Government Shutdown
There is a need to pass a bill extending routine government funding after a stopgap bill expires March 27. Without an extension, a partial government shutdown would occur. Congress must pass this spending bill, called a continuing resolution or “CR,” which would continue spending after Sept. 30, 2013, the end of the 2013 fiscal year. As it stands now, the government’s legal authority to borrow more money runs out in mid-October, 2013. According to the Bipartisan Policy Center, if that date arrived on October 18, the Treasury “would be about $106 billion short of paying all bills owed between October 18 and November 15. The congressionally mandated limit on federal borrowing is currently set at $16.7 trillion. The debt limit has been raised 13 times since 2001 and has grown from about 55 percent of Gross Domestic Product in 2001 to 102 percent of GDP last year.

Losing at Halftime

from The Gray Area:
The announcement Friday by President Trump that he would re-open the government while negotiating with Congress on wall funding and immigration reform is, without a doubt, a capitulation to the Pelosi/Schumer Democrat demand of 'open the government and we will talk'. The left is rightly claiming victory (Trump caves, Unconditional Surrender), while the right is licking its wounds (Trump has compromised his offer from the beginning, DACA Offer a non starter with Dems). But, ask the Los Angeles Rams if you lose the game at halftime. Trump clearly defined this as halftime. In Thursday's Senate vote on two bills to re-open the government, both sides lost. But, the Republican side lost worse, if that matters, and I think it does.
  • The final vote on the GOP bill was 50-47. Joe Manchin was the lone Democrat to support the GOP bill ... while GOP Sens. Tom Cotton and Mike Lee voted against the Republican measure. Added Cotton: "I could not support the bill because it gives legal status to illegal aliens without first securing our borders, implementing e-verify, and ending chain migration—all of which would eliminate the incentives for more illegal immigration. I will continue to work with the president and my colleagues to reopen the government and secure the border.” That is a statement of support for President Trump, when they knew even their votes would not get the 60 needed.
  • The vote was 52-44 on the Democratic bill, with all Democrats voting yes and several Republicans crossing over, including Utah Sen. Mitt Romney, Maine Sen. Susan Collins, Alaska Sen. Lisa Murkowski, Colorado Sen. Cory Gardner, Georgia Sen. Johnny Isakson, and Tennessee Sen. Lamar Alexander. Not voting on the bill were Sens. Richard Burr, Rand Paul, James Risch, and Jacky Rosen. Other Dems have made 'open to negotiating' statements too. There were messages all over the place in this vote.
What then was the main message Thursday's vote sent to President Trump? No, not capitulate. But, realize the political divisions on this issue are so stark that continuing the shutdown is useless, and losing him political capital. It is better to call the Democrat's bluff. So, he sent McConnell off to see what he could do with Schumer. Schumer held the Democrat line, no money for a wall. And, then, McConnell offered something that Trump could use to call their bluff. As a headline in The Wall Street Journal rightly offered, Trump lost round one, but we’ll now see if Pelosi wants any deal. No one believes Pelosi or Schumer will negotiate a good faith deal that includes wall funding. It is too costly for them politically. Don't get lost in all the polling data on both sides, this is just political. Nothing to do with arguing what is best for the American people. Trump already has a good faith offer on the table. The Dems do not. Make no mistake, Trump will act on February 15th. How, remains to be seen. The second half of this game has begun. Neither side can politically afford to lose in this negotiation. So, expect overtime. More From Pew Research Center:

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