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Sarah Sanders during the White House press briefing on January 17. Photo: Win McNamee / Getty Images

Press Secretary Sarah Sanders said Tuesday that President Trump "isn't looking for" a shutdown, despite the president saying about an hour earlier that he'd "love to see" one. "The only people that have caused a shutdown are the Democrats," said Sanders.

Why it matters: The government runs out of money at midnight Thursday if Congress fails to pass a funding bill. They could pass another short-term bill, extending their time to hash out their differences, but Sanders said Trump is looking for a long-term deal.

More from the briefing:

  • Sanders said the Nunes memo "clearly vindicates" the President, reiterating Trump's Saturday comments.
  • The Democrats' rebuttal memo will "go through the exact same process" that the Republican memo went through before it's publication.
  • On Trump saying Democrats were treasonous during the State of the Union: "Democrats are going to have to make a decision on this really soon: Do they hate this president more than they love this country? I hope the answer is no."

Go deeper

Caitlin Owens, author of Vitals
4 hours ago - Health

Biden taps ex-FDA chief to lead Operation Warp Speed amid rollout of COVID plan

Photo: Alex Wong/Getty Images

President-elect Joe Biden has picked former FDA chief David Kessler to lead Operation Warp Speed, a day after unveiling a nearly $2 trillion pandemic relief plan that includes $400 billion for directly combatting the virus.

Why it matters: Biden's transition team said Kessler has been advising the president-elect since the beginning of the pandemic, and hopes his involvement will help accelerate vaccination, the New York Times reports. Operation Warp Speed's current director, Moncef Slaoui, will stay on as a consultant.

The case of the missing relief money

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

A chunk of stimulus payments is missing in action, thanks to a mix up that put as many as 13 million checks into invalid bank accounts.

Why it matters: The IRS (by law) was supposed to get all payments out by Friday. Now the onus could shift to Americans to claim the money on their tax refund — further delaying relief to struggling, lower-income Americans.

The post-Trump GOP, gutted

McConnell (L), McCarthy (R) and Trump. Photo: Erin Schaff-Pool/Getty Images

Republicans will emerge from the Trump era gutted financially, institutionally and structurally.

The big picture: The losses are stark and substantial.