LOOP: Nancy Pelosi narrowly elected Speaker

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FRIDAY, JANUARY 4
PELOSI ELECTED SPEAKER  Nancy Pelosi has the Speaker’s gavel again. But her victory was narrow, as 15 Democrats refused to vote for her. Pelosi was only able to secure enough votes after pledging she would not serve more than four more years as Speaker. READ
VETO THREAT  The Trump administration issued a statement opposing the House Democratic funding bill because the legislation includes “restoring funding for the United Nations Population Fund” and “would also undermine the President’s Mexico City Policy… which prohibits the funding of nongovernmental organizations that promote or perform abortions.”  READ
TWO GOP WOMEN ON JUDICIARY  Likely in fallout from the Brett Kavanaugh hearings, Senate Republicans named their first two women to serve on the Senate Judiciary Committee. Sens. Marsha Blackburn, R-TN, and Joni Ernst, R-IA, are both well known for their pro-life voting records.  READ
CONGRESS 2019  Rep. Jennifer Wexton, a Virginia Democrat, placed a transgender flag outside of her new congressional office after being sworn into office yesterday. READ
CRISIS IN THE JUDICIARY   Senate Republicans confirmed a record number of appellate judges last year. But the total number of vacancies are 52% higher than they were in July 2016. There are more than 130 positions on the U.S. District Court and U.S. Court of Appeals that remain vacant.  READ
2020  California Senator Kamala Harris is considering a run for president. But she doesn’t have the support of her fellow California Senator, Dianne Feinstein. She supports former Vice President Joe Biden instead, and says Kamala Harris is “brand-new here.”  READ
STUDENT DEBT   Two-thirds of registered voters in an August 2018 poll considered student loan debt a “crisis.” Democrats are calling for the government to pay off that debt. But one policy expert is suggesting a different idea: allow millennials to pay off student loans with their 401k plans. “An employee signing up for a new 401(k) plan at work would be asked if he wants his employer match directed to his student loan until it’s paid off. In order to get this benefit, obviously, our employee must have gotten a job — they have to work to get this benefit. There’s no new entitlement or even tax benefit created here,” writes Ryan Ellis.  READ
POPE CALLS U.S. BISHOPS TO CONVERSION   Pope Francis sent a letter to U.S. bishops on retreat together. In the letter he called for unity and conversion. “Clearly a living fabric has come undone, and we, like weavers, are called to repair it,” wrote Pope Francis. READ
POPE’S LETTER  Read the full letter from Pope Francis to the U.S. bishops.  READ
SAINT OF THE DAY  Convert, wife, mother, widow, teacher, religious─Saint Elizabeth Ann Seton did it all. Yet, in many ways, she was an ordinary woman of her time who lived life in an extraordinary way. She has certainly had a powerful influence on women Religious and on the Catholic school system in the United States. READ
MORE ON ST. SETON  Read the profile on St. Elizabeth Ann Seton that appears in the American Catholic Almanac, co-written by CatholicVote President Brian Burch and author Emily Stimpson Chapman. READ
DAILY READINGS  “All the ends of the earth have seen the saving power of God.” (Ps 98:1)  READ
A STABLE SOCIETY  Carve out 15 minutes this weekend and watch Tucker Carlson take Republicans to task for being too concerned solely for economic efficiency while neglecting the importance of protecting the family. “We are ruled by mercenaries who feel no long-term obligations to the people they rule. They’re day traders. Substitute teachers. They’re just passing through. They have no skin in this game, and it shows,” said Carlson. WATCH (OR READ)
BOTTOM OF THE LOOP STORY

The views expressed here are those of the author, and do not necessarily represent the views of CatholicVote.org

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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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