The Hill's 12:30 Report: Pressure builds for pre-Memorial Day Senate actions



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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: Democrats’ patience for GOP negotiation runs thin |  Schumer under pressure for passing China bill before Memorial Day |  Amazon buys MGM in $8.45B deal |  Former Va. senator dies |  Daily COVID-19 cases continuously drop |  GOP seeks vindication amid Wuhan lab theory discussions |  Yesterday’s full moon gets lots of attention |  Pizza shop livestreams oven



Just like my Instant Pot, the pressure is building:  

Via The Hill’s Alexander Bolton, “Senate Majority Leader Charles SchumerChuck SchumerIn Congress, what goes on behind closed doors? Senate Judiciary begins investigation into DOJ lawmaker subpoenas America needs a stable Israeli government MORE’s (D-N.Y.) bipartisan bill seeking to improve U.S. competitiveness with China and other countries is attracting barbs from Republicans and progressives alike.” https://bit.ly/3hRaT6Z 

It was supposed to be a pre-Memorial Day thing: “The measure — which is supposed to be a major bipartisan accomplishment for 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 — now faces a threat of being stalled until after the Memorial Day recess, which would in turn delay the rest of the packed Democratic agenda.”  

Why Republicans may derail the bill: They want more votes on amendments.  

Schumer insists the bill won’t be delayed though: “We are moving forward in the most bipartisan way that I can, and I’m confident we’re going to pass the bill this week,” Schumer said. 

What to expecthttps://bit.ly/3hRaT6Z

Tidbit — OK, so hear me out, Jim. Can I call you Jim?:


Sen. Collins on the Senate train


Hyperlink https://bit.ly/3hWkSb4

Happy 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

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Hey, guess what? Democrats and Republicans are getting sick of working with each other:

Via The Hill’s Jordain Carney, “Democrats are warning Republicans that they won’t keep waiting around for potential bipartisan deals, as congressional leaders face growing pressure to go-it-alone on their agenda.” https://bit.ly/3undiZy

Why Democrats are annoyed: “More than four months since President Biden took office, most of the party’s biggest priorities have been stuck in limbo in the Senate, forcing Democrats to focus instead on nominations and smaller bills that can garner enough support from both sides of the aisle.”

^But after Memorial Day passes and bipartisan negotiations are stalling, Democrats are vowing to just move ahead without Republicans involved. 

What this could mean for the next few months in Congresshttps://bit.ly/3undiZy


Tuesday’s 12:30 Report misstated a quote regarding congressional leaders’ reactions to the Holocaust comments from Rep. Marjorie Taylor GreeneMarjorie Taylor GreeneGOP efforts to downplay danger of Capitol riot increase The Memo: What now for anti-Trump Republicans? Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene says she's meeting with Trump 'soon' in Florida MORE (R-Ga.). 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.) made the full comments, not Speaker Nancy PelosiNancy PelosiNew Mexico Democrat Stansbury sworn into Haaland's old seat Greene apologizes for comparing vaccine rules to Holocaust Overnight Health Care: Biden pleads for more people to get vaccinated | Harris highlights COVID-19 vaccination safety | Novavax COVID-19 vaccine shown highly effective in trial MORE (D-Calif.).


Is anyone else worried that Amazon may literally own us, but we have just never read the fine print…? Nope? Just me?:

Via CNN’s Frank Pallotta, “Amazon (AMZN) is investing even more heavily in growing its position in the entertainment world. The company announced Wednesday that it made a deal to acquire MGM, the home of James Bond and one of the most iconic movie studios in Hollywood.” https://cnn.it/2Tou7qt 

The deal’s price tag: $8.45 billion 

The gist of what this means: It “gives Amazon an extensive library of film and TV shows that it can use to fill out its Prime Video content coffers. MGM has a catalog with more than 4,000 films and 17,000 TV shows, according to Mike Hopkins, who heads Prime Video and Amazon Studios.”

Rest in peace, senator:

Via The Washington Post’s Donald P. Baker, former Republican Sen. John Warner (Va.), who played a big role in military matters, has died at the age of 94. https://wapo.st/2TooloN 

What to know about Warner’s tenure: “Because of his willingness to buck his increasingly conservative party, Mr. Warner became the Republican whom many Virginia independents and Democrats respected and voted for. By the time he retired in 2009, he held the second-longest tenure of any Virginia senator.”   

