McCain also was criticized for missing a hearing on the attacks and said he would attend both of the Senate Intelligence panels' classified hearings on the Libya attacks.

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His absence from a Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee hearing on Wednesday raised eyebrows among some of his colleagues — including Sen. Susan CollinsSusan CollinsSenators crafting bill to limit deportations under Trump Cornyn: ‘Virtual certainty’ Sessions and Price will be confirmed Trump's wrong to pick Bannon or Sessions for anything MORE (R-Maine), the panel’s ranking member — and the White House. The former GOP presidential candidate has been a strong critic of the administration’s handling of the attack, which killed the U.S. ambassador to Libya and three other Americans.

McCain told The Hill that missing the Wednesday hearing was accidental. "It was a scheduling mistake," McCain said as he walked into the Senate Intelligence hearing.


TOMORROW’S AGENDA TODAY: President Obama meets with Senate Majority Leader Harry ReidHarry ReidCommunities struggling with decline of coal can’t wait any longer on RECLAIM Act Week ahead: AT&T-Time Warner merger under scrutiny This week: Government funding deadline looms MORE (D-Nev.), Senate Minority leader Mitch McConnellMitch McConnellCommunities struggling with decline of coal can’t wait any longer on RECLAIM Act Juan Williams: McConnell won big by blocking Obama Republicans want to grease tracks for Trump MORE (R-Ky.), Speaker John BoehnerJohn BoehnerLobbying World 'Ready for Michelle' PACs urge 2020 run News Flash: Trump was never going to lock Clinton up MORE (R-Ohio) and House Minority leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) at 10:15 a.m. at the White House.


TWEET OF THE DAY: “I was the first Democratic woman elected to the Senate in her own right. The 16th women to serve in the Senate in all of American history.” — Sen. Barbara MikulskiBarbara MikulskiThis Week in Cybersecurity: Dems press for information on Russian hacks Overnight Cybersecurity: Last-ditch effort to stop expanded hacking powers fails Intel Dems push for info on Russia and election be declassified MORE (D-Md.)


BATTLE FOR THE HOUSE:

Kelly Ward, a Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee veteran, will serve as the committee's chairwoman for the 2014 cycle, DCCC Chairman Steve Israel (D-N.Y.) announced on Thursday. Two other DCCC staffers are receiving promotions for the 2014 cycle: Jesse Ferguson, communications director for the 2012 cycle, will remain in that role but has also been named deputy executive director. And the committee's current national finance director, Missy Kurek, will be deputy executive director for finance for the 2014 cycle.


ARIZONA: Rep. Ron BarberRon BarberTen House seats Dems hope Trump will tilt House conducts moment of silence for Tucson shooting anniversary Dem files Ethics complaint on Benghazi panel MORE (D) is up 709 votes over Republican rival Martha McSally, the Phoenix New Times reports. There are about 1,550 early ballots to be counted in Pima County, where Barber is expected to have an advantage.

CALIFORNIA: Democrat Ami BeraAmi BeraCalif. Dem wins reelection in overtime 115th Congress will be most racially diverse in history Dems' House gains narrow after loss in Nebraska MORE has expanded his lead over Rep. Dan Lungren (R) by more than 3,800 votes, the Elk Grove Citizen News reports, with another vote tally update expected late Thursday evening.

FLORIDA
: Rep. Allen West (R-Fla.) shot down an invitation to run for office in Georgia.

LOUISIANA: Conservative radio host Mark Levin has endorsed Rep. Jeff Landry (R-La.) in his runoff election against Rep. Charles BoustanyCharles BoustanyLouisiana dishes last serving of political gumbo We can't let tax extenders obstruct comprehensive reform GOP seeks to make it 52 MORE Jr. (R-La.), a boost to the Tea Party favorite ahead of their early December election.

NORTH CAROLINA: Rep. Mike McIntyre's (D) lead has grown to 438 votes over Republican David Rouzer, the Fayetteville Star News reports. Results are expected to be certified on Friday and a recount is possible.

TENNESSEE
: Records released from Rep. Scott DesJarlais's (R-Tenn.) 2001 divorce appear to confirm previous reports that DesJarlais had sexual relationships with patients while a practicing physician in Tennessee. The Chattanooga Times Free Press obtained the documents, which reveal that DesJarlais, who opposes abortion rights, supported his ex-wife in obtaining two abortions before their marriage.


SENATE SHOWDOWN:

Sen. Michael BennetMichael BennetSenate passes college anti-Semitism bill Speculation and starting points: accreditation, a new administration and a new Congress The untold stories of the 2016 battle for the Senate MORE (D-Colo.) said he had not yet decided whether he'll be taking the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee chairmanship offered to him earlier this week by Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.).


IN CASE YOU MISSED IT:

Sen. Marco RubioMarco RubioJuan Williams: McConnell won big by blocking Obama The ignored question: What does the future Republican Party look like? Graham to roll out extension of Obama immigration program MORE (R-Fla.) said the Republican Party needs to improve its message on illegal immigration in order to appeal to more Hispanic voters. "It's really hard to get people to listen to you ... if they think you want to deport their grandmother," he said. "You can be for legal immigration. You don't have to be for amnesty, but you also have to realize that these people are human beings."


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