Budget

Women’s March Will Go On, Shutdown or Not
National Park Service has a contingency plan if it comes to that

Protesters march down Independence Avenue in Washington during the Women's March on Washington the day after Inauguration Day last year. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

The 2018 Women’s March in Washington will move forward as planned on Saturday despite a looming government shutdown.

An estimated 5,500 marchers will gather at the Lincoln Memorial Reflecting Pool at 11 a.m. for a series of speeches before winding their way east down Constitution Avenue and north to the White House gates to advocate for women’s inclusion in the political process.

Senators Leave for the Night With No Plan to Actually Avert Shutdown
Will take some bipartisanship to even schedule a vote

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell is pushing Democrats to reverse course on the House’s continuing resolution (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

It will take unanimous consent of 100 senators to keep the government from at least a brief shutdown.

The Senate adjourned after 10 p.m. Thursday, leaving less than a day in session to try to avert a funding lapse that was appearing inevitable, without votes scheduled on anything resembling a deal that could win bipartisan support.

Freedom Caucus Gets on Board CR
Promises to bust budget caps for defense programs sealed deal

Rep. Mark Meadows, R-N.C., stops to speak with reporters about the continuing resolution on Thursday. He wants a different stopgap funding measure from GOP leadership that his group can support. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

After a day of public disagreements regarding a stopgap funding bill, House GOP leaders, the conservative Freedom Caucus and President Donald Trump have reached a breakthrough.

“The majority of the Freedom Caucus has taken a vote to support the CR effort this evening,” the group tweeted Thursday.

The Blame Game Over the Shutdown Showdown
Congressional leaders start pointing fingers

Speaker Paul D. Ryan is hunting for votes to keep the government open. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

With less than 36 hours to avoid a shutdown of nonessential government services and no solution in sight, congressional leaders spent Thursday  offering their spin on who will be to blame if a deal cannot be struck.

Notably missing amid the rhetoric — as Republicans pointed to Democrats, while the minority said the majority is at fault — were predictions leaders had made in recent weeks that there would be no government shutdown.

Freedom Caucus Throws Water on Leadership Stopgap Confidence
Meadows says more than 22 GOP ‘no’ votes remain

Freedom Caucus Chairman Mark Meadows stops to speak with reporters Thursday about the continuing resolution negotiations. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Freedom Caucus Chairman Mark Meadows told reporters Thursday there are still more than 22 Republican ‘no’ votes on the stopgap funding measure and that the House GOP can’t pass it on its own without additional changes.

“We’ve offered a number of different options, so it would take the leadership putting forth a different proposal than they currently have,” Meadows said on how GOP holdouts can get to “yes” on the continuing resolution. The North Carolina Republican declined to say how many of the “no” votes were from the Freedom Caucus versus the conference at large.

White House Flips, Flops, Then Flips on Stopgap Spending
Trump’s tweet sends Hill into spin

President Donald Trump defied his staff by criticizing the inclusion of a provision to extend CHIP in the latest continuing budget resolution. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

President Donald Trump on Thursday undermined efforts by House Republican leaders and his own staff to avoid a government shutdown, criticizing a decision to include an extension of the Children’s Health Insurance Program in a GOP-crafted stopgap spending bill.

Hours later the White House announced the president supported the House GOP-crafted stopgap spending measure that includes a six-year CHIP extension — despite a confusing morning tweet that raised questions to the contrary.

Paul Ryan Caught Between Freedom Caucus, Democrats
Lacking votes on resolving shutdown, speaker will need to negotiate with one or the other

Speaker Paul D. Ryan, R-Wis., left, and House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., have just a couple of days left to round up support to avoid a government shutdown. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Likely short of the votes he needs to pass a stopgap government funding bill through his chamber by Friday, Speaker Paul D. Ryan spent Wednesday morning railing against Democrats — whose votes he may need to court.

A four-week continuing resolution that GOP leaders unveiled Tuesday night faces opposition from members of the House Freedom Caucus who want immediate action to increase defense spending and from Democrats who want a resolution this week on the status of some 690,000 young immigrants, known as Dreamers, who were brought to the U.S. illegally as children.

Opinion: White People in Norway? Who Knew?
Kirstjen Nielsen displays the rhetorical contortions necessary to serve under Trump

Kirstjen Nielsen might want to stay away from categories on Norway or basic geography if she ever appears on “Jeopardy” — especially if the answer is, “What’s a Scandinavian country with lots of white people?” (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

At the conclusion of more than four hours of testimony Tuesday before an often hostile Senate Judiciary Committee, Kirstjen Nielsen, the new secretary of Homeland Security, slowly gathered up her papers, shared a few laughing words with Arizona Republican Jeff Flake (the last senator in the room) and confidently exited surrounded by an armada of aides.

Depending on her level of self-awareness and the degree of flattery from her staffers, Nielsen may have nurtured the belief that she aced her Capitol Hill exam. After all, the loyal Cabinet secretary avoided saying almost anything controversial, even when pressed by Democrats over Donald Trump’s doubly confirmed reference to “shithole countries” during last Thursday’s White House immigration meeting that she attended.

Opinion: Groundhog Day in America
Sensationalism, not substance, drives the daily conversation

Washington politics feels a lot like waking up to “Groundhog Day” every morning, Winston writes. (Courtesy Columbia Pictures)

When it comes to Washington politics, it feels a lot like we’re all living in the comedy “Groundhog Day,” where every day starts the same way, over and over and over again. In the movie, Bill Murray wakes up every morning at 6 a.m. as the clock radio blares Sonny and Cher singing “I Got You Babe.”

America wakes up every day to the diatribe du jour from morning show anchors Mika and Joe, Chris and Alisyn, and from the “Friends” in the opposition. Soon after, the president sends out his first tweet of the day. Cable explodes, shrieking, “This time, it’s really Armageddon.”

House Bill Would Create More Oversight on Efforts to Disclose Cyber Vulnerabilities
Department of Homeland Security would be required to file annual report

A bill introduced by Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee, D-Texas, would expand oversight over how federal authorities work with the private sector to disclose cyber vulnerabilities. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

A bill to expand congressional oversight over how the Department of Homeland Security works with the private sector to disclose cyber vulnerabilities is now before the Senate after it passed the House by voice vote last week.

The bill, introduced by Democratic Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee of Texas, would require DHS to submit an annual report to Congress describing the process the federal government uses to disclose cybersecurity flaws it discovers to the private sector and other affected organizations. The bill would include information about how DHS is working with other federal agencies and managers of private cyber infrastructure to mitigate susceptibility to cyberattacks.