Congress returns from holiday break to hefty legislative agenda; expulsion vote for New York Republican representative George Santos expected this week

Good morning, US politics blog readers. Washington DC is shaking off the turkey-induced haze it lapsed into over the Thanksgiving holiday last week, and Congress has reconvened with a heaping plate of legislative matters to deal with. Many of these are dull, important, and familiar, such as the ongoing debate over funding the government, or Joe Biden’s request for $106b in aid to Ukraine, Israel and to fortify the southern border, but there’s one issue that is expected to be dealt with soon and will be truly noteworthy if it happens: expelling George Santos.

Two weeks ago, the House ethics committee issued a damning report that found the New York congressman and admitted fabulist’s conduct “has called into question the integrity of the House”. Even though Santos has announced he will not stand for a second term in office, the Republican chair of the panel Michael Guest has filed a resolution to expel him, which appears to have the support to pass. Over the weekend, Santos acknowledged his days were numbered, so the question now is when might Guest’s resolution come up for a vote? We’re hearing as soon as Wednesday, but you can expect to hear more about this today.

We are one month and 19 days from the Iowa Republican presidential caucuses, and the Washington Post reports the GOP is seeing a worrying drop off in donations.

Chuck Schumer, the Senate’s Democratic leader, wants a vote on Biden’s national security proposal as soon as next week.

White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre will be joined by National Security Council spokesman John Kirby for her briefing at 12pm eastern time. Kirby will undoubtedly take questions about the situation in Israel.

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