The Hill's 12:30 Report - Presented by Facebook - Barr's showdown with House Democrats


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--> A midday take on what's happening in politics and how to have a sense of humor about it.*

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The Hill’s 12:30 Report: Barr testifies | Hearing delayed after Nadler gets in minor car accident | GOP releases coronavirus relief package | Hits wall with Schumer | Yankees-Phillies game postponed | John LewisJohn LewisEthics panel taking no action after Joyce Beatty's arrest at protest Rep. Hank Johnson among demonstrators arrested at voting rights protest 10 books that take readers inside the lives of American leaders MORE lies in state | Biden targets older voters | Trump announces 5 p.m. news conference | Why black-and-white selfies are popping up on social media



A Bill Barr-Dem stare down:



Attorney General William BarrBill BarrWant to evaluate Donald Trump's judgment? Listen to Donald Trump Trump: Washington/Lincoln ticket would have had hard time beating me before pandemic Trump says Barr 'never' told him he thought he'd lose election MORE is testifying before the House Judiciary Committee this morning.

The gist: “Barr will seek to defend himself against what he calls Democratic attempts to ‘discredit’ him due to his investigation into the origins of the FBI's probe into Russian interference in the 2016 election, according to a copy of his opening statement obtained by The Hill. 

Hearing livestream


House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerry NadlerJerrold (Jerry) Lewis NadlerBritney Spears's new attorney files motion to remove her dad as conservator Here's what Congress is reading at the beach this summer Activists see momentum as three new states legalize marijuana MORE (D-N.Y.) was involved in a minor car accident on the way to the hearing this morning.

When Nadler began the hearing: “Everyone is fine, except, perhaps the car,” Nadler said at the start of the hearing.


Barr began: "Pleased to be here this morning," Barr said.

From Barr: "Until just the last 50 years ago or so, our laws Institute and our institutions were explicitly racist, explicitly discriminatory."

Barr on the Roger StoneRoger Jason StoneCould Andrew Cuomo — despite scandals — be re-elected because of Trump? Has Trump beaten the system? Trump is on the ballot whether his name is there or not MORE case: "Stone was prosecuted under me. I said all along I thought that was a righteous prosecution. I thought he should go to jail." 

Barr on his job: “Barr says Trump has given him complete freedom and independence to act as how he sees fit.” 

Nadler is not holding back: "The president wants footage for his campaign ads, and you appear to be serving it up to him as ordered."

Nadler to Barr: "This is the first time you have appeared before the House Judiciary Committee." 

Nadler slams Barr for his actions with President TrumpDonald TrumpCuban embassy in Paris attacked by gasoline bombs Trump Jr. inches past DeSantis as most popular GOP figure in new poll: Axios Trump endorses Ken Paxton over George P. Bush in Texas attorney general race MORE: "In your time at the department, you have aided and abetted the worst failings of this president.” Video

Nadler criticizes Barr’s Justice Department: “The department has spread disinformation about voter fraud, failed to enforce voting rights laws, and attempted to change the census rules to flaunt the plain text of the Constitution—all in the apparent attempt to assist the President’s reelection."


Yes. It. Is.: Politico’s John Bresnahan pointed out, “Bill Barr's poker face is good. Real good.” 

View from the balcony where the press is seated: Via The Hill’s Olivia BeaversPhoto

He’s wearing a mask 




It’s a busy Tuesday on Capitol Hill. 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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The Yankees-Phillies game is postponed ... again:

Via The New York Post’s Joel Sherman, today’s MLB game between the New York Yankees and Philadelphia Phillies has been postponed. The Yankees are traveling to New York to practice at Yankee Stadium.

Why: “The Phillies played their season-opening series against the Marlins, who had 11 players and two coaches test positive for coronavirus on Monday. The Athletic reported on Tuesday that four additional Marlins players tested positive for COVID-19. The Marlins used the same visiting clubhouse facilities the Yankees would have been using. Phillies players were tested following the series. and as of Tuesday morning there were no reports of any of their players testing positive.”


John Lewis lies at state:

The body of Rep. John Lewis (D-Ga.) is lying in state at the U.S. Capitol today. 

