A government funding stalemate. What is Trump's next move?

From televised blow-up to relative silence: spending negotiations remain frozen as the days tick away toward...

Posted: Dec 13, 2018 1:54 PM
Updated: Dec 13, 2018 1:54 PM

From televised blow-up to relative silence: spending negotiations remain frozen as the days tick away toward a partial government shutdown. The next big question now is what House GOP leaders, in their final days in the majority, will do to kick the legislative process into gear. As of Wednesday night, decisions hadn't been finalized -- and there were clear strategic disputes inside the conference about the next steps.

Aides with direct knowledge tell me Democrats and Republicans still aren't talking about next steps, but there's also an understanding it's up to President Donald Trump to counter -- something that isn't expected until House Republicans decide on how they plan to proceed. To be perfectly clear -- the House GOP effort, whatever it is, is dead on arrival in the Senate and may not have the votes to even pass the House. But it's an important step in the process.

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Days until a partial government shutdown

9

What to watch today

  • House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi holds a press conference at 10:45 a.m.
  • What, if anything, House GOP leaders announce as their next steps.

What to read

So what does actually happen in a partial government shut down? CNN's Clare Foran has your answers.

Something that several aides have noticed

Senate Democratic Leader Chuck Schumer took to the Senate floor to say the President lived "in a cocoon" surrounded by "obsequious" advisers who fail to tell him when he's wrong. Pelosi had, for all intents and purposes, questioned the president's manhood a private meeting (that subsequently leaked). And yet aside from a single tweet that obliquely referenced the wall Wednesday morning, the President has been largely silent -- and has not counter punched on personal terms at all. Aides and lawmakers in both parties who are working on this are wondering why.

CNN asked one senior GOP aide working on this what it all meant: "Could be a good sign. Could mean he's going to unload today. Could mean nothing at all. Keep checking your Twitter alerts, I guess."

What the House GOP is considering

House Republican leaders, according to aides, are considering a few options that would address the President's request for $5 billion in wall funding -- including a short-term draft that freezes other government spending levels and a broader package that would include the wall funding and the remaining appropriations bills.

The issue for leaders is a familiar one: they'll likely need to pack whatever they propose with conservative priorities, specifically on immigration, that could turn off the more moderate members of the conference. And a good number of those moderates? They are the same group that lost in the November midterms.

Nothing the House GOP passes or fails to pass has a future. But, as has been the case in these types of negotiations for the last five or so years, GOP leaders have to show something doesn't have a future (i.e. pass it in the House and watch it fail in the Senate) to be able to come back to their members with compromise proposals.

In other words, House GOP leaders, who are either about to be in the minority or are leaving Congress, are having a difficult internal debate over something they all know will fail, and are forced to do in large part because the President and Pelosi got in a tiff about House whip counts. As one senior GOP aide noted with sarcasm after running through the dynamics: "Good times."

"Whether or not to do it is a question of wisdom and strategy and tactics, and it's highly debatable about whether or not that's the right move." -- Rep. Patrick McHenry, the chief deputy whip (and soon to be ranking member of the Financial Services Committee), to reporters.

GOP leaders say explicitly they'll have the votes for anything they put on the floor (though some of their colleagues are less sure). But their advisers acknowledge it will definitely be tight, with attendance issues also expected to be a potential problem (there were 19 total lawmakers who didn't show up for the Farm Bill vote Wednesday).

Which means that any House show vote on the President's $5 billion wall request will likely come down to moderate members who lost in November -- many of the same members Trump trashed at his press conference after the election.

Daily reminder on the facts

Approximately 75% of the federal government is funded through September 2019. No shutdown is pain free, should it occur, this would be limited in its disruption, at least compared to past full government shutdowns. The Pentagon is funded. The Health and Human Services and Labor Departments are funded -- etc. etc.

That doesn't mean it will be pain free -- agencies like the Treasury Department, Department of Homeland Security and Justice Department are not currently funded beyond December 21, and non-essential employees would face furloughs, essential employees (virtually all of DHS and the DOJ's law enforcement elements) would be working through Christmas without pay.

There are seven appropriations bills that need to be passed before midnight on December 21. Six of them are mostly closed out, aides say, and ready to move. The fight was, is, and will continue to be over a single piece of a single bill: the Department of Homeland Security funding measure.

Mississippi Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 314710

Reported Deaths: 7254
CountyCasesDeaths
DeSoto21646260
Hinds20369416
Harrison17949309
Rankin13643278
Jackson13450246
Madison10113217
Lee9986174
Jones8384163
Forrest7689152
Lauderdale7198240
Lowndes6403148
Lamar623686
Lafayette6203119
Washington5341134
Bolivar4802132
Oktibbeha462998
Panola4596107
Pearl River4519146
Marshall4450103
Warren4393121
Pontotoc420872
Monroe4115133
Union411176
Neshoba4031176
Lincoln3969110
Hancock379586
Leflore3498125
Sunflower336290
Tate334784
Pike3327105
Scott316274
Alcorn313368
Yazoo311770
Itawamba300577
Copiah297465
Coahoma295579
Simpson295388
Tippah288768
Adams286982
Prentiss280060
Marion269380
Leake268473
Wayne262841
Grenada261587
Covington259881
George248148
Newton246862
Winston227581
Tishomingo227067
Jasper221148
Attala214473
Chickasaw208057
Holmes189174
Clay185554
Stone182833
Tallahatchie178941
Clarke178080
Calhoun170932
Yalobusha164638
Smith162534
Walthall134245
Greene130633
Lawrence128724
Montgomery127142
Noxubee126734
Perry126338
Amite123142
Carroll121829
Webster114532
Jefferson Davis107133
Tunica105726
Claiborne102430
Benton100025
Humphreys96733
Kemper95828
Franklin83923
Quitman81116
Choctaw76418
Wilkinson67531
Jefferson65728
Sharkey50217
Issaquena1686
Unassigned00

Alabama Coronavirus Cases

Cases: 537813

Reported Deaths: 11024
CountyCasesDeaths
Jefferson791691529
Mobile41177808
Madison35002507
Tuscaloosa25871454
Shelby25076249
Montgomery24549591
Baldwin21290309
Lee15946171
Calhoun14556319
Morgan14364280
Etowah13890353
Marshall12262223
Houston10602282
Elmore10115206
Limestone10031151
St. Clair9890245
Cullman9730194
Lauderdale9449243
DeKalb8853188
Talladega8325176
Walker7259277
Autauga6971108
Jackson6830112
Blount6750139
Colbert6317134
Coffee5546119
Dale4869113
Russell444338
Chilton4343113
Franklin426282
Covington4138118
Tallapoosa4040152
Escambia394577
Chambers3581123
Dallas3564153
Clarke351361
Marion3137101
Pike311977
Lawrence302298
Winston275673
Bibb263064
Geneva252577
Marengo249664
Pickens234862
Barbour231956
Hale223677
Butler217869
Fayette212462
Henry189644
Cherokee184345
Randolph182042
Monroe178140
Washington167639
Macon160750
Clay156957
Crenshaw153357
Cleburne149241
Lamar143035
Lowndes139653
Wilcox127430
Bullock123041
Conecuh110629
Coosa108928
Perry107826
Sumter104932
Greene92634
Choctaw61024
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