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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

Go deeper

19 mins ago - Politics & Policy

Kevin McCarthy's rude awakening

House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy. Photo: Mark Wilson/Getty Images

Kevin McCarthy is learning you can get torched when you try to make everyone happy, especially after an insurrection.

Why it matters: The House Republican leader had been hoping to use this year to build toward taking the majority in 2022, but his efforts to bridge intra-party divisiveness over the Capitol siege have him taking heat from every direction, eroding his stature both with the public and within his party.

The next big political war: redistricting

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

Democrats are preparing a mix of tech and legal strategies to combat expected gerrymandering by Republicans, who are planning to go on legal offense themselves.

Why it matters: Democrats failed to regain a single state legislature on Election Day, while Republicans upped their control to 30 states' Houses and Senates. In the majority of states, legislatures draw new congressional district lines, which can boost a party's candidates for the next decade.

49 mins ago - Politics & Policy

Vaccinations, relief timing dominate Sweet 16 call

Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.V.) speaks during a news conference in December with a group of bipartisan lawmakers. Photo: Caroline Brehman/CQ-Roll Call, Inc via Getty Images

Vaccine distribution, pandemic data and a cross-party comity dominated today's virtual meeting between White House officials and a bipartisan group of 16 senators, Senator Angus King told Axios.

Why it matters: Given Democrats' razor-thin majority in both chambers of Congress, President Biden will have to rely heavily on this group of centrist lawmakers — dubbed the "Sweet 16" — to pass any substantial legislation.

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