The Hill's 12:30 Report - Presented by Facebook - Dems reach $3.5 trillion deal on infrastructure


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The Hill’s 12:30 Report: Dems reach $3.5 trillion deal on infrastructure | Harris emerges as GOP campaign target | McCarthy has $43M fundraising haul | Airlines are bouncing back following pandemic | Olivia Rodrigo visits the White House | It’s Bastille Day  



Dems (sort of) reach a deal:

Via The Hill’s Jordain Carney, Senate Majority Leader Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.) and Budget Committee chair Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) have a deal on a $3.5 trillion infrastructure bill Democrats plan to pass through reconciliation. The proposal would extend Medicare to cover dental, vision and hearing; tackle climate change and bar tax hikes on those who make less than $400,000 a year. 

Schumer said the Senate would vote on both the bipartisan $1.2 trillion infrastructure deal and the budget resolution containing instructions to set up the larger spending package before the August recess. (The Hill

Reality check: Where are Sens. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) and Kyrsten Sinema (D-Ariz.)? 

Manchin: “I’m … very interested in how this proposal is paid for and how it enables us to remain globally competitive. I will reserve final judgement” until he’s read the bill.

Sinema: “[S]he will give careful consideration to any idea that can strengthen Arizona’s economy and help Arizona families get ahead,” a spokesman told WaPo.

It’s Wednesday. 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 @CateMartel and Facebook

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Biden’s talk, no action:

Via The Hill’s Amie Parnes, President Biden diverted from his careful path avoiding his predecessor in a Tuesday speech on voting rights and the future of American democracy at Philadelphia’s National Constitution Center, blasting former President Trump’s “big lie” about the election he lost clearly and convincingly. 

It’s part of a recognition, some Democratic strategists say, that Trump is still a potent force in American politics – not just in Republican primaries, where he’s still adored, but among independents, with whom he’s still reviled. (The Hill)

And/but: Some Democrats really wanted to hear concrete action plans to pass election reforms and national voting standards in Biden’s speech. They didn’t get those. It’s proof that, for all the media attention states like Georgia, Arizona, Florida and now Texas get when they consider big election overhauls, Republicans in those legislatures still have much more power than the slim Democratic majority in Congress.

Harris becomes a target:

Via The Hill’s Max Greenwood, Republicans unable to pin a negative story on 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 are shifting their attention to Vice President Harris as a more convenient and palatable target. From her management of the flood of migrants appearing at the Southern border to her opposition to voter ID laws, and a broader vilification of her liberal outlook, Republicans see Harris as the more inviting target. 

GOP strategist Keith Naughton: “She’s a San Francisco Democrat. She fits as a better target than Joe Biden does.” (The Hill)


A joint session:

Via The New York Times’s Nicholas Fandos, Senate Majority Leader Schumer will propose legislation today to decriminalize marijuana at the federal level, allowing states to set their own pot laws and freeing those that have already voted to legalize recreational weed from the threat of federal prosecution. The bill would allow the FDA and the Treasury Department to regulate production, distribution and sale of marijuana, cutting the DEA out of the process. (NYT

Reality check one: President Biden and Senate Republicans are opposed to the idea of total legalization, so don’t get your hopes up (unless you live in one of the 18 states — or DC –—where recreational pot is legal).

Reality check two: It’s hard to grasp just how quickly public opinion on legal pot has changed, a swing akin to the once-controversial, now-accepted support for same-sex marriage. Legislators, from the state House to the U.S. House, no longer see being pro-pot as a political death sentence. At the moment, even the Republican-dominated legislatures of North Carolina and South Carolina are considering legal (medical) pot bills.

McCarthy’s big bucks:



Via The Hill’s Max Greenwood, House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) pulled in $43 million in the first half of the year, including $16 million over the last three months. The National Republican Congressional Committee will report holding $55 million in reserve by the end of June, topping the DCCC’s $44 million. (The Hill

Point of personal privilege: Stop calling these fundraising hauls “records.” Guinness doesn’t keep tabs on who raised the most in State X history.


Delayed gratification:



Via The Hill’s Karl Evers-Hillstrom, The airline industry is back after a year of lockdowns — and more delayed than ever. Airlines are racking up massive delays as passengers return to the skies, holds blamed on both recent bad weather and staffing shortages among pilots and flight crew. JetBlue delayed more than half its flights in the first six days of this month, and Southwest and American delayed more than a third of their flights. 

Airlines are racing to bring their pilots back online, a process that requires training and skill updates, but the quick return of travelers is still putting pressure on the industry. (The Hill)


Coronavirus cases in the U.S.: 33.9 million. Daily case counts have DOUBLED in the past week in Alabama, Alaska, Arkansas, California, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Iowa, Kansas, Louisiana, Massachusetts, South Carolina, Tennessee (up seven-fold!), Vermont and Puerto Rico.

U.S. death toll: 607,804. 

Breakdown of the numbers:


Total number of vaccinations administered in the U.S.: 335 million shots have been given.

Seven-day average of doses administered: An average of 532,556 doses

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

Breakdown of the numbers:



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Olivia Rodrigo visits the White House



AP Chief White House photographer Evan Vucci: “Pop star #OliviaRodrigo walks into the West Wing of the White House to promote the COVID vaccine with administration officials.”

Yello’s Hunter Schwarz: “this entire outfit – but the heels especially – belong in the Smithsonian after today.”


President Biden has lunch with Senate Democrats to talk through their infrastructure proposal. This afternoon, he meets with mayors and governors on infrastructure. Vice President Harris meets with disability advocates on voting rights at the White House, then she joins the mayors and governors event in the Roosevelt Room. 

The Senate is considering the nomination of Jocelyn Samuels to be a member of the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. The House is still out. 

12:30 p.m. EST: Press Secretary Jen Psaki briefs the media.

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. Today 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.

2 p.m. EST: State Department Press Secretary Ned Price holds a briefing. 

As cities look to re-build in a more inclusive and resilient manner, what role can micro businesses 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 micro-businesses could re-energize our cities. RSVP.


2:30 p.m. EST: The Senate Judiciary Subcommittee on the Constitution holds a hearing on voting rights in the wake of the Supreme Court’s Brnovich and Shelby County decisions.


Happy Bastille Day! Tour de France leader Tadej Pogacar celebrated with a win on top of the Col Du Portet. David Gaudu was the top-finishing Frenchman, 1:19 behind. Vive le Tour. 

Today is National Grand Marnier Day

*Hiccup.* *Hiccup.*

And because you made it this far, here’s a panda enjoying a delicious and nutritious snack:


Hungry panda on Instagram