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The Hill's 12:30 Report - Presented by ExxonMobil - Increased security on Capitol Hill amid QAnon's March 4 date

 

Presented by ExxonMobil

 

National Guard at the Capitol

 

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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: Increased security on Capitol Hill amid QAnon’s March 4 date | House leaves early | Sights and sounds | House passes election reform bill | Summer could be ‘normal,’ but experts warn that US risks delaying that | Urge remaining vigilant in the homestretch |  Biden’s COVID-19 bet | Dolly Parton gets vaccine | Leslie Jones on Steve Kornacki’s election coverage

 

HAPPENING TODAY

00 Days Since The Last Big Threat Of Violence To The US Capitol ... ^ we had been doing SO well: 

Via The Hill’s Cristina Marcos and Rebecca Beitsch, “Alarming revelations of threats to the Capitol and members of Congress prompted House Democratic leaders to wrap up their legislative work for the week on Wednesday night, underscoring the security concerns that remain nearly two months after the Jan. 6 insurrection.” https://bit.ly/3e64nqT

Why today: March 4 was the date of presidential inaugurations until 1933. QAnon conspiracy theorists believe that former President TrumpDonald TrumpChinese apps could face subpoenas, bans under Biden executive order: report Kim says North Korea needs to be 'prepared' for 'confrontation' with US Ex-Colorado GOP chair accused of stealing more than 0K from pro-Trump PAC MORE will return to office today.

YESTERDAY’S HEARING ON JAN. 6 — FIVE TAKEAWAYS:

  1. Timeline delays come into focus
  2. National Guard was hamstrung ahead of the attack
  3. Summer protests loomed large
  4. Pressure is on for DOD testimony
  5. The FBI’s top brass was unaware of warnings

Context and details for eachhttps://bit.ly/3sIGk5s

SIGHTS AND SOUNDS AROUND DC TODAY:

Photo of the security fencing around the Capitol early this morning: Via NBC’s Josh Lederman: https://bit.ly/389WEVf 

Tidbit at the Trump hotel: 

 

Trump Hotel

 

Hyperlink https://bit.ly/3bYGGON 

Check out the security presence:

 

National Guard in the Capitol

 

Hyperlink https://bit.ly/3sV4Alb

 

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.

Did someone forward this to you? Want your own copy? Sign up here to receive The Hill's 12:30 Report in your inbox daily: http://bit.ly/2kjMNnn

 

A MESSAGE FROM EXXONMOBIL

ExxonMobil sets emission reduction plans for 2025

 

 

We’ve announced plans to reduce the intensity of our emissions, which we expect to reduce our absolute upstream greenhouse gas emissions by an estimated 30%, compared to 2016 levels.

See details here.

 

NEWS THIS A.M.

Lisa MurkowskiLisa Ann MurkowskiSenate confirms Radhika Fox to lead EPA's water office Democrat presses Haaland on oil and gas review Hundreds in West Virginia protest Manchin's opposition to voting rights legislation MORE says YUP:

Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska) voted with Democrats on The Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee to advance Rep. Deb HaalandDeb HaalandSenate confirms Biden pick for No. 2 role at Interior Sanders opposes Biden Interior nominee in procedural vote OVERNIGHT ENERGY: Judge halts Biden pause on new public lands oil leasing | Democrat presses Haaland on oil and gas review | EPA puts additional delay on Trump lead and copper in drinking water rule MORE’s (D-N.M.) nomination to lead the Interior Department. https://bit.ly/3kLwVHE 

The vote: 11-9 

Why this is newsy : “The nomination has been contentious, with Republicans taking aim at Haaland's stances on fossil fuels and pledging to try to defeat her. GOP senators could also potentially delay her confirmation through procedural hurdles.” 

What now: Haaland’s nomination heads to the Senate floor. She is expected to be confirmed unless any Democrats defect.

