The Hill's 12:30 Report - Presented by Facebook - US gymnast wins all-around gold as Simone Biles cheers from the stands


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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: US gymnast Suni Lee wins gold | Simone Biles cheers from the stands | Family’s at-home celebrations | Simone speaks out after withdrawal | Senate advances bipartisan infrastructure package 67-32 | Mask mandate, Jan. 6 create intensely hostile environment in the House | Dems consider cutting funds for pandemic preparedness



It’s fine, everyone! I’m fine. It’s just my allergies!!:

American gymnast Suni Lee won the all-around gold medal in the Tokyo Olympics this morning.

The results: Lee won with 57.433, just topping Brazil’s Rebeca Andrade who finished with 57.298. It came down to the last rotation, where Andrade stepped out of bounds twice during her floor routine.  

^ Watch Lee’s floor routine that won her the gold medal


Suni Lee wins Gold



Yeah, Jade!!!: American gymnast Jade Carey, who took Biles’s spot in the individual all-around finals, finished in ninth place.


The moment she found out she won gold: This photo is everything: 

Oh gosh, if you didn’t know this already: “Suni Lee’s father, up front, John, who built her a balance beam when they couldn’t afford one, was paralyzed falling from a ladder in 2019. She lost two relatives to COVID-19. Can only begin to imagine what this family has endured. Their daughter is an Olympic champion today.” (Via ESPN’s Jenna Laine 

Watch her family’s reaction to Suni winning gold


Fans celebrate Suni Lee winning Gold



^It’s definitely just my allergies!!  

Simone Biles, Jordan Chiles, Grace McCallum and MyKayla Skinner watched from the stands: Photo of Lee’s teammates watching and cheering:

If you haven’t seen Suni’s bar routine — it’s worth watching

Because it happens so fast: Here’s a frame-by-frame breakdown of Suni’s vault:


Biles posted on Twitter last night: “the outpouring love & support I’ve received has made me realize I’m more than my accomplishments and gymnastics which I never truly believed before.” 

And she retweeted a message about her struggles 

If you read one explainer on Simone Biles’s decision to withdraw, please let it be thisDeanna Hong, producer of the Peacock gymnasts documentary ‘Golden: The Journey of USA's Elite Gymnastics’ tweeted an important thread: “Most non-gymnastics fans do not understand the seriousness of what happened because she landed on her feet. Every elite gymnast I’ve talked to has said that Simone Biles’s vault was TERRIFYING and it’s a miracle she put that vault to her feet & avoided seriously injuring herself.” Read the full thread — it really puts her fall into context

Former U.S. Olympic gold medal gymnast Dominique Moceanu posted a video of her 1996 injury: “I was 14 y/o w/ a tibial stress fracture, left alone w/ no cervical spine exam after this fall. I competed in the Olympic floor final minutes later. @Simone_Biles…decision demonstrates that we have a say in our own health— 'a say’ I NEVER felt I had as an Olympian.” Video of Moceanu’s fall — it’s terrifying

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 — and follow along on Twitter @CateMartel and Facebook

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Please, please, pretty please. ... With a cherry on top?:

Via The Hill’s Sylvan Lane, “The White House called on Congress to pass an emergency extension of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) eviction ban on Thursday, with three days until it expires, insisting the administration does not have the legal power to extend it after a recent Supreme Court ruling.”


‘Look at us, doing our jobs and getting things done and stuff!’:

The Senate successfully voted to begin debate on the bipartisan infrastructure package last night. 

The vote: 67-32 — 60 votes were needed, meaning Democrats needed at least 10 Republicans to vote “yes.” 

The 17 Republicans who voted to advance the bill: GOP Sens. Roy BluntRoy Dean BluntMissouri official asks court to suspend McCloskeys' law licenses GOP hopes spending traps derail Biden agenda A tale of two chambers: Trump's power holds in House, wanes in Senate MORE (Mo.), Richard Burr (N.C.), Shelley Moore CapitoShelley Wellons Moore CapitoOvernight Energy & Environment — Presented by Climate Power — Senate Democrats ding Biden energy proposal Capito grills EPA nominee on '#ResistCapitalism' tweet GOP senators unveil bill designating Taliban as terrorist organization MORE (W.Va.), Bill CassidyBill CassidyHouse passes bill to prevent shutdown and suspend debt limit Louisiana delegation split over debt hike bill with disaster aid Sunday shows - Boosters in the spotlight MORE (La.), Susan CollinsSusan Margaret CollinsMcConnell privately urged GOP senators to oppose debt ceiling hike GOP senator will 'probably' vote for debt limit increase Welcome to ground zero of climate chaos MORE (Maine), Kevin CramerKevin John CramerThe Memo: Biden beats Trump again — this time in the Senate The 19 GOP senators who voted for the T infrastructure bill Republicans unveil bill to ban federal funding of critical race theory MORE (N.D.), Mike CrapoMichael (Mike) Dean CrapoThe Energy Sector Innovation Credit Act is an industry game-changer The 19 GOP senators who voted for the T infrastructure bill Wyden asks White House for details on jet fuel shortage amid wildfire season MORE (Idaho), Lindsey GrahamLindsey Olin GrahamFranken targets senators from both parties in new comedy tour Ohio Republican tests positive for breakthrough COVID-19 case Trump lawyer offered six-point plan for Pence to overturn election: book MORE (S.C.), Chuck GrassleyChuck GrassleyFranken targets senators from both parties in new comedy tour Grassley leads Finkenauer by 18 points in hypothetical matchup: poll 62 percent in Iowa disapprove of Biden, poll shows MORE (Iowa), John HoevenJohn Henry HoevenThe 19 GOP senators who voted for the T infrastructure bill The Hill's 12:30 Report - Presented by Facebook - US gymnast wins all-around gold as Simone Biles cheers from the stands The Hill's Morning Report - Presented by Facebook - A huge win for Biden, centrist senators MORE (N.D.), Lisa MurkowskiLisa Ann MurkowskiTrump, allies launch onslaught as midterms kick into gear Emboldened Trump takes aim at GOP foes The Hill's 12:30 Report - Presented by Facebook - DC prepares for Saturday of festivals & Jan. 6 demonstration MORE (Alaska), Rob PortmanRobert (Rob) Jones PortmanOvernight Defense & National Security — Presented by AM General — Afghan evacuation still frustrates DHS chief 'horrified' by images at border DHS secretary condemns treatment of Haitian migrants but says US will ramp up deportations MORE (Ohio), Jim RischJim Elroy RischAides try to keep Biden away from unscripted events or long interviews, book claims Lobbying world Senate lawmakers let frustration show with Blinken MORE (Idaho), Mitt RomneyWillard (Mitt) Mitt RomneyGOP senator will 'probably' vote for debt limit increase Five questions and answers about the debt ceiling fight Warren, Daines introduce bill honoring 13 killed in Kabul attack MORE (Utah), Thom TillisThomas (Thom) Roland TillisGOP senators unveil bill designating Taliban as terrorist organization Without major changes, more Americans could be victims of online crime How to fix the semiconductor chip shortage (it's more than manufacturing) MORE (N.C.) Todd YoungTodd Christopher YoungHow to fix the semiconductor chip shortage (it's more than manufacturing) Senate Democrats try to defuse GOP budget drama The 19 GOP senators who voted for the T infrastructure bill MORE (Ind.) and Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellMcConnell, Shelby offer government funding bill without debt ceiling Franken targets senators from both parties in new comedy tour Woodward: Milley was 'setting in motion sensible precautions' with calls to China MORE (Ky.) 


