


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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.



Republicans lay their cards on the table:



Senate Republicans are expected to unveil their coronavirus relief bill today.

What won’t be in the bill: A pay roll tax cut, according to Treasury Secretary Steven MnuchinBut Mnuchin did say: A payroll tax cut could be part of a later coronavirus relief package. 

A possible holdup: Politico’s Jake Sherman tweeted last this morning that the bill is still being reviewed and may not be released today, according to Mnuchin.


The Washington Post’s White House economics reporter Jeff Stein tweeted this morning: “I regret to say my sourcing is not good enough at the moment to even suggest what is going to happen in the bill with unemployment insurance. We know it'll likely be somewhere b/w $100 and $400 — beyond that, almost all the ppl I normally ask say they don't know … Mnuchin this morning said they were looking at 70% wage replacement —  or ~$175-$200/week, down from $600, which is in line with what we've been hearing for awhile.”


Via The Hill’s Alexander Bolton, “The debate over the size of the next coronavirus relief bill is reopening the same divisions within the Republican Party that spawned the Tea Party movement more than a decade ago, putting Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) in a delicate spot.”

It’s Thursday — there is only one week left in July. Yikes. 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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Facebook launches Global State of Small Business Report



At Facebook, we are committed to helping small businesses succeed. We partnered with the World Bank and the OECD to survey businesses in 50+ countries and regions to understand the challenges they face and ways we can better support them.


Go further: Read the first report.



Michael CohenMichael Dean CohenEric Trump says he will comply with New York AG's subpoena only after Election Day Former model accuses Trump of sexually assaulting her at 1997 U.S. Open Michael Cohen: Trump taxes would reveal 'wealth is not as significant' as he says MORE will be released from prison:

“A federal judge on Thursday said he intended to order that Michael Cohen be returned to home confinement, after the former Trump attorney was sent back to prison earlier this month over a dispute with federal corrections officials.”

Keep in mind: “Cohen had been writing a book about his time working for President TrumpDonald John TrumpHR McMaster says president's policy to withdraw troops from Afghanistan is 'unwise' Cast of 'Parks and Rec' reunite for virtual town hall to address Wisconsin voters Biden says Trump should step down over coronavirus response MORE and the ACLU filed a lawsuit this week alleging that he was sent back to prison in retaliation for the tell-all.”  

The full story


Both parties are interested in another round of stimulus checks:

Via The Hill’s Naomi Jagoda, Republicans and Democrats are both interested in a second wave of direct payments to Americans in the next coronavirus relief package, but disagree about the details.

What Democrats want: The same parameters as the last stimulus checks. Which is: “Individuals with incomes of up to $75,000 and married couples making up to $150,000 qualified for the full amount, with the amount reduced for those with higher incomes. Individuals with incomes above $99,000 and married couples with no children and incomes above $198,000 are not eligible for any payment.”

What Republicans want: Lower income limits for the stimulus checks. It’s unclear how much lower but Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellMcConnell focuses on confirming judicial nominees with COVID-19 talks stalled McConnell accuses Democrats of sowing division by 'downplaying progress' on election security Warren, Schumer introduce plan for next president to cancel ,000 in student debt MORE (R-Ky.) said earlier this month, “I think the people that have been hit the hardest are people who make about $40,000 or less.”


Coronavirus cases in the U.S.: 3,973,370 

U.S. death toll: 143,224

Breakdown of the numbers



Person. Camera. Man. TV— ... No, Person. Woman, TV— ... No, Camera, TV, Person— ... No,—:

In an interview with Fox News, President Trump bragged about the results and ease of the cognitive test he took. 

"The first questions are very easy, the last questions are much more difficult. Like a memory question. It’s like, you’ll go, 'Person. Woman. Man. Camera. TV.' So they’d say, 'Could you repeat that.' So I said, 'Yeah. So it’s person. Woman. Man. Camera. TV.' "

“It’s actually not that easy. But for me it was easy. And that’s not an easy question. In other words, they ask it to you, they give you five names and you have to repeat them. And that’s OK. If you repeat them out of order, that’s OK. But, you know, it’s not as good. But then when you go back about 20, 25 minute later and they say go 'Go back to that question...' and you go, 'Person. Woman. Man. Camera. TV.' They say, ‘That’s amazing. How did you do that?’ ”  

Trump then said: "I do it because I have, like, a good memory," the president concluded. "Because I'm cognitively there.”

