A1: Today's top stories.
-- The Senate Agenda: When the Senate returns Tuesday, incoming Majority Leader Mitch McConnell plans a major debate on national energy policy, from the Keystone XL pipeline to opening additional lands to oil exploration and exports of liquid natural gas. McConnell said he would allow consideration of Democratic alternatives as part of the debate. (Washington Post)
-- The House Agenda: The House will begin with consideration of a veterans employment bill, which passed last year with bipartisan support. They will act to loosen work requirements on small businesses set by the Affordable Care Act and their own Keystone bill. Next week, the House will begin debating a DHS spending bill, a vehicle for the immigration debate. (Washington Post, Associated Press, New York Times)
-- President Obama plans to pitch programs he will unveil in the State of the Union address in a pre-speech tour to three states this week. Obama will highlight the rebirth of the auto industry in Detroit on Wednesday, the rebounding housing market in Phoenix on Thursday and education and jobs in a visit to Tennessee on Friday, alongside Vice President Biden. During the tour, Obama will introduce some proposed legislation and some executive actions his administration can take on its own. (Washington Post)
-- Jury selection begins today in the trial of alleged Boston Marathon bomber Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, almost two years after the attack that killed three and injured 260 others. Tsarnaev faces 30 charges, 17 of which carry the possibility of the death penalty. The judge and lawyers involved in the case will begin combing through 1,200 potential names to find 12 jurors and six alternates. (Boston Globe)
-- Indonesian searchers have found what they think is the tail of the AirAsia A320 that crashed last weekend in the Java Sea, where the black box voice and flight data recorders are located. Indonesia's meteorological agency said seasonal tropical storms, typical for the area, probably contributed to the Dec. 28 crash. Thirty-seven bodies have been recovered so far. (Reuters)
-- Hey D.C. folks, the party's over: Today's highs will peak near 40 degrees before falling to the low 30s tomorrow. A dusting of snow is a possible on Tuesday. Wednesday and Thursday are expected to be especially bitter days. Bundle up. (Capital Weather Gang)
-- Front Pages: WaPo leads with mounting anger among police at elected officials they say are turning their backs. NYT left column: "REPUBLICANS SAY THEY'LL ACT FAST TO PUSH AGENDA." WSJ reports on Iowa Democrats who are slow to embrace Hillary Clinton. LA Times leads with plans for a new NFL stadium in Inglewood (see below).
National Roundup: What's happening outside the Beltway.
-- WH'16: What we know about Mike Huckabee's 2016 plans: He won't announce anything until he's done with his upcoming book tour. His inner circle thinks it needs to raise $50 million by the tim the Iowa caucuses roll around, including super PAC funding. Huckabee raised about $16 million in 2008. (Washington Post) Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal (R) will attend meetings with politically-active pastors on Tuesday in Des Moines and Cedar Rapids. (Des Moines Register)
-- California: After a two-year delay, the California High-Speed Rail Authority will officially begin construction on the first 29-mile segment of a bullet train that will eventually connect Los Angeles with the Bay Area, at a cost of $68 billion. The authority will break ground on Tuesday in Fresno, even though they've lined up less than half the funds needed to complete the initial project over the next 14 years. (Los Angeles Times)
-- Texas: Falling oil prices may force Gov.-elect Greg Abbott (R) to find billions of dollars to fund transportation projects, his top legislative priority this year. A ballot measure that redirects oil and gas taxes to road funding is unlikely to generate the revenue backers expected when oil was trading at $100 a barrel. The measure directed $1.7 billion to the Texas Transportation Commission in 2014, but its chief backer, state Rep. Joe Pickett (D), says revenue may not reach $1 billion in 2015. (El Paso Times)
-- Utah: The fight over Republican nominating processes is bleeding into 2015. State Sen. Scott Jenkins (R) will introduce a measure repealing a new requirement that parties allow unaffiliated voters to participate in their primaries. Jenkins says he'll introduce other bills aimed at deconstructing a compromise that would take power away from the Utah GOP's convention system by allowing candidates other paths to the ballot. (Salt Lake Tribune)
-- Missouri: State Republican leaders say they will craft new ethics measures to tighten restrictions on gifts and donations from lobbyists, after a New York Times report on lobbyist influence over the office of Attorney General Chris Koster (D). At least 28 bills with new ethics proposals have already been introduced. Democrats want to reinstate contribution limits for state officers, though Republicans say that's not the problem. Legislators on both sides call Missouri's current rules the weakest in the nation. (Associated Press)
-- New Hampshire: The legislature convenes its 2015 session Wednesday with two measures aimed at changing state House rules. One proposed change would allow concealed weapons in the House chamber, gallery and cloakrooms, and another would install former Speaker Bill O'Brien (R) as majority leader. O'Brien lost his comeback bid after Democrats joined a handful of Republicans in electing Rep. Shawn Jasper (R), who installed his own majority leader. (Concord Monitor)
DC Digest: What's on tap today in DC.
-- President Obama landed back in Washington on Sunday after his Christmas trip to Hawaii. He's got lunch with Vice President Biden on the calendar this afternoon, and a meeting with senior advisors in the Roosevelt Room. No public events on his first day back.
-- Vice President Biden heads to New York City after lunch to attend the viewing for the late former Gov. Mario Cuomo, who passed away last week. He heads back to D.C. after the viewing.
