* Felicia Sonmez and Mike DeBonis report that all is well in the House GOP caucus:
Rep. Kevin McCarthy (Calif.) ascended to the top job in House Republican leadership Wednesday, while Rep. Liz Cheney (Wyo.) followed in her father’s footsteps by taking the party’s No. 3 spot.
McCarthy prevailed over Rep. Jim Jordan (Ohio), 159 to 43, according to the House press gallery, while Cheney was elected by voice vote.
Speaker Paul D. Ryan (Wis.) is stepping down at the end of his term in January. That opened up the top leadership spot, which — after the party lost its House majority in last week’s midterm election — will be minority leader.
So McCarthy helped oversee the Republicans getting shellacked and he’s getting a promotion, while House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (Calif.) led Democrats to a huge victory and she’s facing a rebellion.
* Nicholas Fandos and Maggie Haberman report that there’s a possibility Republicans could pass an actual bill not long from now:
President Trump was expected to lend his support to a substantial rewrite of the nation’s prison and sentencing laws at an event at the White House on Wednesday afternoon, but opponents of the proposal were making a last-ditch attempt to dissuade him from signing on.
Senators from both parties who hashed out the legislative compromise, which would invest heavily in anti-recidivism programs and lower some mandatory minimum sentences, have staked the bill’s success on Mr. Trump.
The president’s support could give political cover to Republicans wary of appearing to reduce some hard-line sentencing rules for drug and other offenses. With his endorsement, they believe they could assemble a coalition of moderate Republicans and Democrats in time to move legislation before the year’s end — and before the new, divided Congress is seated.
But Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) seems unenthusiastic about it, so who knows? As someone often says, we’ll see what happens.
* Elise Viebeck looks at the extraordinary diversity of the incoming freshman members of Congress, or more specifically, the diversity of the incoming Democrats, since the Republicans are almost all white men.
* Deanna Paul reports that a group of conservative lawyers who oppose President Trump have formed an organization meant to oppose him on legal issues. One of the leaders of the effort is Kellyanne Conway’s husband.
* Philip Bump reports that Trump believes (1) that you need a photo ID to buy a box of cereal and (2) people vote, then go put on a different hat, and vote again. He clearly does not understand how either voting or cereal-purchasing works.