The Hill's 12:30 Report: Biden comes out swinging in 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.

 

IN THE WHITE HOUSE

New year. New me.:

 

 

Via The Hill’s Niall Stanage, “For two years in a row, the date of Jan. 6 has marked an inflection point in American politics.” https://bit.ly/3t6jlER 

How Biden’s remarks yesterday were different: 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 speech to mark the anniversary, delivered with force amid the solemn grandeur of Statuary Hall, was vital in its own way. It marked an abrupt shift, with the 46th president taking the fight head-on to his predecessor, former President TrumpDonald TrumpDeputy AG: DOJ investigating fake Trump electors Former Boston Red Sox star David Ortiz elected to Baseball Hall of Fame Overnight Health Care — Senators unveil pandemic prep overhaul MORE.”  

^ Comparing that to the last year: “For most of the first year of his presidency, Biden and his key aides have tended to keep direct engagement with Trump to a minimum, preferring to dismiss him with nonchalance and a metaphorical wave of the hand.”   

More on Biden’s sudden shift: https://bit.ly/3t6jlER

^ Biden’s party is ba, da, ba, ba, bah — they’re loving it:

Via The Hill’s Amie Parnes and Morgan Chalfant, “Democrats have been waiting for a year for President Biden to call out former President Trump for his claims about the 2020 presidential election and pinpoint the role Trump played in instigating his followers to ‘fight like hell’ to contest the result.  Standing in the Capitol on Thursday, Biden finally did just that.”  

What Democrats specifically think of Biden’s message: https://bit.ly/3tlA87h

Happy Friday! 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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NEWS THIS MORNING

Welppppp.:

The U.S. added a disappointing 199,000 jobs in December as the omicron variant tore through the country. https://bit.ly/3G9aUfU 

For context — what economists had expected: A gain in December of roughly 420,000 jobs.  

A positive spin: “Despite the lackluster December job gain, the report showed signs of growing competition for sorely needed workers as employers struggle to keep up with the recovering economy. The jobless rate dropped to its lowest level since March 2019 as the labor force participation held firm, and average hourly earnings were up 4.6 percent on the year last month.”  

IN CONGRESS

Dems feeling a little sus:

 

 

Via The Hill’s Jordain Carney, “Democrats are voicing skepticism over Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellHow Cruz Supreme Court case could lead to unlimited anonymous election spending Trump and Biden should stop denigrating US elections The Armageddon elections to come MORE’s (R-Ky.) openness to discussing election law changes, warning that he’s trying to distract from filibuster reform efforts.” https://bit.ly/3eXKpOo  

Timing: “McConnell’s decision to open the door this week to reforming an 1887 Electoral College law comes as Democrats are trying to cut a deal with Sens. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) and Kyrsten SinemaKyrsten SinemaGallego went to New York to meet Sinema donors amid talk of primary challenge: report The Hill's 12:30 Report - Presented by Facebook - Biden's public moment of frustration The Armageddon elections to come MORE (D-Ariz.) on broader voting rights reforms that will require them to change the legislative filibuster.”

Tidbit:

 

Reporter encounters Capitol officer's parents 

Hyperlink https://bit.ly/3HDsLM6 

Photo of those parents in front of the U.S. Capitol: https://bit.ly/3qVjfNM

Suuuurprise!:

 

Hamilton for Congress

Watch: https://bit.ly/3G4mLMc 

LATEST WITH THE CORONAVIRUS

Remember the White House’s plan to send rapid tests to Americans? It’s almost finalized!:

Via The Washington Post’s Jacob Bogage and Dan Diamond, “The White House is finalizing details with the U.S. Postal Service to deliver 500 million coronavirus test kits to households across the country, according to four people familiar with the plans, kick-starting a key part of President Biden’s response to the raging omicron variant.” https://wapo.st/3q3e0fw 

When the tests could be shipped?: “Officials aim to begin shipping the kits by mid-January.”   

