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Wake Up To Politics - December 18, 2015 - Brunch Edition

This is the last edition of Wake Up To Politics in 2015. I will be back in your inbox on January 4 - in the mean time, enjoy your holidays and have a happy New Year!

To read today's edition of Wake Up To Politics in a PDF format, click here. Continue reading to find the text of the Wake Up in the body of the email!

Friday, December 18, 2015
45 Days until the Iowa Caucuses
326 Days Until Election Day 2016 I'm Gabe Fleisher for Wake Up To Politics, and reporting from WUTP world HQ in my bedroom - Good morning: THIS IS YOUR WAKE UP CALL!!!
To send me questions, comments, tips, new subscribers, and more: email me at wakeuptopolitics@gmail.com. To learn more about WUTP and subscribe, visit the site: wakeuptopolitics.com, or like me on Twitter and Facebook. More ways to engage with WUTP at the bottom.    Capitol Hill News

  • House Passes Omnibus Spending Bill, Senate to Follow The U.S. House voted 316-113 on Friday to clear the $1.1 trillion omnibus spending bill, averting a government shutdown.
  • The omnibus bill, which funds the government through September 2016, includes wins for both parties: for Republicans, the bill ends the longtime ban on crude oil exports, while Democrats successfully blocked provisions defunding Planned Parenthood and restricting Syrian and Iraqi refugees. The omnibus also overhauls the Visa Waiver program, extends health insurance for 9/11 first responders, allows Puerto Rico to declare bankruptcy, among other provisions.
  • Of the 316 “yea” votes, 166 came from Democrats and 150 from Republicans; just 18 Democrats voted “nay,” joined by 95 Republicans.
  • Just hours after the House voted, the Senate voted 72-76 on Friday morning to invoke cloture on the omnibus. Of the 26 “nays,” three were senators caucusing with Democrats: Joe Manchin (WV), Jon Tester (MT), Bernie Sanders (VT).
  • Later Friday, the Senate is expected to vote on final passage of both the spending bill and a $622 billion tax cut package, which includes tax credits for research and development costs for businesses, and extension of the Child Tax Credit, American Opportunity Tax Credit, Earned Income Tax Credit, in addition to tax credits for wind and solar producers, and suspension of the three Obamacare taxes.
  • After the Senate votes to pass both packages, the President will sign them into law – and after marathon votes in both house of Congress, everyone can go home.

2016 Central

  • Today on the Trail Where are the 2016 presidential candidates today?
  • District of Columbia: Bernie Sanders (Washington)
  • Georgia: Ted Cruz (Kennesaw)
  • Iowa: Ben Carson (Storm Lake, Orange City, Sioux City); Carly Fiorina (Clinton, Dubuque, Davenport); Mike Huckabee (Emmetsburg, Algona, Laurens, Storm Lake, Sac City)
  • Missouri: Marco Rubio (Joplin)
  • Virginia: Ted Cruz (Richmond)
  • Weekend Preview: Democratic Debate (Saturday) Hillary Clinton, Bernie Sanders, and Martin O’Malley will meet in Manchester, New Hampshire on Saturday for the third debate of the 2016 Democratic presidential primary season.
  • The debate, airing on ABC at 8pm ET, will take place at Saint Anselm College, and will be moderated by David Muir and Martha Raddatz.
  • While Hillary Clinton leads national polling of the Democratic race by large margins, Bernie Sanders is the frontrunner for the pivotal New Hampshire primary, meaning Saturday’s debate will be held on his turf. Both Sanders and O’Malley have been more open in attacking Clinton in recent weeks, a trend expected to continue as they bash her from both sides Saturday.

White House Watch

  • The President’s Schedule At 1:50pm, President Barack Obama will hold his annual year-end press conference, to wrap up 2015 before he heads to vacation.
  • The Obamas will depart for their Hawaii vacation following the presser, but will stop in San Bernardino, California first, for meetings with families of victims of the terrorist attack there.
  • First Lady’s Schedule First Lady Michelle Obama will host a special screening of “Star Wars: The Force Awakens” for children of Gold Star families at the White House movie theater.

Event of the Year 2015

  • This is the last day for voting to determine the 2015 Wake Up To Politics Event of the Year. Vote by emailing me your preference from the 12 choices below or (if you are not reading the PDF edition) you can just click on your choice and your vote will be cast.
  • The Event of the Year is the event which had the greatest impact on American politics in 2015, whichever event is chosen by WUTP readers will be featured in the forthcoming 2015 Wake Up To Politics Event of the Year Magazine.
  • Your choices are:
  • *|SURVEY:March 2: Hillary Clinton private server revealed by The New York Times|*
  • *|SURVEY:April 19: Freddie Gray dies in Baltimore policy custody|*
  • *|SURVEY:June 16: Donald Trump announces presidential bid|*
  • *|SURVEY:June 17: Pastor, state senator, and seven others killed in Charleston|*
  • *|SURVEY:June 26: U.S. Supreme Court decides on same-sex marriage|*
  • *|SURVEY:July 14: Iran, the U.S., and five other nations sign nuclear deal|*
  • *|SURVEY:July 20: United States and Cuba restore diplomatic relations|*
  • *|SURVEY:September 24: Pope Francis addresses a joint session of Congress|*
  • *|SURVEY:September 25: John Boehner announces his resignation|*
  • *|SURVEY:December 2: Fourteen killed in San Bernardino|*
  • *|SURVEY:December 13: 196 nations seal historic climate accord|*
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For more on Wake Up To Politics, listen to Gabe on NPR's "Talk of the Nation, the Political Junkie podcast, and St. Louis Public Radio; watch Gabe on MSNBC's "Up with Steve Kornacki, and read about Gabe in Politico, the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, the Globe, and the St. Louis Jewish Light