This Week on the Hill: Historic Shutdown Drags On As White House Weighs Options

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.

On the floor, House lawmakers are set to consider 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. The lower chamber will also consider a series of suspension bills, including a bill (H.R. 430) that would extend funding for the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) program until the end of June. In the upper chamber, Senators are likely to remain stuck on consideration of the Middle East policy bill as Senate Democrats continue to block consideration of legislation until the government is opened.