-- The 114th Congress by the numbers: 246 House Republicans, 188 House Democrats, 1 vacancy (Rep. Michael Grimm's seat). 54 Senate Republicans, 44 Senate Democrats and two independents. In the House, 84 of 434 representatives are women, up from 80 in the 113th Congress. Forty-four African Americans serve in the House, 34 Hispanic lawmakers, 10 Asian Americans and two Native Americans. The Senate still has 20 women, two African Americans, three Hispanics and one Asian American.
-- Fifty eight freshmen will be sworn in when the House returns Tuesday, 43 Republicans and 15 Democrats. Reps. David Brat (R-Va.), Donald Norcross (D-N.J.) and Alma Adams (D-N.C.) filled vacancies after November's election, so they're not technically freshmen.
-- The anti-John Boehner whip count: Only a handful of Republicans have said they'll vote against Boehner, none of whom voted for him in 2013: Reps. Walter Jones (R-N.C.), Jim Bridenstine (R-Okla.), Louie Gohmert (R-Texas), who's actually running for Speaker, Ted Yoho (R-Fla.) and Rep. Thomas Massie (R-Ky.). (Washington Post, Facebook, The Hill). @StevenTDennis: "Wake me when someone who voted for Boehner in 2013 says he'll flip to a no." (Twitter)
-- New NRSC hires: The committee will announce today it's promoted Sarah Morgan to Political Director and hired NRCC communications director Andrea Bozek to run comms on the other side of the Hill. Digital director Tim Cameron's getting a title bump to chief digital strategist. They're hiring fundraising strategist Claire Holloway Avella to serve as finance director, and Michelle McGann to be PAC director. Mark McLaughlin will stick around for another cycle as NRSC research director.
B1: Business, politics and the business of politics
-- Mitch McConnell sees his mission as laying the groundwork for a Republican presidential candidate in 2016: "I don't want the American people to think that if they add a Republican president to a Republican Congress, that’s going to be a scary outcome. I want the American people to be comfortable with the fact that the Republican House and Senate is a responsible, right-of-center, governing majority," he said in an interview with The Post's Paul Kane.
-- McConnell's message to members leery of outside conservative groups: "Don’t try to reinvent yourself. Be yourself, number one. And don’t be afraid of a primary. We will win all the primaries. We did it in '14. We will do it in '16." McConnell and Obama sat down for a one-on-one meeting in the Oval Office just after Election Day, where they tried to find areas of bipartisan agreement. They discussed trade deals, a tax overhaul and infrastructure funding. (Washington Post)
-- The euro hit a nine-year low on Monday amid rising political uncertainty in Greece and the growing prospects of inflation. Investors were betting that the European Central Bank will create a bond-buying program like central banks in the U.S., U.K. and Japan, after positive comments from ECB president Mario Draghi. (Reuters)
-- Stock futures are off a tenth of a percent before the bell. World markets are trading lower today. (CNN)
C1: Take time to digest the long reads
-- Former Sen. Edward Brooke (R-Mass.), the first African American popularly elected to the Senate, died Jan. 3 in Coral Gables, Fla., at age 95. Brooke, a Washington native who served in World War II, served on the Appropriations and Banking Committees. He opposed two of Richard Nixon's Supreme Court nominees over civil rights concerns, and he and Walter Mondale spearheaded the Fair Housing Act of 1968. Obituaries from the Washington Post, New York Times and Boston Globe.
-- Since being convicted of public corruption four months ago, former Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell (R) has divided his time between Richmond and Virginia Beach, where he's consulting for a local business. The relationship between Bob and Maureen McDonnell remains strained, but they did spend Thanksgiving and Christmas together. McDonnell will be sentenced Tuesday. Jonnie Williams, the businessman whose gifts led to the conviction, is exploring a new business venture involving e-cigarettes filled with the chemical he initially wanted Virginia universities to study. (Washington Post)
C4: Fun things to read when you're bored at work
-- Former Virginia Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli (R) has a new obsession: Oysters. Cuccinelli helped found a new oyster farm on Tangier Island, in the Chesapeake Bay (where, by the way, he took 90 percent of the vote in 2013); he painted the boathouse, installed anchor posts in the bay and dove to set up ropes for pontoons himself. (Washington Post)
-- Football returning to Los Angeles? St. Louis Rams owner Stan Kroenke and Stockbridge Capital Group plan to build an 80,000-seat NFL stadium to a development site in Inglewood. The Rams can choose later this month to convert their use of the Edward Jones Dome in St. Louis to a year-to-year lease. NFL commissioner Roger Goodell has said the league won't accept relocation applications for the 2015 season, meaning the earliest the Rams could move would be 2016. Two other development firms are working on proposed NFL stadiums elsewhere in the L.A. area. (Los Angeles Times)
Attn Matt Drudge: What outrages conservatives today
-- The number of Caribbean islanders attempting to reach the United States has soared in the last fiscal year -- and it's not just Cubans. The Coast Guard apprehended at least 5,500 Haitians, 3,900 Cubans and hundreds of Dominicans in the fiscal year ending Sept. 30, and they've caught 1,900 so far this year. (Associated Press)
Attn HuffPo: What outrages liberals today
-- Oklahoma lawmakers are planning to introduce legislation in February that would make hooded sweatshirts worn to intentionally conceal one's identity a crime. State Sen. Don Barrington (R) said offenders under his bill would be subject to a fine of $50 to $500, and up to one year in jail. (ThinkProgress)