Presented by Facebook
Welcome to The Hill's Morning Report. It is Monday, and Happy Hanukkah! We get you up to speed on the most important developments in politics and policy, plus trends to watch. Alexis Simendinger and Al Weaver are the co-creators. Readers can find us on Twitter @asimendinger and @alweaver22. Please recommend the Morning Report to friends and let us know what you think. CLICK HERE to subscribe!
Total U.S. coronavirus deaths as of today: 776,639.
As of this morning, 69.7 percent of the U.S. population has received at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine and 59.1 percent is fully vaccinated, according to the Bloomberg News global vaccine tracker . A little more than 11 percent of the U.S. eligible population has received a booster dose.
Just when the world hoped COVID-19 might one day be beatable, or at least a controllable risk in people's daily lives, a new variant of the coronavirus set off alarms, triggering unanswered scientific questions but instantaneous emergency international responses and panic in financial markets on Friday.
Today, the United States joins other nations in restricting visitors from eight African countries because of the potential risks of the omicron variant of COVID-19. The variant has been detected in at least a dozen countries, including South Africa (where less than a quarter of the population is fully vaccinated against COVID-19), Canada (first confirmation in North America), Israel , Hong Kong, the Netherlands, Belgium, Italy, Germany, France, Portugal , Australia and the United Kingdom , where a mask mandate is back in place.
President Biden Joe Biden Roberts calls for judicial independence in year-end report Biden to speak to Ukraine’s president Documents show Chinese government collects droves of data from Western social media: report MORE will speak about the situation today from the White House. The United Kingdom plans a meeting today of health ministers from the seven largest industrialized nations to discuss responses.
Researchers insist omicron is not "apocalyptic," and there is no early evidence that it causes more severe disease or higher risks of death than previous variants, including delta. It is unclear how quickly omicron spreads; anecdotal information from South Africa suggests it is efficient at moving from human to human.
CNBC : Moderna says a vaccine with targeted effectiveness against omicron could be ready next year. It is not clear such a vaccine will be needed.
The Associated Press : Here is what scientists know so far about the new variant.
Scientists, including Francis Collins , director of the National Institutes of Health, predict it will take about two weeks to gain a better understanding of omicron's capabilities, and in the meantime, he and other administration officials urge Americans to get first, second or third doses of COVID-19 vaccines ( The Hill ).
Anthony Fauci Anthony Fauci Michigan shifts, will follow CDC isolation guidance 2021’s top political celebrity moments These 3 issues will clobber Democrats in 2022 MORE , the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, told NBC News over the weekend that he "would not be surprised" if the variant is already in this country.
"We have not detected it yet," Fauci said on Saturday. "But when you have a virus that is showing this degree of transmissibility and you're already having travel-related cases that they've noted in Israel and Belgium and other places, … it almost invariably is ultimately going to go essentially all over" ( The Hill ).
CBS News : "It's almost definitely here already," former Food and Drug Administration Commissioner Scott Gottlieb said Sunday.
Biden on Saturday urged all Americans ages 5 and up to get vaccinated and, if eligible, obtain booster doses as soon as possible. "That is the minimum that everyone should be doing. And I — you know, we always talk about whether this is about freedom, but I think it’s a patriotic responsibility to do that."
Fauci joined administration officials in the Oval Office on Sunday to brief the president, all speaking through masks to tell Biden that experts believe existing vaccines are likely to continue to provide some protection against severe cases of COVID-19 infection as omicron spreads, the White House said in a statement . Fauci repeated the scientific community's view that boosters for fully vaccinated individuals "provide the strongest available protection" against the coronavirus by replenishing waning immune responses.
The World Health Organization (WHO) protested nations that implemented travel restrictions at borders because of omicron ( The Associated Press ) and instead called for more vaccinations, increased surveillance of the variant and laboratory experiments to better understand its biology. Scientists have already developed a standard PCR (polymerase chain reaction) nasal swab test that identifies the newest version of the coronavirus ( The Associated Press and The New York Times ).
The U.S. travel rules in place today apply to individuals originating from South Africa, Botswana, Zimbabwe, Namibia, Lesotho, Eswatini, Mozambique and Malawi . They do not apply to American citizens and lawful permanent residents.
The Hill : Fauci defends new U.S. travel restrictions.
Reuters : Japan, Israel shut borders to foreigners because of omicron.
