An American flag is draped over debris after a tornado in Dawson Springs, Ky., on Dec. 12. In the desperate hours after massive storms struck, Gov. Andy Beshear (D) took time from his duties to do what many of his fellow Kentuckians were doing. Again and again, he made calls to track down his cousin Jenny in hard-hit Dawson Springs. Associated Press/Michael Clubb


People wearing costumes and masks perform in a show of winter traditions at the Village Museum in Bucharest, Romania, on Dec. 12. In pre-Christian rural traditions, dancers wearing colored costumes or animal furs toured from house to house in villages singing and dancing to ward off evil. Associated Press/Andreea Alexandru


Red Bull Racing driver Max Verstappen of the Netherlands kneels next to his car after winning the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix and becoming the 2021 Formula One world champion in Abu Dhabi on Dec. 12. Verstappen and Mercedes-Benz driver Lewis Hamilton of Great Britain were tied on points coming into the final race. Associated Press/Hassan Ammar


Holiday lights line trees as a pedestrian carries an umbrella while walking in the rain in San Francisco on Dec. 13. A major winter storm hitting Northern California is expected to intensify and bring travel headaches and a threat of localized flooding after an abnormally warm fall in the West. Associated Press/Jeff Chiu


Speaker Nancy PelosiNancy PelosiHouse leaders unveil bill to boost chip industry, science competitiveness with China Pelosi says she will run for reelection in 2022 Hoyer says 'significant' version of Build Back Better will pass this year MORE (D-Calif.) greets Martha Assefa and 10-week-old Ida Comparetto during a rally to promote child care in the Build Back Better Act at the Reflecting Pool of the Capitol on Dec. 14. Greg Nash


Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.), Senate Majority Leader Charles SchumerChuck SchumerVoting rights failed in the Senate — where do we go from here? Forced deadline spurs drastic tactic in Congress Democrats call on Biden administration to ease entry to US for at-risk Afghans MORE (D-N.Y.), House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthyKevin McCarthyPress: Newt says lock 'em up – for doing their job!  The Hill's Morning Report - Biden, NATO eye 'all scenarios' with Russia On The Money — Support for new COVID-19 relief grows MORE (R-Calif.) and bipartisan members of the House and Senate hold a moment of silence on Dec. 14 for 800,000 American lives lost to COVID-19. Julia Nikhinson


Acrobats dressed as superheroes come down from the roof to make a surprise greeting at the windows of the rooms of the young patients in Pediatrics and of all the patients at the San Paolo hospital in Milan, Italy on Dec. 15. Associated Press/Luca Bruno


President BidenJoe BidenDeputy AG: DOJ investigating fake Trump electors On The Money — Vaccine-or-test mandate for businesses nixed Warner tests positive for breakthrough COVID-19 case MORE hugs a person while surveying storm damage from tornadoes and extreme weather in Dawson Springs, Ky., on Dec. 15. Associated Press/Andrew Harnik


Sen. Bernie SandersBernie SandersFiscal conservatives should support postal reform  Gallego went to New York to meet Sinema donors amid talk of primary challenge: report Five Democrats the left plans to target MORE (I-Vt.) jokingly chases Sen. Kirsten GillibrandKirsten GillibrandTlaib blasts Biden judicial nominee whose firm sued environmental lawyer The Hill's 12:30 Report - Presented by Connected Commerce Council - Biden faces reporters as his agenda teeters Former aide says she felt 'abandoned' by Democrats who advanced Garcetti nomination as ambassador to India MORE (D-N.Y.) as they arrive to the Senate chamber for a nomination vote on Dec. 15. Greg Nash


Sen. Joe ManchinJoe ManchinBiden to meet with CEOs to discuss Build Back Better agenda Hoyer says 'significant' version of Build Back Better will pass this year Gallego went to New York to meet Sinema donors amid talk of primary challenge: report MORE (D-W.Va.) walks through the Capitol's basement during a meeting on Dec. 15. Manchin met with Sens. John Tester (D-Mont.), Tim KaineTimothy (Tim) Michael KaineDemocrats call on Biden administration to ease entry to US for at-risk Afghans Manchin, Sinema join GOP to sink filibuster change for voting bill Desperate Dems signal support for cutting Biden bill down in size MORE (D-Va.), Kyrsten SinemaKyrsten SinemaGallego went to New York to meet Sinema donors amid talk of primary challenge: report The Hill's 12:30 Report - Presented by Facebook - Biden's public moment of frustration The Armageddon elections to come MORE (D-Ariz.) and others. Julia Nikhinson


Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam (D) greets Gov.-elect Glenn YoungkinGlenn YoungkinOvernight Energy & Environment — 'Forever chemical' suits face time crunch Lawmaker asks ex-EPA chief why he couldn't convince Trump climate change is real Virginia governor knocks school boards challenging order making masks optional MORE (R) as he arrives with his wife, Pam Northam, right, to deliver his annual budget forecast to a joint session of the House and Senate budget committees at the Capitol on Dec. 16 in Richmond, Va. Associated Press/Steve Helber


Thousands gather in Rome's central Piazza del Popolo on Dec. 16 during a nationwide strike called by the main unions to protest against the government's proposed budgetary law. Associated Press/Gregorio Borgia


President Biden awards the Medal of Honor to Army Master Sgt. Earl Plumlee in the East Room at the White House on Dec. 16. Biden awarded three Medals of Honor for bravery in Iraq and Afghanistan. Yuri Gripas/UPI Photo


A plane flies by the Washington Monument as the sun sets on Dec. 16. Julia Nikhinson


Sen. Ted CruzRafael (Ted) Edward CruzHow Cruz Supreme Court case could lead to unlimited anonymous election spending Poll: Trump leads 2024 Republican field with DeSantis in distant second The politics of 'mind control' MORE (R-Texas) talks to Mayra Guillen, the sister of murdered U.S. soldier Vanessa Guillen, as Guillen family attorney Natalie Khawam and Sen. Jack ReedJack ReedDefense bill sets up next fight over military justice  Ukraine president, US lawmakers huddle amid tensions with Russia Photos of the Week: Tornado aftermath, Medal of Honor and soaring superheroes MORE (D-R.I.) watch on in the Capitol on Dec. 16. Julia Nikhinson


Japan's Akane Yamaguchi returns a shot to Japan's Sayaka Takahashi during their women's badminton singles match at the BWF World Championships in Huelva, Spain, on Dec. 16. Associated Press/Manu Fernandez


Former Trump adviser Roger StoneRoger Jason StoneOath Keeper charges renew attention on Trump orbit Democrats differ over how Biden should handle Jan. 6 anniversary Alex Jones suing Pelosi and Jan. 6 panel, planning to plead the Fifth MORE throws up peace signs after pleading the Fifth during a deposition to the Jan. 6 select committee at the Thomas P. O'Neill Jr. Federal Building on Dec. 17. Greg Nash

Photos curated by Greg Nash, Julia Nikhinson, Madeline Monroe and Valerie Morris.



Updated 7:45 a.m.