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The Hill's 12:30 Report: Congress set to fund the government, pass COVID-19 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.

 

The Hill’s 12:30 Report: Congress unveils COVID-19 relief bill | Includes $600 checks to Americans | Mnuchin says checks will start next week | Breakdown of what’s in the bill | Funding bill includes $1.375B for border wall | CDC panel’s plan for the next round of Americans eligible for the vaccine | 556K+ Americans have received shots | Robert E. Lee statue removed from Capitol overnight | Inside Trump's unprecedented efforts to overturn the election | Christmas observations from a first-timer

 

TALK OF THE MORNING

Let’s do this thing and get out of here:

 

 

Congressional leaders reached a sweeping deal yesterday to fund the government and provide economic help in the coronavirus pandemic. https://bit.ly/3re7dhM 

What’s next: The House and Senate are expected to vote on the package today.

The gist: The deal includes a $1.4 trillion bill to fund the government through Oct. 1. It also includes a $900 billion coronavirus relief bill. 

TO SWEETEN THE DEAL FOR President TrumpDonald TrumpIran's leader vows 'revenge,' posting an image resembling Trump Former Sanders spokesperson: Biden 'backing away' from 'populist offerings' Justice Dept. to probe sudden departure of US attorney in Atlanta after Trump criticism MORE:

Congress will include $1.375 billion in border wall funding in the funding bill. https://bit.ly/3phjzUF

Happy Monday of the holiday week! Four days until Christmas, 11 days until 2021 and 30 days until inauguration. 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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PROGRAMMING NOTE: The 12:30 Report will be off starting on Wednesday through the new year. Enjoy the holidays and stay safe, friends!

LATEST WITH THE CORONAVIRUS RELIEF PACKAGE

Show me the moneyyyy:

Via The Hill’s Naomi Jagoda, Niv Elis and Alexander Bolton, Lawmakers released the text of the $900 billion coronavirus relief bill last night. https://bit.ly/2KJPWfu

LET’S SAY IT TOGETHER NOW — ‘WHAT’S IN THE BILL’:

Stimulus payments: Americans will receive up to $600 per child and adult. Stimulus check details from The Hill’s Jordain Carneyhttps://bit.ly/3h3JWun 

Unemployment benefits: Two expiring CARES Act programs were extended for another 11 weeks. Which programs: Pandemic Unemployment Assistance and Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation. 

PPP: The Payment Protection Program is given another $284 billion. 

Housing evictions: The moratorium for evictions was extended through January. 

Schools: The bill gives $82 billion to schools and colleges. 

Testing: “The agreement includes $20 billion for the purchase of vaccines, $8 billion for vaccine distribution, $20 billion for states to conduct testing and $20 billion in extra federal relief for health care providers.”  

This is just to name a few provisions in the bill. Here are more categories covered in the $900 coronavirus relief billhttps://bit.ly/2KJPWfu

WHEN WILL AMERICANS BEGIN RECEIVING THE STIMULUS CHECKS:

As early as next week, according to Treasury Secretary Steven MnuchinSteven MnuchinPence delivers coronavirus task force report to Biden Treasury imposes additional sanctions on Cuba over allegations of 'serious human rights abuse' Treasury Department sanctions inner circle of Russian agent Derkach for election interference MOREhttps://bit.ly/37BpTjB

THE PACKAGE ALSO INCLUDES A NEW BAN ON SURPRISE MEDICAL BILLS:

Via The New York Times’s Sarah Kliff and Margot Sanger-Katz, “After years of being stymied by well-funded interests, Congress has agreed to ban one of the most costly and exasperating practices in medicine: surprise medical bills.” https://nyti.ms/2LXM8bh

WHAT HAPPENED OVER THE WEEKEND — THE FINAL SNAGS NEGOTIATED BY LEADERS:

https://bit.ly/38hO5a0

WASN’T FUNDING EXPECTED TO RUN OUT LAST NIGHT?:

Yup, Congress extended government funding *again* for an additional 24 hours. https://bit.ly/3rrBf1M

NEWS THIS MORNING

All I can picture is ‘Night at the Museum’:

The statue of Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee was removed from the U.S. Capitol overnight. https://bit.ly/34tgiJV 

What will go in its place: “Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam, a Democrat, announced on Monday the state will seek to have it replaced with a statue of civil rights icon Barbara Johns.” 

Keep in mind: “The statue has stood with America's first president, George Washington, as the state of Virginia's contribution to the National Statuary Hall Collection at the Capitol for more than 100 years.”

LATEST WITH THE CORONAVIRUS

Next up in line for the vaccine:

An advisory panel at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommended that Americans over the age of 75 and about 30 million front-line workers will be the next group who qualify for the COVID-19 vaccine. https://nyti.ms/3pafuRZ

Timing: This next group of Americans, grouped as 1b of the vaccination process, is expected to be vaccinated by the end of February.  

