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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.
The Hill’s 12:30 Report: Biden commits to $1,400 stimulus checks | Tells House Dems ‘I’ll have your back’ | Urges them to ‘go big, not small’ | Where the relief package stands | COVID relief tests Dem unity | House Republicans gear up for heated meeting today over Cheney, Greene | Trump, McConnell battle for GOP’s future | Schumer, McConnell finalize power sharing agreement | Buttigieg sworn in as transportation secretary | One year since Iowa Caucuses | Golden Globe nominees revealed | Obama crashes book club
NEWS THIS MORNING
You scratch my back and I’ll scratch yours:
Via The Hill’s Scott Wong, In a call with House Democrats this morning, President Biden committed to giving Americans an additional $1,400 stimulus check in the new coronavirus relief package. https://bit.ly/2YGQLK4
Biden’s message to House Dems: “Go big, not small” on this COVID relief package and to stay unified.
Biden told Dems: “I’ll have your back. I ask that you have mine.”
That weird limbo period is coming to an end:
Via The Hill’s Jordain Carney, After being in limbo since Jan. 20 when Democrats took the Senate majority, Majority Leader Charles SchumerChuck SchumerCapitol Police Officer Brian Sicknick lies in honor in Rotunda Democrats offer resolution denouncing white supremacists ahead of Trump trial Lobbying world MORE (D-N.Y.) and Minority Leader Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellGreene’s future on House committees in limbo after GOP meeting GOP lawmaker pushes measure to remove Omar from Foreign Affairs panel House Republicans gear up for conference meeting amid party civil war MORE (R-Ky.) finally reached a deal to run the 50-50 Senate. https://bit.ly/3tp2db1
Schumer said from the Senate floor this morning: “We will pass the resolution through the Senate today, which means that committees can promptly set up and get to work with Democrats holding the gavels.”
What the Senate had been doing until now — it had been a bit awkward: “Though Democrats controlled the floor, Republicans still wielded power in Senate committees because the chamber hadn’t passed a new organizing resolution for the 117th Congress.”
The Golden Globe nominations are out!:
Via Variety’s Natalie Oganesyan and Jordan Moreau, here’s the full list of nominations: https://bit.ly/3jhqbRc
Including — for movies: “The top contenders in the motion picture drama category include ‘The Father,’ ‘Mank,’ ‘Nomadland,’ ‘Promising Young Woman and The Trial of the Chicago 7.’”
And for television: “The top TV categories include ‘Emily in Paris,’ ‘The Flight Attendant,’ ‘The Great,’ ‘Schitt’s Creek’ and ‘Ted Lasso’ in the musical or comedy field; while ‘The Crown,’ ‘Lovecraft Country,’ ‘The Mandalorian,’ ‘Ozark’ and ‘Ratched’ lead the way in the drama category.”
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 [email protected] — and follow along on Twitter @CateMartel and Facebook.
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CRAZY TIDBIT — OH HOW WE’VE AGED SINCE THEN:
The Iowa Caucuses happened one year ago today (!) And this morning, Iowa’s winner, Pete ButtigiegPete ButtigiegGrenell congratulates Buttigieg on becoming second openly gay Cabinet member Overnight Energy: Automakers withdraw from litigation over California vehicle emissions standard |Senate confirms Buttigieg as Transportation secretary | Republicans introduce long shot bill to circumvent Biden on Keystone XL Senate confirms Buttigieg as Transportation secretary MORE, was sworn in as transportation secretary by Vice President Harris to serve in the administration of President Biden, who came in fourth that day.
Lol — he will always be Mayor Pete in my heart: The Huffington Post’s Elise Foley tweeted, “Secretary Mayor Pete.” Accurate. https://bit.ly/3rhbyzZ
LATEST WITH THE COVID RELIEF PACKAGE
*train whistle* — Biden’s Amtrak train to the $1.9 trillion bill is warming up to leave the station:
Via The Hill’s Alexander Bolton, “President Biden and Democrats are signaling they will move forward with a $1.9 trillion COVID-19 relief bill by using special budget rules to sidestep a GOP filibuster.” https://bit.ly/3ty8i5k
Biden spoke with Dems the day after his meeting with Republicans: Yesterday, Biden met with a group of 10 Republican senators to discuss the relief package. And after that meeting, Biden called into a meeting of Senate Democrats and told them to go big and move quickly.
What to take from Biden’s message: “While going ‘big’ doesn’t rule out any agreement between White House and Republicans, it suggests Biden wants to move forward with a much larger package that even centrist Republicans say they could support despite the president’s statements that he also wants to unify Washington and work with Republicans.”
WHERE THE PROPOSAL STANDS:
Yesterday: “Senate Democrats took a first step … toward passing a coronavirus relief bill — with or without GOP support. The Senate voted 50-49 to proceed to a budget resolution that greenlights passing a separate coronavirus relief bill through reconciliation, avoiding a 60-vote legislative filibuster.” https://bit.ly/2MsZwog
And today: “The House is expected to pass its budget resolution Wednesday. The Senate will now need to go through tens of hours of debate and a marathon session known as a vote-a-rama, before they can hold a final vote on the budget resolution.”