WHO officials were first alerted by South Africa on Wednesday about the new variant, which scientists are studying with urgency because of its abundant mutations affecting the virus's spike protein, its potent transmissibility and possible adaptations to evade COVID-19 vaccines ( The New York Times ).
The Associated Press : In Switzerland , legislation already in force to require special COVID-19 certificates, under which only people who have been vaccinated, recovered or tested negative can attend public events and gatherings, won majority voter support in a Sunday referendum.
A MESSAGE FROM FACEBOOK Support a cause like Operation BBQ Relief on GivingTuesday
Operation BBQ Relief provides millions of meals to communities in need with the help of fundraising tools on Facebook.
Tomorrow is GivingTuesday! Make a difference by starting or donating to a cause you care about.
LEADING THE DAY
CONGRESS: Lawmakers return to Washington today and Tuesday staring down a critical pre-Christmas to-do list. Priorities include increasing the nation's borrowing authority by mid-December to pay for U.S. commitments already approved by Congress; averting a shutdown by funding the government; and resolving the fate of the Democrats' Build Back Better agenda through the Senate.
Although Senate Majority Leader Charles Schumer Chuck Schumer Warren Buffett rejects Sanders’ request to intervene amid union strike Biden, lawmakers mourn Harry Reid Harry Reid, political pugilist and longtime Senate majority leader, dies MORE (D-N.Y.) and Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell Addison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnell The 9 politicians who had the most impact in 2021 The top political books of 2021 A tale of two tax policies: What motivates the Senate MORE (R-Ky.) renewed debt-ceiling discussions shortly before the Thanksgiving break, the two leaders do not appear to be close to a deal. As The Hill's Alexander Bolton writes , both leaders face tough issues within their own ranks, with McConnell's being more troublesome.
Republicans say there will be no repeat of the Band-Aid from October, when McConnell lined up 11 Republicans to pass a temporary debt limit extension. The party's stance against raising the borrowing limit has intensified, forcing Democrats to weigh whether they could resolve the problem without GOP votes through a massive and still-unresolved budget reconciliation measure.
Democrats, however, maintain that Schumer will not burn up a week of Senate floor time to try to raise the debt ceiling relying only on the majority. Some Republicans have suggested Democrats use reconciliation, with Republicans lending a hand only to expedite the process, to be completed on a partisan basis on the floor.
Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen Janet Louise Yellen House Democrats call on Biden to unfreeze Afghan central bank reserves On The Money — Presented by Citi — Build Back Better…late than never? Biden signs debt ceiling increase, averting default MORE says available funds to meet U.S. obligations will run out by Dec. 15, leaving Democrats with a big problem and no easy answers.
The Washington Post : Congress returns to work staring down fiscal deadlines and unresolved fights over Biden's agenda.
The Hill : Republicans struggle to save funding for Trump’s border wall.
Meanwhile, the future of the Build Back Better agenda is officially in the Senate's hands, and all eyes remain on Sen. Joe Manchin Joe Manchin The 10 biggest news stories of the year The 9 politicians who had the most impact in 2021 Energy & Environment — The biggest climate news of 2021 MORE (D-W.Va.) as Biden's top domestic priority hangs in the balance.
As The Hill's Naomi Jagoda writes , the need to win Manchin's support means a couple of items included in the House version could be on the chopping block, including four weeks of paid family leave, which Manchin has signaled opposition to. A number of climate provisions could also be on the outs to bring the West Virginia centrist into the fold.
One other thing to watch is how Manchin affects when the package is brought to the floor. The West Virginia senator recently said that he's undecided on whether he'll help start debate on it. Any vote is unlikely to occur without Manchin's backing.
Jordain Carney, The Hill : Five ways Senate could change Biden’s spending plan.
The Hill : With Build Back Better, Dems aim to correct messaging missteps.
The Wall Street Journal : Democrats tackle changes to $2 trillion spending plan as deadlines loom.
The Hill : The administration is resisting calls for tougher Russia sanctions in Congress.
The Hill : Former Rep. Carrie Meek (D-Fla.) died at age 95.
IN FOCUS/SHARP TAKES
POLITICS: The attention of the political universe is shifting more and more toward the 2022 midterms with just over 11 months before Republicans get their chance to retake the majority in both congressional chambers.
