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)
CHIP should be part of a long term solution, not a 30 Day, or short term, extension!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) January 18, 2018
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)
The Wall is the Wall, it has never changed or evolved from the first day I conceived of it. Parts will be, of necessity, see through and it was never intended to be built in areas where there is natural protection such as mountains, wastelands or tough rivers or water.....— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) January 18, 2018
....The Wall will be paid for, directly or indirectly, or through longer term reimbursement, by Mexico, which has a ridiculous $71 billion dollar trade surplus with the U.S. The $20 billion dollar Wall is “peanuts” compared to what Mexico makes from the U.S. NAFTA is a bad joke!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) January 18, 2018
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)
Trump released his 2017 Fake News Awards. (GOP.com)
Hundreds of Yelp reviewers have been giving the Trump International Hotel in Washington one-star reviews, describing the property as a “shithole.” (Washington Post)
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)
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)
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)
House members introduced a bipartisan sexual harassment bill that would prohibit lawmakers from using taxpayer funds to settle claims. (NBC News)
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)
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.] *
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