1/ The Senate failed to advance a pair of competing proposals to reopen the government and end the partial shutdown, which is now in its 34th day. The first vote was on a Republican-backed proposal to allocate $5.7 billion for Trump’s border wall. The second vote was on a Democratic-backed proposal to temporarily reopen the shuttered government agencies without providing any money for a wall. Both measures fell short of the 60 votes needed to advance. The two votes were the first the Senate has taken to reopen the government since the shutdown began on Dec. 22. (Politico / CNN / Wall Street Journal / New York Times / Washington Post / NBC News / ABC News)

2/ House Democrats are preparing a funding proposal that is expected to include at least $5 billion for border protection efforts, but won’t include new money for Trump’s border wall. The money would go to the Department of Homeland Security and be used for new technology and more law enforcement agents. (Politico / Vox)

  • Trump is pushing for a “large down payment” on his border wall in exchange for a potential deal to reopen the government for three weeks. Trump suggested that he’d back a deal by Mitch McConnell and Chuck Schumer “if they come to a reasonable agreement.” He then added: “I have other alternatives.” [This story is developing…] (CNBC) / NBC News)

3/ The White House is preparing a draft proclamation for Trump to declare a national emergency at the border. They’ve identified more than $7 billion in potential funds for his border wall by pulling $681 million from the treasury forfeiture funds, $3.6 billion in military construction, $3 billion in Pentagon civil works funds, and $200 million in Department of Homeland Security funds. Trump’s advisers are divided on the issue. (CNN)

4/ Trump won’t deliver his State of the Union address during the shutdown after all, capitulating to Nancy Pelosi, who vowed not to pass a “concurrent resolution authorizing the president’s State of the Union address in the House chamber until government has opened.” The White House was reportedly caught off-guard by Pelosi’s statement, leaving officials scrambling for a response. Officials also worried that a campaign-style rally wouldn’t be formal enough for the traditional speech, and that Trump is prone to veer off message during a rally. The other reason: TV networks might not carry the rally live. Trump instead tweeted that he will wait until the shutdown is over because nowhere could compete with the “history and tradition” of the House chamber. Fox News host Laura Ingraham, meanwhile, called Trump’s decision to concede to Pelosi was a “bad decision.” (CNN / The Guardian / New York Times / CBS News)

5/ Trump’s commerce secretary doesn’t “really quite understand why” unpaid federal workers are going to food banks when they could take out low-interest loans from banks and credit unions to cover their bills. The suggestion by Wilbur Ross comes as roughly 800,000 unpaid federal workers are about to miss their second paycheck due to the shutdown. Chuck Schumer called Ross’ comments “unreal” while Pelosi characterized them as a “let-them-eat-cake attitude.” (CNBC / Politico / CNN / Washington Post)

  • Air traffic controllers’ union: “We cannot even calculate the level of risk currently at play, nor predict the point at which the entire system will break.” Union leaders said staffing at air traffic control facilities was at a “30-year low” as employees continue to callout. Airlines also warned that passengers will soon face worse delays and more canceled flights if the partial federal government shutdown drags on further. (The Guardian) / Wall Street Journal)

  • John Kelly and four other former Homeland Security secretaries called on Trump to end the shutdown on national security grounds. Kelly, along with Tom Ridge, Michael Chertoff, Janet Napolitano, and Jeh Johnson sent a joint letter to Trump calling on him “to restore the funding necessary to ensure our homeland remains safe and that the Department’s critical national security functions continue without compromise.” (Daily Beast)

  • The White House economist said the U.S. economy will grow “very close to zero” if the shutdown persists through March. Economists at J.P. Morgan said the government shutdown is beginning to take its toll on the U.S. economy, as they cut their first quarter growth estimate to 1.75%. (Wall Street Journal / CNBC)

6/ The Senate Intelligence Committee issued a subpoena for Michael Cohen to testify in mid-February after he delayed his public testimony before the House Oversight Committee over alleged “ongoing threats against his family from President Trump” and members of his legal team. Cohen’s lawyer, Lanny Davis, said his client will “he will honor the subpoena.” It is not clear if the House Oversight and Intelligence committees will also issue subpoenas for Cohen, who is expected to begin serving a three-year prison term in early March. Trump weighed in on Twitter, calling Cohen a “bad lawyer.” (Washington Post / New York Times / NBC News / CNN / Politico / Wall Street Journal)

  • Paul Manafort’s lawyers argued that special counsel prosecutors wrongly twisted memory lapses and misstatements by Manafort into deliberate lies about his interactions with Russian citizen Konstantin Kilimnik, who received the polling data in 2016 as Trump was closing in on the Republican presidential nomination. (New York Times)

poll/ 50% of Americans believe Robert Mueller’s investigation is justified. 45% believe it is politically motivated. In November, 46% of Americans thought the investigation was justified and 51% believed it was politically motivated. (CNN)

poll/ 60% of Americans blame Trump for the shutdown. 65% of Americans, including 86% of Democrats, 69% of independents and 33% of Republicans, call the shutdown a major problem. (Associated Press)


  1. The Trump administration hasn’t imposed required sanctions on Moscow nearly three months after determining that Russia had violated the Chemical and Biological Weapons Control and Warfare Elimination Act in connection with the poisoning of former Russian spy Sergei Skripal. (NBC News)

  2. Russia warned the U.S. against launching a military intervention in Venezuela after Juan Guaido declared himself interim president in a coup d’etat and Trump threatened to use the “full weight” of U.S. economic and diplomatic power to stabilize the country. Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov said a U.S. military intervention in Venezuela “would be a catastrophic scenario that would shake the foundations of the development model which we see in Latin America.” (NBC News)

  3. Elizabeth Warren plans to propose a “wealth tax” on Americans with more than $50 million in assets. The tax is projected to apply to less than 0.1% of households and would raise approximately $2.75 trillion over 10 years. (Washington Post / CNBC)

  4. The U.S. and China are still “miles and miles” apart on a trade deal with “lots and lots of issues.” The Dow and S&P 500 traded lower after Wilbur Ross’ remarks. (Bloomberg / CNBC)