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Politics: The Hill’s 12:30 Report — Biden’s unusual dynamic in railroad fight

Rail workers say deal won't resolve quality-of-life concerns

  Rail workers say deal won't resolve quality-of-life concerns OMAHA, Neb. (AP) — When BNSF railroad conductor Justin Schaaf needed to take time off from work this summer, he had to make a choice: go to the dentist to get a cavity in his molar filled or attend a party for his son's 7th birthday. He chose his son. "Ultimately I decided to take the day off for my kid’s birthday party,” Schaaf said. “Then when I am finally able to get into the dentist four, five, six months later, the tooth is too bad to repair at that point, so I have to get the tooth pulled out.

To view past editions of The Hill’s 12:30 Report, click here:

  The Hill’s 12:30 Report — Biden’s unusual dynamic in railroad fight © Provided by 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.


Settle in and get comfy, folks. This is our life for the next two years:

China's cities are running out of money to pay huge COVID lockdown bills, report says

  China's cities are running out of money to pay huge COVID lockdown bills, report says China's local governments are spending much more than they are taking in, CNN reported, as they conduct mass testing and lockdowns.Data from China's Ministry of Finance reported by CNN showed that local governments in China spent considerably more than they brought in between January and October: to the tune of more than $1.65 trillion.

Former President Trump is officially running for another term in 2024, and amid the speculation of President Biden’s 2024 plans, Biden has started to take on his rival more directly.

For example — Biden said during the annual turkey pardon: “There’s no ballot stuffing, there’s no ‘fowl’ play.’  The only ‘red wave’ this season is going to be if our German shepherd Commander knocks over the cranberry sauce on our table.”

And on the same day that Trump announced his candidacy: The White House launched a new webpage to highlight “the Biden Harris record.”

Other examples and what strategists think this says about Biden’s 2024 plans, via The Hill’s Amie Parnes and Alex Gangitano


Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis (R) is publishing a memoir in late February amid the speculation of a potential 2024 presidential run.

NC State football final score vs. UNC: All scoring highlights and more from ACC rivalry game

  NC State football final score vs. UNC: All scoring highlights and more from ACC rivalry game Live updates from NC State football's final regular season game against UNCThe Wolfpack (7-4, 3-4 ACC) will travel to Chapel Hill to take on No. 18 UNC (9-2, 6-1) for a 3:30 p.m. kickoff Friday on ABC. The Tar Heels hold a 68-37-6 series record but it was NC State's epic comeback last season at Carter-Finley Stadium – erasing a nine-point deficit in a span of 26 seconds late in the fourth quarter – that gave Wolfpack fans bragging rights.

The memoir’s title: “The Courage to Be Free: Florida’s Blueprint for America’s Revival” Details


The Associated Press is reporting that former President Trump’s campaigning is increasing its vetting after Trump had dinner with white nationalist Nick Fuentes. What we know

It’s Wednesday and the last day of November. Tomorrow kicks off full holiday cheer! ????☃️???????????? ???? 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.=

News this morning

Hakeem Jeffries made history this morning!:

“House Democrats on Wednesday elected Rep. Hakeem Jeffries (D-N.Y.) to head the party in the next Congress, marking a generational shift after 20 years under the reign of Rep. Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) while making Jeffries the first Black figure to lead either party in Congress in the nation’s history.”

Biden brings Thanksgiving pies to Nantucket first responders

  Biden brings Thanksgiving pies to Nantucket first responders NANTUCKET, Mass. (AP) — President Joe Biden on Thursday delivered at least half a dozen pumpkin pies to Massachusetts firefighters during a Thanksgiving Day show of appreciation and his toddler grandson walked away with a red fire hat topping his blond curls. “Oh wow,” Biden was heard to say upon seeing Beau Biden, who is nearly 3, emerge from the headquarters building wearing the hat. The president was with the firefighters who had lined up outside the building to welcome him.

Was this a surprise?: Nah, he ran unopposed.

The next generation of House Democratic leaders

???? The railroad fight

If you haven’t been following the potential railroad strike, here’s a quick catchup:

Railroad companies and labor unions are in a dispute primarily about working conditions and paid sick leave. The labor unions are threatening to strike if a deal is not reached.

If this sounds recently familiar to you: There had been a plausible threat of a strike in September, but a tentative deal was reached. So, then what changed?: Several unions voted down that deal.

Where Biden comes in: President Biden called on Congress to pass legislation of an agreement between workers and operators.

If Congress does get involved, would it pass?: “The likelihood is that the legislation will pass the House, despite the misgivings of some on the left … Still, any legislation will need 60 votes to pass the Senate, and that’s where the outcome could be a cliffhanger.”

And if legislation does not pass, a strike is likely.

The Hill’s Niall Stanage has a helpful explainer on the situation — and why Congress can intervene

Biden, family attend Christmas tree lighting on Nantucket

  Biden, family attend Christmas tree lighting on Nantucket NANTUCKET, Mass. (AP) — The Biden family's tradition of eating lunch, shopping and watching a Christmas tree lighting in downtown Nantucket on Friday became mostly about keeping the president's 2-year-old grandson from having a meltdown. There was President Joe Biden's daughter, Ashley, dancing and clapping with nephew Beau to “Jingle Bell Rock” to keep him entertained as they waited with the crowd that had gathered for the 48th annual tree lighting ceremony on Main St. © Provided by The Associated Press President Joe Biden walks with his grandson Beau Biden in Nantucket, Mass., Friday, Nov. 25, 2022.


