12:30 Report

The Hill’s 12:30 Report — Santos takes a breather amid fabrications about his bio

Rep. George Santos (R-N.Y.)
Greg Nash
Rep. George Santos (R-N.Y.) leaves the Capitol in Washington, D.C., after the final vote of the week on Thursday, January 12, 2023

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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. 


George Santos is taking a lil’ breather:

Rep. George Santos (R-N.Y.) told his House GOP colleagues this morning that he is stepping down from his committee assignments amid the questions about fabrications to his biography.

Specifically: Rep. Don Bacon (R-Neb.) relayed Santos’s message to his colleagues that he would step down “temporarily” until “things get settled.” Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-Ga.) said he “asked that we all support him when everything settles down for him to serve on committees.”  

Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) told reporters: “I met with George Santos yesterday, and I think it was an appropriate decision that, until he could clear everything up, he’s off of committees right now.”  

New York Magazine’s list of the lies George Santos has reportedly told

Seventy-eight percent of voters in Rep. George Santos’s (R-N.Y.) district think he should step down, according to a new Newsday/Siena College poll.  

By party: 71 percent of Republicans, 72 percent of independents and 89 percent of Democrats think Santos should step aside.

The full poll 

It’s Tuesday! I’m Cate Martel with a quick recap of the morning and what’s coming up. Did someone forward this newsletter to you? Sign up here. 

🏃‍♂️ 2024 

Ooof … and it’s only January 2023:

“The long-simmering tensions between former President Trump and Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis (R) are nearing a boiling point amid signs that DeSantis and his team are actively moving toward a 2024 presidential run.”

DeSantis’s rise has seemed to irk Trump, but Trump called out DeSantis this weekend: “If he runs, that’s fine. I’m way up in the polls. He’s going to have to do what he wants to do, but he may run,” Trump told The Associated Press in an interview. “I do think it would be a great act of disloyalty because, you know, I got him in. He had no chance. His political life was over.”

How DeSantis is starting to make moves toward a potential 2024 run — and what this means for Trump, via The Hill’s Max Greenwood 

NBC News’s Jonathan Allen and Marc Caputo report that “former President Donald Trump is strapped for campaign cash following the mid-November launch of his 2024 presidential campaign, according to end-of-year figures obtained exclusively by NBC News.”  

The numbers: “Trump, who has been the GOP’s most prolific fundraiser in recent years, pulled in about $9.5 million over the final six weeks of last year through his campaign and a joint fundraising committee, according to a person familiar with his haul.” Full story and context 

Sen. Tim Scott (R-S.C.) is traveling to Iowa on Feb. 22 amid speculation of a 2024 presidential run. 

What’s he doing in Iowa?: Scott is scheduled to attend the Republican Party of Polk County Iowa’s annual Lincoln Dinner in West Des Moines, Iowa. 

The Hill’s Daniel De Visé writes that “if ‘Independent’ were a party, it could dominate American politics.”  

How so: “Two-fifths of Americans identified as independent in 2022, far more than stood with either party, according to Gallup. As a political identity, ‘independent’ has polled better than Democrat or Republican since 2009.” The full read — including how that compares to the 1990s and early 2000s 

In Congress 

Live footage of House Republicans gearing up:

The Hill’s Emily Brooks reports that “House Republicans will push their long-planned investigations into the spotlight this week with hearings on the U.S.-Mexico border and COVID-19 relief spending programs, providing a first glimpse of how GOP leaders will use the biggest tools they have against Democrats and the Biden administration — and how they will set the tone for the 2024 election cycle.” 

For example: The House Judiciary Committee’s first hearing is titled, “The Biden Border Crisis: Part I.”  

What to expect, via The Hill’s Emily Brooks 

Democrats are placing Rep. Adam Schiff (D-Calif.), who was kicked off the House Intelligence Committee after Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) blocked him, onto the House Judiciary and Oversight Committees. Full story from Politico’s Jordain Carney

🦠 Latest with COVID-19  

‘An Underused Covid Treatment: Doctors are now a major barrier to Paxlovid.’: 

“Covid is still linked to hundreds of deaths a day in the U.S. We have a treatment that could bring down those deaths: a prescribed pill called Paxlovid … Yet that treatment remains underused. Doctors prescribed it in about 45 percent of recorded Covid cases nationwide during the first two weeks of January, according to White House data. In some states, Paxlovid is given in less than 25 or even 20 percent of recorded cases. (Those are likely overestimates because cases are underreported.)”  

The New York Times’s German Lopez explains why Paxlovid is still relatively underused 


Cases to date: 102.1 million 

Death toll: 1,103,615 

Current hospitalizations: 27,802 

Shots administered: 668 million 

Fully vaccinated: 69.2 percent of Americans 

CDC data here. 

🐥Notable tweets

I love this:

The New Yorker’s Jeffrey Masters tweeted a photo of a section of a bookstore that reads, “smart, but not exhausting.” “Obsessed with this bookstore,” he captioned the photo. Photo 

Ohhhhhhhhh, Whole Foods causing drama

@paul_griffiths tweeted a Whole Foods shelf featuring two soups: “Mom’s Chicken Soup” and “Nana’s Chicken Noodle Soup.”  

So, WhIcH dO yOu ChOoSe?! Photo 

On tap 

The House and Senate are in. President Biden is in New York today. Vice President Harris is in Washington, D.C.

  • 9 a.m.: Biden received his daily briefing. 
  • 10:05 a.m.: Biden left for New York, N.Y. 
  • 12:30 p.m.: Senators meet for weekly caucus luncheons. Today’s Senate agenda 
  • 1:30 p.m.: First House votes. Today’s House agenda 
  • 1:55 p.m.: Harris ceremonially swears in Jessica Davis Ba as ambassador to Côte d’Ivoire. 
  • 3:30 p.m.: Biden participates in a Democratic National Committee reception. 
  • 4:30 p.m.: Last House votes of the day. 
  • 6:25 p.m.: Biden returns to the White House. 
  • Wednesday: Biden and Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) are scheduled to meet to discuss raising the debt limit. What Biden plans to ask McCarthy to promise 
  • March 9: The White House is expected to release its budget proposal for the next fiscal year. What we know

All times Eastern.

📺What to watch

  • 10:50 a.m.: Principal Deputy Press Secretary Olivia Dalton spoke with reporters aboard Air Force One. Listen 
  • 12:30 p.m.: Biden delivers remarks on the bipartisan infrastructure law funding the Hudson River Project. Livestream 
  • 4:25 p.m.: Harris awards the Congressional Space Medal of Honor to two recipients. Livestream

🍫☕️ In lighter news 

Today is National Hot Chocolate Day

And to leave you on a happy note, here’s a toasty dog. 😉 

Tags 12:30 Report 2024 COVID-19 George Santos George Santos Kevin McCarthy Paxlovid Ron DeSantis Trump v. DeSantis

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