Congress returns after holiday break to face lengthy to-do list – US politics live | US politics

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Here’s the latest on claims made by several women that Walker pressured them into having an abortion, from the Guardian’s Ed Pilkington.

The second woman to allege that she was pressured into having an abortion by Herschel Walker, the Republican nominee in Georgia’s hotly contested US Senate race, on Tuesday presented previously unseen letters, audio recordings and pages of her personal diary that she said were evidence of their relationship, which he has denied.

At a press conference in Los Angeles organized by her lawyer, Gloria Allred, the anonymous woman known only as Jane Doe came forward anew with a raft of fresh materials. She said she was doing so because when she first aired her allegations last month “and told the truth, he denied that he knew that I existed”.

The alleged new evidence of the relationship between the woman and the former college football star included a voicemail recording in which Walker was purported to say to her: “This is your stud farm calling, you big sex puppy you”.

Jane Doe also read out a letter which she said had been written by Walker to her parents. “I do love your daughter and I’m not out to hurt her. She has been a strong backbone for me through all of this,” the letter said…

The Democratic Chairwoman of the Democratic Party of Georgia has called for an investigation into whether or not Georgia senate candidate Herschel Walker is actually a Georgia resident.

In a statement, Nikema Williams said:

The Georgia Bureau of Investigations and the Georgia Attorney General’s office must immediately investigate whether Herschel Walker lied about being a Georgia resident. Georgians deserve answers, and Walker must be held accountable for his pattern of lies and disturbing conduct. This is yet another reminder that Walker lacks both the competence and character to be our U.S. Senator.

Concerns of Walker’s residency have come most recently following Walker’s tax records showing that he receives a break meant for Texas residence, reports CNN.

Read the full CNN article here.

Jill Biden has just finished her holiday remarks at the White House, announcing the 2022 holiday theme We the People.

“The soul of our nation is and has always been, We the People,” said Biden during her address.

“And that is what has inspired this year’s White House holiday decorations.”

Each room touches upon themes including unity and community.

As apart of the holiday rollout, several National Guard families were honored guests at the remarks and holiday decoration unveiling, with Biden and attendees applauding them.

Here’s more on Arizona’s election controversy, from the Hill.

Maricopa residents can cast a ballot at any of the county’s vote centers, so poll workers print customized ballots on demand to match one of more than 12,000 ballot styles, depending on where a voter lives.

But after previously testing the printers, county officials say they began hearing at 6:30 a.m. on Election Day that some machines were printing ballots too light for tabulators to read.

Maricopa officials on Sunday said the issues were rooted in the printers’ fusers.

They say they identified a solution by 11:30 a.m., dispatching technicians to change printer settings at 71 of the county’s 223 vote centers throughout the day, adding that not all of those locations were ultimately confirmed to have printer issues.

The GOP has seized on those malfunctions, claiming they led to a range of issues that effectively disenfranchised voters.

Lake’s campaign has further alleged that election workers were aware of the issues as early as Nov. 2, arguing it “never needed to occur.”

Read the full article here.

At least six Arizona counties must decide by today whether to certify 2022 election results, facing pressure from some Republicans not to approve the vote count which would have Democrats winning the US Senate, governor, and other races.

In Arizona, several key races have yet to be certified, reported the Associated Press.

Two GOP-held counties have voted not to certify election results until Monday, the last day that is allowed under state law, reported AP.

More from AP:

Republican supervisors in Mohave County said last week that they will sign off Monday but wanted to register a protest against voting issues in Maricopa County.

In Cochise County, GOP supervisors demanded that the secretary of state prove vote-counting machines were legally certified before they will approve the election results.

Here’s more on the White House’s holiday decorations, from the Associated Press:

Public rooms are dedicated to unifying forces: honoring and remembering deceased loved ones, words and stories, kindness and gratitude, food and traditions, nature and recreation, songs and sounds, unity and hope, faith and light, and children.

Public rooms are dedicated to unifying forces: honoring and remembering deceased loved ones, words and stories, kindness and gratitude, food and traditions, nature and recreation, songs and sounds, unity and hope, faith and light, and children.

Winter trees, woodland animals and glowing lanterns placed along the hallway help give the feeling of walking through snow.

Likenesses of Biden family pets — Commander and Willow, the dog and cat — first appear at the end of the hallway before they are seen later in the Vermeil Room, which celebrates kindness and gratitude, and the State Dining Room, which highlights children.

Recipes contributed by the small army of volunteer decorators spruce up the China Room’s mantel. Handwritten ones — for apple crisp and pizzelle, an Italian cookie — are family recipes shared by the first lady.

Read the full article here.

Jill Biden’s holiday message will now start at 12.30 pm eastern time.