Read Warner’s full obituary in The Washington Posthttps://wapo.st/2TooloN

I had to do a double-take seeing a Trump story on ESPN:

Via ESPN’s Don Van Natta Jr. and Seth Wickersham, “Son, ghostwriter of late senator say [former President TrumpDonald TrumpDOJ asks Supreme Court to revive Boston Marathon bomber death sentence, in break with Biden vow Biden looking to build momentum for Putin meeting DOJ tells media execs that reporters were not targets of investigations MORE] intervened to stop probe of Patriots' Spygate scandal.”  

The full storyhttps://es.pn/3vqjQYD


Whoop! Whoop!:


Coronavirus daily averages


Hyperlink https://bit.ly/2SpJSga

Turns out, everyone should take the Wuhan lab COVID-19 origins theory seriously:

Via The Hill’s Nathaniel Weixel, “Congressional Republicans are seizing on recent comments from health officials and top scientists about the origins of the coronavirus as vindication of their previous claims, and are demanding Democrats launch investigations.” https://bit.ly/3bV9SXv 

Republicans have been talking about this theory for a while now: “Top Republicans, including former President Trump, blamed China for the emergence of the virus in 2020, but early reports about the possibility that the coronavirus originated in a Wuhan, China, lab were dismissed.”

But now some health officials, including Anthony FauciAnthony FauciUK study: Pfizer, AstraZeneca vaccines offer protection against Delta variant The tale of the last bipartisan unicorns Delta variant's UK dominance sparks concerns in US MORE, are saying it’s possible: "Many of us feel that it is more likely this is a natural occurrence, but we don't know 100 percent the answer to that," Fauci, the nation’s leading infectious diseases expert, said yesterday. "Because we don't know 100 percent what the origin is, it's imperative that we look and we do an investigation."


How so, via The Hill’s Niall Stanagehttps://bit.ly/2RMeTuM


Coronavirus cases in the U.S.: 33,167,952

U.S. death toll: 591,029 

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


Total number of vaccinations administered in the U.S.: 288 million shots have been given.

Seven-day average of doses administered: An average of 1.75 million doses 

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

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


The sky was showing off:

Via CBS News’s Sophie Lewis, “Skywatchers around the world were treated to the most spectacular full moon of the year in the early morning hours on Wednesday. May 26 marked not just a supermoon, but also a lunar eclipse, or so-called ‘blood moon.’ ” https://cbsn.ws/3wxRSu

Lol, this caption is spot-on:


Blood moon


Hyperlink https://bit.ly/3yHMaru

I wholeheartedly agree:


Blood moon phases


Hyperlink https://bit.ly/3hVot9a


This is a pretty striking photo:


Marine holds White House door for Gianna Floyd


Hyperlink https://bit.ly/3fFdiyE 

It has more than 178k likes already.


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

9:50 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/3fnlCo3 

2:30 p.m. EDT: Two more roll-call votes in the Senate. 

3:30 p.m. EDT: Vice President Harris meets with members of Congress to discuss broadband infrastructure.


11 a.m. EDT: A House hearing on COVID-19 vaccine confidence. Livestreamhttps://bit.ly/2To9Tx3 

12:30 p.m. EDT: White House principal deputy press secretary Karine Jean-PierreKarine Jean-PierreBiden steps up pressure on Russia to go after cyber criminals FBI says Russia-linked group behind JBS hack All JBS beef plants in US forced to halt production after cyberattack MORE holds a press briefing. Livestreamhttps://bit.ly/3hTUq1H


Today is National Blueberry Cheesecake Day.

Forget cable television — this is the content we need:

A new pizzeria in Austin, Texas, is livestreaming its pizza oven. Detailshttps://bit.ly/3i0wdah 

I’ll cut to the chase: Here’s the pizza livestream. Enjoy: https://bit.ly/3yIou6n

And because you made it this far, here’s a dog who is preparing for its ‘Dancing with the Stars’ debut: https://bit.ly/3vuLEvi