Donald Trump appointed the three Supreme Court justices who were the difference in overturning Roe v. Wade last year. But a new survey suggests anti-abortion voters aren’t planning to reward the former president at the polls next year.
At the National Pro-Life Summit in Washington over the weekend, Florida Governor Ron DeSantis walloped Trump in a straw vote for attendees’ preferred 2024 presidential candidate. DeSantis claimed just under 54% of the 2,000 votes cast while former President Trump captured just 19%. Former Vice President Mike Pence followed in third with about 8% of the vote.
The poll, though unscientific, is another sign that Trump might no longer be the first choice of conservative voters.
In other political news, President Joe Biden is grappling with increasing political fallout after the Department of Justice discovered additional classified documents at his private Wilmington home in Delaware last Friday. The discovery has drawn criticism from both Democrats and Republicans and has called the White House’s transparency into question.
The Senate is back in session on Monday for the first time since the U.S. officially hit the debt ceiling last week. There’s still a few months before the country defaults on its debts, but lawmakers have started sounding the alarms.
House Republicans have demanded spending cuts from Democrats in exchange for raising the debt limit. So far, most Democratic lawmakers and the White House haven’t budged.
Rep. Ruben Gallego, D-Ariz., announced he will seek the Senate seat now held by Democrat-turned-independent Kyrsten Sinema. And a new straw poll of anti-abortion voters show Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis ahead of former President Donald Trump.
Here are the latest political developments of the day.
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This week marks a pivotal moment for an Atlanta-area investigation into whether former President Donald Trump and his allies illegally tried to overturn the 2020 presidential election.
On Tuesday, a Fulton County Georgia judge will consider whether to allow the public release of the findings of a special grand jury investigation, including any recommendations related to the possible prosecution of Trump and his associates.
The hearing could result in the full release of the report and the panel’s recommendations, a partial disclosure or a decision to withhold the document pending any decision on prosecution.
Trump’s Georgia lawyers said Monday that they will not take part in the session.
Anti-abortion voters may be turning on former president Donald Trump ahead of the 2024 presidential contest, a new poll shows. At the National Pro-Life Summit in Washington over the weekend, Florida Governor Ron DeSantis emerged victorious in a vote for attendee’s preferred candidate. DeSantis claimed just under 54% of the 2,000 votes cast while former President Trump came up with just 19%. Former Vice President Mike Pence followed in third with about 8% of the vote.
Though DeSantis has not announced a run for president, his rising political star — and his ability to beat Trump in polls — has shone a spotlight on his GOP potential. With the party’s pro-life component making up a solid chunk of the voting bloc, the poll may indicate a shift in the mood of the GOP’s base.
Though DeSantis’ lead is stark, it is difficult to use the poll as a litmus test for the whole party. The crowd was comprised of young people, since one of the summit’s sponsors was Students for Life of America.
— Anna Kaufman
More on the anti-abortion protest in DC.: ‘A new season’: Anti-abortion advocates gather in DC for March for Life, first since overturn of Roe v Wade
Vice President Kamala Harris cited the Declaration of Independence on Sunday when making the case for reproductive rights. But what she didn’t say caught some people’s attention.
“America is a promise,” Harris said during a speech in Tallahassee, Fla., marking the 50th anniversary of Roe v. Wade, the 1973 Supreme Court decision that established a constitutional right to abortion but that was overturned last summer.
Harris noted in her remarks that the promise of America “is a promise of freedom and liberty … A promise we made in the Declaration of Independence that we are each endowed with the right to liberty and the pursuit of happiness.”
She omitted a key word from that phrase: “Life.” The declaration says all men are created equal and that they are endowed with certain unalienable rights – “among these are life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.”
Harris’ office did not respond to questions about whether the omission of ‘life’ from the vice president’s remarks was intentional. But some conservatives were incensed.
“It’s LIFE, liberty and the pursuit of happiness,” Colorado GOP Rep. Lauren Boebert tweeted.
It’s LIFE, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.
We have the right to LIFE.
– Michael Collins
House Democratic Leader Hakeem Jeffries sent a letter to House Speaker Kevin McCarthy Saturday requesting that California Reps. Adam Schiff and Eric Swalwell continue serving on the House Intelligence Committee after freshman Rep. George Santos, R-N.Y., received committee assignments.
“At the same time that Republicans have threatened to deny seats on the Intelligence Committee to clearly qualified democratic members, serial fraudster George Santos has been placed on two standing committees of the House and welcomed into your conference,” the letter reads. “The apparent double standard risks undermining the spirit of bipartisan cooperation that is so desperately needed in Congress.”
Santos is facing mounting pressure to step down following revelations he misled voters while running for Congress about his background and resume. The New York lawmaker has been named to the House Small Business and House Science, Space and Technology committees.
– Sarah Elbeshbishi
George Santos: ‘My sins here are embellishing my resume’: Rep.-elect George Santos admits to lying about college and career
Rep. Ruben Gallego, D-Ariz., made it official Monday morning, announcing he will seek the Senate seat now held by Democrat-turned-independent Kyrsten Sinema.
