Brian Schatz

Three things to watch in Trump’s border wall Oval Office address
Democrats expect more false, misleading statements as shutdown drags on

President Trump speaks in the Oval Office in February 2017 before Vice President Mike Pence swore in now-former Secretary of State Rex Tillerson (left). (John T. Bennett/CQ Roll Call)

President Donald Trump’s first Oval Office prime-time address will put the border wall — his signature campaign promise — center stage as he considers declaring a national emergency at the southern border and aims to shift public opinion about the government shutdown.

Senior administration officials on Monday did not rule out the president making what would be a contentious announcement during his Tuesday address. Vice President Mike Pence was one of those officials, and he made clear in a television interview that aired Tuesday morning that Trump could make a move that Democrats already are panning.

Amid Crises, Trump Slips Out of Washington to Visit Troops in Iraq
President had caught flack for opting against a warzone visit in first 23 months in office

President Trump quietly left Joint Base Andrews early Wednesday morning on Air Force One to make his first visit as commander in chief to U.S. troops deployed in a combat zone. (Jeff J Mitchell/Getty Images)

Amid a government shutdown and multiple crises at home, President Donald Trump slid out of the White House early Wednesday morning for a holiday season trip to visit troops in Iraq.

Trump faced bipartisan criticism for not visiting any U.S. forces deployed in combat zones since he took office in January 2017. There were rumors last week that he might travel to Iraq or Afghanistan during what had been planned as a 16-day holiday season vacation at his South Florida resort, but White Houses, for security reasons, keep such trips under wraps.

Negotiations on Spending Deal Will Continue, But No Deal in Sight
Senate won’t vote on House spending plan, McConnell says he hopes White House and Democrats can make a deal

Sen. Ben Sasse, R-Neb., is seen on the Capitol's Senate steps before a procedural vote on the spending bill on Friday. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Sens. Jeff Flake and Bob Corker reached an agreement with the two Senate leaders that no vote on a spending plan will happen until there’s agreement between Senate Democrats, House Republicans and the White House.

“We’re not voting on anything else ... until there’s a global agreement,” Corker said on the Senate floor.

Trump Rages Over Border Wall, Sees Shutdown for ‘Very Long Time’
‘Wheels down IAD ready to vote no on this stupid wall,’ Democratic senator tweets

President Donald Trump made clear Friday morning he is dug in over his demand for border wall funding, making a partial government shutdown likely. (Mark Wilson/Getty Images file photo)

Donald Trump, just hours before a handful of federal agencies will close, urged Senate Republicans to“fight” for his southern border wall and predicted a likely government shutdown “will last for a very long time.”

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell “will need Democrat votes, but as shown in the House, good things happen,” wrote a president lurching from crisis to crisis even though Senate Democrats are united against the wall. “If enough Dems don’t vote, it will be a Democrat Shutdown! House Republicans were great yesterday!”

Trump Threatens to Close U.S.-Mexico Border ‘Permanently,’ Dems Cry Foul
President mostly wants to sow ‘chaos,’ Rep. Maxine Waters says

A Honduran man waves an American flag while standing with other migrants at the U.S.-Mexico border fence on Sunday in Tijuana, Mexico, where migrants made their way after evading a police blockade as they attempted to approach the El Chaparral port of entry. (Mario Tama/Getty Images)

Donald Trump has a new threat about the U.S.-Mexico border: If he doesn’t get his way, he might just shut down the whole thing.

The president appeared to contradict a deal his administration reached with the Mexican government under which allow asylum seekers could remain in Mexcio as a legal process about their request to enter the United States played out. But on Monday morning, Trump pressed Mexican officials to “move the flag waving Migrants, many of whom are stone cold criminals, back to their countries.”

Senate Dems Want Republicans to Take a Position on ‘Junk’
Baldwin hopes to force a vote to overturn Trump administration rule on short-term health care plans

Sen. Tammy Baldwin is leading the charge to reverse the Trump administration’s rule on short-term health insurance plans — or at least to get Republicans on the record. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Senate Democrats are planning to force a vote this week on a resolution that would overturn the Trump administration’s expansion of short-term health insurance plans.

Critics call them “junk” plans, since they’re not required to comply with all the regulations of the 2010 health care law.

Prosecutor’s Memo Is Senators’ New Rorschach Test in Kavanaugh Process
Democrats and Republicans not swayed from original positions by five-page memo

Rachel Mitchell, counsel for Senate Judiciary Committee Republicans, questions Dr. Christine Blasey Ford on Thursday as, from left, Republican Sens. Mike Crapo, Jeff Flake, Ben Sasse, Ted Cruz, Mike Lee, and John Cornyn listen. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call/POOL)

The Arizona prosecutor hired by Republicans on the Senate Judiciary Committee to question Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh and a woman who has accused him of sexually assaulting her when they were in high school issued a memo Sunday concluding that a “reasonable prosecutor” would not bring the woman’s case against Kavanaugh in court.

But Rachel Mitchell, a sex crimes prosecutor for the Maricopa County attorney’s office that includes Phoenix, also pointed out that a Senate confirmation hearing “is not a trial, especially not a prosecution.”

Chuck Schumer Navigates the Resistance
The Senate’s Democratic leader wants to get along with everyone. Now he finds himself between Scylla and Charybdis

Senate Minority Leader Sen. Charles Schumer waves an American flag after unveiling the Democrats’ ‘Better Deal for Our Democracy’ platform in May. (Sarah Silbiger/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Back when he was policy director for Sen. Charles E. Schumer, Jim Kessler had a conversation with his boss about working with a high-profile Republican. This is how it went, according to Kessler.

Schumer: I can call Newt, he likes me.

McCain Remembrances Kick Off in Arizona
Flake and Kyl among speakers at state capitol

Cindy McCain, wife of, Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz. lays her head on casket during a memorial service at the Arizona Capitol on Wednesday, Aug. 29, 2018, in Phoenix. (Ross D. Franklin/AP, pool)

Activities honoring the life of GOP Sen. John McCain began Wednesday in his home state of Arizona, with a private ceremony at the state Capitol followed by an opportunity for constituents to pay their respects.

Former Sen. Jon Kyl — who has been working on the confirmation process for Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh — was among those who delivered formal remarks.

Republican Infighting Over Abortion Almost Sends Spending Bill Off the Rails
Drama unfolded as senators neared passage of a $856.9 billion funding package

Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., says fellow Republicans tried to block him on abortion. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Updated 5:47 p.m. | Not long after their plans were nearly derailed Thursday over a dispute about Planned Parenthood funding, Senate leaders got a final vote on a $856.9 billion funding package.

Earlier in the day, Sen. Rand Paul had fumed that his fellow Republicans were blocking a long-sought amendment to keep taxpayer dollars from going to abortion providers.