News

White House

Trump Agrees to Three-Week Spending Bill Without Wall Funding to End Shutdown

President Trump announces that he will sign a stopgap spending bill that will fund the government through February 15. (Fox News via Youtube)

President Trump announced Friday afternoon that he will sign a stop-gap spending bill to fund the government through February 15, ending the longest government shutdown in history, which has left some 800,000 federal workers without paychecks.

Trump’s concession — the stop-gap measure will not provide the $5.7 billion in border-wall funding that he’d demanded, precipitating the shutdown in the first place — will allow a congressional committee with representatives of both parties time to negotiate a homeland-security-appropriations bill that addresses the thorny issue of border-wall funding, Trump said during remarks in the White House Rose Garden.

Should the committee fail to develop an acceptable border-security bill, Trump implied he would declare a national emergency and unilaterally reallocate military funds for the wall’s construction.

“We really have no choice but to build a powerful wall or steel barrier. If we don’t get a fair deal from Congress, the government will either shutdown on February 15 again, or I will use the powers afforded to me under the laws and the Constitution of the United States to address this emergency,” he said.

The announcement comes after a pair of rival spending bills were voted down in the Senate on Thursday. One, backed by Republicans and endorsed by the White House, included $5.7 billion for the construction of a border wall in exchange for a three-year asylum extension for immigrants brought to the country illegally as children. The other, backed by Democrats, would have reopened the government without addressing the question of border security.

Both pieces of legislation were expected to fail by Congressional leaders and White House officials alike and were widely considered to be test votes, conducted to gauge the support of each caucus for the shutdown strategy pursued by their respective leaders.

The test votes appeared to weaken Trump’s negotiating position as the Democrats’ bill received the support of six Republicans, while Trump’s proposal was backed by just one Democrat, Senator Joe Manchin of West Virginia.

After meeting with the president on Thursday afternoon, Senator Lindsey Graham (R., S.C.) told reporters that the White House would accept a short-term spending bill that included a “large down payment” on border-wall funding — a revelation White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders later confirmed. Speaker Nancy Pelosi called that apparent concession a “non-starter” in comments to reporters Thursday evening.

Graham met Friday morning with Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, who was reportedly absent from negotiations until this week. Following the meeting, Graham, who previously had urged the president to end the shutdown by declaring a national emergency, told reporters that the widespread airport delays reported Friday were “signs of things to come” should the shutdown continue.

Most Popular

Elections

Put Up or Shut Up on These Accusations, Hillary

Look, one 2016 candidate being prone to wild and baseless accusations is enough. Appearing on Obama campaign manager David Plouffe’s podcast, Hillary Clinton suggested that 2016 Green Party candidate Jill Stein was a “Russian asset,” that Republicans and Russians were promoting the Green Party, and ... Read More
Culture

Feminists Have Turned on Pornography

Since the sexual revolution of the 1960s, the feminist movement has sought to condemn traditional sexual ethics as repressive, misogynistic, and intolerant. As the 2010s come to a close, it might be fair to say that mainstream culture has reached the logical endpoint of this philosophy. Whereas older Americans ... Read More
White House

The Impeachment Defense That Doesn’t Work

If we’ve learned anything from the last couple of weeks, it’s that the “perfect phone call” defense of Trump and Ukraine doesn’t work. As Andy and I discussed on his podcast this week, the “perfect” defense allows the Democrats to score easy points by establishing that people in the administration ... Read More
PC Culture

Defiant Dave Chappelle

When Dave Chappelle’s Netflix special Sticks & Stones came out in August, the overwhelming response from critics was that it was offensive, unacceptable garbage. Inkoo Kang of Slate declared that Chappelle’s “jokes make you wince.” Garrett Martin, in the online magazine Paste, maintained that the ... Read More
Politics & Policy

Elizabeth Warren Is Not Honest

If you want to run for office, political consultants will hammer away at one point: Tell stories. People respond to stories. We’ve been a story-telling species since our fur-clad ancestors gathered around campfires. Don’t cite statistics. No one can remember statistics. Make it human. Make it relatable. ... Read More
National Review

Farewell

Today is my last day at National Review. It's an incredibly bittersweet moment. While I've only worked full-time since May, 2015, I've contributed posts and pieces for over fifteen years. NR was the first national platform to publish my work, and now -- thousands of posts and more than a million words later -- I ... Read More