The Hill's 12:30 Report - Presented by Mastercard - Dems punt Biden agenda to 2022


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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. 



When the 2021 New Year’s resolutions didn’t exactly go as planned:



Senate Majority Leader Charles SchumerChuck SchumerVoting rights failed in the Senate — where do we go from here? Forced deadline spurs drastic tactic in Congress Democrats call on Biden administration to ease entry to US for at-risk Afghans MORE (D-N.Y.) acknowledged this morning that President BidenJoe BidenDeputy AG: DOJ investigating fake Trump electors On The Money — Vaccine-or-test mandate for businesses nixed Warner tests positive for breakthrough COVID-19 case MORE’s Build Back Better bill will likely not pass in 2021 due to the ongoing negotiations with moderate Sen. Joe ManchinJoe ManchinBiden to meet with CEOs to discuss Build Back Better agenda Hoyer says 'significant' version of Build Back Better will pass this year Gallego went to New York to meet Sinema donors amid talk of primary challenge: report MORE (D-W.Va.). 

Schumer said on the Senate floor this morning: “The president requested more time to continue his negotiations, and so we will keep working with him, hand in hand, to bring this bill over the finish line and deliver on these much-needed provisions.” 

Schumer’s previous goal: Passing the bill by Christmas

Keep in mind — the Senate is planning to leave today: “Friday is expected to be the Senate’s last day in session this year and Schumer is working on a deal with Senate conservatives to move a batch of Biden’s stalled nominees before the weekend.”  

More from The Hill’s Alexander Bolton:


Democrats went into 2021 with an ambitious list of what they could accomplish with control of the House, Senate and White House. But as 2021 comes to an end, two of President Biden’s biggest goals — his spending package and voting rights — are stuck in limbo as the challenge of a slim, 50-seat majority became a reality.

As far as 2022 goes, this is good news for Republicans, bad news for Dems: “The setbacks fueled angst within the caucus and is poised to send Democrats back home to voters—and into the 2022 midterms where Republicans are feeling increasingly bullish—with key pieces of their legislative agenda incomplete.” 

Asked about his message to voters, Sen. Dick DurbinDick DurbinBipartisan Senate group discusses changes to election law Democrats ask for information on specialized Border Patrol teams Democrats face scaled-back agenda after setbacks MORE (D-Ill.) responded: “Welcome to the United States Senate. I’ve been here for 25 years, and I’ve seen the decline of this institution.”  

The full story from The Hill’s Jordain Carney:


Via The Hill’s Niall Stanage, “If the plan runs aground, the failure will seriously deplete the president’s political capital, deliver a blow to his image as the consummate dealmaker and deprive Democrats of a major selling point in the midterm elections.” 

And that’s not even including the child tax credit expiration: “Heightening the dangers, both politically and substantively, a lapse could also leave millions of Americans missing the checks to which they had grown accustomed after an expanded child tax credit was passed earlier this year.”  

What to expect:

Happy Friday! Christmas Eve is a week 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 — and follow along on Twitter @CateMartel and Facebook

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This holiday season, shoppers are returning to small businesses all across America.

Mastercard is empowering entrepreneurs with digital payment solutions, data insights and tools to grow and thrive.




London businesses are shutting down again:

Via CNN Business’s Julia Horowitz, “As the Omicron variant sweeps through the United Kingdom, pushing daily coronavirus infections to their highest level on record, British businesses are shutting their doors again — but not because of government instructions.” 

Why restaurants and bars are closing: “Restaurants and other venues are instead deciding they have no choice but to close early for Christmas due to a flood of canceled reservations and concerns about the health of staffers.”

It’s a tense day for parents, students and schools:

Via NBC “Today’s” Danielle Campoamor, “A threat to schools nationwide circulating on TikTok has caused confusion and panic among parents and school administrators across the country; some schools are closing for the day, others are increasing their police presence and some parents are keeping their children home.”

What’s the threat?: It’s pretty vague but according to, the anonymous warnings on TikTok cite a Dec. 17 “challenge” as “National Shoot Up Your School Day.”  It’s unclear where the threat originated, but there are now hundreds of posts warning of the threat.


As part of the OG J&J crew, greaaaaat:

The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) announced yesterday that it recommends the Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna COVID-19 vaccines over Johnson & Johnson’s shot. 

Why: J&J’s “shots can trigger a rare blood clot disorder now linked to dozens of cases and at least nine deaths in the United States in the last year.”  

How great is the J&J risk?: “The risk was greatest among women aged 30 to 49, estimated at 1 in 100,000 who had received the company’s shot.”  

Will the vaccine be taken out of distribution?: No, it will still be available to Americans, but will not be recommended.  

Keep in mind — the FDA still thinks the benefits outweigh the risks: “Earlier this week, the Food and Drug Administration issued updated guidance on the risks of the blood-clotting disorder linked to Johnson & Johnson’s vaccine, but reiterated that the benefits outweighed its risks.” 

What we know, from The New York Times’s Rebecca Robbins and Christina Jewett:


Via Reuters’s David Shepardson:


Coronavirus cases in the U.S.: 50,523,620 

U.S. death toll: 803,769 

Breakdown of the numbers:


Total number of vaccinations administered in the U.S.: 488 million shots have been given. 

Seven-day average of doses administered: An average of 1.55 million doses 

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

Breakdown of the numbers:




This holiday season, shoppers are returning to small businesses all across America.

Mastercard is empowering entrepreneurs with digital payment solutions, data insights and tools to grow and thrive.



Let’s go splitsies on the bill:

Via The Washington Post’s Josh Dawsey and David A. Fahrenthold, “The Republican Party has agreed to pay up to $1.6 million in legal bills for former president Donald Trump to help him fight investigations into his business practices in New York, according to Republican National Committee members and others briefed on the decision.”

Why this is newsy: “That means the GOP’s commitment to pay Trump’s personal legal expenses could be more than 10 times higher than previously known.”


Wow, what a throwback:

Notice the real mugs.



Dunkin Donuts in 1984 


Senator, are you a brand ambassador for Barbasol … ?:


Sen. Kaine likes his Barbasol 


Well, that’s … an aggressive tweet:


New Jersey vs. Pennsylvania 


Yes, that is the state of New Jersey throwing shade at Pennsylvania.


The Senate is in. The House is out. President Biden is in South Carolina and is flying to Wilmington, Del., for the weekend. 

6:50 a.m. EST: President Biden leaves for South Carolina. 

10 a.m. EST: A cloture vote in the Senate. The Senate’s full agenda today: 

12:55 p.m. EST: President Biden leaves South Carolina and heads to Wilmington, Del. 

Today: White House press secretary Jen PsakiJen PsakiOvernight Health Care — Senators unveil pandemic prep overhaul Qatar emir to meet with Biden at White House next week White House underscores action amid violent crime streak MORE speaks with reporters aboard Air Force One.


10 a.m. EST: President Biden speaks at South Carolina State University’s 2021 Fall Commencement Ceremony. Livestream: 

11 a.m. EST: The White House COVID-19 Response Team held a press briefing. Livestream:


Today is National Maple Syrup Day!

And to get your weekend off to a great start, here’s a cat who is bashful, but very proud of its new tie: