The Hill's 12:30 Report - Presented by Johns Hopkins University - Trump's relationship with GOP worsens


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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: Trump ramps up battle with GOP | RNC dismisses Trump’s cease-and-desist over fundraising with his name | House nears COVID relief vote | Frustrated progressives take the win over COVID package | 50-50 Senate barriers become reality | Guide to the $1,400 stimulus checks | Biden’s dogs back in Del. after biting incident | Piers Morgan storms off set over Harry and Meghan talk



It’s getting ugly between Trump and the Republican Party: 

Last weekend, former President Trump’s lawyers sent cease-and-desist letters to the Republican Party demanding that they stop using Trump’s name in fundraising without explicit permission.

Which arms of the Republican Party: the Republican National Committee (RNC), the National Republican Senatorial Committee (NRSC) and the National Republican Congressional Committee 

What to assume from this action: “[Trump’s] actions suggest he’s still furious at the 10 House Republicans and seven Senate Republicans who voted to impeach him as well as with Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellBiden says he's open to altering, eliminating filibuster to advance voting rights Pelosi says GOP senators 'voted to aid and abet' voter suppression for blocking revised elections bill Manchin insists he hasn't threatened to leave Democrats MORE (R-Ky.) and other GOP leaders who have called on the party to move away from his brand of politics.”



Trump campaign email



^ The RNC is NOT having it, let me tell you…:

Via The Hill’s Jonathan Easley, “The Republican National Committee (RNC) on Monday dismissed a cease-and-desist letter from former President Trump’s attorneys, arguing that the GOP campaign arm has the right to use Trump’s name in its fundraising efforts.”

RNC chief counsel Justin Riemer responded saying: The GOP “has every right to refer to public figures as it engages in core, First Amendment-protected political speech, and it will continue to do so in pursuit of these common goals.” 

Riemer continued: “The RNC is grateful for the past and continued support President Trump has given to the committee and it looks forward to working with him to elect Republicans across the country.”

It’s Tuesday! 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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Let’s put it to a (fairly predictable) vote!:

Via CNN’s Clare Foran, Kristin Wilson and Annie Grayer, the House is setting up a vote on President BidenJoe BidenOvernight Energy & Environment — Presented by American Clean Power — Methane fee faces negotiations White House rejects latest Trump claim of executive privilege The No Surprises Act:  a bill long overdue MORE’s $1.9 trillion COVID-19 relief package, sending the bill to the president’s desk later this week.

Timing — the vote will likely happen tomorrow: “After the Senate passed its version of the bill over the weekend, the House had initially been expected to vote on the revised legislation Tuesday, but the chamber is now on track for a final vote Wednesday.”  

Why Wednesday — from Speaker Nancy PelosiNancy PelosiDemocrats face critical 72 hours Equilibrium/Sustainability — Presented by Southern Company — 'Too late to evacuate' after wildfire debris Greene fined a third time for refusing to wear mask on House floor MORE (D-Calif.): "It depends on when we get the paper from the Senate," Pelosi said yesterday. "It has to be very precise, and it takes time to do that. It has some changes that they have to precisely write. It could be that we get it tomorrow afternoon and then it has to go to Rules. And we'd take it up Wednesday morning at the latest."


Including, who is eligible, when Americans will receive checks and which tax returns are the payments based on?


How progressives are viewing this — well, a W’s a W:

Via The Hill’s Cristina Marcos, “Liberals in the House on Monday rallied behind the $1.9 trillion COVID-19 relief package that the Democratic-controlled Congress is set to send to President Biden’s desk this week, despite some frustration over changes made by the Senate to appease key centrists.”

As we expected, it won’t be rainbows and butterflies and smiles:

Via The Hill’s Jordain Carney, “The days-long debate on the $1.9 trillion package provided the first glimpse of battle lines in the Biden era and the 50-50 Senate, where Majority Leader Charles SchumerChuck SchumerSenators weigh future of methane fee in spending bill Biden hopes for deal on economic agenda before Europe trip The Senate is setting a dangerous precedent with Iron Dome funding MORE (D-N.Y.) will need to spend the next two years trying to make good on big promises with the slimmest of majorities.” 

