STREAMING NOW: Watch Now

The next 24 to 48 hours are crucial to avoid a potential government shutdown

Article Image

Congress is once again running right up to the brink of a governmen...

Posted: Dec 6, 2019 8:31 AM
Updated: Dec 6, 2019 9:00 AM

Congress is once again running right up to the brink of a government shutdown. There is cautious optimism, but still work to be done. Progress has been made but the largest outstanding issues still stand. Everyone involved wants an agreement, but those same lawmakers and administration officials are still haggling over issues -- large and small.

Bottom line:

Negotiators have about 24 to 48 hours to wrap up an agreement on all 12 spending bills to have any chance to move them in such a short time frame. This is very, very tight -- and a short-term off-ramp will be needed if nothing comes together before Monday.

Underscoring that point:

The 'four corners' -- the top Democratic and Republican appropriators in the House and Senate -- are expected to speak this weekend.

That's an important sign -- anything not agreed to at a lower subcommittee level needs to be hammered out by those four, and they've got a good history of doing just that. But it's a heavy lift.

The clock:

Lawmakers have 14 days until the government runs out of money.

The calendar:

Time is the biggest enemy of any agreement. Beyond hammering out the very contentious policy issues, moving all 12 bills -- no matter the vehicle -- takes time. That is not something that is in abundance. There are two weeks and a laundry list of huge items outside of spending bills to deal with. This is akin to a legislative traffic jam staring everyone in the face. Right now it's not out of the realm of possibility Democrats could attempt to move a government funding package, the United States-Mexico-Canada agreement approval, their prescription drug bill and the National Defense Authorization Act, and impeachment on that final week before Christmas. That's a lot.

Remember this:

Once the House votes to impeach the President, it will essentially shut the Senate down until the trial is complete.

In other words, that vote likely needs to come after any spending vote for the Senate to have a chance to vote to keep the government open. That complicates things. Again, this is a traffic jam right now.

The outstanding issues:

There are a number of issues that need to be ironed out, and more have popped up in the last week as the individual subcommittees have worked (for the most part quite successfully, aides say) in closing out their respective bills. The biggest, however, remains the same: President Donald Trump's border wall request and the transfer authority power that has allowed the administration to shift funds allocated for other things over to finance portions of the wall.

So will there be a shutdown:

Nobody is talking about a shutdown -- including administration officials I'm talking to. If there isn't a deal on all 12 bills, there will be a continuing resolution into 2020.

The real shutdown threat is that given the tight timeline and sheer mass of things on the 2019 to-do list, lawmakers somehow bumble into one. That's not out of the realm of possibility, but not likely at this point, lawmakers and aides say.

Pelosi's point:

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, to CNN's Jake Tapper Thursday night, on this very issue:

'I don't think we're headed for a shutdown. I don't think anybody wants that.'

She noted that if a global agreement on funding isn't reached, there would be a continuing resolution into 2020.

Some 30,000-foot perspective from the Hill:

It's difficult to overstate just how poisonous lawmakers from both parties, in both chambers, view the idea of another shutdown. The partial government shutdown that ended in January, the longest in US history, burned everyone. Not in the political sense -- that blame landed squarely on the White House and Republicans -- but in the sense of embarrassment about what had occurred from a governing perspective under their watch. Nobody wants that again.

Why not just punt now:

There's a reason Pelosi and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell committed to trying to get all the spending bills done by the end of the year: it's likely the only way to secure the significant funding boosts for defense and domestic spending secured in this year's budget agreement.

'If we CR into next year talks are over,' one source involved in the process said. 'The administration is perfectly fine not having the increased spending anyway.'

That's why lawmakers are pressing so hard in such a tight timeline to get the entire thing done now. There are tens of billions of dollars at stake.

The options:

-Reach agreement on all 12 spending bills, and figure out the mechanism to move them.

-Pass a continuing resolution, likely into February or March.

-Pair full year bills where there is agreement with a CR for any outstanding measures (i.e. the always contentious Department of Homeland Security bill)

Of note:

That third option is a natural landing spot -- something lawmakers have done repeatedly in the past and would allow them to take advantage of the hard fought budget agreement funding increases for key defense and domestic spending priorities. However, it is unlikely to happen this time around. The White House has made clear to lawmakers, sources say, that splitting the Department of Homeland Security bill off from the rest of the full year bills is not something it would support. In other words, leaving DHS out in the cold is likely the biggest potential shutdown threat. This significantly limits the options of congressional negotiators.

