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Photos of the week: Snow and a bus ride to nowhere as the shutdown continues
The week of Jan. 14 as captured by Roll Call’s photographers

Rep. Anthony Brown, D-Md., takes questions from constituents during his town hall meeting on the government shutdown at the Largo-Kettering Branch Library in the Washington suburbs on Saturday. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

The shutdown is approaching its fifth week, seemingly with no end in sight. Lawmakers are planning to be in session next week, despite the typical annual recess following the Martin Luther King Jr. holiday on Monday.

The past week saw several town halls on the shutdown, a good deal of snow for the capital area and escalating tensions between the president and the speaker. 

CFPB asks Congress for authority to sniff out predatory military lenders
Previous director piqued Democrats when he said the bureau doesn’t yet have legal standing to audit firms

Kathy Kraninger, the director of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, submitted a legislative proposal to “clarify” the bureau’s authority to supervise compliance with a military lending law. (Alex Wong/Getty Images file photo)

The leader of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau is asking Congress to give the agency explicit authority to examine financial services companies for compliance with a law that caps how much a creditor can charge military servicemembers for loans.

In letters sent Thursday to Vice President Mike Pence and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, CFPB Director Kathy Kraninger submitted a legislative proposal to “clarify” the bureau’s authority to supervise compliance with a military lending law designed to protect servicemembers from certain lending practices that may be considered predatory.

Sen. Bob Casey not running for president
Casey announced his decision in a statement excoriating Republicans and Trump

Sen. Bob Casey, D-PA., is interviewed for TV in the Russell Rotunda on March 20, 2013. (Douglas Graham/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Sen. Bob Casey announced Friday that he won’t make a bid for the White House in 2020.

In a statement, the Pennsylvania Democrat said that 2020 is “not the time.”

Pelosi spokesman says White House leaked commercial travel plans to Afghanistan
Alternate plan was canceled after State Department warned against it

A bus is seen of the East Front of the Capitol after members of the House disembarked, after an overseas CODEL was postponed by President Trump on Thursday, January 17, 2019. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

The shutdown feud between Speaker Nancy Pelosi and President Donald Trump escalated Friday after the California Democrat’s office revealed it had made commercial travel arrangements to continue an Afghanistan trip the president tried to cancel — but the administration leaked their plans.

There was already a security risk with the speaker and her congressional delegation continuing the overseas troop visit after Trump announced Thursday where they’d be going. But the heightened threat from Trump leaking the commercial travel plans led the delegation to call off the trip for now, a Pelosi spokesman said.

Trump again endorses immigration changes for seasonal migrant farm workers
‘You need people to help you,’ he says. ‘I’m not going to rule that out’

Farmland is watered by a large irrigation sprinkler in the desert near Palmdale, California, in May. President Donald Trump wants changes to make it easier for seasonal migrant farm workers to enter the country. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

For the third time this week, President Donald Trump on Friday signaled support for immigration policy changes that would make it easier for seasonal farm workers to enter the United States.

Trump pleaded in a Friday morning tweet for someone to inform Speaker Nancy Pelosi that “her ‘big donors’ in wine country that people working on farms (grapes) will have easy access in!”

No Trump-Pelosi talks planned as explosive report complicates shutdown endgame
Report: President directed Michael Cohen to lie about Moscow Trump Tower project

President Donald Trump and Vice President Mike Pence arrive at the Capitol to meet with Senate Republicans on Jan. 9. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Updated 12:45 p.m. | There are no shutdown talks with Speaker Nancy Pelosi on Donald Trump’s Friday schedule and no invitations for any have been extended, even as White House aides claim the president put the kibosh on her Afghanistan trip in part to keep her on U.S. soil to cut a deal.

What’s more, an explosive report that Trump directed his former personal attorney Michael Cohen to lie during testimony to Congress likely will only drive the White House and Democrats further apart, making a border security deal needed to reopen the government even harder as Washington becomes increasingly toxic.

Rep. Steve King blames ‘unhinged left’ in new fundraising email
Amid backlash over racist comments, the Iowa Republican asked supporters for donations

Rep. Steve King, R-Iowa, sent a fundraising email to supporters this week in which he claims the recent controversy can be attributed to the “unhinged left.” (CQ Roll Call file photo)

Despite growing calls for Steve King to resign after making racist comments, the Iowa Republican sent an email Thursday urging supporters for new donations. 

“The unhinged left has teamed up with Republican ‘NeverTrumpers’ and is pulling out all the stops to destroy me,” King said in the email, the Des Moines Register reported.

House Democrats will investigate Trump for allegedly directing Michael Cohen to lie to Congress
Some on Intelligence and Judiciary Committees hint at impeachment

House Intelligence Chairman Adam Schiff indicated his committee will probe a report that President Donald Trump directed former personal lawyer Michael Cohen to lie to Congress. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

The top Democrats on the House Intelligence and Judiciary committees said they will investigate the allegations that President Donald Trump directed his former attorney Michael Cohen to lie to Congress about negotiations in 2016 to build a Trump Tower in Moscow, as BuzzFeed News reported late Thursday.

House Intelligence Chairman Adam Schiff said the allegations underlying the BuzzFeed report are “among the most serious to date” and indicated he will direct committee investigators to probe them.

When life gives you shutdowns
But hey, at least the U.S. isn’t hurtling toward Brexit

Rep. Eliot L. Engel, D-N.Y., chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, is seen on a bus Thursday, before being dropped at the Rayburn Building after President Donald Trump canceled military support for an overseas congressional trip Engel and other lawmakers were scheduled to take. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

It’s Week Four of the partial government shutdown. About 800,000 people have missed paychecks, and a lot of them are working for free at the behest of the executive branch. There is no end in sight. The State of the Union is canceled, kind of. The president tells you to cancel your military flight, but you can go ahead and fly commercial — after all, TSA is working for no money. And the only silver lining seems to be: At least we’re not Britain! 

You’re on the bus. You’re headed to the airport — and the president of the United States puts the kibosh on your trip to Afghanistan. Who hasn’t had that happen? When the commander in chief yanks military support for a dangerous trip to a war zone by someone in the presidential line of succession. 

Marching abortion opponents have message for Trump administration: Do more
Advocates push fetal tissue, family planning changes

Attendees at the 2017 March for Life bow their heads in prayer near the Washington Monument during the speaking program. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Thousands of abortion opponents will take to the streets of Washington on Friday for the nation’s largest annual anti-abortion rally, coinciding with a flood of anti-abortion action from government officials that underscore the movement’s priorities for 2019.

The March for Life is held every January to protest the anniversary of Roe v. Wade, the landmark 1973 Supreme Court case that guaranteed a woman’s right to an abortion nationwide.