Livestream of the public gathering to pay their respects

What the social distant line looked like this morning

Yikes, it was a hot day: Via Cox Media Group’s Jamie Dupree, “One of the honor guard just toppled over … On his feet now.  Very hot today.” Photo 

Wow, this is a stunning shot: Here’s the overhead view of John Lewis’s casket in the Rotunda: 

What a great photo from 2019:  





Thinking about how much these four companies know about me personally is enough to make me move to a deserted island:

Via The Hill’s Chris Mills Rodrigo, “The CEOs of Amazon, Apple, Facebook and Google will testify before Congress Wednesday in what will be a crucial hearing for the future of both antitrust law and Big Tech’s relationship with Washington.”

Who is testifying — think of the net worth in that room: Amazon CEO Jeff BezosJeffrey (Jeff) Preston BezosProgressive group launches M ad campaign to call for tax hikes on the rich Georgia HBCU clears student balances for semesters during pandemic Bezos, Branson may not get official astronaut status after FAA changes policy MORE, Apple CEO Tim Cook, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg and Google CEO Sundar Pichai. Bezos is the only one in the group that has never testified before Congress before. 

What to expect 



Here it is. The fruit of our labor. The apple of our eyes. Hang it on the fridge. Give it glittery smiley face stickers:

Senate Republicans unveiled their roughly $1 trillion coronavirus relief package yesterday evening that will be used as a starting point for negotiations with Democrats.

One does not just simply write and release the bill: The release came after DAYS of public infighting and behind-the-scenes negotiations among Republicans and the White House. 

What’s *clap* in *clap* the bill?

  • $16 billion for coronavirus testing
  • $105 billion for schools
  • Five-year liability protections from coronavirus-related lawsuits
  • A second round of economic stimulus checks to Americans, with the same qualifications as the first round
  • ­“Another round of loans under the Paycheck Protection Program but requires businesses to have lost at least 50 percent of their revenue to be eligible. The revised program also would limit participation to firms with no more than 300 employees, compared with the 500-employee cap from earlier this year.”
  • “A transition to unemployment benefits that would match roughly 70 percent of an individual's previous wages.”


What Nancy PelosiNancy PelosiHouse rejects GOP effort to seat McCarthy's picks for Jan. 6 panel GOP brawls over Trump on eve of first Jan. 6 hearing Five things to watch as Jan. 6 panel begins its work MORE and Chuck SchumerChuck Schumer84 mayors call for immigration to be included in reconciliation Senate infrastructure talks on shaky grounds Could Andrew Cuomo — despite scandals — be re-elected because of Trump? MORE think of the package:




Via The Hill’s Alexander Bolton, Democrats are dismissing the Republican coronavirus relief proposal as a non-starter, meaning negotiations will be extensive. 

Why Democrats don’t like the plan: “Democrats say the GOP legislation falls short of providing enough money for state and local governments, fails to protect renters from eviction and doesn’t invest enough in lower-income communities hit hard by the pandemic.” 

What happened last night: “Senate Democratic Leader Charles SchumerChuck Schumer84 mayors call for immigration to be included in reconciliation Senate infrastructure talks on shaky grounds Could Andrew Cuomo — despite scandals — be re-elected because of Trump? MORE (N.Y.) and Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) met for almost two hours with Treasury Secretary Steven MnuchinSteven MnuchinThe 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 Democrats justified in filibustering GOP, says Schumer MORE and White House chief of staff Mark MeadowsMark MeadowsTrump to Pence on Jan. 6: 'You don't have the courage' Trump said whoever leaked information about stay in White House bunker should be 'executed,' author claims 'Just say we won,' Giuliani told Trump aides on election night: book MORE in the Speaker’s office Monday evening for an initial round of negotiations but made little progress.”


Coronavirus cases in the U.S.: 4,307,542

U.S. death toll: 148,295

Breakdown of the numbers



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Running on the platform of early bird dinner specials and early morning tee times:

Via The Hill’s Niall Stanage, former Vice President Joe BidenJoe BidenTrump endorses Ken Paxton over George P. Bush in Texas attorney general race GOP lawmakers request Cuba meeting with Biden For families, sending money home to Cuba shouldn't be a political football MORE is seeking to peel older voters away from President Trump

How so: Biden released new ads yesterday targeting older voters.  

