Friendly and unfriendly fire confronts emerging Biden agenda: The Note

The president-elect continues to face pressure from Democrats.

The TAKE with Rick Klein

How's this for party unity? Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and Sen. Jon Tester agree ... that current Democratic leaders in Congress aren't the right faces for their segments of the Democratic Party.

How's this for bipartisanship? If Americans get another round of stimulus checks, they'll have the teamwork of ... Sen. Bernie Sanders and Sen. Josh Hawley in part to thank.

Those are just tastes of the tangled intra- and interparty dynamics that await President-elect Joe Biden and Vice President-elect Kamala Harris.

Washington isn't really working. When it does work it does so in sporadic and sometimes chaotic fashion, as with year-end deals to keep the government open and potentially resume COVID-19 relief funds.

For a party about to assume the presidency, keeping control of the House and still in the hunt for the Senate, Democrats are still all over the map -- even arguing over what the map should look like.

They're about to lose the thing that unites them most effectively -- President Donald Trump -- at a time of continuing national crisis, and with a Republican Party that will be searching for its new, post-Trump identity.

Much of this will be left to Biden to sort out. There's a difference between claiming a mandate and finding votes -- assuming they want to be found.

The RUNDOWN with MaryAlice Parks

As tens of thousands of Americans continue to test positive for the coronavirus every day, Wednesday Capitol Hill was reminded that members of Congress are not immune.

Rep. Joe Wilson, R-S.C., announced Wednesday evening that he tested positive for COVID-19 -- after voting on the House floor Wednesday evening.

His office said he learned of his result after voting in person on the House floor, but there are still questions about whether any other members or staff would need to quarantine as a result of close contact with him.

Approximately 37 members of Congress have tested positive or presumed positive for COVID-19, according to an ABC News tally. Republicans -- who have taken fewer precautionary steps compared to Democrats, such as remote caucus meetings and luncheons or proxy voting -- make up more than 70% of those cases.

While Vice President Mike Pence and his wife will be publicly vaccinated Friday to "to promote the safety and efficacy of the vaccine," there have been few details so far about whether any members of Congress might too soon receive doses of the vaccine.

The TIP with Alisa Wiersema

When Vice President Mike Pence hit the campaign trail in Georgia a week ago, he openly praised a last-ditch effort by the state of Texas and President Donald Trump's supporters to throw out millions of votes in four battleground states, and in doing so, overturn Joe Biden's 2020 victory. Since then, the Supreme Court rejected the lawsuit and three days later, the Electoral College officially elected Biden as the nation's 46th president.

Today, Pence heads to Georgia again to rally alongside Sens. Kelly Loeffler and David Perdue, both of whom have not yet acknowledged Biden as the incoming president, despite there being virtually no way for Trump to retain the office. On Wednesday, Loeffler repeatedly dodged giving an answer when asked if she recognized Biden as the next president.

"There'll be a time for that if that becomes true," the senator said during a gaggle with reporters when asked if she would ever acknowledge Biden is the president-elect.

The runoff elections loom large over the control of the Senate, but they also weigh heavily on Pence's political positioning as the official set to preside over Congress during the Jan. 6 meeting to officially count electoral votes. That meeting will happen the day after Georgia voters head to the polls. Today's rallies in the Peach State could serve as an early indicator of the approach Republicans look to take when the control of the White House and the upper chamber converge.


ABC News' "Start Here" podcast. Thursday morning's episode features Robert Wood Johnson Foundation President Dr. Richard Besser, who previews the hearing today on Moderna's vaccine emergency use authorization application. ABC News' Molly Nagle tells us how President-elect Joe Biden's inauguration will be unlike any other. And ESPN Senior Writer Howard Bryant tells us why Negro League statistics are now being incorporated into the majors -- and why some Black fans are not on board.


  • Democratic Georgia Senate candidate Rev. Raphael Warnock will appear on ABC's "The View."
  • President Donald Trump and first lady Melania Trump participate in a signing ceremony for H.R. 473, authorizing a women's suffrage monument in Washington, D.C., at 2:15 p.m.
  • Vice President Mike Pence travels to Georgia to speak at rallies in support of Sens. Kelly Loeffler and David Perdue at noon and 2:15 p.m.
  • President-elect Joe Biden will receive the President's Daily Brief and meet with transition advisers.
  • Vice President-elect Kamala Harris will receive the President's Daily Brief and meet with transition advisers.
  • Download the ABC News app and select "The Note" as an item of interest to receive the day's sharpest political analysis.

    The Note is a daily ABC News feature that highlights the day's top stories in politics. Please check back Friday for the latest.