The Hill's Niall Stanage lays out the key issues that will set the scene for the midterm battles, with the ongoing troubles surrounding COVID-19 and inflation leading the way.
While case totals are nowhere near their peak figures in January, the unpredictability of the virus will remain an issue for the foreseeable future, as the omicron variant has already shown only days after its discovery. However, if the U.S. shows signs that the nation is moving past the pandemic by the spring, Biden and Democrats could be big-time political benefactors.
On the other side of the coin are Biden's ongoing troubles with inflation, which have helped drag down his approval ratings in recent months. According to a CBS News-YouGov poll released last Sunday, 67 percent of Americans disapprove of his handling of inflation, with 82 percent reporting that items they usually buy are more expensive.
However, Biden's resources to corral rising costs are limited. The White House is unable to adjust interest rates as that authority resides with the Federal Reserve, with top officials maintaining that the issue is a temporary result of supply chain problems coupled with pandemic related troubles and not due to Democratic spending, the main GOP line of attack.
Politico : Former President Trump Donald Trump Roberts calls for judicial independence in year-end report The year in weird: 9 bizarre political stories that rocked 2021 Michigan shifts, will follow CDC isolation guidance MORE 's Senate picks stumble out of the gate.
Dan Balz, The Washington Post : Biden's challenge, gamble and wish set the table for the 2022 elections.
The Associated Press : Food, gas prices pinch families as inflation surges globally.
If Republicans do take back the House next year, lawmakers are eyeing retribution against their Democratic counterparts and stripping some notable members of their committee assignments.
House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy Kevin McCarthy Rep. Mike Turner to replace Nunes in top House Intel spot Each state’s population center, visualized Juan Williams: McCarthy’s inaction is a disgrace MORE (R-Calif.) wants an eye for an eye after Democrats booted Reps. Marjorie Taylor Greene Marjorie Taylor Greene GOP efforts to downplay danger of Capitol riot increase The Memo: What now for anti-Trump Republicans? Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene says she’s meeting with Trump ‘soon’ in Florida MORE (R-Ga.) and Paul Gosar Paul Anthony Gosar The 9 politicians who had the most impact in 2021 The Constitution isn’t working More appropriate nominees for ‘Person of The Year’ MORE (R-Ariz.) of committee seats, warning that some liberal lawmakers "will need the approval of a majority to keep those positions in the future."
As The Hill's Cristina Marcos notes , none of the Democrats McCarthy has singled out have embraced conspiracy theories or promoted violence against their political opponents the way Greene and Gosar have. Among those Republicans are looking at are Reps. Ilhan Omar Ilhan Omar The 9 politicians who had the most impact in 2021 Democrats’ selective hearing on law and order issues puts everyone at risk Why the Saudi Arabia weapons deal was a strategic necessity MORE (D-Minn.), Maxine Waters Maxine Moore Waters Biden should resolve to cease the ‘Red Queen’ justice The truth of Jan. 6 is coming to light — accountability will fall to the courts Crypto firm top executives to testify before Congress MORE (D-Calif.), Adam Schiff Adam Bennett Schiff Rep. Mike Turner to replace Nunes in top House Intel spot The top political books of 2021 Jim Jordan says he has ‘real concerns’ with Jan. 6 panel after sit-down request MORE (D-Calif.) and Eric Swalwell Eric Michael Swalwell Biden, lawmakers mourn Harry Reid Five areas where Biden faces pressure to do more on COVID-19 Several Democrats call on FAA, CDC to mandate vaccines, negative tests for air travel MORE (D-Calif.).
Hanna Trudo, The Hill : Restless progressives eye 2024.
The Hollywood Reporter : Matthew McConaughey says he is not pursuing a run for Texas governor.
The New York Times : Former Defense Secretary Mark Esper Mark Esper The Hill’s Morning Report – Presented by Facebook – Biden to update Americans on omicron; Congress back Former defense secretary Esper sues Pentagon in memoir dispute Overnight Defense & National Security — Presented by Boeing — Major Russia weapons test stokes tensions MORE claims Department of Defense is improperly blocking parts of his memoir.
The Morning Report is created by journalists Alexis Simendinger and Al Weaver. We want to hear from you! Email: [email protected] and [email protected] . We invite you to share The Hill's reporting and newsletters, and encourage others to SUBSCRIBE !
