The Hill's 12:30 Report: Biden defends disappointing jobs report

NEWS THIS MORNING

Welp, that’s not what you wanna see:

 

 

The economy added a disappointing 210,000 jobs in November, much lower than what economists had expected. https://bit.ly/3pii0qU 

What had been expected: Around 500,000 jobs to have been created in November 

What this means for the economy, via The Hill’s Sylvan Lane: https://bit.ly/3pii0qU

LATE THIS MORNING — BIDEN ADDRESSED THE BAD JOBS REPORT:

He put a positive spin on the numbers: “President Biden says that despite November jobs report showing stalled growth, the U.S. is ‘looking at the sharpest one-year decline in unemployment ever.’ ” Watch: https://bit.ly/3EqF2lW 

^ If you watch that clip, you’ll notice Biden has a bit of a cold: Biden said he got a cold from his 1-and-a-half-year-old grandson who has a cold and “who likes to kiss his pop.” Biden did say he’s tested regularly for COVID-19 and is negative. 

Photo of the room — it is quite festive: https://bit.ly/3xPjtZI 

Livestream of Biden's remarks: https://bit.ly/3lwMeWq

Happy Friday! Christmas Eve is three weeks from today! 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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IN THE WHITE HOUSE

It’s been a bit of a rocky start for Kamala Harris:

Via The Hill’s Brett Samuels and Amie Parnes, “[Vice President] Harris’s office is undergoing a reset after a difficult first year, which saw a rocky start for the vice president.” https://bit.ly/32WSGPY 

How so: “The reset, which includes the departure of Symone SandersSymone SandersSymone Sanders hired by MSNBC Staffer who had contact with Harris tests positive for COVID-19 White House points finger at the press MORE — the most recognizable official in the office — is the result of Harris’s public stumbles, a streak of bad press and staff squabbling, particularly in the communications office, according to sources familiar with the vice president’s office.”  

And two more press aides are reportedly leaving, tooPeter Velz, the vice president's director of press operations, and Vince Evans, the deputy director of the Office of Public Engagement and Intergovernmental Affairs for Harris. 

^ Oh and: “Those planned exits became public a few weeks after Harris’s office confirmed her communications director, Ashley EtienneAshley EtienneThe Hill's 12:30 Report: Biden defends disappointing jobs report Jovanni Ortiz in talks for potential Harris job The Hill's Morning Report - Presented by Facebook - Congress avoids shutdown MORE, would leave the position at the end of the year.” 

What we know about these departures: https://bit.ly/32WSGPY

IN CONGRESS

Now that’s a February problem:

Another government shutdown has been averted! Last night, Senate Majority Leader Charles SchumerChuck SchumerDemocrats make final plea for voting rights ahead of filibuster showdown DACA highlights pitfalls of legalization schemes The Hill's Morning Report - Presented by Facebook - Schumer tees up doomed election reform vote MORE (D-N.Y.) made a deal with Senate Republicans and passed a government funding bill through February. 

Politically, neither party wanted a shutdown: “In the end, senators on both sides of the aisle realized that a government shutdown — even a temporary one — would anger the public and both parties would wind up taking the blame.”  

The deal with a small group of Republicans: Schumer agreed to vote on an amendment to defund President BidenJoe BidenBiden says he didn't 'overpromise' Finland PM pledges 'extremely tough' sanctions should Russia invade Ukraine Russia: Nothing less than NATO expansion ban is acceptable MORE’s vaccine mandate for big companies. 

More on the politics at play, via The Hill’s Alexander Bolton: https://bit.ly/3lttabd

‘GOP TACTICS HERALD A GRIM NEW ERA OF GOVERNING FOR BIDEN AND DEMOCRATS’:

Via The Washington Post’s Mike DeBonis: https://wapo.st/3Dq0Exj

Well, that is eerie:

 

White smoke at the Capitol?

Hyperlink https://bit.ly/3En0I2m

Oh hey, pup!:

 

Ocasio-Cortez with a puppy 

Hyperlink https://bit.ly/3xUQnbE  

Video of the pup running through the halls of Congress: https://bit.ly/3EpKPs6

IN THE SUPREME COURT

65 million women could lose access to abortion:

Via The Hill’s Reid Wilson, “More than 65 million American women would immediately lose access to an abortion in their home states if the U.S. Supreme Court strikes down the landmark case that established the right to seek the procedure nearly half a century ago.” https://bit.ly/32QmJZn 

Twelve states with laws that could take effect if Roe is overturned: “Arkansas, Idaho, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, North Dakota, Oklahoma, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas and Utah … have passed laws that would bar all or nearly all abortions, written in a way that would allow them to take effect after the Supreme Court overturns Roe, according to the Guttmacher Institute, a pro-abortion rights research institution.” 

