congressional-operations

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.

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.

With No Deal, Senate Heads Toward Votes at 1 a.m. Monday
McConnell says Democratic delay tactics ‘won’t work forever’

Illinois Sen. Tammy Duckworth criticized President Donald Trump’s comments about the government shutdown, calling him a “five-deferment draft dodger.” (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Senators were shuttling in and out of offices Saturday, but there were no breakthroughs in the effort to reopen the federal government.

When Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell came to the floor late Saturday to announce plans to have the chamber back in session starting Sunday afternoon, he made clear that, at his first opportunity, he would try to hold a vote to break a filibuster of a proposal to fund the government through Feb. 8.

On Shutdowns, Trump Once Thought ‘Pressure is on the President’
But on Thursday, he said ‘it’s up to the Democrats’

President-elect Donald J. Trump greets then-President Barack Obama moments before Trump was sworn in on Inauguration Day last year. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Not too long ago Donald Trump made clear who he thought always should be blamed when the government shuts down: the sitting president of the United States. 

On Thursday, when asked who should be blamed if the government is shuttered at the end of the day Friday, Trump responded: “It’s up to the Democrats” to join Republicans and vote for a House GOP-crafted stopgap spending bill that would avert a federal shutdown.

With Shutdown Looming, Trump Doubts Dems Will Keep Lights On
President: Dems want ‘illegal immigration and weak borders’

As the possibility of a government shutdown was growing Friday morning, President Donald Trump tweeted, “We need more Republican victories in 2018!” (Mark Wilson/Getty Images file photo)

With just hours to go before his government will shut down, President Donald Trump started the day by using that prospect to make the case for Republican candidates in November’s midterm elections.

And he teased the possibility of a shutdown in his showman style — “Shutdown coming?”

With House Passage of FISA Measure, Action Moves to Senate
GOP leaders in chamber move to restrict amendments to reauthorization

Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul is part of a bipartisan group that has problems with the FISA reauthorization measure. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

The House on Thursday approved 256-164 a bill to reauthorize provisions of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act for another six years, putting the measure in the Senate’s hands.

The bill, backed by the Trump administration and all the U.S. intelligence agencies, would preserve the FBI and the intelligence agencies’ ability to search a surveillance database for information on Americans with minimal warrant requirements.

Scalise ‘Resting Comfortably’ and in Fair Condition After Surgery
Timetable for House majority whip’s return to Hill uncertain

House Majority Whip Steve Scalise, R-La., underwent a planned surgery on Wednesday in Washington, D.C. The timetable for his return to the Capitol is unclear. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

House Majority Whip Steve Scalise was “resting comfortably” and in fair condition on Wednesday after a planned surgery in Washington, D.C., hospital officials reported.

The Louisiana Republican will likely remain in the hospital for several days before continuing his recovery at home, according to a press release from MedStar Washington Hospital Center, where doctors performed the operation.

Opinion: With a Potemkin President, Maybe It’s Time for Congressional Government
With Trump, the less he does the better

A strong case can be made that the less President Donald Trump does, the better off Americans are, Shapiro writes. (Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images file photo)

In 1885, an up-and-coming Ph.D. student named Woodrow Wilson wrote the book that would establish his academic reputation. Entitled “Congressional Government,” Wilson’s conclusions reflected “the declining prestige of the presidential office” in the decades following the death of Abraham Lincoln.

“That high office has fallen from its first estate of dignity because its power has waned,” Wilson wrote in his introduction. “And its power has waned because the power of Congress has become predominant.”