EXBR

Atlanta fears shutdown impact on Super Bowl travelers
About 120,000 partiers are expected to depart on “Mass Exodus Monday”

Stranded passengers relax near baggage claim at Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport on Dec. 18, 2017, as hundreds of flights were canceled after a power outage at the airport. (Jessica McGowan/Getty Images file photo)

Worried about “Mass Exodus Monday” when an estimated 120,000 Super Bowl partiers will leave Atlanta en masse, the city is taking matters into its own hands to help keep unpaid airport screeners on the job.

An Atlanta credit union will be offering zero interest loans to Transportation Security Administration employees to try to prevent them from calling in sick after the game, said Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms, a Democrat.

A Kamala Harris candidacy is a test, and not just for the candidate
2020 hopeful’s life story is the story of America, even if many don’t see it that way

Sen. Kamala Harris won’t just be confronting her Democratic rivals in her quest for the presidency, but also questions about her “exotic” identity that few other candidates face, Curtis writes. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

OPINION — Of course, a reporter asked Kamala Harris how she would describe her identity. The California senator, a new entry into a crowded and growing Democratic field to challenge Donald Trump next year, answered simply, “I describe myself as a proud American.”

It’s a question no other candidate has been asked, and one that Harris will no doubt be asked again before the long slog to November 2020 is completed.

State of the Union saga concludes with Trump agreeing to initial Pelosi request to delay
President tweets that he will deliver address when the shutdown is over

President Donald J. Trump, here in the House chamber during his 2018 State of the Union address, now says he will wait until the government shutdown ends before delivering this year’s speech. (POOL Photo by Win McNamee/Getty Images)

In an odd ending to the drama surrounding the State of the Union, President Donald Trump agreed to Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s initial request and said he will delay delivery of the address until the partial government shutdown is over. 

“I will do the address when the Shutdown is over,” Trump said in a two-part tweet late Wednesday night. “I am not looking for an alternative venue for the SOTU Address because there is no venue that can compete with the history, tradition and importance of the House Chamber.”

30 Democrats suggest Pelosi give Trump a vote on wall funding if he reopens government
Letter designed to provide clear process, timeline for debate, not guarantee passage

Rep. Elaine Luria, D-Va., led a letter to Speaker Nancy Pelosi on Wednesday, suggesting she allow a vote on President Donald Trump’s border security funding request if he reopens the government. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Thirty Democrats sent a letter Wednesday to Speaker Nancy Pelosi, suggesting she guarantee President Donald Trump a vote on his border security funding request if he reopens the government. 

Led by freshmen Rep. Elaine Luria of Virginia, the letter lays out a process that would guarantee a House vote — but not passage — on the $5.7 billion Trump has requested in border wall funding, as well as other funding he is seeking for border security needs. 

Ocasio-Cortez joins most Republicans in voting against House Democratic bills to reopen government
House bills headed nowhere in Senate as upper chamber prepares to hold test votes Thursday that are expected to fail

Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, D-N.Y., center, voted against two Democratic bills to reopen the government Wednesday. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

House Democrats passed two more bills Wednesday to reopen the government that most Republicans continued to oppose, but there was one surprise in the otherwise predictable floor proceedings — freshman Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez voted “no.”

The New York Democrat, a rising star in the progressive wing of the party with a massive social media following, explained her vote on Instagram. 

Financial utility turns to blockchain for credit derivatives
DTCC warehouse processes 98 percent of credit derivative transactions globally

An LED sign outside the D Las Vegas on Jan. 22, 2014, advertises that the property now accepts bitcoin. (Ethan Miller/Getty Images file photo)

Bitcoin’s price took a beating last year, but blockchain, the technology that underpins the digital currency, continues to gain prominence in the financial industry, with the latest sign of interest coming from a financial utility company that’s adopting it for a derivatives platform.

The Depository Trust and Clearing Corp., which is owned by several large financial firms, is working on a project in which a distributed ledger like blockchain will be used for processing what’s known as credit derivatives trades. DTCC is the custodian for many of the securities owned by investors, and safeguards transactions against default by either counterparty.

Schumer’s press secretary: ‘I did not work for the Fyre Festival’
Congressional aide Angelo Roefaro was caught on camera with Billy McFarland, but insists they were ‘friends’

Billy McFarland, right, pleaded guilty of defrauding investors. (“Fyre: The Greatest Party That Never Was”/Netflix)

Sen. Chuck Schumer’s press secretary says he was friends with convicted Fyre Festival organizer Billy McFarland, but denies he had any involvement with planning the doomed music event.

Angelo Roefaro appears near the end of a new Netflix documentary, “Fyre: The Greatest Party That Never Happened,” with McFarland, who pleaded guilty to defrauding investors and other charges, causing more than $26 million in losses.

Federal workers protest ongoing shutdown; union leaders arrested
12 people were arrested by Capitol Police outside of McConnell's office in the Russell Senate Office Building

Federal workers and contractors, along with their unions, staged a protest calling for and end to the government shutdown. (Photo By Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Twelve protesters advocating an end to the government shutdown were arrested Wednesday outside of Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell’s office. 

The twelve were arrested by Capitol Police in the Russell Senate Office Building just before 2 p.m., following a larger demonstration where furloughed federal workers and their unions raised their voices.

Chuck Grassley reminds U.S. Olympic Committee about requirements for its tax exemption
Finance chairman fires off new questions about the USOC's handling of sexual abuse

Finance Chairman Charles E. Grassley is raising questions about the U.S. Olympic Committee’s tax status. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

The United States Olympic Committee might have more cause to worry about its tax exemption.

In a new letter to USOC CEO Sarah Hirshland, new Senate Finance Charles E. Grassley asks a series of questions about the committee’s work to protect athletes from abuse.

Watch: 12 demonstrators arrested outside McConnell’s Russell office
 

Hundreds of federal workers held a mostly silent demonstration in the Hart Senate office building Wednesday afternoon to protest the ongoing partial government shutdown. A dozen demonstrators were also arrested outside of Majority Leader Mitch McConnell’s Russell office.