The Hill's 12:30 Report: Biden's meeting with Queen Elizabeth II




How I would be preparing for the meeting if I were President Biden:

When 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 travels to the United Kingdom in a few weeks, he will meet with Queen Elizabeth II at Windsor Castle. https://bit.ly/2Rj6fUh

When: June 13 

Was this a surprise?: Eh, not really. The meeting has been in the works and the Queen “has met with a dozen American presidents in her 69 years on the throne.”  

Keep in mind — this is not Biden’s first royal rodeo: “Biden has met with other members of the royal family, specifically Prince HarryPrince HarryKate Middleton says she has yet to meet Prince Harry and Meghan's daughter Harry and Meghan deny not discussing new daughter's name with the queen Duchess Meghan releases debut children's book MORE in 2017 when he and then-President Obama traveled to the Invictus Games in Toronto.”


President Biden to meet with Queen Elizabeth


Hyperlink https://bit.ly/3uLubxh

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.

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Plan A was positive reinforcements and attentively listening to concerns. Now onto Plan B…:

Via The Hill’s Alexander Bolton, “President Biden this week took the rare step of calling out two Democratic moderates — Sens. Joe ManchinJoe ManchinIn Congress, what goes on behind closed doors? Jayapal to Dems: Ditch bipartisanship, go it alone on infrastructure Harris discusses voting rights with advocates in South Carolina MORE (W.Va.) and Kyrsten SinemaKyrsten SinemaIn Congress, what goes on behind closed doors? Pelosi urges Democrats to pass voting rights bills: 'The clock is ticking on our democracy' Sinema breaks her foot running marathon MORE (Ariz.) — in a sign of growing frustration over stalled legislative priorities.” https://bit.ly/3yXL4Io 

How Biden called out Manchin and Sinema — yes, he referred to himself in the third person: “Biden only has a majority of effectively four votes in the House, and a tie in the Senate — with two members of the Senate who voted more with my Republican friends.” 

Specifically where Manchin disagrees with the Dem agenda: “Manchin has expressed opposition to core elements of Biden’s legislative priorities such as raising the federal minimum wage to $15 an hour, overhauling campaign finance and election law, enacting a House-passed bill to expand background checks, and raising the corporate tax rate from 21 percent to 28 percent.” 

Keep in mind: It’s not actually true that the two senators vote with Republicans more than with Democrats. But Democratic senators seemed to like the new tone.


Speaking to reporters, Sen. Kyrsten Sinema (D-Ariz.) defended the filibuster and angered progressives. https://bit.ly/3uO55h6

Sinema’s reasoning: "To those who say that we must make a choice between the filibuster and 'X,' I say, this is a false choice. The reality is that when you have a system that is not working effectively — and I would think that most would agree that the Senate is not a particularly well-oiled machine, right? The way to fix that is to fix your behavior, not to eliminate the rules or change the rules, but to change the behavior."

Today in ‘you can’t blame the Republicans because this is our own fault’:

Via The Hill’s Jordain Carney, “Democrats are facing significant internal stumbling blocks to getting their voting rights legislation through the Senate, as President Biden calls on Congress to get the bill to his desk.” https://bit.ly/3fKt10D 

The holdup? You guessed it!: Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.V.) opposes the bill because he thinks it’s too broad.

What the bill would do: It would “[require] states to offer mail-in ballots and a minimum of 15 days of early voting, while calling for online and same-day voter registration and the creation of independent commissions to draw congressional districts in an effort to put an end to partisan gerrymandering.”

Where the bill goes from herehttps://bit.ly/3fKt10D

New development in the infrastructure talks (!):

Via The Washington Post’s Seung Min Kim and Tony Romm, “[President Biden] offers major change to tax proposal in effort to secure infrastructure deal with Republicans: Instead of raising corporate tax rates to 28 percent, Biden has offered to create a new tax floor of 15 percent for businesses that pay very little.” https://wapo.st/3vSgluy


Via The Hill’s Morgan Chalfant, “President Biden and Sen. Shelley Moore CapitoShelley Wellons Moore CapitoGOP senator introduces constitutional amendment to ban flag burning Biden fails to break GOP 'fever' Pelosi: 'No intention' of abandoning Democrats' infrastructure goals MORE (W.Va.), the lead Republican negotiator on infrastructure talks, met for about an hour at the White House on Wednesday and made plans to speak later this week as the two sides discuss a potential bipartisan agreement.” https://bit.ly/3vSeEgG


This is great news — COVID deaths in nursing homes are significantly dropping:

Via The New York Times’s Brillian Bao and Yves De Jesus, “Nearly a year ago, more than 43 percent of coronavirus deaths in the United States were tied to long-term-care facilities. Now, the deaths of people connected to such facilities has dropped to 31 percent, according to a New York Times database, revealing an improving picture for the oldest Americans.” https://nyti.ms/2SUThfO 

The numbers: “Nursing homes across the United States reported more than 5,000 deaths per week from early December through mid-January. Since late March, the homes have reported fewer than 300 deaths a week.”


Coronavirus cases in the U.S.: 33,308,317 

U.S. death toll: 595,847 

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


Total number of vaccinations administered in the U.S.: 297 million shots have been given.

Seven-day average of doses administered: An average of 956k doses 

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

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


Interesting thread — oh the stories we will all have for years to come:


Fly in the house tweet


The full thread of tweetshttps://bit.ly/2Rh5bAe

Meanwhile in Ohio:


Ohio GOP governor hopeful




The House and Senate are out. 

President Biden is in Rehoboth, Del., with no public events on his schedule. 

Vice President Harris is in Washington, D.C. 

Today: 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’s birthday! That’s why she and President Biden are in Rehoboth Beach, Del. https://bit.ly/2S58Pxu


11 a.m. EDT: The White House COVID Response Team held a press briefing. Livestreamhttps://bit.ly/2SQw928

11:30 a.m. EDT: Vice President Harris delivers remarks on access to high-speed internet for all Americans. Interior Secretary Deb HaalandDeb HaalandNew Mexico Democrat Stansbury sworn into Haaland's old seat OVERNIGHT ENERGY: Haaland reportedly recommends full restoration of monuments Trump altered | EPA to reinstate air pollution panel disbanded under Trump | State appeals court upholds approval of Minnesota pipeline Haaland recommends full restoration of monuments Trump altered: report MORE and Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo also speak. Livestreamhttps://bit.ly/3poQXdq

12:30 p.m. EDT: 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 holds a press briefing. Livestreamhttps://bit.ly/3vN2aXx

6 p.m. EDT: Vice President Pence speaks at an event in Manchester, N.H. (!) Livestreamhttps://bit.ly/2SNZw5b


Today is National Egg Day. It’s also National Chocolate Macaroon Day.

Ugh, we are old:


McLovin turns 40


Hyperlink https://bit.ly/3pip2M1 

Just in case you’ve missed this strange development — Crocs are back in style:

Via The Washington Post’s Abha Bhattarai, “Crocs has unexpectedly turned its polarizing crayon-colored shoes into a hip, even glamorous, statement. Sales have skyrocketed during the pandemic — up more than 60 percent the past quarter — as the brand expands its reach to toddlers, trendy teens and their grandparents.” The full story: https://wapo.st/34MsFjQ 

And to brighten your afternoon, here’s a pup with an adorable mustache: https://bit.ly/2Tv65Ka