Jennifer Shutt

Burned in the past, Democrats reluctant to give ground in wall fight
Democrats and allies concerned conceding would set a precedent for more rounds of brinksmanship

The partial government shutdown, now in its record-setting 24th day, is about more than just a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border.

Democrats and their allies are concerned that if party leaders cut a deal with President Donald Trump on wall funding, it would set a precedent for more rounds of dangerous brinksmanship in the months and years to come.

Lindsey Graham throws in towel on talks to end government shutdown
Lapse in appropriations has entered its 20th day

One of the Republican senators who had been trying to find a compromise to end the partial government shutdown is now calling on the president invoke executive powers to try to build the wall at the border with Mexico.

“Speaker Pelosi’s refusal to negotiate on funding for a border wall/barrier -- even if the government were to be reopened -- virtually ends the congressional path to funding for a border wall/barrier,” Judiciary Chairman Lindsey Graham said in a statement. “It is time for President Trump to use emergency powers to fund the construction of a border wall/barrier. I hope it works.”

Senate Republicans Huddle to Break Shutdown Impasse

A group of Senate Republicans camped out in Majority Leader Mitch McConnell’s office Thursday morning seeking to come up with a solution to the ongoing partial government shutdown that threatens paychecks for 800,000 federal workers starting Friday.

The group includes senators who have sought to broker an immigration compromise that would provide additional funds for border barriers that President Donald Trump wants, while allowing certain categories of undocumented immigrants to remain in the U.S. That includes some 700,000 “Dreamers” brought here illegally as children, and possibly a broader discussion about overhauling the nation’s immigration laws.

On Appropriations, Daines, Lankford will not have their cake, eat it too
After being added to Finance Committee, cardinals get clipped

The Senate Appropriations Committee is about to get two new subcommittee chairmen after the top Republicans on the Financial Services and Legislative branch panels got approval to serve rare double duty on the Appropriations and Finance panels.

“There will be some changes,” Senate Appropriations Chairman Richard C. Shelby said Tuesday when asked whether Sens. Steve Daines, R-Mont., and James Lankford, R-Okla., would continue in their previous roles. “When they went to Finance they lost their seniority. They knew that.”

Overheard: Pat Leahy on the acting director of OMB
Heard on the Hill hears all

Senate Appropriations ranking member Patrick J. Leahy, D-Vt., on Office of Management and Budget acting Director Russell Vought.

Pelosi, McConnell Have Plenty of Reasons to End Shutdown
Two House votes planned for Thursday

Soon after the new Congress convenes Thursday, the Democratic House will take the first steps toward ending a shutdown that began under unified Republican government.

The politics of Speaker-designate Nancy Pelosi putting forward bills that could reopen about 25 percent of the government are decidedly positive for the California Democrat — especially when it comes to unifying the diverse caucus she’ll lead for the next two years.

Reversed Course: Coast Guard Will Now Get Final 2018 Paychecks
Complications arose because service funded through Homeland Security, but pay schedule is military

Active-duty members of the Coast Guard will receive their Dec. 31 paychecks after the administration reversed course on Friday evening, according to a post on the agency’s blog.

“Generally, the Coast Guard lacks the authority to pay its members during a lapse in appropriations,” the post read. “The circumstances of this lapse are unique because of the timeline of the lapse in relation to the military pay process. Ultimately, extensive research and legal analysis between the Coast Guard, [Department of Homeland Security], and [Office of Management and Budget] determined the Coast Guard has the authority to execute the remainder of pay and allowances for December.”

House Passes Trump-Backed Stopgap; Senate to Vote Again Friday
Package may have little chance of reaching president’s desk

The House voted 217-185 Thursday to send the continuing resolution back to the Senate after adding $5.7 billion for border security and $7.8 billion for disaster relief, despite the package having little chance of getting to President Donald Trump’s desk.

The decision to add those elements to the bill, even though the disaster aid package enjoys broad bipartisan support, complicates efforts to avert the partial government shutdown that is set to begin Friday night when the stopgap spending bill expires.

House GOP Takes Another Shot With Trump-Backed Stopgap
Package has little chance of getting to president’s desk

House Republicans on Thursday unveiled a new stopgap spending bill with an added $5.7 billion appropriation for border security and $7.8 billion for disaster relief, despite the package having little chance of getting to President Donald Trump’s desk.

The decision to add those elements to the bill, even though the disaster aid package enjoys broad bipartisan support, complicates efforts to avert the partial government shutdown that is set to begin Friday night when the stopgap spending bill expires. The revised measure would need 60 votes to get through the Senate, where Democrats have said they’ll vote against it.

Trump to Huddle With House Republicans as Shutdown Situation Fluid
Some Republicans hold out hope that Trump will veto seven-week stopgap

The House is weighing a seven-week stopgap spending amid conservative grumbling that it caves to Democrats’ anti-border wall demands.

