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The Hill's 12:30 Report: House members-elect arrive for orientation

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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: Senate battle complicates Biden Cabinet picks | Biden names chief of staff | Fauci says COVID-19 won’t be a pandemic for ‘a lot longer’ | House members-elect arrive for orientation | McConnell treads carefully in Trump post-election fight | Experts worry of post-election pushback causing damage | Insane golf shot at the Masters

 

LATEST WITH THE BIDEN TRANSITION

Normally, Biden would have his pick of the litter on Capitol Hill, but the Senate battle is complicating it:

 

 

Via The Hill’s Jordain Carney and Julia Manchester, “A razor-tight Senate margin is complicating President-elect Joe BidenJoe BidenPennsylvania Supreme Court strikes down GOP bid to stop election certification Biden looks to career officials to restore trust, morale in government agencies Biden transition adds new members to coronavirus task force MORE's strategy for filling his Cabinet by making it more difficult to pick sitting lawmakers for plum posts.” https://bit.ly/3piJTP7

Normally: “Members of Congress would be at the top of the list for an incoming administration looking to poach talent from the party's ranks on Capitol Hill.” 

Yes, but this is 2020. Nothing is normal in 2020: “With Biden wanting to move fast and control of the Senate in limbo until early next year, he’ll have to think twice before tapping congressional Democrats — a move that could open up a seat for Republicans to try to flip or tip the scales in a closely divided Congress.”  

What House and Senate Democrats are thinking: “Democrats in both the House and Senate are looking at thin margins that could make it difficult to justify picking a member of Congress for a Cabinet position if it risks depleting the party’s ranks or setting up a special election in a red or purple state.”

Joe Biden chose his chief of staff — and it’s not a surprise at all:

President-elect Biden has selected Ron Klain as his chief of staff. https://bit.ly/2UizQez

What to know about Klain: Klain, 59, has worked with Biden for years and served as his chief of staff when Biden was vice president. “Klain first began working for Biden in 1989 when Biden was a senator from Delaware. He also worked for the president-elect's 1988 and 2008 presidential campaigns before joining the Obama administration.”

It’s Thursday. 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.

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GETTING TRACTION THIS MORNING

Bahahaha:

White House press secretary Kayleigh McEnany appeared on “Fox & Friends” this morning for an interview as a campaign adviser, instead of her official White House role. https://bit.ly/35prSq9

McEnany was asked whether President TrumpDonald John TrumpPennsylvania Supreme Court strikes down GOP bid to stop election certification Biden looks to career officials to restore trust, morale in government agencies Sunday shows preview: US health officials brace for post-holiday COVID-19 surge MORE has considered allowing President-elect Biden to receive the daily intelligence briefing. 

McEnany’s response: "I haven’t spoken to the president about that. That would be a question more for the White House, but I will say that all laws are being followed with regard to an expected transition, though we expect to continue on as the Trump administration. We will see how our litigation goes." 

Watch the clip: 

 

 

Watchhttps://bit.ly/3eWqE9g

 

This Pixar short is all I can picture:

 

 

IN THE TRUMP WHITE HOUSE

Experts are worried about the damage Trump’s election pushback is causing:

Via The Hill’s Niall Stanage, “President Trump’s efforts to overturn the 2020 election result are damaging the nation’s fabric even if they are ultimately unlikely to succeed, experts say.” https://bit.ly/3ngors3

This part is worrisome: “The fact that most congressional Republicans have not pushed back with any vigor on the president’s efforts is sharpening worries among Trump critics as to what could come next.” 

Trump’s orbit pushes back: “Sources in Trump’s orbit who have spoken with The Hill insist there is no real damage wrought by allowing the legal process to play out. They say the process could in fact ultimately reassure Trump voters that the result is valid.”

IN CONGRESS

Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellMcConnell halts in-person Republican lunches amid COVID-19 surge Biden and reproductive health rights Biden's Cabinet a battleground for future GOP White House hopefuls MORE, the tightrope-walking extraordinaire:

Via The Hill’s Alexander Bolton, “Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) is walking a fine line with his handling of President Trump’s refusal to concede the election.” https://bit.ly/2UmU0Eg 

McConnell is supporting Trump’s claims: “The GOP leader is defending Trump’s right to challenge the vote counts in several key battleground states, arguing the courts are meant to handle disputed election results and that ‘wealthy media corporations’ should not project the winner.”  

Yes, but McConnell is wording it carefully: “McConnell is also keeping his distance from the president’s claims of voter fraud that his campaign has yet to back up with any hard evidence … Asked if there were any signs of fraud in his own reelection race in Kentucky or any Senate races, McConnell responded: ‘I don’t know — at the risk of bragging, it wasn’t very close.’”