Plus: “Eight states — Alabama, Arizona, Arkansas, Michigan, Mississippi, Oklahoma, West Virginia and Wisconsin — still have abortion bans on the books that were passed years, and sometimes decades, before Roe was decided. Texas has a similar law that is under injunction by a federal court. But if the precedent is struck down, those laws would be enforceable once again, and the Supreme Court ruling would likely allow Texas’s law to take effect.” 

What to expect: https://bit.ly/32QmJZn

LATEST WITH THE CORONAVIRUS

COVID-19 cases in South Africa triple in three days:

Via The Washington Post’s Lesley Wroughton, “South Africa’s new daily coronavirus cases have almost tripled in three days, according to new figures released Thursday, raising alarms over the possible spread of the new omicron variant recently detected by the country’s scientists.” https://wapo.st/3If8A8p 

The numbers: “New daily confirmed cases rose to 11,535 on Thursday from 8,561 on Wednesday and 4,373 the previous day, according to official statistics. The cases represent a 22.4 percent positivity rate of people tested for the virus, up from 16.5 percent on Wednesday, a massive jump from a 1 percent positivity rate in early November, the National Institute for Communicable Diseases said.”  

What we know: https://wapo.st/3If8A8p

BY THE WAY, BIDEN IS SHIPPING 11 MILLION COVID-19 VACCINE DOSES ABROAD:

Nine million to Africa and 2 million to other areas. https://bit.ly/31y4c3G

A bit of good news:

Via The Associated Press’s Jim Gomez, “Measures used to counter the delta variant should remain the foundation for fighting the coronavirus pandemic, even in the face of the new omicron version of the virus, World Health Organization officials said Friday, while acknowledging that the travel restrictions imposed by some countries may buy time.” https://bit.ly/31rH3zR

CASE NUMBERS:

Coronavirus cases in the U.S.: 48,833,401 

U.S. death toll: 785,916 

Breakdown of the numbers: https://cnn.it/2UAgW3y

VACCINATION NUMBERS:

Total number of vaccinations administered in the U.S.: 462 million shots have been given. 

Seven-day average of doses administered: An average of 949,494 doses 

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

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

NOTABLE TWEETS:

Oh, definitely. Thanks for the reminder:

 

Time to hang your missiletoad 

Hyperlink https://bit.ly/3omgIME

I keep seeing this tweet passed around on social media:

 

Spotify figured it out

Hyperlink https://bit.ly/3xSbzPp  

^ If you don’t know what I’m talking about: Spotify just unveiled its end-of-the-year stats for its users. It’s hard to scroll through Instagram without seeing them. https://bit.ly/3okcCEv

ON TAP:

The House is in, but with no votes. The Senate is out. President Biden and Vice President Harris are in Washington, D.C. 

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

12:15 p.m. EST: President Biden and Vice President Harris have lunch together. 

8:30 p.m. EST: President Biden leaves for Camp David.

WHAT TO WATCH:

10:15 a.m. EST: President Biden delivered remarks on the November jobs report. Livestream: https://bit.ly/3lwMeWq 

11 a.m. EST: The White House COVID Response Team held a press briefing. Livestream: https://bit.ly/3pqmfB2 

1:30 p.m. EST: White House press secretary Jen PsakiJen PsakiRussia: Nothing less than NATO expansion ban is acceptable Biden huddles with group of senators on Ukraine-Russia tensions White House: Blood donation restrictions 'painful' amid mass shortage MORE holds a press briefing. Livestream: https://bit.ly/3deJ2tZ

IN LIGHTER NEWS:

Today is National Peppermint Latte Day. And for weekend planning purposes, Saturday is National Cookie Day and Sunday is National Comfort Food Day!

I truly thought this was an Onion headline, BUT IT’S NOT:

“Man caught trying to use fake arm to get vaccine shot.” https://bit.ly/2ZPjVKX 

“I felt offended as a professional,” [health care worker] Filippa Bua reportedly told La Repubblica. “The color of the arm made me suspicious and so I asked the man to uncover the rest of his left arm. It was well made but it wasn’t the same color.”  

Where this happened: In Italy 

The full story, because you can’t make this up: https://bit.ly/2ZPjVKX

And to get your weekend off to a proper start, here’s a puppy practicing its dancing moves: https://bit.ly/3olkR3f

^ Make sure your sound is on ;)