The Hill's 12:30 Report - Presented by Facebook - Biden steps in Israel-Hamas violence


Presented by Facebook 




To view past editions of The Hill's 12:30 Report, click here: http://bit.ly/1M1mIfw

To receive The Hill's 12:30 Report in your inbox, please sign up here: http://bit.ly/1Tt4hqN 

--> 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: McConnell says he opposes Jan. 6 commission bill | Biden speaks with Netanyahu | Says he expects de-escalation| White House won’t say if Netanyahu agreed | House voting on Jan. 6 commission today | Commission faces Senate vote hurdles | EU to reopen to vaccinated travelers | Biden drives Ford’s new F-150 Lightning truck | Inside the Biden, Harris’s 2019 debate blowup



OK, OK, let’s bring the temperature down a few degrees:  

President BidenJoe BidenFormer Rep. Rohrabacher says he took part in Jan. 6 march to Capitol but did not storm building Saudis picked up drugs in Cairo used to kill Khashoggi: report Biden looking to build momentum for Putin meeting MORE spoke with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin NetanyahuBenjamin (Bibi) NetanyahuMORE this morning to discuss the violence between Israel and Hamas — and said he expects a “significant de-escalation.”  

So did Netanyahu agree?: White House principal deputy press secretary Karine Jeanne-Pierre would not say whether Netanyahu agreed. https://bit.ly/3eXUFHh

Is this the first time Biden and Netanyahu have spoken since the recent escalation of violence?: No, the two have spoken four times in the past week. But this is the first time that Biden specifically told Netanyahu to de-escalate. 

What we know about the call, according to the White House: “The two leaders had a detailed discussion on the state of events in Gaza, Israel’s progress in degrading the capabilities of Hamas and other terrorist elements, and ongoing diplomatic efforts by regional governments and the United States. The President conveyed to the Prime Minister that he expected a significant de-escalation today on the path to a ceasefire.”

For context over the past week: “The Israeli military has conducted hundreds of airstrikes against what it says are Hamas targets in Gaza over the past week. Hamas has fired over 3,000 rockets at civilian targets in Israel. There have been dozens of civilian deaths among Israelis and Palestinians, including children.” More from The Hill’s Morgan Chalfant: https://bit.ly/3eXUFHh


Via The Hill’s Niall Stanage, “There is a growing gulf between older, more centrist Democrats and younger, more progressive members of the party. It’s not just about the current conflict. It’s about two starkly different visions of Israel itself.” https://bit.ly/3eX8mGq

It’s Wednesday! 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



The internet has changed a lot since 1996 — internet regulations should too



It's been 25 years since comprehensive internet regulations passed. See why we support updated regulations on key issues, including: 

- Protecting people's privacy
- Enabling safe and easy data portability between platforms
- Preventing election interference
- Reforming Section 230



The House is voting this afternoon on a bill to create a bipartisan, 9/11-style commission to investigate the Jan. 6 U.S. Capitol attacks.

Late this a.m. — No, no, no, no, no:



Via The Hill’s Jordain Carney, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellBipartisan infrastructure deal takes fire from left and right Jayapal to Dems: Ditch bipartisanship, go it alone on infrastructure The Hill's 12:30 Report: Sights and sounds from Biden's European trip MORE (R-Ky.) just announced that he opposes the bipartisan bill to create a Jan. 6 commission. https://bit.ly/3wwhdF9

Why: McConnell called the bill “slanted and unbalanced.”

Why this is important: Democrats need 10 Republican votes to pass the Senate bill to create the commission. The Senate Republican leader’s opposition will surely complicate it.

House GOP: ‘OK, THIS is the last squabble. After this, united and smooth-sailing:

The vote has, once again, split the Republican Party, after House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthyKevin McCarthyFormer Rep. Rohrabacher says he took part in Jan. 6 march to Capitol but did not storm building Greene apologizes for comparing vaccine rules to Holocaust Pelosi, leaders seek to squelch Omar controversy with rare joint statement MORE (R-Calif.) threw a curveball on Tuesday by announcing his opposition to the bipartisan agreement. https://bit.ly/3u2GcOD

Why McCarthy opposes the legislation: McCarthy doesn’t want the probe to just investigate Jan. 6. He wants to investigate all political violence. Think: The 2017 shooting during a GOP practice for the Congressional Baseball Game — and a recent incident when a Capitol Police Officer died.

