DAYBREAK DAILY: O'Malley demands answers about deportation numbers

ABC7 WEATHER: Mostly cloudy with highs in the upper 20s.

‘GOOD MORNING WASHINGTON’: Among the reports – Comprehensive coverage of the approaching winter storm, expected to arrive tonight; much more, beginning at 4:30 a.m. M-F.

HE WANTS ANSWERS: Sooner rather than later, per the Baltimore Sun, “Gov. Martin O'Malley on Tuesday demanded that the U.S. Department of Homeland Security explain why federal officials are deporting a higher share of noncriminals from Maryland than from most other states under a controversial immigration program called Secure Communities. In a sharply worded letter to Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson, the governor called on the federal agency to document why the program has led to the deportation of undocumented immigrants with either no criminal record or only misdemeanor convictions, when its long-stated intent is to target dangerous criminals.

“O'Malley, a Democrat, wrote to Johnson days after The Baltimore Sun reported that the share of noncriminals deported under Secure Communities in Maryland is twice the national average. More than 40 percent of the immigrants who have been deported from Maryland under the program since 2009 had no prior criminal record, according to government data.”

DIFFERENT BILLS: Of mental health, per the Virginian-Pilot, “Eight hours or 24 hours? That's the main difference between House and Senate legislation seeking to close gaps in Virginia's mental health care system.

“Del. Ron Villanueva's HB478, passed unanimously Tuesday by the House of Delegates, prescribes eight hours as the maximum length of time a person in a mental health crisis can be held by law enforcement officers under an emergency custody order. At the end of that period, the person would have to be placed in a treatment facility or released. Under current law, the limit is six hours.”

THE DEBT LIMIT: And a GOP surrender, per the Washington Post, “The House approved a year-long suspension of the nation’s debt limit Tuesday in a vote that left Republicans once again ceding control to Democrats after a collapse in support for an earlier proposal advanced by Speaker John A. Boehner (R-Ohio). In a narrow vote, 221 to 201, just 28 Republicans joined nearly all Democrats to approve a “clean” extension of the government’s borrowing authority — one without strings attached — sending the measure to the Senate for a final vote, probably this week.

“The legislation, which Senate Majority Leader Harry M. Reid (D-Nev.) vowed to pass and President Obama said he would sign, would eliminate any chance of default on $17.2 trillion in debt — and the financial havoc that would ensue — until March 2015. The Republican surrender probably ended a three-year war by the House GOP against what had been an obscure procedural maneuver to ensure that the nation’s past bills were paid on time.”

STRONG WORDS: For a guest, per the New York Times, “With the French president looking on, President Obama vowed on Tuesday to come down on companies that evade sanctions against Iran “like a ton of bricks.” He spoke a week after a delegation of French corporate executives traveled to Tehran looking for business opportunities amid diplomatic efforts to reach a nuclear deal.

“The French executives’ visit to Tehran has crystallized fears that the interim nuclear agreement with Iran is setting off a horse race to get back into that country, and could fracture the international sanctions regime cobbled together by the United States and Europe.”

BRIDGEGATE: Or Christiegate, per MSNBC, “ “Forward” used to be President Obama’s slogan. Now Chris Christie is co-opting it. The Republican governor of New Jersey addressed the George Washington Bridge controversy threatening to derail his political career on Tuesday afternoon in Chicago, saying that while he’s beyond disappointed in some of his staffers, he plans to forge ahead with his second-term agenda.

“You only have a few minutes to wallow in that disappointment” the governor said, speaking at the Economic Club of Chicago on behalf of the Republican Governors Association, which he chairs. “And then if you’re a leader, you have to try and get a handle on the story and take decisive action, which we did.” The likely 2016 contender added that he doesn’t think so-called “Bridgegate” will “curtail for the long haul a second-term agenda because the public in New Jersey won’t tolerate it” and if more action is warranted he’ll take it.”

YELLEN TESTIFIES: No great revelations, per The Hill, “The Federal Reserve would need to see a “notable change” in the labor market to consider pausing its withdrawal of stimulus, Janet Yellen told Congress on Tuesday. Testifying for the first time since being sworn in as head of the central bank, Yellen admitted she was “surprised” by the two recent job reports that showed hiring growth well below economists' expectations.

