The Hill's 12:30 Report - Presented by Facebook - Senate kicks off crunch time


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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: Congress kicks off summer sprint | Biden hosts mayors for crime talk | Big-time Senate candidates in Ariz., Wis., Mo. | Warnock’s eye-popping quarter | RIP, Edwin Edwards



School’s in for summer: 

It’s infrastructure week! Again! The Senate returns to Washington today for a summer session aimed at winning passage of the bipartisan infrastructure deal, as the group of more than 20 senators negotiating the $1.2 trillion framework hammers out their priorities. Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell told reporters last week in Kentucky he thought there was a “decent chance” the bill makes it across the finish line.

Our colleague Jordain Carney on a busy week ahead in Washington.

But how will they pay for it? Our colleague Alex Bolton looks at an emerging divide between the White House and centrist Sens. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.), Kyrsten Sinema (D-Ariz.), Jon Tester (D-Mont.), Maggie Hassan (D-N.H.) and Mark Kelly (D-Ariz.) over how and whether to raise taxes on the wealthy. 

Meanwhile, funding for the Capitol Police hangs in the balance as Senate Republicans push for a narrow bill that would allocate $97 million for Capitol Police, and another $521 million for the National Guard. USCP sources said last week that funding is running so low that furloughs may be on the table.

It’s Monday! I’m Reid Wilson, filling in for Cate 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 @PoliticsReid, @CateMartel and  Facebook

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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



Biden backs Cuba protests:

Via The Hill’s Alex Gangitano, the White House released a statement this morning backing protestors who have taken to the streets across Cuba, in what observers call the biggest show of public discontent in almost 30 years.

“The Cuban people are bravely asserting fundamental and universal rights. Those rights, including the right of peaceful protest and the right to freely determine their own future, must be respected,” Biden said.  

Covid vs. Crime:

Top White House aides Susan Rice, Gene Sperling and Julie Rodriguez are telling state and local officials to use some of the money from the $1.9 trillion coronavirus relief package to fight crime and gun violence. In a memo sent Monday, the domestic policy advisors highlight initiatives in Tucson, Ariz., Syracuse, N.Y., Phoenix and Cincinnati aimed at improving public safety.

Biden meets with mayors of Washington and San Jose – and Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams, the Democratic nominee to become the next mayor of New York City – to talk through the spike in violent crimes erupting in American cities.


Back in the spotlight:

Former President TrumpDonald TrumpMeghan McCain: Democrats 'should give a little credit' to Trump for COVID-19 vaccine Trump testing czar warns lockdowns may be on table if people don't get vaccinated Overnight Health Care: CDC details Massachusetts outbreak that sparked mask update | White House says national vaccine mandate 'not under consideration at this time' MORE spoke at a Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) event in Dallas over the weekend. He fired up the crowd by talking about his lawsuit against tech giants like Facebook and Twitter and slamming critical race theory.



1) Trump turned being impeached (twice) into a punch line

2) Fox News aired a disclaimer to Trump's comments that the 2020 election was rigged against him

3) Trump won the straw poll (at 70 percent) for attendees' preferred GOP presidential nominee in 2024


Dem recruits poised to jump in Senate races:


Former Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon


Former Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon (D) will headline the Clay County Democratic Party’s annual fundraising event, spurring more talk that he’s poised to enter the race to replace retiring Sen. Roy Blunt (R). Nixon has won six statewide elections in Missouri, and Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) has been dropping his name to big donors. 

In Wisconsin, Lt. Gov. Mandela Barnes (D) appears days away from launching his own campaign against Sen. Ron Johnson (R). A Milwaukee ally of his may have spilled the beans by tweeting (and then deleting) a link to Barnes’s ActBlue website. The website’s language: “Let’s be bold and unafraid to work together to change the game by sending Mandela Barnes to the US Senate!” 

Those are two bold-faced Democratic names. But a couple of caveats: Running a former governor in a conservative state looks great on paper, but it hasn’t worked out well for Democrats like Evan Bayh and Phil Bredesen lately. Barnes is cast in a different mold, but he’s got a crowded field of fellow Dems to plow through: State Treasurer Sarah Godlewski (D) has support from EMILY’s List; Milwaukee Bucks executive Alex Lasry (D) has scooped up labor backing; state Senate Minority Leader Chris Larson (D) and Outagamie County Executive Tom Nelson (D) are pounding the pavement, too. 

On the GOP’s side of the ledger, Alaska’s Republican Party has formally endorsed former state Administration Commissioner Kelly Tshibaka (R), who’s challenging Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R) after Murkowski voted to convict former President Trump. On one hand: Murkowski won a write-in campaign after she lost a previous GOP primary to Tea Party acolyte Joe Miller. On the other: This isn’t 2010, and our only public poll of late shows Murkowski trailing both Tshibaka and potential Democratic candidate Al Gross.

