7 Things: Roughly 800,000 federal employees miss a payday, Trump inches toward declaring a national emergency, Doug Jones calls for an investigation into Democratic dirty tricks and more …
7. Trump White House is preparing for life after Ruth Bader Ginsburg
— The Trump White House is preparing for the possibility of a vacancy on the Supreme Court if Ruth Bader Ginsburg vacates her seat. The confirmation process will surely be an ugly and contentious one.
— The 85-year-old justice missed oral arguments for the second day in a row after having cancerous nodules removed from her lungs last month.
6. Senator Bernie Sanders (I-VT) is the nation’s most popular senator, according to a Morning Consult Poll
— Sanders was the top senator for the 11th month in a row with a 64 percent approval rating. Not surprisingly, outgoing Senator Jeff Flake (R-AZ) was the least popular senator in the country, which would explain why he didn’t run for re-election.
— Senators Richard Shelby (R-AL) and Doug Jones (D-AL) both had approval ratings in the 40s, with Shelby’s approval at 45 and Jones at 40 percent respectively.
— President Trump’s former attorney will testify in a public hearing in February before the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee about his previous lies before Congress in regard to his work for Trump.
— Cohen is expected to testify to issues involving President Trump paying off women and has hinted there might be more for him to tell about the Russia investigation.
4. Congressman Mo Brooks files seven different border security bills
— The bills tackle the issue of illegal immigration by allowing donations for the wall, ending catch-and-release programs, ending birthright citizenship, penalizing those who overstay their visas and banning sanctuary cities.
— The bills have very little chance of passing a Democrat-controlled chamber, but Brooks said, “I put the interests of Americans above those of illegal aliens.”
3. Alabama Senator Doug Jones has called for a federal investigation into disinformation tactics his allies used during his campaign
— Senator Jones has finally officially asked for the federal government to investigate Democrat donor dirty tricks, which included “false flag” Facebook campaigns and planting Russian bots on Roy Moore’s social media and then alerting the media to their existence.
— The tactics used during Jones’ campaign were also utilized in the 2018 midterms to suppress Republican votes, which cast doubts on claims that they were just a study and not meant to affect elections by deterring suburban white male voters from casting ballots.
2. Republicans are pushing President Donald Trump to quickly declare a national emergency to build the wall, which would make it our 32nd national emergency we are currently under
— Senator Lindsey Graham (R-SC) says the Democrats’ “refusal to negotiate” has made it clear that “It is time for President Trump to use emergency powers to fund the construction of a border wall/barrier.”
— The Trump White House is still looking into using the power they believe is available to them, with Trump all but telegraphing it by telling reporters, “If we don’t make a deal, I would say it would be very surprising to me that I would not declare a national emergency and just fund it through the various mechanisms.”
1. Federal employees have now missed a paycheck for the first time during this government shutdown
— Roughly 800,000 federal employees will not receive their $2.2 billion due to them today. This includes those who have been working since the shutdown started, but Mo Brooks has filed a bill to get those who are working paid.
— A second government union has sued the federal government in attempt to get the government back open, The National Treasury Employees Union (NTEU), which represents 150,000 members at 33 federal agencies, is claiming its employees are illegally being forced to work without pay.