House Democrats are readying another attempt to reopen shuttered federal agencies today as both parties remain entrenched in their respective shutdown positions. Democratic leadership has queued up a continuing resolution (H.J.Res.28) that provides funding for closed Federal agencies through February 28 without additional funding for President Trump’s border wall priority. However, the attempts to reopen the government have proven to be futile as Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) refuses to allow a vote on spending legislation that isn’t supported by the President. At this point, there is no clear path toward an end to the 27-day shutdown as ratings agencies and economic forecasters raise red flags on the funding lapse’s impact on the economy.
House lawmakers are turning their attention toward disaster relief aid as the partial government shutdown enters its 26th day. The lower chamber will begin consideration of a $12 billion supplemental spending bill (H.R. 268) for relief and recovery aid to states impacted by recent hurricanes, typhoons, wildfires & other natural disasters. Lawmakers have also queued up 14 amendments to the underlying bill, suggesting that final passage may come later tonight or tomorrow.
House Democrats disclosed the next phase of the majority’s plan to reopen the government yesterday as the partial government funding lapse drags on to its 25th day. House Appropriations Chairwoman Nita Lowey (D-NY) announced that the House will take up a pair of continuing resolutions (CR) this week that would temporarily reopen federal agencies without funding President Trump's border wall priority. The first short-term CR (H.J.Res.27) — which would fund closed government agencies until February 1 — will be called up for a vote under suspension of the rules today. The second CR (H.J.Res.28) would provide funding through February 28 and is expected to be taken up on Thursday.
While the federal government is closed today following a snow-filled weekend in D.C., lawmakers are still set to return to Washington amidst what has become the longest government shutdown in U.S. history. Facing increasing pressure to deliver a solution, the Trump administration is contemplating a plan to declare a national emergency to bypass Congress and fund the president’s border wall priority. The proposed plan would reportedly tap into unused funds in the Army Corps of Engineers budget — a move that would certainly face opposition in Congress and the courts, but could create a path to ending the 24-day partial government shutdown. However, President Trump seems intent on pursuing his border wall through the Congress despite his weekend rejection of a compromise floated by Senate Republicans.
The Week in Review
After a week of failed negotiations and messaging exercises, the White House and lawmakers have yet to make meaningful progress towards a deal to end the partial government shutdown. In a move aimed at increasing pressure on GOP lawmakers, the House held votes on individual government funding bills last week. The lower chamber passed the Financial Services and General Government (FSGG) appropriations bill, as well as bills that would reopen the Agriculture Department and the Food and Drug Administration (FDA); the Interior Department and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA); and the departments of Transportation and Housing and Urban Development. While the funding bills did attract marginal House GOP support, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) does not plan on allowing a vote in the upper chamber absent support from President Trump — who reiterated his shutdown stance in a primetime address last week.
- DC digs out of a real snowstorm.
- House Democrats may name new members to the remaining Committees, including the House Financial Services Committee.
- The State of the Union is scheduled for January 29th.
- At some point in the future the rest of the Government will be funded (hopefully)
After a week of failed negotiations and messaging exercises, the White House and lawmakers have not made significant progress toward a deal to end the partial government shutdown. Facing increased pressure to deliver a solution, the Trump administration is considering a plan to declare a national emergency to bypass Congress and fund the president’s border wall priority. The proposed plan would tap unused funds in the Army Corps of Engineers budget — a move that would certainly face opposition in Congress and the courts but could create a path to end the 21-day partial government shutdown.
Lawmakers on both sides of the aisle are remaining steadfast in their respective positions on the partial government shutdown as a deal to fund the shuttered departments and agencies remains elusive. After passing the Financial Services and General Government (FSGG) funding bill yesterday, House Democrats have queued up a pair of measures (H.R. 265; H.R. 267) that would fund the Departments of Agriculture, Housing and Urban Development, and Transportation as well as several independent agencies including the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). While it was rumored that dozens of House GOP lawmakers would join the majority’s effort to reopen the government, White House officials and GOP leadership appeared to stymie further defection as only eight Republican lawmakers joined Democrats in voting for the FSGG bill.
Democratic lawmakers are readying attempts to end the partial government shutdown as the funding lapse enters its 19th day. In the House, members are set to vote on a series of individual government funding bills, starting with a vote today on the Financial Services and General Government bill that would fund the Treasury Department, Executive Office of the President (EOP), and an assortment of independent agencies. Despite increased House GOP support for Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s (D-CA) plan, it remains unlikely that Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) will allow a vote on these spending bills absent support from President Trump, who reiterated his stance in a primetime address last night.
The Week in Review
New lawmakers were sworn in last Wednesday marking the start of the 116th Congress. Democrats have regained control of the House after winning 40 seats in the 2018 midterm elections, while Republicans will enjoy a boosted 53-47 majority in the Senate after knocking off vulnerable Democratic incumbents in Florida, North Dakota, Indiana, and Missouri. The 116th Congress has already made history for seating a record number of women, as well as welcoming the most racially and ethnically diverse group of lawmakers in Congressional history. A full list of new members can be accessed here.