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North Carolina Republican candidate Mark Harris. Photo: Sean Rayford/Getty Images

Republican candidate Mark Harris plans to ask a North Carolina court on Thursday to certify him as the winner of the state’s disputed 9th congressional district race, WSOC-TV's Joe Bruno reports.

The backdrop: Harris' decision to take legal action comes hours after election staffers said they would postpone a scheduled Jan. 11 hearing on the ongoing fraud investigation. The official State Board of Elections was forced to dissolve last week in response to an unrelated state court decision, leaving the investigation and House seat in limbo.

  • The election board had refused to certify unofficial results that show Harris holding an unofficial 905-vote lead over his Democratic opponent Dan McCready. At the center of the probe is a contractor for Harris’ campaign accused of collecting absentee ballots in violation of state law.
  • As the seat remains vacant, incoming House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer (D-Md.) has vowed that Democrats will object to any attempt by Harris to be seated on Thursday when the new Congress convenes.

Go deeper:

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Senate Democrats reach deal on extending unemployment insurance

Photo: Alex Wong/Getty Images

Senate Democrats struck a deal Friday evening to extend unemployment insurance in President Biden's $1.9 trillion COVID-19 relief package after deliberating and halting other action for roughly nine hours, per a Senate aide.

Why it matters: The Senate can now resume voting on other amendments to the broader rescue bill.

Capitol review panel recommends more police, mobile fencing

Photo: Olivier Douliery/AFP via Getty Images

A panel appointed by Congress to review security measures at the Capitol is recommending several changes, including mobile fencing and a bigger Capitol police force, to safeguard the area after a riotous mob breached the building on Jan. 6.

Why it matters: Law enforcement officials have warned there could be new plots to attack the area and target lawmakers, including during a speech President Biden is expected to give to a joint session of Congress.

Financial fallout from the Texas deep freeze

Illustration: Annelise Capossela/Axios

Texas has thawed out after an Arctic freeze last month threw the state into a power crisis. But the financial turmoil from power grid shock is just starting to take shape.

Why it matters: In total, electricity companies are billions of dollars short on the post-storm payments they now owe to the state's grid operator. There's no clear path for how they will pay — something being watched closely across the country as extreme weather events become more common.

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