Day 616: "Unprecedented."
1/ The Senate is set to vote on a short-term spending bill to keep the federal government running past Friday. In addition to maintaining current funding levels through Dec. 16, the bill also provides more than $12 billion to Ukraine, $1 billion to help families with heating and cooling costs, $2.5 billion to help New Mexico recover from wildfires, and $20 million in emergency funding for water and wastewater infrastructure improvements in Jackson, Mississippi. Prior to voting, Joe Manchin asked Chuck Schumer to remove his energy permitting package from the short-term government funding bill. The permitting proposal was a key part of Schumer’s deal with Manchin to pass the Inflation Reduction Act this summer on a party-line vote. Manchin conceded only after several Democrats and Republicans – including Mitch McConnell – threatened to vote against the spending measure and risk a government shutdown. (Politico / Washington Post / CBS News / New York Times / CNN / Wall Street Journal)
2/ Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton fled his home in a truck driven by his wife to avoid being served a subpoena in a lawsuit over funding for abortions. Several abortion rights organizations filed a lawsuit seeking a court order barring state officials from pursuing criminal charges against their employees for providing financial and other aid to Texans seeking abortion services out of state. In a sworn affidavit, the process server said that Paxton refused to accept the subpoena and instead ran from his garage into a truck driven by his wife, state Sen. Angela Paxton. (Texas Tribune / NBC News / Bloomberg)
3/ More than 1,000 students walked out of Virginia public schools in protest of the state’s reversal of transgender protections. Earlier this month, Gov. Glenn Youngkin rewrote Virginia’s model policies for the treatment of transgender students, mandating that all students use school bathrooms and locker rooms according to the “biological sex” they were assigned at birth. The new policy also requires parental approval for staff members to refer to students by a different name or pronoun at school. “These revised guidelines will only hurt students in a time when students are facing unparalleled mental health challenges, and are a cruel attempt to politicize the existence of LGBTQIA+ students for political gain,” the Pride Liberation Project, a statewide LGBTQ youth advocacy group, said in a statement. (Washington Post / NBC News / USA Today)
4/ Hurricane Ian made landfall as a Category 3 storm over Cuba and is expected to strengthen into a Category 4 storm as it approaches Florida’s southwest coast. More than 2.5 million Florida residents are already under evacuation orders. The storm is expected to pass west of the Florida Keys Tuesday and come ashore just south of Sarasota on Florida’s Gulf Coast by Wednesday night. (Washington Post / NPR / New York Times / Associated Press)
5/ The Jan. 6 committee postponed its next hearing because of Hurricane Ian. It’s unclear when the panel’s ninth and final public hearing will be rescheduled. (Washington Post / New York Times)
6/ European leaders blamed the Kremlin for explosions that damaged three natural gas pipelines running under the Baltic Sea from Russia to Germany. “The damage that occurred in one day simultaneously at three lines of offshore pipelines of the Nord Stream system is unprecedented,” the operating company, Nord Stream AG, said in a statement. The Danish prime minister said she “cannot rule out” sabotage, saying “these are deliberate actions, not an accident. The situation is as serious as it gets.” The Polish prime minister added that “we can clearly see that it is an act of sabotage,” and “probably marks the next stage in the escalation of this situation in Ukraine.” It’s not clear what impact the damage will have on Europe’s energy supplies, but western officials have warned that the Kremlin is weaponizing its gas deliveries to Europe to punish governments for supporting Ukraine. (Associated Press / Washington Post / New York Times / Wall Street Journal / Politico / CBS News / The Guardian)
poll/ 41% of Americans favor charging Trump with crimes related to the Jan. 6 attack on the Capitol, while 34% are against charging Trump and another 25% are unsure. (Bloomberg)
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