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House and Senate adjourn with no end in sight for govt shutdown

CNN's Phil Mattingly reports.

Posted: Jan 13, 2019 7:02 AM
Updated: Jan 13, 2019 7:09 AM

The Democratic leaders struck on a great slogan when they started talking about the "Trump Shutdown" during the famous televised Oval Office meeting with President Trump last month. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer warned Trump that the blame for a government shutdown would fall on him, but the President happily accepted the responsibility and said, "I am proud to shut down the government for border security."

Both Pelosi and Schumer have since repeated the phrase "Trump Shutdown," but it's not actually the most accurate description of what's going on. This is really the Republican Shutdown, or maybe the Grand Old Party's Dysfunctional Moment, and it's vital that we be clear about what is going on.

Republicans could end this shutdown if they really wanted to do so. Before the last session of Congress ended, the Senate passed a bill to fund the government until early February, which did not include any funding for Trump's border wall. The bill was poised to pass in the House, and Senate Republicans, after having lunch with Vice President Mike Pence, said they were confident Trump would sign the spending bill. But Trump then said he would refuse to accept a stopgap measure that did not include funds for his wall, and while the House managed to pass a new bill that included the $5 billion in border wall funding, it was dead on arrival in the Senate.

If Senate Republicans decided to pass the original version of the bill before Trump intervened, it would likely pass in the House and place immense pressure on the President to end the longest government shutdown in US history. And should he veto the legislation, two-thirds of the House and Senate could override it. Republicans would have to show where they stand. Would they support the President and the ongoing shutdown or work with Democrats to reopen government?

When Democrats tried to bring forth a vote to reopen the government on Thursday, Sen. Mitch McConnell promptly shut them down. McConnell is stalling any progress and the main reason that President Trump can continue to hold the government hostage in order to force Democrats into accepting his demands on border wall funding is because Senate Republicans are letting him get away with it.

Shifting the narrative is crucial. Democrats are not having much luck changing the mind of a President who does not respond to ordinary political incentives and has no interest in governance. In many ways, negotiations with the legendary deal maker are a lost cause.

So the only real pressure point that can break the logjam without legitimizing this form of hostage-taking governance is McConnell. It is time for political organizations, red and blue, to mount a major campaign in the days ahead to build pressure on the GOP to pass a spending bill. It needs to be clear that if they don't, there will be a price to pay at the ballot box.

The news media also needs to move some of its coverage away from the Oval Office and back to Capitol Hill. Reporters need to make clear the power and responsibility of McConnell, the silent man in the room.

Democrats need to make clear to the public the power that congressional Republicans hold to bring this to an end. Three Republicans have already called for the government to reopen. Congress can then move forward to a debate about how to best improve border security. If President Trump can find the votes he needs for a wall, then his problem will be solved. That is how the legislative process works.

Until this happens, the nation is suffering through the Republican Shutdown, and once again the GOP shows that there is no daylight between the party and President Trump.

California Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Confirmed Cases: 578946

Reported Deaths: 10523
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Los Angeles2108744999
Riverside41983820
Orange40527724
San Bernardino36072546
San Diego32975594
Kern24995183
Fresno17846171
San Joaquin13870235
Alameda13631205
Santa Clara12962207
Sacramento12274179
Tulare11549198
Stanislaus10264169
Imperial9867244
Contra Costa9787146
Ventura874093
San Francisco769267
Santa Barbara699672
San Mateo6431122
Merced573670
Monterey549437
Marin540481
Kings445356
Solano427441
Sonoma375350
Madera246339
Placer237724
San Luis Obispo227817
Yolo183444
Santa Cruz12876
Butte12388
Napa112911
Sutter9967
San Benito7654
El Dorado7552
Lassen6830
Yuba6664
Mendocino47210
Shasta46910
Glenn4363
Colusa3965
Nevada3571
Tehama3031
Humboldt2864
Lake2402
Amador1853
Mono1581
Tuolumne1552
Calaveras1471
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Siskiyou1020
Del Norte1000
Mariposa622
Plumas360
Modoc50
Trinity50
Sierra40
Alpine20
Unassigned00
Chico
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The weather of northern California is beginning to heat up again, and we have potentially dangerous heat coming our way in the short and long term.
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