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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: Lawmakers investigate Jan. 6 security failures | Former Capitol Police chief blames lack of shared intelligence | Haaland’s contentious confirmation hearing | GOP, Dems meet with Senate parliamentarian | Make their cases for $15 minimum wage debate | House vote on COVID relief potentially Friday | Trump in legal jeopardy after financial disclosure ruling | Pending investigations affected | Biden meets with Trudeau | NASA releases new Jupiter photo



Care to explain what happened…?: 

Two Senate committees are holding a joint hearing to investigate the security failures that led to the Capitol attacks on Jan. 6.  

Who is testifyingPaul Irving, the former House sergeant at arms, Steven Sund, the former Capitol Police chief, and Michael Stenger, the former Senate sergeant-at-arms. 

^ Keep in mind: All three were either fired or stepped down after the insurrection.


Here’s the C-SPAN livestream:


Former Capitol Police Chief Steven Sund blamed a lack of intelligence shared: “There has been much conflicting information presented by various officials and the media regarding the preparations for and actions taken at the Capitol that day, and I would like to set the record straight from my perspective. Contrary to some of the reporting, the USCP had an effective plan in place to handle the First Amendment demonstrations and possible pockets of violence that were anticipated for January 6, based upon the available intelligence.”  More on his reasoning: 

How far the FBI report made it up the chain: “First piece of major news out of the hearing: [Jan. 3] FBI report warning of potential for right-wing violence made it to USCP HQ on the evening of [Jan. 5], Sund says, but didn’t make it to leadership level.” (Via The Washington Post’s Mike DeBonis)


Majority Leader Chuck SchumerChuck SchumerLawmakers propose draft bill to create Capitol riot commission The Hill’s Morning Report – Presented by The AIDS Institute – COVID-19 rescue bill a unity test for Dems OVERNIGHT ENERGY: US officially rejoins Paris climate agreement | Biden Energy Dept orders sweeping review of Trump energy rules | Texas power grid was ‘seconds and minutes’ from total failure, officials say MORE (D-N.Y.) just announced that senators will receive a briefing this week on the security measures in the Capitol.



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Contentious hearing No. 2 today:

Rep. Deb HaalandDeb HaalandImage of Deb Haaland projected onto Interior Dept building calling for her confirmation OVERNIGHT ENERGY: Haaland to say fossil fuels will ‘play a major role,’ but climate must be addressed |  Biden administration supports court’s restrictions for biofuel exemptions | Republican senators take aim at Paris agreement with new legislation Haaland: Fossil fuels will ‘play a major role,’ but climate must be addressed MORE (D-N.M.) is testifying today as she seeks to be confirmed as Interior Secretary. 

Why her confirmation would be historic: “Haaland would be the first Native American woman to lead the department and her nomination has prompted excitement for its historic nature.” 

Why progressives like Haaland: “She also has huge support from progressives, as Haaland has backed the Green New Deal and has opposed a controversial method of oil and gas extraction called fracking.” 

^ But that comes with its issues: “Those positions will cost her support from Republicans and perhaps conservative Democratic Sen. Joe ManchinJoseph (Joe) ManchinOvernight Health Care: US surpasses half a million COVID deaths | House panel advances Biden’s .9T COVID-19 aid bill | Johnson & Johnson ready to provide doses for 20M Americans by end of March On The Money: Neera Tanden’s nomination in peril after three GOP noes | Trump rages after SCOTUS rules on financial records Tanden’s path to confirmation looks increasingly untenable MORE (W.Va.), a key swing vote in the 50-50 Senate … If Manchin ultimately decides to vote against President BidenJoe BidenTikTok users spread conspiracy that Texas snow was manufactured by the government The problem with a one-size-fits-all federal minimum wage hike Throwing money at Central America will not curb illegal migration MORE‘s nominee, Democrats would have to try to dig up support from some moderate Republicans.”


Here’s the C-SPAN livestream:

Tidbit last night:




It’s Tuesday! 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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PROGRAMMING NOTE: I will be off for the rest of the week. The Hill’s Reid Wilson will be filling in for me — so you’re in good hands!


I’m just a bill, a budget reconciliation bill. And I’m sitting here on Capitol Hill:

Via NBC’s Thomas Franck, The House Budget Committee advanced Democrats’ $1.9 trillion coronavirus relief package yesterday, with a potential House vote on the measure at the end of the week. 

What’s next: The package moves through the House Rules Committee, though this step is “essentially a formality.”

Are Republicans on board?: Nope, Republicans oppose the bill arguing it is too large. 

