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A1: The stories you need to read before your first conference call.

-- Plans to approve a $1.1 trillion spending package to keep the government open were derailed late Monday over renewing the Terrorism Risk Insurance Act. Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) and Rep. Jeb Hensarling (R-Texas) had reached agreement to continue the program, though critical differences remained on 2010 financial regulatory reforms that were part of the deal. Appropriators said they were ready to pass a short-term spending bill in case Congress needs more time before Thursday's shutdown deadline. (Washington Post)

-- The Senate's CIA torture report includes graphic details about sexual threats and other harsh tactics used on suspected terrorists. The White House said they had stepped up security at U.S. facilities around the world in anticipation of the report's release on Tuesday. The report also details incidents in which CIA interrogators staged mock executions, a practice never authorized by the Bush administration. The 500-page report summarizes a 6,000-page version that will remain secret. (Reuters)

-- Director of National Intelligence James Clapper warned members of the Senate Intelligence Committee in a briefing on Saturday about possible unrest abroad after the report is released. But Clapper told senators he favored releasing the report. (New York Times)

-- Federal Reserve officials are considering dropping an assurance that short-term interest rates will stay near zero for a "considerable time" when they release statements from their policy meeting next week. The Fed has held interest rates close to zero since December 2008. New York Fed President William Dudley has stopped using the "considerable time" phrase, though Atlanta Fed President Dennis Lockhart said he's "not in a rush" to stop using it. (Wall Street Journal)

-- Federal employees' job satisfaction and commitment are at their lowest point since annual surveys by the Partnership for Public Service began in 2003. Federal employees had an "engagement score" of just 57 out of 100, compared with a 72 out of 100 score for private sector employees. Employees at the Department of Homeland Security are the least satisfied with their jobs, while NASA still ranks as the best place to work in the federal government. (Washington Post)

-- Front Pages: WaPo leads with a look at big Republican donors holding back on committing to 2016 candidates. NYT and USA Today preview the Senate torture report. WSJ reports on the Fed's possible shift in tone. LA Times leads with a plan to retrofit thousands of structures in advance of the next big earthquake, with a 5-column photo of yesterday's massive fire.

National Roundup: What's happening outside the Beltway.

-- WH'16: Incoming Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell will "almost certainly" endorse Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) for president in 2016, he said Monday, but he's not going to be "tromping around in New Hampshire and Iowa." (CNN) GOP mega-donor Sheldon Adelson doesn't want to fund another primary fight; he and his wife Miriam are likely to set up their own super PAC to influence the 2016 elections. (Washington Post) MoveOn.org will spend $1 million trying to convince Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) to jump into the White House race. Executive director Ilya Sheyman said the group would open offices and hire staff in Iowa and New Hampshire. (New York Times)

-- Vermont: Businessman Scott Milne (R) says he will not concede defeat after coming just a few thousand votes shy of upsetting Gov. Peter Shumlin (D) in November. State law requires the legislature to pick a governor if no one receives more than 50 percent of the vote; Shumlin led Milne 46.4 percent to 45.1 percent. The legislature, where Democrats control a total of 106 of 180 seats, will pick a governor on Jan. 7, the first day of their 2015 session. (Associated Press)

-- Nevada: Supporters of stricter background checks on gun purchases collected more than 166,000 signatures for a petition that will force the state legislature to take up a measure similar to the one that passed in Washington State this November. If the legislature declines to act or votes down the initiative, the measure will appear on next year's ballot. Gov. Brian Sandoval (R) vetoed a tougher background check measure passed by the Democratic legislature in 2013; Republicans took control of both chambers in this year's elections. (Las Vegas Sun)

-- California: Democrats are quietly lining up to run for an open Senate seat if Sen. Barbara Boxer (D) decides to call it quits. Boxer, 74, has just $150,000 in the bank, and her friends think she wants to retire. Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti (D) has had preliminary conversations with consultant Bill Carrick about running. Attorney General Kamala Harris (D) and Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom (D) held a joint fundraiser in September; one is likely to run for Senate while the other runs to succeed Gov. Jerry Brown (D). Rep. Jackie Speier (D), Secretary of State Alex Padilla (D), state Comptroller John Chiang (D), Facebook executive Sheryl Sandberg and billionaire Tom Steyer are all considered possible candidates, too. (Politico)

