Day 700: "A new political weapon."
1/ The Jan. 6 Committee is cooperating with the Justice Department’s investigation into Trump. After Attorney General Merrick Garland appointed Jack Smith as special counsel last month, Smith requested the evidence that committee compiled over its 18-month investigation. The committee has nearly 1,200 witness interview transcripts, which it began sending to Smith’s team last week. The committee also sent the Justice Department all of Mark Meadows’ text messages and related evidence. (Punchbowl News)
2/ Congressional leaders reached an agreement on a $1.7 trillion spending package to fund the government through September. The so-called omnibus, which runs for 4,155 pages, would provide $858 billion in defense funding, $772.5 billion for non-defense discretionary programs, $44.9 billion in emergency assistance to Ukraine, and about $40 billion in emergency funds to help communities recover from hurricanes, wildfires, and droughts. The package increases the Justice Department budget by $212.1 million “to further support prosecutions related to the Jan. 6 attack on the Capitol and domestic terrorism cases.” The legislation also includes an overhaul of the Electoral Count Act, which Trump tried to use to overturn the 2020 election. Congress needs to complete passage of the funding measure ahead of a midnight Friday deadline or face a partial government shutdown going into the Christmas holiday. Any senator, however, could hold up that deal in exchange for amendments or concessions. (Associated Press / Washington Post / New York Times / CNN / Politico / Axios)
3/ The U.S. Postal Service will buy at least 66,000 electric delivery trucks by 2028 as part of a push to transform its delivery fleet. The Postal Service will spend $9.6 billion on the vehicles, including $3 billion from the Inflation Reduction Act, and all new vehicles acquired from 2026 through 2028 are expected to be 100% electric. The USPS currently has more than 220,000 old vehicles in its fleet. (Washington Post / CBS News / CNN / CNBC)
4/ The Supreme Court blocked a pandemic-era border policy from ending this week. Chief Justice John Roberts put a lower court ruling to end the Trump-era policy on a temporary hold in response to an emergency request by 19 Republican-led states to keep the policy in place. Title 42 has been used more than 2 million times during the pandemic to expel asylum-seeking migrants. (NBC News / Politico)
Notably Next/ The House Ways and Means Committee is expected to vote this afternoon on whether to publicly release Trump’s tax returns. The committee tried to obtain six years’ worth of Trump’s tax returns in 2019, after Democrats retook the House majority. Unlike his predecessors, Trump never released his tax returns to the public, falsely claiming that he couldn’t release them while under “routine audit” by the IRS. In 2020, it was reported that Trump had paid $750 in federal income taxes in 2016, and another $750 in 2017. The tax data covered more than two decades and show that Trump had paid no income tax in 10 of the 15 years before he ran for president. Before the committee’s meeting, the committee’s top Republican called any release of Trump’s tax records a “dangerous new political weapon” that “even Democrats will come to regret.” (New York Times / CNN / Washington Post / Bloomberg / Associated Press)
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