^ Specifically the $15 minimum wage increase: “The GOP has also opposed Democrats’ efforts to include the minimum wage hike as an extraneous, job-killing measure that ought to be considered separately from pandemic relief.”  

Is that a problem for passing the bill?: Democrats can pass this bill without any Republican support. Though Sen. Manchin (D-W.Va.) is opposed to the minimum wage hike and Democrats need his vote to pass the package.


Via Politico’s Caitlin Emma and Aaron Lorenzo, “The White House and Democratic leaders have been waiting to see how the Senate’s parliamentarian, its official adviser on procedural matters, opines on the wage increase. Both Democrats and Republicans are expected to meet with the parliamentarian on Wednesday to argue their case. Her ruling could follow soon after the arguments.”


Tidbit — keep ‘em coming!:

Via CQ’s Ariel Cohen, “Pfizer official John Young says the COVID-19 vaccine maker will up its distribution to 13 million doses per week by March. It will have distributed 120 mil by the end of next month.”


Coronavirus cases in the U.S.: 28,194,534 

U.S. death toll: 500,585

Breakdown of the numbers:


Total number of vaccinations administered in the U.S.: 64.2 million shots have been given.

Seven-day average of doses administered: An average of 1.37 million doses

For context: The U.S. population is roughly 331 million.

Breakdown of the numbers:



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What’s keeping the Trump team up at night:

Via The Hill’s John Kruzel and Naomi Jagoda, “The Supreme Court on Monday declined to shield former President TrumpDonald TrumpFauci: U.S. political divide over masks led to half a million COVID-19 deaths Georgia bishop says state GOP’s elections bill is an ‘attempt to suppress the Black vote’ Trump closer to legal jeopardy after court ruling on tax returns MORE’s tax returns from a New York grand jury subpoena, a step that could place Trump and his businesses closer to legal jeopardy.” 

What is different now: “During his White House tenure, Trump was immune from being criminally indicted by the Department of Justice (DOJ). As president, he also succeeded in avoiding final rulings on a number of other legal proceedings, at times using his office to bolster his arguments in court. As a private citizen, however, Trump could soon find himself at the center of crisscrossing criminal probes.” 

There are several investigations, but the one that Trump should worry about the most: “the Manhattan district attorney’s investigation that appears to be the most developed case against Trump to date.” 

What to know about the pending cases:


How so, via The Hill’s Niall Stanage:


OK, this is pretty funny:




Back story: The Conservative Political Action Conference uninvited a speaker over anti-Semitic tweets.

Congratulations to all that contributed to the return of Doritos 3D:




Back story: Doritos 3D was phased out in the early 2000s and have just returned. Fans are *thrilled.*


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

9:50 a.m. EST: President Biden and Vice President Harris received the President’s Daily Brief.

11:30 a.m. EST: Two roll call votes in the Senate. 

2 p.m. EST: The House meets. 

2:35 p.m. EST: Two roll call votes in the Senate. The Senate’s full agenda today:

4 p.m. EST: President Biden participates in his first bilateral meeting with Canadian Prime Minister Justin TrudeauJustin Pierre James TrudeauCanada calls China’s treatment of Uighurs ‘genocide’ over Trudeau’s objections The Hill’s Morning Report – Presented by The AIDS Institute – COVID-19 rescue bill a unity test for Dems Biden to meet virtually with Canada’s Trudeau on Tuesday MORE. Vice President Harris also attends.

6:30 – 7:30 p.m. EST: First and last votes in the House. The House’s full agenda today:

Event invitation — Thursday: The Hill is hosting a virtual event, “Race & Justice Imperative.” Details and how to RSVP:


This morning: A joint committee hearing on the security failures in the Capitol on Jan. 6. Livestream:

Noon: White House press secretary Jen PsakiJen PsakiTanden’s path to confirmation looks increasingly untenable Asian Pacific American Caucus urges senators to confirm Tanden Biden to order flags to half staff to mark 500K virus deaths MORE is holding a press briefing. Livestream:

1:15 p.m. EST: President Biden holds a roundtable with Black essential workers. Domestic Policy Advisor Susan RiceSusan RiceBiden pledges action on guns amid resistance Biden makes inroads with progressives The Hill’s Morning Report – Biden seeks vaccine for all by summer; Trump censure? MORE will moderate. Livestream: 

5:45 p.m. EST: President Biden and Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau give statements after their bilateral meeting. Livestream:


Today is National Banana Bread Day.

Space really is cool:

Via Thrillist’s Dustin Nelson, NASA has released a new photo of the planet Jupiter. Photo:

And because you made it this far, here’s a dog who is SO excited for a walk: 




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