IN CONGRESS

House Democrats are shooting for the moon:

The House passed a major voting rights and election reform bill last night along party lineshttps://bit.ly/3uU0sUd 

The vote: 220-210. Every Republican voted against the bill, and just one Democrat — House Homeland Security Committee Chairman Bennie ThompsonBennie Gordon ThompsonLobbying world Hillicon Valley: Biden gives TikTok and WeChat a reprieve | Colonial Pipeline CEO addresses Congress again | Thomson Reuters shareholders want review of ICE ties Colonial Pipeline may use recovered ransomware attack funds to boost cybersecurity MORE (Miss.) — voted ‘no.’ “It's unclear why Thompson, who co-sponsored the bill last month, voted no.” 

What the bill would do

- Require states to offer mail-in ballots and allows for 15 days of early voting

- Allow online voter registration and same-day voter registration

- Creates an independent commission to draw congressional districts — to stop partisan gerrymandering

- Make Election Day a national holiday for the federal government 

Why Republicans voted against the bill: “Republicans have blasted the measure as a power grab by Democrats, arguing that the provision allowing for voters to designate a person to return their ballot equates to ballot harvesting and opens the door for election fraud. They have also slammed language allowing felons to vote.” 

What happens next — ehhh, it’s a tough fight in the Senate: “While Democrats are expected to bring the legislation to the floor, it is highly unlikely to garner the 60 votes needed to overcome a filibuster.” 

More on the billhttps://bit.ly/3uU0sUd

IN THE WHITE HOUSE

Cross your fingers and hold your breath:

Via The Hill’s Niall Stanage, “President BidenJoe BidenChinese apps could face subpoenas, bans under Biden executive order: report OVERNIGHT ENERGY:  EPA announces new clean air advisors after firing Trump appointees |  Senate confirms Biden pick for No. 2 role at Interior | Watchdog: Bureau of Land Management saw messaging failures, understaffing during pandemic Poll: Majority back blanket student loan forgiveness MORE is boosting the nation’s hopes that an end to the worst of the coronavirus pandemic could be close at hand. It’s a gambit that will pay big political dividends for the new president if he is proven right — but one that carries serious risks if anything goes awry.” https://bit.ly/3bgQpAN

Biden’s big promise: That there will be enough COVID vaccine doses to vaccinate every American adult by the end of July.  

Why we should take that timeline seriously: “The White House has been careful about managing expectations on the coronavirus, and it is unlikely Biden would have made the pledge without a high degree of confidence that it could be fulfilled. A new deal for Merck to help manufacture additional doses of the newly approved Johnson & Johnson vaccine has helped speed up the timeline.” 

Some experts are still nervous, though: “Some experts worry the president may be too optimistic, even as he cautioned that challenges lie ahead and made the distinction between the total number of vaccinations that would be available and whether those shots would actually be in Americans’ arms by spring.”

The good news — ^ that decision wasn’t taken likely:

White House senior adviser on COVID-19 response Andy Slavitt told reporters in response to a question from The Hill: “We are not in a habit of overpromising, and therefore even as of several weeks ago, before such time as the approval of Johnson & Johnson, the president was talking about moving up the date until the end of July … Everybody got together and found ways to bring forward the timeline so we can get Americans fully vaccinated and into a very different place and a very different part of the pandemic.” https://bit.ly/3egwXWy 

More on why this announcement wasn’t made lightlyhttps://bit.ly/3egwXWy

LATEST WITH THE CORONAVIRUS

We are in the homestretch. Be careful and vigilant for just a little while longer!:

Via The Hill’s Peter Sullivan, “President Biden's announcement that there will be enough vaccines for all adults by May is raising hopes for a return to normal soon. But the next few months in the pandemic are critical.” https://bit.ly/38cMvai

Health officials are begging — we are *almost* there: “Health officials are urging restrictions to remain in place for the final stretch, saying that it will not be much longer before the situation markedly improves, and it does not make sense to lift all restrictions when widespread vaccinations are in sight.” 

Timing: “Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Director Rochelle WalenskyRochelle WalenskyWatch live: White House COVID-19 response team holds briefing Study: Older Americans saw larger declines in COVID-19 cases, hospitalizations and deaths after vaccine became available Overnight Health Care: Biden 'very confident' in Fauci amid conservative attacks | House Dems press Biden on global vaccinations | CDC director urges parents to vaccinate adolescents MORE on Wednesday put the time frame at three months until the country could be vaccinated. ‘The next three months are pivotal,’ she said.”  

