As you read this, senators and House members are either at home or on their way there. The government shutdown is about to enter its 22nd day at midnight, breaking the record for the longest the federal bureaucracy has ever been shuttered.
If you’re wondering something along the lines of “What the hell is happening here,” well, get in line.
This is the week that will go down in history as the one where our politicians just stopped trying to find compromise. Or solutions. Or to do anything at all.
It was a week defined by President Donald Trump’s petulant “bye-bye” to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer as he left a Wednesday meeting, after Pelosi informed him she would not give him the $5 billion he wants to build a wall along the southern border.
The week was set to end with the near certainty that Trump would declare a state of emergency in order to take funds allocated for other purposes and use them to build the wall. That done, the Congress would vote to reopen the government.
Except, twist! Friday afternoon, Trump told reporters this: “What we’re not looking to do right now is national emergency. I’m not going to do it so fast.”
Which leaves us precisely nowhere. Congress won’t be back in session until next week. And even when they come back, there’s absolutely no legislative proposal waiting to be debated, no building block on which a compromise could be constructed.
The Point: This is square one. And all of the elements are in place for this shutdown to last a lot longer.
Here’s the week that was in 19 headlines.
- White House says tax ‘refunds will go out’ amid shutdown
- Trump plans prime-time address, border visit as shutdown fight continues
- Trump warns of ‘crisis of the heart’ in immigration address
- Pence misleadingly claims nearly 4,000 terrorists caught trying to enter US
- Trump suggests he may use executive authority on border
- Taxpayers will pay for wall, White House aide acknowledges
- Trump revives threats to withhold FEMA funds from California fire recovery
- Trump said trip to the southern border is ‘not going to change a damn thing’
- Rosenstein, who picked Mueller, plans to leave Justice Dept. shortly after Barr confirmed
- Trump walks out of shutdown meeting, calling talks ‘total waste of time’
- Trump calls border wall a ‘medieval solution’ that works
- Michael Cohen, Trump’s former lawyer, to testify publicly before Congress
- Trump ready to declare national emergency if talks continue crumbling
- Trump cancels his Davos trip over government shutdown
- Trump says China is ‘more honorable than Chuck and Nancy’
- Trump claims ‘obviously’ Mexico isn’t going to write a check for a border wall
- Pompeo says ‘no contradiction’ on Syria policy despite shifting US statements