Continuing Resolution

Trump Signs Spending Bill, Setting Up High-Stakes Oval Office Showdown
President will meet Tuesday morning with Pelosi and Schumer

Junior, a migrant from Honduras, waves the American flag while standing with other migrants at the U.S.-Mexico border fence on November 25, 2018 in Tijuana, Mexico. (Mario Tama/Getty Images)

President Donald Trump signed a two-week spending measure Friday that will avert a partial government shutdown, setting up a high-stakes meeting with congressional Democratic leaders who are opposed to his $5 billion border wall funding demand.

The House Appropriations Committee — not the White House — announced in a tweet that the Homeland Security Department and other unfunded agencies would not shut down later Friday. White House press aides had been unable to clearly state when their boss would put pen to paper.

Congress Passes Two-Week Funding Extension to Avert Shutdown
House, Senate sent stopgap measure to president for signature

The House and Senate have passed a two-week extension of government funding, sending it to President Donald Trump for his signature. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

An extension of temporary appropriations for nine Cabinet departments and dozens of smaller agencies through Dec. 21 is on its way to the president’s desk after the House and Senate passed the measure Thursday.

The legislation would extend current funding levels for two weeks and buy time to reach final agreement on outstanding spending issues, including President Donald Trump’s $5 billion southern border wall funding request. It also extends a number of expiring authorizations including Violence Against Women Act programs, Temporary Assistance for Needy Families and the National Flood Insurance Program for the duration of the stopgap measure.

Pelosi: Pass Other Spending Bills But Punt Homeland Security Funding
House minority leader prefers continuing resolution for DHS through fiscal 2019

House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., arrives with her staff to hold her weekly press conference in the Capitol on Thursday. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Updated 1:36 a.m. | House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, suggesting she doesn’t see a resolution to the partisan impasse over border wall funding, said Thursday she’d like to see the Department of Homeland Security funded on a continuing resolution through the remainder of fiscal 2019.

Seven of the 12 annual appropriations bills, including the DHS measure, are currently running on a continuing resolution that expires Friday. The House and Senate Thursday passed another stopgap to extend the funding deadline to Dec. 21. 

$1.6 Billion for Border Security, Not Just Wall, Could Be Agreed To, Hoyer Says
Wall funding remains principle unresolved item in year-end spending negotiations

House Minority Whip Steny Hoyer, D-Md., said $1.6 billion is an agreeable figure for border security funding so long as the language doesn’t require it be spent on a wall. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

House Minority Whip Steny Hoyer said Tuesday that border wall funding remains the principle unresolved item in year-end spending negotiations and suggested that $1.6 billion is an agreeable figure for border security so long as the language does not require it to be spent on the wall.

“The $1.6 billion ... the language is broader than just a wall, so I think that that could probably be agreed upon, which was a figure in the Senate bill," the Maryland Democrat told reporters.

Grassley Urges McConnell to Take Up Criminal Justice Bill
Judges can wait, Judiciary chairman says

Sen. Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa, speaks with staff before the start of the Senate Judiciary Committee markup hearing in the Dirksen Building on Nov. 15. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Senate Judiciary Chairman Charles E. Grassley again implored Majority Leader Mitch McConnell to get a criminal overhaul through the Senate before the end of the year.

It should be OK if fewer of President Donald Trump’s judicial nominations get confirmed as a result, Grassley said, especially with the GOP holding the Senate.

[Correction] Violence Against Women Act Extension Included in Latest Spending Proposal

A reauthorization of the Violence Against Women Act will likely lapse at the end of the week. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Corrected 6:30 p.m. | Despite indications earlier Monday that the Violence Against Women Act would not be extended as part of the two-week continuing resolution, the stopgap funding measure would indeed extend VAWA until at least Dec. 21. 

This means the landmark domestic violence law will not lapse for the second time in 25 years.

Uphill Path to Spending Deal as Pelosi, Schumer Meet With Trump
Experts see reasons to doubt a deal is done during Tuesday meeting

Senate Minority Leader Charles E. Schumer, D-N.Y., and House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., are seen after a news conference in the Capitol on March 22. They are scheduled to meet with President Trump on Tuesday. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

President Donald Trump shocked congressional Republicans last year when he cut a deal with Democratic leaders on a short-term debt and spending package. But there are ample reasons to doubt House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi and Senate Minority Leader Charles E. Schumer will leave the Oval Office on Tuesday with another win.

The two Democrats are slated to meet privately with the president just days before a deadline to pass something to keep the Department of Homeland Security and several other agencies funded and open beyond Friday night. (Pelosi and Schumer have requested that the meeting be rescheduled to next week, considering this week’s events. A White House official could not confirm that the Tuesday meeting would still happen. “Everything is in flux,” the official said.)

Not Even Lame Duckery Can Break the Lockstep of the GOP
It is hard to find evidence that congressional Republicans feel chastened by the midterm verdict

Defeat left Rep. Mia Love feeling “unleashed.” If only other lame-duck Republicans felt the same, Shapiro writes. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

OPINION — In theory (and the emphasis here is on the word “theory”), the lame-duck session of Congress after a cataclysmic midterm election should be a fruitful time for bipartisanship.

With nearly 90 members of the House and eight senators not returning for the 116th Congress, old rigidities might give way to last-gasp attempts at legislating. The nothing-left-to-lose freedom of the defeated was best expressed by Mia Love, who said at her concession news conference, “Now, I am unleashed, I am untethered and I am unshackled, and I can say exactly what’s on my mind.”

The Road to a Spending Showdown Is Paved With Cigars, Guns and Horses
Here’s a rundown of some of the funding disputes bubbling under the radar

it’s not just the headline-grabbing clashes over funding for a U.S.-Mexico border wall that could sabotage a deal. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Lawmakers returned to the Capitol this week without an agreement on a year-end spending package that would wrap up seven unfinished bills for the fiscal year that began Oct. 1.

Reaching a deal would require a lot of work in a very short period of time. Both chambers are scheduled to be in session for only eight legislative days before a stopgap funding law runs dry on Dec. 7. If no new package is passed by then, Congress would need another continuing resolution to avoid a partial government shutdown.

In Appropriations Endgame, All Roads Lead to Border Wall
Dec. 7 funding deadline fast approaching

Border Patrol vehicles stand guard along the United States-Mexico border fence in on Sunday, Aug. 10, 2014. The fence runs through the cities of Calexico, Calif., and Mexicali on the Mexico side. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Sooner or later, President Donald Trump will have to confront the political reality that Congress is extremely unlikely to provide the $5 billion he wants to build a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border.

That realization has to occur in less than a month, with the House and Senate both in session for only 12 legislative days before the current stopgap funding measure expires Dec. 7.