Friday: Below the Fold

McCarthy quietly moves closer to speakership, Trump and two others sued for Brian Sicknick’s death, and more.


  • McCarthy quietly moves closer to speakership: Following the failure of House Republicans to get beyond an impasse in electing Kevin McCarthy (CA) as the next speaker after a record 11th round of voting, frustration among lawmakers has continued to mount. There has even been talk among some moderate Republicans to seek help from Democrats to get a Republican speaker across the finish line, though most Republicans and Democrat leadership have rejected such a deal. That said, after last night’s votes, McCarthy released a new framework for rules that many lawmakers are hopeful will finally win over enough of the 20-odd Freedom Caucus holdouts. One of those holdouts, Scott Perry (PA), welcomed the new rules framework with caution: “We’re at a Reagan moment — ‘trust but verify.’ The devil is in the details, and we’ll take our time to ensure it’s right, not easy. One way or another, the status quo must go.” Patrick McHenry (NC) also expressed optimism that "Kevin McCarthy will be that speaker at the end of the day,“ though it "may not be this day.” A key prevision within the newly proposed rules that has been a sticking point is the allowance of just a single member to make a motion to replace the speaker. McCathy had sought a threshold requirement of at least five House members in order to make a motion to “vacate the chair.” His capitulation on this provision may be enough to gain the votes needed to become the next speaker.

  • Trump and two others sued for Brian Sicknick’s death: Sandra Garza, the partner of Capitol Police Officer Brian Sicknick, who died the day after the January 6 Capitol riot, has raised civil liability lawsuits against Donald Trump and two Capitol rioters, Julian Khater and George Tanios. She seeks $10 million in damages from each of the defendants. Garza’s lawyers allege that “Trump intentionally riled up the crowd and directed and encouraged a mob to attack the U.S. Capitol and attack those who opposed them.” The two other defendants, who have pleaded guilty to misdemeanors for carrying and spraying bear spray, are blamed by Garza’s lawyers for contributing to Sicknick’s death. According to Washington’s chief medical examiner, Sicknick died of natural causes related to suffering two strokes — not blunt force trauma from a fire extinguisher as Democrats and media outlets falsely claimed. Garza’s lawyers point to the medical examiner’s comment that “all that transpired” with the riot “played a role in his condition” as justification for their liability claim against the defendants. Trump has yet to comment on the lawsuit.

  • Some red states buck Dems’ predictions and have kept abortion legal: Following the U.S. Supreme Court’s overturning of Roe v. Wade, Democrats loudly lamented that it would lead to Republican-run states eliminating abortion. However, what has occurred has been far from the dystopian “Handmaid’s Tale” that abortion advocates predicted. Voters in Kansas rejected a constitutional amendment to make abortion illegal, as did voters in Kentucky. And in South Carolina, the state Supreme Court recently ruled against the recently passed heartbeat bill, declaring it an unconstitutional imposition on a woman’s right to privacy. At the same time, in Idaho the state Supreme Court upheld a state law that effectively bans abortion. So, as conservatives and legal scholars predicted, the overturning of Roe didn’t end abortion but simply sent the issue back to its proper constitutional place to be decided by the individual states.


  • “We have to deal with it”: Biden attempts pivot on border chaos (Washington Times)

  • Border Patrol agent shot by suspected smuggler ahead of Biden’s visit (Townhall)

  • Biden to mark J6 anniversary with citizens medal (The Hill)

  • Liberal media agree with Cori Bush: Black Republican Byron Donalds is a “prop” (Free Beacon)

  • Putin orders cease-fire, but Zelensky rebuffs Russian Orthodox Church’s call for Christmas truce (Human Events)

  • U.S. adds 223,000 jobs in December and unemployment rate dips to 3.5% (MarketWatch)

  • Home sellers are basically throwing money at buyers right now (Axios)

  • Shoe brand Crocs sponsors drag fashion show with kids (Daily Signal)

  • Kristi Noem worked hand in hand with the transgender movement (Not the Bee)

  • Matchup between the Buffalo Bills and Cincinnati Bengals will not be resumed (OutKick)

  • Hillary Clinton to become professor at Columbia University (Townhall)

  • Policy: Corporations can’t ignore geopolitics anymore (FP)

  • Humor: Adam Kinzinger’s mom lets him open one J6 present on J6 Eve (Babylon Bee)

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