-- The Senate approved a two-day extension of current funding to give themselves more time to debate the spending package. (Washington Post) President Obama formally signed the extension after midnight, according to a White House release, though the government doesn't actually shut down if it's obvious an extension will be signed.
-- The Senate Foreign Relations Committee voted Thursday along party lines to authorize the military campaign against the Islamic State. Democrats voted for the proposal that would allow military strikes while greatly restricting the use of ground forces. Seven Republicans who voted against the measure said it restricted President Obama's power too much, while Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) voted against because he said the restrictions didn't go far enough. (New York Times)
-- CIA Director John Brennan admitted it is "unknowable" whether harsh interrogation techniques would have revealed the same intelligence as conventional questioning, and he said his agency "fell short" in holding some officers accountable for going too far. But he defended the agency's actions as the "right" response in the aftermath of the Sept. 11 attacks, and he said the agency had obtained useful information from detainees subject to enhanced interrogation techniques. (Washington Post)
-- The number of prisoners at Guantanamo Bay is down to 136 after a surge of transfers to other countries in recent months. President Obama held a Nov. 19 Situation Room meeting with senior officials to spur them to keep up the pace. Sixty eight of the remaining detainees have been cleared for transfer, and at least five more will leave by the end of the year. (Associated Press)
-- Washington Post photographer Michel de Cille, a three-time Pulitzer Prize winner, collapsed and died of an apparent heart attack Thursday while on assignment in Liberia. He was 58. Post Executive Editor Marty Baron: "We are all heartbroken. We have lost a beloved colleague and one of the world’s most accomplished photographers." (Washington Post)
-- Front Pages: WaPo and NYT lead with House passage of the $1.1 trillion spending bill. LA Times and WSJ lead with Brennan's defense of CIA tactics. USA Today leads with the mixed economic outlook for 2015.
Facebook Friday: The buzziest stories online this week.
-- Our friends at Facebook give us our weekly peek behind the curtain at the political stories that generated the most buzz online in the last week. This week's top stories, in descending order (Note: These include all stories on a certain topic, not just one specific article):
-- 10. House committee grills MIT Professor Jonathan Gruber over his remarks on the Affordable Care Act. 9. Malala Yousafzai accepts Nobel Peace Prize. 8. Cromnibus presents first major test for new House GOP leaders Kevin McCarthy and Steve Scalise. 7. New York Times reports that Oklahoma Attorney General Scott Pruitt worked closely with energy companies to oppose Obama administration environmental regulation. 6. Retired ABC reporter Ann Compton says President Obama once went on a "profanity-laced" tirade in an off the record session with reporters.
-- 5. Michigan House passes Religious Freedom Restoration Act, which critics warn could sanction discrimination. 4. Illinois Comptroller Judy Baar Topinka dies at 70. 3. Former Vice President Dick Cheney denounces Senate Intelligence Committee report on CIA interrogation. 2. Illinois Legislature passes bill to restrict recording of law enforcement. 1. Senate Intelligence Committee releases report on CIA interrogation techniques.
National Roundup: What's happening outside the Beltway.
-- WH'16: Advisers to Hillary Clinton are debating whether to form an exploratory committee (what's left to explore?) and when to announce a campaign, likely to come in the spring. Ready for Hillary has scheduled big-dollar fundraisers in March, assuming she won't have announced her bid by then. Clinton's last paid speech, so far, is March 19 to the American Camp Association. (Washington Post) Hundreds of Obama 2008 alumni are asking Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) to run in an open letter published this morning.
-- Maryland: Gov.-elect Larry Hogan (R) is starting to hear from proponents and opponents of the Purple Line, the $2.45 billion Metro extension that would cover Prince George's and Montgomery counties. During his campaign, Hogan said the Purple Line would be too expensive, though proponents think they can demonstrate the economic value the Purple Line would bring. Hogan won't announce any decisions until after he takes office Jan. 21. (Washington Post)
-- Oregon: Proponents of a ballot measure requiring labels on genetically modified foods have conceded defeat after a judge rejected their request to prevent certification of the results in order to count an additional 4,600 ballots. Measure 92 lost by just 812 votes out of 1.5 million cast, and a recount didn't significantly change those results. Oregon is the fourth western state, joining Washington, Colorado and California, to vote against labeling GMO foods. (Associated Press)
-- California: The Americans for Prosperity Foundation has sued Attorney General Kamala Harris (D) after her office asked for a list of the group's major donors. State law requires charitable nonprofits to register with the state and to submit Form 990s. Harris's office said AFP's filings were incomplete because they didn't disclose names and addresses of every donor who gave more than $5,000 to the group. AFP says the request violates their First Amendment rights. (Los Angeles Times)
-- Louisiana: State Treasurer John Kennedy (R) is considering running for attorney general in 2015, his top political aide said Wednesday. Kennedy ran for and lost races for AG in 1991 and U.S. Senate in 2004 and 2008. (Baton Rouge Advocate) Kennedy running for AG gives Sen. David Vitter (R) a slightly clearer path to the governor's mansion (He would have beat Kennedy anyway). Former Rep. Jeff Landry (R) is also considering running against Attorney General Buddy Caldwell (R) next year.
-- Arizona: Gov. Jan Brewer (R) filed a request Thursday with Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy seeking an emergency stay on an appeals court ruling that would require Arizona to begin issuing licenses to so-called "dreamers" as early as next week. The 9th Circuit lifted a temporary stay issued in July after a three-judge panel said the state had acted unconstitutionally in denying driver's licenses to young undocumented immigrants. (Arizona Republic)
DC Digest: What's on tap today in DC.
