1/ Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen notified Congress that the U.S. will hit the debt ceiling Thursday. The debt limit is the maximum that the federal government is allowed to borrow to fulfill its financial obligations. Beginning Jan. 19, the Treasury Department will resort to “extraordinary measures” to avoid a potentially catastrophic default, which will enable “the government to meet its obligations for only a limited amount of time.” Those measures, however, will only delay a default until early June. Yellen urged lawmakers to “act in a timely matter” to increase or suspend the debt limit, saying the “failure to meet the government’s obligations would cause irreparable harm to the US economy, the livelihoods of all Americans, and global financial stability.” Kevin McCarthy called on Democrats to negotiate with Republicans over a fiscal plan that includes an increase in the federal debt limit. Biden and congressional Democrats, however, have said they will not offer any concessions or negotiate on raising the debt ceiling, saying it should be raised without conditions. (CNN / Associated Press / NBC News / New York Times / Bloomberg / NPR)
2/ Biden’s aides found five additional pages of classified material at his personal residence in Delaware. The discovery came hours after Attorney General Merrick Garland appointed a special counsel to investigate why classified documents from Biden’s time as vice president have been found at both his home and the office he used at a Washington think tank. Last week, the White House disclosed that classified Obama-era documents were found in Biden’s possession on four separate occasions. In total, around 20 documents have been and immediately turned over to the National Archives or Justice Department. (New York Times / Politico / CNN / Wall Street Journal / Associated Press / CNBC)
3/ House Republicans demanded two years of visitor logs from Biden’s Delaware home and all other information related to the recently discovered classified documents. “We have a lot of questions,” James Comer said, chairman of the House Oversight and Accountability Committee, calling the matter “troubling.” Comer, referring to Biden’s home as a “crime scene” even though he acknowledged that he doesn’t know whether any laws were actually broken, said the matter had raised questions about whether Biden had “jeopardized our national security.” Comer, however, refused to explain why he wants to investigate the 20-ish classified documents that Biden voluntarily turned over, but not the roughly 300 classified documents — including some at the top secret level – that were retrieved from Trump only after the FBI executed a search warrant at Mar-a-Lago. The White House and the Secret Service, meanwhile, said they do not maintain visitor logs for Biden’s personal home in Delaware, “like every President across decades of modern history.” (Associated Press / Washington Post / NBC News / Wall Street Journal / CNN)
4/ A failed Republican candidate for the New Mexico House was arrested for orchestrating a series of shootings targeting Democratic state officials. Albuquerque police arrested Solomon Peña, who paid four other men to shoot at the Albuquerque-area homes of two county commissioners and two state legislators. Investigators believe Peña was present for at least one of the shootings. Peña lost the November election to incumbent Miguel Garcia and has repeatedly claimed that the election was rigged. (Albuquerque Journal / New York Times / Washington Post / Associated Press / NBC News)
5/ Marjorie Taylor Greene and Paul Gosar received committee assignments after being removed from their committees in 2021 over violent social media posts. The House voted in February 2021 to remove Greene from her committee assignments for her embrace of conspiracy theories and past endorsement for executing Democratic politicians before being elected to Congress. Gosar was also removed from his two committees after he posted an animated video that depicted him killing Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and attacking Biden. Greene will now be seated on the Homeland Security Committee and Gosar will be seated on the House Natural Resources Committee. Greene, Gosar, and Lauren Boebert will also be seated on the House Oversight and Accountability Committee. “Joe Biden, be prepared,” Greene said in a statement. “We are going to uncover every corrupt business dealing, every foreign entanglement, every abuse of power.” Scandal-plagued George Santos also received a seat on the House Committee on Small Business, despite calls from his own party to resign. (NBC News / Washington Post / CNN)
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