The Hill’s 12:30 Report: US, Russia meet to discuss Ukraine

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–> A lunchtime take on what’s going on in politics and how to have a sense of humor about it.*

*Ha. Haha. Haha. Sniff. Haha. Sniff. Ha–collapses crying hysterically.

TODAY

I bet you could cut the tension in this room with a knife

Via the New York Times Rick Gladstone and Anton Troyanovsky, “The United States and Russia prepared for a confrontation Monday at the United Nations Security Council over the Ukraine crisis, with the Americans vowing to make the Russians justify their mass of troops on Ukraine’s borders and Kremlin diplomats dismissing the meeting as a theatrical farce.” https://nyti.ms/3o8PSa4

what can happen today“As one of five permanent members of the council – along with Britain, China, France and the United States – Russia has the power to veto any majority decision. But it cannot block the meeting itself.

What we know: https://nyti.ms/3o8PSa4

‘THE UKRAINE LEADER’S MESSAGE IS DON’T PANIC. THIS MAKES THE WEST ANTSY.’

So how, according to the Washington Post David L. Stern and Robyn Dixon: https://wapo.st/3o8RSiA

It’s Monday! I am Catherine Martel with a brief recap of the morning and what’s to come. Send comments, story ideas and events for our radar to [email protected] — and follow us on Twitter @CateMartel and Facebook.

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IN CONGRESS

What’s on the schedule this week? :

Via The Hill’s Jordan Carney“Congress returns from a week-long hiatus to an increasingly full plate as they juggle President BidenJoe BidenCongress may miss Senate shutdown deadline for briefing on Ukraine and Russia on Thursday As Social Security field offices reopen, it’s time to expand and revitalize them MORElegislative agenda, looming deadlines and growing tensions with Russia. https://bit.ly/3raQKwS

The essential: “[Democrats] have 15 working days to prevent a government shutdown in mid-February. Senators will be able to discuss their strategy in the face of Biden’s imminent choice to succeed Justice Etienne Breyerwhich he pledged to do by the end of the month, in person for the first time since the announcement… Meanwhile, progressives are trying to mount pressure on the party to quickly relaunch Build Back Better ( BBB), sweeping climate and social spending, and getting it through by March 1…”

You know, those little things.

OTHER THINGS HAPPENING ON CAPITOL HILL THIS WEEK:

China Competitiveness Bill“The House will vote this week on legislation aimed at countering China’s economic influence.”

Electoral reforms“Bipartisan negotiations over changes to the voter count law continue this week after the Senate group spoke out throughout the week-long recess.”

Context and details for each: https://bit.ly/3raQKwS

‘CONGRESS IN DANGER OF MISSING CLOSING DEADLINE’:

Via The Hill’s Alexander Bolton: https://bit.ly/3Ghu42h

What are we thinking, the team? A big fight? A little skirmish? Something in between? :

Via The Hill’s Jordan Carney, “Republicans face a decision on how difficult it is to fight President Biden’s Supreme Court pick, with little chance they can scuttle the nomination that is expected to elevate the first black woman to the court.” https://bit.ly/3Hk8NXc

Why this is new territory for the GOP“This is the first time since 2017, when they got rid of the 60-vote threshold for Supreme Court picks, that they don’t control the chamber or have a GOP chair in the House. White.”

“THE 3 REPUBLICANS TO WATCH AS BIDEN CHOOSES HIS SCOTUS NOMINEE”:

Senators: “Susan CollinsSusan Margaret CollinsSenators preview upcoming Supreme Court nomination battle GOP governor pushes back on Trump’s suggestion to pardon Jan. 6 rioters if elected Sunday of Maine, Lisa MurkowskiLisa Ann MurkowskiRepublicans Must Stop Sabotaging Suffrage Alaska Becomes Latest Battleground in GOP Civil War from Alaska and Lindsey GrahamLindsey Olin GrahamSenators preview upcoming Supreme Court nomination battle Trump calls for ‘biggest protest we’ve ever had’ if prosecutors ‘do anything illegal’ targeting him White House rebukes GOP senator who says Biden Supreme Court chose ‘beneficiary’ of affirmative action MORE from South Carolina »

The Complete Politico Story Marianne Levine: https://politi.co/3G9fWrS

‘SENATORS GIVE PREVIEW OF NEXT SUPREME COURT NOMINATION BATTLE’:

