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Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and other Republicans are trying to stop Roy Moore. Photo: J. Scott Applewhite / AP

An alleged child predator could join the Senate after Alabama's Dec. 12 special election, and Republican senators are scrambling to find a way to stop it, NYT reports. Between multiple calls and texts, they've weighed everything from fielding not one, but two write-in candidates to challenge Roy Moore, delaying the election altogether, or blocking Moore from joining if he wins the election.

What's at stake: Not only would Republicans be "welcoming a child-molesting suspect into their ranks," NYT writes, but all Republicans would have to answer for Moore's alleged behavior. And Republicans couldn't even count on Moore to support their legislation, given he's a Steve Bannon-backed candidate who feels he owes nothing to the GOP. But if Democrat Doug Jones wins, Republicans' majority hold of the Senate would shrink to one and their hopes of passing tax reform would get even harder.

Republicans are considering asking incumbent Sen. Luther Strange, who lost to Moore in the primary, to run as a write-in candidate on Dec. 12. They've also reportedly asked Republican Rep. Robert Aderholt, who has officially endorsed Moore, to run as a write-in candidate as well.

They've also weighed asking Alabama Gov. Kay Ivey to delay the Dec. 12 election to early next year. But she has already pushed it back once, after she assumed the role of governor in April when her predecessor was removed, and this option would likely inspire Moore and his team to file a lawsuit in court.

The Trump effect: Perhaps a last resort for Republican senators would be to ask Trump to encourage Moore to drop out of the race and then ask POTUS to support a write-in candidate of their choice. Considering Trump supported Luther Strange throughout the election, this could be a viable option, but Trump so far hasn't even responded to the allegations against Moore.

Some Republicans have already distanced themselves from Moore, like Mike Lee who asked his campaign to stop using his image on fundraising ads. And the Republican Senate Committee, which Mitch McConnell oversees, ended its joint fundraising agreement with Moore's campaign on Friday.

Go deeper: Behind the allegations against Moore and why it's too late for him to be removed from the ballot.

Go deeper

Updated 3 hours ago - Health

California surpasses 50,000 COVID-19 deaths

A man prepares a funeral arrangement in in Los Angeles, California, Feb. 12. Photo: Mario Tama/Getty Images

California's death toll from COVID-19 surpassed 50,000 on Wednesday, per Johns Hopkins data.

The big picture: It's the first state to record more than 50,000 deaths from the coronavirus.

4 hours ago - Technology

Facebook bans Myanmar military

A protester holds a placard with a three-finger salute in front of a military tank parked aside the street in front of the Central Bank building during a demonstration in Yangon, Myanmar. Photo by Aung Kyaw Htet/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images

Facebook said on Wednesday it would ban the rest of the Myanmar military from its platform.

The big picture: It comes some three weeks after the military overthrew the civilian government in a coup and detained leader Aung San Suu Kyi, causing massive protests to erupt throughout the country. Military leaders have been using internet blackouts to try to maintain power in light of the coup.

It's harder to fill the Cabinet

Data: Chamberlain, 2020, "United States of America Cabinet Appointments Dataset" Chart: Will Chase/Axios

It's harder now for presidents to win Senate confirmation for their Cabinet picks, an Axios data analysis of votes for and against nominees found.

Why it matters: It's not just Neera Tanden. The trend is a product of growing polarization, rougher political discourse and slimming Senate majorities, experts say. It means some of the nation's most vital federal agencies go without a leader and the legislative authority that comes with one.