Speaker of the House Paul Ryan is slinking off the political stage this week in perfect form, during a government shutdown which he’s done nothing to prevent or to end. Neither the House nor the Senate is working today, and won’t be back in until Monday, with no indication they intend to vote on anything. Which means Individual 1 is going to be dealing with Nancy Pelosi, and it will be a whole other ball game.
The first step on January 3 when the new Congress is sworn in will be a vote to stop the shutdown, and while leadership is considering a number of options for that spending bill, $5 billion for Trump’s wall isn’t in any of them. “We want … the government open, and my hope is we can get it opened before Jan. 3,” said Rep. Jim McGovern (D-MA), the new Rules Committee chairman. “If not, one of the first things we’ll do will be to move to pass legislation to reopen the government. And the president can decide whether he wants to sign it or not.”
That also means putting pressure on Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell. One of the options they’ve considered, Democratic sources tell Politico, is including multiple funding options in the rules package for the new Congress that they’ll pass first thing. That gives McConnell options to choose from, putting the public onus on him to work with the Democrats who will be showing their flexibility and eagerness to work with him. Pelosi and Senate Democratic leader Chuck Schumer have agreed on one thing—what won’t be in that package is more than $1.3 billion for border security.
What will be in that package is back pay for the 800,000 federal workers who’ve seen their paychecks stolen by Donald Trump.