Why this is so important: “If the presumptive Democratic nominee is right, it will have huge ramifications for November’s election. Older voters have leaned heavily Republican for years. But some recent opinion polls have suggested Biden is much more competitive this year.” 

Why the Biden campaign is targeting that voting bloc: “His campaign’s bet is that the fear many seniors have about COVID-19 has led to a disenchantment with Trump — and could lead to them casting a ballot for the Democrat in November.”  

How that could play out in November


Not a mask in sight — oh and is that man sneezing?:





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

11:30 a.m. EDT: Two cloture votes in the Senate. The Senate’s full schedule today

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

2:30 p.m. EDT: Two confirmation votes in the Senate.

3 p.m. DT: Vice President Pence leads a teleconference with governors to discuss the COVID-19 response.

5:30 p.m. EDT: Vice President Pence meets with doctors to discuss COVID-19.

Wednesday, 11 a.m. EDT: The Future of Human Connectivity: Connectivity is not just about machines and sensors. People lie at the heart of this technology. On July 29th, The Hill Virtually Live hosts The Future of Human Connectivity to imagine how America can tie technology and this incredible moment of transition of ultra-connectivity to today’s societal needs. FCC Chairman Ajit Pai, Rep. Yvette ClarkeYvette Diane ClarkeHouse passes host of bills to strengthen cybersecurity in wake of attacks Haiti Caucus: Forging path out of crisis will not be quick, but necessary to avoid false 'democracy' US lawmakers express shock at Haitian president's assassination MORE, Mike RogersMichael (Mike) Dennis RogersOvernight Defense: Former Defense Secretary Rumsfeld dies at 88 | Trump calls on Milley to resign | House subpanel advances Pentagon spending bill Pentagon punches back against GOP culture wars Defense contractors ramp up donations to GOP election objectors MORE and an incredible line-up of speakers join The Hill's Bob CusackRobert (Bob) CusackAl Eisele, founding editor of The Hill, dies at 85 The Hill's 12:30 Report - Presented by Facebook - Tensions rise as U.S. waits for Derek Chauvin verdict Key Democrat says traveler fees should fund infrastructure projects MORE and Steve Clemons. RSVP today.

Thursday, 1 p.m. EDT: American Resilience: The Future of Small Business: Small businesses are fundamental to the idea of America. What steps should be taken to ensure that businesses that really need the help are receiving aid, particularly minority-owned businesses that are often overlooked? On Thursday, July 30, The Hill Virtually Live hosts a discussion on public and private efforts to support America’s entrepreneurs featuring Sen. Jeanne ShaheenCynthia (Jeanne) Jeanne ShaheenEquilibrium/ Sustainability — Presented by NextEra Energy — Clean power repurposes dirty power CIA watchdog to review handling of 'Havana syndrome' cases Frustration builds as infrastructure talks drag MORE and Rep. Steve ChabotSteven (Steve) Joseph ChabotWe must address the declining rate of startup business launches Lobbying world OVERNIGHT DEFENSE: Biden administration to evacuate Afghans who helped US l Serious differences remain between US and Iran on nuclear talks l US, Turkish officials meet to discuss security plans for Afghan airport MORE. RSVP today.



10:45 a.m. EDT: Attorney General William Barr testified before the House Judiciary Committee. Livestream 

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


Today is National Milk Chocolate Day.

Why you’re seeing black-and-white selfies on social media:

Via NBC’s “Today,” “Women are sharing black-and-white photos of themselves on social media to spread messages about female solidarity and empowerment, with many including the hashtags #challengeaccepted and #womensupportingwomen. While its origins are unclear (though there was a similar viral challenge in 2016 that was tied to raising cancer awareness), the goal is to just share some positivity during the pandemic.” Examples — including celebrities who have joined the hashtag

And because you made it this far, here’s the perfect midday work break for everyone involved: