04/20/2017 07:59 AM EDT
With assists from Elana Schor and Daniel Lippman
THE DREADED 'S' WORD - Congress comes back into town next week with only a handful of days to secure a government funding deal to stave off a shutdown. No one on the Hill has the appetite for a shutdown fight. But the White House, facing internal pressure to show some legislative accomplishments, is girding for battle over border wall funding, more money for immigration enforcement and a boost in defense spending.
The risk: "With almost uniform Democratic opposition to nearly all of the Trump administration's spending proposals, the fight could lead to a government shutdown next Friday - the day government spending expires, and right before the 100th day of Donald Trump's presidency," Josh Dawsey and Jake Sherman report.
The other option: Officials could also agree to a one-week extension, giving them more time for a broader agreement. More from Josh and Jake: http://politi.co/2pizZBg
The five biggest obstacles to a funding deal: 1. Border wall funding: Trump wants to fulfill a campaign pledge but Democrats are firmly against the idea. 2. Sanctuary cities: Some Republicans want to block federal grants for cities that don't enforce immigration laws 3. The Pentagon: Whether to boost defense spending and by how much
4. Obamacare subsidies: Democrats say the bill must provide money for a key Obamacare subsidy program that helps cover costs for lower-income enrollees 5. Coal miners' benefits: Coal-country lawmakers are insisting on a long-term health care plan for miners. More from Jen Scholtes and Sarah Ferris: http://politi.co/2piM2i1
WHAT'S OLD IS NEW AGAIN - House moderate and conservative group leaders say they are nearing a deal on an Obamacare repeal plan, Matt Fuller and Jonathan Cohn report for the Huffington Post. The deal, being brokered by Freedom Caucus Chairman Mark Meadows and Tuesday Group leader Tom MacArthur, would give conservatives certain concessions on pre-existing conditions while reinstating the essential health benefits that moderates want.
"We're in the midst of negotiating sort of finishing touches," House Speaker Paul Ryan said Wednesday in London. But don't get your hopes up yet, Huddle readers. Republicans still need to 216 votes in the House and until members come back from recess, it's impossible to know whether this deal is going to get them there or not. More from HuffPo: http://huff.to/2pViXp1
Bonus: Playbook's Anna Palmer and Jake Sherman got their hands on the one-pager detailing the compromise. Read it: http://politi.co/2ouh01O
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CHAFFETZ (NOT) IN THE HOUSE - Rep. Jason Chaffetz shocked the Beltway Wednesday, announcing via Facebook he won't run for reelection in 2018. Chaffetz has not been shy about eyeing a gubernatorial bid in 2020. But many expected the Utah Republican to stay in Congress - and keep his powerful perch atop the House Oversight Committee - until then. "I love serving in Congress, but I love my family more," Chaffetz said in a radio interview after the announcement. Austin: http://politi.co/2phHrfF
Don't count him out yet: Chaffetz has already purchased at least two domains with an eye towards 2028, as Kurt Bardella discovered. Both sites - jason2028.com and jasonchaffetz2028.com - were registered earlier this month.
Who will grab the Oversight gavel? The committee is stacked with House Freedom Caucus members, including Rep. Jim Jordan, who lost the chairmanship race to Chaffetz in 2014. Keep your eye on Rep. Trey Gowdy. He's eighth in seniority on the committee but has shown he can navigate both thorny issues and the spotlight as chairman of the Benghazi committee. The Hill's Cristina Marcos: http://bit.ly/2phK3dP
LATER TODAY: House Democrats hold a members-only conference call to strategize on the government funding bill, health care, tax reform and foreign policy. House Republicans will hold their own conference call Saturday.
THANKS FOR TUNING IN THIS THURSDAY, APRIL 20. Welcome to POLITICO's Huddle, the play-by-play guide to all things Capitol Hill.
WEDNESDAY'S MOST CLICKED: Gabe Debenedetti's take on Democrats' wait for a special election victory was the winner.
IT AIN'T OVER TIL IT'S OVER - The Georgia special election kicked into overdrive Wednesday with Democratic candidate Jon Ossoff raising more than $500,000 in one day. Ossoff will be back on TV with a new ad buy today and House Democrats' campaign arm is chipping in $500,000 for its own TV buy.
On the flip side, House Speaker Paul Ryan is expected to head down to the Peach State to campaign with GOP candidate Karen Handel in the next few weeks. And groups closely aligned with House leadership are planning a barrage of attacks against Ossoff. Elena Schneider with more: http://politi.co/2piDKXq
Wake-up call: GOP Rep. Dave Brat, a member of the House Freedom Caucus, said the Georgia and Kansas races should be "a little bit of a wake-up call." Republicans are busy "doing health care and tax policy and regulatory reform," while Democrats, now that they are out of power, are focused "almost entirely on politics." Austin with more on the GOP reaction: http://politi.co/2pizZB6
The question for Democrats is how much do they play going forward not just in the Georgia runoff but in the upcoming Montana race and beyond, to the 2018 midterms. "The party clearly has no clue how to build and nurture a movement," said Daily Kos founder Markos Moulitsas. "'We're going to lose, so stay out' is not a winning message, ever, and it certainly doesn't work in these times." Jonathan Martin reports for the New York Times: http://nyti.ms/2piGnIM
HOW'S THAT UNITY TOUR GOING, GUYS? DNC Chairman Tom Perez and Sen. Bernie Sanders are continuing their multi-state unity tour this week. But "Sanders remains just as uninterested in coming together with the Democratic Party as he did while fighting its leaders during last year's presidential primary campaign," Reid Epstein and Natalie Andrews report for the Wall Street Journal. "Sanders told a Maine crowd Monday night that 'our job is to radically transform the Democratic Party.'" More: http://on.wsj.com/2pisaeA
VAN HOLLEN DISPUTES NEW CLINTON BOOK - Sen. Chris Van Hollen's campaign is disputing allegations in a new book claiming that he tried to tamp down union efforts to turn out the African American vote, fearing it would benefit his primary opponent in the Senate race. Van Hollen was running against Rep. Donna Edwards. "Who gives a f--- about Chris Van Hollen?" Hillary Clinton reportedly said. The allegations are recounted in "Shattered," which documents Clinton's campaign. The Baltimore Sun's John Fritze: http://bsun.md/2phs7Qf
SOMETHING TO WATCH - Rep. Robert Aderholt could soon be jumping in the Alabama Senate race, Brian Lyman and Deborah Berry report for the Montgomery Advertiser. Aderholt's office said Wednesday "he was getting encouragement to run and could make a decision by the end of next month." More: http://on.mgmadv.com/2piE88h
MARK YOUR CALENDARS: "Top national security officials - Mattis, Dunford and Coats - expected to brief senators next Wednesday on North Korea, aides say," CNN's Manu Raju tweeted Wednesday night.
