Good Monday morning. Here are some of the stories making news in Washington and politics today.
• Lawmakers return this week for a lame-duck session and a reckoning with a growing pile of unresolved but critical legislation, including a reauthorization of the farm bill, the largest criminal justice overhaul in a generation and President Trump’s border wall. Read the story.
• One historian likened Mr. Trump’s position on climate science to President Lyndon B. Johnson’s false statements a half-century ago on the Vietnam War: a “giant disconnect” between the official position and reality. Read about the Trump administration’s attempt to bury its own report on the costs of climate change.
• In a move that has shocked health care experts, the Trump administration is asking the health care industry to help rewrite rules that prohibit kickbacks and other payments intended to influence care for Medicaid and Medicare recipients. Read the story.
• Two Republicans’ formal questioning of Ivanka Trump’s use of private email for government business has been seen by some as a sign of things to come for the president’s family.
• Stacey Abrams in Georgia, Andrew Gillum in Florida and Beto O’Rourke in Texas may have electrified black and progressive white voters, but in rural county after rural county, they performed worse than President Barack Obama did in 2012. Read about the Democratic dilemma in the South.
• Nearly a dozen incoming House freshmen served in previous presidential administrations. Eight from Mr. Obama’s are determined to restore his legacy. Read about them.
• The contentious fight over Brett Kavanaugh’s Supreme Court confirmation resulted in a split midterm decision that suggests that Democrats might have gained ground in their efforts to make the court a mobilizing issue for their voters.
• George Papadopoulos, a former Trump campaign adviser, is slated to begin his two-week prison term on Monday after a federal judge denied a motion to delay the start of his sentence. Read the story.
• A new book by two advisers to Mr. Trump says the president is the victim of a vast conspiracy inside the federal government, and includes Mr. Trump’s unfounded assertion that Mr. Obama was complicit in spying against him. Read more about it.
• Major League Baseball is asking Senator Cindy Hyde-Smith of Mississippi to return a $5,000 donation its lobbyists made to her campaign after controversy over her comments about a “public hanging.” Read the story.
Today’s On Politics briefing was compiled by Noah Weiland in Washington.
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