Keep in mind: McConnell wants to keep Trump and his base happy for the two Senate runoff elections in Georgia.

STACEY ABRAMS PUTS MUSCLE INTO GEORGIA RUNOFFS:

https://bit.ly/3nv1tOb

HAPPENING TODAY

It’s ice breaker day in DC!:

New House members-elect are arriving in Washington, D.C., today for new member orientation. 

Via C-SPAN’s Craig Caplan, here are photos of members-elect with their luggage at the check-in desk. Photoshttps://bit.ly/2Ui3qke

TIDBIT ABOUT THE ORIENTATION:

E&E News’s Emma Dumain tweeted, “I loved covering new member orientation. You saw soon-to-be congresspeople at their most joyful and excited and unguarded. The office lottery was so silly and fun. Days like these I miss my pre-pandemic Hill reporter life so much.” https://bit.ly/2IkZ4GR

WHAT TO EXPECT:

Via Roll Call’s Katherine Tully-McManushttps://bit.ly/2K25Vp3

LATEST WITH THE CORONAVIRUS

I could cry happy tears if this is true, Tony:

Yesterday, Anthony FauciAnthony FauciSunday shows preview: US health officials brace for post-holiday COVID-19 surge US COVID-19 cases reach past 13 million Fauci: Pandemic likely won't improve by Christmas, New Year's MORE said the coronavirus pandemic will not last “a lot longer” because of the vaccines in development. https://bit.ly/38DrTZQ 

Fauci said during a Chatham House event: "Certainly it's not going to be pandemic for a lot longer because I believe the vaccines are going to turn that around.”  

Fauci did also say though: "Putting it to rest doesn't mean eradicating it. I doubt we're going to eradicate this, I think we need to plan that this is something we may need to maintain control over chronically, it may be something that becomes endemic that we have to just be careful about."

THE LATEST NUMBERS:

Coronavirus cases in the U.S.: 10,415,779 

U.S. death toll: 241,907 

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

Op-ed: https://bit.ly/36rhmOI

NOTABLE TWEETS:

Nope, nope, nope, nope, NOOOPE!:

 

 

The full size photos — nopehttps://bit.ly/2H04aYo

Now I have the Jurassic Park theme song stuck in my head.

This feels like a throwback from 5-10 years ago:

 

 

Hyperlink https://bit.ly/32CV77i

It’s worth zooming in on these political cartoons to see all the little details:

 

 

There’s a lot going on here — full size photohttps://bit.ly/36rGnJq

ON TAP:

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

Noon: A cloture vote in the Senate. The Senate’s full agenda todayhttps://bit.ly/35msc96

12:30 p.m. EST: President Trump and Vice President Pence have lunch together.

4 p.m. EST: President Trump meets with Secretary of State Mike PompeoMichael (Mike) Richard PompeoBiden looks to career officials to restore trust, morale in government agencies Biden faces challenges, opportunities in Middle East O'Brien on 2024 talk: 'There's all kinds of speculation out there' MORE and Treasury Secretary Steven MnuchinSteven Terner MnuchinBiden's Treasury pick will have lengthy to-do list on taxes On The Money: Initial jobless claims rise for 2nd week | Dow dips below 30K | Mnuchin draws fire for COVID-19 relief move | Manhattan DA appeals dismissal of Manafort charges Mnuchin to put 5B in COVID-19 relief funds beyond successor's reach MORE in the Oval Office. 

Friday: The deadline for submitting nominations to The Hill’s Top Lobbyists. https://bit.ly/37GQRqu 

Nov. 19: The Hill is hosting a virtual event, “The Hill's Diversity & Inclusion Summit.” Details and how to RSVPhttps://bit.ly/35q97mo

WHAT TO WATCH:

10:15 a.m. EST: Speaker Nancy PelosiNancy PelosiClub for Growth to launch ad blitz in Georgia to juice GOP turnout Governors take heat for violating their own coronavirus restrictions Spending deal clears obstacle in shutdown fight MORE (D-Calif.) held a news conference. Livestreamhttps://cs.pn/38AbOUH

NOW FOR THE FUN STUFF...:

Today is National French Dip Day.

This is BY FAR the craziest golf shot I have ever seen:

 

 

Watchhttps://bit.ly/3lrbf2X 

By the way, The 2020 Masters kicks off todayhttps://bit.ly/2UkCVe1

And to brighten your Thursday afternoon, meet Bunny the dog who uses buttons to talk to his owners: https://bit.ly/35opcJk 

I’m so impressed, Bunny! Here are more videos of Bunny communicating: https://bit.ly/2InVD2a