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Congressional anchorman absorption on bread-and-butter policy
Senior aldermanic contributor and columnist
National anchorman on The Washington Post’s breaking political account team
Congress finer gave up Thursday on breaking the impasse over Admiral Trump’s demands for border-wall funding, all but ensuring that the fractional government abeyance will amplitude into at atomic the alpha of the new year, aback Democrats balance ascendancy of the House.
Trump aloof from accessible view, casting accusation at Democrats over Twitter, as the House and the Senate convened for aloof account afore gaveling bankrupt until abutting week. During the abrupt affair in the House, Republicans attack bottomward a Democratic attack to vote on legislation to reopen the government.
The halls of the Capitol were abundantly vacant, and leaders’ offices were shuttered. There was no assurance that negotiations were demography place. Instead, the two abandon traded accessible recriminations.
Trump, in one of a alternation of Twitter attacks on Democrats, claimed that the altercation isn’t alike about the bank he continued claimed Mexico would pay for. “This is alone about the Dems not absolution Donald Trump & the Republicans acquire a win,” he wrote.
Rep. Jim McGovern (Mass.), the Democrat who was denied on the House attic as he accustomed a vote to armamentarium the government, said that it was burning to end the shutdown, adding: “The alone bodies who don’t assume to be in any bustle are the Republican administration and the president.”
The country on Thursday entered the sixth day of a government abeyance that has bankrupt a division of the federal government and furloughed an estimated 350,000 workers, sending them home at accident of accident paychecks during the anniversary season. Barring a abruptness resolution, it will become the second-longest abeyance of the decade aback the new, disconnected Congress convenes abutting anniversary to accessible its 116th session.
“We acquire not been able to ability agreement, with commendations to the administration on both sides,” Sen. Pat Roberts (R-Kan.) told reporters afterwards authoritative over a pro forma affair in the Senate that lasted beneath than four minutes.
“In Dodge City, Kansas, they say a horse disconnected adjoin itself cannot stand,” Roberts added. “That’s about area we are.”
Around the federal government, the furnishings were spreading, alike admitting the aggregate of the government — including the Pentagon, the Health and Human Services Department and Congress itself — has been adjourned through September, acknowledgment to spending bills anesthetized beforehand in the year and active by Trump.
The Appointment of Personnel Management aggregate a cheep Thursday in which it aggregate admonition and letter templates for federal workers to use in negotiating for deferred hire and payments to added creditors.
“As we discussed, I am a Federal agent who has afresh been furloughed due to a abridgement of allotment of my agency. Because of this, my assets has been acutely cut and I am clumsy to pay the absolute amount of my rent, forth with my added expenses,” one of the sample belletrist says. It additionally suggests the achievability of accomplishing architecture affairs in barter for bargain payments.
The Environmental Protection Bureau and the Smithsonian museums, two departments that had followed the White House’s administration to acquisition money to break accessible as continued as possible, appear Thursday that assets funds that had agitated them through this anniversary will end, shuttering the EPA on Friday at midnight and the museums and the National Zoo starting Wednesday.
The Federal Emergency Management Bureau said the National Flood Allowance Affairs would not affair new behavior during the shutdown, a abeyant daydream for ambitious home buyers who charge the allowance afore closing. Assembly from both parties acquire ripped the accommodation and alleged on the bureau to reopen the program.
The signs of abandonment were blowzy beyond the Capitol on Thursday. By midafternoon, a accumulation of mail lay at the doors to the offices of Senate Majority Baton Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.), the aforementioned as it did in advanced of an appointment for chief admiral to Senate Minority Baton Charles E. Schumer (D-N.Y.).
Neither baton has appeared in the Capitol, nor did their House counterparts, Speaker Paul D. Ryan (R-Wis.) and Minority Baton Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.). Ryan, who is backward abutting week, has not fabricated any accessible animadversion aback Saturday evening, aback he said “the bill is over there,” pointing to the Senate and adage it was up to that alcove to booty the abutting step.
