What The Fuck Just Happened Today?

Today's essential guide to the daily shock and awe in national politics.
Curated by @matt_kiser

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Day 368: Shutdown shut down.

1/ Senate Democrats voted with Republicans to approve a short-term spending bill to fund the government through February 8th. The bill will also reauthorize the Children's Health Insurance Program for six years and roll back several health care taxes. Democrats received assurances from Mitch McConnell that the Senate will vote on a bipartisan DACA bill in the coming weeks in exchange for reopening the government. The Senate voted 81-18 to move forward on a bill to fund the government, which the House passed, sending the bill to Trump to sign. (Washington Post / New York Times / Politico)

  • How every Senator voted on ending the government shutdown. The vote passed 81-18-1. (New York Times)

  • Mick Mulvaney thought it was "kind of cool" to be the person in charge of shutting down the government. The director of the Office of Management and Budget told Sean Hannity: "I found out for the first time last night that the person who technically shuts the government down is me, which is kind of cool." (Vox)

  • The White House changed its public comment line to blame Democrats over the weekend for "holding government funding, including funding for our troops and other national security priorities, hostage to an unrelated immigration debate. Due to this obstruction, the government is shut down." (CNN)

2/ The deal to end the government shutdown included $31 billion in tax cuts. The deal includes a temporary delay in implementing three Affordable Care Act taxes that will add to the federal budget deficit. (New York Times)

3/ Paul Ryan received $500,000 in campaign contributions from one of the Koch brothers after the House passed the federal tax bill. The Koch brothers spent millions of dollars lobbying to get the tax bill passed, and are currently spending millions more on a PR campaign to boost public support for the bill. (HuffPost)

4/ The FBI said Devin Nunes refused to produce a memo that alleges abuses by the intelligence community. Democrats say the Republican's refusal to show the memo has them concerned, and that releasing the memo to the public before showing it to the FBI could make tensions between the Hill and the bureau even worse. (The Daily Beast)

  • #SchumerShutdown became the top trending hashtag promoted by Russian social media bots. The Alliance for Securing Democracy, a national security group led by national security officials from both parties, says the topic surpassed #releasethememo to become the highest trending hashtag as of 10 p.m. on Sunday. (HuffPost / The Hill)

5/ Pennsylvania's Supreme Court ruled that the state's GOP-drawn congressional districts were unconstitutional, ordering all 18 districts redrawn by February 9th. (Washington Post)

6/ Trump's voter fraud commission asked Texas to identify all voters with Hispanic surnames as part of their request for detailed voter registration data. The voter data was never delivered because a lawsuit stopped the data handoff. The voting commission was then disbanded on January 3rd. (Washington Post)

7/ A member of the House Ethics Committee used taxpayer money to settle a sexual harassment complaint against him. Patrick Meehan had been tasked with investigating sexual misconduct claims against at least four congressmen. A spokeswoman for Paul Ryan said that Meehan would be removed immediately from the committee and that the panel would investigate the allegations against him. (New York Times)

poll/ 48% of voters think Trump is mentally stable, versus the 47% of voters who think he is not. 73% believe Trump is not a genius. (ABC News)

generic ballot poll/ 51% of voters say they would support the Democratic candidate in their congressional district over the Republican. 39% said they would support the Republican candidate. (Washington Post)

pre-shutdown poll/ 41% of voters said they would blame Republicans in Congress for a shutdown, compared to 36% who said they would fault Democrats. (Politico)


Notables.

  1. A new book about the Trump administration is set to publish on Jan. 29. The book is titled "Media Madness: Donald Trump, the Press, and the War Over the Truth," and it paints yet another picture of a White House in chaos. (Washington Post)

  2. Trump sarcastically tweeted that Saturday was a "perfect day for all women to march. Get out there now to celebrate the historic milestones and unprecedented economic success and wealth creation that has taken place over the last 12 months. Lowest female unemployment in 18 years!" (Twitter)

  3. Deutsche Bank reported "suspicious transactions" related to Kushner family accounts to German banking regulators. The bank also said it was willing to provide the information to special counsel Robert Mueller's team of investigators. (Mother Jones)

  4. The Army is preparing to send 1,000 more troops to Afghanistan this spring, beyond the 14,000 already in the country. (Washington Post)

Day 365: The 11th hour.

