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The Hill’s 12:30 Report — Biden’s unusual dynamic in railroad fight

The Hill logo The Hill 11/30/2022 Cate Martel
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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.

TALK OF THE MORNING 

Settle in and get comfy, folks. This is our life for the next two years

Former President Trump is officially running for another term in 2024, and amid the speculation of President Biden’s 2024 plans, Biden has started to take on his rival more directly. 

For example — Biden said during the annual turkey pardon: “There’s no ballot stuffing, there’s no ‘fowl’ play.’  The only ‘red wave’ this season is going to be if our German shepherd Commander knocks over the cranberry sauce on our table.”   

And on the same day that Trump announced his candidacy: The White House launched a new webpage to highlight “the Biden Harris record.”  

Other examples and what strategists think this says about Biden’s 2024 plans, via The Hill’s Amie Parnes and Alex Gangitano 

I MEAAAAAN, IT’S SMART TIMING

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis (R) is publishing a memoir in late February amid the speculation of a potential 2024 presidential run.  

The memoir’s title: “The Courage to Be Free: Florida’s Blueprint for America’s Revival” Details 

MEANWHILE — TRUMP IS STEPPING UP SCREENING AFTER THE WHITE NATIONALIST ORDEAL:

The Associated Press is reporting that former President Trump’s campaigning is increasing its vetting after Trump had dinner with white nationalist Nick FuentesWhat we know

It’s Wednesday and the last day of November. Tomorrow kicks off full holiday cheer! 🎄☃️🎅🎁🕎 🍾 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.=

 News this morning 

Hakeem Jeffries made history this morning!:

“House Democrats on Wednesday elected Rep. Hakeem Jeffries (D-N.Y.) to head the party in the next Congress, marking a generational shift after 20 years under the reign of Rep. Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) while making Jeffries the first Black figure to lead either party in Congress in the nation’s history.”  

Was this a surprise?: Nah, he ran unopposed. 

The next generation of House Democratic leaders

🚂 The railroad fight 

If you haven’t been following the potential railroad strike, here’s a quick catchup

Railroad companies and labor unions are in a dispute primarily about working conditions and paid sick leave. The labor unions are threatening to strike if a deal is not reached. 

If this sounds recently familiar to you: There had been a plausible threat of a strike in September, but a tentative deal was reached. So, then what changed?: Several unions voted down that deal. 

Where Biden comes in: President Biden called on Congress to pass legislation of an agreement between workers and operators.  

If Congress does get involved, would it pass?: “The likelihood is that the legislation will pass the House, despite the misgivings of some on the left … Still, any legislation will need 60 votes to pass the Senate, and that’s where the outcome could be a cliffhanger.” 

And if legislation does not pass, a strike is likely. 

The Hill’s Niall Stanage has a helpful explainer on the situation — and why Congress can intervene 

WHAT’S HAPPENING IN CONGRESS?

The New York Times’s Emily Cochrane explains how the saga is playing out in the House and Senate 

WHAT’S HAPPENING BEHIND THE SCENES?:  

‘Inside Biden’s decision to halt a rail strike’ from Politico’s Ben White 

The gist: “President Joe Biden knew he would be risking a backlash from his labor allies if he stepped in to head off a holiday-season rail strike.” Yes, but: “The dangers a strike would pose to the U.S. economy and Americans’ health and safety proved too great.”

BIDEN’S POSITION PUT HIM IN AN UNUSUAL SPOT

“President Joe Biden was in the unusual position Tuesday of being praised by business interests and attacked by his normal allies in the labor movement after calling for Congress to move immediately to block a strike by more than 100,000 union members at the nation’s freight railroads set for the end of next week.” More from CNN Business’s Chris Isidore and Matt McFarland

In Congress 

Open? Close? Open! Close?

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) said on Tuesday that he, House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) and Democratic leaders agree a year-end omnibus spending bill should be passed.

^ Yes, but: Rebellious conservatives disagree. “That puts [McConnell] on a collision course with National Republican Senatorial Committee Chairman Rick Scott (R-Fla.) and Sens. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) and Mike Lee (R-Utah), who want to freeze government spending until Republicans take control of the House in January.” 

How this could play out, via The Hill’s Alexander Bolton and Aris Folley 

‘HOW A BIPARTISAN GROUP OF SENATORS GOT SAME-SEX MARRIAGE PROTECTIONS PASSED’

From The Washington Post’s Liz Goodwin 

^ The 12 Senate Republicans who voted ‘yes’ on the same-sex marriage billThe list 

‘ “A COMPLETE ABOUT FACE”: SOME REPUBLICANS CHANGE TUNE ON OBAMACARE’S MEDICAID EXPANSION’:

“The latest round of Medicaid expansion negotiations comes as states prepare for the eventual end of the Covid-19 public health emergency, and as nearly a third of rural hospitals are at risk of closure.” Full story from Politico’s Megan Messerly 

‘MCCARTHY SPEAKER QUEST LEAVES BALANCING ACT ON NATIONAL SECURITY’:

From The Hill’s Rebecca Beitsch and Mike Lillis

🦠 The COVID-19 numbers 

Cases to date: 98.4 million 

Death toll: 1,075,779 

Current hospitalizations: 25,224 

Shots administered: 653 million 

Fully vaccinated: 68.8 percent of Americans 

CDC data here.

🐥Notable tweets 

Omg, the facial expression of each is incredible

CBS News’s Kathryn Watson tweeted a Reuters photo from President Biden’s meeting with Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.), House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.), Senate Majority Leader Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.) and Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) yesterday. Photo — notice their facial expressions

On tap 

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

  • 9 a.m.: Biden received his daily briefing. 
  • 9:45 a.m.: First House votes of the day. 
  • 10:10 a.m.: Harris met with French President Emmanuel Macron to discuss space. 
  • 11:15 a.m.: More House votes. Today’s agenda in the House 
  • 11:30 a.m.: Two Senate cloture votes. Today’s Senate agenda 
  • 2:15 p.m.: Two Senate confirmation votes. 

All times Eastern.

📺What to watch 

  • 11:30 a.m.: Biden spoke at the White House Tribal Nations Summit at The Department of the Interior in Washington, D.C. Livestream 
  • 2 p.m.: White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre gives a press briefing. Livestream 
  • 3 p.m.: Harris delivers remarks at the White House Tribal Nations Summit. Livestream 
  • 5:30 p.m.: The Bidens and the Harrises attend the National Christmas Tree Lighting. Livestream

🍨 In lighter news 

Today is National Mousse Day

Interesting read — ‘When V.I.P. Isn’t Exclusive Enough: Welcome to V.V.I.P.’

The New York Times’s Sarah Lyall and Christina Goldbaum write: “Every sports venue has its own tiered system of luxury. The World Cup in Qatar is providing a reminder that there is always a higher level.”  

Remember how alcohol was banned in the stadiums right before the World Cup began?: Well, that didn’t apply to the VIP and VVIP guests. 

The full story, including what was included in the gift bags to these guests 

BY THE WAY

For the first time ever, three female referees are officiating a men’s World Cup match. 

Which match?: Germany vs. Costa Rica tomorrow at 2 p.m. EST 

And to liven your Wednesday afternoon, here’s a bird playing a riveting game of Peekaboo.

For the latest news, weather, sports, and streaming video, head to The Hill.

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