Continuing Resolution

House Democrats give leaders a pass on breaking 72-hour rule for spending deal
Few members, however, were willing to stake a position until seeing the bill

Wisconsin Rep. Mark Pocan seemed understanding of the trade-offs made to get to the spending deal but said he wanted to read the bill text first before deciding on his vote. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Most House Democrats are giving their leadership a pass for breaking a chamber rule that requires bill text to be released 72 hours before a vote so they can quickly move a funding package before Friday’s deadline to avert another government shutdown.

But many of the same Democrats also said Wednesday before the text of a seven-bill appropriations package was released that they couldn’t make a decision on how they’d vote until reading it — which they’d only have about 24 hours to do.

Top appropriators reach ‘agreement in principle’ on funding border security, rest of government
Agreement could avoid government shutdown

Rep. Nita Lowey, D-N.Y., chair of the House Appropriations Committee walks across the Capitol from the House side for a meeting with House and Senate appropriators in an effort to revive spending talks and avert a second shutdown on Monday. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

The top four congressional appropriators said Monday they had reached an “agreement in principle” that would fund the Department of Homeland Security and the rest of the federal government through the end of the fiscal year and could avoid a government shutdown if President Donald Trump signs off on it. 

The agreement is now being drafted into legislative text that the House and Senate hope to advance before Friday’s government funding deadline, the appropriators said.

Negotiators unlikely to meet self-imposed Monday shutdown deal deadline
Both sides were discussing a simple stopgap measure as a fallback if appropriations deal isn’t reached

From left, Sen. Roy Blunt, R-Mo., Senate Appropriations chairman Richard Shelby, R-Ala., Sen. Richard Durbin, D-Ill., Senate Appropriations ranking member Patrick Leahy, D-Vt., and Sen. John Hoeven, R-N. Dak., talk before the start of the Homeland Security Appropriations Conference Committee on Jan. 30, 2019. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

The White House and congressional leaders on Monday were buying themselves a little more time for negotiations that appeared to stall out over the weekend, with both sides discussing a simple stopgap measure as a fallback to fund the Department of Homeland Security.

Top appropriators met late afternoon at the Capitol in hopes of salvaging a full-year DHS spending bill, as well as completing work on six other fiscal 2019 bills that are largely completed. But it wasn’t clear if the meeting of the so-called “four corners” — Senate Appropriations Chairman Richard C. Shelby, R-Ala., and ranking member Patrick J. Leahy, D-Vt., and House Appropriations Chairwoman Nita M. Lowey, D- N.Y. and ranking member Kay Granger, R-Texas — would yield an immediate breakthrough.

Road ahead: Border security deadline, celebrating The Dean and a new attorney general
Race against the clock to avoid another shutdown begins

House and Senate negotiators will find their road ahead this week dominated by the deadline to fund the federal government. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Federal workers and lawmakers are already thinking about Friday, the deadline for a spending deal to avert another partial government shutdown. But there’s plenty of other action expected on Capitol Hill before then.

House and Senate negotiators have been working for more than two weeks on a border security funding deal that would clear the way for a final fiscal 2019 spending package.

McConnell wants border security conference to produce a bill, even if Trump signature is unclear
Senate majority leader is praying for the conferees to succeed

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., wants a border security conference to reach a result. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell wants the House and Senate negotiators working on a border security spending agreement to reach a deal — even if there aren’t assurances that President Donald Trump will sign it.

The Kentucky Republican made those comments hours ahead of Trump’s State of the Union, which was rescheduled to Tuesday thanks to the most recent partial government shutdown.

House adds days next week to accommodate government funding deadline
Lower chamber will be in session through Feb. 15, when the current continuing resolution expires

A quote from the U.S. Constitution is affixed to the dais in the House Appropriations Committee on Wednesday, Jan. 30, 2019. Congress has until Feb. 15 to pass fiscal 2019 appropriations legislation or the government will shut down again. (Photo By Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

The House is adding two days to its schedule next week to ensure the government is funded by Feb. 15, when the current continuing resolution expires. 

House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer announced Monday that the House will be in session Feb. 14 and 15 — a change to the previous schedule. That means the House will be in all five weekdays next week, ready to take action ahead of the government funding deadline. 

Cracks in GOP support for Trump emerge, but White House claims ‘we’re all good’
‘What was boiling under the surface … has now come to the surface,’ Republican insider says

President Donald Trump speaks to reporters as Republican senators look on following a lunch meeting in the Capitol on Jan. 9. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Republican lawmakers are increasingly breaking with Donald Trump — through critical words and high-profile votes — but White House officials contend the president still has a grip on his party mates on Capitol Hill.

The Senate floor in recent weeks has become ground zero for GOP members jumping out of line. With a series of national security and government spending speeches and vote results, the president’s party has issued a string of stinging blows after nearly two years of mostly sticking with and defending him.

House Democrats postpone retreat because timing conflicts with Feb. 15 funding deadline
Democrats had scheduled the retreat to be Feb. 13-15 in Leesburg before three-week continuing resolution

House Democratic Caucus Chairman Hakeem Jeffries, D-N.Y., is postponing the caucus’s annual retreat that had been scheduled for Feb. 13-15 because it bumps up against the new government funding deadline. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

House Democrats are postponing their annual retreat that was scheduled to take place Feb. 13-15 in Leesburg, Va., because the timing conflicts with the new government funding deadline. 

The Democratic Caucus will be announcing new dates for the retreat in the near future, Michael Hardaway, spokesman for Caucus Chairman Hakeem Jeffries said. 

House Republicans block passage of anti-shutdown resolution despite removal of language blaming Trump
Meanwhile, House Democrats pass bill to increase federal employees’ pay for 2019

House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., dismissed a Democrat-authored resolution expressing disapproval of government shutdowns as a negotiating tactic as a "glorified press release." (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Illustrating the deep partisan divisions that remain following the 35-day partial government shutdown that ended last week, the House on Wednesday rejected a symbolic resolution expressing disapproval of shutdowns as a negotiating tactic.

The resolution fell short, 249-163, because most Republicans opposed it, despite Democrats amending it Tuesday to drop language the GOP found objectionable

When shutdown politics add to economic woes, nobody wins
Both sides would be better off coming to the table and finishing the job

Federal workers and contractors, along with their unions, demonstrate against the partial government shutdown in the Hart Building on Jan. 23. The recent shutdown was just another blow to the nation’s economic psyche, already reeling from December’s stock market downturn, Winston writes. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

OPINION — The Congressional Budget Office told us this week that the U.S. economy is likely to take a $3 billion hit from the partial government shutdown, assuming federal employees will get their back pay. $3 billion is a significant amount, but it is likely to have a relatively small impact in the context of a nearly $20 trillion economy. What the estimate doesn’t measure, of course, are specific personal impacts on people, families and small businesses.

The shutdown was just one more blow, if a minor one, to the nation’s economic psyche, which took a beating in December when the stock market took a downturn. Many Americans lost a significant portion of their savings, especially retirement savings. Put the two events together and we’re now beginning to see some erosion in people’s confidence in the economy, despite good growth and unemployment numbers overall.