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FISA Fight Marks Win for Intelligence Committee Over Judiciary

House Intelligence ranking member Adam B. Schiff, left and Chairman Devin Nunes largely got their way in the FISA fight. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

The Jan. 19 signing of legislation to reauthorize a government surveillance authority that has, in some cases, given intelligence and law enforcement agents access to Americans’ correspondence without a warrant, was a victory for security hawks over civil libertarians.

It also marked a win for the House Intelligence Committee over its counterpart, House Judiciary, and a shift in the balance of power on government surveillance from three years ago.

A Step Away From History: Riverby Books on East Capitol Street
 

Shutdown Effects Would Hit Agencies Differently
Some departments will have more employees at work than others

OMB Director Mick Mulvaney said Friday that a shutdown might not be as painful as in 2013. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Federal departments and agencies were gearing up for the possibility that a shutdown would actually take place, with Office of Management and Budget Director Mick Mulvaney putting the odds at about 50-50 Friday morning.

The effects across the government would vary from agency to agency, in part because they have different levels of available funding and transfer authority, but Mulvaney said a partial shutdown starting Saturday would in some ways not resemble the one in 2013.

Justice Department Wants to Re-Try Mendendez
Comes after corruption trial last year ended in mistrial

New Jersey Democratic Sen. Bob Menendez was charged with taking bribes from a political donor. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

The Justice Department said it plans to re-try Sen. Robert Menendez after his trial on corruption charges last year ended in mistrial.

Menendez was accused of accepting bribes from political donor Salomon Melgen. Judge William H. Walls declared a mistrial after individually interviewing members of the jury after it deadlocked.

No Deal After Trump-Schumer Meeting to Avoid Shutdown
‘The discussions will continue,’ minority leader says

Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

An impending government shutdown continued to loom following a meeting between President Donald Trump and Senate Minority Leader Charles E. Schumer at the White House Friday afternoon.

Schumer made a brief statement to reporters outside the Capitol upon his return.

There Are Just Hours Left Before a Government Shutdown. This Is Totally Normal.
Since the last government shutdown, last-minute spending bills are standard operating procedure

Lawmakers are making a habit of getting right to the edge of government shutdowns. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

On the day that government funding is set to expire, confusion has gripped the Capitol as the House-passed continuing resolution faces long odds in the Senate. If lawmakers pull out a fix to keep the lights on past midnight, it will most certainly be with only hours remaining before a deadline.

This is completely normal.

A Bowl of Dog Doo, Henry VIII and S-Holes: Congressional Hits and Misses
Week of Jan. 15, 2018

Schumer Meets Trump at White House to Attempt Shutdown Dodge
Minority leader floats 3-day CR, official says

Schumer. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Minority Leader Charles E. Schumer left the Capitol for 1600 Pennsylvania Ave. Friday afternoon with a chance to broker a government shutdown-averting deal with President Donald Trump — and without Republican lawmakers in the room.

Schumer told Roll Call he hoped he could reach a deal with his outer-borough New York counterpart in the White House and keep the government operating past midnight Friday, when the current continuing resolution expires.

In Supreme Court Privacy Case, Lawmakers Side With Microsoft

Lawmakers are asking the Supreme Court to clarify a data privacy law. (CQ Roll Call file photo)

Five lawmakers told the Supreme Court on Thursday that Congress didn’t intend for an electronic privacy law to authorize the government’s seizure of data overseas and say interpreting it differently could have “dangerous repercussions” for future legislating.

The group’s brief backs tech giant Microsoft in a dispute with the United States about whether email service providers must comply with warrants even if data is stored outside of the country — in this case in Dublin, Ireland.