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The DC: 🏛 Shutdown averted? and... Should we withdraw National Guard troops from the border?

by Countable | 2.12.19

Welcome to Tuesday, Homo grammaticuses...

We may have "in principle" avoided another partial government shutdown.

Congressional negotiators revealed late Monday that they'd reached "an agreement in principle" on border security funding.

"We reached an agreement in principle between us on all the homeland security and the other six bills," said Senate Appropriations Committee Chairman Richard Shelby (R-AL), a lead Republican negotiator. “The White House has been consulted all along."

The deal includes $1.375 billion for physical barriers along the U.S.-Mexico border, which can only be used for construction to cover around 55 miles in the Rio Grande Valley.

Democrats reportedly dropped their demand to restrict the number of unauthorized immigrants who can be detained by Immigration and Custom Enforcement at a time. According to sources, Democrats have agreed to provide enough money for 40,520 detention beds for ICE, a roughly 17 percent reduction from current levels.

What do you think? Do you support this border bill?

On the Radar

  • Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) is facing bipartisan condemnation for comments insinuating that the American Israeli Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) ― a non-profit that doesn’t donate directly to candidates ― pays politicians to be pro-Israel. She'd tweeted “It’s all about the Benjamins baby” to explain lawmaker support for Israel. Those tweets have drawn sharp criticism from both sides of the aisle, with Rep. Eliot Engel (D-NY) saying “it’s shocking to hear a Member of Congress invoke the anti-Semitic trope of ‘Jewish money.’” Omar later apologized, tweeting: “My intention is never to offend my constituents or Jewish Americans as a whole...I unequivocally apologize.” How do you feel about Omar's comments?

  • California Gov. Gavin Newsom (D) is pulling most of the 360 National Guard troops sent to the U.S.-Mexico border. "The border 'emergency' is a manufactured crisis," Newsom will say during his State of the State address Tuesday morning, according to advance excerpts. "And California will not be part of this political theater." California’s former governor, Jerry Brown, had agreed to add 400 troops to aid in border-related security at the request of Trump. The president later blasted Brown for placing limits on what the troops could do. “Looks like Jerry Brown and California are not looking for safety and security along their very porous Border,” Trump tweeted. “He cannot come to terms for the National Guard to patrol and protect the Border. The high crime rate will only get higher.” Do you support withdrawing National Guard troops from the border?

Under the Radar

  • If Trump declares a national emergency to secure funding for a U.S.-Mexico border wall, should Congress block him? Trump has threatened for weeks that he’s prepared to declare a national emergency "for the security of the country” if Congress can’t reach a budget resolution. The National Emergencies Act of 1976 allows the commander-in-chief to declare an emergency for almost anything. But Congress also gave itself the power to terminate an emergency declaration if both the House and Senate vote to do so. However, the president could then veto their resolution, and it’s unlikely either chamber could reach the two-thirds majority necessary to reverse a veto. Should Congress block Trump if he declares an emergency for wall funding?

Your Gov at a Glance 👀

The White House: President Trump in D.C.


The House of Representatives: In

  • No votes are expected in the House to allow members to attend the funeral of former Rep. John Dingell (D-MI).

The Senate: In

  • Voting on a bill to manage public lands and natural resources.
  • Taking a procedural vote on the nomination of William Barr to be attorney general.

What You're Saying

Here are some of your thoughts on The Bipartisan Public Lands & Natural Resources Package:

(Follow Eliyak's comment here.)

(Follow Lavonia's comment here.)

But wait, there's more!

And, in the End…

Before bills and nominations are brought up for a passage vote in Congress, they typically have to be considered and approved by relevant committees.

We take a thorough look at the hearings Congressional committees will be holding this week in our Committee Watch, but here are a few we're watching extra closely:

  • On Tuesday, the House Education & Labor Committee will hold a hearing titled “Underpaid Teachers and Crumbling Schools: How Underfunding Public Education Shortchanges America’s Students”. 10:15am
  • On Wednesday, the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee will hold a hearing titled “The Invasive Species Threat: Protecting Wildlife, Public Health, and Infrastructure”. 10am
  • On Thursday, the House Judiciary Committee will hold a hearing titled “The State of Competition in the Wireless Market: Examining the Impact of the Proposed Merger of T-Mobile and Spring on Consumers, Workers, and the Internet”. 10am

Find an ox and paint it blue for Paul Bunyan Day,

—Josh Herman

Talk to us via email at contact [at] countable.us. And don’t forget to keep in touch @Countable.

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