To view past editions of The Hill's 12:30 Report, click here: https://bit.ly/30ARS1U
To receive The Hill's 12:30 Report in your inbox, please sign up here: https://bit.ly/3qmIoS9
--> 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.
It’s Groundhog Day and we’re all back in 2015:
Former President Trump is plowing ahead with the announcement of his 2024 presidential campaign today after teasing it for quite some time, despite some hesitancy from fellow Republicans about his timing.
Why the timing isn’t ideal:
- Republicans just had a weak showing in last week’s midterms elections, and some partially blame Trump.
- Georgia’s Senate race is headed to a Dec. 6 runoff. Trump’s announcement could motivate Democratic voters and hurt GOP turnout.
- Next week is Thanksgiving. Trump is making his announcement much earlier than presidential announcements are usually made, and it may not make a big splash.
- Once Trump makes his 2024 candidacy official, the Republican National Committee (RNC) can no longer help pay his legal bills.
^ More on Republicans’ worries about how Trump’s announcement could affect Georgia’s senate runoff: From The Hill’s Al Weaver
WHY THE GOP IS IN AN UMCOMFY SPOT FOR THE ANNOUNCEMENT:
“The GOP [is] aware of the vise-like grip Trump maintains on the conservative base but are also concerned that Trump could prove to be a liability among the broader electorate, which has already rejected him once.”
Republican challengers may feel emboldened — GOP strategist Saul Anuzis’s take on the situation: “That Trump’s influence may be waning could prove problematic should he move forward with a campaign announcement on Tuesday. Months ago, it appeared likely that Trump could scare off most potential primary challengers by announcing a campaign of his own, Anuzis said. Now, there may be more of an appetite among GOP luminaries to challenge him.”
The situation for Republican challengers, via The Hill’s Max Greenwood and Brett Samuels
FIVE QUESTIONS HANGING OVER TRUMP’S POTENTIAL ANNOUNCEMENT TODAY:
1. “Will Trump actually declare his candidacy?”
2. “Do any major networks carry the event live?”
3. “Does he attack other Republicans?”
4. “How defensive is he about the midterm results?”
5. “Are there any surprises?”
What we know about each of those questions, from The Hill’s Niall Stanage
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.
???? Midterm results
Any updates since yesterday?:
Republicans are millimeters away from securing a majority in the House, needing just one more seat to make it official.
The count: Republicans have won 217 House seats; Democrats have won 204. Whichever party reaches 218 seats controls the House. Btw: 14 House races have still not been called.
ARIZONA’S HIGH-PROFILE GUBERNATORIAL RACE HAS BEEN CALLED:
Multiple news outlets have projected that Democrat Katie Hobbs has defeated Republican Kari Lake in the race for Arizona governor.
Outgoing Rep. Liz Cheney (R-Wyo.) had some fun with this outcome: Lake had tweeted a letter last month that mockingly thanked Cheney for her “anti-endorsement.” Well: Cheney reposted that tweet yesterday adding, “you’re welcome, @KariLake.” See the full tweets
‘INSIDE KARI LAKE’S WAR ROOM, WHERE REPUBLICANS ARE GRAPPLING WITH DEFEAT’:
“The subdued mood marks a reversal from just days earlier, when the GOP gubernatorial nominee in Arizona was readying a transition team.” From The Washington Post’s Yvonne Wingett Sanchez and Isaac Stanley-Becker
‘‘THE WEIRDEST ELECTION I’VE EVER BEEN A PART OF’: HOW THE GOP ALMOST BLEW THE HOUSE’:
TIDBIT ABOUT THE VOTE COUNTS:
The Cook Political Report’s Dave Wasserman tweeted: “The U.S. just surpassed 102 million House votes counted, per @CookPolitical's tracker. Republicans' lead is down to 4.5%.” Graphic
TIDBIT ON CAPITOL HILL:
Here’s a photo of Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) meeting with the incoming Republican senators. Photo from The New Republic’s Grace Segers
And here’s a photo of Sen.-elect John Fetterman (D-Pa.) arriving at the Capitol: From ABC News’s Allison Pecorin
Stepping into the ring:
Former House Freedom Caucus chair Rep. Andy Biggs (R-Ariz.) announced on Monday that he will run for speaker of the House, challenging House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) for the role.
Biggs said on Newsmax: “We’ll see if we can get the job done and the votes. It’s going to be tough. I mean, Kevin — Kevin has raised a lot of money and done a lot of things. But this is not just about Kevin. I think it’s about the institutional direction and trajectory.”
Logistically how the vote will work: “McCarthy needs to win a majority of votes from House GOP members in a secret-ballot election on Tuesday to secure his conference’s nomination for the post. After that, all House members will vote on the floor on the first day of the new Congress in January, when McCarthy would need at least 218 votes to secure the Speakership, assuming all 435 members are sworn in that day.”
‘THE NOT-SO-LAME DUCK SESSION’:
“Democrats are eyeing votes on same-sex marriage protections and electoral reforms.” More on what to expect in the next month, via Vox’s Li Zhou
‘LAWMAKERS FACE FUNDING CRUNCH BEFORE EXPECTED GOP TAKEOVER OF HOUSE’:
Congress has until Dec. 16 to pass a government funding bill to avoid a shutdown. What to expect
HOW IS ANTHONY FAUCI FEELING ABOUT THE MIDTERM OUTCOME:
“Anthony Fauci says he’s not breathing a sigh of relief that Republicans — who vowed to investigate him if they retook the Senate — didn’t win the majority in the upper chamber, because he has ‘no problem at all’ testifying before Congress.”
Fauci told The Hill’s Judy Kurtz: “I have nothing to hide at all, despite the accusations that I’m hiding something … I have nothing that I could not explain clearly to the country and justify.”
???? The COVID-19 numbers
Cases to date: 97.8 million
Death toll: 1,070,947
Current hospitalizations: 11,468
Shots administered: 646 million
Fully vaccinated: 68.6 percent of Americans
Hello and welcome!:
C-SPAN’s Howard Mortman tweeted a video of President Biden’s arrival in Bali, Indonesia, where he was greeted with a dance. Watch
The House and Senate are in. President Biden is in Indonesia. Vice President Harris is in Washington, D.C., with no public events scheduled.
- Overnight: Biden attended the Group of 20 summit in Bali, Indonesia.
- 5:15 a.m.: Biden met with Italian Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni.
- 7:30 a.m.: Biden attended a Group of 20 summit dinner.
- 11 a.m.: The Senate met.
- 1 – 2 p.m.: The House votes. Today’s House agenda
All times Eastern.
????What to watch
- This morning: Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas, FBI Director Christopher Wray and National Counterterrorism Center Director Christine Abizaid testified on global terror threats. Watch
???? In lighter news
Today is National Raisin Bran Cereal Day.
And to leave you on a happy note, here’s a dog explaining its strongest opinions in life.