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David Kurtz

David Kurtz is Managing Editor and Washington Bureau Chief of Talking Points Memo where he oversees the news operations of TPM and its sister sites.

Articles by David

From Alice Ollstein’s feature this morning, this little nugget. Sen. Joe Manchin (D-WV) defended his support for Alex Azar to head up HHS (his Senate confirmation is expected today) in light of Azar’s comments on reproductive rights issues: “Trust me, I have enough faith that the good women who work at HHS can bring some common sense to him in his thought process.”  [emphasis mine]

We’re not in the predicting biz, but the signals this morning on the Hill suggest we may be close to an end to the shutdown. Here’s the latest.

 

The Senate has adjourned for the night, pushing off the planned vote from 1 a.m. ET Monday until later in the day tomorrow. No deal has been announced, but the tone of Senate leaders tonight was muted, as if they were making space for a deal to come together. The deal, to be clear, still seems to be centered on resuming funding until Feb. 8, so not a long-term deal. Our latest report from the Hill.

The House came back this morning briefly and will reconvene at noon ET, when the Senate expected back, too, but the schedule beyond that is not clear today. This could be a long day of waiting around, similar to yesterday afternoon, but without the forcing mechanism of a midnight deadline for the shutdown. We’ll be around this weekend, so keep checking in for the latest.

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The Senate is now voting on the House CR. Still expected to fail. Our report from the Hill soon after the vote …

House passes stopgap spending bill 230-197: 5 Dems voted for it; 11 Republicans voted against it. Senate passage appears unlikely and so Friday will probably be another day of intra-party brinkmanship.

The Freedom Caucus, after its usual Hamleting, has agreed to support the House GOP leadership’s short-term budget, virtually guaranteeing it’s passage this evening.

There’s goes most of the evening’s drama. Or … was there really genuine drama in the first place?

The dance is so well-rehearsed at this point that maybe the price of Freedom Caucus acquiescence is allowing them to Hamlet. The legislative “concession” they extract is more or less besides the point. The real point is public prancing about being more purely conservative than Ryan et al.

It’s getting tired.

Put me down as thinking Republicans will find a way to avert a unilateral, self-inflicted government shutdown. It’d make Newt Gingrich’s mid-90s shutdown look like an act of political genius by comparison. (It wasn’t and this would be way worse.)

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