Technology & Innovation

Amid Shutdown, White House Says Senate Democrats ‘Out of Control’
Administration officials, lawmakers signal quick resolution is unlikely

The previous government shutdown took place in October 2013. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

White House officials on Saturday described Senate Democrats as “out of control” with their demands to end a government shutdown and signaled negotiations have stalled, raising questions whether the federal apparatus will be open when the workweek begins.

President Donald Trump is spending the anniversary of his swearing-in calling congressional GOP leaders and other lawmakers in pursuit of an agreement to reopen the government, aides say. But with both sides trading barbs and insults, a resolution on the shutdown’s first day appears unlikely.

White House Swivels Back to GOP Leaders Amid Shutdown
After Friday talks with Schumer, Trump turns to McConnell

President Donald Trump, left, and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell are attempting to pull together enough votes to end the government shutdown. (Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images file photo)

The White House is negotiating with Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell on a way out of the government shutdown after talks with Minority Leader Charles E. Schumer failed on Friday, Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders told Roll Call. But because the White House and GOP leaders need some Democratic support to clear a 60-vote threshold in the chamber, it is not clear how this approach would solve the Republicans’ math problem.

It is possible White House officials are working with McConnell on an approach discussed late Friday and early Saturday on the Senate floor by a bipartisan group. Under the groups’ proposal, Senate Democrats would allow a three-week continuing resolution to pass and McConnell would allow a floor debate on legislation to address the expiring Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, or DACA, program in the coming weeks.

FISA Fight Marks Win for Intelligence Committee Over Judiciary

House Intelligence ranking member Adam B. Schiff, left and Chairman Devin Nunes largely got their way in the FISA fight. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

The Jan. 19 signing of legislation to reauthorize a government surveillance authority that has, in some cases, given intelligence and law enforcement agents access to Americans’ correspondence without a warrant, was a victory for security hawks over civil libertarians.

It also marked a win for the House Intelligence Committee over its counterpart, House Judiciary, and a shift in the balance of power on government surveillance from three years ago.

In Supreme Court Privacy Case, Lawmakers Side With Microsoft

Lawmakers are asking the Supreme Court to clarify a data privacy law. (CQ Roll Call file photo)

Five lawmakers told the Supreme Court on Thursday that Congress didn’t intend for an electronic privacy law to authorize the government’s seizure of data overseas and say interpreting it differently could have “dangerous repercussions” for future legislating.

The group’s brief backs tech giant Microsoft in a dispute with the United States about whether email service providers must comply with warrants even if data is stored outside of the country — in this case in Dublin, Ireland.

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?”

Trump Might Avoid Republican Primaries
President tells Reuters he plans to campaign heavily for GOP candidates in midterms

President Donald Trump said he’ll spend “probably four or five days a week” campaigning for Republican candidates in the midterms. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

President Donald Trump says that he will campaign frequently for Republicans during the 2018 midterm elections, but might avoid getting involved in primaries.

“I am going to spend probably four or five days a week helping people because we need more Republicans,” he told Reuters. “To get the real agenda through, we need more Republicans.”

Trump Contradicts Kelly, Claims Wall Views Have Not ‘Evolved’
Chief of staff contends president was previously ‘uninformed’

President Donald Trump was up early on Thursday contradicting what his chief of staff had told lawmakers about the southern border wall on Wednesday. (Mark Wilson/Getty Images)

Contradicting his chief of staff, Donald Trump on Thursday claimed his thinking about a southern border wall has not “evolved,” and returned to his vow that Mexico, one way or another, will pay for it.

Kelly first described Trump’s views on the U.S.-Mexico border barrier as changed during a Wednesday morning meeting with the Congressional Hispanic Caucus on Capitol Hill. The retired Marine Corps four-star general kept up his rare public remarks about the controversial Trump campaign pledge during an evening cable news interview.

How the No. 2 Leaders Have Taken Over the DACA Debate
Talks between Hill’s second-in-command honchos represents best shot at accord

House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy has spearheaded the immigration negotiations among the Hill’s No. 2 leaders. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

The No. 2s. The deputies. The gang of four.

There are a lot of names for the four congressional leaders engaged in bipartisan, bicameral talks on immigration, but one thing has become increasingly clear over the past week: The group is Congress’s best shot at reaching an elusive deal to protect young undocumented immigrants known as Dreamers from deportation.

Opinion: Forgetting What It Means to Be an American
Selective memory of president and supporters imperils the country

What President Donald Trump and his supporters choose to remember is selective and troubling, Curtis writes. (Win McNamee/Getty Images)

The 2004 romantic comedy “50 First Dates” offered a novel, though somewhat implausible, premise — and I don’t mean that Drew Barrymore would find Adam Sandler irresistible. The heroine of the tale, afflicted with short-term memory loss, woke up each morning with a clean slate, thinking it was the same day, with no recollection of anything that happened the day before.

Who knew the president of the United States, most members of a political party and White House staff would suffer from the same condition?

Capitol Ink | Dreamer

Senators Threaten Legislation Over Social Media Firms' Content

Senate Commerce Chairman John Thune said he was more focused on oversight than legislation for social media companies and their content. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Big social media companies made a case against new legislative mandates by emphasizing their voluntary efforts to root out terrorism-related material and other objectionable content on their sites during a Senate hearing Wednesday.

But senators from both parties warned representatives of Facebook, YouTube and Twitter of legislative action even as Senate Commerce, Science and Transportation Chairman John Thune, R-S.D., said he was focused on oversight rather than legislation, which could further open the companies to lawsuits. The committee approved a bill that would allow online businesses to be sued and prosecuted for sex trafficking content, but Thune indicated he wasn’t ready to do the same over terrorism content.

How John Kennedy Sees Things
‘This is why the aliens won’t talk to us.’

UNITED STATES - JANUARY 17: Sen. John Kennedy, R-La., speaks with reporters in the Senate subway in the Capitol on Wednesday, Jan. 17, 2018. (Photo By Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Since arriving in the Senate last year, Louisiana Sen. John Kennedy has become a gift to Capitol Hill reporters for his colorful use of language.

Most recently, he has said that the dispute about whether President Donald Trump called Haiti and African nations “shithole countries” is “why the aliens won’t talk to us.”

Graham’s DACA, Military Plan at Odds With Leadership
‘We should take care of the DREAM Act kids now, not wait till March 5’

South Carolina Sen. Lindsey Graham, right, and former Massachusetts Sen. Scott P. Brown, now the U.S. ambassador to New Zealand, talk after running into each other by chance in the Russell Building on Jan. 11. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Sen. Lindsey Graham said Wednesday he believes Congress should address the program that covers immigrants brought illegally to the country as children before it expires later this year.

Speaking at an event in Washington hosted by the American Enterprise Institute, the South Carolina Republican said his party was naive to think it could persuade Democrats to support increased defense spending without finding a solution to prevent the expiration of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, or DACA, program.

Poll: 44 Percent of Americans Think Trump is a Racist
Four in five Americans said they believe Trump talks without taking much time to consider his words

President Donald Trump speaks as he stops by a Conversations with the Women of America panel at the Eisenhower Executive Office Building on Tuesday. (Alex Wong/Getty Images)

Donald Trump’s rough rhetorical style was thrust under the microscope (again) last week after he called Haiti and parts of Africa “shithole countries” when complaining about their immigrants to the United States, multiple lawmakers who were at the meeting with the president confirmed.

Four in five Americans said they believe Trump talks without taking much time to consider his words, a new poll found.