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Wake Up To Politics - December 3, 2020

It’s Thursday, December 3, 2020. Inauguration Day is 48 days away. Have questions, comments, or tips? Email me.


Wednesday was the worst day of the coronavirus pandemic in the United States. According to data kept by NBC News, the U.S. set single-day records for coronavirus deaths, infections, and hospitalizations. 2,777 Americans died of coronavirus on Wednesday, while almost 205,000 new cases of the virus were reported. More than 100,000 Americans are hospitalized with the virus across the country.

  • In total, according to the network, the U.S. has tallied more than 14 million cases and over 274,000 deaths from coronavirus since the pandemic began.
  • “The reality is that December, January, and February are going to be rough times,” CDC Director Robert Redfield said in a virtual address on Wednesday. “I actually believe they’re going to be the most difficult time in the public health history of this nation.”
  • A report by the White House coronavirus task force contained similarly dire language. “We are in a very dangerous place,” the report said, warning that “the COVID risk to all Americans is at a historic high.”

Campaign 2020

President Donald Trump released a 46-minute video address baselessly describing the 2020 election as “rigged” and refusing to concede defeat. In what he said “may be the most important speech I’ve ever made,” Trump declared that the American election system is “under coordinated assault and siege” and espoused a list of false allegations accusing Democrats of voter fraud. Nearly all of his claims lacked evidence and have been repeatedly debunked.

  • Trump’s remarks came just days after his own attorney general, William Barr, told the Associated Press that a Justice Deparmtent review has “not seen fraud on a scale that could have effected a different outcome in the election.” Trump is reportedly “livid” at Barr and even considering firing him.
  • The presidential address also followed a dramatic speech on Tuesday by a Republican election official in Georgia, who blamed Trump for a wave of death threats and against election workers. “It has to stop,” said Gabriel Sterling, the state’s voting system implementation manager. “Mr. President, you have not condemned these actions or this language.”

The Rundown

— The top two Democratic leaders in Congress backed a new coronavirus relief package introduced by a bipartisan group of legislators, a new development in stimulus negotiations as Congress prepares to recess for the holidays next week. ABC News

President Trump has threatened to veto the annual defense policy bill if it includes a provision removing the names of Confederate leaders from Army bases and does not include a provision repealing Section 230, which shields social media companies from litigation. Lawmakers are expected to push through the legislation and ignore his demands. Politico

Several Democratic politicians have been caught flouting their own coronavirus restrictions in recent days. Austin Mayor Steve Adler was the latest on Wednesday; Gov. Gavin Newsom (D-CA) and San Francisco Mayor London Breed were also photographed partying at a posh restaurant in violation of state guidelines. Austin Statesman

Maine elected the youngest state House speaker in modern U.S. history on Wednesday. The new speaker, state Rep. Ryan Fecteau (D-ME), is 28 years old. CNN


All times Eastern.

President Donald Trump will present the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the nation’s highest civilian honor, to former college football coach Lou Holtz at 11:30 a.m. Holtz, who is best known for winning the 1988 national championship while at Notre Dame, spoke at the Republican National Convention this summer.

  • Trump will participate in a signing ceremony at 2 p.m. for H.R. 5901, the Information Technology Modernization Centers of Excellence Program Act, and an executive order on “promoting responsible use of artificial intelligence in government.”

Vice President Mike Pence will lead a roundtable discussion on vaccine distribution in Memphis, Tennesee, at 2:25 p.m.

President-elect Joe Biden and Vice President-elect Kamala Harris will receive the President’s Daily Briefing and meet with transition advisers.

The Senate will convene at 10 a.m. The chamber will vote to confirm Christopher Waller as a member of the Board of Governor of the Federal Reserve System at 11:30 a.m. Waller has served as executive vice president and director of research at the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis since 2009.

  • Following the Waller vote, the Senate will vote to advance the nomination of Liam P. Hardy to be a Judge of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Armed Forces. The chamber will then vote to confirm Hardy, who currently serves as a Deputy Associate Attorney General, at 1:45 p.m.

The Senate Homeland Security Committee will hold a hearing at 10 a.m. as part of its investigation into “Crossfire Hurricane,” the FBI’s Russia probe.

The House will convene at 10 a.m. The chamber will begin consideration of H.R. 3884, the Marijuana Opportunity Reinvestment and Expungement (MORE) Act, which would decriminalize marijuana at the federal level. The House will also vote on 23 pieces of legislation, including four resolutions condemning Russia and a bill prohibiting private ownership of lions and tigers.

  • H.R. 7903 – To amend the Small Business Act to establish the Community Advantage Loan Program, as amended
  • H.R. 8211 – 504 Modernization and Small Manufacturer Enhancement Act of 2020, as amended
  • H.R. 8199 – 504 Credit Risk Management Improvement Act of 2020
  • H.R. 8229 – Parity for HUBZone Appeals Act of 2020
  • H.R. 5517 – Gandhi-King Scholarly Exchange Initiative Act, as amended
  • H.R. 1819 – War Crimes Rewards Expansion Act
  • H.R. 3571 – City and State Diplomacy Act, as amended
  • H.Res. 996 – Expressing the sense of Congress that the activities of Russian national Yevgeniy Prigozhin and his affiliated entities pose a threat to the national interests and security of the United States and of its allies and partners, as amended
  • H.Res. 958 – Condemning the practice of politically motivated imprisonment and calling for the immediate release of political prisoners in the Russian Federation and urging action by the United States Government to impose sanctions with respect to persons responsible for that form of human rights abuse
  • H.Res. 17 – Expressing concern over the detention of Austin Tice, and other purposes, as amended
  • H.Res. 1115 – Calling for the Immediate Release of Trevor Reed, a United States Citizen who was Unjustly Sentenced to 9 Years in a Russian Prison, as amended
  • H.R. 1049 – National Heritage Area Act of 2020, as amended
  • S. 199 – Leech Lake Band of Ojibwe Reservation Restoration Act
  • S. 212 – Indian Community Economic Enhancement Act of 2020, as amended
  • S. 914 – Coordinated Ocean Observations and Research Act of 2020, as amended
  • S. 1342 – Great Lakes Environmental Sensitivity Index Act of 2020, as amended
  • H.R. 306 – Kettle Creek Battlefield Survey Act, as amended
  • S. 2981 – National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Commissioned Officer Corps Amendments Act of 2020
  • H.R. 3682 – Land Grant-Mercedes Traditional Use Recognition and Consultation Act, as amended
  • H.R. 4153 – Health Care Access for Urban Native Veterans Act
  • H.R. 7045 – To require the Secretary of Agriculture to conduct a study on lands that could be included in a National Forest in Hawai'i, and for other purposes
  • H.R. 8810 – National Landslide Preparedness Act, as amended
  • H.R. 1380 – Big Cat Public Safety Act, as amended

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi will hold a ceremonial swearing-in for Rep.-elect Kwanza Hall (D-GA) at 12:15 p.m. Hall, a former Atlanta city councilman, won a special election on Tuesday to fill the seat vacated by the late Rep. John Lewis (D-GA) for the remainder of his term.

The Supreme Court has no conferences or oral arguments scheduled.

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