Wednesday’s Mini-Report, 2.1.17

Updated
Today’s edition of quick hits:

State: “The U.S. Senate voted Wednesday to confirm ExxonMobil CEO Rex Tillerson as the next secretary of state…. Tillerson needed a simple majority – 51 senators – for confirmation. The final vote was 56 in favor, 43 against.”

* It’s going to be close: “Billionaire philanthropist Betsy DeVos’ bid to be President Donald Trump’s Secretary of Education could be in jeopardy after two Republican senators announced Wednesday that they’ll vote against confirming her for the job.”

* Elsewhere on the Hill: “[There was a] rare move in the Senate Finance Committee to suspend the rules and ram through Steven Mnuchin as treasury secretary and Rep. Tom Price (R-Ga.) to lead the Health and Human Services Department. Democrats did not show up for that hearing, but Chair Orrin Hatch (R-Utah) decided to proceed anyway.”

* I hope this doesn’t lead the president to go after the judge’s ethnicity: “A federal judge has ordered a golf club owned by President Donald Trump to refund nearly $6 million to members who said Trump’s team essentially confiscated refundable deposits after taking over the country club in 2012.”

* Israel: “In a major acceleration of new settlement construction plans, Israel has approved thousands more housing units in the occupied West Bank and, for the first time in years, has called for the establishment of an entire new settlement there.”

* Delaware: “Authorities put a Delaware prison housing about 2,500 inmates – including some of the state’s most violent – on lockdown midday Wednesday after several prison guards were taken hostage.”

* EU: “President Donald Trump has joined Russia, China and radical Islam as a threat to Europe, the president of the European Council Donald Tusk said on Tuesday.”

* A new reason Trump won’t be popular with intelligence agencies: “Intelligence officials are bracing for fallout from President Trump’s controversial executive order barring travelers from seven Muslim-majority countries – including refugees and US military translators – that could hinder counter-terrorism partnerships and American spies overseas.”

* Gorsuch’s team: “The White House has assembled a team of political veterans with deep experience navigating the Senate to help shepherd President Trump’s nominee for the Supreme Court. Leading the effort will be former senator Kelly Ayotte, a relatively moderate Republican from New Hampshire, according to a senior White House official who detailed the assignments on the condition of anonymity.”

* Tough times for Alabama’s scandal-plagued governor: “Embattled Alabama Gov. Robert Bentley emptied his leftover campaign funds to pay legal bills as he faces an impeachment push and fallout from a scandal.”

Anything to add? Consider this an open thread.