How does the wall get resolved:

The White House has been clear that there can be no restrictions on transfer authority, sources involved say. But they've indicated they will come down significantly from the $8.6 billion wall funding request (most of which would come in the DHS bill.) Democrats, still outraged at how the White House has shifted money to finance the wall, have been reluctant to agree to a single dollar for the border wall and haven't given an inch on the transfer authority issue. There's conceivably a sweet spot there, but they haven't settled on it yet, people involved say.

Minnesota Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Confirmed Cases: 20573

Reported Deaths: 878
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Hennepin6918534
Ramsey231697
Stearns192312
Nobles14572
Anoka116455
Dakota105935
Olmsted55110
Washington50626
Kandiyohi4541
Clay36623
Rice3652
Scott3462
Wright2401
Sherburne2081
Todd1970
Benton1662
Carver1612
Mower1501
Steele1400
Martin1245
Blue Earth1121
St. Louis11113
Pine850
Freeborn840
Winona7715
Carlton730
Nicollet683
Cottonwood620
Polk582
Otter Tail550
Itasca527
Goodhue522
Watonwan500
Chisago481
Dodge430
Meeker420
Crow Wing421
Le Sueur411
Chippewa400
Jackson390
Morrison380
Murray350
Becker320
Lyon310
Douglas290
McLeod260
Isanti250
Waseca240
Rock210
Unassigned199
Fillmore171
Mille Lacs161
Wabasha160
Swift150
Sibley120
Beltrami120
Wilkin113
Norman110
Kanabec111
Cass113
Faribault110
Brown112
Pipestone100
Marshall80
Pennington70
Pope70
Aitkin60
Wadena60
Yellow Medicine50
Koochiching50
Lincoln50
Mahnomen51
Renville50
Lac qui Parle30
Red Lake30
Big Stone30
Redwood30
Traverse30
Grant20
Houston20
Clearwater20
Hubbard10
Kittson10
Lake10
Roseau10

Iowa Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Confirmed Cases: 17227

Reported Deaths: 456
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Polk3714108
Woodbury255524
Black Hawk167639
Linn92775
Marshall86611
Dallas84914
Johnson5987
Muscatine54339
Wapello5004
Crawford4772
Tama39023
Louisa3347
Scott3319
Dubuque31916
Jasper25616
Buena Vista2310
Pottawattamie2106
Sioux1990
Washington1798
Allamakee1184
Wright1170
Plymouth1080
Warren1060
Story941
Poweshiek888
Bremer676
Henry611
Clinton601
Boone540
Des Moines531
Mahaska526
Cedar451
Guthrie433
Taylor370
Benton371
Jones360
Monroe334
Iowa320
Clarke320
Osceola320
Shelby310
Buchanan310
Clayton303
Marion290
Webster271
Fayette260
Hamilton260
Madison241
Monona230
Cerro Gordo221
Lee220
Winneshiek210
Davis200
Lyon190
Grundy190
Harrison190
Floyd181
Jefferson150
Cherokee150
Butler150
Mills140
Delaware140
Humboldt130
Sac130
Greene130
Keokuk130
Hardin130
Howard120
Hancock120
Appanoose123
Audubon111
Jackson110
Cass110
Ida100
Page100
Clay100
Winnebago100
Carroll90
Van Buren80
Franklin80
Dickinson80
Adair80
Chickasaw80
Kossuth70
Emmet70
Lucas60
Montgomery60
Union60
Adams50
Ringgold40
Fremont40
Pocahontas40
Mitchell40
Palo Alto30
Worth30
Unassigned30
Calhoun20
Wayne10
Decatur00
Rochester
Broken Clouds
64° wxIcon
Hi: 80° Lo: 64°
Feels Like: 64°
Mason City
Overcast
64° wxIcon
Hi: 81° Lo: 64°
Feels Like: 64°
Albert Lea
Overcast
64° wxIcon
Hi: 79° Lo: 64°
Feels Like: 64°
Austin
Overcast
66° wxIcon
Hi: 82° Lo: 66°
Feels Like: 66°
Charles City
Scattered Clouds
64° wxIcon
Hi: 81° Lo: 65°
Feels Like: 64°
Storms a brewin'
KIMT Radar
KIMT Eye in the sky

Latest Video

Image

Sara's Daybreak Forecast - Monday

${item.thumbnail.title}

StormTeam 3: Memorial Day's Severe Weather Threat

Image

Deciding on the return of prep sports in Iowa

Image

Sean Weather 5/24

Image

Minnesota campgrounds missing out on Memorial Day Weekend

Image

Minnesota places of worship to open this week

Image

MDVA to honor veterans virtually on Memorial Day

Image

Roosters base ball club of Rochester holds first practice

Image

Sean Weather 5/24

Image

Sean Weather 5/23

Community Events