Sen. Sinema Shakes Up the Senate by Becoming an Independent
As the saying goes “If you don’t like the weather in Maine, wait a minute and it will change.” That now seems to apply to the political situation in Washington. Just three days after voters in Georgia re-elected Ralph Warnock and gave the Democrats a 51-49 margin in the Senate, Arizona Sen. Krysten Sinema announced she was becoming an independent.
“I have joined the growing numbers of Arizonans who reject party politics by declaring my independence from the broken partisan system in Washington. I registered as an Arizona independent." (Sen. Krysten Sinema)
Democrats will now hold a 50-49-1 margin. What that means operationally remains to be seen, but at times it could prove critical. On certain votes and issues where Sinema is aligned with Republicans, the Senate is back to a 50-50 split.
The House of Representatives had a productive and historic day yesterday. First, the House passed the Respect for Marriage Act, a bill that codifies same-sex marriage. The bill had already passed the Senate so will now go to the President’s desk for signature. 39 Republicans joined all Democrats in supporting the measure. It is a big achievement in the Lame Duck session. Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) delayed the vote in the Senate until after the midterm elections. It was a risk – some Democrats argued he should have forced the vote and made it an issue in the election where a solid majority of voters support same-sex marriage. But he decided to wait with the hope that in the Lame Duck Congress could make actual law. His bet paid off.
The House also passed the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) with over two-thirds of the House supporting the measure. The NDAA is one of the “must do” measures in the Lame Duck and the strong support in the house indicates the bill will also pass the Senate. Progress on the other must-do item – an omnibus spending bill, however, remains slow. Not much got done this week. Government funding runs out a week from today. Congress is certain to need to pass another short-term continuing resolution (CR) to keep the government open and give negotiators more time to reach the elusive agreement.
Brittney Griner arrives in U.S. following her release by Russia in prisoner swap for arms dealer Viktor Bout
By Andres Triay, Pat Milton, Margaret Brennan, Christina Ruffini, Steven Portnoy and Arden Farhi
December 9, 2022 – 6:46am
Exclusive: Paul Whelan tells CNN he is ‘disappointed’ that more has not been done to secure his release
By Jennifer Hansler
December 8, 2022 – 8:43pm
House passes defense bill with more Taiwan, Ukraine security aid
By Bryant Harris
December 8, 2022 – 1:48pm
House passes historic marriage equality bill
The Respect for Marriage Act passed 258-169, with 39 Republicans voting yes.
By Lauren Peller and Alexandra Hutzler
December 8, 2022 – 2:13pm
Schumer reelected as Senate majority leader
By Alexander Bolton
December 8, 2022 – 10:40am
Sinema switches to independent, shaking up the Senate
The Arizona senator won't say whether she's running for reelection but said in an interview she doesn't expect a change in how the Senate operates.
By Burgess Everett
December 9, 2022 – 6:00am
Justice Department asks judge to hold Trump team in contempt over Mar-a-Lago case
The request came after months of mounting frustration from the Justice Department with the former president’s lawyers
The Washington Post
By Spencer S. Hsu, Josh Dawsey, Jacqueline Alemany, Devlin Barrett and Rosalind S. Helderman
December 8, 2022 – 7:07pm