Welcome back to 10 Things in Politics. Today is the last edition before the newsletter goes on hiatus. I’ll be a senior politics reporter at Insider starting next year. Please stay in touch! You can reach me at email@example.com or follow me on Twitter at @BrentGriffiths.
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I truly appreciate your waking up with us each morning.
Here’s what we’re talking about:
1. INSIDE CONGRESS: Time is running out for Democrats. Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer wants his party to pass President Joe Biden’s massive spending plan by Christmas. Failing to meet the deadline will do more than just exacerbate frustrations with the state of Biden’s agenda. The IRS has advised lawmakers that December 28 is the last day Biden’s $2 trillion package can pass to ensure the next round of child-tax-credit payments goes out smoothly.
Here’s where things stand:
Experts say it would be a disaster if the child tax credit expires: Some 35 million families are receiving the monthly child tax credit, per the IRS and Treasury, my colleague Joseph Zeballos-Roig reports. Data indicates the government cash is going toward basic expenses like rent, groceries, and gas.
- Biden’s plan would extend the tax credit through next year: It provides up to $300 a month per child age 5 and under, or $3,600 annually. For children ages 6 to 17, families can receive $250 each month, or $3,000 yearly. And it would lock in the ability for the vast majority of American families to receive the cash every month, regardless of whether they file taxes.
A key swing vote remains a holdout: Sen. Joe Manchin of West Virginia has yet to commit to supporting Biden’s plan. He told Insider that even if the revamped child tax credit were to abruptly end, the federal government had stepped in enough with a burst of new spending to help families during the coronavirus pandemic.
2. Biden touts economic headwinds before another expected inflation-related doozy: Biden argued that overall the US economy was performing well, saying it was “the fastest movement of people from relying on government support to earning a weekly paycheck in history.” Thursday’s weekly jobless claims were also at their lowest since 1969. But inflation continues to haunt him. Inflation in October hit a 30-year high. Today’s inflation report for November could be a 40-year high.
3. Congress now has a clear path to raising the debt ceiling: A bipartisan group of senators sent legislation to Biden’s desk that would allow Democrats to lift the limit with a 51-vote majority. The deal cuts short further bluster less than a week before an expected default, but not all Republicans were happy with it. Others said there were simply no good options. “We’re confronted with a crap sandwich, and I’d rather have a hamburger,” Sen. Kevin Cramer of South Dakota told reporters. Some Democrats view the episode as reopening the possibility of weakening the Senate’s filibuster.
4. Jussie Smollett was found guilty of falsely reporting a hate crime: Smollett, an actor known from his time on Fox’s “Empire,” was found guilty on five out of six counts in connection with staging a hate crime against himself nearly three years ago on the streets of downtown Chicago. Smollett, 39, faces up to three years in prison. But experts have said he would most likely be put on probation and ordered to do community service, per the Associated Press. The actor, who is Black and gay, unexpectedly took the stand in his trial, telling jurors, “There was no hoax on my part.” More on the verdict from the closely watched case.
5. Federal court rules Trump must turn over January 6 documents: Judge Patricia Millett, writing for a three-judge panel, rejected former President Donald Trump’s bid to block the House’s January 6 select committee from obtaining a tranche of executive-branch documents. Trump, per The New York Times, is now expected to appeal the ruling to the Supreme Court. Millett’s decision gives his team just two weeks to make such a move before a temporary block on the National Archives turning over the records is lifted. More information from what has become a closely watched court battle.
- Key quote: “The constitutional protections of executive privilege should not be used to shield, from Congress or the public, information that reflects a clear and apparent effort to subvert the Constitution itself,” Millett, an Obama appointee, wrote in a blistering 68-page opinion.
More potentially bad legal news for Trump: New York’s attorney general, Letitia James, wants to put Trump under oath as her office conducts a civil investigation into the Trump Organization, The Washington Post reports. James also dropped out of the New York governor’s race to focus on keeping her current job.
6. At least 53 people are dead after a truck carrying migrants crashed in Mexico: “Rescue workers rushing to a highway accident found a horrific scene of death and injury after a freight truck jammed with as many as 200 migrants tipped over and crashed into the base of a steel pedestrian bridge in southern Mexico,” the Associated Press reports. Here’s the latest on the horrific crash.
7. New York gives noncitizens a right to vote in local elections: New York City is now the largest municipality in the US to allow noncitizens to vote in local races, The Post reports. The new policy does not apply to New Yorkers living in the country illegally but does cover an estimated roughly 1 million adult noncitizens. Read more about this historic change.
8. Daunte Wright’s girlfriend gave emotional testimony about what happened after he was shot: Alayna Albrecht-Payton, who was in the car when the Minnesota police officer Kim Potter fatally shot Wright, testified that she frantically searched for a sweater or towel to “put it on his chest like you see in the movies and TV shows.” Potter has pleaded not guilty to first- and second-degree manslaughter charges. Potter has said she confused the placement of her gun with her Taser. More from an emotional day in the trial.
9. Buffalo Starbucks workers vote for historic union: Starbucks workers at a store in Buffalo, New York, have voted to form a union, which is a first for the coffee giant’s company-owned stores in the US. There could be even more Starbucks unionization efforts on the horizon.
10. One last thing: There’s no trivia question today, so instead I want to take a moment to thank all the wonderful people who have helped guide this from the start. (Yesterday’s answer: Bob and Elizabeth Dole lived inside the Watergate complex for decades. Then the Republican National Committee chairman, Dole was out of town during the infamous break-in. They later lived next door to Monica Lewinsky.)
Like a true Midwesterner, I am bad at goodbyes. So thank you once again for waking up with us. Until we meet again, I hope you have a wonderful weekend and holiday season.