Everything we know: https://wapo.st/3q3e0fw

HAS OMICRON PEAKED? THE CDC DIRECTOR DOESN’T THINK SO:

“The way it has peaked in other countries — in South Africa, it has come down rapidly as well,” Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Director Rochelle WalenskyRochelle WalenskyDemocrats call on CDC to release demographic breakdowns for long-term COVID-19 patients Study finds high levels of omicron-fighting antibodies four months after Pfizer booster Antisemitic fliers left at hundreds of Miami Beach homes MORE told NBC’s “Today.” “But I don’t believe we’ve seen that peak here in the United States.” https://bit.ly/3F5B6GA

‘THE WORLD SURPASSES 300 MILLION KNOWN VIRUS CASES, BUT CASE COUNTS MAY NOT MEAN WHAT THEY USED TO’:

Via The New York Times’s Shashank Bengali: https://nyti.ms/33f5Xnb

Happening today — so what do we think about the vaccine mandates?:

Via The New York Times’s Adam Liptak, “The Supreme Court is hearing arguments on Friday on the legality of two initiatives at the heart of the Biden administration’s efforts to address the coronavirus in the workplace through vaccine mandates.” https://nyti.ms/3q4kZ8g  

On one side: “The challengers — states led by Republican officials, businesses, religious groups and others — say Congress has not authorized the measures, adding that they are unnecessary and in some ways co 

On the other side: “The administration says that workplace safety and health care laws have given it ample authority to take bold action in the face of a lethal pandemic.”   

What to expect: https://nyti.ms/3q4kZ8g

CASE NUMBERS:

Coronavirus cases in the U.S.: 58,489,268 

U.S. death toll: 833,996 

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

VACCINATION NUMBERS:

Total number of vaccinations administered in the U.S.: 514 million shots have been given. 

Seven-day average of doses administered: An average of 1.03 million doses  

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

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

NOTABLE TWEETS:

Such good boys and girls:

 

Support animals in Congress 

Hyperlink https://bit.ly/3JPx5tv 

Yikes … :

 

A foreboding wireless password 

Hyperlink https://bit.ly/3F0WcpH 

This is a bit tense:

 

Watch: https://bit.ly/3eZj3au  

^Back story — here’s the clip that led to this interview: https://bit.ly/3sXqhnQ

ON TAP:

The House is out. The Senate is in, but with no roll call votes expected. President Biden is in Colorado today.  

11:15 a.m. EST: President Biden and first lady Jill BidenJill BidenThe Hill's Morning Report - Presented by Facebook - Biden talks, Senate balks Jill Biden adds to communications team in lead-up to midterm elections Harris invokes MLK in voting rights push, urges Senate to 'do its job' MORE leave for Colorado.  

Noon: The Senate meets. The Senate’s full agenda today: https://bit.ly/3G4AjXL  

5:30 p.m. EST: The Bidens tour a neighborhood in Louisville, Colo. 

10:25 p.m. EST: The Bidens land in Las Vegas.  

SaturdayPresident Biden attends the funeral of the late former Sen. Harry ReidHarry Mason ReidDemocrats say change to filibuster just a matter of time The Hill's 12:30 Report - Presented by Connected Commerce Council - Biden faces reporters as his agenda teeters Biden hits one-year mark in dire straits MORE (D-Nev.) in Las Vegas, Nev. Former President ObamaBarack Hussein ObamaWhat does the Preamble to the Constitution have to do with Build Back Better? White House underscores action amid violent crime streak Biden frustration with Fox News breaks through surface MORE is also scheduled to speak, according to the Nevada Independent. Details and who else will speak: https://bit.ly/3G4AthP

WHAT TO WATCH:

10:45 a.m. EST: President Biden delivered remarks on the jobs report. Livestream: https://bit.ly/32RUavg  

1:15 p.m. EST: White House principal deputy press secretary Karine Jean-PierreKarine Jean-PierreThe Hill's 12:30 Report: Biden comes out swinging in 2022 Biden says he plans to run for reelection in 2024 'if I'm in good health' The Memo: Failure on big bill would spark cascade of trouble for Biden MORE speaks with reporters aboard Air Force One. Livestream: https://bit.ly/34otjXP  

7:15 p.m. EST: President Biden delivers remarks on his administration’s response to the recent wildfires. Livestream: https://bit.ly/3JODK7g

IN LIGHTER NEWS:

Today is National Tempura Day

And to get your weekend off to a good start, here’s a dog questioning the cat’s decisions: https://bit.ly/3q2kYBr