12:30 Report

The Hill’s 12:30 Report: Biden nominates Ukraine point person

Andrew Harnik / Associated Press

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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 

To say she would hit the ground running feels like an understatement

President Biden announced this morning that he will nominate Bridget Brink as the U.S. ambassador to Ukraine. 

A bit about Brink: She is the current U.S. ambassador to Slovakia. 

Wow, Brink would be the first confirmed ambassador to Ukraine in two years: “The U.S. has been without a confirmed ambassador to Ukraine for more than two years. The last official confirmed to the role was Marie Yovanovitch, who was forced out by former President Trump. That move contributed to Trump’s first impeachment.” 

So, we’ve been without an ambassador since then?: “Kristina Kvien is the charge d’affaires at the embassy in Ukraine and has been fulfilling the duties of ambassador in an acting capacity.”  

What happens now?: Brink needs to be confirmed by the Senate. Keep in mind, Brink was confirmed by a voice vote in the Senate when she became the ambassador to Slovakia. 

What we know, via The Hill’s Morgan Chalfant: https://bit.ly/3LjkUFO

It’s Monday. Can you believe we’re nearing the end of April? 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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WATCH OUT FOR THIS 

Twitter could accept Elon Musk’s offer today

https://thehill.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/2/2021/03/muskelon_12012020_1.jpg

Reuters’ Greg Roumeliotis is reporting that Twitter may accept Elon Musk’s $43 billion cash offer to buy the company. https://reut.rs/3OADXxq 

What is happening first, according to Reuters: Twitters board will meet first to formally decide. 

TIDBIT:  

RIP: “RIP Twitter” trended this morning, according to Axios’s Ina Fried: https://bit.ly/3EIxuvI

THE LATEST WITH UKRAINE 

The logistics of this meeting must have been intense

Secretary of State Antony Blinken and Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin held a secret meeting with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky yesterday in Kyiv, Ukraine. https://bit.ly/3kagK7b 

The action item from the meeting: Via The Associated Press’sDavid Keyton “Blinken and Austin told [Zelensky] … that the United States would provide more than $300 million in foreign military financing and had approved a $165 million sale of ammunition.”  

Tidbit from the trip: “Reporters who accompanied Austin and Blinken to Poland were barred by Pentagon and State Department officials from reporting the Kyiv visit until the two men physically left Ukraine. U.S. officials cited security concerns.”  

The last high-level in-person meeting: “Zelensky’s last face-to-face meeting with a top U.S. official was Feb. 19 in Munich with Vice President Kamala Harris, five days before Russia’s invasion.”  

More from the meeting: https://bit.ly/3kagK7b 

IN CONGRESS 

Turn on the lights, party people (staffers), because WE’RE BACK: 

The House and Senate are returning to Washington this week after a two-week recess. https://bit.ly/3L8NgT7  

The two big issues: A stalled COVID-19 relief package and the Biden administration’s controversial policy to lift Title 42 border policy. 

Oh and to add to the fun: “Democrats want to revive formal negotiations over a sweeping tax-and-spending plan that was meant to be the center of their legislative agenda, after a roughly $2 trillion version of Build Back Better (BBB) stalled out late last year.”  

Here’s a list of action items in Congress this week — and context for each: https://bit.ly/3L8NgT7 

Personally, I can’t think of a better way to spend a Thursday:

“House Republicans are set to grill Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas this week when he testifies before the House Judiciary Committee for the first time on Thursday.” https://bit.ly/3ELw1Fd 

Timing: “The hearing takes place amid a firestorm over the Biden administration’s decision to lift a pandemic measure that blocked asylum-seekers from entering the country, and Republicans have made it clear they intend to make immigration and border security pillars of their midterm campaign.”  

What to expect, via The Hill’s Emily Brooks: https://bit.ly/3ELw1Fd 

SPEAKING OF WAYS TO SPEND A DAY — HERE’S WHAT NANCY PELOSI’S SICK TIME LOOKED LIKE
Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) spent her time recovering from COVID-19 by raising money and watching Netflix’s “Bridgerton.”  

