government shutdown

Hoyer: House priorities for 2020 include health care, infrastructure, climate, redistricting
Legislative action also planned on appropriations, defense, education, housing, modernizing Congress

House Majority Leader Steny H. Hoyer is outlining a busy legislative agenda for 2020. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

House Democrats in 2020 plan to pass legislation on top party priorities like health care, infrastructure and climate as well as more under-the-radar subjects like modernizing Congress and redistricting — all while trying to fully fund the government on time for the first time in 24 years, Majority Leader Steny H. Hoyer said.

The No. 2 Democrat, who is in charge of the floor schedule, outlined his legislative priorities for the year in an interview with CQ Roll Call. The aforementioned issues were among a long list that Hoyer said Democrats plan to pursue in the second session of the 116th Congress. Others the Maryland Democrat mentioned include education, taxes, the annual defense and intelligence authorizations, and reauthorizations of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act and National Flood Insurance Program.

Appeals court lifts block of funding for border wall

A section of the border wall stretches through the Rio Grande Valley sector of the Texas border on Aug. 20, 2019. (Jinitzail Hernández/CQ Roll Call)

A U.S. appeals court has issued a stay on a lower court ruling that had blocked the Trump administration from reallocating $3.6 billion in federal military funds to construct a wall along the nation’s border with Mexico.

In a 2-1 decision late Wednesday, the New Orleans-based 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals placed a temporarily halt on a Dec. 10 ruling by a federal judge in El Paso, Texas, that barred the transfer.

Former NFL player Steve Gleason joins ranks of Mother Teresa and Pope John Paul II
Former Saints player to be awarded Congressional Gold Medal for ALS work

Former New Orleans Saints player Steve Gleason and his wife, Michel Varisco Gleason, roll in the Krewe of Orpheus parade in New Orleans in March 2019. (Erika Goldring/Getty Images file photo)

A week from Wednesday, congressional leaders will gather on Capitol Hill to award the next recipient of the highest honor that Congress can grant a civilian.

Fewer than 200 people have received the Congressional Gold Medal, and former New Orleans Saints player Steve Gleason will be the first NFL player to make the cut on a list that includes the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr., Rosa Parks, Pope John Paul II and Mother Teresa.

Talking taxes 2020
CQ Budget, Ep. 138

UNITED STATES - Rep. Nita Lowey, D-N.Y., leaves a meeting with Sen. Patrick Leahy, D-Vt., Sen. Richard Shelby, R-Ala., and Rep. Kay Granger, R-Texas, in the Capitol after agreeing to a spending deal. (Photo By Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Tax reporter Doug Sword sits down with guest host Jennifer Shutt to explain why Congress added so many tax bills to a massive spending package and what exactly those provisions will mean during the upcoming year. CQ Budget delves into what didn't make it into the package and predicts how far those provisions will advance in 2020.

The top 10 Roll Call stories from 2019
Readers favored stories about Mueller, impeachment, AOC ... and weaponized ticks?

It was a busy news year in “the swamp,” including when a protester from Clean Water Action was seen wearing a Swamp Thing costume during the March confirmation hearing for David Bernhardt, nominee to be secretary of the Interior. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Some may argue that calling 2019 a busy year on Capitol Hill would be an understatement.

The 116th Congress was sworn in amid the longest government shutdown in history, featured hearings on a bombshell report by special counsel Robert S. Mueller III, and ended with votes to impeach President Donald Trump and pass a spending package to keep the government running through next September.

Capitol Ink | Best of 2019
The only constant in this wild year was unpredictability

Quid pro WHOA — what a year!

In January, Democrats took control of the House amid what would become the longest federal government shutdown in history. Springtime brought, besides cherry blossoms, special counsel Robert S. Mueller II’s release of his report on Russian interference in the 2016 election — and a blindsiding by his own boss, Attorney General William Barr.

Mar-a-Limbo: With Senate trial on hold, Trump faces uncertainty during Florida vacation
Despite likely acquittal, presidential scholars see an executive office likely changed forever

President Donald Trump arrives on the South Lawn of the White House before speaking to members of the media in Washington on Oct. 10. (Caroline Brehman/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Thank you for your (government) service
Federal workers powered through a government shutdown and impeachment chaos in 2019

During impeachment hearings, career diplomat Marie Yovanovitch told of being called back as the ambassador to Ukraine in the middle of the night and, later, of being “shocked and devastated” to learn that President Donald Trump had told Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelenskiy that she was “going to go through some things.” (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

OPINION — Few jobs are ever easy. But the last year for the roughly 2 million federal employees of the United States has been more than just difficult. For some, it’s been expensive. For many, it’s been demoralizing. And for the Foreign Service officers who came forward to tell the House Intelligence Committee what they knew about President Donald Trump’s conversations with the president of Ukraine over the summer, the year has felt downright dangerous. The president has called federal employees everything from “Deep State” to “human scum” this year. But today, I’d like to simply thank them for their service. 

It’s easy to forget, but 2019 began in the middle of what would become the longest government shutdown in American history and the third since 2013. Faced with an impasse over money for the president’s border wall, Congress left town last December without funding about a quarter of the government, including salaries for 420,000 federal employees scattered across the country.  While most were furloughed, 55,000 others, including staff at the Department of Homeland Security and Justice Department, were required to work without pay anyway — and they did. 

Trump signs spending bills, averts shutdown
Fiscal 2020 appropriations packages become law just ahead of midnight deadline

President Donald Trump speaks to members of the media on the South Lawn of the White House on Oct. 10, 2019. (Caroline Brehman/CQ Roll Call file photo)

President Donald Trump signed two behemoth spending packages totaling $1.4 trillion on Friday night, preventing another year-end government shutdown with an hour and a half to spare.

The existing stopgap funding law was set to expire at midnight.

The year in Political Theater: Our favorite 2019 podcasts

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One has not quite lived until Werner Herzog tells you on your own podcast: “No, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no ... You are wrong.” Lesson learned: Don’t argue with headstrong German filmmakers about 19th Century Russian poets. 

That was just one of the many highlights of 2019’s Political Theater podcast. Of course we also examined the world of politics, what it means to be a member of Congress, the effect of President Donald Trump on the journalism, and the advice a respected and garrulous former member of Congress for the newly elected.