“My guess is they wouldn’t have brought it to the floor unless they thought they could pass it,” Rep. Bill Flores of Texas said Thursday morning. The measure hadn’t yet been officially scheduled for a vote, however, likely out of concern that the president’s position was still unclear.

Shutdown-Averting Deal Quickly Hits Oily Snag
Senators hold out for Land and Water Conservation Fund reauthorization

A measure to extend spending authority for several Cabinet departments and assorted agencies through Feb. 8 was hung up in the Senate Wednesday afternoon over a spat involving the Land and Water Conservation Fund and other items left out of the stopgap.

That’s according to Senate Appropriations Chairman Richard C. Shelby, who expressed hope that senators could be convinced to let the measure through the chamber.

Senators Preparing to Punt Spending Fight to February
Trump signals that he’s backing away from his demand of $5 billion for border wall in spending package

Congressional leaders are moving closer to a stopgap funding bill that would save Christmas, but push off final decisions on fiscal 2019 spending until early February.

Senate Appropriations Chairman Richard C. Shelby said the Senate was preparing to advance a continuing resolution for all seven unfinished spending bills that would last until early February.

Hell Week Amid Shutdown Fears
CQ Budget Podcast, Episode 92

Congress Headed Down Road to Shutdown Nowhere, Top Senate GOP Appropriator Says
Alabama’s Richard Shelby says he thinks a shutdown is all but inevitable

A partial government shutdown is all but inevitable, the top Republican on the Senate Appropriations Committee said Thursday.

“It looks like we could be headed down the road to nowhere,” Sen. Richard C. Shelby said. “That’s what it looks like at the moment because we’ve got nine days to go.”

Trump’s Christmas Wish List: Billions for Wildfire Suppression, Unaccompanied Children
CQ Budget Podcast, Episode 91

Just when lawmakers thought they had breathing room to hammer out a year-end spending deal, President Donald Trump drops a request for an extra $4.76 billion, technically referred to as anomalies. CQ's budget and appropriations team, Kellie Mejdrich and Paul M. Krawzak explain what's at stake for government spending with co-host Jennifer Shutt. ...
Congress Passes Two-Week Funding Extension to Avert Shutdown
House, Senate sent stopgap measure to president for signature

An extension of temporary appropriations for nine Cabinet departments and dozens of smaller agencies through Dec. 21 is on its way to the president’s desk after the House and Senate passed the measure Thursday.

The legislation would extend current funding levels for two weeks and buy time to reach final agreement on outstanding spending issues, including President Donald Trump’s $5 billion southern border wall funding request. It also extends a number of expiring authorizations including Violence Against Women Act programs, Temporary Assistance for Needy Families and the National Flood Insurance Program for the duration of the stopgap measure.

Congress Ready to Punt Spending Fight for Two Weeks
Fight over border wall funding on hold as nation mourns 41st president

Lawmakers plan to send a two-week extension of interim government funding to President Donald Trump this week, putting their fight over border wall funding on hold to mourn the death of former President George H.W. Bush.

The bill released Monday would push the deadline by which Congress needs to pass a spending package for the remaining 25 percent of this year’s agency budgets from Dec. 7 to Dec. 21 and would provide a temporary extension of the National Flood Insurance Program until the same date. It would also continue an extension for the Violence Against Women Act, which was extended through Dec. 7 in the current stopgap spending law. (Roll Call incorrectly reported in an earlier story that the VAWA extension was not included in the stopgap spending bill.)

[Correction] Violence Against Women Act Extension Included in Latest Spending Proposal

Corrected 6:30 p.m. | Despite indications earlier Monday that the Violence Against Women Act would not be extended as part of the two-week continuing resolution, the stopgap funding measure would indeed extend VAWA until at least Dec. 21. 

This means the landmark domestic violence law will not lapse for the second time in 25 years.

Granger Selected as New Top Republican on House Appropriations
With Nita Lowey expected to chair, panel is set for historic all-female leadership duo

Texas Rep. Kay Granger will likely take over as the House Republicans’ lead appropriator in January after the GOP Steering Committee recommended her on Thursday.

The full House GOP Conference is expected to ratify the decision Friday. While it’s possible the conference could overrule the Steering panel recommendation, conference approval is typically a formality.

John Cornyn Will Whip the Criminal Justice Bill, But It's Competing With Border Wall, Farm Bill and Judges
Vote count starting Tuesday could prove important to prospects for passage

Senate Majority Whip John Cornyn said Monday that he hopes there will be time on the floor for a bipartisan criminal justice overhaul before the end of the Congress, but he also said there is going to be a time crunch.

“We’re going to whip that starting tomorrow,” the Texas Republican said, adding that advocates need to give Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., a better sense of the scale of the support. The legislation has not been on the top of the priority list for the majority leader.