During her address, she will announce the 2022 theme for the White House holiday season: We the People.

Jill and Joe Biden expanded on the theme’s meaning in a letter in the 2022 White House Holiday Guide:

For this year’s holidays at the White House, we hope to capture the spirit embodied in the very idea of America: We the People.

During your visit to the People’s House, through rooms full of history and holiday décor, in the mirrored ornaments and reflective lights, our hope is that you feel at home and find yourself in the great story of America.

May the promise of We the People light our path forward into the New Year and bring us together always.

The white gunman who killed 10 Black people in a Buffalo grocery store in May has pleaded guilty today to murder and hate-crime charges, reports the Associated Press.

The 19-year old gunman entered a guilty plea on all the charges he was facing during the 45 minute proceeding.

Charges included murder, murder as a hate crime and hate-motivated domestic terrorism, which automatically carry a life sentence with no possibility of parole.

He also pleaded guilty to injuring another three people during the racist attack.

Here’s more information on charges the Buffalo gunman was facing.

The White House issued a statement yesterday on the Fuentes dinner, noting that “bigotry, hate, and antisemitism” do not have a place in America or at Trump’s Mar-A-Lago.

The White House releases a statement on former Pres. Trump hosting controversial figures Ye and Nick Fuentes at Mar-a-Lago dinner: “Bigotry, hate, and antisemitism have absolutely no place in America – including at Mar-A-Lago.”

— ABC News Politics (@ABCPolitics) November 28, 2022

Democrats and Republicans alike have called out Republican lawmakers for not condemning a dinner between Donald Trump, white supremacist Nick Fuentes and rapper Kanye West, who now goes as Ye.

Members of Congress, including anti-Trump Republicans, called out members of the Republican party over the Thanksgiving holiday for staying relatively silent on the dinner, reported Politico.

From Washington representative Liz Cheney, a Republican:

From Democratic representative Jerry Nadler of New York:

Looking for a single returning or new GOP House member who has condemned Trump for the Fuentes/Ye meeting. Anyone? Rank and file and leadership of course welcome. The wall to wall silence from the incoming majority is speaking volumes.

— Rep. Nadler (@RepJerryNadler) November 27, 2022

Congress also needs to pass the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA), an annual military spending bill that has faced routine opposition from progress lawmakers.

Lawmakers are behind on the bill, reports the Washington Post, as the Senate has not voted on its version.

Other legislation that could be passed before the end of this’ year’s session include legislation that would codify same-sex marriage and interracial marriage rights.

This month, a dozen Republicans voted with Democrats to clear a major procedural hurdle for the historic measure.

Schumer said the Senate will take a final vote on the bill when after the Thanksgiving recess.

With Thanksgiving break over, lawmakers have come back to Washington with an ambitious to-do list before the end of the year, including addressing a looming government shut down.

Government funding is set to expire–yet again–on 16 December.

Lawmakers in both parties must now decide if they can successfully hammer out a bipartisan appropriations deal before the deadline, or pass a short-term funding plan.

But uncertainty remains at the exact path lawmakers will choose. As veteran appropriators from both parties are set to retire, reports the Washington Post, there is a chance that they may attempt to pass a long-term deal one last time.

But such optimism is not equally held.

Idaho representative Mike Simpson, a top Republican appropriator, laughed in response to questions about meeting the funding deadline, reported Politico.

“I just don’t think that’s going to happen,” said Simpson. “There’s just too much confusion going on.”

Democrats in particular are also hoping to push some of their legislation through during this “lame duck” session, with Republicans primed to take control of the House next year.

“We are going to try to have as productive a lame-duck session as possible,” said Senate majority leader Chuck Schumer in a post-election press briefing.

“It’s going to be heavy work, long hours to try and get much done.”

Congress returns post-Thanksgiving break as government shutdown looms

Good morning everyone! Congress is back in Washington after the holiday break, with a lengthy to-do list awaiting lawmakers.

First up on the agenda is passing some resolution to an impending government shutdown, as funding is set to expire on 16 December, reports Politico.

It’s unclear if Congress will pass another stopgap and provide temporary funding or reach a full bipartisan funding deal.

Other initiatives like passing a ban on assault rifles seem to have less steam behind them, reports CNN.

Despite Joe Biden announcing last week that he is working with Congress to “try to get rid of assault weapons,” the Democratic senator Chris Murphy said on Sunday that Democrats do not have the needed votes, tempering optimism about legislation on the matter.

Here’s what else is happening today:

  • Jill Biden is delivering a holiday message to the nation at 11.30am eastern time, kicking off other events expected from the White House during the holiday season.

  • Joe Biden will host the American Nobel winners this year for a congratulatory visit at 1.30pm eastern time.

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