12:30 Report — Biden’s make-or-break day

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12:30 Report — Biden’s make-or-break day

Presented by GE Aerospace — House and Senate Democrats are huddling privately today to discuss the Biden situation

12:30 REPORT

It’s Tuesday. We’ve entered the depths of hell-level of heat in the Washington, D.C.-area — and it’s not even August! Here’s what’s happening today:

House and Senate Democrats are huddling privately today to discuss the Biden situation. A number of key Dems are saying they back him.

Despite the growing concerns about President Biden’s health, he has a few key advantages working in his favor.

Biden is hosting the NATO summit in Washington this week. This will be an endurance test of sorts for him, and all eyes will be on his speech later today.

The co-founder of OceanGate (the company that created the Titan submersible that imploded last year) wants to colonize the moon. 😅


I’m Cate Martel with a quick recap of the morning and what’s coming up. Send tips, commentary, feedback and cookie recipes to cmartel@thehill.com. Did someone forward this newsletter to you? Sign up here.  

👀 Talk of the Political World

Today is Joe Biden’s Nov. 5:

Today is a big day for President Biden. House and Senate Democrats are privately huddling today to discuss Biden’s viability — and these meetings may get messy.


So far, six House Democrats have called for Biden to bow out of the presidential race — and no Democratic senators have called on Biden to withdraw. But behind the scenes, many more Democrats have voiced their serious concerns.


Biden’s tone has changed: The president shifted his tone to offense on Monday, railing against “elites” who are trying to force him out of the race. He called into a morning on Monday (which is rare for him!) and sent a letter to congressional Democrats, bluntly telling them to back off.


🗨Live blog of updates from today’s Dem huddles


House Democrats met this morning at the Democratic National Committee headquarters. Lawmakers’ phones were collected at the door, showing just how delicate this meeting was.


📸 Anti-Biden signs outside the entrance


News from the meeting: Rep. Steny Hoyer (D-Md.), the former House majority leader, said he “absolutely” supports Biden. And so do Democratic Reps. Jan Schakowsky (Ill.), Stephen Lynch (Mass.) and Debbie Wasserman Schultz (Fla.). Two members of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus also reiterated their support for the president. Read more


Senate Democrats are meeting today for their weekly caucus luncheon. Sen. Mark Warner (D-Va.) had been reportedly organizing a Monday meeting with Senate Democrats, but it was called off in lieu of today’s huddle.


The mood among Democratic senators: Anxious. The Hill’s Al Weaver has been talking with senators since they returned to Washington, and there are lots of nervous among Democratic lawmakers.


The Hill’s Alexander Bolton reports how the tense debate over Biden’s future has created bitter divides among Democrats. No matter how this saga ends, it has already damaged Democrats because “the bitter infighting is likely to hurt Biden or any other nominee in the fall.”


Read more: ‘Democrats in turmoil over Biden’s future’


Punchbowl has an interesting breakdown of four reasons Biden is surviving this political mess.


The first point that stood out to me: Congressional Democratic leaders would need to be united in booting Biden, and they are nowhere near that.


The second point in Biden’s favor: “It’s hard to dump a president. … First of all, Biden is dug in very deep. … Then there are a plethora of questions about ballot access and access to the Biden campaign’s hundreds of millions of dollars in contributions. Added to that is the fact that millions of voters have voted for Biden in primaries. And elected Democrats aren’t willing to buck them.” Read the full reasoning


More prominent Democrats are backing Biden, including:

Jerry Nadler (N.Y.), the ranking member on the House Judiciary Committede, told reporters on Monday that he supports Biden despite reportedly saying on a private weekend call that Biden should step down.
Members of the Congressional Black Caucus, including Rep.
Maxine Waters
Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez
(N.Y.), who said “the matter is closed.”
Rep. Ayanna Pressley (Mass.), who is worried Democrats aren’t focusing on defeating former President Trump.

Read more from the AP: ‘Biden gets support from key lawmakers as he tells Democrats he won’t step aside after debate’


The New York Times reported that a neurologist specializing in Parkinson’s disease was at the White House eight times over an eight-month period, according to visitor logs.


Reporters then grilled White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre on Monday about whether the administration has been forthcoming about Biden’s health. The heated press briefing was dominated by questions about those consultations and timing. Jean-Pierre would not name the neurologist (despite his name appearing on public visitor logs).


 📹 Watch this clip from the briefing — it was tense


‘What we know about Parkinson’s expert’s visits to Biden White House’: From The Hill’s Brett Samuels and Alex Gangitano

🌍 Happening in DC

If there were ever a week to avoid driving in Washington…:

World leaders are in Washington this week to celebrate the 75th anniversary of the NATO alliance.


🚗 ‘DC road closures, parking restrictions, and other impacts,’ from Fox 5 DC


The major story to follow: President Biden is hosting the summit, so this days-long event will test his endurance and health.


Yes, probably…: Former senior Pentagon official Jim Townsend predicted that “journalists attending President Biden’s summit press conference will likely not ask one question about NATO but instead ask about the president’s political future.”  


Read Laura Kelly’s preview in The Hill: ‘NATO summit becomes high-stakes test of Biden’s fitness’


Happening at 5 p.m.: Biden will speak at the summit. 💻 Here’s the livestream


‘Why Biden’s NATO Summit Is A Major Test For His Campaign—With All Eyes On A Rare Press Conference’: Forbes
‘Before Biden can save Ukraine, he must use the NATO summit to save himself’: CNN
‘Ukraine’s path to NATO membership “irreversible,” allies expected to declare’: Politico
‘NATO needs a realistic plan for ending the Ukraine War’: Op-ed in The Hill

🐝 Internet Buzz

🍪 Celebrate: Today is National Sugar Cookie Day.


🌑Tbh, I first thought this headline was from The Onion: The co-founder of OceanGate wants to colonize the moon by 2063. Yes, OceanGate, as in the Titan submersible that imploded in 2023. (NewsNation)


👹 ‘He makes giant trolls out of trash, hides them in woods for people to find’: The Washington Post reports that a Danish artist has been creating large trolls out of trash and then hiding them in the forest so that people can stumble onto them. 📸 Photos of the art

📆 On The Agenda

The House and Senate are in. President Biden is in Washington and Vice President Harris is in Nevada today. (all times Eastern)

Today — Thursday: The NATO summit is happening in Washington.

1 p.m.: White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre briefs reporters. 💻 Livestream

1:30 p.m.: First House votes. Last votes are expected around 4:20 p.m. 📆 Today’s agenda

2:15 p.m.: A Senate confirmation vote and a cloture vote on a judicial confirmation. 📆 Today’s agenda

5 p.m.: Biden speaks at the NATO summit in Washington. 💻 Livestream

5:25 p.m.: Harris speaks at a campaign event in Las Vegas.

5:45 p.m.: Two more Senate votes — another confirmation vote and another cloture vote.

6:35 p.m.: Harris speaks at a closed press campaign event.

7:45 p.m.: Harris leaves for Dallas.

👋 And Finally…

Let’s close this out with a band of talented dog drummers.

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