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Money-strapped authorities staff are nervous about shopping for meals and making lease. Trash and human feces (significantly!) are piling up in nationwide parks. Even the Secret Service is feeling harassed.
And but, 19 days into what’s turn into the nation’s second-longest authorities shutdown, there’s no compromise in sight, and no further negotiations scheduled.
The issue, after all, is politics. The shutdown hinges on a border wall battle that’s turn into about a lot greater than a wall. In some ways, President Trump’s struggle for his “massive, stunning wall” is a metaphor for the present politics of Washington.
You’ve got a broadly unpopular Republican president, already working beneath a cloud of investigations, obsessive about maintaining his guarantees to his supporters forward of what’s anticipated to be a tricky re-election race. And you’ve got a Democratic opposition equally pushed by their voters to oppose him at each flip.
These politics are the undercurrent for all of the talks concerning the shutdown, and so they’re essentially at odds with one another. And every sides sees political profit to holding out and resisting any form of compromise.
Right here’s what Democrats see:
• Midterm wins. Democrats received management of the Home regardless of efforts by the president to show the ultimate weeks of the marketing campaign right into a referendum on undocumented immigrants. Mr. Trump couldn’t get his wall funded when he managed each homes of Congress. Why ought to they provide now, Democrats argue, if his personal celebration wouldn’t?
• The bottom. Sure, some Democrats have backed border fencing up to now. However Mr. Trump’s hard-line insurance policies, which Democrats see as racist and xenophobic, have pushed the celebration to the left. And it’s more durable to chop offers when the talk turns into about morality.
• The dealmaker has no garments. Storming out a gathering after saying “bye-bye” isn’t a superb search for any president, Democrats imagine, however notably one who ran on his skill to barter. The broader influence of the shutdown cuts by way of the theatrics the president usually makes use of to get out of difficult conditions.
• Jumpy Republicans. On Wednesday evening, eight Home Republicans broke with the president and voted for a Democratic invoice that may reopen the Treasury Division. A minimum of 4 G.O.P. Senators have expressed some help for reopening the federal government. Probably the most jittery of all? Republicans up for re-election in purple states.
What the White Home sees:
• The opposite base. Mr. Trump measures his political success by whether or not he retains his supporters completely satisfied. That’s a part of why he rejected a deal on the shutdown negotiated by his personal aides and G.O.P. leaders after conservatives voiced opposition. And his base desires that wall.
• Mueller? Mueller? The fixed concentrate on the shutdown supplies Mr. Trump and the White Home with a break from the story line that actually makes them nervous: the particular counsel investigation.
What Republicans see:
• Opposition to Mr. Trump by no means pays. There are 19 Senate Republicans up for re-election subsequent yr in purple states. A lesson many took away from the president’s help of major challengers throughout 2018 midterms was that Republican institution doesn’t win by contradicting Mr. Trump.
• An extended timeline. The selections by the White Home to pay out meals stamps by way of February and course of tax refunds means Republicans have a bit extra respiration room. Significantly in poorer districts, extending these packages supplies important money infusions to giant components of their voting base.
• The elusive deal. Senate Republicans have grown more and more aggravated with the dearth of readability from the White Home, leaving them not sure about whether or not Mr. Trump would even signal a deal they managed to chop with Democrats. That’s a part of why the Senate majority chief, Mitch McConnell, has saved his distance from the talks. “It’s at all times troublesome,” Senator John Cornyn instructed The Washington Put up, “when the particular person you’re negotiating with is somebody who modifications his thoughts.”
However don’t neglect this:
Elections aren’t received or misplaced on shutdowns.
In 1995 and 1996, People blamed the Republican Congress for shutdowns. The celebration held onto its majorities within the 1996 election. In 2013, People as soon as once more blamed Republicans for the shutdown. Within the midterms that adopted the following yr, the celebration gained seats within the Home and received again the Senate.
Have you ever been personally affected by the shutdown? Inform us about it: [email protected]. Our inbox is at all times open!
Truth verify: Trump and the border
After a day of fruitless negotiations over the wall, President Trump traveled to a border city in Texas as we speak to make his case. We determined to verify in with Linda Qiu, The Occasions’s truth checker, and check the veracity of a few of the president’s current discuss concerning the border.
Lisa: In his prime-time tackle on Tuesday, the president stated the southern border was at a disaster level. What do you make of that? Have issues gotten significantly worse down there?
Linda: Mr. Trump stated the phrase “disaster” six instances in that nine-minute tackle! However there’s probably not a superb case for a border disaster. Unlawful border crossings have been declining for about twenty years. I’ll bore you with some numbers now: From the 1980s to mid-2000s, apprehensions on the southwest border had been between 1 million and 1.6 million yearly. Final yr, the quantity was slightly below 400,000. Now, there was an uptick in month-to-month crossings in October and November, to about 50,000 apprehensions every month. However evaluate that to 2000, when the month-to-month quantity was between 70,000 and 220,000.