-- President Obama meets with Saudi Interior Minister Prince Mohammed bin Nayef bin Abdalaziz Al Saud this morning to discuss the Islamic State and Yemen. This afternoon, Obama meets with national security and public health teams to hear about progress in the fight against Ebola.
-- Vice President Biden attends both the meeting with the Saudi Interior Minister and the meeting of the Ebola response team. That's all he's got on his public schedule.
-- The House is donezo, after finishing their legislative business on Thursday. Have good holidays, folks.
-- The Senate convenes at 10 a.m. to take up the defense authorization bill after reaching cloture on Thursday. They'll vote on Sen. Tom Coburn's (R-Okla.) motion to send the bill back to the Armed Services Committee at 3 p.m., followed by a roll call vote on the final bill itself. After that vote, the Senate will rush through nominees to serve as ambassadors to New Zealand, Iceland, Palau, Malawi and Cape Verde, an ambassador at large for religious freedom, the director general of the Foreign Service and two members of the Broadcasting Board of Governors.
-- The House Ethics Committee has issued a letter of reproval to outgoing Rep. Phil Gingrey (R-Ga.) for his actions on behalf of a Georgia bank. The committee found Gingrey gave "special favors or privileges" to the Bank of Ellijay, in which he invested and which has since failed, by facilitating meetings with the Treasury Department and key members of Congress over its application for TARP funds. (Atlanta Journal-Constitution)
-- The ethics panel closed a case against retiring Rep. Tom Petri (R-Wis.), who was accused of taking actions benefiting companies in which he had a stake. (WisPolitics.com) The Senate Ethics Committee has hired lead House investigator Deborah Mayer to serve as staff director and lead counsel, replacing John Sassaman, who left to join Boeing. (Politico)
-- The Justice Department said Thursday that Native American tribes can grow and sell marijuana on their lands if they follow the federal conditions set for states that have legalized it. Tribes wouldn't be subject to state or local taxes, and they could legalize sales under the 2013 Cole Memo, in which DOJ says it won't intervene in legalization states as long as they pass strict regulations. Three tribes, one in California, one in Washington and one in the Midwest, have expressed interest in growing and selling marijuana. (Associated Press, Washington Post)
B1: Business, politics and the business of politics
-- The falling price of crude oil is starting to impact states that rely on severance taxes for big parts of their income. North Dakota and Kansas have already lowered revenue projections. Alaska officials expect a $3.5 billion budget deficit, while Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal (R) has already announced spending cuts to close a $180 million shortfall. New Mexico has cut revenue growth projections, too. (Associated Press)
-- Former Rep. David McIntosh (R-Ind.) will take over for former Rep. Chris Chocola (R-Ind.) as head of the Club for Growth, the groups said Wednesday. Chocola will keep a position on the board of directors. The shuffle comes after the Club lost just about every race it got involved in, save Senate races in Arkansas and Nebraska, where it backed Sens.-elect Tom Cotton (R-Ark.) and Ben Sasse (R-Neb.). (Washington Post)
-- Stock futures are down about half a percentage point before the bell after U.S. markets made modest gains on Thursday. European markets are trading down more than a percentage point, but Asian markets were mixed. (CNN)
C1: The long reads you'll need to check out before tonight's cocktail party.
-- Outgoing Senate Finance Committee chair Ron Wyden (D-Ore.) took over his committee in February, armed with ambitious plans to fix the highway trust fund, Medicare pay schedules for doctors and about 50 tax extenders. He failed on the first two, and got big-footed by Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid on the extenders. Former Sen. Bob Packwood (R-Ore.), once a Finance chair himself: "No majority leader in my era would have thought to attempt to go around the committee and negotiate over the head of the committee chair. You could not get away with it." A deep look at the decline of committee power from The Washington Post's Lori Montgomery.
-- A massive explosion along a 1,100-mile pipeline in Turkey in 2008 was caused by computer hackers who shut down alarms and pressurized the oil inside the pipeline, marking the world's first major cyber attack, two years before Stuxnet. The Kurdistan Workers' Party claimed credit for the attack, but some analysts questioned whether the hackers were Russian. The pipeline starts in Azerbaijan and travels through Georgia and Turkey, circumventing Russia. (Bloomberg)
C4: The comics page, fun things to read when you're bored at work
-- William Wilson, the first television consultant ever hired by a presidential campaign, died Saturday at 86. Wilson cut ads for Adlai Stevenson's 1956 campaign, and he negotiated the terms for the first-ever presidential debate on behalf of John F. Kennedy in 1960. Wilson insisted on the single-pole podium, where Kennedy looked dapper and fit next to a sweating, gray-suited Richard Nixon. (New York Times)
Attn Matt Drudge: Things conservatives will get outraged by today.
-- Tea Party activists think a rider in the spending bill that will allow more donations to federal party committees is an end around to block primary challenges to establishment incumbents in future years. Senate Conservatives Fund president Ken Cuccinelli: "The new limits included in the omnibus only increase political speech for party insiders while silencing the majority of Americans who are fed up with Washington." (Politico)
Attn HuffPo: What outrages liberals today
-- A creationist theme park that hopes to build a life-size replica of Noah's Ark will not be eligible for $18 million in tax breaks, the Kentucky Tourism Secretary said this week, after the group behind the park refused to say it would not consider religion when hiring staff. James Parsons, an attorney for the Ark Experience, said the creationist group Answers in Genesis is likely to sue over the decision. (Washington Post)