Heidi Heitkamp Says She Supports Senate’s 5-Day Stopgap Plan

The following excerpt is from an article that originally appeared on Zero Hedge

Update (6:20 pm ET): Democratic Sen. Heidi Heitkamp says she will vote for a 5-day stopgap plan being hashed out by a group of senate Republicans. While Mulvaney has expressed optimism that a deal will be reached within the next 24 hours, Mark Meadows, leader of the House Freedom Caucus of conservative Republicans, said the 5-day agreement is a nonstarter – Which an administration insider confirmed.

Heitkamp represents North Dakota – a state where Trump won more than 60% of the vote in 2016 – and will be running for re-election in November. Her seat is viewed as vulnerable by some Republicans.

According to the Washington Post, Heitkamp also supported the Republican plan for a one-month extension, as did Indiana’s Joe Donnelly and West Virginia Sen. Joe Manchin III. All three senators face a difficult path to reelection in heavily Republican states.

Meanwhile, Mitch McConnell announced on the Senate floor that a procedural vote on the troubled 4-week extension has been scheduled for for 10 pm ET. Senate Democrats will meet at 8:30 pm ET.

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Update (5:40 pm ET): OBM Director Mick Mulvaney says he “thinks there’ll be a deal in the next 24 hours.”

Meanwhile, a White House aide said a proposed 5-day bill is a non-starter – echoing sentiments expressed by Freedom Caucus head Mark Meadows.

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Update (5:20 pm ET): Trump tweeted that he had an “excellent” meeting with Schumer, and that he’s working with both Democratic leaders, as well as Paul Ryan and Mitch McConnell to hammer out a four-week extension.



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Update (2:40 pm ET): Schumer has left the White House meeting with Trump…

He confirmed to reporters that “some progress” has been made, but that a deal has not yet been reached and “disagreements on several issues remain.”


Nancy Pelosi says she believes a deal is “within reach.”





Steny Hoyer appears to agree:


Citing an anonymous source at the White House, ABC is reporting that talks will continue..

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Update (2 pm ET): House Rules Committee Chairman Pete Sessions said the House will vote again tonight if Trump and Schumer manage to work out a separate deal.

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Update: There is still no vote scheduled for the Senate, but that didn’t stop John Cornyn, the Republican No. 2 in the upper chamber, from telling reporters that he expects a vote to be held “after lunch.”

Meanwhile, Mark Meadows, leader of the House Freedom Caucus, said he understands a proposal for a five-day short-term fix has been rejected by the House.

According to the latest headline from the New York Times, Trump has invited Democratic leader Chuck Schumer to the White House t try and hammer out a last-minute deal.

Schumer has reportedly accepted, and is on his way to the White House to meet with Trump, who is addressing a crowd of supporters at the March for Life from the Rose Garden.

Schumer is now at WH for mtg w/Trump

— Chad Pergram (@ChadPergram) January 19, 2018 “>Fox News is reporting that Schumer has arrived at the White House.



Despite all of this, markets haven’t shown much of a reaction…


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Update: Hardly a surprise, Mulvaney and Short arrived more than a half hour late, then proceeded to blast Democrats as obstructionists for trying to force a shutdown.

They even have a name for it: “The Schumer Shutdown”.

“This is an attempt by democrats led by Schumer – that’s why we’re calling it the Schumer shutdown – to embarrass the president,” Mulvaney said.

“They don’t oppose anything in there. They support chip they don’t want the cadillac tax to go into place they’ve always supported clean CRs. And again, it worked in the House – there were several Democrats who voted for it,” Mulvaney.

DACA doesn’t expire until March 5 – and therefore, doesn’t need to be dealt with until mid-February, Mulvaney said.

Unlike the last shutdown in 2013, federal parks will be open, Mulvaney said. But all federal employees will be working for nothing (that is, until their back pay is approved by Congress). The military, TSA, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac will also go to work, but they will not be paid.

As of now, it looks like the federal government expects the shutdown to happen – though Mulvaney said their version of the shutdown would be more “moderate” than the previous shutdown, which happened during the Obama years. Mulvaney accused the Obama administration of “weaponizing” the shutdown by ensuring that virtually all federal employees didn’t show up for work. 

While Mulvaney and Short were answering questions from the media, President Trump chimed in on twitter, chiding Democrats for opposing the bill. Trump blasted California Sen. Dianne Feinstein, tweeting a quote from her in the Washington Examiner: “Shutting down the government is a very serious thing…People die, accidents happen. I don’t know how I would vote right now on a CR, OK?”




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With the one-month stopgap spending bill stalled in the Senate, the White House is finally accepting the fact that there’s little it can do to prevent the government from shutting down at midnight on Friday.

Trump has promised to remain in Washington – postponing a weekend trip to Mar-a-Lago – until the shutdown is averted or ended, and in order to keep the media apprised of what’s about the happen, the White House is holding a press conference at 10:30 am ET.

Watch it live below:

The press conference will feature White House Legislative Director Marc Short and OMB Director Mick Mulvaney, who only minutes ago warned that the odds of a shutdown were “50-50” – another way of saying “we have no idea what’s going to happen.”

According to the Hill, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell adjourned the Senate until 11 a.m. Friday without scheduling a vote on the House measure, giving lawmakers just 13 hours to reach a deal to avert a shutdown. McConnell has vowed to keep the Senate in session until an agreement is reached. Democrats are digging in their heels, demanding that they receive some concessions on DACA, opioids and funding for Puerto Rico before assenting to another short-term spending bill.

One thing’s for certain: Don’t expect the steady stream of headlines to abate until late tonight…


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