Wake-Up Call! is Hotline's daily morning briefing on campaigns and elections. Click here to subscribe.
- The Senate will turn this week to the budget deal. "But in a deviation from the usual patterns in Washington, the bipartisan agreement may have a harder path in the Senate, where lawmakers are typically less averse to compromise than their House counterparts." Senate Majority Whip Dick Durbin (D-IL)), on "Face the Nation": "The struggle is still on in the United States Senate." (CBS News)
- "President Obama on Saturday marked the first anniversary" of the Newtown, Conn., elementary school shootings "with calls for stricter gun control and more support for mental health, as well as by lighting candles for each of the victims." (Washington Post)
- The DSCC raised $5.1 million in November, ending the month with $12 million on hand and $5 million in debt. (release)
- "The negative campaigning has begun" in the FL-13 special GOP primary, "with candidates David Jolly and Kathleen Peters attacking each other in separate mailings." (Tampa Bay Times)
- In NE SEN, Midland University President Ben Sasse (R) bought modest airtime, $8,500, during the Jan. 6 BCS National Championship college football game. (Roll Call)
- Pennsylvania Attorney General Kathleen Kane (D) "is not planning to enter the crowded 2014 Democratic primary election for governor, as many speculated. Instead, Kane is eyeing" a 2016 run against Sen. Pat Toomey (R). (Philadelphia Inquirer)
Hotline editors weigh in on the stories that drive the day
• 2013 is ending with a whimper on Capitol Hill. The House split last week, and the Senate isn't far behind. Getting 60 votes for the budget deal in Tuesday's cloture vote isn't a cinch, but most believe the votes will be there. 2014 doesn't look any more exciting, with Republicans content to keep their heads down and play prevent defense. But while the GOP appears to have avoided another government shutdown, a February clash over the nation's debt limit would introduce a measure of uncertainty in the outlook for next November.
• After the first round of direct mail attacks, the GOP sparring in FL-13 will probably get stronger over the next week. The primary isn't until Jan. 14, but about 78,000 mail ballots are already in voters' hands.
HAIR OF THE DOG
FRESH BREWED BUZZ
- "After weeks of legal wrangling, a recount of the closest statewide election in Virginia history begins Monday. By the end of the week, Virginians should know who will serve as their next attorney general -- unless the loser chooses to prolong the fight." (Washington Post)
- Obama "has accepted" House Speaker John Boehner's "invitation to deliver the State of the Union address on Tuesday, Jan. 28." (Roll Call)
- Sen. Mary Landrieu's (D-LA) "campaign website 'issues' page appears to have been copied directly" from Georgia Senate candidate Michelle Nunn's (D) website "ideas" page. (BuzzFeed)
- Check out Nevada journalist Jon Ralston's piece on more than 25 years covering Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D). (Politico)
- "G.O.P. Firebrands Tone Down Their Message and Run Again" (New York Times)
- George P. Bush, former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush's (R) son, "is launching his political career by running for Texas' little-known but powerful land commissioner post. But rather than campaigning on the mainstream Republicanism embodied by the family name, Bush says he's 'a movement conservative' more in line with the tea party." (AP)
- "Rep. Joaquin Castro (D-TX) and wife Anna welcomed their first child, Andrea Elena Castro, into the world early Sunday morning." (Roll Call)
- "Even Andrew says, 'Oh my God.'" -- Sandra Lee, girlfried of New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D), on his reaction to her decorating their house with 8 Christmas trees. (Vanity Fair)
- Sen. Mike Crapo (R-ID) has gotten some attention for a "rather dramatic facial injury he's sporting, including a V-shaped bruise on his cheek that extends across a good portion of the side of his face." (Spokane Spokesman-Review)
- "Salem Communications, the Christian radio conglomerate and owners of Hotair.com, Townhall.com and recent acquisition Twitchy, will buy Eagle Publishing" in January. "Eagle Publishing owns RedState, Human Events and Regnery Publishing, a publisher of conservative books." (BuzzFeed)
- The Strategy Group Company announced a merger with strategic corporate communications and public affairs firm Murphy Linville. (release)
- "Video: Brooklyn Burglar Preps With Hour-Long Twerking Session" (Gothamist)
PLAY OF THE DAY!
- Today's weather, from the National Weather Service: Mostly cloudy. Highs in the upper 30s. Northwest winds 5 to 10 mph.
- The Senate returns at 3 p.m.
- The "Hot 99.5 Jingle Ball" features pop stars Miley Cyrus and Robin Thicke. (Verizon Center, 7 p.m.)
- The Ravens and Lions face off on "Monday Night Football." (ESPN, 8:40 pm.)
- Have an event for us to highlight? Email us!
- Rep. Richard Neal (D-MA) has only faced a Republican opponent in one of the past 8 elections.
- That one stumped the Wake-Up Call! community, so here's a bonus Swizzle Challenge: "In the State Room of the White House this month sits a a 300-pound gingerbread house replica of the White House, with two figures on the porch. What are those two figures?" The 1st correct e-mailer gets to submit the next question.
NJ'S EARLY BIRD SPECIALS
- Budget Forecast Is Sunny in the Senate
- Unemployment Benefits End Right After Christmas. Here's What Happens Next.
- Senate Will Be Busy as Year-End Nears
- Supporters of Stricter Gun Laws Look Back on 2013 in Despair
- Republicans Set Themselves Up for Judicial Failure
"It's been a year of great accomplishments and achievements. ... When I'm down at the old soldiers' home and I'm sitting in my rocking chair I'll say, 'Boy, 2013 was a banner year.'" -- Sen. John McCain (R-AZ), sarcastically, on the Senate accomplishments this year. (New York Times)
"McCain Gets Bored With Syria Talk, Plays iPhone Poker During Hearing" (New York Magazine)
Julie Sobel, Editor
Steven Shepard, Editor-in-Chief