health care

Shutdown kick-starts the 2020 congressional campaign
From the airwaves to inboxes, both parties are already in attack mode

The National Air Traffic Controllers Association rally to “Stop the Shutdown” in front of the Capitol (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

While it’s impossible to predict what issues will dominate the campaign trail 22 months out from Election Day, the partial government shutdown could be an early test for both parties’ 2020 messaging.

For Democrats, the shutdown reinforces their message that congressional Republicans are not willing to stand up to President Donald Trump — a theme that resonated last November among independent voters who helped deliver a Democratic House majority. Trump has insisted that any legislation to reopen the government include funding for a wall along the southern border, something most Democrats remain opposed to.

The shutdown is exactly what voters asked for
Americans demanded a ‘fight,’ and boy did they get one

The famously poll-tested Hillary Clinton promised she would “fight,” Murphy writes. But Donald Trump went even further. “We’re going to win so much you’re going to be tired of winning,” he said. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

OPINION — Are you sick of all the fighting in Washington? Are you sure? Because for the last 20 years, with a few hopeful exceptions, Americans have voted for exactly this — fighting, intransigence, and leaders who have made a habit of specifically promising to fight and not back down.

Fighting in American politics is nothing new, of course, especially in a country founded by revolutionaries. But at some point, American leaders went from promising to fight the country’s enemies to believing we are each other’s enemies. The story of that evolution, at least in the last several years, comes down to a single word — “fight.”

Democrats are playing a blame game they may not win
Americans want solutions and they expect new House majority to be a part of it

Congressional Democrats, led by Nancy Pelosi and Charles E. Schumer, may be misinterpreting their mandate from the voters in last year’s midterms with their intransigence in the border wall impasse, Winston writes. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

OPINION — It’s feeling like Groundhog Day in Washington. Every morning, each side in the partial shutdown fight digs in and blames each other for what seems to be devolving into one of the great paradoxes of physics — what happens when an unstoppable force meets an immovable object?

But blame isn’t a solution.

Republican urges Trump to ‘jump start’ infrastructure push

UNITED STATES - OCTOBER 25: Rep. Sam Graves, R-Mo., walks through the Capitol on Wednesday, Oct. 25, 2017. (Photo By Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Democrats in Congress say they want to do it. President Donald Trump says he wants it, too.

But if a major transportation bill is going to happen this year, the ranking Republican on the House committee that would write it says Trump needs to get his own party on board, and that starts with State of the Union speech.

Meet the Democrat who wants to give Trump money for the wall
“I’d give him the whole thing,” Minnesota’s Collin Peterson said Tuesday

Minnesota Rep. Collin C. Peterson, seen here in Willmar, Minn., last fall, represents a district President Donald Trump carried by 30 points. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

With Democratic leaders standing firm against giving any money to President Donald Trump to build a border wall, the comments of one 15-term Democratic lawmaker stood out Tuesday.

“Give Trump the money,” Minnesota Rep. Collin C. Peterson said on KFGO’s “News and Views” radio program. 

Former Sen. Harris Wofford, who marched with MLK, dies at 92
Pennsylvania Democrat served in administration from John F. Kennedy’s to Bill Clinton’s

Sen. Harris Wofford, D-Pa., right, served alongside Sen. Arlen Specter, left, when Specter was a Republican.   (Laura Patterson/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Harris Wofford, a former Pennsylvania senator who also served in the administrations of Democratic presidents from John F. Kennedy to Bill Clinton, died Monday night. He was 92.

The Democrat’s life was defined, in many ways, by his commitment to public service. Wofford helped form the Peace Corps and AmeriCorps.

I’ve mediated my share of disputes. Here’s how to end the shutdown
The issues here are not as complicated as people want to make them

Senate Democrats, carrying large photos of federal workers affected by the government shutdown, walk down the Capitol steps to call on the president to end the shutdown. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

OPINION — Take it from a professional mediator: Both the president and Congress have engaged in bad bargaining practices. They have said and done things that create obstacles to reaching agreement on a Southern border “wall” and on ending the government shutdown. Of course, political considerations are diverting each side from making a reasonable compromise. But without compromise, each sides’ political standing will suffer.

What’s gone wrong, and how can the process of resolving such disputes be made to work? As a labor-management negotiator and mediator in hundreds of disputes, I have some ideas. Here are 7 basic tenets of bargaining that are essential to the process have been totally ignored and violated:

When life gives you shutdowns
But hey, at least the U.S. isn’t hurtling toward Brexit

Rep. Eliot L. Engel, D-N.Y., chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, is seen on a bus Thursday, before being dropped at the Rayburn Building after President Donald Trump canceled military support for an overseas congressional trip Engel and other lawmakers were scheduled to take. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

It’s Week Four of the partial government shutdown. About 800,000 people have missed paychecks, and a lot of them are working for free at the behest of the executive branch. There is no end in sight. The State of the Union is canceled, kind of. The president tells you to cancel your military flight, but you can go ahead and fly commercial — after all, TSA is working for no money. And the only silver lining seems to be: At least we’re not Britain! 

You’re on the bus. You’re headed to the airport — and the president of the United States puts the kibosh on your trip to Afghanistan. Who hasn’t had that happen? When the commander in chief yanks military support for a dangerous trip to a war zone by someone in the presidential line of succession. 

Marching abortion opponents have message for Trump administration: Do more
Advocates push fetal tissue, family planning changes

Attendees at the 2017 March for Life bow their heads in prayer near the Washington Monument during the speaking program. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Thousands of abortion opponents will take to the streets of Washington on Friday for the nation’s largest annual anti-abortion rally, coinciding with a flood of anti-abortion action from government officials that underscore the movement’s priorities for 2019.

The March for Life is held every January to protest the anniversary of Roe v. Wade, the landmark 1973 Supreme Court case that guaranteed a woman’s right to an abortion nationwide.

Ocasio-Cortez, Himes to teach Democrats how to up their Twitter game
Party will have to grapple with whether her followers came from AOC’s facility with the platform or her ideas

Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, D-N.Y., will coach her fellow Democrats on how to do Twitter well. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Freshman Democratic Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, who has swiftly become the most popular member of Congress on Twitter, will teach a class Thursday morning hosted by House Democrats’ messaging arm on how to make better use of the site.

The House Democratic Policy and Communications Committee tapped  Ocasio-Cortez and Connecticut Rep. Jim Himes to coach the Democratic caucus “on the most effective ways to engage constituents on Twitter and the importance of digital storytelling,” USA Today reported.