What We’re Following Today
It’s Wednesday, January 9. President Donald Trump had lunch with Senate Republicans on Capitol Hill today to talk about the government shutdown, now in its 19th day. Members said the president urged the caucus to stay strong, and described him as “resolute.” Later in the day, Trump reportedly walked out of a meeting with Democratic leaders because they wouldn’t agree to funding a border wall.
Just left a meeting with Chuck and Nancy, a total waste of time. I asked what is going to happen in 30 days if I quickly open things up, are you going to approve Border Security which includes a Wall or Steel Barrier? Nancy said, NO. I said bye-bye, nothing else works!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) January 9, 2019
The Shutdown Continues: A federal-employee union has now filed a lawsuit against the Trump administration, alleging that it’s violating the law by requiring hundreds of thousands of public employees to work without pay, reports Russell Berman. Unpaid staff deemed essential legally aren’t allowed to go on strike—and not showing up for work could mean getting fired.
In Case You Missed It: President Trump made his case for more spending on border security during his address from the Oval Office Tuesday night, but he didn’t offer any new arguments—nor did he declare a national emergency. Notably, his remarks had the typical stylistic flair of his speechwriter Stephen Miller: blood, gore, and provocation. He also invoked the country’s opioid epidemic—an issue that has become integral to his border-wall rhetoric, but doesn’t seem to be an urgent part of his policy agenda.