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Photo: Chip Somodevilla / Getty Images

A wild afternoon of immigration news left Congress virtually in the same place as it was before a bipartisan group of lawmakers met with President Trump: headed for a government shutdown next week unless someone caves.

Between the lines: Republicans and Democrats are still miles apart on a deal to protect immigrants brought to the US as children. They're also still negotiating a spending caps deal. Without either of these questions resolved, there's a real possibility members of each party vote against a short-term spending bill next week, shutting down the government.

The problem: Congress is really trying to sort out three different things right now: An immigration deal addressing those protected by the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, a deal to raise spending caps and a deal to keep the lights on past next Friday.

  • Democrats want a deal to protect the "Dreamers" by then. Today narrowed the scope of the conversation down to four issues — border security, chain migration, the visa lottery and Dreamers — but it's hard to overstate how far apart the two parties still are on these.
  • Majority Leader Mitch McConnell reiterated on Tuesday that the spending bill and a DACA bill will be considered separately, which Democrats had not agreed to.
  • Republicans, especially defense hawks, want a caps deal that raises defense spending. Democrats say they'll agree to this only if the domestic spending cap is raised too.
  • It's unclear whether Democrats will vote for a short-term spending bill next week without a DACA deal, or whether defense hawks will vote for it without a caps deal. Losing these votes could result in a shutdown.

The bottom line: Both parties are under a lot of pressure from their base not to cave ahead of the Jan. 19 spending bill deadline. But something's gotta give, or next week will end with a shutdown — with the GOP controlling all three branches of government.

Go deeper

11 mins ago - World

U.S. airstrike kills senior al-Qaeda leader in Syria, DOD says

A displacement camp near the village of Qah in Syria's northwestern Idlib province. Photo: Ahmad Al-Atrash/AFP via Getty Images

A U.S. airstrike in northwest Syria on Friday killed senior al-Qaeda leader Abdul Hamid al-Matar, U.S. Central Command said in a statement.

What they're saying: "The removal of this al-Qaeda senior leader will disrupt the terrorist organization’s ability to further plot and carry out global attacks threatening U.S. citizens, our partners, and innocent civilians," U.S. Army Maj. John Rigsbee said in the statement.

Updated 5 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Giuliani associate Lev Parnas convicted of campaign finance crimes

Lev Parnas, a former associate of then-President Donald Trump’s personal lawyer Rudy Giuliani. Photo: Stefani Reynolds/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Florida businessman Lev Parnas was convicted Friday on charges of conspiracy to make foreign contributions to political campaigns, according to multiple outlets.

Why it matters: Prosecutors said Parnas, then an associate of former President Donald Trump's personal lawyer Rudy Giuliani, funneled over $150,000 from a Russian businessman into U.S. campaigns as part of an effort to land licenses in the U.S.'s legal cannabis industry.

Supreme Court agrees to hear challenges to Texas abortion law

Photo: Saul Loeb/AFP via Getty Images

The Supreme Court on Friday agreed to hear two cases challenging Texas' abortion law, which bans the procedure as soon as six weeks into pregnancy, but left the law in place in the meantime.

Why it matters: The court is moving extraordinarily fast on the Texas cases, compressing into just a few days a process that normally takes months. And that schedule means the court will take up Texas' ban a month before it hears another major abortion case — a challenge to Mississippi's own 2018 ban on abortions after 15 weeks.