Nita M Lowey

Senate Votes to Avoid Shutdown, Funds Government Through January
With a day to spare Congress kicks can down road, once again

The Capitol Dome, shortly after repair scaffolding was removed. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

With just a day left until government funding would run out, Congress sent another temporary spending bill to the president’s desk Thursday.

After days of wrangling votes and changing plans, the House voted 231-188 and the Senate voted 66-32 to clear a continuing resolution that would fund the government through Jan. 19, provide funding for the Children’s Health Insurance Program and community health centers through March 31, appropriate $2.1 billion for a private care access program for veterans and temporarily extend Section 702 of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act until Jan. 19.

House Votes to Fund Government Through Mid-January
‘I think the Democrats not being willing ... helped us bring everybody together’

The U.S. Capitol building shown from the east plaza on Monday, Nov. 13, 2017. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

House Republicans took the first step Thursday toward avoiding a partial shutdown when they passed a stopgap measure to fund the government through Jan. 19.

The chamber voted in favor of a continuing resolution, 231-188, sending the measure to the Senate where it’s expected to pass later Thursday or early Friday. Without the stopgap — the third such measure deployed for fiscal 2018 — funding would expire at midnight Friday.

Trump Scores Legislative Win, Dems Could Supply Another
Pelosi, Democrats send mixed messages on government-funding bill

Ways and Means Chairman Kevin Brady, R-Texas, talks with bus driver Roy Ross on the east front of the Capitol before House and Senate Republicans headed to the White House to celebrate the passing of the tax bill. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

The Marine Band played festive Christmas classics. Republican members snapped selfies on the stairs White House’s South Portico. And they gave President Donald Trump a hearty cheer as he joined them.

Trump and GOP lawmakers celebrated a rare legislative victory on Wednesday after Congress sent a tax overhaul bill to his desk. Meanwhile, Democratic congressional leaders — despite their tough talk — just might hand the president another one by week’s end. Especially if history is any indication.

Opinion: Raise the Caps to Raise Up American Communities
Congress needs to invest to keep America safe and prosperous

Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, is seen on a closed circuit television in the subway leading to the Rayburn Building in 2011, soon before the House voted on the Budget Control Act. (Tom Williams/Roll Call file photo)

As President Trump and congressional leaders negotiate a framework for federal spending, it is important to stop pitting “defense” and “nondefense” investments against one another, when both are so critical to our common security and prosperity.

Only by treating these investments with parity can Congress do its part to promote the shared future American families and communities deserve.

Shutdown Could Happen, Trump Says
President blames Democrats’ immigration demands

President Donald Trump and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell talk to reporters in the Rose Garden on Oct. 16.(Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

A government shutdown “could happen” Saturday, President Donald Trump said Wednesday, blaming Democrats’ immigration demands.

“The Democrats are really looking at something that is very dangerous for our country,” Trump told reporters during a Cabinet meeting. “They are looking at shutting down [the federal government]. They want to have illegal immigrants, in many cases people that we don’t want in our country. They want to have illegal immigrants pouring into our country, bring with them crime, tremendous amounts of drugs. We don’t want to have that.”

Word on the Hill: Darkest Hour
Free lunch, Bison day, Hirono’s health update, new D.C. book and Christopher Nolan at LOC

(Screen shot of “Darkest Hour” trailer)

The new movie “Darkest Hour” will be screened in D.C. this evening, followed by a panel that includes House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., and Rep. Joseph Crowley, D-N.Y.

NBC’s Chuck Todd will moderate the panel at the United States Navy Memorial (701 Pennsylvania Ave. NW) at 7:15 p.m. The movie’s star, actor Gary Oldman, is also scheduled to attend.

Word on the Hill: Spelling vs. Basketball
O’Rourke’s birthday surprise, Moulton’s wedding, and Jackson Lee’s partnership

Reps. Derek Kilmer of Washington, left, and Ted Deutch of Florida talk to the co-champions of the 2016 Scripps National Spelling Bee, Jairam Hathwar, second from left, and Nihar Janga, before last year’s National Press Club Spelling Bee. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Two longtime congressional competitions are taking place this evening: the National Press Club Spelling Bee, and the Member of Congress Charity Basketball Game. Which one will you attend?

The spelling bee, which pits members of the media against lawmakers, is at 7:15 p.m. at the National Press Club (529 14th St. NW). Rep. Doug Lamborn, R-Colo., is a late addition to the members’ team. Meanwhile, lawmakers take on lobbyists in the basketball game, starting at 7:30 p.m. at George Washington University’s Smith Center (600 22nd St. NW). The game follows a matchup between congressional staffers and lobbyists.

Word on the Hill: Busy Week
Your social calendar for the week

Events all over D.C. to explore this week. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Happy Monday and welcome back.

This week is packed with things to do around the D.C. area.

Word on the Hill: Hill 2 Houston
Intelligence conference, and save the date for basketball

hill2houston

Today is the Hill 2 Houston Kickin’ It For a Cause Charity Kickball Tournament organized by the Congressional Black Associates to help with Hurricane Harvey recovery.

Congressional Funding an Issue for the 2020 Census
GAO includes it on ‘high-risk list’ of programs facing peril

In this photo provided by the U.S. Census Bureau, tabulators in Washington record the information from the more than 120,000 enumerators who gathered data for the 1940 U.S. Census. (AP/National Archives and Records Administration File Photo)

The United States Census Bureau is facing a host of challenges with 2020 on the horizon, from budget shortfalls and cost overruns to a shakeup atop the agency — the sudden resignation of Director John H. Thompson in June. There’s apprehension among some groups that President Donald Trump’s hard-line stance on immigration could depress participation, though questions are not asked about immigration status.

It all adds up to one central fear: a census that falls short of an accurate count of the population. The data from that decennial survey is used to map congressional districts, inform policymaking and steer billions of dollars in government resources where they’re needed.