The Hill's 12:30 Report - Presented by Facebook - Merkel visits the White House before stepping down


Presented by Facebook


via GIPHY 


To view past editions of The Hill's 12:30 Report, click here:

To receive The Hill's 12:30 Report in your inbox, please sign up here:


--> 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: IRS sends first checks to parents | Schumer sets up key vote on infrastructure deal | McCarthy meets with Trump | J&J recalls Neutrogena, Aveeno sunscreen | Senate GOP invites Janet YellenJanet Louise YellenFed chief holds firm amid inflation concerns The Hill's Morning Report - Presented by Facebook - Officers recount the horror of Jan. 6 GOP sees debt ceiling as its leverage against Biden MORE to brief on debt ceiling & inflation | Vaccine hesitancy causes worries



Angela’s in the (white) HOUSE!:


German Chancellor Angela Merkel is visiting 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 at the White House today, ahead of her retirement from office in September. 

What to expect from their meeting: “The two are expected to endorse the ‘Washington Declaration’ outlining their common vision for cooperation on shared policy challenges and their commitment to upholding democracy and the international rules-based order.” 

Where the U.S. and Germany do not agree: “The two countries are at odds over key issues including Berlin’s pursuit of a Russian natural gas pipeline, called Nord Stream 2 … The U.S. and Germany are also at odds over a decision to waive intellectual property protections for COVID-19 vaccines. The Biden administration believes that greater access to the development of the vaccine will help increase its distribution globally.” 

What to expect


President Biden and German Chancellor Angela Merkel are scheduled to hold a joint press conference in the East Room of the White House. Livestream

Like in a video game, there’s a tiny ‘$$’ floating above children’s heads:

Via The Washington Post’s Jeff Stein, beginning today, the IRS has started sending monthly checks to households with children, in a major policy effort to help parents. 

Details: “The benefit … provides $300 per child under age 6, as well as $250 per child 6 or older. The administration previously said that roughly 88 percent of all U.S. children nationwide would receive the aid.” 

What to expect and how this is a major test for Biden


President Biden and Vice President Harris delivered remarks to mark the first checks being sent out. Livestream

It’s Thursday — and I’m back, back, back. Back again! 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 — and follow along on Twitter @CateMartel and Facebook

Did someone forward this to you? Want your own copy? Sign up here to receive The Hill's 12:30 Report in your inbox daily:



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



Let’s put it to a vote!:

Via The Hill’s Jordain Carney, “Senate Majority Leader Charles SchumerChuck SchumerAn August ultimatum: No recess until redistricting reform is done Biden to meet with 11 Democratic lawmakers on DACA: report Schumer's moment to transform transit and deepen democracy MORE (D-N.Y.) on Thursday said the Senate will vote to open debate on the bipartisan infrastructure deal Wednesday, setting up a key test vote on the legislation.” 

Today’s vote: 60 votes are needed to begin debate on the bill. That means that if all Democrats vote “yes,” they will also need at least 10 Republicans to agree. 

Also happening today: “Wednesday is also the deadline Schumer has set for Democrats to be ready to ‘move forward’ on a separate budget resolution that tees up $3.5 trillion in spending. The party hopes to pass its budget and the budget reconciliation package with just Democratic votes.” 

Why it is timed this way: “Schumer's strategy, announced on the Senate floor, is a hardball strategy to try to force both the bipartisan group to finalize their deal on their $1.2 trillion over eight years bill as they continue to work through final hurdles.”


Via The Hill’s Amie Parnes and Brett Samuels

At the Capitol last night:


Sen. Warner leaves the capitol after reaching a deal on infrastructure



Give us the 4-1-1, Janet:

Via The Hill’s Alexander Bolton, “A group of Senate Republicans have invited Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen to brief them at a private lunch meeting on the looming expiration of the federal debt ceiling on July 31 and on signs of rapidly rising inflation, which has driven up the cost of goods around the nation.”

What the group of Republican senators want to know: “GOP senators want to know for how long the Treasury Department will be able to use ‘extraordinary measures’ to keep the nation from defaulting on its debt obligations after the debt ceiling expires this month and more generally her view of the consequences of rising inflation and the mounting federal debt.”


Don and Kev’s great adventure:

Via The Hill’s Brett Samuels, House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthyKevin McCarthyAfter police rip Trump for Jan. 6, McCarthy again blames Pelosi Capitol Police asked to arrest the maskless 228 Republican lawmakers urge Supreme Court to overrule Roe v. Wade MORE (R-Calif.) is meeting with 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 today at Trump’s New Jersey golf course.

The topic of the meeting — lots!: "Much to discuss!" Trump wrote in a statement about the meeting.

Have they met since Trump left office?: Yes, this will be their second in-person meeting since January.


