Politics

Shutdown Ended, but Democrats Still Have Leverage Over Budget Caps
Sequester-mandated cuts still have to be resolved

From left, Colorado Sen. Richard Blumenthal, Illinois Rep. Luis V. Gutiérrez and Delaware Sen. Chris Coons talk in Russell Building on Monday after the Senate voted to end debate on a continuing resolution to reopen the government. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Updated 9:20 p.m. | Even though Congress has voted to reopen the government after a brief shutdown, House Democratic leaders, who didn’t sign off on the deal their Senate counterparts helped negotiate, plan to continue their push on immigration and spending issues with a key leverage point: the budget caps.

The House on Monday evening quickly passed a stopgap funding bill that will reopen the government through Feb. 8 by a 266-150 vote, sending the bill to President Donald Trump, who signed the continuing resolution that night. 

Senate Passes Three-Week CR to Reopen Federal Government

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., leaves the Senate floor in the Capitol after the chamber passed a continuing resolution to reopen the government on Monday. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

The Senate voted 81-18 to pass a continuing resolution running through Feb. 8 on Monday afternoon, sending it back to the House as Day Three of the partial government shutdown dragged on.

The House is expected to clear the stopgap for President Donald Trump’s signature, ending the shutdown in time for federal workers to return to their offices Tuesday morning. A number of House Democrats appear likely to back the measure after opposing a previous version last week, and top Democrats predicted the CR would be passed this time.

Group Backed by Liberal George Soros Posts Uptick in Lobbying
Open Society Policy Center spent record $16.1 million in 2017

Billionaire George Soros, left, attends a House Oversight and Government Reform Committee hearing in November 2008. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

The Open Society Policy Center, the lobbying arm of liberal billionaire George Soros’ philanthropic network, reported spending a record sum to influence federal issues during the first year of the Trump administration.

The group disclosed spending a total of $16.1 million on federal lobbying in 2017, with the majority of that coming in the last three months of the year, according to a report filed with Congress. The Soros group disclosed spending $10.3 million in the fourth quarter.

Pa. Supreme Court Throws Out Congressional Map
Justices want a new map before the 2018 elections

GOP Rep. Ryan Costello’s district was named in the Pennsylvania redistricting lawsuit.(Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

The Pennsylvania Supreme Court ruled Monday that the state’s congressional map violated the state constitution and a new map must be in place for the 2018 elections.

The plaintiffs, including the League of Women Voters of Pennsylvania, argued the current map was improperly drawn to benefit Republicans. They alleged Democrats were largely packed into five congressional districts and the remaining Democrats were spread out among the rest. Republicans currently hold 12 of the state’s 18 House seats, with one GOP seat vacant.

Scalise Back in Action After Successful Surgery
‘I’m feeling real good’

House Majority Whip Steve Scalise, R-La., center, and House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., arrive for a news conference after a House Republican Conference meeting in the Capitol in November. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

House Majority Whip Steve Scalise returned to the Capitol Monday after surgery and a 12-day hospital stay to cast a “yes” vote on a stopgap spending bill that will reopen the government through Feb. 8.

“I’m feeling real good,” the Louisiana Republican said of his health after what he called a “major surgery” he had 12 days ago. “It was very successful but it took a long recovery. But I’m feeling great.”

Republican Senators Look to Get Out Front on Immigration

Dreamers protest outside of the Capitol calling for passage of the Dream Act as Congress works to find a way to end the government shutdown on Sunday evening, Jan. 21, 2018. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

A coalition of Senate Republicans huddled at the White House on Monday to try to persuade the administration to publicly back a new bill to address the pending expiration of a program that covers immigrants who come to the country as children, according to lawmakers and aides.

President Donald Trump met with six Senate Republicans on Monday about the next steps in the push for an immigration overhaul bill, according to a senior White House official.

Montana’s Jon Tester Breaks With 2018 Red-State Democrats
Senator was only Democrat from Trump state to oppose stopgap funding measure

Montana Sen. Jon Tester is running for a third term in a state President Donald Trump won by 20 points. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Updated 5:10 p.m. | Montana Sen. Jon Tester was the only red-state Democrat up for re-election this year to vote against a stopgap funding measure Monday to end the three-day government shutdown. 

And his vote, along with an earlier one to oppose advancing debate on the short-term continuing resolution, is already opening him up to Republican attacks that he sided with his party’s most liberal senators, including many 2020 hopefuls. 

House Democrats Not Whipping Shutdown Vote
Despite opposition from some in minority, enough votes are likely there in chamber

The Capitol Visitor Center, usually full of tourists, sits empty on Monday, Jan. 22, 2018, as negotiations to reopen the government continue. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

House Democratic leaders are not whipping the stopgap spending bill to reopen the government through Feb. 8, freeing members to vote how they wish, members and aides said Monday.

