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Key GOP Negotiators Doubt Immigration Deal Materializes This Week

Sen. John Cornyn, R-Texas, a key negotiator on immigration talks, doubts there will be some sort of deal this week, despite Democrats' saying they won't support a funding bill if it does not contain immigration provisions. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

A key Senate negotiator and White House official on Tuesday expressed little hope for an immigration deal this week but nonetheless predicted that Congress can avoid a government shutdown.

“I think we’re optimistic that we’ll get a deal. I think this week would be fairly Herculean,” White House legislative affairs director Marc Short told reporters Tuesday after a meeting with staff of the No. 2 congressional leaders.

Booker Says Nielsen is 'Complicit'
 

Sinema Stalked for Years by New York Man, According to Court Document
Amos Olagunju entered a not guilty plea to federal stalking Tuesday in D.C. District Court

Rep. Kyrsten Sinema, D-Ariz., walks up the House steps for votes in the Capitol on Friday, Nov. 3, 2017. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

A New York man entered a not guilty plea Tuesday to a federal charge of stalking Arizona Rep. Kyrsten Sinema after he was arrested last Friday outside her office on the seventh floor of the Longworth House Office Building.

Amos Olagunju of Brooklyn, New York, has been shadowing and attempting to make contact with Sinema since 2014, according to an affidavit from a federal agent obtained by NBC Washington’s News4 I-Team.

Podcast: Inching Toward a Spending Spree
CQ Budget, Episode 44

South Carolina Sen. Lindsey Graham and Senate Minority Leader Charles E. Schumer confer after the Senate policy lunches in the Capitol on Tuesday. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

CQ budget reporter Paul M. Krawzak explains the negotiations to lift the budget caps by as much as $250 billion over two years.

Show Notes:

Clock’s Ticking on Deal to Dodge a Government Shutdown
 

Democrats Won’t Support CR Without DACA Deal, Hoyer Says
On Trump: ‘What he does is racist. If what you do is racist, you certainly qualify for being a racist.’

House Minority Whip Steny Hoyer, D-Md. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Democrats are unlikely to support a stopgap spending bill this week without protections for young undocumented immigrants known as Dreamers, House Minority Whip Steny Hoyer said Tuesday.

“I think it needs to be in the CR,” Hoyer said of protections for Dreamers.

Tim Pawlenty Not Running for Senate in Minnesota
Republicans saw him as strongest recruit to take on Tina Smith in November

Former Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty will not run for Senate in 2018. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Former Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty said Tuesday he will not run in November’s special election for Senate.

“I am very interested in public service and service for the common good — there are a lot of different ways to do that — but I’ll tell you today running for the United States Senate in 2018 won’t be part of those plans,” Pawlenty told Fox Business. 

GOP Leaders Under the Gun to Avert Partial Shutdown
As hope for DACA deal shrivels, Republicans stare down Friday deadline

The fate of the DACA program is one of many issues affecting the shutdown talks. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Updated 6:05 p.m. | Congress began the week with growing uncertainty about the effort to pass another temporary spending bill, even as the prospect of a partial government shutdown loomed.

No budget talks were held over the long weekend after the breakdown in negotiations last week, people familiar with them said. Talks had stalled over the fate of roughly 690,000 “Dreamers” — young adults brought to the United States illegally as children who are currently shielded from deportation by the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, or DACA.

Leahy Questions Nielsen About Trump Comment
 

Top DHS Official Says She ‘Did Not Hear’ Trump’s ‘Shithole Countries’ Comment
Kirstjen Nielsen was present at White House meeting

Senate Minority Whip Richard J. Durbin is shown on a television monitor questioning Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen during the Judiciary Committee hearing on Tuesday. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

The top official at the Department Of Homeland Security on Tuesday declined to say directly whether President Donald Trump used a vulgar slur to describe several foreign countries during a recent White House meeting with lawmakers on immigration that she attended.

Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen told the Senate Judiciary Committee she “did not hear” whether Trump referred to Haiti and African nations as “shithole countries” in last Thursday’s meeting with House and Senate lawmakers.