1/ Senate Democrats are pressing ahead on voting rights despite unified opposition from Joe Manchin, Kyrsten Sinema, and Senate Republicans. A vote on voting rights legislation is expected to happen tonight. Republicans are expected to block the bill, which will prompt Chuck Schumer to then hold a vote to change Senate rules to allow for a “talking filibuster” that only covers the voting package, allowing it to pass by a simple majority in the evenly divided Senate. Manchin and Sinema, however, are expected to oppose the proposed changes. Manchin, meanwhile, admonished Democrats’ effort to change the filibuster rules in order to pass voting rights legislation, calling it “a great misleading of the American people” and a “perilous course” for the nation, while accusing his Democratic colleagues of trying to take the “easy way out” by “break[ing] the rules to change the rules.” (Politico / CNN / CNBC / Wall Street Journal / New York Times / CNN)
2/ Biden conceded that in order to get his Build Back Better agenda passed, Congress will have to “break it up” to get as much of it through as possible. “I’m confident we can get pieces, big chunks of the Build Back Better law signed into law,” Biden said, adding “and come back and fight for the rest later.” Biden pointed to roughly $500 billion in climate change provisions, funding for universal pre-kindergarten, and some financing provisions that he said had “clear” support. “I know that the two people who have opposed on the Democratic side at least, support a number of things that are in there,” Biden said, referring to Joe Manchin and Kyrsten Sinema. (CNBC / CNN / The Hill / NPR)
3/ The U.S. will make 400 million N95 masks available for free at pharmacies and community health centers starting next week. The move, which officials called the “largest deployment of personal protective equipment in U.S. history,” comes days after the CDC updated its mask guidance to recommend that people wear “the most protective mask you can that fits well and that you will wear consistently.” The masks will be sourced from the Strategic National Stockpile, which has more than 750 million masks on hand. (Bloomberg / Washington Post / Associated Press / New York Times / Wall Street Journal / CNN)
4/ New York Attorney General Letitia James accused Trump’s business of repeatedly using “fraudulent or misleading” valuations of its assets to get loans and tax benefits. In a court filing Tuesday, James’s office claimed that the Trump Organization made “misrepresentations to financial institutions,” including the IRS, lenders, and insurers, and that many of the statements were “generally inflated as part of a pattern to suggest that Mr. Trump’s net worth was higher than it otherwise would have appeared.” The filing adds that Trump “was personally involved in reviewing and approving the statements of financial condition before their issuance.” The filing came in response to Trump’s effort to block James from questioning him, Trump Jr., and Ivanka Trump under oath. (New York Times / CNN / Washington Post / NBC News / Associated Press / Axios)
5/ The House committee investigating the Jan. 6 attack on the Capitol subpoenaed Rudy Giuliani, Sidney Powell, and two other members of Trump’s legal team who pursued and disseminated bogus claims of mass election fraud. “The four individuals we’ve subpoenaed today advanced unsupported theories about election fraud, pushed efforts to overturn the election results, or were in direct contact with the former President about attempts to stop the counting of electoral votes,” Bennie Thompson, Democratic chairman of the panel, said in a statement. The committee also subpoenaed and obtained records of phone numbers associated with Eric Trump and Kimberly Guilfoyle. Separately, the National Archives will release four pages of Trump’s White House records to the Jan. 6 committee despite Trump’s pending request at the Supreme Court to block the handover. (New York Times / CNN / Washington Post / Associated Press / NBC News / NPR)
6/ Declassified drone footage shows that the U.S. military mistakenly killed 10 Afghan civilians — including seven children — last August in a botched strike in Kabul. The 25 minutes of footage show a car on a residential street, with figures moving around a courtyard, and children walking on the street. The Pentagon previously called the Aug. 29 strike “a tragic mistake.” But in November, the Air Force’s inspector general released findings of his investigation into the strike, which found no violations of law and did not recommend any disciplinary action. (New York Times)
7/ Biden said he expects Putin to invade Ukraine. “I’m not so sure he is certain what he is going to do,” Biden said, adding “Do I think he’ll test the West, test the United States and NATO, as significantly as he can? Yes, I think he will.” Asked to clarify whether he was accepting that an invasion is coming, Biden said: “My guess is he will move in. He has to do something.” Biden added that repercussions will “depend” on what Russia does, but warned that Putin has “never seen sanctions like the ones I promised would be imposed if he moves.” (New York Times / Washington Post / CNN)
Become a member.
Help keep WTF Just Happened Today going with a small contribution.