Read this if you have Aveeno or Neutrogena sunscreen:

Via The Associated Press’s Linda A. Johnson, “Johnson & Johnson said Wednesday that it is recalling five of its sunscreen products after some samples were found to contain low levels of benzene, a chemical that can cause cancer with repeated exposure.” 

The list of recalled sunscreens

Aveeno Protect + Refresh aerosol sunscreen

Neutrogena Beach Defense aerosol sunscreen

Neutrogena CoolDry Sport aerosol sunscreen

Neutrogena Invisible Daily Defense aerosol sunscreen 

Neutrogena UltraSheer aerosol sunscreen

How the chemical got into the sunscreen: It’s unclear. The company said it is looking into that. 

If you have these products: Stop using them. You can call J&J’s customer service for a refund. How to do that



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.




Vaccine hesitancy is what we should be worried about:

Via The Hill’s Peter Sullivan and Morgan Chalfant, “Growing GOP resistance to COVID-19 vaccines is raising alarms among public health experts and creating a major challenge as the U.S. tries to move past a pandemic that has lasted almost a year and a half.” 

This is pretty astounding number: “More than 99 percent of the people now dying from the virus are unvaccinated, experts say, and the vaccines have been found to be remarkably safe and effective after tens of millions of people have received them.” 

But some conservatives aren’t buying it: “Attendees at the Conservative Political Action Conference cheered talk of a lower-than-expected vaccination rate over the weekend. Tennessee is ending outreach to adolescents on vaccines, including for COVID-19, amid pressure from state GOP lawmakers. And a range of conservative media hosts and lawmakers have expressed concerns over the vaccine and the Biden administration’s outreach efforts.”  

How this could play out


Via The Hill’s Niall Stanage

The Delta variant is more rampant:

Via The New York Times’s Mitch Smith, “Reports of new coronavirus cases are rising again across the United States, a discouraging trend fueled by the spread of the Delta variant and the sputtering vaccination campaign.” 

Why we shouldn’t panic: “Nearly half of all Americans are fully vaccinated, cases and hospitalizations remain at a fraction of their peak and deaths are occurring at some of the lowest levels since the early days of the pandemic.” 

What to know about the rising cases


Coronavirus cases in the U.S.: 33,948,497

U.S. death toll: 608,141 

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 548,045 doses

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

Breakdown of the numbers:


A demonstration smorgasbord, if you will:


Vaccine protest



Those are some ‘90s shorts if I’ve ever seen ‘em:


President Clinton and Vice President Gore go for a job


The full photos


The Senate is in. The House is out. President Biden and Vice President Harris are in Washington, D.C. German Chancellor Angela Merkel is visiting the White House.  

9 a.m. EDT: Vice President Harris hosted German Chancellor Angela Merkel for a working breakfast. 

9:30 a.m. EDT: President Biden received the President’s Daily Brief.

11 a.m. EDT: Two roll call votes in the Senate. The Senate’s full agenda today

1:45 p.m. EDT: A cloture vote in the Senate.

2 p.m. EDT: President Biden hosts German Chancellor Angela Merkel in the White House.

2:25 p.m. EDT: President Biden holds an expanded bilateral meeting with German Chancellor Angela Merkel.

6:30 p.m. EDT: President Biden and first lady Jill BidenJill BidenThe Hill's Morning Report - Presented by Facebook - Biden sets new vaccine mandate as COVID-19 cases surge First lady leaves Walter Reed after foot procedure Biden backs effort to include immigration in budget package MORE host German Chancellor Angela Merkel and her husband Joachim Sauer for dinner. Vice President Harris and second gentleman Doug EmhoffDoug EmhoffBiden celebrates anniversary of Americans with Disabilities Act JD Vance takes aim at culture wars, childless politicians The Hill's 12:30 Report - Presented by Goldman Sachs - Bezos completes first all-civilian space trip, deboards in cowboy hat MORE also attend.


11:45 a.m. EDT: President Biden and Vice President Harris delivered remarks to mark the day that tens of millions of families will get their first monthly Child Tax Credit relief payments. Livestream 

12:30 p.m. EDT: White House press secretary Jen PsakiJen PsakiMeghan McCain: Democrats 'should give a little credit' to Trump for COVID-19 vaccine House adjourns for recess without passing bill to extend federal eviction ban Hunter Biden blasts those criticizing price of his art: 'F--- 'em' MORE and Surgeon General Dr. Vivek H. Murthy hold a press conference. Livestream

4:15 p.m. EDT: President Biden and German Chancellor Angela Merkel hold a joint press conference in the East Room of the White House. Livestream


Today is National Tapioca Pudding Day and National Gummi Worm Day.

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


A monkey on Instagram