Could the Government Shut Down?

5 minute read

Start your countdown clocks. The federal government will run out of its spending authority on April 28, setting up a high stakes fight to keep the government open. After last week’s healthcare debacle, the odds of a funding gap were greatly increased, as House Republicans demonstrated just how difficult it will be to build consensus in their divided conference. Trump is still holding out hope for shifting money around in the current fiscal year, by cutting domestic programs to pay for his border wall and to boost defense spending. Conservative Republicans, meanwhile, have plans to cut funding for Planned Parenthood in the next continuing resolution—though it isn’t clear where Trump stands on that proposal yet. All of those proposals individually would face a difficult time passing the House and the Senate, where there is a 60-vote threshold to avoid the filibuster, let alone all of them together.

Democrats aren’t looking to do Republicans any favors, particularly if controversial items like the border wall or Planned Parenthood are included. They believe they have the American people on their side as they stand up to Trump, whose approval rating fell to new lows Monday. Both chambers are also going out for Easter recess in the coming month, meaning there are precious few legislative days to draft, debate, and pass a spending bill. The deadline comes on day 99 of Trump’s presidency, and failure to act swiftly could mean Trump doesn’t just face a legislative setback in his first 100 days, but also a government shutdown.

House Intelligence Committee Chairman Devin Nunes is facing growing calls to step aside following his clandestine meeting on White House grounds last week that sparked a bizarre series of public statements and behind-the-scenes maneuvering. The Trump White House, which rejected the notion that they were the source of Nunes’ comments suggesting that Trump associates were caught up in “incidental collection” during foreign surveillance, is under pressure to explain who exactly Nunes met with. White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer referred all comments Monday to Nunes’ office, but the question remains: Who cleared Nunes into the White House complex? While it may seem like a minor point, the nearly week-long drama is undermining Nunes’ credibility on the ongoing investigation into Russian manipulation in the 2016 campaign. Look for more of the action to move to the Senate side, where lawmakers are still managing to carry out their oversight responsibilities without partisan interference.

(Lastly, a happy welcome to the readers of Fortune’s Trumponomics newsletter. Tory says the nicest things about you and thought you’d be interested in following the latest on the Trump Administration as chronicled by the reporters at TIME, Fortune’s sister publication.)

Republicans plot what’s next. Trump rolls back climate regulations. And the Department of Justice eyes sanctuary cities.

Here are your must reads:

Must Reads

President Trump Will Sign Executive Order Rolling Back Obama-Era Environmental Regulations
Order targets Clean Power Plan, other climate change efforts [TIME]

Congress Gears Up for Fight Over Spending After Failure of Health-Care Bill
Republicans worry they will need more Democratic votes than previously expected to avert a government shutdown [Wall Street Journal]

Congress May Stiff Trump on Wall Funding
Republicans are afraid of losing a government shutdown showdown [Politico]

Russia Probe in Turmoil as Top Dem Calls for Nunes’ Recusal
Who is Nunes’ White House source? [Yahoo]

The Republicans in Power: From ‘We Got This’ to ‘What Now?’
Lessons from 1993 [New York Times]

Sound Off

“I think we learned a lot through this process. I think we’re obviously looking at ways that we can improve not only how we handle healthcare, but other things — how we do everything.” — White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer on the Administration’s response to the healthcare defeat

“The President really would like to see that growth right up in the high 3s, 4s, and 5s. And so there’s a question about what part of tax reform, especially on the corporate side, will help us spur the economy and grow jobs. And I think that’s an ongoing discussion. I think that’s more of the driver of this. And then I think as it evolves we’ll have the score and we’ll know more.” — Spicer, not ruling out increasing the deficit to pass tax reform—breaking with years of GOP hawkishness on budgets

Bits and Bites

Cheney: Putin made ‘a very serious effort’ to interfere in US election [CNN]

Jared Kushner to Testify Before Senate Intelligence Committee on Russia Ties [TIME]

Senator Calls for Ethics Probe Into Steve Mnuchin’s Lego Batman Comments [TIME]

Ranking Intelligence Democrat Adam Schiff Calls on Devin Nunes to Recuse Himself From Russia Investigation [TIME]

Democrat Adam Schiff, probing Trump-Putin ties, has gone up against Russia (and Stephen Colbert) before [Yahoo]

Democrats Say Supreme Court Nominees Need 60 Votes. Is That True? [TIME]

Justice Department Seeks to Hold Back Grants to Sanctuary Cities [TIME]

President Trump Changes Tone on Democrats After Health Care Failure [TIME]

Mar-a-Lago can’t release visitor logs — because it doesn’t keep them [Politico]

McConnell criticizes Iran nuke deal as ‘windfall’ for Tehran [Associated Press]

Trump pressures House Intelligence Committee to probe the Clintons’ ties to Russia, not his [Washington Post]

Amid turmoil, House Intel Committee scraps meetings this week [CNN]

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