1/ The Senate is heading toward a showdown vote on spending legislation to keep the government open past midnight. Democrats appear ready to vote against the short-term spending bill in an effort to secure concessions that would offer protections for young undocumented immigrants, increase domestic spending, provide aid to Puerto Rico, and more. The Senate adjourned Thursday night without scheduling a vote. (New York Times / Politico)

2/ Trump invited Chuck Schumer to the White House to discuss a deal with less than 12 hours to go before a possible government shutdown. Neither Mitch McConnell nor Paul Ryan plans to attend the White House meeting. Schumer left the closed-door meeting with Trump at the White House, saying, "We made some progress, but we still have a good number of disagreements." Senate Majority Whip John Cornyn said the Senate would vote on the House-passed spending bill, but didn't offer any details. (Washington Post / New York Times)

3/ Trump canceled his trip to Mar-a-Lago in hopes that lawmakers will avoid a shutdown. Trump had been planning to celebrate the first anniversary of his inauguration at the Florida resort. He's hosting a Saturday night fundraising party. Tickets cost $100,000 per couple and include a photograph with Trump. (CNN)

4/ House Republicans are threatening to head home for the weekend, "virtually guaranteeing a shutdown unless some last-minute deal is struck." The House passed a stopgap spending bill on Thursday night in a 230 to 197 vote to keep the government open through February 16. (Politico / CNN / New York Times)

5/ The Supreme Court will decide the legality of Trump's latest travel ban, which targets people from six Muslim-majority countries. The court will hear arguments in April and issue a ruling by the end of June on whether the policy to block entry into the United States by most people from Chad, Iran, Libya, Somalia, Syria, and Yemen violates federal immigration law or the U.S. Constitution. (Reuters / New York Times)

poll/ 57% of Americans disapprove of Trump's job performance, the lowest mark for any modern-day president ending his first year. 51% strongly disapprove with 26% strongly approving of Trump's performance. (NBC News)

poll/ 56% of Americans say approving a budget in order to avoid a shutdown is more important than continuing DACA, while 34% say DACA is more important than a shutdown. (CNN)

poll/ 48% of Americans blame Trump and congressional Republicans for the potential government shutdown. 28% fault Democrats. (Washington Post)


Notables.

  1. The chief of external affairs for the federal government's volunteer service organization resigned after racist, sexist, anti-Muslim, and anti-LGBT comments he made on the radio in 2013 surfaced. (CNN)

  2. A year into Trump's presidency, five of his top staffers still have not certified their financial disclosures, which are required by law to ensure that these senior officials aren't personally benefiting from their White House jobs. (McClatchy DC)


Swamp Things.

  1. Omarosa Manigault-Newman may have taped confidential West Wing conversations. The former White House staffer believes she may become a fixture in Robert Mueller's investigation into possible connections between the Trump campaign and Russia's election meddling. (NY Daily News)

  2. Hannity declared that Robert Mueller's "witch hunt is now over." In a monologue, Hannity claimed there is a memo circulating among lawmakers that reportedly details surveillance abuses by the U.S. government that are "far bigger" than Watergate. (The Hill)

  3. Chris Christie was blocked from the VIP entrance at Newark Liberty International Airport, which he had used for eight years. The former New Jersey governor was directed to stand in the general TSA screening lines. (Bloomberg)

Day 364: Irresponsible.

1/ Trump will back a short-term funding legislation after causing confusion on Twitter. Hours earlier Trump tweeted: "CHIP should be part of a long term solution, not a 30 Day, or short term, extension!" Trump contradicted the Republican legislative strategy by calling for a separate, long-term extension of the Children's Health Insurance Program with less than 48 hours before a shutdown. The Republican proposal included a six-year extension of CHIP as part of their short-term spending bill, which would fund the government through February 16. (Politico / Washington Post / New York Times)

