Mick Mulvaney

Decision Day for Avoiding a Government Shutdown?
Appropriators think that decision on another stopgap bill could come today

Appropriations Committee member Rep. Harold Rogers, R-Ky., a former chairman, says there are still some “knotty issues” to work out on a 2017 spending bill. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Appropriators think they are close to a deal to fund the government through September, but the hour is fast approaching where a stopgap might be needed to prevent a shutdown at midnight Friday.

Kentucky Rep. Harold Rogers, a former Appropriations chairman and still a senior member of the committee, described the leaders as, “within striking distance” on a fiscal 2017 spending bill.

With Trump’s Wall Off the Table, Obamacare Takes Center Stage in Shutdown Showdown
Funding for subsidies leads remaining issues

Senate Minority Leader Charles Schumer, right, Vermont Sen. Patrick J. Leahy, center, and Senate Minority Whip Richard J. Durbin leave the Democratic Senate policy luncheon in the Capitol on Tuesday. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

It appears President Donald Trump will settle for enhanced funding for border security instead of his signature wall.

Talks about averting a government shutdown progressed Tuesday after funding for building the wall between the U.S. and Mexico fell off the negotiating table, but lawmakers still had to work through a thicket of issues — including health care funding and family planning. They have until midnight Friday to reach a deal before government funding runs out.

Should Democrats Turn to South Carolina’s Special Election Next?
Next week’s primaries could set up another competitive contest

Archie Parnell is the leading Democrat running for the seat left behind by former Rep. Mick Mulvaney, who’s now the director of the Office of Management and Budget. (Screenshot, Courtesy Archie Parnell for Congress)

Democrats enthused by last week’s primary in Georgia, and their strong showing in Kansas earlier this month, have been making noise about playing more aggressively in upcoming elections that were previously dismissed as long shots — specifically Montana.

Mentioned less often, however, is South Carolina.

Opinion: Congress Can Work — If Trump Gets Out of the Way
Lawmakers can make a deal and avoid a shutdown

President Donald Trump should heed Gen. George S. Patton’s advice: “Lead, follow, or get out of the way” — so Congress can function, Patricia Murphy writes. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

First the bad news about negotiations over the 2017 spending bill that Congress needs to pass before midnight on Friday or face a government shutdown: The last several days have been a mess of mixed messages about what should get funded, last-minute demands that cannot be met, and disagreement at the highest levels about how to proceed.

But the good news for Republicans, and really for all of us exhausted by the thought of yet another standoff over basic funding levels, is that nearly all of the bad habits of negotiating and governance on this issue have been confined to the White House.

Trump Might Accept Wall Funding Later To Avoid Shutdown
Announcement could help negotiations on fiscal 2017 spending bills before Friday deadline

President Donald Trump delivers remarks while hosting ambassadors from the 15 country members of the United Nations Security Council with his Ambassador to the U.N. Nikki Haley, left, and National Security Advisor H.R. McMaster in the State Dining Room at the White House on Monday. (Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

By John T. Bennett and Jennifer Shutt, Roll Call

President Donald Trump indicated Monday that he might sign legislation that would avert a government shutdown even if lawmakers leave out the $1.4 billion he’s requested to begin construction of a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border.

Two Freedom Caucus Members Feeling Strong After Trump's Threat Last Month
Sanford and Labrador still comfortable with their votes against health care bill

Rep. Mark Sanford, R-S.C., said President Donald Trump threatened a primary challenge against him. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

South Carolina Republican Rep. Mark Sanford talked with CNN on Sunday about the threat he says President Donald Trump’s team made on his seat during the health care debate last month — a primary challenge against him.

“It all, I guess, fits in love, war and politics but I don’t think it’s particularly productive to his own legislative agenda and we’ll see what develops,” he said.

Funding Deadline Tests GOP Strategy
Republicans hoped for more under Trump, but still need Democrats’ help

From left, Office of Management and Budget Director Mick Mulvaney, House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, President Donald Trump and House Speaker Paul D. Ryan meet for a working lunch at the White House on March 1. (Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images file photo)

When Republicans kicked the fiscal 2017 spending deadline into April last December, House Speaker Paul D. Ryan said they’d rather negotiate with incoming GOP President Donald Trump than the outgoing Democratic one.

But now, congressional Republicans are talking about largely ignoring requests from the White House as they negotiate with Democrats over a spending bill to take the government off autopilot for the remaining five months of the fiscal year.

Trump Administration Lifts Hiring Freeze
OMB Director Mulvaney: ‘This does not mean that the agencies will be free to hire willy-nilly’

OMB Director Mick Mulvaney sent guidance on federal hiring Wednesday morning. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

New guidance from the Trump administration out Wednesday will officially end the federal hiring freeze implemented days after the president took office.

“This does not mean that the agencies will be free to hire willy-nilly,” Office of Management and Budget Director Mick Mulvaney told reporters ahead of the formal release.

Senators Look to Move Past Nuclear Option
Bipartisanship touted when they return from recess

Maine Sen. Susan Collins said lawmakers should move on to an issue with bipartisan support, such as improving infrastructure. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Senators are getting some time away from the nation’s capital for the next week and half, following a tense battle over the Supreme Court. 

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell invoked the so-called nuclear option last Thursday to effectively change the Senate rules and lower the threshold for ending debate on high court nominees. While the move raised questions about whether the chamber had reached a partisan point of no return, senators were hopeful they could still come together on other issues.

GOP: No ‘Artificial Deadline’ on Health Care Vote
House Republicans giving repeal and replace another chance

House Speaker Paul D. Ryan did not give a firm timeline of when the chamber would vote on the latest iteration of a repeal and replace health care law. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

“Sooner rather than later” — that’s the prevailing sentiment among House Republicans as to when their chamber should vote on a bill to partially repeal and replace the 2010 health care law if tweaks being discussed will move enough “no” votes to “yes.”

Talk of the House working through the Easter recess to get the bill done is overblown, members said, but they noted that if an agreement can be reached quickly, there remains a possibility the scheduled Thursday afternoon start of the two-week recess could get pushed back to accommodate a vote later this week.