The headaches just don’t seem to go away, even they have both chambers:
Via The Hill’s Jordain Carney, the mammoth coronavirus relief bill is creating an early test of unity within the Democratic Party. https://bit.ly/3pLBCD3
How so: “Democrats are poised to pass a budget resolution this week that will allow them to bypass the 60-vote legislative filibuster in the Senate. It’s a crucial step, but also the easiest because it’s effectively a shell bill that only caps how much they can spend without ironing out the policy details.”
What would happen next: “They’ll now have to resolve those fights, including over changes to the minimum wage and another round of direct checks, with no room for error. If Democrats are going to pass coronavirus relief along party lines, they have a 10-seat advantage in the House and would need the vote of every member of the Senate Democratic caucus, a potentially herculean task.”
How this could play out: https://bit.ly/3pLBCD3
LATEST WITH THE CORONAVIRUS
Coronavirus cases in the U.S.: 26,446,439
U.S. death toll: 447,737
Breakdown of the numbers: https://cnn.it/2UAgW3y
Total number of vaccinations administered in the U.S.: 33.7 million shots have been given
Seven-day average of doses administered: An average of 1.32 million doses.
For context: The U.S. population is roughly 331 million
Breakdown of the numbers: https://bloom.bg/3iVTPLH
IN OTHER NEWS
We have Donald Trump running The Party Planning Committee … And we have Mitch McConnell running The Committee To Plan Parties:
Via The Hill’s Niall Stanage, “In the battle for the future of the Republican Party, there are two competing power centers: one is former President TrumpDonald TrumpGeorgia secretary of state opens investigation into Lin Wood over illegal voting allegations Schiff lobbying Newsom to be appointed California AG: reports Capitol Police Officer Brian Sicknick lies in honor in Rotunda MORE, the other Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.).” https://bit.ly/3tn880u
McConnell’s perspective: “McConnell clearly has come to see Trump — and Trumpism — as a liability for his party in the future. Comparisons are drawn with the rise of the Tea Party roughly a decade ago — a development which on one hand gave the GOP a new infusion of energy and on the other produced eccentric nominees who lost winnable Senate races. McConnell and the rest of the GOP establishment are desperate not to repeat that scenario.”
Trump loyalists very much disagree: “They argue that the establishment has a greatly inflated sense of its own popularity beyond the Beltway. They note that, among the party’s activist base, Trump remains the most popular Republican in the nation by far.”
The full story — the dynamic is fascinating: https://bit.ly/3tn880u
Happening today — this could be ugly:
Via The Hill’s Juliegrace Brufke, “House Republicans are gearing up for what is expected to be a heated conference meeting on Wednesday, when members are slated to discuss House Republican Conference Chairwoman Liz CheneyElizabeth (Liz) Lynn CheneyGreene’s future on House committees in limbo after GOP meeting House Republicans gear up for conference meeting amid party civil war Gulf grows between GOP’s McConnell, McCarthy MORE’s (Wyo.) future in leadership.” https://bit.ly/39OkJSN
Another fun topic: “The mounting controversies surrounding first-year GOP Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (Ga.) — a QAnon conspiracy theorist who has come under fire for a number of previous racist and violent statements — and the impact they are having on the party is also expected to be a topic of discussion.”
Getting traction — ah, the content we deserve:
In case you missed it, check out this month on a calendar — so satisfying!:
Though I should mention, it hasn’t been 200 years. The calendar looked like this in 2010. But it still looks cool!
The House and Senate are in. President Biden and Vice President Harris are in Washington, D.C.
9:30 a.m. EST: Vice President Harris ceremonially swore in Pete Buttigieg as secretary of transportation.
5 – 6 p.m. EST: The House votes. The House’s full agenda today: https://bit.ly/3jaTo02
5:30 p.m. EST: President Biden and Vice President Harris receive the President’s Daily Brief.
WHAT TO WATCH:
This morning: A memorial service on Capitol Hill for Capitol Police Officer Brian Sicknick, who was killed during the Jan. 6 insurrection. Livestream: https://bit.ly/39HzSVE
11 a.m. EST: The White House’s COVID response team held a news conference. Livestream: https://bit.ly/3jclgRg
1:30 p.m. EST: White House press secretary Jen PsakiJen PsakiWhite House says Space Force work will continue Biden on immigration orders: ‘I’m eliminating bad policy’ Biden offers condolences to families of FBI agents killed in Florida MORE holds a press briefing. Livestream: https://bit.ly/3oI5Zsv
3 p.m. EST: The House Rules Committee discusses removing Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-Ga.) from House committees. Livestream: https://bit.ly/3jeRwU7
NOW FOR THE FUN STUFF…:
Today is National Carrot Cake Day.
When Congress collides with the Super Bowl — here’s a piece of trivia:
The Hill’s Reid Wilson tweeted, “Three members of Congress (two current, one former) have played in Super Bowls. Who are they?” https://bit.ly/39HsFVx
Here are the answers: https://bit.ly/3jcewTw
I love stories like this:
Via TMZ, Former President Obama crashed a virtual book club meeting that was reading his memoir. https://bit.ly/39Hwp9K
The book clubs — Obama even commented on the second club’s name lol: “MahoganyBooks & the Very Smart Brothas Book Club”
Video — the reactions are pretty funny: https://bit.ly/39Hwp9K
And because you made it this far, here are two dogs discussing a power-sharing agreement: https://bit.ly/39JLOXd