FRIENDS IN HIGH PLACES - A group of Senate Republicans, including Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, will be in the Bay area today for "a high-dollar fundraiser at the home of Larry Ellison, the co-founder and former chief executive of Oracle," Tony Romm reports for Recode.
And it's not just the GOP fundraising in Silicon Valley this week: "Senate Democrats' chief, Sen. Chuck Schumer, also is in town with Sen. Ron Wyden, according to a source familiar with the event." Tony with more: http://bit.ly/2pThtvn
COLLINS 'TROUBLED' OVER DREAMER DEPORTATION - GOP Sen. Susan Collins said Wednesday she's "troubled" by news that a Dreamer was deported by the Trump administration, even though the president has repeatedly promised they aren't targets of his beefed up immigration enforcement. "It does seem to contradict the president's own policy because he too has expressed sympathy for children who were brought here and have grown up here and in some cases know no other language, know no other country," she told Maine radio station WVOM. CNN with more: http://cnn.it/2pVvicU
Related: "We can't promise" Dreamers won't be deported, Attorney General Jeff Sessions said Wednesday. Ted Hesson with the story: http://politi.co/2pV59us
POLITICO Event - Rebuilding America: A New Infrastructure Agenda - Join POLITICO for a discussion on the prospects for a major national infrastructure push from the new administration and Congress. Speakers include: Sen. Deb Fischer (R-Neb.), Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.), Building America's Future President Marcia Hale, Club for Growth President David McIntosh, and Chamber of Commerce ED Transportation Infrastructure Ed Mortimer. Monday, April 24 - 5:30pm - The Newseum. RSVP: here.
A LITTLE HELP FROM MY FRIENDS - "Money from outside the Mountain State is pouring into West Virginia's Senate race, with more likely to appear before the 2018 elections," Jake Zuckerman reports for the Charleston Gazette-Mail. "Sen. Joe Manchin, D-W.Va., has received more money from individual donors in Texas ($95,600), Washington D.C. ($33,000), New York ($32,300), Massachusetts ($22,500), Virginia ($19,700), Maryland ($10,700) and Connecticut ($10,400) than West Virginia." More: http://bit.ly/2oulhlE
SINGING A DIFFERENT TUNE - Sen. Lindsey Graham, one of the GOP's most vocal and searing Trump critics, is feeling much better about the president these days. "We have got a president and a national security team that I've been dreaming of for eight years," Graham said on Fox & Friends. "I am all in. Keep it up, Donald," he added. "I'm sure you're watching." Kelsey Sutton: http://politi.co/2piCDHg
SPOTTED: Patriots Coach Bill Belichick and players from the championship-winning team touring the Capitol Wednesday. ... Sen. Dean Heller at the Reno International Airport yesterday morning holding up the TSA Pre-Check line and then being sent to secondary screening. Pic: http://bit.ly/2oSuoyx
MOVERS AND SHAKERS - Tyler Hernandez is leaving his job as deputy communications director for the House Education Committee. Tyler starts a new job as deputy comms director for Sen. Shelley Moore Capito. Helen Kalla, an alum of Rep. Lois Frankel's office and the Clinton campaign, has a new gig as press manager for the Indivisible Project.
TODAY IN CONGRESS - The House meets in a pro forma session at 4:00 p.m. The Senate meets in a pro forma session at 7:20 p.m.
OFF THE HILL - House Judiciary Chairman Bob Goodlatte, ranking member John Conyers and Reps. Doug Collins, Sheila Jackson Lee and Cedric Richmond hold a 1:15 p.m. press conference after a roundtable in Houston on community-police relations.
Sen. Chris Van Hollen and Reps. Elijah Cummings, Dutch Ruppersberger and John Sarbanes participate in a roundtable at 7 p.m. hosted by the Baltimore Indivisible Coalition.
WEDNESDAY'S TRIVIA WINNER - Shelby Boxenbaum was the quick draw on guessing which U.S. county celebrates bananas at an annual fall festival that's a must-go for political candidates in the state: Fulton County, Kentucky.
A special Huddle shout-out goes to: Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, who was a near-winner two days in a row this week!
TODAY'S TRIVIA - Shelby gave us a double-challenge on presidential education: Who was the most recent president to never receive a college degree? And how many presidents attended medical school and who are they?
The first person to correctly answer gets a shout out in tomorrow's Huddle. And don't forget, send suggestions for trivia questions my way: email@example.com
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