12:30 Report

The Hill’s 12:30 Report: Lost dog follows senator around Capitol Hill

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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.



Who let the dog out? … Who, who, who, who, who?:



A lost dog started following Sen. Mike Crapo (R-Idaho) around Capitol Hill this morning, according to reporters on the Hill. 

Politico’s Burgess Everett tweeted, “There is a lost dog following Sen. Crapo around in the Dirksen building. Crapo: ‘I wondered why you guys [were] all looking at me’ It is not his dog. It just went into a hearing room” Photo of the good boy or girl: https://bit.ly/3rYo62c  

Ah-ha! Puppers has been reunited: Everett added, “The dog was recovered by a staffer, who explained that ‘somebody left the door open.’ ” https://bit.ly/3GX3sUC  

The lost doggo made into the pool report: CNN’s Kristin Wilson relayed some great pool reporting from CBS’s Jack Turman III: “Senators have not stopped at the pool cam. But this dog was just following [Crapo] down the entire hallway. Sen. Crapo said it’s not his dog. The dog proceeded to go into the hearing room and lie down under the table.” Another photo of the furball: https://bit.ly/3sP8cGF 

Happy 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 cmartel@thehill.com — and follow along on Twitter @CateMartel and Facebook.

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*NO SPOILERS UNLESS YOU CLICK THE LINK* — Kamila Valieva skated this morning:



I don’t want to give any spoilers, but if you want to know what happened, click here: https://cnn.it/3LDXxr9 




NBC’s Elaina Patton writes, “Seven players on the Canadian women’s ice hockey team are openly LGBTQ, making it the gayest Winter Olympic team of all time.” More from the U.S.-Canada Olympic women’s hockey final — including the outcome: https://nbcnews.to/3I0FXv1


What a rollercoaster this has been:

President Biden told reporters this morning that he thinks Russia will invade Ukraine in the next several days. https://bit.ly/3rUqxTI  

Biden was asked whether Russia will actually invade: “Yes, I do … My sense is it will happen within the next several days.”  

Biden elaborated: “Because they have not moved any of their troops out, they’ve moved more troops in, number one. Number two, we have reason to believe that they are engaged in a false flag operation to have an excuse to go in. Every indication we have is they are prepared to go into Ukraine, attack Ukraine.”   

More context from The Hill’s Alex Gangitano: https://bit.ly/3rUqxTI


“The happy complacency of post-Cold War peace is being shattered by Russia’s threats, demands and massive military buildup around Ukraine.” Read the full story from The New York Times’s Steven Erlanger: https://nyti.ms/3oYchHs 


Well, a White House official says those claims were “false.” That Biden administration official also said Russian President Vladimir Putin has added roughly 7,000 more troops to the border. https://bit.ly/357eQQk

When it comes to Russia, there are two types of Republicans — McConnell Republicans and Trump Republicans:

Via The Hill’s Alexander Bolton, “The unfolding crisis in Ukraine is creating tensions between Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) and other Republicans who back a tough military posture toward Russia, and those more aligned with former President Trump’s ‘America First’ worldview.” https://bit.ly/3HZieLU 

Why specifically McConnell: “McConnell has emerged as a leading proponent of the traditional Republican foreign policy views, advocating for a strong military that protects American interests and deters foreign threats around the world.”   

An example on the other side of the GOP debate: “Sen. Josh Hawley (R-Mo.) says Republican voters are suspicious of the U.S. getting involved in new foreign military entanglements.” 

More on the internal divide within the GOP when it comes to Ukraine: https://bit.ly/3HZieLU


No guac for you 🙁



Via The New York Times’s Julie Creswell, “The United States decided late last week to temporarily block all imports of avocados from Mexico after a verbal threat was made to U.S. safety inspectors working in the country.” https://nyti.ms/3Hat5BD  

How long will this last?: We don’t know, but the U.S. Department of Agriculture said the ban will “remain in place for as long as necessary to ensure the appropriate actions are taken, to secure the safety of [the Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service] personnel working in Mexico.”   

What exactly was this threat? Likely cartel-related: “While details of the threat to agency employees were not made public, the avocado industry has attracted interest in the past decade from the drug cartels in the region, which have become more fragmented and sought ways to diversify their illicit income streams.”   