Via USA Today:


Via MSNBC’s Steve Benen, “Schumer wants to see the bipartisan bill and a new budget resolution pass the Senate before members leave Capitol Hill for their summer break, which is scheduled to begin on Aug. 9 (if not sooner).” More on what happens now and the timeline

^ Donald Trump is naht pleased about this development:

Former President TrumpDonald TrumpUN meeting with US, France canceled over scheduling issue Trump sues NYT, Mary Trump over story on tax history McConnell, Shelby offer government funding bill without debt ceiling MORE issued a scathing statement on the Senate GOP after 17 Republicans voted to advance the bipartisan infrastructure bill. 

Trump said in a statement: “Under the weak leadership of Mitch McConnell, Senate Republicans continue to lose. He lost Arizona, he lost Georgia, he ignored Election Fraud and he doesn’t fight. Now he’s giving Democrats everything they want and getting nothing in return. No deal is better than a bad deal. Fight for America, not for special interests and Radical Democrats. RINOs are ruining America, right alongside Communist Democrats.”


It’s extremely tense in the House rn:

Via The Hill’s Mike Lillis and Scott Wong, “House Republicans and Democrats are at each other’s throats over two explosive issues — the Capitol insurrection and a new mask mandate — that have collided this week in a perfect storm of partisan hostility.” 

Behind that animosity: “The common thread running through both debates is former President Trump, who encouraged his supporters to march on the Capitol on Jan. 6, leading to the deadly rampage that day, and warned throughout the pandemic against stringent public health guidelines that he said infringed on individual rights. Though Trump is no longer in the White House, many lawmakers on Capitol Hill say he’s fueling the current animosity.”  

The full story



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Um, are they not aware of the jinx?!:

Via The Hill’s Peter Sullivan, “Congressional Democrats are considering cutting new funds for pandemic preparedness in an upcoming package from the $30 billion proposed by President BidenJoe BidenUN meeting with US, France canceled over scheduling issue Schumer moves to break GOP blockade on Biden's State picks GOP Rep. Cawthorn likens vaccine mandates to 'modern-day segregation' MORE to as little as $5 billion, sources say, prompting alarm from public health advocates.”



COVID-19 rates rising




Coronavirus cases in the U.S.: 34,678,575 

U.S. death toll: 611,813

Breakdown of the numbers


Total number of vaccinations administered in the U.S.: 343 million shots have been given. 

Seven-day average of doses administered: An average of 608,380 doses 

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

Breakdown of the numbers:


What the what?!:





If you’re feeling lost, this is a reference to Fergie’s 2006 song ‘Fergalicious’:


The House and Senate are in. President Biden and Vice President Harris are in Washington, D.C. 

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

10:30 a.m. EDT: The Senate met. The Senate’s full agenda today  

11:45 a.m. EDT: President Biden signed two medical bills into law: the Dispose Unused Medications and Prescription (DUMP) Opioids Act, and the Major Medical Facility Authorization Act of 2021. 

12:15 p.m. EDT: First votes in the House. The House’s full agenda today

1 p.m. EDT: President Biden and Vice President Harris receive a weekly economic briefing.


1 p.m. EDT: White House deputy press secretary Karine Jean-PierreKarine Jean-PierreRoger Stone served with Capitol riot lawsuit during radio interview Democrats say Biden must get more involved in budget fight White House says law enforcement in 'heightened state of alert' ahead of J6 rally MORE holds a press briefing. Livestream 

2 p.m. EDT: Vice President Harris and SBA administrator Isabel Casillas Guzman virtually meet with small business owners to discuss the infrastructure package. Livestream

4 p.m. EDT: President Biden delivers remarks on the spread of the Delta variant and administration’s vaccination effort. Livestream


Today is National Lasagna Day. Doesn't this feel like it should be a winter holiday?

And in the spirit of the Olympics, here’s an intense sport, with an equally intense crowd: