Trump: Democrats ‘could have easily made a deal’ to avert shutdown

The following article by Alicia Cohn was posted on the Hill website January 20,2018:

Credit: Punyaruk Baingern/

On the morning after a government shutdown, President Trump cast blame on Democrats for deciding to “play shutdown politics” when they “could have easily made a deal.”

He also turned the current shutdown into a campaign slogan for the 2018 midterm elections.

“Democrats are far more concerned with Illegal Immigrants than they are with our great Military or Safety at our dangerous Southern Border,” Trump tweeted on Saturday morning. “They could have easily made a deal but decided to play Shutdown politics instead. #WeNeedMoreRepublicansIn18 in order to power through mess!” Read More

Imposing Medicaid Work Requirements Would Be Bad for Children’s Health Too

The following article by Leila Schochet was posted on the Center for American Progress website January 19, 2018:

A resident nurse checks the heart rate of a child, September 2009. Credit: Getty/John Moore

Last week, the Trump administration introduced new guidance that would allow states to take away people’s health care if they are unable to find work—all without creating a single job. Imposing work requirements could put at least 6.3 million Americans at risk of losing their health care and would impede—not promote—participation in the workforce.

This new guidance has significant implications for children, not because they would be required to work for their health care, but because a child’s health insurance coverage—and well-being—are closely tied with their parents’ coverage. Imposing work requirements for parents could introduce instability to children’s coverage when they need continuous care and healthy caregivers the most. Furthermore, increasing financial stress in the homes of American families who are struggling to make ends meet would undermine healthy child development. Read More

Where’s Erik Paulsen?

Our Representative in Congress hasn’t held a public town hall since September 6, 2011. There’ve been last minute meetings announced on social media shortly before they happen, tele-town halls where questions can be vetted before being forwarded, appearances at local businesses and school, robocalls that come to you saying he’s sorry you weren’t there to take his invitation to the tele-townhalls — but no traditional town hall.

It’s been 2,331 days since Rep. Paulsen’s last public town hall.

Looming shutdown raises fundamental question: Can GOP govern?

The following article by Damian Paletta and Erica Werner was posted on the Washington Post website January 18, 2018:

House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) said that rebuilding the military is his “highest priority,” and characterized the spending disagreements as “melodrama.” (Reuters)

The federal government late Thursday faced increasing odds of a partial shutdown, the culmination of a long period of budget warfare that has now imperiled what most lawmakers agree is the most basic task of governance.

The immediate challenge Thursday was a refusal by Senate Democrats to join with Republicans in passing legislation that would keep the government open for 30 more days while legislators continued to negotiate a longer-term solution. Read More

The Blame Game Over the Shutdown Showdown

The following article by Lindsey McPherson was posted on the Roll Call website January 18, 2018:

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.

President Donald Trump entered the Pentagon on Thursday for a national security meeting and predicted a government shutdown “could very well be.” Read More

White House Flips, Flops, Then Flips on Stopgap Spending

The following article by John T. Bennett was posted on the Roll Call website January 18,2018:

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.

The president, after first contradicting his own chief of staff via Twitter on Thursday morning, fired off another post expressing his view that a CHIP extension should not be part of a four-week stopgap measure on which the House is slated to vote later in the day. Read More

Republicans’ no-win choice: Dreamers or defense

The following article by Rachael Bade and Connor O’Brien was posted on the Politico website January 17, 2018:

The government shutdown threat is forcing the party to choose between maintaining a hard line on immigration or spending more on the military.

“I am going to be very hard to deal with if we continue to delay funding the Defense Department,” Sen. Lindsey Graham warned this week. | Alex Wong/Getty Images

President Donald Trump and Republican leaders are being forced to choose between two prized conservative priorities as they try to head off a government shutdown: bolstering the military or taking a hard line against immigration.

Democrats’ refusal to strike a long-term budget accord without a deal to shield 700,000 young undocumented immigrants from deportation means Republican can’t have both. They can strike a deal to protect Dreamers, which would upset the base but secure the extra defense spending they’ve pined for. Or they can continue to hold the line against the Obama-era immigration program known as DACA, keep struggling to pass patchwork spending bills, and let the Pentagon limp along with no infusion of money. Read More

Banks Are Big Winners From Tax Cut

The following article by Jim Tankersley was posted on the New York Times website January 16, 2018:

Big banks like J.P. Morgan are reporting short-term losses as a result of the tax bill but see long-term benefits, including stronger profits, from the overhaul. Credit John Moore/Getty Images

WASHINGTON — The nation’s banks are finding a lot to love about the Trump administration’s tax cuts.

The $1.5 trillion tax overhaul signed into law late last year provided deep and lasting tax cuts to all types of businesses, but financial institutions are among the biggest winners so far, reaping benefits from a lower corporate rate and more preferable tax treatment for so-called pass-through companies, which include many small banks.

While some of the biggest banks are reporting fourth-quarter earnings hits stemming from the new tax law, they see rich benefits over the long term, including effective tax rates that are even lower than the new 21 percent corporate rate. Read More

G.O.P. to Use Children’s Health Insurance as Lure for Averting Shutdown

The following article by Thomas Kaplan and Robert Pear was posted on the New York Times website January 16, 2018:

A doctor examining Christopher Serrano, a 10-year-old who is covered by the Children’s Health Insurance Program, at Dell Children’s Medical Center in Austin, Tex., this month. Credit Ilana Panich-Linsman for The New York Times

WASHINGTON — With little hope of an immigration agreement this week, Republicans in Congress are looking to head off a government shutdown this weekend by pairing another stopgap spending measure with long-term funding for the popular Children’s Health Insurance Program, daring Democrats to vote no.

The bill would leave in limbo hundreds of thousands of young immigrants brought to the country illegally as children. But Democrats would still be left with a difficult political decision: withhold their votes unless the plight of such immigrants, known as Dreamers, is addressed and risk a government shutdown, or vote to keep the government open and fund the Children’s Health Insurance Program, which provides coverage for nearly nine million children. Read More

Shutdown looms as Republicans seek short-term spending deal for government

The following article by Mike DeBonis, Ed O’Keefe and Sean Sullivan was posted on the Washington Post website January 16, 2018:

If Congress doesn’t reach agreement on crucial immigration issues and pass a spending bill, the costly consequence would be a government shutdown. (Video: Joyce Koh/Photo: Jabin Botsford/The Washington Post)

Chances of a government shutdown grew Monday as Republicans concluded that they would be unable to reach a long-term spending accord by the Friday deadline. GOP leaders are now turning to a short-term funding measure in hopes of keeping agencies open while talks continue, but Democratic leaders say they are unlikely to support any deal that does not protect young illegal immigrants.

Aides to key negotiators from both parties planned to meet Tuesday in an effort to rekindle budget talks, setting up a Wednesday meeting of the leaders themselves. If they cannot agree, the government would shut down at midnight Friday for the first time since 2013. Read More