What We’re Following Today
It’s Friday, January 11. Congress has adjourned for the weekend, ensuring that the current partial government shutdown will be the longest in U.S. history. President Donald Trump has been flirting all week with the idea of declaring a national emergency to unlock funding for his border wall, a move that some Republican senators support:
The State of Play: After a frenzied week of nationally televised speeches, meetings, and press releases, Republicans and Democrats are even more entrenched in their positions. “It’s as though the writers of Groundhog Day, Towering Inferno, and VEEP got together over a drink, and this is what they came up with,” one House Republican aide told Elaina Plott. Meanwhile, the president is defending his use of the word crisis to describe the situation at the southern border.
What Could Happen Next: The consequences of the current standoff will only get worse after today, when many federal workers miss their first paychecks. But Trump has one potent option left on the table: declaring a state of emergency. That the president can circumvent Congress to declare a national emergency shows just how much executive power has expanded.
2020 Watch: In her new book, The Truths We Hold, California Democrat Kamala Harris tries to endear herself to a diverse readership. But the potential presidential contender leaves out important details about her punitive track record as state attorney general, and lacks a soaring political vision, argues Hannah Giorgis.