The rule of six: A newly radicalized Supreme Court is poised to reshape the nation, by Ruth Marcus, columnist, The Washington Post. https://wapo.st/3I3CSe7
Omicron: Keep calm and carry on vaccinating , by Therese Raphael, columnist, Bloomberg Opinion. https://bloom.bg/3lgYFVT
A MESSAGE FROM FACEBOOK Facebook is helping nonprofits like Operation BBQ Relief grow
100% of donations made on Facebook to charitable organizations go to the charity, helping organizations like Operation BBQ Relief.
We’re committed to helping nonprofits grow and will match up to $8 million in qualifying donations to eligible US nonprofits.
WHERE AND WHEN
The House meets at 2 p.m. on Tuesday.
The Senate convenes at 3 p.m. and resumes consideration of the motion to consider the National Defense Authorization Act for fiscal 2022.
The president and Vice President Harris will receive the President's Daily Brief at 10 a.m. Biden and Harris at 10:45 a.m. will receive a briefing from advisers about the omicron COVID-19 variant before the president delivers remarks on that subject at 11:45 a.m. The president will meet at 2 p.m. with corporate CEOs to discuss the holiday shopping season. He will speak at 3:45 p.m. about administration efforts to improve the nation's supply chains.
First lady Jill Biden Jill Biden Bidens react to Betty White’s death: ‘A lovely lady’ Betty White dies at 99 on New Year’s Eve NASCAR’s Brandon Brown to be sponsored by LGBcoin in 2022 season MORE today will unveil the " gifts from the heart " theme selected for the 2021 Christmas and Hanukkah decorations at the White House accompanied by invited guests and offering thank-yous to the more than 100 volunteers who helped decorate the people's house for the season. The Oval Office Christmas tree, one of 41 this year, sports navy blue and gold ornaments (which just happen to be University of Delaware school colors), including some golden starfish.
The White House daily press briefing is scheduled at 1 p.m.
➔ INTERNATIONAL: Russia ‘s ambassador to the United States said on Sunday that 27 more Russian diplomats and their families were expelled from the United States and would leave on Jan. 30 ( Reuters ). … Nuclear talks with Iran resume today in Vienna. The last round of difficult discussions in June sought to bring Tehran back into compliance with the international agreement concluded six years ago ( The Associated Press ). … An early-winter snowstorm in Yorkshire, England , killed at least three people, downed power lines and left people stranded for days in locations, including one pub, blocked by three feet of snow ( The New York Times ).
➔ SUPREME COURT : On Wednesday, justices will hear arguments in a landmark abortion case ( The Hill ). … Ketanji Brown Jackson , seen by Democrats as a top contender for a future Supreme Court vacancy, is one of three judges assigned the weighty task of reviewing Trump's bid to block a congressional subpoena for records related to the Jan. 6 attack ( The Hill ).
➔ LOBBYING: The recently enacted $1.2 trillion infrastructure investment law, which will benefit states and localities nationwide, has spawned plenty of lobbying ( The Hill ). … Climate activists are pressuring the administration after rejecting their push to replace Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell ( The Hill ).
And finally … Trees that are as old as the pyramids? That's what scientists are examining in the rocky slopes of California's White Mountains .
Researchers are studying ancient bristlecone trees by taking core samples from their trunks to date the tree rings. In fact, the oldest known bristlecone tree is estimated to be 4,800 years old, and experts readily acknowledge that there are almost certainly older trees out there.
“It would be naïve to think that we just happened to get the oldest tree when we looked," said Andy Bunn , a researcher.
The largest bristlecone, known as the "Patriarch Tree," is only 1,500 years old (approximately) ( CBS News ).
- Facebook's Sheryl Sandberg Hears Concerns of Civil Rights Leaders But Offers No Promises
- Rudy Giuliani informs Congress he will defy its subpoena
- Live Updates Ahead of Tonight’s Democratic Debate
- Getting Your Money's Worth From the Government
- Debate, Brexit, Fort Worth: Your Tuesday Evening Briefing
- A Treatise on Open Government
- Green Rush to Finance Solar
- Is A Depression In Our Future?