-- New Jersey: U.S. Attorney Paul Fishman spurned questions over whether his investigation into the George Washington Bridge traffic jam scandal would lead to indictments next month. New York's NBC affiliate reported several former members of Gov. Chris Christie's (R) administration could be indicted in the coming weeks. Fishman said press reports on that investigation "are most likely to be wrong." But he declined to say whether the NBC report was wrong. (Newark Star-Ledger)

-- Iowa: Coolest story you'll read today: The Iowa Department of Transportation will debut a new app in 2015 that will allow drivers to use their smart phones as their official driver's license. State law enforcement will accept the digital license. Drivers will use a pin number for verification, in order to ensure security. (Des Moines Register)

DC Digest: What's on tap today in DC.

-- President Obama delivers remarks this morning at an event for senior leaders in the federal workforce. This afternoon, he heads to Nashville's Casa Azafran community center, which houses a number of immigration-related nonprofits, where he'll answer questions on his executive actions on immigration. He heads back to D.C. this evening.

-- Vice President Biden attends the Women Rule Summit at the Mandarin Oriental this afternoon with his daughter, Ashley. Tonight, he delivers remarks to the National Democratic Institute's annual Democracy Award dinner.

-- The House meets today at 10 a.m. with votes expected between 1 p.m. and 4:15 p.m. They've got 13 measures to consider under suspension while they wait for negotiators to finish up work on the massive continuing resoluton/omnibus.

-- The Senate will vote to invoke cloture on two nominees to serve on the Tennessee Valley Authority this morning, and by 6 p.m. they expect to vote on confirmation. The Senate voted Monday to overhaul Freedom of Information Act requests after Sen. Jay Rockefeller (D-W.Va.) dropped his objections, and they renamed eight post offices.

-- Happening today on the Hill: Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella will meet with top Republicans, escorted by conference chair Cathy McMorris Rodgers (R-Wash.), her office tells us. Get those Windows 98 jokes ready, folks.

-- White House chef Sam Kass will leave next month to move to New York City, he said Monday, after six years in the executive kitchen. Kass spearheaded the administration's "Let's Move" campaign, and he's helped defend school lunch programs that have come under fire from conservatives. Kass married MSNBC's Alex Wagner last year; Wagner lives in New York. (Wall Street Journal)

-- MIT professor Jonathan Gruber is due on Capitol Hill today to testify before the House Oversight Committee. One Republican aide, on the goal of the hearing: "Tomorrow is all about giving him the opportunity to say something stupid." (The Hill)

-- If and when she retires, House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi will not be naming a successor. She refused to talk about when she plans to quit, but she said there would be no coronation. A major proxy fight will take place when Rep. Xavier Becerra (D-Calif.) is term-limited as caucus chairman, in November 2016. (Washington Post)

B1: Business, politics and the business of politics

-- Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell is trying to get a rider in the cromnibus that would allow candidates and party committees to coordinate more closely. Current law prohibits coordination between candidates and independent expenditure units; candidates and committees may only coordinate on a small amount of spending. Senate Republican negotiators said Monday the rider remained a sticking point between House and Senate leaders. (Roll Call)

-- RNC chairman Reince Priebus formally declared his campaign for a third term on Monday, rolling out the endorsements of 150 of 168 committee members. The RNC will vote on its next chairman next month at the winter meetings in Coronado, Calif. (Time)

-- Bumpy day on Wall Street ahead: Stock futures are down three quarters of a percentage point in early trading. The Hang Seng in Hong Kong fell more than 2.3 percentage points today, while European markets are off more than a percentage point. (CNN)

C1: The long reads you'll need to check out before tonight's cocktail party.

-- Montana Gov. Steve Bullock (D) will be elected chairman of the Democratic Governors Association at the party's organizational meeting today in Beverly Hills. Bullock told us in an interview he wants to make sure his party doesn't just retreat to its coastal bases. "I want to make sure that ours is a party that is focusing on both middle class issues and not becoming a party of our two coasts," he said.

-- As a freshman running for class president at Claremont McKenna College, Bullock borrowed a few sheep from the animal husbandry department of a nearby state school and installed them in a corral outside his school's main dining hall, with a sign that read "A Vote for Steve Will Be a Vote for Ewe." He won. (Washington Post)

C4: The comics page, fun things to read when you're bored at work

-- Don't miss President Obama's appearance on The Colbert Report, which he filmed yesterday at The George Washington University. (Comedy Central)