12:30 Report

The Hill’s 12:30 Report: Biden heads to Europe amid chemical weapon concerns

President Biden
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*Ha. Haha. Hahah. Sniff. Haha. Sniff. Ha–breaks down crying hysterically.

 

The Hill’s 12:30 Report: Biden heads to Europe amid chemical weapon concerns 

 

IN EUROPE

via GIPHY

 

Biden takes this show on the road:

President Biden is on his way to Brussels today for high-stakes meetings with European leaders amid the crisis in Ukraine. https://bit.ly/3IylzB4  

What’s happening during this trip to Europe?: “Biden’s itinerary includes a NATO extraordinary meeting, a Group of Seven (G7) meeting and a summit of European leaders, all on Thursday, and a one-on-one engagement with the president of Poland, Andrzej Duda, on Saturday.”  

The rose: “On the plus side, [Biden] can underline his leadership of a strong multilateral coalition.”  

And the thorn: “On the other hand, Biden must also contend with tensions between those European nations that want to do more to aid Ukraine and the U.S. position, which has prioritized not escalating the conflict.”  

More on what to expect, via The Hill’s Niall Stanage: https://bit.ly/3IylzB4  

‘HERE’S HOW EUROPE BECAME DEPENDENT ON RUSSIAN OIL. IT ALL GOES BACK TO THE REAGAN ERA.’

Via The New York Times’s Hiroko Tabuchi: https://nyti.ms/3iv1a5u  

 

It’s Wednesday. 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: https://bit.ly/3qmIoS9 

 

THE LATEST IN UKRAINE  

Russia is throwing around the phrase ‘nuclear weapon’ — good, great, love to hear that:

In an interview with CNN’s Christiane Amanpour, a Russian spokesperson refused to rule out the use of nuclear weapons if the country believes there is “an existential threat.” More from CNN: https://cnn.it/3IwHI2D 

^ Biden seems a bit concerned:

Right before President Biden left for Europe, he told reporters he thinks there is a “real threat” that Russian President Vladimir Putin uses chemical weapons against Ukraine. Biden’s full comments, via The Hill’s Alex Gangitano: https://bit.ly/3tAjUa1 

Photo of Biden’s departure: https://bit.ly/3iBymrH  

FIVE WAYS US SANCTIONS ARE HURTING RUSSIA:
1. “Russia’s GDP is shrinking” 

  1. “Sanctions have caused havoc in Russia’s financial sector” 
  2. “Russian industries and trade have been shaken” 
  3. “The sanctions are having a cultural impact” 
  4. “The sanctions have led to an exodus by Western businesses”  

The effect on Russia, via The Hill’s Tobias Burns and Sylvan Lane: https://bit.ly/3IwYheH

Tidbit — oh what a ~shame~: Fortune’s Christiaan Hetzner writes, “Russia’s largest tank manufacturer may have run out of parts.” https://bit.ly/3IzsU3d  

Photo from @nexta_tv: https://bit.ly/3Ddseja 

ON CAPITOL HILL  

Day 3, LET’S GO

Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson is in her third day of Supreme Court confirmation hearings.  

Follow along: Here’s The Hill’s live blog of hearing updates today: https://bit.ly/3Nh0Zso  

And here’s the C-SPAN livestream of today’s hearing: https://bit.ly/3L7thnj  

Yesterday was a slog: Jackson answered questions from senators for roughly 13 hours yesterday (!) https://bit.ly/3wsoY1N  

Five takeaways from yesterday’s questioning
1. “Jackson was ready for GOP’s questions” 

  1. “Jackson says her judicial methodology defies easy label” 
  2. “Graham highlights GOP anger over previous court fights” 
  3. “2024 GOP White House hopefuls jockey for attention” 
  4. “Jackson keeps nomination on track” 

Context and details for each from The Hill’s Jordain Carney, John Kruzel and Alexander Bolton: https://bit.ly/3wsoY1N  

TIDBIT — THE U.S. CAPITOL IS SLOWING REOPENING
The Los Angeles Times’s Jennifer Haberkorn tweeted, “After a two-year hiatus of official tours, the Capitol will re-open to limited member- and staff-led tours, as well as school groups, on Monday.” https://bit.ly/3qqFL1G  

 

LATEST WITH COVID-19 

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Hey kiddos, you may be on deck:

Via The Hill’s Nathaniel Weixel, “Moderna on Wednesday said it will soon seek emergency use authorization for its two-dose COVID-19 vaccine in children under six years old, after preliminary data showed kids in that age group had a similar immune response to adolescents and young adults when given a smaller dose of the vaccine.” https://bit.ly/3JyAdJV  

Yes, but: “Moderna said the vaccine was only about 44 percent effective at preventing symptomatic infection in children 6 months to 2 years old, and 37 percent effective in children aged 2 through 5.”  

^ Keep in mind: “There were no severe infections, hospitalizations or deaths in any of the children in the trial, the company said, making it impossible to interpret the results against those outcomes.”   

CASE NUMBERS:   

Coronavirus cases in the U.S.: 79,805,851

U.S. death toll: 973,381

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

VACCINATION NUMBERS:  

Total number of vaccinations administered in the U.S.: 559 million shots have been given.  

Seven-day average of doses administered: An average of 114,252 doses  

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

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

 

NOTABLE TWEETS:  

Tidbit — Biden appears to have a festive phone case

CNN’s Betsy Klein tweeted a photo: “President Biden, departing the White House for Europe, carries an iPhone with a silver presidential seal.” Photo: https://bit.ly/3D5Ei5U  

‘Tis the season:

The Hill’s Cristina Marcos tweeted, “Meanwhile, for everyone outside the Capitol: the cherry blossoms are now blooming (and without the Tidal Basin crowds!)” Photo: https://bit.ly/3um2i0z   

ON TAP:  

The Senate is in. The House is out. President Biden is flying to Europe, and Vice President Harris is in Washington, D.C.   

8:40 a.m. EDT: President Biden left for Belgium.  

10:30 a.m. EDT: A roll call vote in the Senate. The Senate’s full agenda today: https://bit.ly/3wpVHoC  

3:50 p.m. EDT: President Biden arrives in Brussels, Belgium.  

4 p.m. EDT: President Biden greets Belgium’s prime minister, Alexander De Croo.  

 

WHAT TO WATCH:  

11 a.m. EDT: Vice President Harris delivered remarks on “addressing bias in home valuations.” Secretary of Housing and Urban Development Marcia Fudge and domestic policy advisor Susan Rice also spoke. Livestream: https://bit.ly/3NpCauC  

1 p.m. EDT: White House principal deputy press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre and national security adviser Jake Sullivan speak with reporters aboard Air Force One. Livestream: https://bit.ly/3L5Kuh0  

3 p.m. EDT: The White House COVID-19 Response Team holds a press briefing. Livestream: https://bit.ly/3NgLXTu  

IN LIGHTER NEWS: 

Today is National Chips and Dip Day

 

And because you read this far, here’s a dog who, I guess, will tolerate walks: https://bit.ly/3D5jHi4

Tags 12:30 Report Biden European trip Confirmation hearing COVID-19 economy Jake Sullivan Joe Biden Karine Jean-Pierre Ketanji Brown Jackson Marcia Fudge Poland Russia SCOTUS Supreme Court Susan Rice Ukraine Vladimir Putin

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