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Trump returns early to White House from Florida ahead of critical next week

Next week' events include Georgia Senate runoff races, Congress meeting to affirm who is next U.S. president

Donald Trump, Nov. 20
Donald Trump, Nov. 20
(Tasos Katopodis/Getty)
Updated: December 31, 2020 - 10:11am

President Trump returns to the White House on Thursday, cutting short his official holiday vacation in Florida that has previously included an annual New Years’ celebration at his Mar-a-Lago club and ahead of a critical week in Washington. 

The White House announced the change in schedule late Wednesday – seven days before Congress meets to affirm Democrat  Joe Biden’s victory in the November presidential election.

The announcement was also made the same day Missouri GOP Sen. Josh Hawley said he would raise objections of Congress’ move when it meets Wednesday.

The move also comes as the Senate decides whether to pass a House-approved measure to increase COVID-relief payments to Americans to as much as $2,000, as Trump has requested, and ahead of the two critical Senate runoff races in Georgia on Tuesday. 

Trump will campaign Monday in Georgia. The outcome of the races will determine whether Democrats or Republicans control the Senate.

Hawley’s move follows several House Republicans saying they’ll  challenge the congressional vote next week to affirm Biden’s 306-232 win in the Electoral College.

Republicans until this week did not have a senator to challenge the effort in the upper chamber. However, the challenge will not prevent Biden from being sworn in as president on Jan. 20, according to the Associated Press.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., on Wednesday blocked efforts to swiftly pass a measure to increase the payments from $600 to $2,000. 

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