2/ Senate Democrats have the votes needed to block the stop-gap spending bill that the House is taking up, raising the likelihood the government will close. At least nine members of the Senate Democratic Caucus said they will oppose the latest short-term spending bill, which would keep the government open through February 16th, extend the Children’s Health Insurance Program for six years, but also roll back several Affordable Care Act taxes. It doesn't, however, include a deal on DACA, which Democrats have demanded in exchange for their votes. Paul Ryan believes that he has the votes needed in the House to pass the short-term funding measure on Thursday night. (Politico / Washington Post)

3/ In the event of a shutdown, Mitch McConnell plans to keep the Senate in session and stage a series of votes. They're intended to place blame for the shutdown on 10 Democratic senators, who are up for reelection this fall in states won by Donald Trump in 2016. McConnell called the Senate Democrats' plan "irresponsible" for being "willing to shut down the government and the Children's Health Insurance Program because they have yet to conclude a deal on DACA." (Politico)

4/ Trump contradicted John Kelly's statements about the proposed border wall, saying "The Wall is the Wall" and his plan "has never changed or evolved from the first day I conceived of it." Yesterday, Kelly said that the U.S. would never actually build a physical wall along the entire U.S. border with Mexico. Trump recently said that the wall would be funded by Mexico "indirectly through NAFTA." (The Hill / New York Times / Washington Post)

5/ Ty Cobb said Trump is "very eager" to talk to Robert Mueller in the hope that this will help wrap up the Russia investigation as quickly as possible. Trump's personal lawyer expects the investigation to end in the next four to six weeks. (The Hill)

6/ The White House's top lawyer may have a conflict of interest. Don McGahn was personally involved in instructing Steve Bannon about what questions he shouldn't answer from the House Intelligence Committee's Russia investigation. He is also a witness to events under investigation by both Congress and Robert Mueller. (Bloomberg)

7/ The House Intelligence Committee released the interview transcript with Fusion GPS co-founder Glenn Simpson. In the interview, Simpson claimed the Kremlin used the publication of the Trump dossier as pretext to "purge" people, including those who may have been sources for the American intelligence community. Dianne Feinstein previously released a transcript of Simpson's interview with the Senate Judiciary Committee. (Politico / The Daily Beast / Reuters)

8/ The FBI is investigating whether a Russian banker illegally funneled money to the NRA in order to help Trump win the presidency. Alexander Torshin is the deputy governor of Russia's central bank and has a close relationship with Putin. Torshin spoke with Trump Jr. during an NRA gala in May 2016, when Trump won the NRA's presidential endorsement. The NRA spent $30 million to support Trump in the 2016 election – three times what they devoted to Mitt Romney in 2012. (McClatchy DC)

poll/ 53% of Americans see Trump's first year as a failure. 61% believe Trump has divided the country. (NPR)

poll/ 37% of Americans approve Trump's job performance after his first year in office. (CBS News)


Notables.

  1. Trump released his 2017 Fake News Awards. (GOP.com)

  2. Hundreds of Yelp reviewers have been giving the Trump International Hotel in Washington one-star reviews, describing the property as a "shithole." (Washington Post)

  3. The Trump administration is finalizing its infrastructure plan, which it hopes will encourage more than $1 trillion in state, local, and private financing to build and repair bridges, highways, and other infrastructure. Trump is expected to preview parts of the plan on January 30th during his State of the Union address. (Reuters)

  4. The past four years were the hottest recorded period in the planet's history, according to both NASA and National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. (Washington Post)

  5. Haitians will no longer be eligible to receive temporary agricultural and seasonal work visas. The decision by the White House removes Haiti from the list of countries that are eligible for H-2A and H-2B visas. (CNN)

  6. House members introduced a bipartisan sexual harassment bill that would prohibit lawmakers from using taxpayer funds to settle claims. (NBC News)

  7. Mick Mulvaney requested no additional funding for the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. The bureau has $177 million in the bank. Last quarter the CFPB asked for $217.1 million and it required $86.6 million the quarter before that. (Politico)

  8. The Trump administration will protect health workers who oppose abortions or gender confirmation surgery based on religious or moral objections. Officials want people to report discrimination to the new conscience and religious freedom division of the office for civil rights at the Department of Health and Human Services. (New York Times) *[Editor's note: I originally used the term "sex-change operation" but changed it to "gender confirmation surgery," the correct term. More here.] *