The Hill’s 12:30 Report — McCarthy crawls toward Speakership | The Hill

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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.


Is the 12th vote the charm??:

I feel like a broken record writing this again, but the House is back again on Friday as negotiations continue to determine the Speaker. Day 4! 

McCarthy’s message this morning: NBC News’s Kate Santaliz tweeted video of Rep. Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) entering the U.S. Capitol on Friday morning. “We’re going to make progress, we’re going to shock you,” he told reporters. Watch

What’s been happening behind the scenes?: McCarthy has been negotiating with some of the Republicans who oppose his bid. But it remains unclear whether McCarthy’s concessions will be sufficient to convert enough of the detractors into voting for him. Where the negotiations stand

How many failed votes have we had this week?: On Thursday, McCarthy lost his 11th straight Speaker vote. 

Where McCarthy’s bid stands: 21 House Republicans voted against McCarthy in the 11th Speaker vote. He can only afford four defections.

C-SPAN livestream of the House floorWatching lawmakers’ discussions and facial expressions is fascinating these days. 

Live blog of updates 

The House is a bit chaotic because of the standstill: The New Republic’s Grace Segers tweeted on Thursday night, “It would be way more convenient if the House were just in recess and they didn’t have to reconvene at 8pm and clear another motion to adjourn. But the House isn’t in recess, because no one controls the floor, because no one has actually been sworn in yet.”  


Keep in mind that former President Trump called for Republicans to rally around McCarthy. How this could affect Trump’s power 

‘Chip Roy seizes his moment’: “The chaotic failure of House Republicans to elect a Speaker — so far — has had a silver lining for at least one member. Rep. Chip Roy (R-Texas), a leading opponent of Rep. Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.), has seized the national stage.”  

What makes Roy stand out: “McCarthy allies see Roy as more inclined toward sincere, good-faith negotiations than other dissenters.” Read Niall Stanage’s full column

Happy Friday! 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. 


What it looks like outside the Speaker’s office these daysVideo from ABC News’s Gabe Ferris 

Rep. Jimmy Gomez’s (D-Calif.) baby has been an MVPPhoto of Gomez baby-wearingPhoto of Gomez feeding his babyAnd a photo of the duo doing an interview

^ OK, this photo is too cute: Gomez tweeted, “7th speaker vote fail. At this rate  

@JoaquinCastrotx’s daughter Anna Valentina and Hodge will be going to prom!” Photo of the House babies 

Rep. Jamie Raskin (D-Md.) brought some sass: “We never had to deal with this much chaos when George Santos was Speaker,” Raskin tweeted

Yes, this!: C-SPAN’s Craig Caplan tweeted, “Applause for the work of the House clerk Cheryl Johnson as the House Speaker election enters its 11th vote.” Photo

📊 News this morning 

The last jobs report of 2022:

“The final jobs report of 2022 showed U.S. employment growth slowing under the weight of higher interest rates and stubborn inflation, but not enough to derail a historically strong labor market.”

The numbers: “The U.S. added 223,000 jobs in December and brought the unemployment rate down to 3.5 percent, its level in February 2020, from 3.7 percent in November, according to the Labor Department.”

What these numbers mean for the economy: “While job growth slowed from November’s revised total of 256,000, December’s employment gain still came in above economists’ expectations—and without other warning signs of an overheating economy.”  

The Hill’s Sylvan Lane gives more context to Friday’s report 


“Small businesses and lower-income families could feel pinched in the months ahead whether or not a recession is avoided this year,” writes The New York Times’s Talmon Joseph SmithThe full read

🔥 Two years ago today 

Thinking about this day still sends a shiver down my spine

Two years ago Friday, a pro-Trump mob violently broke into the U.S. Capitol, ransacking the landmark and risking the safety of lawmakers, staff and journalists.  

This morning: House Democrats and one Republican held a moment of silence on the Capitol steps. Biden will hold an event this afternoon. 


Axios published a series of photos last year to remember Jan. 6, 2021. It sends me right back to that day. Hour-by-hour photos from Jan. 6 


CBS News’s Scott MacFarlane tweeted, “Counter protestors … some chanting ‘Insurrectionist losers’ and Jan 6 defendant supporters are getting into each others faces right now on East Front of Capitol. Growing police presence.” Watch

✈️ In other news 

Big yikes!

Southwest estimates that its holiday meltdown will cost the company roughly $725 million – $825 million.  

How the company estimates that figure: “Southwest said that it will lose up to $425 million in revenue on refunded flights alone. The company will also shell out huge sums to provide frequent flier points to customers and reimburse stranded travelers for their unexpected travel, lodging and food costs.” 

The gist of what happened: “In what experts called an unprecedented meltdown, Southwest’s scheduling systems went haywire after winter storms hit some of its hubs, preventing flight crews from getting to the right plane. The company had to shut down nearly two-thirds of its flights to get things under control.” The full story 


This is one excited passenger: NBC Chicago’s Noel Brennan tweeted, “After two canceled Southwest flights, Patrick Keane was finally reunited with his bag at Midway, and he let the entire airport know how it felt.” Watch his reaction 

Look at all of the bags — this is from the day after Christmas: Denver7’s Rob Harris tweeted a video of the unclaimed bags. “A visual representation of the disaster that is air travel at the moment. A Southwest Airlines rep just said over the intercom that bags are heading to final destination, even if the flight they were scheduled on is cancelled.” Watch 

More unclaimed bags in Tampa, Fla. 

A pilot handed out coffee to passengers: “We’re trying folks,” he told passengers. Video from WUSA 9’s Eric Flack

🦠 The COVID-19 numbers 

Cases to date: 101 million 

Death toll: 1,091,184 

Current hospitalizations: 41,297 

Shots administered: 665 million 

Fully vaccinated: 69.1 percent of Americans 

CDC data here.

🐥Notable tweets 

I see another NFT in the making

Check out the edited photo of President Biden, Vice President Harris and former President Trump that Trump posted on Truth Social this morning. Photo 

Oh no, we all know where this is going

Fox 5 DC’s Steve Chenevey tweeted, “National Park Service – ‘Do not go on the frozen reflecting pool’ … Guy on bike – ‘watch me.’” Video 

On tap

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

  • 9 a.m.: Biden received his daily briefing. 
  • 11:10 a.m.: Harris ceremonially swore in Bijan Sabet as ambassador to the Czech Republic. 
  • 12:45 p.m.: Biden and Harris have lunch together. 
  • 4:30 p.m.: Biden leaves for Delaware.

All times Eastern.

📺What to watch

  • Noon: The House meets again to vote for a speaker. Livestream 
  • 12:45 p.m.: White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre holds a press briefing. Livestream 
  • 2 p.m.: Biden marks the two-year anniversary of the Jan. 6, 2021, attack on the U.S. Capitol. Harris and second gentleman Doug Emhoff attend. Livestream 
  • Sunday morning: Rep. Hakeem Jeffries (N.Y.), the incoming House Democratic leader, will appear on NBC’s “Meet the Press.”

🍪 In lighter news

Today is National Shortbread Day.

And to get your weekend off to a fabulous start, here’s a baby who really appreciates the beauty and essence of birthday cake.


12:30 Report

Chip Roy



Jimmy Gomez

Jobs report

Kevin McCarthy




speaker vote

Travel delays



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