House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., said earlier Monday she’ll be voting “no” and Minority Whip Steny H. Hoyer, D-Md., was expected to follow suit. Their opposition is not likely to change the outcome, though, barring a mass change of heart from Republicans. 

Schumer: Trump On 'Sidelines' As Shutdown-Ending Deal Forged
President has been 'managing' shutdown and calling members, spox says

South Carolina Sen. Lindsey Graham and Senate Minority Leader Charles E. Schumer confer after recent Senate policy lunches in the Capitol. Both have been critical of White House adviser Stephen Miller and other top Trump aides in recent days. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

The Senate’s top Democrat and White House aides on Monday offered contrasting assessments of President Donald Trump’s involvement in talks to end a government shutdown.

Senate Minority Leader Charles E. Schumer, while announcing his Democratic caucus would vote on a three-week stopgap agreed to by Senate GOP leaders along with a vow to hold a floor debate on the DACA program and other immigration measures in coming weeks, described Trump as uninvolved over the weekend.

Senate Breaks Shutdown Logjam and Advances Three-Week CR
Chamber votes 81-18 to end debate on short-term stopgap measure

Hill staffers and others wait in a long line to enter the Dirksen Building on Monday. Only certain doors to office buildings were open while Congress worked to end the government shutdown. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

The Senate on Monday cleared a key procedural hurdle to advance a three-week stopgap funding measure, signaling a likely end to the three-day government shutdown.

The chamber voted 81-18 to end debate on the short-term continuing resolution.

Life on the Hill Was a Bit Complicated Monday Morning: Photos of the Shutdown
Jan. 22 as captured by Roll Call’s photographers

The Capitol Visitor Center, usually full of tourists, sits empty Monday as negotiations to reopen the government continued throughout the morning. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

The Senate has reached a deal to reopen the government after a partial shutdown over the weekend turned into a full shutdown Monday morning, causing headaches for Hill staffers who had to wait in longer-than-usual lines to get to work. And any tourists who had Capitol tours slated for the morning were out of luck.

Liberal Groups Urge Democrats ‘Stand Strong’ on Shutdown
Ahead of vote to reopen the government, Democrats take heat from base

Supporters of the so-called DREAM Act protest outside the Capitol on Sunday evening as the Senate was working to find a way to end the government shutdown. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

A coalition of liberal groups urged Democrats to reject a proposal to reopen the government Monday, calling on them to “stand strong” and insist that a spending deal include an array of demands, rather than a promise to address issues like immigration at a later date.

Senators are scheduled to vote at noon Monday on a three-week continuing resolution that includes a six-year extension of the Children’s Health Insurance Program, but not protections for undocumented immigrants brought to the country as children. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell made a commitment Sunday night that he would take up immigration legislation if there is no action by the end of those three weeks on Feb. 8.

Here’s What Members Are Doing With Their Salary During Shutdown
Withholding, returning and donating, lawmakers say they’re refusing salary while government is shut down

Signs are posted outside of the Library of Congress in Washington on Sunday notifying visitors that all Library of Congress buildings will be closed to the public during the government shutdown. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

A government shutdown always unleashes a cascade of political histrionics, and chief among those is lawmakers “refusing” their salaries.

Scores of senators and House members sent out news releases over the weekend defiantly proclaiming what they would do with their salaries while the government remains shuttered.

White House Not Shooting Down Possible Shutdown-Ending Deal
Sanders sharply attacks Schumer after ‘Jell-O’ remark about Trump

A "Restricted Area Do Not Enter" sign is on the barricades in front of the White House fence to help deter fence jumpers. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

White House officials on Monday did not signal opposition to a possible deal among senators that could lead to the end of a government shutdown that has bled into the workweek.

After negotiating all day with a bipartisan group of 20 senators, Majority Leader Mitch McConnell late Sunday night announced a commitment to take up legislation related to the legal status of recipients of the Deferred Action for Childhood Immigrants, or DACA, program as well as border security after the expiry of the next stopgap spending bill (assuming there’s not another shutdown). That came as he pushed back from 1 a.m. to noon Monday a vote on a three-week government funding bill.

Warren’s PAC Spreading Cash Around in Swing Senate States
Doled out money to state parties in Alabama, Missouri, Pennsylvania, Montana, and Nevada

The leadership PAC for  Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., disbursed campaign cash in swing Senate seats including Missouri, Pennsylvania, Nevada, and Montana. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

A number of state Democratic parties and committees got a helping hand from a PAC affiliated with Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren in the last fundraising quarter.

PAC for a Level Playing field, Warren’s leadership PAC, donated to state Democratic parties where Democrats are trying to be competitive, according to the PAC’s quarterly FEC report that was filed on Friday.