Why Democrats don’t want to do that: “Doing so would dilute the commission’s focus on both Jan. 6 and Trump, which has been a goal of the GOP.” 

Why some Republicans still may go against McCarthy and support the bill: “Lawmakers on both sides of the aisle, as well as national security leaders outside of Congress, however, have for months called for an independent commission modeled after the one formed in the wake of 9/11 to evaluate one of the worst security lapses in U.S. history.”


Former President Trump called for the debate over a Jan. 6 commission to end “immediately.” https://bit.ly/3wnp5IV

Trump released a statement last night: “Republicans in the House and Senate should not approve the Democrat trap of the January 6 Commission. It is just more partisan unfairness and unless the murders, riots, and fire bombings in Portland, Minneapolis, Seattle, Chicago, and New York are also going to be studied, this discussion should be ended immediately.”


Come one, come all — and bring that card!:

Via The New York Times’s Matina Stevis-Gridneff and Monika Pronczuk, “The European Union agreed on Wednesday to reopen its borders to visitors who have been fully vaccinated with an approved shot, or those coming from a list of countries considered safe from a Covid perspective, its executive said, putting the rules in place just in time for the summer tourist season.” https://nyti.ms/2S999v2

What are the approved shots?: “Pfizer-BioNTech, Moderna, Johnson & Johnson, AstraZeneca and Sinopharm vaccines.”


Coronavirus cases in the U.S.: 32,999,741 

U.S. death toll: 587,245 

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


Total number of vaccinations administered in the U.S.: 276 million shots have been given.

Seven-day average of doses administered: An average of 1.77 million doses 

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

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



Why Facebook supports updated internet regulations



2021 is the 25th anniversary of the Telecommunications Act of 1996, the last major update to internet regulation. It's time for an update to set clear rules for addressing today's toughest challenges. 

See how we're taking action on key issues and why we support updated internet regulations.



Remember that fiery 2020 presidential debate where Biden and Harris got into it?:

Via Politico’s Edward-Isaac Dovere, “The never-before-told story of what happened behind the scenes as Harris prepared for that debate, and Biden and his team in turn responded, explains how close Harris came to not getting picked for the ticket—and why she and Biden both have worked so hard to build up their relationship in the months since.” https://politi.co/3u1RC51

Tidbit — what now first lady Jill BidenJill BidenBiden meets Queen Elizabeth for first time as president Overnight Health Care: FDA says millions of J&J doses from troubled plant must be thrown out | WHO warns Africa falling far behind in vaccinations | Top CDC official says US not ready for next pandemic The Hill's 12:30 Report - Presented by Facebook - Sights and sounds from Biden's UK visit MORE said after that debate: “ ‘With what he cares about, what he fights for, what he’s committed to, you get up there and call him a racist without basis?’ she said on a phone call with close supporters a week later, according to multiple people on the call. ‘Go f--- yourself.’ ” 

The full storyhttps://politi.co/3u1RC51 

If you want a refresher: Here’s the blowup during the June 2019 debate: https://cnn.it/3v1izHz


Well, that’s not something you read in the White House pool report every day:


Biden test driving a truck


Hyperlink https://bit.ly/3v10BoA

*Cue radio signal* U.S. president on the loose. I repeat, our president is on the loose.:


Video of Biden test driving a truck



^Keep in mind: A Secret Service agent rode with Biden. https://bit.ly/2T1Frsi


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

8:15 a.m. EDT: President Biden left for New London, Conn.

9 a.m. EDT: President Biden received the President’s Daily Brief. 

Noon: A roll call vote in the Senate. The Senate’s full agenda todayhttps://bit.ly/3ftCHLF

1:30 p.m. EDT: First votes in the House. The House’s full agenda todayhttps://bit.ly/2RyQDvX 

4:15 p.m. EDT: Vice President Harris holds a virtual meeting with Guatemalan justice sector leaders. 

4:35 p.m. EDT: President Biden returns to the White House. 

5 p.m. EDT: Last votes in the House.


11:30 a.m. EDT: President Biden spoke at the U.S. Coast Guard Academy’s graduation ceremony in New London, Conn. Livestreamhttps://bit.ly/3ywvTWD

6 p.m. EDT: Vice President Harris delivers remarks at the Asian Pacific American Heritage Month Unity Summit. Livestreamhttps://bit.ly/3fyjoAO


Today is National Devil’s Food Cake Day!

And because you read this far, here’s what happens when you dive in headfirst:


A bull on a ranch



^ That caption has me in tears!