Watch Trump explain the cognitive test. It really is mesmerizing:





For the first time since March:

Via The Hill’s Sylvan Lane, new weekly unemployment claims rose last week for the first time since March as coronavirus cases spike around the country. 

How many Americans applied jobless claims: 1.4 million 

Why this is important: “The rise marks a troubling sign for the U.S. economy as another wave of novel coronavirus slows the nascent recovery from the downturn caused by the pandemic. After two months of net job gains in May and June that sunk the unemployment rate to 11.1 percent from 14.7 percent, that progress appears to be in danger of reversal.”


Taylor SwiftTaylor Alison SwiftCelebrities offer exclusive experiences in campaign to mobilize young voters The Hill's 12:30 Report: First Kennedy to lose a Massachusetts election Taylor Swift: Trump's 'calculated dismantling' of USPS proves he's trying to 'blatantly cheat' election MORE made a surprise announcement!:

It is trending on Twitter. 





Federal officers tear gassed the mayor:

Portland Mayor Ted Wheeler was tear gassed by federal officers during last night’s protests.

From Wheeler: “This is flat-out urban warfare and it’s being brought on the people of this country by the president of the United States and it’s got to stop now. This is a threat to our democracy.”

Here is video of the Portland mayor getting tear gassed


“I'm surprised federal troops made it to Oregon so easily. According to my favorite video game half of them should've sunk while fording the river.”



Facebook helps small businesses with the Summer of Support Program



As many storefronts remain closed, Boost with Facebook's Summer of Support program is helping millions of people and small business owners gain skills and find resources they need to grow and transition online.


Learn more about the program.




This is WILD.:

This video has nearly 2 million views since last night. 





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

Vice President Pence also has no events on his public schedule. 

10 a.m. EDT: A roll call vote in the Senate. The Senate’s full schedule today

12:30 p.m. EDT: First votes in the House. The House’s full schedule today

5 p.m. EDT: Last votes in the House. 


10:45 a.m. EDT: House Speaker Nancy PelosiNancy PelosiMcConnell focuses on confirming judicial nominees with COVID-19 talks stalled Overnight Defense: Top admiral says 'no condition' where US should conduct nuclear test 'at this time' | Intelligence chief says Congress will get some in-person election security briefings Pelosi must go — the House is in dire need of new leadership MORE (D-Calif.) held her weekly news conference. Livestream

11:30 a.m. EDT: House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthyKevin Owen McCarthyTrump's sharp words put CDC director on hot seat House GOP leader says he trusts Trump over CDC director on vaccine timing The Hill's Morning Report - Sponsored by The Air Line Pilots Association - Trump contradicts CDC director on vaccine, masks MORE (R-Calif.) held his weekly news conference. Livestream

1 p.m. EDT: The Hill is hosting a virtual event, "Diabetes and the COVID Threat.” Featured speakers: Reps. Diana DeGetteDiana Louise DeGette87 lawmakers ask EPA to reverse course after rescinding methane regulations Overnight Health Care: Supreme Court to hear ObamaCare arguments 1 week after election | NYC positive COVID-19 tests hit record low With Biden, advocates sense momentum for lifting abortion funding ban MORE (D-Colo.) and Tom ReedThomas (Tom) W. ReedCentrist House group offers bipartisan COVID-19 relief deal House approves two child care bills aimed at pandemic Diabetes Caucus co-chairs say telehealth expansion to continue beyond pandemic MORE (R-N.Y.), co-chairs of the Congressional Caucus on Diabetes. Livestream   

5 p.m. EDT: President Trump holds a news conference. 


Today is National Vanilla Ice Cream Day.

Lookin’ fiiiiine:

Via WAMU’s Mikeaela Lefrak and Tyrone Turner, D.C.’s central public library is reopening on Sept. 24 after a $211 million renovation. Oh, and by way, the library has a slide now. 

Photos of the renovations — it looks beautiful!

And because you made it this far, here’s meet the tennis ball champion in all of his glory: