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Nancy Pelosi. Photo: Zach Gibson/Getty Images

House Republicans and Democrats will soon elect their leaders to take them through the 2020 elections. Here’s a read of the field, from well-placed Republican and Democratic sources.

What's happening: Republicans go first, holding their leadership elections on Wednesday.

  1. Kevin McCarthy is expected to be the minority leader. His only challenge comes from the Freedom Caucus' Jim Jordan, and nobody seriously expects Jordan to trouble him. This will be McCarthy's first time in charge of the Republican conference. But he has experience helping Republicans win back power. As chief deputy whip, McCarthy played a key role in recruiting the class of Republican candidates that flipped the House in 2010.
  2. Steve Scalise, who is popular within the conference, will be the minority whip. There was plenty of speculation that he would challenge McCarthy for the top job, but he's chosen not to.
  3. Liz Cheney of Wyoming is expected to be the House Republican Conference chair.
  4. Insiders consider Rep. Tom Emmer of Minnesota the leading contender to run the House Republicans' campaign arm, the National Republican Congressional Committee.

House Democrats plan to hold their leadership elections on Nov. 28.

  • Nancy Pelosi is the overwhelming favorite for speaker and doesn’t currently face a serious challenger. Many Democrats consider her the best person to keep the caucus disciplined enough to balance investigations of the Trump administration with an ambitious agenda. And some of the most powerful progressive groups and leaders — including EMILY's list, Planned Parenthood and AFL-CIO leader Richard Trumka — have endorsed her.
  • Steny Hoyer of Maryland is expected to continue as majority leader.
  • Jim Clyburn of South Carolina is expected to be the house majority whip. Colorado Rep. Diana DeGette is challenging him, running on the idea that Democrats need to "repay" the trust of female voters by electing more women to leadership. The Congressional Black Caucus backs Clyburn, and DeGette’s bid seems ill-fated.
  • Cheri Bustos of Illinois is a favorite to lead the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee. She'd be the only member of Democratic leadership from a Trump district, and she has made that understanding of red America a key part of her pitch for the job. Reps. Denny Heck, Suzan DelBene and Sean Patrick Maloney are also vying for the job. All four are members of the moderate New Democrat Coalition.

Go deeper:

Go deeper

Reports: CIA finds "Havana Syndrome" unlikely caused by foreign campaign

CIA Director William Burns testifies during a Senate hearing on Capitol Hill last April. Photo: Saul Loeb-Pool/Getty Images

A preliminary CIA report rules out a foreign global campaign as the cause of American and Canadian diplomats affected by a mysterious illness known as "Havana syndrome," per multiple reports.

Why it matters: Some lawmakers had suggested the sometimes debilitating illness was due to directed energy attacks. But CIA officials told the New York Times that most of the 1,000 cases reported to the government could be "explained by environmental causes, undiagnosed medical conditions or stress." This finding has angered some victims, per the NYT.

Jan. 6 panel subpoenas 2 far-right "America First" activists

The House panel investigating the Capitol riot, from left; Reps. Bennie Thompson, Liz Cheney, Adam Kinzinger and Jamie Raskin on Capitol Hill in December. Photo: Drew Angerer/Getty Images

The House select committee investigating the Capitol riot issued subpoenas Wednesday for far-right leaders Nick Fuentes and Patrick Casey, who allegedly encouraged followers to go to D.C. and challenge the 2020 election results.

Why it matters: The action underscores the panel's increasing focus on rallies held ahead of the Capitol attack and how extremists were drawn to former President Trump's baseless claims of widespread voter fraud, per the New York Times.

Democrats fail to change Senate rules to pass voting rights bill

Senate Majority Leader during a news conference in Washington, D.C., on Wednesday. Photo: Alex Wong/Getty Images

Democrats failed Wednesday night to change Senate filibuster rules to pass the voting rights bill, with Sens. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) and Kyrsten Sinema (D-Ariz.) voting with Republicans.

The big picture: The failed effort came after Senate Republicans blocked the voting rights measure from coming to a final vote earlier Wednesday.

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