12:30 Report

The Hill’s 12:30 Report — GOP targets Omar; Groundhog sees its shadow

Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-Minn.)
Greg Nash
Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-Minn.) arrives for a House Democratic caucus meeting and leadership election on Wednesday, November 30, 2022 for the 118th session of Congress.

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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.


House Republicans rn

House Republicans are expected to vote on a resolution today to remove Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-Minn.) from the House Foreign Affairs Committee. 

Why now?: Republicans didn’t have enough votes, but one of the holdouts, Rep. Ken Buck (R-Colo.), changed his mind.  

Why Buck switched: “He told reporters that he flipped to the ‘yes’ column after a Wednesday morning phone call with [Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.)], who suggested he was willing to reform the process for kicking members off committees.”

Why Republicans want to kick her off the committee: “Thursday’s vote will mark the culmination of a two-plus-year effort by McCarthy, who vowed in 2021 to remove Omar from the Foreign Affairs panel should Republicans take control of the House … Omar, a Somali refugee, has made comments critical of the Israeli government and its supporters in the past, some of which have been accused of being antisemitic. She has especially spoken out on matters involving Palestinian rights.”  

^ Keep in mind: Some Democrats see this as political revenge for Democrats removing Reps. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-Ga.) and Paul Gosar (R-Ariz.) from their committees. 

More context to this vote, via The Hill’s Mychael Schnell 

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) pulled Sens. Rick Scott (R-Fla.) and Mike Lee (R-Utah) from the powerful Commerce Committee. 

Why?: Scott tried to oust McConnell as the Senate GOP leader. Lee supported Scott. The full story

It’s Thursday! 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. 

🧣🎩 This morning 

This is one of the weirdest traditions — AND WHY SO MANY TOP HATS?: 

Punxsutawney Phil saw his shadow this morning, predicting six more weeks of winter. Buckle in! ☃️

Watch the ceremony — top hats, scroll, a little knock on a door that says ‘Phil’ and all50-second clip from CNN 

^ Wellll, The Washington Post’s Kasha Patel and Scott Dance disagree with Phil this year: “Punxsutawney Phil is wrong: Spring is arriving early in some places: The South is experiencing its earliest spring in 40 years of records, while spring is days to weeks early across the East Coast and Pacific Northwest.” Full story 

Lol: Fox 5 DC’s Tom Fitzgerald tweeted, “Groundhog saw his shadow, so six more weeks of 55 degree winter.”  

🎭 In the White House

Just announced — we are ready to laugh, Roy:

Comedian Roy Wood Jr. will be the featured speaker at this year’s White House Correspondents’ Association dinner.  

How you know him: He is best known for his role as a correspondent on Comedy Central’s “The Daily Show w/ Trevor Noah.”  

In Congress 

We can’t talk about the debt limit crisis for too long without bringing up … wait for it …. The $1 trillion coin!:  

As the U.S.’s debt limit crisis nears without a bipartisan solution, “what was once a fringe idea is now being presented to top economic policymakers as a serious remedy,” writes The New York Times’s Alan Rappeport

The idea: Minting a platinum coin worth $1 trillion. 

What is Powell saying about this idea?: Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell was asked about this idea on Wednesday and he dismissed the idea. In Powell’s words: “There’s only one way forward here, and that is for Congress to raise the debt ceiling so that the United States government can pay all of its obligations when due. Any deviations from that path would be highly risky.” 

Ok, what about Yellen?: Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen referred to the minted coin last week as a “gimmick.” 

Here’s how it would work — and the potential ramifications

From Politico’s Burgess Everett, Sarah Ferris and Caitlin Emma 

What a great line:

NBC News’s Scott Wong, Sahil Kapur and Frank Thorp V write“Welcome to the Seinfeld Congress. It’s a show about nothing.”  

What to expect this Congress: “One month in, the 118th Congress is off to a spectacularly sluggish start, frustrating some lawmakers and foreshadowing a messy two years of divided government in a presidential election cycle where very little is expected to get done. Forget making historic laws. It’s not even clear the new Congress can agree to keep the government functional or prevent a self-imposed economic meltdown.”  

What this could mean for the next two years 

The Hill’s Elizabeth Crisp tweeted a tidbit from Politico on the Taylor Swift Ticketmaster saga.  

Quote from Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.): “[Sen. Mike Lee‘s] daughter actually sent him a text, the conservative senator from Utah, and said: ‘Dad, if you don’t do something about this, I’m going to call Amy Klobuchar directly.’” Klobuchar’s full quote 

🦠 The COVID-19 numbers 

Cases to date: 102.1 million 

Death toll: 1,103,615 

Current hospitalizations: 25,210 

Shots administered: 668 million 

Fully vaccinated: 69.2 percent of Americans 

CDC data here. 

🐥Notable tweets 


Ohio State University associate professor Hasan Kwame Jefferies, who is the brother of House Minority Leader Hakeem Jeffries (D-N.Y.), tweeted an interaction he had in an Uber

“Riding to the D.C. airport, Uber driver…. 

Him: Excuse me, are you related to –  

Me: Nope.  

Him: Because you look just like –  

Me: Nope.  

Him: But you even sound just like –  

Me: Nope.  

Him: 😐 

Me: 😐 

Me: Wait, are you talking about [Rep. Hakeem Jeffries?] 🤔 

Him: Yes!  

Me: Nope!” 


Wow, how I wish I was a fly on that wall

Punchbowl News’s Jake Sherman tweeted that Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) was spotted having dinner with Sen. Kyrsten Sinema (Ariz.), who recently switched her party affiliation from Democrat to Independent. Photo 

On tap

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

  • 7 a.m.: Biden received his daily briefing. 
  • Noon: Biden has lunch with King Abdullah II of Jordan and His Royal Highness Crown Prince Hussein
  • 12:15 p.m.: First and last House votes. Today’s House agenda 
  • 1:45 p.m.: The Senate votes on a nomination. Today’s Senate agenda 
  • 4:30 p.m.: Biden and Harris meet with members of the Congressional Black Caucus. 

All times Eastern. 

📺What to watch

  • 8 a.m.: Biden spoke at the National Prayer Breakfast at the Capitol Visitors Center. Harris also attended. C-SPAN video 
  • 12:45 p.m.: White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre holds a press briefing. Livestream 
  • 2:15 p.m.: Biden and Harris deliver remarks to mark the 30th anniversary of the Family and Medical Leave Act. Livestream

🥔 In lighter news 

Today is National Tater Tot Day

Robert Kraft wants Tom Brady to retire as a Patriot:

Robert Kraft, the owner of the New England Patriots, told CNN that he wants to sign retiring Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback Tom Brady to a one-day contract so he can retire as a Patriot. 

In Kraft’s words: “Not only do I want it, our fans are clamoring for it. To us, he is always has been and always will be a Patriot … We will do everything in our power to bring him back, have him sign off as a Patriot and find ways to honor him for many years to come.” 

And because you read this far, here’s a pup enjoying a delicious snack.

Tags 12:30 Report Foreign Affairs Committee Groundhog Day Ilhan Omar Ilhan Omar Ken Buck Kevin McCarthy Mitch McConnell Punxsutawney Phil Rick Scott Roy Wood Tom Brady White House Correspondents Dinner

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