President Donald Trump has also called for the $2,000 stimulus checks.
This week, USA TODAY Politics focuses on the run-up to President-elect Joe Biden’s inauguration, his remaining Cabinet picks and the final week of the current Congress. 
Dates to watch:
Jan. 3: New Congress is sworn in.
Jan. 5: Senate runoff election in Georgia.
Jan. 6: Congress will count and certify the electoral results in a joint session.
Jan. 20: Inauguration of Biden, who will take the oath of office.
Be sure to refresh this page often to get the latest information on the transition.
Trump to cut short Florida trip, return to White House
President Donald Trump will cut his annual holiday trip to Florida short and return to Washington on New Years Eve, the White House said Wednesday.
The announcement came hours after media reports indicated Trump would go forward with an annual New Years Eve celebration at his Palm Beach club, Mar-a-Lago, amid the coronavirus pandemic. White House officials did not disclose the reason for Trumps decision to return to the White House on Thursday.
Trump has kept a low profile in Florida since arriving on Dec. 23 and has rarely been seen outside the golf course. Instead of providing a detailed schedule, the White House said only that he was working tirelessly for the American people and would take many meetings and calls.
The presidents return date had long been somewhat in the air, but he has in the past attended the annual black-tie New Years Eve celebration at Mar-a-Lago.
Trumps return comes as his demand for $2,000 stimulus checks for millions of Americans appears to be dead. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has tied the larger checks to two other provisions eliminating legal protections for social media companies and creating a commission to study the 2020 election that are widely opposed by Democrats.
John Fritze
First senator joins GOP effort to challenge Electoral College results
Sen. Josh Hawley, a Missouri Republican, says he will object to the Electoral College results next week when Congress meets to officially certify President-elect Joe Biden’s win over President Donald Trump, ensuring a doomed but dramatic congressional fight to overturn Biden’s win. 
Hawley, a close ally of the president, is the first senator to announce he would back the effort on Jan. 6, ensuring both chambers will debate and be forced to vote on whether to overturn Biden’s election win. A faction of conservative House Republicans, led by Mo. Brooks, R-Ala., have already said they will object to electoral votes from some battleground states that Biden won, such as Pennsylvania ad Georgia.
Biden won the Dec. 14 Electoral College vote 306-232.
Trump has repeatedly called on congressional Republicans to step up and object on his behalf, but many have acknowledged Biden’s win. Some went as far to call the effort to object meaningless.
The effort, however, is doomed to fail in the Democratic-controlled House and even in the Senate, where Republican leaders led by Majority Leader Mitch McConnell have warned colleagues not to challenge the Electoral College vote.
Read the full story.
Christal Hayes and Joey Garrison
Fate of $2,000 stimulus checks remains uncertain
A proposal from Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell to raise stimulus checks to Americans to $2,000 could scuttle chances of passing the increased aid checks.
President Donald Trump has demanded that Congress increase the aid payments included in a $900 billion coronavirus relief package from $600 to $2,000. 
The Kentucky Republican introduced a bill Tuesday that includes two other Trump demands that Democrats are not likely to support. The measure would increase checks to $2,000 but also repeal Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act, which grants certain legal protections for big tech companies, and establish a commission to study election fraud.
The commission would examine many of the concerns Trump has raised since losing the election and make recommendations to Congress. The president hasn’t provided proof to back his claims, and the Justice Department found no evidence of widespread fraud in last month’s election.
New voting restrictions: GOP seeks to roll back mail-in voting in states like Georgia, Pennsylvania
Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., said there was no way Democrats would support the legislation and it stood no chance of reaching Trump’s desk. Democrats called on McConnell to pass a standalone proposal on stimulus checks.
Meanwhile, the Treasury Department is has begun issuing the $600 payments. The department said payments would begin for Americans with direct deposit set up through the Internal Revenue Service as soon as Tuesday night. Paper checks will begin to be mailed Wednesday.
McConnell’s bill hasn’t been scheduled for a vote, and it’s unclear whether it will receive the backing of Senate Republicans. Some have voiced support for increasing relief checks, but most are opposed.
Holding a vote on the measure would put Republican senators on the spot to either reject Trump’s demands for increased checks or relent on long-held objections to adding to the debt. 
Christal Hayes and staff reports
Last SlideNext Slide
Read or Share this story:

You may also like