Gallego, 43, who confirmed his long-rumored run via a video statement, tweeted: “Today, too many Arizonans see their dream slipping away. I’m running for the U.S. Senate to win it back for you!”
The outspoken liberal, a military veteran first elected to the House in 2014, has been particularly critical of Sinema, who, along with Sen. Joe Manchin of West Virginia, has opposed many of President Joe Biden’s initiatives.
Last month, Sinema announced she has left the Democratic Party and become an independent; she has not announced whether she will seek re-election.
– David Jackson
Senate showdown?: Arizona Rep. Ruben Gallego announces Senate bid, set to challenge Sen. Kyrsten Sinema
Another week, another George Santos surprise.
During his first weeks in office, the embattled congressman has been at the center of controversy as journalists have unearthed lies about his personal and professional resume. But this week he is promising a surprise for journalists.
“Looking forward to be back on Capitol Hill this week to serve #NY03,” he said in a tweet Sunday. “I also have a surprise for the ‘journalists’ assigned to stake out side of my office…can’t wait to see you guys!”
It wasn’t immediately clear Monday what kind of surprise Santos would have at his House office on Capitol Hill.
Several reporters have been waiting outside his office in the Longworth building, peppering him with questions about his lies and how he is responding to calls from Democrats and Republicans to resign.
– Candy Woodall
Jeff Zients, who steered President Joe Biden’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic during the first year of his administration, will be named the new White House chief of staff, according to the Associated Press.
Zients, a management consultant who also served in President Barack Obama’s administration, will succeed Ron Klain, who is stepping down after guiding Biden’s first two years in office, the AP said, citing two people familiar with the matter. Klain plans to depart in the weeks following Biden’s State of the Union address in February.
Zients, 56, will step into the chief of staff’s role as Biden is dealing with the fallout from the discovery of classified documents at his home in Delaware and his former private office in Washington and as he is expected to run for a second term.
— Michael Collins
Learn more here: Biden to name Jeff Zients, who steered COVID response, as White House chief of staff
After going largely quiet after his 2024 presidential bid announcement, former President Donald Trump is set to return to the public stage with messages aimed at potential Republican opponents – and potential criminal prosecutors.
Trump will visit South Carolina on Jan. 28 to unveil his “South Carolina Leadership Team” and will head to Maryland, near Washington, D.C., to address CPAC, the Conservative Political Action Conference, in early March.
The former president has seen his support dip among Republican voters after a series of controversies from the GOP’s disappointing midterm results to Trump hosting a dinner that included antisemites and white nationalists.
– David Jackson and Ken Tran
Trump’s falling support visualized: These charts show how Trump’s 2024 bid is losing steam
The Biden and Trump classified document revelations – including the new trove of records found at President Joe Biden’s Delaware home on Friday – are very different, even though both indicate U.S. national security could have been put at risk by sensitive government documents stored in unsecured personal locations.
But they do have one similarity, security analysts tell USA TODAY: Both cases underscore how the U.S. system of safeguarding classified presidential documents is in urgent need of improvement, especially during the critical period when one administration hands over the White House keys to another.
— Josh Meyer
President Joe Biden returns to the White House from his home in Rehoboth Beach, Del., at 10:40 a.m. Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre will brief the press at 2:35 p.m.
On Tuesday, Biden will host Democratic congressional leaders at the White House. He will also host a reception for new members of Congress.
Later in the week, Biden will travel to Virginia to make remarks about the economy. He will also host a Lunar New Year reception at the White House.
In Congress, the Senate returns at 3 p.m. today to consider a assistant defense secretary nominee.
Vice President Kamala Harris marked the 50th anniversary of Roe v. Wade on Sunday by imploring supporters of reproductive rights to keep up the fight even as some states are moving to limit access to abortion or ban it ought.
“Let us not be tired or discouraged,” she said in Tallahassee, Fla. “Because we’re on the right side of history.”
On Jan. 22, 1973, the Supreme Court issued its landmark Roe v. Wade ruling, which established a constitutional right to abortion. Five decades later, the court’s conservative majority delivered a stunning setback to the abortion rights movement when it overturned the decision last June, ruling there is no right to abortion in the Constitution.
That decision shifted one of the nation’s most divisive debates back to the states. At least 13 have since banned abortion outright, while others have restricted access to the procedure.
— Michael Collins
‘Right side of history’: VP Harris urges abortion rights supporters to continue fight on Roe anniversary
Read more here: Biden and Trump documents expose wider problem: Missing classified records not uncommon
Recap: More Biden documents found after DOJ searches his Delaware home
Trump returns to the public stage: Donald Trump plans campaign stops targeting Republican opponents – and prosecutors
What’s happening?: Biden documents probe means US has 3 special counsel investigations at once. What are they?
‘Fairness and double standards’: How Biden’s classified documents debacle could become a political, legal liability