The Hill's 12:30 Report

The Hill's 12:30 Report

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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: Breaking – GOP lawmakers reportedly close to unveiling new ObamaCare bill | O'Reilly may get big payout | Palin, Kid Rock visit White House | Poll finds voters prefer United Airlines to Trump | Time's 100 most influential

THAT'S A BIG CHUNK OF CHANGE: Via CNN's Brian Stelter, ousted Fox News host Bill O'Reilly will be paid "tens of millions of dollars" as part of his departure. "Two well-placed sources confirmed to CNNMoney that O'Reilly does have a parachute. That's because O'Reilly signed a new contract right before being ousted." We don't know the exact amount, but here's some context: Roger Ailes was paid $40 million on his way out.


It's Thursday. 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 and on Facebook.

BREAKING -- ROUND II BEGINS TONIGHT (!) *DING, DING*: Via The Washington Post's Robert Costa, a top White House official said that Trump aides and top Republicans might "circulate some revised legislative language tonight" to House Republicans on repealing and replacing ObamaCare. The report comes amid growing signs Republicans believe they are close to a deal.

RYAN'S LATEST ON OBAMACARE -- *WITH A TWINKLE IN HIS EYE* 'OH, YOU. JUST. WAIT.': Speaker Paul RyanPaul RyanGOP chairman to discuss Charlottesville as domestic terrorism at hearing Trump’s isolation grows GOP lawmaker: Trump 'failing' in Charlottesville response MORE (R-Wis.) said Republicans are putting the "finishing touches" on an effort to revive their ObamaCare replacement bill. "We're in the midst of negotiating sort of finishing touches, because our members want to make sure that we lower premiums," Ryan said Wednesday. Timing to keep in mind: Ryan argued that it would be much easier if a healthcare measure passed before Republicans moved on to tax reform, because the ObamaCare taxes would be repealed.

WE'RE GETTING CLOSER, CLO-SER: Two Republican lawmakers say they are nearing a deal on changes to the ObamaCare replacement bill that could move the measure closer to passage, though doubts remain. Who's saying this: Rep. Mark Meadows (R-N.C.), the chairman of the conservative House Freedom Caucus, and Rep. Tom MacArthur (R-N.J.), a co-chairman of the moderate Tuesday Group.

TALK OF THE MORNING SHOWS -- YOU COULDN'T WRITE A BETTER POLITICAL DRAMA IF YOU TRIED: A random process was used to choose the judge handling a federal lawsuit from a "Dreamer" who was deported to Mexico. The part I couldn't make up: District Judge Gonzalo Curiel was chosen at random. Hmm, that name sounds familiar: It should. Curiel is "the jurist famously attacked by then-candidate Donald TrumpDonald John TrumpAssange meets U.S. congressman, vows to prove Russia did not leak him documents A history lesson on the Confederacy for President Trump GOP senator: Trump hasn't 'changed much' since campaign MORE over his 'Mexican heritage' in a separate case involving Trump University ... many, including House Speaker Paul Ryan, said the comments were racist." I promise. This is not fake news.

NEW LINEUP -- HE'S JUST A BILL. YES, HE'S ONLY A BILL: Fox News host Tucker Carlson is moving into Bill O'Reilly's coveted 8 p.m. time slot in the wake of O'Reilly's departure from the network. Taking over at 9 p.m. will be "The Five," a panel show with six co-hosts: Kimberly Guilfoyle, Dana PerinoBob Beckel, Greg GutfeldJesse Watters and Juan Williams. Fox will be filling the 5 p.m. slot with a new show hosted by Eric Bolling, a longtime O'Reilly fill-in. Bolling's show will debut May 1, with "Special Report with Bret Baier" stretching to two hours to fill the time until then. Fox's announcement also noted that "The Story with Martha MacCallum" will debut on May 1 at 7 p.m.

NEW POLL -- IT'S LIKE SHOOTING FISH IN A BARREL: A new poll measured the favorability of United Airlines compared to President Trump. Results -- it's pretty close: Forty-two percent say they prefer the airline company to Trump. Forty percent favor Trump over United instead, while 18 percent remain undecided between the two.

