The Hill’s 12:30 Report — Why Pelosi’s Taiwan visit is controversial

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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.

Pelosi is going through with it:

CNN’s Eric Cheung, Kylie Atwood, Alex Rogers and Kevin Liptak report that Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) will, in fact, visit Taiwan during her Asia tour despite warnings from Biden administration officials who have advised against the visit. 

Why the move is controversial: Taiwan is a self-governing Island that China wants to claim as its territory. World powers are concerned that China could invade Taiwan at some point, similar to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. A top U.S. official visiting Taiwan could anger China.

Keep in mind: Biden spoke with Chinese President Xi Jinping for more than two hours last week to deescalate tensions between the U.S. and China. 

What the Biden administration has said about Pelosi’s visit: “Biden said last month that the US military opposed Pelosi visiting Taiwan, though since then has refused to elaborate on the warnings. The White House has said it is up to the House speaker where she travels, and that they have little say in her decision.” 

By the way: Pelosi announced the itinerary for her Asia tour on Sunday, and that announcement did not include Taiwan.

More on why Pelosi’s visit would increase U.S.-China tensionsVia The New York Times’s Jane Perlez 

 ARE FELLOW LAWMAKERS SUPPORTIVE OF THE TRIP? 
Yes, Republican and Democratic lawmakers support Pelosi’s planned visit.  

The dynamics at play, via The Hill’s Laura Kelly and Mike Lillis 

 WHERE IS PELOSI NOW?
Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) visited Singapore on Monday as her first stop of the trip. 

 ‘EU BRACES FOR CHINA-US ESCALATION RISK AS TAIWAN TENSIONS RISE’
Via Politico’s Stuart Lau and Lili Bayer 

 THROWBACK TO 1991
CNN’s Kevin Liptak tweeted, “Some footage from the CNN archive of Pelosi unfurling a pro-democracy banner in Tiananmen Square in 1991 (alongside Reps. Ben Jones and John Miller) before Chinese officials interrupt.” Watch the footage 

IT’S MONDAY. We have officially reached August. Rabbit, rabbit! 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 Congress 

It’s a mad dash to August recess:

Senate Democrats are hoping to pass the negotiated climate, tax and health care bill this week before leaving for August recess. 

The holdup: Whether moderate Sen. Kyrsten Sinema (D-Ariz.) will support the reconciliation package. She could singlehandedly tank the bill as Democrats need all 50 members of their caucus to pass the bill. 

If Sinema opposes the bill, here’s what she likely will dispute: The carried interest tax loophole. “The tax preference allows asset managers to pay a 20 percent capital gains tax rate on income that is earned through managing profitable investments … Sinema has previously opposed closing the carried interest tax loophole. Manchin, however, says he is firm on keeping the carried interest provision in the package.”  

Besides Sinema’s stamp of approval, what else needs to happen this week for the bill to pass?: The Senate parliamentarian reviews the package to make sure the provisions are all related to the budget. The Senate will then hold a “vote-a-rama” to allow Republicans to offer amendments. Once that concludes, the Senate can vote on the package. 

More on what to expect, via The Hill’s Mychael Schnell 

 WHAT ELSE IS HAPPENING ON CAPITOL HILL THIS WEEK?:

Take two of the veteran toxic burn pit bill: After failing last week when 25 Senate Republicans changed their votes, the Senate is holding another vote on the bill to expand health care for veterans who were exposed to toxic burn pits after 9/11. Where that bill now stands 

^ If you aren’t familiar with the back and forth on this billHere’s a helpful explainer from Military Times’s Leo Shane III 

Support for Finland and Sweden joining NATO: If the Senate has time this week, they may vote on a resolution in support of Finland and Sweden joining NATO. 

➤ REPUBLICAN SEN. PAT TOOMEY (R-PA.) DEFENDED HIS BURN PIT ‘NO’ VOTE
The gist: “Toomey insisted that he and his fellow Republicans don’t oppose the bill itself, but are worried instead about Democrats using it to acquire funds for unrelated matters and switch discretionary funding to mandatory.” Watch Toomey’s defense

🗳 On the campaign trail 

 HOW THE PENNSYLVANIA SENATE RACE HAS BECOME A ‘JERSEY SHORE’ EPISODE
This race has been pretty wild if you haven’t been following it. Here’s a quick explainer, via The Hill’s Hanna Trudo 

➤ ‘11 RACES WE’RE WATCHING IN TUESDAY’S PRIMARIES’
Via The Hill’s Caroline Vakil

️ A lighter read 

‘Watching Trump Play Golf: Decent Drives, Skipped Putts, Lots of Sweat’:  

embed: https://giphy.com/gifs/happy-gilmore-5kwxxmNYbyGcg

The New York Times’s Bill Pennington, who covers golf for the outlet, writes about what it’s like to golf with former President TrumpRead the full story 

Think: A dozen security golf carts, ignored mistakes and lots of group photos 

Excerpt: “By that point, Trump had registered, at best, one par. He had also not finished a hole after his blast from a bunker had failed to reach the green and was nestled in some nasty rough. Instead, he had his caddie pick up the ball and march to the next tee. On another hole, when a birdie putt rolled nearly six feet past the hole, he casually scooped the ball up to end the hole, apparently conceding himself a par. Try that this weekend in your match with your usual foursome. Or any foursome.”  

 KEEP IN MIND — SAUDI-BACKED GOLF TOURNAMENT AT A TRUMP VENUE WAS PRETTY CONTROVERSIAL
“To 9/11 Families, Saudi-Backed Golf Event Is ‘Another Atrocity’: The families are furious that former President Donald J. Trump once blamed Saudi Arabia for the terrorist attacks, but is now allowing his golf course to be used for its LIV Golf event.” More on the controversy, via The New York Times’s David Waldstein 

Watch Trump defend hosting the event at his golf club: Video from CNN

🦠 Latest with COVID 

 THE COVID-19 NUMBERS 

Cases to date: 90.8 million 

Death toll: 1,024,611 

Current hospitalizations: 36,996 

Shots administered: 603 million 

Fully vaccinated: 67.2 percent of Americans 

CDC data here.

🐥Notable tweets 

A couple of pals watching golf together:

@RonFilipkowski tweeted, “[Fox News host] Tucker Carlson showed up at the Saudi golf tournament today.” Photo of Tucker Carlson and former President Trump watching together

On tap

The Senate is in. The House is out. President Biden is back in isolation. Vice President Harris is in Miami.

  • 10 a.m.: Harris left for Miami. 
  • 10:15 a.m.: Biden received the President’s Daily Briefing. 
  • 1:55 p.m.: Harris receives a briefing at the National Hurricane Center on climate challenges including hurricanes, floods, drought, extreme heat and wildfires. 
  • 3 p.m.: The Senate returns. Today’s Senate agenda 
  • 5:30 p.m.: A cloture vote on a Senate nomination. 
  • 6 p.m.: Harris returns to Washington, D.C. 

 All times Eastern.

📺What to watch

  • 1:45 p.m.: White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre holds a press briefing. Livestream 
  • 4:05 p.m.: Harris delivers remarks on climate investments. Livestream

🥧 In lighter news 

Today is National Raspberry Cream Pie Day.

And to start your week off strong, here’s a cat who is hoping to be selected as a professional goalie.