- Democrat Nancy Pelosi of California became speaker of the House with support from 220 Democrats as 15 members of her caucus opted against voting for her. Pelosi begins her speakership with her popularity on the rise in recent months, up a net 16 points since late August. (Morning Consult)
- The Trump administration is considering tapping former Sen. Jim Webb (D-Va.) to be the next secretary of Defense, according to sources. Prior to his 2007-2013 Senate term, the Vietnam veteran served in the Reagan administration as an assistant secretary of defense and secretary of the Navy. (The New York Times)
- The Department of Justice is investigating whether newly departed Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke lied to his department’s inspector general, according to sources, a potential criminal violation. Zinke, who left the Trump administration Wednesday, was facing two internal investigations. (The Washington Post)
- President Donald Trump told Democratic leaders he could not accept their plan to end the ongoing partial government shutdown because he “would look foolish” if he did so, according to a person familiar with the exchange. The House is expected to vote this evening on bills that would open several shuttered government agencies through September, while extending funding for the Department of Homeland Security through Feb. 8 amid an impasse over funding for Trump’s proposed U.S.-Mexico border wall. (CNN)
- Senators agreed to confirm a large batch of Trump’s nominees before finishing the work of the 115th Congress, including several U.S. attorneys, inspectors general, foreign service officers and nominees to be members of the Federal Communications Commission. The list did not include lifetime appointments to the federal judiciary. (Roll Call).