Blake Masters, a close ally of tech investment titan Peter Thiel, has launched his challenge to Sen. Mark Kelly (D-Ariz.). Thiel dropped $10 million into a super PAC that will back Masters’s campaign, though Masters will have to get through a crowded field that includes Attorney General Mark Brnovich (R), energy executive Jim Lamon (R) and retired state Adjutant General Mick McGuire (R).

Sen. Raphael Warnock (D-Ga.) will report raising $7 million in the last three months. He’s got $10.5 million in the bank. How do you do those eyeball emojis? 

Texas legislators have advanced a major elections overhaul bill, and it could hit the floor as early as this week. State legislative Democrats are probably scouting out hotels in Oklahoma (that’s only partly a joke).

And here’s an odd one: Virginia Republican gubernatorial nominee Glenn Youngkin (R) has dropped a digital ad tying his rival, former Gov. Terry McAuliffe (D) to … Donald Trump. The spot shows McAuliffe and Trump embracing and toasting each other at a 2017 dinner. What’s that they say about strange bedfellows?


For heaven’s sake, get vaccinated:

More than 99 percent of those who died of the coronavirus last month hadn’t been vaccinated, National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases Director Anthony Fauci said last week. Making the Sunday show rounds, Fauci said he wanted to see more local-level vaccine mandates. 


Fauci urges vaccines




Coronavirus cases in the U.S.: 33,854,241. Cases are up in 38 states over the last two weeks. 

U.S. death toll: 607,157 

Breakdown of the numbers:


Total number of vaccinations administered in the U.S.: 33,854,2414 million shots have been given. 

Seven-day average of doses administered: An average of 506,771 doses were administered.

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

Breakdown of the numbers:


Edwin Edwards dead at 93


Former Louisiana Gov. Edwin Edwards


Former Louisiana Gov. Edwin Edwards (D), a populist kingmaker who spent 16 years as governor and eight years in prison, died Monday at the age of 93. He had put himself in hospice care last week.

The epic obituary from the New Orleans Times-Picayune, here.

In his last reelection bid in 1991, Edwards won more than 1 million votes – more than any other gubernatorial candidate in state history – as he thumped his rival, former Klan chief David Duke.



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.




The House and Senate are out. President BidenJoe BidenCDC chief clarifies vaccine comments: 'There will be no nationwide mandate' Overnight Defense: First group of Afghan evacuees arrives in Virginia | Biden signs Capitol security funding bill, reimbursing Guard | Pentagon raises health protection level weeks after lowering it Biden urges local governments to stave off evictions MORE meets mayors and police chiefs alongside Attorney General Merrick Garland to address surging gun violence. Vice President Harris heads to Detroit for events on voting rights and vaccinations, as well as a fundraiser with Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer (D).

On Tuesday, July 13 at 1 p.m., The Hill makes its next virtual stop on our Small Business Recovery road trip in Minneapolis. What support do minority-owned firms in the city still urgently need, and what opportunities at the federal and local levels are being created to help these businesses recover and thrive long-term? Feat. Rep. Angie Craig (D-MN), Minneapolis Mayor Jacob FreyJacob FreyMinneapolis voters to decide on agency to replace police department Minnesota officials push for targeted small business grants The Hill's 12:30 Report - Presented by Facebook - Texas Dems flee to Washington MORE, and more. RSVP.

Connectivity is central to how we live, work, and play. Yet millions of Americans lack access to the benefits of this technology and are being left behind. On July 14 at 1 p.m., Sen. Ben Ray Luján, Rep. Bob Latta, FCC Commissioner Geoffrey Starks, San Jose Mayor Sam Liccardo, and more will join to discuss today’s challenges while preparing for the future of an ultra-connected world. RSVP. 

As cities look to re-build in a more inclusive and resilient manner, what role can microbusinesses play? On Thursday, July 15 at 1 p.m., Miami-Dade County Mayor Daniella Levine Cava, Montgomery Mayor Steven Reed, Baltimore Mayor Brandon Scott, Dayton Mayor Nan Whaley, and more will join for a virtual conversation on how microbusinesses could re-energize our cities. RSVP. 

2 p.m. EST: Secretary of State Tony Blinken delivers remarks on a new Congressional report on genocide. 

3 p.m. EST: The Senate convenes to consider the nomination of Uzra Zeya to be Under Secretary of State for Civilian Security, Democracy and Human Rights.


Today is National Pecan Pie Day. Pecan pie is gross, don’t @ me.

And because you made it this far, here’s a dog who really knows how to give side eye:


Dog gives side-eye on Insta