- Ethical Considerations of Privacy and Cyber-Medical Information
- The Top Ten Discoveries I Made While Researching My Family Genealogy
- A Look at President Bush's Track Record With Identity Theft
- Interview with Dr Renato C Nicolai, Author of "The Nightmare That Is Public Education"
|Society6 - Autumn In The Aspen's iPhone 6 Case by Ruthj WANGJIANG LIMING (check at Amazon)||1.0|
|Society6 - Autumn In The Aspen's iPhone 6 Case by Ruthj (check at Amazon)||1.0|
|The Parson's Widow : Three Films by Carl Theodor Dreyer $47.6 (check at Amazon)||5.0|
|Benny Hill Complete and Unadulterated - The Hill's Angels Years, Set Four (1978-1981) $31.5 (check at Amazon)||4.9|
|Benny Hill Complete and Unadulterated - The Hill's Angels Years, Set Six (1986-1989) $65.44 (check at Amazon)||4.6|
|Benny Hill Complete and Unadulterated - The Hill's Angels Years, Set Five (1982-1985) $49.85 (check at Amazon)||4.6|
|Naxos Scenic Musical Journeys Tuscany A Musical Tour of the Region's Past and Present $12.87 (check at Amazon)||4.5|
|Naxos Scenic Musical Journeys Austria A Musical Tour of the City's Past and Present $9.95 (check at Amazon)||4.8|
|Naxos Scenic Musical Journeys Rome A Musical Tour of the City's Past and Present $12.2 (check at Amazon)||4.8|
|Naxos Scenic Musical Journeys Prague A Musical Tour of the City's Past and Present $8.45 (check at Amazon)||3.5|
|Naxos Scenic Musical Journeys Florence, Italy Musical Tour of the City's Past and Present $12.32 (check at Amazon)||4.8|
|The Farmer's Wife: A Film by David Sutherland $22.9 (check at Amazon)||4.9|
|Naxos Scenic Musical Journeys Venice A Musical Tour of the City's Past and Present $11.98 (check at Amazon)||4.1|
|Naxos Scenic Musical Journeys Uzbekistan A Musical Tour of the Country's Past and Present $16.17 (check at Amazon)||2.0|
|Naxos Scenic Musical Journeys Norway A Musical Tour of the Country's Past and Present $12.2 (check at Amazon)||3.0|
|The 2004 Rose Bowl Game Presented by Citi $48.91 (check at Amazon)||0.0|
|Naxos Scenic Musical Journeys Vienna A Musical Tour of the City's Past and Present $11.57 (check at Amazon)||3.7|
|Naxos Scenic Musical Journeys Czech Republic A Musical Tour of the Country's Past and Present $12.87 (check at Amazon)||0.0|
|The world's smallest 1000 micro piece Jigsaw Promise to heart M81-525 by Beverly $71.79 (check at Amazon)||2.0|
|Dr Seuss Plush 18" Cat in the Hat Doll Holding Christmas Present by Nanco (check at Amazon)||4.0|
|DANETTE - The Women's Skinny Braided Belt by Canterbury (check at Amazon)||1.0|
|Living Arts Massage Practice Reflexology: Improve the body's natural healing ability by massaging key points on the feet [VHS] $2.76 (check at Amazon)||0.0|
|Monet: The Artist's Garden Mouse Pad - By Art Plates $11.95 (check at Amazon)||0.0|
|The Writer's Collection Single Edition by Paul Baloche (2008) Audio CD $39.27 (check at Amazon)||5.0|
|My Heart Will Go on - Soothing Guitar Magic. The World's Most Beautiful Melodies By Reader's Digest. $10.95 (check at Amazon)||2.0|
|The Pastors Cut-Up Tenderloin by The Pastor's (Arranged and Conducted by Billy May) Record Album Vinyl LP $6.48 (check at Amazon)||0.0|
|Spirit of the 60's (New Studio Recordings By the Original Artists) $17 (check at Amazon)||0.0|
|I'll Be Spinning: The J&S Recordings Import edition by Johnnie & Joe (2007) Audio CD (check at Amazon)||5.0|
|The First Family Rides Again Presented by Earle Doud Starring Rich Little Record Album Vinyl $6.99 (check at Amazon)||0.0|
|Froggy's Country Storybook presents The Emperor's New Clothes narrated by Vince Gill $3.7 (check at Amazon)||0.0|
The Hill's Morning Report - Presented by Facebook - Biden to update Americans on omicron; Congress back have 3782 words, post on thehill.com at November 29, 2021. This is cached page on USA Posts. If you want remove this page, please contact us.