1/ A federal government shutdown looks increasingly likely as Kevin McCarthy lacks the votes needed to pass a short-term spending bill and House Republicans have indicated they won’t consider the Senate’s bipartisan plan to fund the government. Far-right conservatives in the House have pushed for deep spending cuts – that won’t pass the Democratic-controlled Senate – while also threatening to remove McCarthy as speaker. And although the Senate advanced a bipartisan continuing resolution, McCarthy rejected the idea because the proposal contains aid to Ukraine, which a number of House Republicans oppose. The Senate bill, however, would likely pass the House with Democratic votes, but McCarthy would risk fracturing the Republican conference that has repeatedly threatened to remove him as speaker. The government will shut down at 12:01 a.m. ET Sunday if Congress doesn’t pass a funding bill. (Washington Post / Associated Press / The Hill / CNN / NBC News / Wall Street Journal / Politico)

2/ Sen. Bob Menendez, his wife, and two business associates all pleaded not guilty court on federal bribery and extortion charges. Menendez has resisted calls from at least 30 of his fellow Democrats to resign despite authorities alleging that he used his “power and influence as a Senator” in exchange for hundreds of thousands of dollars in bribes, including “cash, gold, payments toward a home mortgage, compensation for a low-or-no-show job, a luxury vehicle” and more. It’s the second time in eight years that Menendez has been indicted on federal bribery and corruption charges. (ABC News / Axios / CNN / Washington Post / New York Times / Associated Press)

3/ The Federal Communications Commission plans to reinstate net neutrality rules that Trump repealed. The proposal would bar broadband providers from blocking or throttling internet traffic to some websites and speeding up access to others that pay extra. FCC Chairwoman Jessica Rosenworcel called broadband access “not a luxury, it’s a necessity,” adding: “It is essential infrastructure for modern life. No-one without it has a fair shot at 21st century success. We need broadband to reach 100% of us, and it needs to be fast, open and fair.” Rosenworcel said the FCC “seeks to largely return to the successful rules the Commission adopted in 2015,” which would classify broadband as essential infrastructure on a par with water, power, and phone service. (TechCrunch / The Verge / The Hill / Politico)

4/ About 18 million Americans – nearly 7% of all U.S. adults – have had long COVID. The new data from the CDC also found that nearly twice as many women (4.4%) have had long COVID compared to men (2.3%). Long COVID is a condition that occurs when patients still have symptoms, including fatigue, difficulty breathing, headaches, brain fog, joint and muscle pain, and continued loss of taste and smell, at least four weeks after they have cleared the infection. (ABC News / CBS News)

5/ Hunter Biden sued Rudy Giuliani and his former attorney, claiming they violated computer fraud and data access laws. In the lawsuit, Hunter Biden accuses Giuliani and his former lawyer, Robert Costello, of “hacking into, tampering with, manipulating, copying, disseminating, and generally obsessing over data that they were given that was taken or stolen from” his devices, claiming they caused “total annihilation” of his digital privacy. Hunter Biden claimed that his data was “manipulated, altered, and damaged” before Giuliani and Costello received it, and that the pair made “further alterations and damage to the data to a degree that is presently unknown to Plaintiff.” The suit seeks more than $75,000 in damages, as well as to bar the two from accessing or copying Biden’s data. (NBC News / Politico / CNBC / CNN)

6/ The second Republican debate will take place at 9 p.m. ET today and air on Fox News Channel and Fox Business. Seven candidates will appear on the stage: Doug Burgum, Chris Christie, Ron DeSantis, Nikki Haley, Mike Pence, Vivek Ramaswamy, and Tim Scott. (NBC News / Bloomberg)

📊 Dept. of Magical Thinking.

  1. 45% of registered voters said they’d cast their ballots for Biden in a 2024 hypothetical matchup, while 40% said the same for Trump. (The Hill)
  2. 52% of Americans said they’d support Trump in a hypothetical 2024 matchup, while 42% said they’d support Biden. (ABC News)
  3. 53% of Republicans said Trump was a person of faith, while 23% said Biden is a person of faith. (Deseret News)
  4. 69% of Republican voters see Trump as a political outsider. By comparison, 57% see Ron DeSantis as being more inside the political establishment. (Monmouth University Poll)