Topics and Guests: Jan. 3

Join host Brit Hume and FOX's Team Washington weekdays at 6 p.m. ET for "Special Report" — Find out what's happening inside the Beltway and on the world stage.

The Homeland Security Department is poised to alter the annual competition for its federal grants, seeking to direct money to cities that face multiple threats -- and not just from terrorism.

Lobbyist Jack Abramoff will plead guilty to federal charges of conspiracy, fraud and tax evasion in Washington and Miami. As part of his plea agreement, he will cooperate with the government's investigation of influence peddling involving as many as twenty lawmakers and aides. Abramoff allegedly defrauded Indian tribes of about $20 million while showering lawmakers with gifts of golf trips, entertainment, and sports skybox fundraisers. Major Garrett has the details.

And what are the ramifications of Abramoff’s plea deal for lawmakers associated with him? We’ll ask Jeff Birnbaum of The Washington Post.

Then, at the White House, President Bush met with U.S. attorneys about the Patriot Act. A few days ago, the president signed legislation that would extend expiring provisions of the Patriot Act for a few weeks, far short of the permanent extension he'd hoped to secure. Congress will take up the debate again later this month. Wendell Goler has the details.

And as rescue crews continue to try to reach thirteen West Virginia miners trapped by an explosion, questions about the Sago Mine's safety record. Federal inspectors cited the mine for 46 alleged violations of federal mine and safety rules in the last quarter of 2005 and demanded safeguards against roof falls and a plan to control methane and breathable dust. Megyn Kendall takes a closer look at the condition of the mine and the regulations that were supposed to make it safer.

Next week, Judge Samuel Alito faces Senate hearings that will determine whether or not he's confirmed as a Supreme Court justice. Some of the Senators on the judiciary committee have begun to weigh in on what they'd like to hear from the nominee in the hearings, as interest groups are waging a battle over the airwaves on Alito's suitability to sit on the highest court in the land. Brian Wilson has a report.

Also, the outcome of December's parliamentary elections will probably be announced in two weeks. After Sunnis and secular complained of fraud, the Independent Electoral Commission of Iraq agreed to investigate. They completed their investigation of nearly 2,000 complaints and will announce their findings on Wednesday. Bret Baier has the details.

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Anchored by Washington news veteran Brit Hume, "Special Report with Brit Hume" provides an in-depth look at the day's news and offers a daily topical discussion of political issues impacting the nation.

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— Guests and topics are subject to change