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Shutdown ‘Could Very Well Be,’ Trump Says
Pelosi comment suggests shutdown imminent

U.S. President Donald Trump speaks during news conference. (Mark Wilson/Getty Images)

President Trump entered the Pentagon Thursday and said a government shutdown “could very well be.”

The comment came about an hour before the White House said he supports a House GOP-crafted stopgap to avert the shutdown, which followed an earlier tweet that appeared to undermine the bill.

Freedom Caucus Throws Water on Leadership Stopgap Confidence
Still more than 22 GOP ‘no’ votes

Rep. Mark Meadows, R-N.C., speaks with reporters as he leaves the House Republican Conference meeting in the Capitol on Tuesday, Jan. 9, 2018. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Freedom Caucus Chairman Mark Meadows told reporters Thursday there are still more than 22 GOP ‘no’ votes on the stopgap funding measure and that Republicans can’t pass it on their own without additional changes.

“We’ve offered a number of different options, so it would take the leadership putting forth a different proposal than they currently have,” Meadows said on how GOP holdouts get to “yes” on the CR. He declined to say how many of the “no” votes were from the Freedom Caucus versus the conference at large.

3 Congressional Campaign Stories You Might Have Missed This Week
 

Ryan Confident CR Will Pass and Has Trump’s Support
Calls Dem actions ‘governmental chaos’ using Schumer quote

Speaker of the House Paul Ryan, R-Wis., left, and House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., participate in the House GOP leadership news conference following the House Republican Conference meeting on Wednesday, Jan. 17, 2018. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Speaker Paul D. Ryan predicted Thursday the four-week continuing resolution will pass, despite lingering questions about whether the votes have been secured. 

“I have confidence we’ll pass this because I think members understand, ‘Why on earth would we want a government shutdown?’” the Wisconsin Republican said.

Senate Republicans Steamroll Judicial Process
‘Advice’ dwindles in the GOP’s rush for judges

(iStock)

Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and Senate Republicans hardly could have done more last year to help President Donald Trump reshape the nation’s federal courts with conservative appointees.

They put Justice Neil Gorsuch in a Supreme Court seat, one they blocked Barack Obama from filling during his last year in the White House. Then they approved a dozen Trump picks for the influential appeals courts that have the final say on the vast majority of the nation’s legal disputes — a record number for a president’s first year in office.

Word on the Hill: What’s Buzzing Around the Capitol?
Lewis gets do-over in Mississippi, GOP lawmakers prepare for March for Life

From left, Reps. Kyrsten Sinema, D-Ariz., Scott Tipton, R-Colo., and Roger Williams, R-Texas, are seen during a House Judiciary Committee markup of the "Disclosing Foreign Influence Act" in Rayburn Building on Wednesday. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

We’re all over Capitol Hill and its surrounding haunts looking for good stories. Some of the best are ones we come across while reporting the big stories.

There is life beyond legislating, and this is the place for those stories. We look for them, but we don’t find them all. We want to know what you see, too.

Talking Syrup at Pete’s Diner with Peter Welch
 

White House Flips, Flops, Then Flips on Stopgap Spending
Trump’s tweet sends Hill into spin

President Donald Trump defied his staff by criticizing the inclusion of a provision to extend CHIP in the latest continuing budget resolution. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

President Donald Trump on Thursday undermined efforts by House Republican leaders and his own staff to avoid a government shutdown, criticizing a decision to include an extension of the Children’s Health Insurance Program in a GOP-crafted stopgap spending bill.

Hours later the White House announced the president supported the House GOP-crafted stopgap spending measure that includes a six-year CHIP extension — despite a confusing morning tweet that raised questions to the contrary.

GOP Senators Line Up In Opposition To Continuing Resolution
Talks among GOP turn heated as deadline for government shutdown approaches

Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., is one of two Senate Republicans who have announced they will not vote for the next continuing resolution in its current form. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

At least two GOP senators will vote against a short-term patch to keep the government funded, as Republican congressional leaders struggle to find the votes in either chamber to pass another continuing resolution.

Sens. Mike Rounds of South Dakota and Lindsey Graham of South Carolina both intend to vote against the CR in its current form. Rounds has expressed frustration over the continued reliance on temporary funding measures, while Graham continues to push for a vote on his proposal to address the pending expiration of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program.

Ward and McSally Slam Flake’s Freedom of Press Speech
Ward called it ‘embarrassment to the state of Arizona’

Sen. Jeff Flake, R-Ariz., arrives in the Capitol on Wednesday before making his floor speech on press freedoms. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Arizona’s Republican candidates for Senate slammed Sen. Jeff Flake for his speech criticizing President Donald Trump’s attacks on the press.

Former state Sen. Kelli Ward, who planned to challenge Flake in a primary before he announced he would not seek re-election, called his comparisons to Joseph Stalin “appalling and an embarrassment to the state of Arizona” in a statement.