Aug 26, 2018

Congress hopes for a drama-free September for spending bills

Photo: Andrew Caballero-Reynolds/AFP/Getty Images

It's looking increasingly likely that Congress will fund the government by the Sept. 30 deadline without too much hubbub.

What we're hearing: Leadership sources from both parties tell me they think they can pass between five and nine spending bills, including the mammoth defense bill, funding more than half of the discretionary budget. They would then pass the remaining bills using a continuing resolution.

Between the lines: My sources in the Senate — which has already passed nine spending bills, the chamber's most since 2000 — are more optimistic than those in the House. And while plenty can go wrong when they get together in conference, both parties sound fairly sanguine about dodging a catastrophe.

The bottom line: The wild card, of course, is President Trump. Even though he's itching to pick a fight with Democrats over funding of his wall, he's privately assured both Paul Ryan and Mitch McConnell that he won't shut down the government before the midterms.

But a source close to Trump told me that while they're almost certain he'll keep that promise, they still hear a whisper of doubt.

  • "[The wall] is on his mind," the source said. "I think I would still say we are not going to have a shutdown...and yes, he has explicitly told Ryan and McConnell he won't, but he talks about the wall and keeps talking about it."
  • "I won't rule it [a shutdown] out because it's his biggest issue and he wants to have this discussion before the election. ... In his gut, he thinks it's good politics."

Go deeper

Tariff worries hit record high amid coronavirus outbreak

Data: CivicScience, margin of error ±1 percentage points; Chart: Axios Visuals

Concern about President Trump's tariffs on U.S imports grew to record high levels among Americans last month, particularly as more lost their jobs and concern about the novel coronavirus increased.

Driving the news: About seven in 10 people said they were at least somewhat concerned about tariffs in March, according to the latest survey from CivicScience provided first to Axios.

U.S. coronavirus updates: Largest 24-hour spike in fatalities

Data: The Center for Systems Science and Engineering at Johns Hopkins; Map: Andrew Witherspoon/Axios

New York's death toll from the novel coronavirus surged to its highest one-day total on Tuesday, as the U.S. saw its largest 24-hour spike in fatalities, per Johns Hopkins data. Recorded deaths across the U.S. surpassed 12,900 early Wednesday.

Why it matters: State officials have stressed that lockdowns must continue even if cities begin to see slight improvements from social distancing. Several hot spots, including New York, New Orleans, and Detroit, are expected to peak in the coming days.

Go deeperArrowUpdated 1 hour ago - Health

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 12:30 a.m. ET: 1,430,453 — Total deaths: 82,133 — Total recoveries: 301,385Map.
  2. U.S.: Total confirmed cases as of 12:30 a.m. ET: 399,081 — Total deaths: 12,907 — Total recoveries: 22,461Map.
  3. Federal government latest: Acting Navy secretary resigns over handling of virus-infected ship — Trump removes watchdog overseeing rollout of $2 trillion coronavirus bill — Trump said he "didn't see" memos from his trade adviser Peter Navarro warning that the crisis could kill more than half a million Americans.
  4. States latest: California Gov. Gavin Newsom is confident that more than 200 million masks will be delivered to the state "at a monthly basis starting in the next few weeks."
  5. Business latest: America's food heroes in times of the coronavirus crisis. Even when the economy comes back to life, huge questions for airlines will remain.
  6. World updates: China reopens Wuhan after 10-week coronavirus lockdown.
  7. 2020 latest: Polls for Wisconsin's primary elections closed at 9 p.m. ET Tuesday, but results won't be released until April 13. Thousands of residents cast ballots in person.
  8. 1 Olympics thing: About 6,500 athletes who qualified for the Tokyo Games will keep their spots in 2021.
  9. What should I do? Pets, moving and personal healthAnswers about the virus from Axios expertsWhat to know about social distancingQ&A: Minimizing your coronavirus risk.
  10. Other resources: CDC on how to avoid the virus, what to do if you get it.

Subscribe to Mike Allen's Axios AM to follow our coronavirus coverage each morning from your inbox.