Pelosi told The Hill’s Judy Kurtz: “I did not have one symptom. All I did was stay home and raise money.” 

Some binge-watching: “I saw all of ‘Bridgerton.’” 

And some sports: “I saw three [Golden State] Warriors games, of which we won all three,” she said with a grin. “So I made good use of it.”
 

IN THE GOP 

A judge is getting involved

Via The Hill’s Harper Neidig, “A judge on Monday morning will consider whether to hold former President Trump in contempt for violating a court order that he comply with a subpoena regarding a civil investigation into his business practices.” https://bit.ly/3MsGQyj 

“New York Attorney General Letitia James (D) is asking a state judge to fine Trump $10,000 for each day that he has failed to turn over documents relevant to its subpoena.”  

Keep in mind: “The investigation is a civil matter, meaning it can’t lead directly to criminal charges, but it’s running parallel to a Manhattan district attorney probe which has already resulted in the indictment of the Trump Organization’s chief financial officer.”  

How this could play out: https://bit.ly/3MsGQyj 

LATEST WITH COVID-19 

CASE NUMBERS:  

Coronavirus cases in the U.S.: 80,991,588

U.S. death toll: 991,356

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

VACCINATION NUMBERS: 

Total number of vaccinations administered in the U.S.: 572 million shots have been given. 

Seven-day average of doses administered: An average of 96,738 doses 

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

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

NOTABLE TWEETS: 

I take it back. We talk about Bruno. Please talk about Bruno!:

Democratic strategist Adam Parkhomenko tweeted, “DC, Maryland, Virginia and beyond: as you start your work week and back to school: PLEASE keep your eye out for Bruno. He was kidnapped at gunpoint from his owner and is still not home. We don’t want him to be a one day story. We want him home.” Video of Bruno: https://bit.ly/3MvesM0 

^ Back story: Two dogs were stolen at gunpoint earlier this month in Washington, D.C. One of those dogs has been safely returned to its owners, but the other is still missing. https://bit.ly/38n836L 

ON TAP: 

The Senate is back. The House returns tomorrow. President Biden is in Washington, D.C. 

11:15 a.m. EDT: President Biden returned to Washington, D.C., from Delaware. 

11:30 a.m. EDT: President Biden received the President’s Daily Brief. 

3 p.m. EDT: The Senate meets.  

5:30 p.m. EDT: A cloture vote in the Senate. The Senate’s full agenda today: https://bit.ly/3jgWrV4 

Tuesday: The Hill is hosting a virtual event, “Accelerated Approvals & The Pathway to Treatments.” Featured speakers: Rep. Brian Higgins (D-N.Y), former FDA Commissioner Mark McClellan, JDRF’s Cynthia Rice and ALS Association’s Neil Thakur. Details and how to RSVP: https://bit.ly/3L8gXnk  

Wednesday and Thursday: The Hill is hosting a virtual “Sustainability Imperative” event. Featured speakers: Energy Secretary Jennifer Granholm, actress and activist Sigourney Weaver, Council on Environmental Quality Chair Brenda Mallory, the Minimalist’s Joshua Fields Millburn, Rep. John Curtis (R-Utah) and Misfit Market CEO Abhi Ramesh. Details and how to RSVP: https://bit.ly/3MlQO4C 

WHAT TO WATCH: 

2 p.m. EDT: President Biden welcomes the Tampa Bay Lightning to the White House to celebrate their 2020 and 2021 Stanley Cup championships. Livestream: https://bit.ly/36MWaqw 

3 p.m. EDT: White House press secretary Jen Psaki holds a press briefing. Livestream: https://bit.ly/3MpqhU4 

IN LIGHTER NEWS: 

Today is National Zucchini Bread Day.

And to ease you into the week, here’s a dog who you probably shouldn’t mess with: https://bit.ly/3LgxzJG


Tags 12:30 Report 2022 midterms Alejandro Mayorkas Antony Blinken Biden Elon Musk GOP invasion Lloyd Austin Marie Yovanovitch Nancy Pelosi russia Trump Trump endorsements Twitter ukraine Volodymyr Zelensky

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