12:30 Report

The Hill’s 12:30 Report – Zelensky shows emotional footage in plea to lawmakers

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky delivers a virtual address
Drew Angerer, pool via AP

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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.



That was a heavy start to the day:

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky pleaded with U.S. leaders in an emotional address this morning to “close the sky over Ukraine,” invoking Pearl Harbor and the 9/11 terrorist attacks.                                                  

In Zelensky’s words: “Remember Pearl Harbor … Remember September 11 … when evil tried to turn your cities, independent territories in battlefields. When innocent people were attacked, attacked from air …  Russia has turned Ukrainian skies into a source of death for thousands of people.”   

More from Zelensky’s address: https://bit.ly/3CNwVQq  

Zelensky played a video that was gut-wrenching: I’ll warn you — it’s pretty graphic. Here’s the video: https://bit.ly/363L0NJ  

^ Lawmakers had a hard time watching the footage: “Lawmakers inside the room are wiping away tears while watching this video of Ukrainian cities and citizens getting obliterated. Heart-wrenching stuff.” (Via Politico’s Andrew Desiderio). https://bit.ly/3tdpBdJ  

Watch Zelensky’s full address to Congress: https://bit.ly/3ulO93J  

Or, if you don’t have time to watch the full speech, here’s a 90-second excerpt that is worth watching: https://bit.ly/34KV6SS

It’s Wednesday. Make sure to finish your March Madness brackets — tipoff is tomorrow at 12:15 p.m. EDT! 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

Did someone forward this to you? Want your own copy? Sign up here to receive The Hill’s 12:30 Report in your inbox daily: http://bit.ly/2UoupvN


A Capitol staffer gave out pins to lawmakers: Via CNN’s Daniella Diaz, the pins show the U.S. and Ukrainian flags intertwined. Photo: https://cnn.it/3Iiat35  

Spotted: The Independent’s John Bowden noticed, “[Rep. Madison Cawthorn (R-N.C.)], who trashed Zelensky as a ‘thug’, entering Ukrainian leader’s speech to Congress late after missing entire first portion.” https://bit.ly/3qcD2c2 



Zelensky received a standing ovation from lawmakers: “Glory to Ukraine,” Zelensky ended.  

Watch the standing ovation Zelensky received: https://bit.ly/3D16TcJ


CNN apologized to viewers for showing the footage on-air without a warning: “CNN apologizing to viewers for not being able to warn them that the video compilation played by Zelensky to Congress would be so graphic. I think this was Zelensky’s point: Americans need to see what war looks like, without the comfort blanket.” (From AFP’s Sebastian Smith) https://bit.ly/3wbtemh  

What Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) thought of the remarks: CNN’s Manu Raju tweeted, “As he left the Zelensky address, McConnell called it an ‘incredibly effective speech’ and said ‘the message to President Biden is that he needs to step up his game,’ per [CNN’s Ted Barrett].” https://bit.ly/3KOHlSF  

Yep — and I think this applies to anyone watching: Commentary Magazine’s Noah Rothman reacted: “No one who has young children can watch this [that video] without breaking.” https://bit.ly/3KMJQol


This is where interest rates are going:



The Federal Reserve is expected to raise interest rates today in an effort to slow inflation.   

Raising rates by how much?: A quarter of a point, according to CNBC. https://cnb.cx/3u5zBos  

A refresher: “When the pandemic broke out, the Fed quickly took its fed funds target rate range to zero to 0.25% in early 2020. It also began a number of programs to add liquidity, including the quantitative easing program to buy Treasurys and mortgage bonds that it is just winding down this month.”  More from CNBC’s Patti Domm: https://cnb.cx/3u5zBos


Via The New York Times’s Jeanna Smialek and Karl Russell: https://nyti.ms/3Ig4888


You can stay a bit longer:

Via The Hill’s Rebecca Beitsch, “The Biden administration will offer temporary protected status (TPS) to Afghans, a move that will aide those who escaped the country in the U.S.-led evacuation but who otherwise could face deportation as soon as August.” https://bit.ly/3qbr4PM 

Details “The designation allows Afghans in the U.S. by March 15 to remain for another 18 months.”  


