The 7The 7

Thursday briefing: Republicans win the House; same-sex marriage bill; Karen Bass; Starbucks ‘Red Cup Day’ strike; and more

(Jordan Robertson for The Washington Post)

1

Republicans won control of the House.

  • The latest: California’s 27th Congressional District was called for Republicans yesterday. That gave the party 218 seats, enough for a majority.
  • What that means: With the Senate in Democrats’ hands, the balance of power in Congress is split for the next two years, which will make governing harder for President Biden.
  • What’s next? Republicans will choose a new House speaker in January, and current Speaker Nancy Pelosi will announce today whether she wants to continue leading the Democrats.

2

The Senate took a big step toward protecting same-sex marriage.

  • How? By advancing the Respect for Marriage Act. Twelve Republicans joined Democrats to support the bill yesterday, which means it could pass as early as this week.
  • Why it’s needed: Democrats have warned that marriage equality and other rights could be at risk after the Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade earlier this year.

3

Multiple explosions were reported across Ukraine today.

4

Los Angeles elected its first woman as mayor.

  • Who? Current U.S. Rep. Karen Bass. After a close race, she defeated billionaire real estate developer and fellow Democrat Rick Caruso yesterday.
  • The task ahead of her: The nation’s second-largest city is reeling from a racism scandal and is struggling to find solutions for violent crime, homelessness and corruption.

5

Starbucks employees in dozens of cities plan to walk off the job today.

  • Why? To protest how the company is handling union negotiations. The strike at over 100 stores coincides with “Red Cup Day,” when Starbucks hands out free reusable mugs.
  • The bigger picture: This is the first time unionized Starbucks baristas have banded together across the country, and it’s part of a wave of increased labor activity this year.

6

Harvard and Yale law schools pulled out of a major college ranking system.

  • Why? The schools said yesterday that the U.S. News & World Report’s influential annual rankings are problematic and don’t put students first.
  • The bigger picture: The rankings have been facing growing criticism for years, but it’s unclear whether the schools’ decisions will have a wider impact.

7

Lab-grown meat moved closer to your dinner plate yesterday.

  • Why? The FDA said it’s safe to eat. That paves the way for products made from real animal cells — but that don’t require slaughter — to be sold in stores in the coming months.
  • What’s the point? Animal-based foods are responsible for as much as 20% of greenhouse gas emissions, and experts think this technology could help change that.

And now … speaking of climate solutions: Here are some others gaining traction at COP27. Plus, Thanksgiving is one week away: Ask our reporters travel questions today.

Tess Homan contributed to today’s briefing.

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