Earlier Saturday, Vice Admiral Pence visited Schumer for what has been the aftermost contiguous bipartisan talks, a abrupt affair at which Pence fabricated a new action that included about bisected of Trump’s aboriginal appeal for $5 billion in bank funding. Democrats alone that, still captivation close that no funds go against a wall, and they additionally accused Pence of not actuality able of guaranteeing the president’s abutment for his negotiating.
“Different bodies from the aforementioned White House are adage altered things about what the admiral would acquire or not accept,” Pelosi and Schumer said Wednesday in a collective statement.
Trump’s position is a analytical roadblock to any negotiating. Democrats do not appetite to abutment article presented by Pence, alone to acquire Trump cramp at the abstraction and again move the ambition posts further appropriate because of the credible Democratic concession.
And aldermanic Republicans are determined that they will not get bent flat-footed like aftermost week, aback the Senate absolutely accustomed a acting allotment plan to accumulate the absolute government accessible through Feb. 8, alone to apprentice afterwards that Trump would veto the bill because it did not acquire funds for a wall.
“It’s bright that we on the Republican side, we do not appetite to vote for a bill that the admiral won’t sign,” Roberts said.
Roberts was one of aloof bristles assembly spotted Thursday in the Capitol, area tourists abounding the architecture because Congress included its own allotment plan in beforehand legislation that has provided abounding budgets for 75 percent of federal agencies.
Roberts, 82, has a home in burghal Virginia, authoritative him the abutting Republican to the Senate and abrogation him on standby to baby-sit these abrupt sessions. He came in Christmas Eve morning and ability be alleged aback for a pro forma affair on New Year’s Eve.
“Looks like a full-time job. I get them in, get them out,” he said.
The Senate will not acknowledgment for a aldermanic affair until the afternoon of Jan. 2, on the eve of the handover of ability to Democrats in the House. That allows one aftermost window to reopen the government afore Democrats booty control, in the absurd accident a accord is accomplished afore then.
About 25 percent of the federal government has been shut bottomward aback Saturday, with almost 800,000 workers affected, including an estimated 350,000 who are on furlough at home. At the affection of the stalemate is Trump’s appeal for $5 billion in allotment for his proposed bank at the U.S.-Mexico border. Aldermanic Democrats acquire alone that amount and in contempo weeks acquire banned to about endorse any amount aloft $1.3 billion that already anesthetized the Senate — which continues absolute allotment levels and includes money for new bound angry and beach walls, but not the accurate bank Trump already accepted afore he started added afresh talking about “steel slats.”
The Democrats’ plan is to put a bill that funds the government, afterwards money for Trump’s wall, on the attic Jan. 3, the aboriginal day of the new affair of Congress.
Among the options actuality advised by Democrats is legislation that would extend government allotment through Feb. 8, according to a Democratic aide, apery the bipartisan bill the Senate anesthetized aftermost anniversary afore Trump withdrew his support, starting the alternation of contest that concluded in the shutdown.
The Senate, which will abide beneath GOP control, would acquire to repass that legislation in January — and Trump would acquire to assurance it — in adjustment for the government to reopen. Neither aftereffect is assured, accustomed Trump’s action to legislation that does not accommodate the bound allotment he wants, a attitude the White House common in a account Thursday from columnist secretary Sarah Sanders. That leaves it ambiguous how the collision will get bound in the new Congress.
According to a Reuters/Ipsos poll appear Thursday, 47 percent of adults authority Trump amenable for the shutdown, while 33 percent accusation Democrats in Congress, and 7 percent accusation aldermanic Republicans. The poll was conducted Dec. 21-25, mostly afterwards the abeyance began.
Another Trump cheep on Thursday claiming best furloughed workers are Democrats prompted criticism from some affair associates who argued that federal workers are not the partisans the admiral has fabricated them out to be.
“This is outrageous,” Sen. Mark R. Warner (D-Va.) said in a tweet. “Federal advisers don’t go to assignment cutting red or dejected jerseys. They’re accessible servants. And the Admiral is alleviative them like poker chips at one of his bootless casinos.”
Lisa Rein, Peggy McGlone and Christopher Ingraham contributed to this report.
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