1/ Preliminary laboratory tests suggest that three doses of the Pfizer coronavirus vaccine offer significant protection against the Omicron variant. The early data, which has not been peer reviewed or published, found that a third dose increased antibodies 25-fold compared with two doses against Omicron. The lab findings also indicate that the two-dose regimen “may not be sufficient” to protect against infection with Omicron, but may still protect against severe disease. Dr. Anthony Fauci, meanwhile, added that the emerging evidence suggests Omicron may be more transmissible than previous variants but cause less severe illness. (New York Times / Washington Post / NBC News / Wall Street Journal / Bloomberg / CNN / Politico)

2/ A U.S. District Court judge temporarily blocked the Biden administration’s mandate for federal contractors to be vaccinated against Covid-19. Judge Stan Baker of the Southern District of Georgia said Biden likely exceeded his authority under the Procurement Act when he issued the Sept. 9 mandate, which applies to roughly a quarter of the U.S. workforce. The White House originally gave contractors until Dec. 8 to comply but later pushed back the deadline until Jan. 4. Senate Republicans, meanwhile, are expected to invoke and pass the Congressional Review Act to force a vote on a potential repeal of Biden’s employer vaccine mandate. Democratic Sens. Joe Manchin and Jon Tester have said they support the legislation. The bill would still have to pass the House and overcome a presidential veto. Nancy Pelosi, however, has said she does not plan to schedule a vote on the repeal in the House. (Bloomberg / CNBC / Washington Post / Wall Street Journal / The Hill)

3/ The House approved legislation to create a one-time pathway for Senate Democrats to unilaterally raise the debt ceiling without Republican support, who have refused to drop their blockade against legislation to raise the borrowing cap long-term in protest of Biden’s economic agenda. The House took the first step to implement the plan by passing the measure 222-212, which allows Democrats to raise the debt ceiling once using a simple majority in the Senate rather than the 60 votes needed for most legislation. At least 10 Republicans in the Senate now need to support that bill in order to set up the process for Democrats to then increase the debt ceiling by a simple majority vote. Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen has warned that the debt limit could be reached as soon as Dec. 15, which would lead to a catastrophic and first-ever U.S. default. (New York Times / Washington Post / Wall Street Journal / Politico / Bloomberg)

4/ Biden signed an executive order to cut the federal government’s carbon emissions 65% by the end of the decade and carbon neutral by 2050. Biden’s order establishes a “Buy Clean” policy, directing the federal government to use 100% clean electricity by 2030, stop buying gas-powered vehicles and instead create a fleet of electric vehicles by 2035, and upgrade federal buildings to be carbon neutral by 2045. “As the single largest land owner, energy consumer and employer in the nation, the federal government can catalyze private-sector investment and expand the economy and American industry by transforming how we build, buy and manage electricity, vehicles, buildings and other operations to be clean and sustainable,″ the order said. (Washington Post / NBC News / Associated Press / Bloomberg)

5/ The House passed a $768 billion defense policy bill – roughly $24 billion above what Biden had requested. The bill, which sets the policy agenda and authorizes funding, now moves to the Senate, where it’s expected to pass this week. The 2022 National Defense Authorization Act also contains changes to how sexual assault and harassment are prosecuted and handled within the military, and includes a 2.7% pay raise for both military service members and the Defense Department civilian workforce, and provides funding intended to counter China and bolster Ukraine, as well as money for new aircraft and ships. The bill also establishes a “multi-year independent Afghanistan War Commission” to examine the 20-year war. (New York Times / ABC News / CNN)

6/ The House select committee investigating the Jan. 6 attack on the Capitol will move hold Mark Meadows in criminal contempt for refusing to appear for a scheduled deposition. Trump’s former chief of staff, who has turned over thousands of pages of documents, informed the panel that he was no longer willing to sit for a deposition, reversing a cooperation deal he had reached with the panel last week. “The select committee is left with no choice but to advance contempt proceedings and recommend that the body in which Mr. Meadows once served refer him for criminal prosecution,” Committee Chairman Bennie Thompson said wrote Meadows’s lawyer, George Terwilliger III. Meadows also sued Nancy Pelosi and members of the select panel, claiming that he can’t discuss matters that could be covered by executive privilege, which Biden has not asserted on Trump’s behalf. A federal judge, meanwhile, set a tentative July 18 date for Steve Bannon’s contempt of Congress trial. The date splits the difference between requests from prosecutors, who wanted a trial in mid-April, and Bannon’s lawyers, who requested 10 months to prepare. And, Pence’s former chief of staff is reportedly cooperating with the Jan. 6 committee. Marc Short was subpoenaed a few weeks ago. (New York Times / Washington Post / CNN / Wall Street Journal / Axios / Politico / CNBC / New York Times)