12:30 Report

The Hill’s 12:30 Report — Biden’s recovered classified docs embolden GOP

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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 

Oh, this should go over well

A “small number” of classified documents were found at a Washington, D.C., think-tank last fall in an office President Biden used between serving as vice president and president.

What happened when they were found?: Biden’s attorneys said they notified the National Archives the same day the documents were found. Archives retrieved the documents the next day. 

CBS News first reported the discovery. Read CBS’s report 

The obvious comparison: Former President Trump took more than 300 classified documents when he left the White House and brought them to his Mar-a-Lago residence. NYT report from August 

Conservatives quickly equated the two: Both Trump and Biden appeared to have possibly violated the Presidential Records Act.

THERE ARE A FEW KEY DIFFERENCES BETWEEN TRUMP’S CASE AND BIDEN’S CASE

First, the FBI was not involved in retrieving Biden’s documents because of timing: Federal agents had tried for months to recover the classified documents from Trump. That’s why the FBI ultimately searched his residence. Biden’s team, however, alerted and handed over the documents immediately.  

Second, we’re talking about a very different number of documents: Several news outlets reported that lawyers found roughly 10 classified documents in the think-tank’s locked closet. By comparison, federal officials found more than 300 documents at Mar-a-Lago.  

Third, Trump may have had more authority to declassify documents as president: Some Trump allies say he had the ability to declassify documents, so he did nothing wrong. The documents retrieved from Biden’s office were from when he was vice president. Vice presidents do not have the authority to declassify documents.  

More on the differences between Trump and Biden’s retrieved classified documents

REACTIONS: 

From Richard Sauber, special counsel to Biden: “The White House is cooperating with the National Archives and the Department of Justice regarding the discovery of what appear to be Obama-Biden Administration records, including a small number of documents with classified markings.”  

From Donald Trump Jr.: “When will the FBI’s Hostage Rescue Team storm one of Biden’s many vacation homes bought and paid for somehow by a lifetime of being a humble public servant?” Trump Jr. tweeted

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. 

🐘 In the House

Please fasten your seatbelts, lift your tray tables and put your phones in airplane mode. It’s going to be a bumpy ride

“The concessions Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) agreed to in a bid to appease conservative rebels set up showdowns this year with Senate Democrats and President Biden on the debt limit and the annual spending bills — heightening the danger of a national default or a government shutdown, political strategists say.”  

Specifically, spending cuts: As part of the concessions McCarthy made to become Speaker, he agreed to cap discretionary spending at fiscal 2022 levels.  

Not all Republicans are on the same page: “The prospect of capping spending at fiscal 2022 levels has already set off a new round of infighting between conservative budget hawks and national defense-minded Republicans in the House who don’t want to claw back new money approved for the Pentagon.” 

Oh and: “Further complicating the situation, McCarthy has pledged to pass the 12 annual appropriations bills individually, something Congress hasn’t done on time in decades.”  

How this could play out with the debt limit and spending bills, via The Hill’s Alexander Bolton 

‘THESE REPUBLICANS WERE SELECTED TO CHAIR HOUSE COMMITTEES AFTER SPEAKER BATTLE DELAY’:  

Budget: Rep. Jodey Arrington (Texas) 

Small Business: Rep. Roger Williams (Texas) 

Education and the Workforce: Rep. Virginia Foxx (N.C.) 

Ways and Means: Rep. Jason Smith (Mo.) 

Homeland Security: Rep. Mark Green (Tenn.) 

Primers for each selection, from The Hill’s Emily Brooks 

THE FIRST BILL ON THE DOCKET

“House Republicans fulfilled a key campaign promise on Monday, passing legislation to rescind the bulk of an IRS funding boost signed into law last year, marking the first bill passed by the GOP-controlled House this Congress.”  Explainer 

OH, YES PLEEEASE!: 

C-SPAN controlled the cameras during last week’s House floor proceedings until a Speaker was chosen and a rules package was passed. That’s because the majority party typically controls the camera angles. That meant viewers could see all the newsy huddles, discussions, facial expressions and angles.  

Well, Rep. Mark Pocan (D-Wis.) said he plans to introduce a bill to allow C-SPAN cameras to have free-range in their coverage of the House floor.

Pocan tweeted: “Last week’s @CSPAN coverage was worthy of an Oscar. That’s why I’m introducing legislation requiring House cameras to continue to capture the full Chamber & not just what the Speaker wants.”  