What to expect as we head into the spring and summerhttps://bit.ly/38cMvai

CASE NUMBERS:

Coronavirus cases in the U.S.: 28,762,063 

U.S. death toll: 518,482 

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

VACCINATION NUMBERS:

Total number of vaccinations administered in the U.S.: 80.5 million shots have been given.

Seven-day average of doses administered: An average of 2.01 million doses 

For context: The U.S. population is roughly 331 million.

Breakdown of the numbers: https://bloom.bg/3iVTPLH 

Op-ed: https://bit.ly/3egUUgq

 

A MESSAGE FROM EXXONMOBIL

ExxonMobil sets emission reduction plans for 2025

 

 

We’ve announced plans to reduce the intensity of our emissions, which we expect to reduce our absolute upstream greenhouse gas emissions by an estimated 30%, compared to 2016 levels.

See details here.

 

NOTABLE TWEETS:

I couldn’t come up with a better pun if I tried!:

 

Dolly Parton gets her vaccine

 

Hyperlink https://bit.ly/3e7dpEf 

She even wrote a song for the occasion — watchhttps://bit.ly/3e7dpEf

Yikes, this is pretty creepy:

 

Classrooms in a Macy's

 

Hyperlink https://bit.ly/3bTSQIs

ON TAP:

The House is out. The Senate is in. President Biden and Vice President Harris are in Washington, D.C. 

Noon: Senators are prepared for a vote on the motion to proceed to the American Rescue Plan Act. The Senate’s full agenda todayhttps://bit.ly/3ecmtrk

10:30 a.m. EST: President Biden and Vice President Harris received the President’s Daily Brief.

2 p.m. EST: President Biden, Vice President Harris and Transportation Secretary Pete ButtigiegPete ButtigiegHigh-speed rail getting last minute push in Congress Buttigieg: Bipartisan deal on infrastructure 'strongly preferred' OVERNIGHT ENERGY: Biden ends infrastructure talks with key Republican | Colonial Pipeline CEO grilled over ransomware attack | Texas gov signs bills to improve power grid after winter storm MORE meet with a bipartisan group of House members to discuss infrastructure.

5 p.m. EST: President Biden holds a virtual meeting to congratulate the NASA JPL Perseverance team on the successful Mars landing.

WHAT TO WATCH:

This morning: Speaker Nancy PelosiNancy PelosiYoung Turks founder on Democratic establishment: 'They lie nonstop' Hillicon Valley: Senate unanimously confirms Chris Inglis as first White House cyber czar | Scrutiny mounts on Microsoft's surveillance technology | Senators unveil bill to crack down on cyber criminals 'It's still a BFD': Democrats applaud ruling upholding ObamaCare MORE (D-Calif.) held her weekly press briefing. Livestreamhttps://bit.ly/2MOQORC 

12:45 p.m. EST: White House press secretary Jen PsakiJen PsakiMaya Angelou, Cherokee Nation leader among women honored on newly minted quarters White House officials won't say if US will meet July vaccine goal Biden, Putin begin high-stakes summit in Geneva MORE and Veterans Affairs Secretary Denis McDonoughDenis Richard McDonoughThe Hill's Morning Report - After high-stakes Biden-Putin summit, what now? Overnight Defense: Supreme Court declines to hear suit challenging male-only draft | Drone refuels Navy fighter jet for the first time | NATO chief meets with Austin, Biden Biden's no-drama White House chief MORE hold a press briefing. Livestreamhttps://bit.ly/2NRPRsl 

You’re invited — 1 p.m. EST: The Hill is hosting a virtual event on the COVID-19 vaccines, “Trust and Communication. Livestreamhttps://bit.ly/3kL49GX

NOW FOR THE FUN STUFF...:

Today is National Pound Cake Day.

I laughed out loud for this entire clip — wow, love you, Leslie Jones!:

 

Leslie Jones talks Steve Kornacki

 

Watchhttps://bit.ly/3sNuWVT

And because you made it this far, here’s a dog with a confusing perch: https://bit.ly/3bYJc7D