1/ The House entered its third week without a speaker after Republicans dropped Jim Jordan as their nominee while nine other Republicans have lined up for the speakership – seven of which voted to overturn the 2020 election. After three failed floor votes for his speaker bid, Republicans voted by secret ballot to drop Jordan as their nominee. Since then, nine Republicans have announced bids for the job and the conference is scheduled to vote Tuesday morning on a nominee. Only two of the nine – Tom Emmer and Austin Scott – voted to certify Biden’s victory in 2020 presidential election. Trump’s allies in the House, however, have criticized Emmer for voting to certify the election and it’s not clear if any of the Republican lawmakers will be able to secure the 217 votes needed to serve as speaker. Interim Speaker Patrick McHenry, meanwhile, threatened to quit if his Republican colleagues try to move legislation on the floor without an explicit vote to expand his powers. Kevin McCarthy, who was ousted on Oct. 3, called the stalemate “embarrassing for the Republican Party.” (CNN / NBC News / Axios / Wall Street Journal)
2/ Hamas released two more hostages for “humanitarian and health reasons,” which follows the release of two American hostages last week. It’s believed that Hamas abducted more than 200 people during its Oct. 7 terror attack on Israel, which killed 1,400 people. The death toll in the Gaza Strip, meanwhile, has reportedly passed 5,000 as Israel continues its bombardment ahead of an expected ground invasion. The Biden administration, meanwhile, advised Israel to delay any ground invasion, hoping to buy time for hostage negotiations and to allow more humanitarian aid to reach Palestinians in the sealed-off enclave. At the same time, Biden sent a Marine three-star general and several military officers to Israel to advise the Israeli military about its operation in Gaza. (New York Times / Washington Post / NPR / Associated Press / Wall Street Journal / Bloomberg / NBC News)
3/ Biden asked Congress for $105 billion in national security funding for Ukraine, Israel, humanitarian aid, border security, and countering China in the Indo-Pacific. Biden called the funding package “a smart investment that’s going to pay dividends for American security for generations.” Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer praised the package and said he would move quickly to pass Biden’s full national security package. House Republicans, however, have grown critical of the administration’s approach to the war in Ukraine and want to rein in government spending. The House is also without a speaker, preventing the chamber from conducting any legislative business. (Washington Post / CBS News / NPR / New York Times / CNN)
4/ A third Trump co-defendant pleaded guilty to illegally conspiring to overturn Trump’s 2020 election loss in Georgia. Kenneth Chesebro agreed to provide evidence and cooperate with state prosecutors, who have charged him, Trump, and 17 others of conspiring to keep Trump in power. Sidney Powell and bail bondsman Scott Hall previously pleaded guilty in the criminal racketeering case. All three have agreed to testify against others in the case. (ABC News / New York Times / NBC News / CNN / Washington Post)
5/ The Supreme Court temporarily allowed the White House to continue its efforts to pressure social media companies to remove misinformation from their platforms. Earlier this year, a lower court ruled that the Biden administration had likely violated the First Amendment by pressuring tech companies’ to remove or suppress misinformation. The Biden administration called the injunction “unprecedented.” The Supreme Court blocked the lower court’s injunction and agreed to immediately take up the government’s appeal. (Politico / CBS News / Bloomberg / NBC News / Washington Post)
6/ Trump was fined $5,000 for a “blatant violation” of a gag order in his New York civil fraud trial. After Trump disparaged a court staffer, Judge Arthur Engoron said “this Court is way behind the ‘warning’ stage,” but stopped short of holding Trump in contempt. Engoron said that “future violations, whether intentional or unintentional,” could result in possible jail time or harsher financial penalties. (Axios / Associated Press / CNN / New York Times)
7/ Trump denied that he shared U.S. national security secrets with an Australian billionaire. Anthony Pratt, who was interviewed by special counsel Jack Smith’s office as part of the classified documents case, said Trump shared sensitive information about U.S. nuclear submarines with him, as well as U.S. military operations in Iraq and Trump’s conversations with the presidents of Iraq and Ukraine. Although Trump denied telling “a red haired weirdo from Australia” national security secrets, secret recordings obtained by “60 Minutes Australia” captured Pratt recounting his private conversations with Trump. (New York Times / NBC News / CNN / Rolling Stone)
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