Week In The News: Government Shutdown, New Congress, Romney, Warren And More

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House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi of California, who will lead the 116th Congress as speaker of the House, is applauded at the Capitol in Washington, Thursday, Jan. 3, 2019. (Carolyn Kaster/AP)
House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi of California, who will lead the 116th Congress as speaker of the House, is applauded at the Capitol in Washington, Thursday, Jan. 3, 2019. (Carolyn Kaster/AP)

With David Folkenflik

The government shutdown hits the wall. The Democrats flex muscles in the House. Elizabeth Warren explores. Mitt Romney rebukes. The roundtable gets to work.


Seung Min Kim, White House reporter for The Washington Post. (@seungminkim)

Janet Hook, national political reporter for the Los Angeles Times. (@hookjan)

Jack Beatty, On Point news analyst. (@JackBeattyNPR)

From The Reading List

Washington Post: "House Democrats ready strategy to reopen government, deny Trump wall money" — "Democrats will take control of the House on Thursday with a stark challenge to President Trump, voting on legislation that would fund the federal government while denying Trump the money he has demanded to build a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border.

"GOP leaders in the Senate said they would support only a proposal that has the president’s backing. And without additional wall money, the Democrats’ offer is unlikely to break the stalemate that has shuttered large parts of the federal government since Dec. 22.

"But the strategy Democrats announced Monday would usher in a new era of divided government in Washington with a dare to Trump, aimed at forcing him and Senate Republicans to take their deal or prolong a partial government shutdown.

"House Democrats plan to use their new majority to vote through measures that would reopen nearly all of the shuttered federal agencies through the end of September, at funding levels Senate Republicans have previously agreed to. Those spending bills contain scores of priorities and pet projects for lawmakers on both sides of the aisle."

Los Angeles Times: "Trump answers Romney criticism: ‘I won big, and he didn’t’" — "Sen.-elect Mitt Romney’s scathing attack on President Trump — and the withering response it provoked — has rung in the new year by intensifying the debate about the future of the Republican Party.

"In the war between old-guard Republicans and Trump’s more populist GOP, Romney presented himself as a dissident leader, writing an op-ed article in the Washington Post that concluded, 'the president has not risen to the mantle of the office.'

"But while some Senate Republicans privately share that view, few are likely to publicly follow Romney’s lead in a party that has been remade in Trump’s image over the last two years.

"'I won big, and he didn’t,' Trump shot back on Twitter, ribbing Romney for losing his 2012 presidential bid to Barack Obama."

CNN: "No other Congress has ever looked like this" — "The 116th class of Congress broke barriers before its members even set foot in Washington.

"One example: Rep.-elect Ilhan Omar, a Minnesota Democrat who will be the first Somali-American member of Congress, noted the history of her election on Twitter on Wednesday night.

"'23 years ago, from a refugee camp in Kenya, my father and I arrived at an airport in Washington DC,' she tweeted, along with a photo of her and her father smiling with suitcases. 'Today, we return to that same airport on the eve of my swearing in as the first Somali-American in Congress.'

"Omar is just one of dozens of stories starting a new chapter Thursday. There are record numbers of women who will be sworn in in just a few hours. Muslim women will be serving for the first time — including Omar and Rep.-elect Rashida Tlaib of Michigan — as will Native American women, including Reps.-elect Sharice Davids and Deb Haaland. The state of Texas sent the state's first two Latina members to Congress, and two black congresswomen-elect from New England will also make history by coming to Washington. The historic firsts come from both parties and at least one member — Rep.-elect Alexandria Ocasio Cortez of New York — will be younger than 30."

CBS News: "Elizabeth Warren after presidential announcement: 'I want to be in this fight'" — "Sen. Elizabeth Warren gave her first television interview Wednesday evening since she announced an exploratory committee for a presidential bid on New Year's Eve. Warren is considered the first household name Democrat to announce her potential candidacy, although she is only one of several possible candidates pondering a bid.

"'I want to be in this fight,' Warren told Rachel Maddow on MSNBC show. 'This is truly about what kind of country we are going to be. I never thought I would get into politics, not in a million years, but I got in this because I believe this is the fight we must fight. I can't tell other to fight it. I have to be there right beside them.'

"Warren called out the Trump presidency as 'one grift after another' and called President Trump an 'accelerant for corruption.' "

Allison Pohle produced this show for broadcast.

This program aired on January 4, 2019.



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