This!: “It also underscored the chaotic nature of a narrowly divided Senate, where any one Democrat can have an outsized influence and Republicans, who unified against the relief bill, are still needed to pass most bills, for now.”  

I.e.: This could be the year of going against the grain:


Major Biden has had a tough transition :(

Via CNN’s Kate BennettPresident Biden’s two German Shepherds, Major and Champ, have been back to Delaware after Major reportedly bit a member of the White House security team. 

How bad was it?: “The exact condition of the victim is unknown, however, the episode was serious enough that the dogs were subsequently moved to Wilmington, Delaware, where they remain.” 

What to know about the dogs: “Major, who is 3 years old, is the younger of the two Biden dogs, and has been known to display agitated behavior on multiple occasions, including jumping, barking, and ‘charging’ at staff and security, according to the people CNN spoke with about the dog's demeanor at the White House. The older of Biden's German Shepherds, Champ, is approximately 13 and has slowed down physically due to his advanced age.”  

The full story


Interesting read — ‘A year later, who is back to work and who is not?’:

Via The New York Times’s Ella Koeze 

The gist: “As a proportion of their employment levels before the pandemic, significantly fewer Black and Hispanic women are working now than any other demographic, according to the latest government data — and women are lagging behind men across race and ethnicity.” 

Check out the graphics — they’re well done


Coronavirus cases in the U.S.: 29,046,117

U.S. death toll: 525,921

Breakdown of the numbers


Total number of vaccinations administered in the U.S.: 92.1 million shots have been given. 

Seven-day average of doses administered: An average of 2.17 million doses

Tidbit: “Across the U.S., 27.7 doses have been administered for every 100 people, and 79% of the shots delivered to states have been administered.”  

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

Breakdown of the numbers:


Oh, COME ON, cicadas. Read the room.:


17-year cicadas



*Insert my audible grumbling*: “We are at the epicenter of an event that happens nowhere else on the planet except here in the Eastern United States,” said entomologist Mike Raupp. “It’s going to be pretty remarkable, come the latter half of May. The densities of these things is going be phenomenal, about 1.5 million per acre. It blows your mind.” The full Washington Post story



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The fallout from the Harry and Meghan interview could be ugly:

Via The New York Times, “The royal family has yet to respond to accusations from the couple, including that one of its members questioned how dark their baby’s skin would be, and that palace officials refused requests from the Duchess of Sussex for medical help when she felt suicidal.”


Johnson said he "always had the highest admiration for the Queen and the unifying role that she plays in our country and across the Commonwealth."

On the interview: "When it comes to matters to do with the Royal Family the right thing for a prime minister to say is nothing."

This clip is pretty wild:

The video has more than 6 million views already. 


Piers Morgan walks off set



^The moments leading up to this clip were pretty tense, as well: Watch:






And if you’re curious about the dress Meghan, the Duchess of Sussex, wore for her Oprah WinfreyOprah Gail WinfreyCourt rules Prince Philip's will to remain sealed for 90 years Piers Morgan joining News Corp., will host new show on Fox Nation Royal family supports BLM movement, senior representative says MORE interview, CNN’s Kate Bennett tracked that down, too:

TBH, I appreciate the error:






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

The House’s full agenda today 

10:15 a.m. EST: President Biden and Vice President Harris received the President’s Daily Brief. 

11:45 a.m. EST: President Biden visited a small business in Washington, D.C., that has benefited from the Paycheck Protection Program.

5:30 p.m. EST: Two roll call votes in the Senate. The Senate’s full agenda today

Event invitation — Wednesday: The Hill is hosting a virtual event, “The Future of Education Summit.” Details and how to RSVP


This morning: Public health leaders testified on the U.S.’s COVID-19 response. Livestream 

1:30 p.m. EST: White House press secretary Jen PsakiJen PsakiDemocrats ready to put a wrap on dragged-out talks 'Saturday Night Live' flashes back to the 'ghost of Biden past' Unanswered questions remain for Buttigieg, Biden on supply chain catastrophe MORE and Deputy Director of the National Economic Council Bharat Ramamurti hold a press briefing. Livestream


Today is National Meatball Day!

And to make you smile, here’s a dog trying its very best to be pet: 


Doggie pets