The New York Times’s Emily Cochrane explains how the saga is playing out in the House and Senate


‘Inside Biden’s decision to halt a rail strike’ from Politico’s Ben White

The gist: “President Joe Biden knew he would be risking a backlash from his labor allies if he stepped in to head off a holiday-season rail strike.” Yes, but: “The dangers a strike would pose to the U.S. economy and Americans’ health and safety proved too great.”


“President Joe Biden was in the unusual position Tuesday of being praised by business interests and attacked by his normal allies in the labor movement after calling for Congress to move immediately to block a strike by more than 100,000 union members at the nation’s freight railroads set for the end of next week.” More from CNN Business’s Chris Isidore and Matt McFarland

In Congress

Open? Close? Open! Close?:

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) said on Tuesday that he, House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) and Democratic leaders agree a year-end omnibus spending bill should be passed.

^ Yes, but: Rebellious conservatives disagree. “That puts [McConnell] on a collision course with National Republican Senatorial Committee Chairman Rick Scott (R-Fla.) and Sens. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) and Mike Lee (R-Utah), who want to freeze government spending until Republicans take control of the House in January.”

Biden, family attend Christmas tree lighting on Nantucket

  Biden, family attend Christmas tree lighting on Nantucket Occurred on January 24, 2021 / USA: "Pitties snuggling in with their baby for nap time in the swing."

How this could play out, via The Hill’s Alexander Bolton and Aris Folley


From The Washington Post’s Liz Goodwin

^ The 12 Senate Republicans who voted ‘yes’ on the same-sex marriage bill: The list


“The latest round of Medicaid expansion negotiations comes as states prepare for the eventual end of the Covid-19 public health emergency, and as nearly a third of rural hospitals are at risk of closure.” Full story from Politico’s Megan Messerly


From The Hill’s Rebecca Beitsch and Mike Lillis

???? The COVID-19 numbers

Cases to date: 98.4 million

Death toll: 1,075,779

Current hospitalizations: 25,224

Shots administered: 653 million

Fully vaccinated: 68.8 percent of Americans

CDC data here.

????Notable tweets

Omg, the facial expression of each is incredible:

CBS News’s Kathryn Watson tweeted a Reuters photo from President Biden’s meeting with Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.), House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.), Senate Majority Leader Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.) and Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) yesterday. Photo — notice their facial expressions

On tap

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

  • 9 a.m.: Biden received his daily briefing.
  • 9:45 a.m.: First House votes of the day.
  • 10:10 a.m.: Harris met with French President Emmanuel Macron to discuss space.
  • 11:15 a.m.: More House votes. Today’s agenda in the House
  • 11:30 a.m.: Two Senate cloture votes. Today’s Senate agenda
  • 2:15 p.m.: Two Senate confirmation votes.

All times Eastern.

AOC Among 8 Democrats to Vote Against Avoiding a Railway Strike

  AOC Among 8 Democrats to Vote Against Avoiding a Railway Strike President Joe Biden had warned a rail strike could spur a "crippling" national shutdown.A vast majority of Democrats, 211, voted in favor of the resolution and were joined by 79 Republicans. But eight Democrats did break with their party and joined the 129 Republicans who voted against it. Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez of New York was among these Democrats, according to Bloomberg News reporter Erik Wasson.

????What to watch

  • 11:30 a.m.: Biden spoke at the White House Tribal Nations Summit at The Department of the Interior in Washington, D.C. Livestream
  • 2 p.m.: White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre gives a press briefing. Livestream
  • 3 p.m.: Harris delivers remarks at the White House Tribal Nations Summit. Livestream
  • 5:30 p.m.: The Bidens and the Harrises attend the National Christmas Tree Lighting. Livestream

???? In lighter news

Today is National Mousse Day.

Interesting read — ‘When V.I.P. Isn’t Exclusive Enough: Welcome to V.V.I.P.’:

The New York Times’s Sarah Lyall and Christina Goldbaum write: “Every sports venue has its own tiered system of luxury. The World Cup in Qatar is providing a reminder that there is always a higher level.”

Remember how alcohol was banned in the stadiums right before the World Cup began?: Well, that didn’t apply to the VIP and VVIP guests.

The full story, including what was included in the gift bags to these guests


For the first time ever, three female referees are officiating a men’s World Cup match.

Which match?: Germany vs. Costa Rica tomorrow at 2 p.m. EST

And to liven your Wednesday afternoon, here’s a bird playing a riveting game of Peekaboo.

For the latest news, weather, sports, and streaming video, head to The Hill.

CNN Host Confronts 'Pro-Union' Democrats Over Blocking Rail Strike .
"It doesn't seem Democrats were truly standing up with all of their force against these billion dollar rail companies," Jake Tapper said on Sunday.President Joe Biden, who vowed to be the "most pro-union president ever," signed the bill on Friday, contending that a rail strike would "devastate our economy." The president said that signing the bill "spared the country that catastrophe.

See also