Interesting read — ‘Some hospitals ask patients, visitors to remove N95s, citing CDC’:

Via Politico’s Rachael Levy, “One woman said she was told her mask could be carrying Covid on its surface. A Chicago facility, Northwestern Medicine, said it asks visitors to replace or cover their masks with a surgical mask provided by the hospital for quality control. And inside many hospitals, doctors and nurses often don surgical masks when treating patients, all in line with CDC recommendations.”  

The full story: https://politi.co/3CLitZh 


Coronavirus cases in the U.S.: 79,587,313 

U.S. death toll: 966,493

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


Total number of vaccinations administered in the U.S.: 557 million shots have been given.  

Seven-day average of doses administered: An average of 95,454 doses  

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

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


Imagine not having to change your clocks twice a year:

The Senate voted unanimously yesterday to make daylight saving time permanent. https://bit.ly/3iaOuQK 

Wait, so this could actually happen?: It’s possible. The House would need to pass the bill and President Biden would then have to sign it.   

If this happens, when would it be enacted?: Late 2023 


Here’s a short explainer video from The Hill: https://bit.ly/3IftP8X 





The Hill’s Reid Wilson tweeted, “Headline of the day: ‘New Zealand couple’s dream mashed: Record-breaking potato isn’t a potato after all.’ ” https://bit.ly/3tgnbLu  

Read the full story in the Los Angeles Times: https://lat.ms/3Ifo2jJ 


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

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

11:45 a.m. EDT: Two cloture votes in the Senate. The Senate’s full agenda today: https://bit.ly/3COqjkJ  

1 p.m. EDT:: The Hill is hosting a virtual event, “A Connected & Sustainable Society.” Featured speakers: Sen. Deb Fischer (R-Neb.), Rep. Robin Kelly (D-Ill.), Rep. Grace Meng (D-N.Y.) Details and how to RSVP: https://bit.ly/3MNgxE4  

3 p.m. EDT: Two more cloture votes in the Senate.  

3 ­– 5 p.m. EDT: First and last votes in the House. The House’s full agenda today: https://bit.ly/3Ihtvqn 

2 p.m. EDT Thursday: The Hill is hosting a virtual event, “The Future of Education.” Featured speakers: Education Secretary Miguel Cardona, Sen. Bill Cassidy (R-La.), Rep. Jahana Hayes (D-Conn.) and Govs. Jared Polis (D-Colo.) and Chris Sununu (R-N.H.) Details and how to RSVP: https://bit.ly/3i4uCia


Just announced — 6:30 p.m. EDT: NBC’s Lester Holt interviews Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky on “NBC Nightly News.” https://bit.ly/3IfIRLV 

11:45 a.m. EDT: President Biden delivered remarks on the assistance the U.S. is providing to Ukraine. Secretary of State Antony Blinken, Deputy Defense Secretary Kathleen Hicks and the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Mark Milley attend. Livestream: https://bit.ly/361g3tu  

1:45 p.m. EDT: President Biden delivers remarks at an event celebrating the reauthorization of the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA. Attorney General Merrick Garland and Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary Xavier Becerra attend. Livestream: https://bit.ly/3KQ66hm  

2:30 p.m. EDT: White House press secretary Jen Psaki holds a press briefing. Livestream: https://bit.ly/3MXaRY8  

3 p.m. EDT: Vice President Harris delivers remarks on making communities safer, including campuses of Historically Black Colleges and Universities. Livestream: https://bit.ly/3idu2Pi  

7:45 p.m. EDT: President Biden delivers remarks at The Ireland Funds 30th National Gala at the National Building Museum. Livestream: https://bit.ly/3KNAskr


Today is National Artichoke Heart Day

But what about the adorable holiday cups?: 


Via CNN Business’s Danielle Wiener-Bronner, Starbucks is phasing out single-use cups by 2025. Instead, customers can either bring a coffee cup or borrow one from Starbucks. What we know about the new plan: https://cnn.it/3thDTdu 

And because you’ve read this far, here’s a hamster enjoying a bowl of spaghetti: https://bit.ly/3Jhmjvr

Tags 12:30 Report Antony Blinken Bill Cassidy Chris Sununu COVID-19 Deb Fischer Grace Meng invasion Jahana Hayes Jared Polis Jen Psaki Joe Biden Kathleen Hicks Mark Milley Merrick Garland Miguel Cardona Mitch McConnell Robin Kelly Russia Ukraine Xavier Becerra Zelensky address

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