How many Americans had received the vaccine so far: More than 556,000 people

FOR CONTEXT — WHO WAS FIRST UP IN LINE:

24 million health care workers and nursing home patients. https://bit.ly/3h4mWvg

TODAY’S NUMBERS:

Coronavirus cases in the U.S.: 17,860,634 

U.S. death toll: 317,729

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

LATEST IN THE TRUMP WHITE HOUSE

Interesting read — ‘Inside Trump’s pressure campaign to overturn the election’:

Via Politico’s Anita Kumar and Gabby Orr, “[President Trump’s] efforts to cling to power are unprecedented in American history. While political parties have fought over the results of presidential elections before, no incumbent president has ever made such expansive and individualized pleas to the officials who oversee certification of the election results.”

This extends to: “Trump even used his presidential perch to compel officials to talk with him, summoning state officials to the White House on a few-hours notice and insisting that his outreach was simply part of his presidential duties.”  

The full storyhttps://politi.co/3mEGtTW

GOP: Oh please no:

Via The Hill’s Jonathan Easley, “National Republicans are desperate to avoid a floor fight in Congress over the certification of the Electoral College vote next month, believing it would be horrible politics to continue waging what most recognize to be a hopeless battle to overturn the outcome of the election.” https://bit.ly/3p9AUyE 

On one side — McConnell: “Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellTrump selects South Carolina lawyer for impeachment trial McConnell proposes postponing impeachment trial until February For Biden, a Senate trial could aid bipartisanship around COVID relief MORE (R-Ky.) has intervened, asking his members not to join Rep. Mo BrooksMorris (Mo) Jackson BrooksDemocratic super PAC targets Hawley, Cruz in new ad blitz Trust between lawmakers reaches all-time low after Capitol riots Biden's new challenge: Holding Trump accountable MORE (R-Ala.) or any other House members looking to object to the results on Jan. 6, when Congress meets to certify the Electoral College count.”  

On the other side — Trump: “President Trump is waging a pressure campaign to get senators to revolt. Incoming Sen. Tommy Tuberville (R-Ala.), who will be sworn in Jan. 3, has said he’ll join the floor fight and Sen. Rand PaulRandal (Rand) Howard PaulThe Hill's Morning Report - Biden takes office, calls for end to 'uncivil war' Senate confirms Biden's intel chief, giving him first Cabinet official McConnell faces conservative backlash over Trump criticism MORE (R-Ky.), who has said he believes the election was ‘stolen’ from Trump, is always a wild card.” 

What to expecthttps://bit.ly/3p9AUyE

NOTABLE TWEETS:

Love her outfit!:

 

 

Hyperlink https://bit.ly/34w4pTE

ON TAP:

The House and Senate are in. President Trump and Vice President Pence are in Washington, D.C. President-elect Joe BidenJoe BidenRev. Barber says best way to undercut extremism is with honesty Biden requires international travelers to quarantine upon arrival to US Overnight Defense: House approves waiver for Biden's Pentagon nominee | Biden to seek five-year extension of key arms control pact with Russia | Two more US service members killed by COVID-19 MORE is in Wilmington, Del., and Vice President-elect Kamala HarrisKamala HarrisHarris takes up temporary residence at Blair House Amanda Gorman captures national interest after inauguration performance Democrats formally elect Harrison as new DNC chair MORE is in Georgia today. 

President Trump has no public events scheduled.

Today: President-elect Biden and Vice President-elect Harris receive the President’s Daily Brief.  

Today: Vice President-elect Harris campaigns in Columbus, Ga., for the Democratic Senate runoff candidates. 

11:30 a.m. EST: Vice President Pence led a teleconference with higher education officials.

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

2:30 p.m. EST: Vice President Pence leads a teleconference with governors to discuss the COVID-19 response. 

WHAT TO WATCH:

TodayPresident-elect Biden receives the COVID-19 vaccine. https://cbsn.ws/3mEN3tV

NOW FOR THE FUN STUFF...:

Today is National Fried Shrimp Day!

The funniest thing I’ve read today:

 

 

Hyperlink https://bit.ly/34xKa7O 

His first (of many) observations

 

 

Hyperlink https://bit.ly/38prrMN 

Another observation: “Observation 5: There are two streams of Christmas ornaments. The ‘fillers’ and the ‘keepers.’ The fillers are the generic ones. The keepers are meant to be more special and unique … My roommates encouraged me to buy my own keeper ornament. They told me to find something that made me smile and that was special to me. I bought this one and I am very happy. It is an everything bagel.” Photo of his new everything bagel “keeper” ornamenthttps://bit.ly/3rfZeRi

The full list of observations, including his new opinion on the flavor pepperminthttps://bit.ly/38prrMN

And because you made it this far, here’s a confusing new breed of animal that I have never seen before — I believe it is a cross between a domesticated dog and a North Pole reindeer: https://bit.ly/34xlT1Y