LOOP: Bishops vote down resolution on McCarrick



VOTE ON McCARRICK DOCS   The U.S. bishops voted down a resolution to ask the Vatican to release documents on the investigation into Archbishop McCarrick. The vote was 137-83.   READ
AVENATTI ARRESTED  Michael Avenatti, the attorney for Stormy Daniels, has been arrested for domestic violence. Avenatti said he is “confident that I will be fully exonerated.” A frequent guest on CNN, Avenatti has publicly speculated about a presidential run in 2020. READ
DEMS VS PELOSI  17 House Democrats have signed a letter vowing that they will not vote for Nancy Pelosi on the House floor. If they stick to this pledge, Nancy Pelosi could lack the necessary 218 votes needed to be elected Speaker of the House. Democrats are poised to hold at least 227 seats next year. READ
GOP LEADERSHIP  House Republicans have selected Kevin McCarthy to be the Minority Leader, beating out conservative challenger Jim Jordan in a decisive 159-43 vote. Steve Scalise, who was shot on a baseball field last year, unanimously won re-election to the No. 2 spot as whip. Paul Ryan is ending his term as Speaker of the House next month.  READ
FINAL PUSH   House Republicans still have the majority until January 3, and they’re hoping to make the most of it with key votes on the border wall and possibly more tax cuts.  READ
TRUMP BACKS CRIMINAL JUSTICE BILL  President Trump endorsed a bipartisan bill to reform criminal justice saying it will give ex-inmates “a second chance at life.” Trump said: “We’re all better off when former inmates can receive and re-enter society as law-abiding, productive citizens.”  READ
RELIGIOUS LIBERTY BILL AT 25  Tomorrow marks the 25th anniversary of the Religious Freedom Restoration Act (RFRA), which was signed into law by President Bill Clinton. Back then only 3 lawmakers voted against the legislation, but today over 170 House Democrats publicly back a bill which would effectively gut the RFRA. READ
MINNESOTA IN 2020  Supporters of Donald Trump believe that Minnesota, long considered a reliably Democratic state, could be flipped in 2020. Trump lost the state by just 1.5 percentage points in 2016. READ
JUDICIAL REFORM SLOWDOWN?  Outgoing Senator Jeff Flake, R-AZ, announced on the Senate floor that he will refuse to vote in favor of any more of President Trump’s judicial nominees until he gets a floor vote on a bill to protect special counsel Robert Mueller. Republicans hold a slim 51-49 majority until the new year, but could still confirm judges without Flake’s support if no other Republican defects (with Vice President Pence available to break a tie.) But Flake’s decision could complicate matters in the Judiciary Committee, where Flake also serves and Republicans hold a narrow 11-10 majority. Under Senate rules, nominations can be brought to the full Senate even without an affirmative vote in committee. READ
U.S. BISHOPS ELECT NEW LEADERS  Archbishop Salvatore Cordileone, a strong defender of Church teaching on homosexuality, was elected chairman of the Committee on Laity, Marriage, Family Life, and Youth. READ
SAINT OF THE DAY  Saint Albert the Great was a highly influential 13th-century German Dominican. Probably best known in philosophical circles as the master of Saint Thomas Aquinas, Saint Albert deserves recognition on his own. He was a voracious writer who composed a compendium of all knowledge. READ
DAILY READINGS  “Blessed is he whose help is the God of Jacob.” (Ps 146:7)  READ
RESTORING CIVILITY  Rep. Elect Dan Crenshaw, a former Navy SEAL, said: “Saturday Night Live mocked my appearance. Here’s why I didn’t demand an apology.”  READ

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Joshua Mercer is a co-founder of CatholicVote.org, where he serves as Political Director. Mercer previously served as Washington Correspondent for the National Catholic Register and Chairman for Students for Life of America. He lives in Michigan with his wife and six children.

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