LIKE A WEIRD ROUND OF 'MAD LIBS' -- OK, OK, SO SARAH PALIN, KID ROCK AND TED NUGENT WALK INTO A BAR: Last night, former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin (R), Ted Nugent and Kid Rock visited President Trump in the Oval Office. The photos are pretty entertaining:

CHAFFETZ TO THE HOUSE -- BYE FELICIA: House Oversight Committee Chairman Jason ChaffetzJason ChaffetzCurtis wins GOP primary for House seat vacated by Jason Chaffetz Chaffetz named Harvard Institute of Politics fellow Fox's Chaffetz: Rosenstein has 'absolutely zero credibility' on going after leakers MORE (R-Utah), who stunned Washington with an announcement that he is not running for reelection, is considering an early departure from his current term (!) Quote to KSL News Radio: "I will continue to weigh the options, but I might depart early," Chaffetz told the Utah radio host on Thursday.

JUST IN CASE ANYONE IS SO INCLINED TO USE THEIR OWN EMAIL SERVER AGAIN: Rep. Jason Chaffetz's (R-Utah) surprise announcement that he will not run for reelection in 2018 creates an opening on the powerful House Oversight Committee, a position that has subpoena power. If Democrats were to win the House, the panel's current ranking member, Rep. Elijah Cummings (Md.), would be a shoo-in for the chairmanship. If Republicans keep the House, it gets tricky. Top picks:

LATEST WITH TAX REFORM -- CHUGGA, CHUGGA: Via The Hill's Naomi Jagoda, with the deadline for tax reform slipping, some prominent conservatives are pressing President Trump and congressional Republicans to change course. Current goal: August -- Trump and the GOP have been pushing forward with efforts to make tax changes to both the individual and corporate tax systems in a single bill. Hold your horses: But the late summer target looks increasingly unlikely, with Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin admitting this week that the timeline has become "highly aggressive to not realistic." Some conservatives are now pushing for Trump to work on a business-only tax cut first, instead of comprehensive reform.

RELEASED TODAY -- TIME'S MOST INFLUENTIAL: Time Magazine released its list of the 100 most influential people in the world. Full list:



The Washington Examiner's Kelly Cohen
the best [headline] EVER. Screenshot:

TIME's Zeke Miller
Spotted: a White House photog who will go unnamed walking onto the complex with three (3) Starbucks Unicorn Frappuccinos.



The House meets pro forma at 4 p.m. The Senate meets pro forma at 7:20 p.m.

Today: Marijuana advocates are giving away free joints on Capitol Hill this week. Lol, yep. That is a thing that is happening 

This afternoon: President Trump meets with Prime Minister Paolo Gentiloni of Italy at the White House.

7 p.m. EDT: Sen. Chris Van Hollen (D-Md.) and Reps. Elijah Cummings (D-Md.), John Sarbanes (D-Md.) and Dutch Ruppersberger (D-Md.) speak at a town hall in Baltimore, hosted by the Baltimore Indivisible Coalition.



3:50 p.m. EDT: President Trump holds a joint press conference with Italian Prime Minister Paolo Gentiloni. Livestream:



Today is National Pineapple Upside Down Cake Day. It's also National High Five Day!

NO, IT'S ACTUALLY NOT 'BRING YOUR YOUNG DAUGHTER TO WORK DAY' FOR STARBUCKS EMPLOYEES: You may have seen posts of a bright pink and blue drink at Starbucks. Well, the "Unicorn Frapp" will be available until April 23. Ingredients: Sweet cream base, mango syrup, pink powder and sour blue syrup. YikesPhotos and reviews:

I'M LOOKIN' AT YOU, BRIGHTLY COLORED CHURROS: Here are photos of Coachella's weirdest and coolest foods this year:

SHARK TANK FANS WILL LOVE (WELL... AND HATE) THIS STORY: Via Bloomberg's Ellen Huet and Olivia Zaleski, "One of the most lavishly funded gadget startups in Silicon Valley last year was Juicero Inc ... [its founder] declared that his juice press wields four tons of force--'enough to lift two Teslas' ... tech blogs have dubbed it a 'Keurig for juice.'" So here's where it gets funny: Users figured out that squeezing the juice packs with your hands yields the same product as the $400+ gadget. Ouch. Video proof:

And because you read this far, here's what happened when New England Patriots tight end Rob Gronkowski interrupted Sean Spicer's press briefing. Lolol:


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