The Hill's 12:30 Report: Biden's sky-high budget request


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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: Biden to unveil budget proposal |  Spending totals highest since WWII |  Unemployment claims drop |  Longtime White House butler retires |  Republicans counter Biden’s $1.7T infrastructure plan with $928B |  What to know about the Trump grand jury probe |  DC closes walk-up vaccination sites



Joe Biden just ordered one of everything on the menu: 

Via The New York Times’s Jim Tankersley, 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 is expected to propose a $6 trillion budget tomorrow. https://nyti.ms/3fNaWxP 

What are the increases: Infrastructure, health care, education — and more discretionary spending. 

The Times pointed out: This would bring the U.S. to the highest levels of federal spending since World War II. 

Sooo, how do we have the funds to do that…? “Biden’s plan to fund his agenda by raising taxes on corporations and high earners would begin to shrink budget deficits in the 2030s. Administration officials have said the jobs and families plans would be fully offset by tax increases over the course of 15 years, which the budget request backs up.” 

And in the meantime: “The United States would run significant deficits as it borrows money to finance his plans.”

What to expect in Biden’s budgethttps://nyti.ms/3uAkfa1


Think of President Biden’s budget request as his wish list. Congress will negotiate and pass the budget bills. Though: Because Democrats have control of the White House, Senate and House, Biden has a better chance that the details of his budget proposal will make it in the bill. 

It’s Thursday before the holiday weekend! 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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We keep hitting lower numbers and tbh, I’m running out of ‘get low’ jokes!!:

Weekly unemployment claims dipped to a new pandemic low of 406,000. https://bit.ly/3wugkga 

Why these weekly totals are worth mentioning: “While the claims remain well above historical averages, the new total was better than the 425,000 claims economists expected, and points to a steadily recovering labor market.”

The stories Buddy Carter could tell:

Via CNN’s Kate Bennett, one of the longest-serving White House butlers, William “Buddy” Carter, is retiring after 47 years. https://cnn.it/3ur47HF 

Aw: The White House is reportedly throwing a small party for Carter today. 

Carter’s career — wow: “Carter's career began 47 years ago at Blair House, the presidential guest house across the street from the White House, where he served as part of the staff for 15 years before heading to the White House Executive Residence as one of just six butlers. Carter would remain a treasured member of the residence staff, assisting presidents and first ladies and their families from Ronald Reagan's administration until today.”

THE LATEST WITH 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

OK, we keep hearing rumblings of a grand jury and a Trump investigation. What’s the deal?:

The news that Manhattan’s district attorney has convened a special grand jury as part of his criminal probe of former President Trump’s business dealings has fueled speculation over whether he could become the first U.S. president to serve prison time.” https://bit.ly/3hTWwyI 

The Hill’s John Kruzel wrote a very helpful explainer on what to read into this.

The gist: There is still so much we don’t know, so don’t read too much into the grand jury. 

What Manhattan District Attorney Cy Vance Jr. is interested in: “Hush money payments to Trump’s alleged mistresses, questionable valuations of Trump Organization assets and employee compensation arrangements that may have skirted taxes.” But we don’t know if that’s why Vance convened a grand jury.

Helpful primer if you haven't been following the probehttps://bit.ly/3hTWwyI


Via The Hill’s Alexander Bolton, “Senate Republicans see a special grand jury investigation into President Trump's business practices by Manhattan District Attorney Cy Vance Jr. as more evidence that Democrats want to keep Trump in the spotlight to drag them down in the midterm elections.” https://bit.ly/3urowwe

HAPPENING TONIGHT — Paul RyanPaul Davis RyanZaid Jilani: Paul Ryan worried about culture war distracting from issues 'that really concern him' The Memo: Marjorie Taylor Greene exposes GOP establishment's lack of power The Hill's 12:30 Report - Senators back in session after late-night hold-up MORE MAY HAVE A FEW CHOICE WORDS:

“Former Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) is expected to knock former President Trump in a speech Thursday evening at the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library in California by urging members of his party to avoid rallying behind ‘one personality’ or ‘second-rate imitations.’ ” https://bit.ly/2RIj3E8


Eh, what’s $700 billion between friends? Chump change, amirite?:

Senate Republicans unveiled their latest counteroffer to President Biden’s infrastructure plan. https://bit.ly/3foARNh

The price tag of the new GOP plan: $928 billion

For context: Republicans had been proposing $568 billion. Biden then countered with $1.7 trillion. The GOP’s latest move is adding to their offer, now totaling $928 billion.


Via The New York Times’s Nadja Popovich, Josh Williams and Denise Lu, “Can removing highways fix America’s cities?” https://nyti.ms/3yLkZMv

Funny tidbit — bipartisanship is alive and well!:


Senators heard talking bipartisanship


Hyperlink https://bit.ly/3wFYjvd 


Closing up shop:

Washington, D.C., Mayor Muriel BowserMuriel BowserDC board votes to lift last COVID-19 restrictions on bars, restaurants Hogan announces Maryland will close mass vaccination sites, shift to local clinics Biden and Bowser administrations change their tunes on last summer's riot response MORE (D) announced that walk-up vaccination sites in the District will close by the end of June. https://bit.ly/3yKgXnC


Coronavirus cases in the U.S.: 33,192,280 

U.S. death toll: 592,425

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


Total number of vaccinations administered in the U.S.: 289 million shots have been given. 

Seven-day average of doses administered: An average of 1.7 million doses 

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

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


The thunderstorms in DC last night were pretty wild:


Storm clouds over D.C.


Hyperlink https://bit.ly/2TmUwot 

A smoke monster is precisely what it looked like:

These shots were taken around 14th and U Streets NW.


Storm rolls into D.C.


Hyperlink https://bit.ly/3yKx7NK


The Senate is in. The House is out. President Biden is in Ohio today. Vice President Harris is in Washington, D.C.

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

11:10 a.m. EDT: President Biden leaves for Cleveland.

1:50 p.m. EDT: President Biden tours Cuyahoga Community College in Cleveland. 

4 p.m. EDT: Vice President Harris convenes private sector leaders to discuss economic development in the Northern Triangle. 

5:15 p.m. EDT: President Biden returns to the White House.


Noon: White House press secretary Jen PsakiJen PsakiHarris highlights COVID-19 vaccination safety, efficacy in SC event to kick off tour Biden prepares to confront Putin Biden aims to bolster troubled Turkey ties in first Erdoğan meeting MORE speaks with reporters aboard Air Force One. Livestreamhttps://bit.ly/2RRTPmH 

2:20 p.m. EDT: President Biden delivers remarks on the economy. Livestreamhttps://bit.ly/2ROAkeI


Today is National Grape Popsicle Day!

You have my full attention, Fritz:

In The Washington Post’s “Going Out Guide,” Fritz Hahn writes, “Move over, White Claw. Drunk Fruit is the hard seltzer you should be drinking this summer.” Details and photos — the flavors are intriguinghttps://wapo.st/3cgA9A3

And because you made it this far, here is one chill kangaroo:


A relaxing kangaroo