What We’re Following Today
It’s Monday, January 28. Federal employees are back to work today after the 35-day partial government shutdown, but the economy took an $11 billion hit, according to a report from the Congressional Budget Office. Speaker Nancy Pelosi has now invited President Donald Trump to deliver the State of the Union address on February 5, after the planned January 29 address was postponed following the government shutdown standoff.
The Latest: National-Security Adviser John Bolton announced that the U.S. is imposing sanctions on a Venezuelan state-owned oil firm as part of an effort to oppose President Nicolás Maduro. Last week, in a decidedly un-Trumpian move—off Twitter, amid concerted diplomatic efforts—the administration recognized the country’s opposition leader, Juan Guaidó, as its legitimate president.
A Show of Strength: California Senator Kamala Harris officially launched her presidential bid on Sunday at a massive rally in Oakland—part of her team’s broader plan to start the campaign season off strong. But presidential races are all about timing, one Democratic adviser told Edward-Isaac Dovere, “and traditionally being the first to peak is not the right time.” Meanwhile, the former Starbucks CEO, Howard Schultz, is taking a different approach as he ponders running in 2020—as an independent.
Behind the Scenes: “I would be happy if not a single refugee foot ever again touched America’s soil,” the senior adviser Stephen Miller reportedly once told Cliff Sims, an obscure former administration staffer who’s now written a new tell-all book about the chaos of working in the Trump White House. The Atlantic obtained an early copy of the book, which is filled with such jaw-dropping details.