After months of trying to push through President Joe Biden’s signature social infrastructure bill, Senate Democrats and the White House acknowledged they don’t have the votes to get a deal done before Christmas. In place of Build Back Better, they pivoted to pushing another bill that will struggle to attract the votes of centrist Sens. Kyrsten Sinema and Joe Manchin — sweeping voting reform.

Republicans had their own fires to put out as the Jan. 6 committee released a slew of messages that popular Fox News hosts exchanged with former President Donald Trump’s chief of staff Mark Meadows during the Jan. 6 riot. While the hosts went on television that evening and downplayed the events, as they were unfolding, they implored Meadows to ask the president to take action to defuse the situation.

Inflation also hit a 39-year high.

Here are the quotes of the week:

"War is Peace. Freedom is Slavery. Ignorance is Strength. The Penised Individual Who Raped You Is A Woman."

— Harry Potter author J.K. Rowling comes under fire for a controversial tweet in which she criticized police in Scotland for classifying rape offenders as women if they claim they to identify as such.

“I don't see how this gets done before Christmas. I think it would be very difficult.”

— West Virginia’s OTHER senator, Shelly Moore Capito, says she can’t see Build Back Better being done any time soon.

"At some point, I want to go to a rocking chair. At some point, I want to have more time to play golf."

— Rep. Jim Clyburn says he’s not interested in potentially replacing Nancy Pelosi at the top of Democratic House leadership.

“Everybody says, ‘You could’ve gotten out without anybody being hurt.’ No one’s come up with a way to ever indicate to me how that happens.”

— President Joe Biden defended his withdrawal from Afghanistan, arguing that the deaths of 13 service members in the final days of the U.S. exit were inevitable under the circumstances.

“This supersized IRS will create an army of auditors.”

— Idaho Sen. Mike Crapo on the Build Back Better Act.

“Unfortunately not surprising that some of the same individuals who were willing to warn, condemn, and express horror over what happened on Jan. 6 in private were totally silent in public or, even worse, were spreading lies and conspiracy theories.”

Jen Psaki on the texts to former White House chief of staff Mark Meadows, including the likes of Donald Trump Jr., imploring his father to plead to the Capitol rioters to stop.

“It was a political rally. There’s going to be political hyperbole, you know, ‘Give me liberty or give me death.’"

— Accused Capitol rioter Ronald Sandlin claiming he got “caught up” in mob mentality.

"Omicron is spreading at a rate we have not seen with any previous variant."

— WHO Director-General Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus issues a stark warning.

"These applicants are not 'anti-vaxxers' who object to all vaccines. Instead, the applicants explain, they cannot receive a COVID–19 vaccine because their religion teaches them to oppose abortion in any form, and because each of the currently available vaccines has depended upon abortion-derived fetal cell lines in its production or testing."

— Supreme Court Justice Neil Gorsuch issues a scathing dissent after the U.S. Supreme Court left in place New York's COVID-19 vaccine mandate for healthcare workers.

"The last time inflation was this high, I had an afro."

— Sen. Tim Scott.

“You remind me of when I was a kid and my friend’s angry Mom would just randomly yell at everyone for no reason.”

— Tesla CEO Elon Musk tweaks Sen. Elizabeth Warren after she called on him to pay taxes.

"As an African American person, I'm not putting that noose back on at all.”

Andre Hope, the only black juror on the Jussie Smollett case, said he thought it was odd that Smollett put the noose back on for police after the hoax attack. 

“Obviously, it cannot continue. But the fact is that there is an attitude of lawlessness in our country that springs from — I don't know where; maybe you do — and we cannot have that lawlessness become the norm.”

— House Speaker Nancy Pelosi on the crime spree, specifically smash-and-grab raids on retail stores, in her home city of San Francisco. 

"What you see now with the rise of this woke ideology is an attempt to really delegitimize our history and to delegitimize our institutions, and I view the wokeness as a form of cultural Marxism. … They really want to tear at the fabric of our society and culture."

— Gov. Ron DeSantis proposes legislation to ban state funding from schools that teach critical race theory and prohibit corporations from including it in employee training programs.

“It’s time the reign of criminals who are destroying our city — it is time for it to come to an end. And it comes to an end when we take the steps to be more aggressive with law enforcement, more aggressive with the changes in our policies, and less tolerant of all the bulls*** that has destroyed our city.”

— San Francisco mayor London Breed uses very strong language as she announces crime crackdown in San Francisco’s Tenderloin district.

“That is hilarious. I mean, I was a Hillary supporter. I continue to be. She’s doing fantastic things. But I think she understands that to move the party forward into something new, [there] needs to be new blood.”

— One liberal 2020 campaign operative on the idea of Hillary Clinton running in 2024.

“No matter how hard we may try to say that all this is disguised and that it isn’t that war or this war, in actual fact, military activities in cyberspace are in full swing.”

Alexander Krutskikh, a special adviser to Russian President Vladimir Putin, on the unfolding cyberwar between the United States and Russia.

"How many times does Joe Manchin have to say that he's not going to vote for something before you believe him?"

— Republican strategist Ralph Reed on Democrats wrestling with whether they can pass President Joe Biden’s social spending bill before the end of the year. 

"At stake here is the integrity of women's sports. The precedent being set — one in which women do not have a protected and equitable space to compete. ... It is the responsibility of the NCAA to address the matter with an official statement."

— Parents of 10 female swimmers are demanding the NCAA address transgender swimmer Lia Thomas competing as a woman after three seasons of competing as a man.

“It’s not politically smart to engage on reelection yet. … If Democrats lose the House in 2022, then Biden is a de facto lame duck.”

David Ramadan, an adjunct professor at the Schar School at George Mason University and resident scholar at the University of Virginia’s Center for Politics.