28 January 2019 - End of US Government Shutdown
Donald Trump Reopens the Government and Gets Schooled
John Cassidy (The New Yorker, 25/01/2019)
Perhaps the most disturbing lesson of the stupid and pointless five-week partial government shutdown, which ended on Friday, is that Donald Trump and his cronies—step forward, Wilbur Ross—are just who they appear to be: rich, out-of-touch old white guys who don’t have any conception of what it is like to be a regular government worker living from paycheck to paycheck. The other takeaway, a more encouraging one, is that Trump is also just a regular politician, subject to the normal laws of political gravity.
Speaking in the White House Rose Garden on Friday afternoon, the President said he would sign a temporary spending bill, which will enable shuttered federal agencies to reopen and allow about eight hundred thousand federal employees to start receiving back pay for the wages they have missed out on. He also expressed confidence that Republicans and Democrats on Capitol Hill would use the three weeks to reach a “fair deal” on additional spending for border security. And he claimed that the Democrats had “finally and fully acknowledged that having a barrier, a fence, a wall, or whatever you call it, will be an important part of the solution.”
Shutdown debacle leaves Trump with stark choices
Stephen Collinson (CNN, 28/01/2019)
It's as if President Donald Trump's humiliation over the government shutdown and his failed push to honor his core campaign promise never happened.
"Does anybody really think I won't build the WALL? Done more in first two years than any President! MAKE AMERICA GREAT AGAIN!," Trump tweeted on Sunday night, hitting back at the overwhelming media consensus that he had been outplayed by House Speaker Nancy Pelosi.
But whether the President is simply defiant or in denial or is yet to process the lessons of the 35-day impasse that ended with his capitulation on Friday, he's facing wrenching political choices.
Donald Trump 'prepared for another Government shutdown', says White House chief of staff
Jacob Jarvis (Evening Standard, 27/01/2019)
President Donald Trump is prepared for another Government shutdown if he is not satisfied by plans for border security, according to the acting White House chief of staff.
Mick Mulvaney says President Trump is opposed to seeing federal agencies closed again nor does he want to declare a national emergency.
However, he says the US leader is prepared for either should Congress not work with him to secure the southern border to his satisfaction.
As Government Reopens, the New Congress Tries to Begin Again
Nicholas Fandos (The New York Times, 27/01/2019)
With the government shutdown over for now, the 116th Congress will hit reset this week, showcasing a Democratic agenda in the House that was overshadowed by the struggle to reopen the government and furnishing both chambers with early opportunities to test whether divided government can produce results.
The House, which spent weeks passing futile bills to reopen the government, will turn to legislation higher on the Democrats’ priority list, including a bill to raise pay for civilian federal employees. Leading Democrats also plan to reintroduce a marquee bill to close the pay gap between men and women that they have fought to enact for years.
In the Senate, Republicans will try to push through a bipartisan Middle East policy bill that includes a disputed provision targeting the movement to boycott, divest from and sanction Israel. With the measure, Republicans will test for fractures in the resurgent Democratic Party, where Palestinian rights activists have found new voices in House freshmen such as Rashida Tlaib of Michigan and Ilhan Omar of Minnesota.