The full story: https://nyti.ms/3Hat5BD


Drastically. According to Fortune, “And about eight out of 10 avocados in the U.S. come from Michoacán. That ratio goes up dramatically during the winter months when the vast majority of avocados—about 99%—come from Mexico, the leading producer and exporter of avocados globally.” https://bit.ly/3H4txBm 


How so, from Bloomberg’s Leslie Patton and Allison Smith: https://bit.ly/3GRaeLy


Hey, government funding ends in roughly 36 hours and there’s still no plan:



Via The Hill’s Jordain Carney, “Senate absences and last-minute talks over barring funding for drug paraphernalia are slowing down government funding talks, pushing lawmakers within 48 hours of the shutdown deadline.” https://bit.ly/3gTIKdJ  

The biggest complication: “Three Democratic senators missed votes on Wednesday: Sen. Ben Ray Luján (D-N.M.), who recently suffered a stroke, and Sens. Mark Kelly (D-Ariz.) and Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.), who are both dealing with family medical emergencies.”  

What to expect: https://bit.ly/3gTIKdJ

Sen. Luján is feeling a bit better!:

Sen. Ben Ray Luján (D-N.M.), who recently suffered from a stroke, posted an update on his recovery.  

He tweeted: “Through the love and support from my family, medical team, and New Mexicans, I’m getting stronger each day in D.C. where I’m completing my recovery. I’m thankful for the well wishes from folks across the country. I’m back at work and will return to the Senate floor soon.”  

Photo of Luján working in what appears to be the hospital: https://bit.ly/3JwUsHq 


‘COVID-19 rules boomerang on Democrats’:

Via The Hill’s Julia Manchester, “Coronavirus policies are beginning to boomerang on Democrats as polls underscore public fatigue with both the pandemic and the rules and mandates intended to keep it from spreading.” https://bit.ly/3GTQqal


Coronavirus cases in the U.S.: 78,186,894 

U.S. death toll: 928,749

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


Total number of vaccinations administered in the U.S.: 548 million shots have been given.  

Seven-day average of doses administered: An average of 187,544 doses  

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

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


The best thing I’ve read today:

CNN’s Kristin Wilson tweeted, “When you’re recording a presser and also yelling at your dog.” Screenshot of the resulting transcript: https://bit.ly/3GYE3Kj

Spotted on the Senate side:

The Huffington Post’s Igor Bobic noticed, “Oh no. ‘Avocado Shortage,’ reads a sign posted in Senate Carry Out” https://bit.ly/3gRxBdc 

Getting traction — I, I understand the confusion:

@DrDanSchumacher posted a screenshot of the death certificate request’s online system. “Dear North Carolina, I have just a few logistical questions…” Screenshot of the confusion: https://bit.ly/3sUKBVo


The Senate is in. The House is out. President Biden is in Ohio. Vice President Harris is on her way to Germany.  

7:30 a.m. EST: Vice President Harris left for Munich, Germany.  

8:30 a.m. EST: President Biden received the President’s Daily Brief.  

9:10 a.m. EST: President Biden left for Ohio.  

1 p.m. EST: A possible cloture vote in the Senate. The Senate’s full agenda today: https://bit.ly/3uXCaLm  

3:15 p.m. EST: President Biden returns to the White House.


10:15 a.m. EST: White House principal deputy press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre and Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Michael Regan speak with reporters aboard Air Force One. Livestream: https://bit.ly/3rY9YpG  

12:15 p.m. EST: President Biden deliver remarks in Lorain, Ohio, on the bipartisan infrastructure law. Livestream: https://bit.ly/3HZemum 

3:30 p.m. EST: Supreme Court Justice Stephen Breyer discusses the court and his legacy. Who is hosting the conversation?: The Law Library of Congress and the Supreme Court Fellows Program. Livestream: https://bit.ly/3HX0JM8 


Today is National Café au Lait Day.

And because you made it this far, here’s a husky who is a little too smart for his good: https://bit.ly/3uRRb1o

Tags 12:30 Report Biden Biden Capitol CR Dianne Feinstein Dog Donald Trump government funding Joe Biden Josh Hawley Karine Jean-Pierre Mark Kelly Michael Regan Mike Crapo Mitch McConnell Russia Stephen Breyer troop buildup Ukraine Vladimir Putin White House

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