“But she stopped short of suggesting that the reports might cause the Fed to alter its planned “tapering” of bond purchases. “We have to be very careful not to jump to conclusions,” she warned the House Financial Services Committee. “What would cause the committee to consider a pause is a notable change in the outlook.”

POLITICO PLAY: “The Koch brothers have a seemingly bottomless pot of cash this election year — and no one knows it better than Sen. Kay Hagan.

“Americans for Prosperity, a group co-founded by the conservative billionaires, has already dropped $8.2 million on TV, radio and digital ads in an effort to defeat the North Carolina Democrat. According to sources tracking media buys, the group has so far spent more in North Carolina than all Democratic outside groups in every Senate race in the country — combined.”

CHURCH THEFTS: Just the facts, per ABC7—WJLA, “Prince William County Police say they are looking for the thief or thieves they say broke into three churches sometime between Sunday afternoon and Monday morning. All three incidents happened in the small town of Nokesville, and all three involved someone breaking in through a window. Police say because of the similarities, the burglaries may very well be related.

"One church hit was Nokesville United Methodist, where the pastor says whoever broke in got away with a safe and a small amount of cash. Just a quarter mile away on Aden Road, Victory Baptist Church was also hit. Secretary Norma Mathers says a safe and a small amount of money were also taken there. The third church broken into was Asbury United Methodist three and a half miles away. Police say nothing was reported missing there.”

COLD CASE NO MORE?: Stay tuned, per Gazette.Net, “Police shed new light on an almost 39-year-old missing person case Tuesday when they identified a convicted sex offender they believe may have had contact with two Kensington girls the day they disappeared. The girls, Sheila and Katherine Lyon, ages 12 and 10, walked to Wheaton Plaza, as it was known at the time, for lunch on March 25, 1975, and vanished.

“At a press conference Tuesday, Montgomery County Police identified 57-year-old Lloyd Lee Welch, a convicted sex offender, and said they have confirmed he was at the mall the day the girls disappeared. Investigators have traveled to Delaware, where Welch is serving a prison sentence for raping young girls, to talk to him, Assistant Police Chief Russell Hamill said.”

HEY, NO FAIR: That’s what the man says, per City Paper, “Something's been bugging Jack Evans. Ahead of every campaign finance report deadline, he brings in the gargantuan campaign contribution totals that made him the first mayoral candidate to break $1 million in total fundraising. But he has similarly outsized expenses, repeatedly leaving him with a smaller bank account in campaign finance disclosures than rival Muriel Bowser.

“Now Evans says he's figured out why he's lagging in cash on hand, claiming that his rivals are dishonestly keeping their disclosed expenses down by making payments to pollsters and staff after filing deadlines. “The other candidates are not honestly reporting,” Evans tells LL.”

BACKGROUND CHECKS: With a twist, per the Frederick News-Post, “In the aftermath of a Baltimore jail scandal, a local delegate wants a legal requirement that all new correctional officers pass polygraph tests. Maryland Delegate Michael Hough said the tests will weed out unsuitable candidates and prevent corruption within detention center walls.

“The idea for the bill developed as Hough was serving on a legislative committee launched in response to criminal indictments at the Baltimore City Detention Center, he said. A federal grand jury in April charged 13 correctional officers with helping to smuggle drugs and cellphones into the jail. In a report issued in December, Hough's committee recommended that the state begin to polygraph all correctional officer applicants to identify the people who have gang affiliations.”

SPORTS, BRIEFLY: Wizards lose 92-89 against Memphis.

TRENDING ON ABC7 FACEBOOK: “The FBI is cracking down on a growing crime: lasers being pointed at aircrafts and pilots -- while they're still up in the air. The act is now being classified as a felony, which could very well send the offender to prison. But it's a problem that still happens more than ten times a day as pilots attempt to land their planes.”

NEWSTALK: Among today’s topics (10 a.m., NewsChannel 8) -- The Anthony Brown for Governor campaign accuses Doug Gansler of dissing Prince George's County. We'll talk with Bladensburg Mayor Walter James, a Brown supporter, and Gansler supporter Glenn Ivey.

--Skip Wood