Via The Hill’s Joseph Choi: https://bit.ly/3s3P0EW

IN THE WHITE HOUSE

Let’s add another complication for the Build Back Better Act:

Via The Hill’s Morgan Chalfant and Brett Samuels“The Supreme Court Justice Stephane BreyerStephen BreyerSenators preview upcoming Supreme Court nomination battle White House berates GOP senator who says Biden’s Supreme Court chose ‘beneficiary’ of affirmative action What does it mean to have a Supreme Court that “looks like America”? FOLLOWINGThe president’s retirement plans have thrown another ball in the meandering effort to push through the cornerstone of President Biden’s agenda in what could be the final months when Democrats have full control of Congress. https://bit.ly/3s2boyt

The good news for Democrats: “The nomination of Breyer’s replacement on the court is an undeniable victory for Biden and the Democrats…”

The bad news for the Dems: “[The] the timing of the announcement, nine months before the midterm elections, could make it harder for Biden and Democratic leaders to negotiate and pass and enact his signature climate and social spending proposal, Build Back Better .

How this could unfold: https://bit.ly/3s2boyt

TREATS:

President Biden and Vice President Harris met with Governors this morning at the White House. Photo of social distancing meeting: https://bit.ly/3gelUNs

Remarks Livestream: https://bit.ly/3ufHny0

LAST WITH CORONAVIRUS

I cross all the fingers and the toes:

Via ABC News Marie Kekatos“While it may be hard to imagine, many experts suggest that 2022 could be the year COVID becomes endemic, meaning it is still circulating in the population but at low rates or not causing than seasonal epidemics”. What this next step might look like: https://abcn.ws/3rdxbnw

CASE NUMBERS:

Coronavirus cases in the United States: 74 333 528

Death toll in the United States: 884 265

Breakdown of digits: https://cnn.it/2UAgW3y

VACCINATION NUMBERS:

Total number of vaccines administered in the United States: 539 million blows were given.

Average doses administered over seven days: An average of 545,007 doses

For context: The US population is approximately 331 million.

Breakdown of digits: https://bloom.bg/3iVTPLH

GETTING TRACTION

Ouch:

Via the Washington Post Abha Bhattarai, “Rents have risen by more than 30% in some cities, forcing millions of people to find alternative housing.” https://wapo.st/3odTdEW

keep in mind: “Rising rental prices should also be a key driver of inflation in the coming months.”

NOTABLE TWEETS:

That’s a pretty cool stat:

CNN Manu Raju tweeted, “Six consecutive playoff games decided by a single score – and five of six decided by last possession. Amazing.” https://bit.ly/3rcuO4y

Getting traction – bahaha:

Twitter user @BobGolen tweeted a photo of his packet of sea salt which reads: “formed by the primeval sea over 250 million years ago”. The problem? Its best purchase date was in 2019.

he tweeted: “Dang, my 250 million year old salt has expired” Photo: https://bit.ly/3ujPt8R

It’s a sad streak to break:

The Baltimore Sun McKenna Oxenden tweeted, “The only time The Baltimore Sun was not printed internally was for 2 months after the Great Fire of 1904. This footage ends after tonight. The newspaper will now be printed in Wilmington, DE. Video of the print: https://bit.ly/3HbUO5w

IN DRAFT:

The house is out. The Senate is there. President Biden and Vice President Harris are in Washington, D.C.

9:30 a.m. EST: President Biden received the President’s Daily Brief.

2:00 p.m. EST: President Biden participates in a bilateral meeting with the Emir of Qatar, Tamim Bin Hamad al-Thani. What to expect: https://wapo.st/33XMOXG

3 p.m. EST: The Senate meets.

5:30 PM EST: A closing vote in the Senate. The full Senate agenda today: https://bit.ly/3IVdg2X

WHAT TO WATCH:

11:00 a.m. EST: President Biden and Vice President Harris hosted the National Governors Association at the White House for a meeting. Direct: https://bit.ly/3ufHny0

1 p.m. EST: White House press secretary Jen PsakiJen PsakiEXPLAINER: Why US Sanctions May Target Individual Russians holds a press conference. Direct: https://bit.ly/3KXIw2P

IN LIGHTER NEWS:

Today is national hot chocolate day!

And to brighten up your Monday afternoon, here’s a baby flamingo trying to stand on one foot: https://bit.ly/3oes3O5

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