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.
On the floor, House lawmakers are set to pass a bill (H.R. 266) that would fund the Department of Interior and Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). The House is also expected to clear a Senate-passed bill (S.24) that would ensure furloughed federal workers are compensated once the partial shutdown concludes. In the upper chamber, Senators remain stuck on consideration of a middle east policy bill (S.1) as Senate Democrats have signaled they are prepared to block future legislative items so long as parts of the federal government remain shuttered.