Photo: Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ken.) said Saturday that the Senate will reconvene Dec. 27th, and that no further votes on a short-spending bill will be held until Democrats reach an agreement with President Trump.

The big picture: The government will remain partially shut down at least until after Christmas. In a statement released Saturday, Press Secretary Sarah Sanders wrote: "Due to the shutdown, President Trump will remain in Washington, D.C. and the First Lady will return from Florida so they can spend Christmas together.”

The state of play: According to the White House, President Trump met for lunch with Republicans Sen. Mike Lee, Sen. Lindsey Graham, Sen. Richard Shelby, Rep. Mark Meadows, Rep. Jim Jordan, Rep. Matt Gaetz and Rep. Andy Biggs. A senior administration official told reporters during a briefing call that $5 billion in border wall funding is still the president's goal, and that the proposal Democrats put forward is "unacceptable."

  • Vice President Mike Pence also met with Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, but gave no indication to reporters that the talks had resulted in any progress.

Go deeper: Trump's Christmas shutdown spooks GOP

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39 mins ago - Podcasts

The fight over fracking

Fracking has become a flashpoint in the election's final week, particularly in Pennsylvania where both President Trump and Joe Biden made stops on Monday. But much of the political rhetoric has ignored that the industry has gone from boom to bust, beset by layoffs, bankruptcies and fire-sale mergers.

Axios Re:Cap digs into the state of fracking, and what it means for the future of American energy, with Bob McNally, president of Rapidan Energy Group.

Democrats sound alarm on mail-in votes

Photo: Mark Makela/Getty Images

Democrats are calling a last-minute audible on mail-in voting after last night's Supreme Court ruling on Wisconsin.

Driving the news: Wisconsin Democrats and the Democratic secretary of state of Michigan are urging voters to return absentee ballots to election clerks’ offices or drop boxes. They are warning that the USPS may not be able to deliver ballots by the Election Day deadline.

Nxivm cult leader Keith Raniere sentenced to life in prison

Carts full of court documents related to the U.S. v. Keith Raniere case arrive at the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of New York in May 2019. Photo: Drew Angerer/Getty Images

Nxivm cult leader Keith Raniere, 60, was sentenced to 120 years in prison on Tuesday in federal court for sex trafficking among other crimes, the New York Times reports.

Catch up quick: Raniere was convicted last summer with sex trafficking, conspiracy, sexual exploitation of a child, racketeering, forced labor and possession of child pornography. His so-called self-improvement workshops, which disguised rampant sexual abuse, were popular among Hollywood and business circles.

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