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Governor Chris Christie of New Jersey speaking at an event hosted by The McCain Institute in Phoenix, Arizona.
Today marks the official beginning of New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie's second term in office, but this probably isn't the inauguration present he was hoping for:
The Senate and Assembly will merge the two panels now investigating the lane closures at the foot of the George Washington Bridge.

Lawmakers made the announcement this morning.

The Assembly panel, led by John Wisniewski, used its subpoena power to show a link between Governor Christie’s former deputy chief of staff and top Port Authority officials.

Wisniewski will lead the panel along with Sen. Loretta Weinberg, D-Teaneck.

The State Assembly committee has already issued 20 subpoenas in the investigation, all of which will remain in effect for the new unified committee. According to CNN, the committee will also keep former assistant U.S. Attorney Reid Schar as special counsel. Schar, who was hired by the Assembly panel earlier this month, prosecuted former Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich.

Meanwhile, in other tough news for Christie, a new national Quinnipiac Poll shows Christie has taken a big hit over the last month, dropping from a 42-41 lead last month in a hypothetical matchup against Hillary Clinton to a 46-38 deficit, a net swing of nine points against Christie. His fall was particularly severe among independents: He led Hillary by 15 among indies last month and now trails by one.

9:18 AM PT: Here's a link to the full Quinnipiac survey. Worth noting: Despite Christie's problems, he still does better than any other Republican against Hillary, which tells you something about the weakness of their field.

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