It’s additionally attention-grabbing to me that Mr. Trump has form of stopped making an attempt to make use of knowledge to help his arguments. As a substitute, he’s speaking extra about “Angel Households” — individuals whose family members had been killed by undocumented immigrants — as he did within the speech on Tuesday evening and through a round-table as we speak. (And a few of these households actually recognize the president advocating on their behalf!) However definitely, it’s extra useful for him to spotlight these particular tragedies than discuss concerning the physique of analysis that exhibits that immigration doesn’t result in extra crime, and that immigrants are literally much less prefer to commit crimes than native-born People.
So on the finish of the day, it’s an emotional attraction, moderately than a statistical or empirical argument about any “disaster.”
Lisa: The attraction to feelings jogs my memory of the migrant caravan, which the president helped flip right into a nationwide story forward of the midterm elections. What occurred to the caravan? Did the migrants ever come to the U.S.?
Linda: Some migrants definitely did attempt. Keep in mind that televised conflict in late November? Tons of of migrants tried to run towards a border crossing in San Diego, and Customs and Border Safety closed the border and fired tear gasoline into the gang. Our colleagues who’ve been touring with the caravan additionally reported in December that about 2,000 have made appointments with immigration officers to petition for asylum — which is completely authorized — and so they’re dealing with lengthy ready instances. A whole lot of migrants have additionally determined to simply keep in Mexico in the intervening time. And a few have tried to cross the border illegally.
Now that Washington is at an deadlock over the president’s border wall, Mr. Trump has been speaking caravans once more. This time he’s warning of a brand new caravan forming in Honduras. And I think about this received’t be the final time we hear him speaking ominously about teams of migrants coming to the southern border.
For extra, try Linda’s Truth-Verify of the Day. In the present day’s subject: Secretary of State Mike Pompeo’s speech in Cairo.
Harris takes the stage
Our colleague Astead Herndon, who covers nationwide politics, despatched us this replace as we speak on the most recent from a big-name 2020 hopeful.
Senator Kamala Harris continues to prepared her seemingly presidential marketing campaign, and this week got here with vital clues on what to anticipate from the California Democrat as she prepares for the nationwide circuit.
Ms. Harris held a number of media appearances as she hawked her pointedly timed new e book, “The Truths We Maintain,” together with visitor spots on Good Morning America, The View and several other late evening discuss exhibits. The message: She’s a unifier in a time of deep polarization and division.
“We’re at an inflection second, not solely within the historical past of our nation however the historical past of our world,” Ms. Harris stated on ABC’s Good Morning America. “There are lots of people who rightly really feel displaced. They’re questioning: The place do they belong? Are they related? Are they seen? Are we fascinated with them?”
“We want management has a imaginative and prescient of the longer term through which everybody can see themselves,” she stated.
Although Ms. Harris is predicted to announce her presidential candidacy within the coming weeks, a supply near the senator stated there’s no imminent plans on when that may occur. Ms. Harris might be in New York Metropolis Friday, for a e book occasion on the famed 92nd Road Y on the Higher West Aspect.
This week she additionally tweeted a name for nationalized authorized marijuana and stated incarcerated individuals who had been convicted on nonviolent marijuana-related prices ought to have their data expunged.
Ms. Harris has, at instances, come beneath fireplace from social justice activists who say her tenure as California lawyer basic didn’t match her progressive rhetoric. It’s one in every of a number of challenges dealing with Ms. Harris’s candidacy, which might be one of many first viable campaigns for president launched by a nonwhite girl.
What to learn tonight
• Scientists have discovered that the oceans are heating up 40 % quicker than a U.N. panel estimated 5 years in the past, and that ocean temperatures have damaged data for a number of straight years.
• Video video games as a varsity sport? At quite a lot of excessive colleges and faculties, there are leagues, follow, spectators — even scholarships.
• Her fiancé helped orchestrate the raid on Osama bin Laden. He obtained a Purple Coronary heart. He thwarted a bioterrorism assault in New York Metropolis. Or did he? The title of this piece in Marie Claire says all of it: “I Nearly Married a Con Man.”
We all know, he’s not precisely a candidate. (Don’t inform the Draft Beto individuals!)
Since he misplaced the Senate race, Instagram followers have seen Mr. O’Rourke consuming guac whereas driving, reducing flank steak, constructing an igloo (it was New Yr’s Eve!) and climbing along with his household.
However a dental cleansing? It’s a advantageous line between genuine and an excessive amount of, y’all.
(Mr. O’Rourke’s spokesman stated the video was a part of his effort to showcase “on a regular basis tales from the border.” Whereas within the chair he interviewed his dental hygienist, whose mom was an immigrant.)
No phrase on whether or not he had cavities — although maybe a super-zoom filter may assist reply that query.
Truth-check illustration by Tim Lahan.
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