Good afternoon: Today's PM — edited by Justin Green — is 475 words.
- 🎄🎅 PM will be in your inboxes all next week. Expect holiday themes and pics.
1 big thing: The year of the Speaker
2019 started as the year of The Squad, and ends as the year of The Speaker.
The big picture: House Speaker Pelosi ushered in 2019 with a new Democratic majority that is the most diverse in the history of Congress, Axios' Alayna Treene notes.
- That new majority included The Squad — Reps. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Rashida Tlaib, Ayanna Pressley and Ilhan Omar — who were younger and far to the left of House leadership.
- But Pelosi became the first speaker in 60 years to reclaim the gavel after losing it — ultimately using it to impeach President Trump.
- Under her leadership, the House has passed the first major gun-safety bill in decades, comprehensive voting-rights legislation, and the bipartisan U.S.-Mexico-Canada trade agreement.
What they're saying:
- Hillary Clinton: "Pelosi is living proof that when it comes to getting the job done, more often than not, it takes a woman."
- Rep. Steve Scalise (R-La.): “This will be a stain on Pelosi’s legacy ... She’ll be historic in many ways ... But in terms of abusing the power of Congress to settle a personal vendetta, I think that’s playing out before our eyes right now.”
The bottom line: Prior to the Trump administration, Pelosi would have been best remembered as the first female Speaker, and for losing the gavel over the Obamacare vote.
- "Would I rather be speaker or would I rather 20 million people have health care?” she told the N.Y. Times in an interview this year.
What's next: The State of the Union is February 4th, by which time the Senate might have already started its Trump trial.
Bonus: Pic du jour
A Carnival cruise ship scraped another while trying to dock in the Mexican resort of Cozumel today, the AP reports.
- Videos shot by startled passengers and posted on social media showed the noisy, slow-moving accident, which damaged both ships and resulted in minor injuries for six people.
2. What you missed
- U.K. lawmakers approved Prime Minister Boris Johnson's Brexit deal with a 358-234 vote. Go deeper.
- Boeing's Starliner will not make it to the International Space Station after a serious, post-launch malfunction. Go deeper.
- Facebook has removed two networks "for engaging in foreign and government interference." Go deeper.
- The Supreme Court in the Netherlands ordered cuts to national greenhouse gas emissions by 25% by the end of 2020. Go deeper.
- "Twitter has banned almost 6,000 accounts for being part of an alleged state-backed information operation originating in Saudi Arabia." (BBC)
3. 1 reality check
Researchers are looking at labeling foods with “exercise calories,” or the amount of physical activity needed to burn them off, the AP reports.
- A chocolate bar might say it has 230 calories, alongside icons indicating that amounts to 42 minutes of walking or 22 minutes of running.
Why it matters: With calorie counts, experts worry the information doesn’t mean much if people don’t know how much they should be eating anyway.
- The other side: “The idea that exercise is a punishment for eating does not strike me as a good way to promote exercise or healthy attitudes around food,” said Yoni Freedhoff, an obesity expert at the University of Ottawa.