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Photo: Tasos Katopodis/Getty Images

President Trump on Saturday missed a summit with Southeast Asian leaders for the third consecutive year, having last attended the event in 2017, AP reports.

Why it matters: China is poised to expand its influence in the Southeast Asian region through a significant trade deal, including nations such as China, Japan, South Korea, Australia and New Zealand. The U.S. will not be included and India pulled out of the deal.

The big picture: Trump has been challenging the results of the U.S. election, wherein Joe Biden has been declared president elect.

  • National Security Adviser Robert O’Brien told the AP that Trump regrets his not attending
  • O’Brien told the summit on Trump's behalf on Saturday that the administration appreciates its trade agreements with Southeast Asia, stating, "We deeply appreciate ASEAN partners’ efforts to keep the key supply chains open, factories operating and PPE flowing."

Go deeper

AAPI leaders praise order on discrimination but say Biden needs to do more to "prioritize" community

President Biden on the left. Rep. Judy Chu on the right. Photos: Doug Mills-Pool (left) and Paul Morigi/WireImage for The Recording Academy (right) via Getty

Asian American Pacific Islander (AAPI) lawmakers, community organizers and advocacy groups commended President Biden's Tuesday order directing an examination of anti-Asian bias and discrimination, but pushed the administration to commit to stronger action.

Why it matters: Anti-Asian hate crimes have surged since the pandemic began, reaching more than 2,500 in August according to Stop AAPI Hate, an initiative that tracks anti-AAPI racism.

Senate Republicans shrug off debt default deadline

Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen testifies before House members Wednesday. Photo: Al Drago/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Senate Republicans are feeling far more relaxed about the impending Dec. 15 federal debt-default deadline this time around, with many suggesting the real drop-dead date isn't until January.

Why it matters: Their attitude toward the deadline set by Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen is distinctively different from the hair-on-fire rhetoric before the initial Oct. 18 date. But a Congress discounting the advice of a Treasury secretary is risky financial practice — and has the potential to affect markets itself.

GOP fights itself on shutting down government over vaccine mandates

Reporters question Senate Minority Whip John Thune before the Republican Party's weekly lunch on Tuesday. Photo: Kent Nishimura/Los Angeles Times via Getty Images

GOP leaders on Capitol Hill are scrambling to reach a deal with a bloc of 15 Senate Republicans threatening a government shutdown to force a fight over the Biden administration's vaccine mandates.

Why it matters: The push to defund the mandates — by holding the short-term government funding bill hostageis largely symbolic, and highly controversial within the Republican Party. A shutdown as early as midnight Friday could trigger everything from national park closures to delays in receiving Social Security checks.