‘N.Y. LAWMAKERS TO REQUEST HOUSE ETHICS INVESTIGATION OF GEORGE SANTOS’:

From The New York Times’s Michael Gold

🏥 In other news 

This is great to hear

Buffalo Bills safety Damar Hamlin has been released from the hospital and is back in Buffalo, N.Y., after collapsing on the field in Cincinnati last week. 

From the hospital: “He is currently listed in stable condition and continues to make significant progress in his recovery. The goal of the transfer to Buffalo General Medical Center/Gates Vascular Institute is to get him closer to home for further evaluation, recovery and eventually discharge and rehabilitation.”Read the full statement 

Hamlin tweeted on Monday: “Grateful for the awesome care I received at UCMC. Happy to be back in Buffalo. The docs and nurses at Buffalo General have already made me feel at home!” His full tweet 

The full story from ESPN’s Alaina Getzenberg

🦠 The COVID-19 numbers 

Cases to date: 101 million 

Death toll: 1,091,184 

Current hospitalizations: 21,033 

Shots administered: 665 million 

Fully vaccinated: 69.1 percent of Americans 

CDC data here.

🐥Notable tweets 

Show us the goods!

Punchbowl News’s Jake Sherman tweeted, “In the GOP conference this morning — House republicans opened up by showing the ‘bad lip reading’ video of McCarthy and Gaetz talking on the floor … There were lots of laughs about this, per a source.”

On tap 

The House is in. The Senate is out. President Biden is in Mexico City, Mexico. Vice President Harris is in Washington, D.C., with no public events scheduled. 

  • 11:30 a.m.: Biden participated in a bilateral meeting with Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau
  • 12:45 p.m.: Biden, Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador and Canadian Prime Minister Trudeau take a family photo. The three then participate in the 10th North American Leaders’ Summit. 
  • 10:20 p.m.: Biden and first lady Jill Biden return to the White House.

All times Eastern.

📺What to watch

  • 10 a.m.: House Republican leaders held a press conference. Watch 
  • 10:45 a.m.: House Democratic leaders held a press conference. Watch 
  • 4:45 p.m.: Biden, Mexican President López Obrador and Canadian Prime Minister Trudeau deliver statements. Livestream

🍫 In lighter news 

Today is National Bittersweet Chocolate Day

For my millennial readers — brace yourselves:

The Washington Post’s Maura Judkis writes about “The return of the going-out top: To the mild shock of millennial grownups, a nightlife staple of their 2000s wardrobe has made its comeback — this time as a fresh-start statement in the 2020s.” The full story — these descriptions are spot-on

And to leave you in the mood to dance, watch these pups do the Cupid Shuffle.

Tags 12:30 Report Biden Biden classified documents Chocolate Damar Hamlin Donald Trump Donald Trump Jr. House rules Joe Biden McCarthy

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File - A Chevrolet Bolt is displayed at the Philadelphia Auto Show, Jan. 27, 2023, in Philadelphia. Electric vehicles are far less reliable than gasoline-powered cars, trucks and SUVs, mainly because most automakers are still learning how to build a completely new power system, according to this year's auto reliability survey by Consumer Reports.(AP Photo/Matt Rourke, File)
File - A Chevrolet Bolt is displayed at the Philadelphia Auto Show, Jan. 27, 2023, in Philadelphia. Electric vehicles are far less reliable than gasoline-powered cars, trucks and SUVs, mainly because most automakers are still learning how to build a completely new power system, according to this year's auto reliability survey by Consumer Reports.(AP Photo/Matt Rourke, File)

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In this photo released by the Governor of Sevastopol, Mikhail Razvozhayev telegram channel, a rescuer gestures as he helps people during an evacuation after storm and flooding in Sevastopol, Crimea, Monday, Nov. 27, 2023. A storm in the Black Sea took down power grids and left almost half a million people without power after it flooded roads, ripped up trees and damaged buildings in Crimea, Russian state news agency Tass said. (Governor of Sevastopol Mikhail Razvozhayev's telegram channel via AP)
In this photo released by the Governor of Sevastopol, Mikhail Razvozhayev telegram channel, a rescuer gestures as he helps people during an evacuation after storm and flooding in Sevastopol, Crimea, Monday, Nov. 27, 2023. A storm in the Black Sea took down power grids and left almost half a million people without power after it flooded roads, ripped up trees and damaged buildings in Crimea, Russian state news agency Tass said. (Governor of Sevastopol Mikhail Razvozhayev's telegram channel via AP)

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