It’s a busier-than-usual Wednesday in Washington.
From Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky’s surprise visit to the White House to the release of the House January 6, 2021, committee’s final report and the fate of a consequential immigration rule hanging in the balance, this is not the capital’s typical year-end cram session.
Here are some key storylines to watch:
Zelensky is set to meet US President Joe Biden at the White House in a visit that comes roughly 300 days after Russia began its attack on Ukraine.
Biden is expected to announce an additional $1.8 billion in security assistance to Ukraine, a significant boost in aid headlined by the Patriot missile systems within the defense assistance package, a US official told CNN.
Though the visit might last only hours, the two are expected to convene a White House news conference before Zelensky addresses members of Congress on Capitol Hill in prime time.
Read more on the visit here.
Retired colonel predicts how Putin will respond to Zelensky’s White House visit
The House select committee investigating the attack on the US Capitol is expected to release its full final report Wednesday.
The panel referred former President Donald Trump to the Justice Department on at least four criminal charges during its final public meeting on Monday.
While referrals are effectively symbolic, the committee laid out a trove of evidence for why the former president should be prosecuted for multiple crimes. It’s also begun handing over evidence it collected during the investigation to special counsel Jack Smith – the seasoned lawyer appointed to head up two Trump-related probes, including the January 6 investigation, at the Justice Department.
“That evidence has led to an overriding and straight-forward conclusion: the central cause of January 6th was one man, former President Donald Trump, who many others followed,” the committee writes in a summary of its final report released on Monday. “None of the events of January 6th would have happened without him.”
Why Jan. 6 committee did not recommend seditious conspiracy for Trump
Senate leaders are aiming Wednesday to take the procedural steps necessary to pass a year-long federal spending bill by Thursday and send it to the House, where it is expected to be adopted.
Lawmakers hope to get the legislation to President Joe Biden’s desk for his signature before government funding runs out Friday at midnight.
Top congressional Democrats and Republicans unveiled the $1.7 trillion year-long federal government funding bill early Tuesday morning.
More on what’s in the bill here.
Hear GOP senator’s response to McCarthy’s threat over spending bill
A controversial Trump-era border restriction known as Title 42 that was set to expire Wednesday will remain in place until the Supreme Court issues an order – which can come at any time, although the court has no deadline.
The Biden administration told the Supreme Court Tuesday that the justices should reject an emergency bid by a group of GOP-led states to keep the restriction in effect while legal challenges play out. But it also asked for the court to delay the ending of Title 42 until at least December 27, citing ongoing preparations for an influx of migrants and the upcoming holiday weekend.
The rule has allowed border officials to immediately turn away migrants who have crossed the southern border illegally, all in the name of Covid-19 prevention. There have been nearly 2.5 million expulsions – mostly under the Biden administration, which has been bracing for an influx of arrivals if the authority lifts.
More on the court fight here.
‘I’m afraid of them sending me back’: Hear from a mom and daughter waiting for Title 42 decision at southern border
The Democratic-led House Ways and Means Committee on Tuesday asserted that the IRS failed to properly audit Trump’s taxes while he was in office. It released a report that detailed six years’ worth of the former president’s tax returns, including his claims of massive annual losses that significantly reduced his tax burden.
All eyes are on the committee, which said it would release Trump’s tax returns within days.
Read the committee report finding Trump was not properly audited here.
Read the Joint Committee on Taxation’s report on Trump’s taxes here.
Lawmaker explains what happens next with Trump’s tax returns
The extradition hearing for FTX founder Sam Bankman-Fried is expected to be scheduled for Wednesday at 11 a.m. ET, according to Nassau Magistrate Court administrator Alpha Grant.
Grant confirmed the timing of Wednesday’s hearing shortly after Jerone Roberts, Bankman-Fried’s Bahamian attorney, spent several hours in the courthouse Tuesday afternoon and then left amid a swarm of unanswered questions from reporters.
Roberts has previously said it is “likely” that the crypto celebrity will be extradited to the US the same day the final court hearing takes place.
Bankman-Fried was arrested a week ago at his luxury residence in the Bahamas the night before he was scheduled to appear virtually before the House Financial Services Committee.
Federal prosecutors in New York have indicted him on eight criminal charges including wire fraud and conspiracy by misusing customer funds.
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