1/ U.S. deaths are expected to top 3 million for the first time, making this the deadliest year in U.S. history. The U.S. is on track to see at least 400,000 more deaths in 2020 than in 2019 – due mainly to the coronavirus pandemic. (Associated Press)

2/ The Senate approved more than $900 billion in emergency economic relief, government funding, and tax cuts shortly after the House passed the same package, which now head to Trump’s desk. While Trump is expected to sign that measure, logistical complexities – it must be enrolled on parchment paper, physically delivered to the White House and reviewed by administration lawyers – prevented the bill from quickly getting to him. Separately, Trump signed a seven-day government spending bill, averting a federal shutdown. Tucked inside the spending bill was over $110 billion in tax breaks for special interests. The stimulus bill will also limit the Federal Reserve’s ability to aid businesses, states, and cities through emergency lending. Biden, meanwhile, warned that the “darkest days” of the pandemic “are ahead of us, not behind us.” He called on Congress to prepare for a third stimulus package early next year. (NPR / Bloomberg / Washington Post / USA Today / Washington Post / CNN / Bloomberg / CNBC)

3/ Trump met privately with a group of congressional Republicans at the White House in preparation of a final effort to overturn the election results. The discussion reportedly focused on a contingent of House and Senate Republicans who are committed to objecting to the election results, prompting a marathon debate on the floor on Jan. 6, which would roll into Jan. 7. Rep. Mo Brooks said there are plans to challenge the results in six states, which could lead to about 18 hours of debate. Brooks and the group also met with Pence, who will preside over the joint session of Congress when lawmakers certify the Electoral College votes on Jan. 6. Trump, meanwhile, has been complaining about Pence, who he views as not fighting hard enough for him. In particular, Trump reportedly views Pence’s constitutional duty to certify the election result as the ultimate betrayal. Trump, meanwhile, lashed out at Mitch McConnell for acknowledging Biden’s victory, sending Republican senators a slide taking credit for McConnell’s career that read: “Sadly, Mitch forgot” – a reference to his June 19 tweet endorsing the Senate leader. (Politico / CNN / Axios / Washington Post / The Guardian)

  • Presidential Transition Live Blogs: New York Times / Washington Post / CNN / ABC News

  • Federal prosecutors have discussed making a legal request for Rudy Giuliani’s emails and other electronic communications. The Southern District of New York would need Justice Department approval before it can request a search warrant for materials that may be protected by attorney-client privilege. The Southern District has been reviewing Giuliani’s bank records as part of an investigation into his dealings in Ukraine. (NBC News)

  • Biden plans to nominate Miguel Cardona to be his secretary of education. Cardona has spent his career working as an elementary school teacher, principal, district administrator, and assistant superintendent. (NPR / Politico / Washington Post)

  • Gov. Gavin Newsom appointed California Secretary of State Alex Padilla to fill the Senate seat being vacated by Kamala Harris. Padilla will be the first Latino senator to represent the state. (NBC News / Politico / New York Times)

4/ Russian hackers accessed dozens of email accounts used by senior officials at the Treasury Department. “The agency suffered a serious breach, beginning in July, the full depth of which isn’t known,” Senator Ron Wyden, the top Democrat on the Senate Finance Committee, said. “Treasury still does not know all of the actions taken by hackers, or precisely what information was stolen,” but it “appears to be significant.” Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin, meanwhile, said “I can assure you, we are completely on top of this,” but did not explain how the Russian intrusion was not detected for more than four months. (New York Times / Bloomberg / CNN)

5/ Trump’s longtime banker at Deutsche Bank resigned and will leave the bank next week. Rosemary Vrablic oversaw more than $300 million in loans to Trump’s company since 2011. Vrablic’s longtime colleague, Dominic Scalzi, also resigned. (New York Times)