Jan 21, 2018

Shutdown squabble continues, with vote set for 1 a.m. Monday

Photo by Al Drago-Pool/Getty Images

Mitch McConnell has called for a vote to end the government shutdown at 1 a.m. on Monday, per the Washington Post. His plan would keep the government open through February 8, and is not likely to include concessions Democrats are seeking on immigration.

Little tangible progress was made on Saturday, as both sides exchanged blame and the White House insisted the shutdown would be short and painless, compared to the 2013 shutdown under Barack Obama.

The Trump angle

President Trump intended to be at a Mar a Lago bash tonight to celebrate the one year anniversary of his inauguration as president. He has steered clear of the back-and-forth on Capitol Hill, but did send a series of tweets blaming the shutdown on Democrats:

Per Politico, he has been "expressing annoyance to aides" that he had to miss the Mar a Lago party. The White House released a photograph of him in the Oval Office, noting that he was working during the shutdown.

Schumer's position

He's blaming Trump, and claiming they were close to reaching a deal until the president moved the goal posts.

Republican leadership
  • Paul Ryan: “We do some crazy things in Washington, but this is utter madness. Senate Democrats shut down this government, and now Senate Democrats need to open this government back up.”
  • Mitch McConnell: “Here we are. Day 1 of the Senate Democrats’ government shutdown. We did everything we could to stop them.”
Inside the administration
  • OMB Director Mick Mulvaney said aspects of government, like the National Parks, would continue to function as normal, despite shutting down in 2013 under Obama: “The Obama administration weaponized the shutdown in 2013. The only conclusion I can draw is they did so for political purposes. So it will look different this time around.”
  • Legislative Director Marc Short said Republicans won't negotiate on immigration until the government re-opens.
The moderates
  • Per the NY Times: "A bipartisan group of about 18 lawmakers, calling themselves the Common Sense Coalition, met Saturday afternoon in the office of Senator Susan Collins... in an effort to find a way forward. Senator Joe Manchin III, Democrat of West Virginia, said the group hoped to present a proposal to Senate leaders either later Saturday or Sunday.
  • Lindsey Graham: "A government shutdown never ends well for Republicans, and it seldom ends well for the party in power... we'll get the lion’s share of the blame."
The end game

Per the Times: "The likeliest route for lawmakers to reopen the government is to agree on a stopgap spending measure that stretches longer than the few days that Senate Democrats want, but shorter than the four weeks that the House approved on Thursday."

Go deeper

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Data: The Center for Systems Science and Engineering at Johns Hopkins, the CDC, and China's Health Ministry. Note: China numbers are for the mainland only and U.S. numbers include repatriated citizens.

The novel coronavirus continues to spread to more nations, and the U.S. reports a doubling of its confirmed cases to 34 — while noting those are mostly due to repatriated citizens, emphasizing there's no "community spread" yet in the U.S. South Korea's confirmed cases jumped from 204 on Friday to 433 on Saturday.

The big picture: COVID-19 has now killed at least 2,362 people and infected more than 77,000 others, mostly in mainland China. New countries to announce infections recently include Israel, Lebanon and Iran.

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Centrist Democrats beseech 2020 candidates: "Stand up to Bernie" or Trump wins

Bernie Sanders rallies in Las Vegas, Nevada on Feb. 21. Photo: Mario Tama/Getty Images

Center-left think tank Third Way urgently called on the Democratic front-runners of the 2020 presidential election to challenge Sen. Bernie Sanders on the South Carolina debate stage on Feb. 25, in a memo provided to Axios' Mike Allen on Saturday.

What they're saying: "At the Las Vegas debate ... you declined to really challenge Senator Sanders. If you repeat this strategy at the South Carolina debate this week, you could hand the nomination to Sanders, likely dooming the Democratic Party — and the nation — to Trump and sweeping down-ballot Republican victories in November."

Situational awareness

Warren Buffett. Photo: Daniel Zuchnik/WireImage

Catch up on today's biggest news:

  1. Warren Buffett releases annual letter, reassures investors about future of Berkshire Hathaway
  2. Greyhound bars immigration sweeps
  3. U.S. military officially stops offensive operations in Afghanistan
  4. America's future looks a lot like Nevada
  5. Centrist Democrats beseech 2020 candidates: "Stand up to Bernie" or Trump wins