What We’re Following Today
It’s Wednesday, January 30. The first day of negotiations to avoid a second government shutdown kicked off today on Capitol Hill, where 17 senators and representatives who have been charged with finding a solution to the impasse over border-wall funding have until February 15 to reach a deal. President Donald Trump said that conferees are “wasting time” if they don’t discuss a physical barrier.
Let’s Talk: Michael Cohen’s testimony to the House and Senate Intelligence Committees next month will take place behind closed doors—which means he’ll likely be more forthcoming about Trump and the Trump campaign’s alleged dealings with Russia than he would be during a public testimony, reports Natasha Bertrand.
On Tap: Stacey Abrams recently told The Atlantic’s Vann R. Newkirk II that she’s considering running for a Georgia Senate seat in 2020, or again for its governorship in 2022. Next week, she’ll be the first black woman to deliver a party’s State of the Union rebuttal, and the fact that the Democratic Party has tapped her for the task is a sure sign that it has big plans for her in the future.
Still Running Short: The shutdown is over, but many federal workers and their families are still struggling. One federal contractor told The Atlantic’s Joe Pinsker that she’s been forced to ration her children’s asthma medication to make ends meet. Meanwhile, the House approved a pay raise of 2.6 percent for federal workers, after Trump canceled a scheduled 2.1 percent raise in December.