The State of the Union address is back on but little else is settled as Washington faces a Feb. 15 deadline to fund the government.
Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) invited President Trump to address the nation from the House chamber on Feb. 5. Trump accepted the offer, bringing an end to a stunning battle of wills over the annual presidential address.
Now, Trump and Pelosi will have to find common ground on border security or face another shutdown, just as the government recovers from the longest one on record.
The White House says it’s unfazed by the last shutdown fight and appears as dug-in as ever. Press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders refused on Monday to take another shutdown off the table and reiterated that Trump could still declare a national emergency to circumvent Congress if he doesn’t get enough wall money.
“If they don’t come back with a deal, that means Democrats get virtually nothing, that will make the president — and force him to have to take executive action.” — Sanders
Bipartisan lawmakers in both chambers will meet on Wednesday to begin negotiations. Trump has already said he doesn’t expect to receive a bill that contains sufficient funds for a border wall.
The Hill: Divisions linger in Trump World over “emergency” gambit.
There is one noteworthy difference as round two of negotiations get underway: Trump and Republicans are not unified this time around.
Republicans are enormously frustrated by what they view as a politically damaging and pointless 35-day shutdown. They’re in no mood for it to happen again, and many are opposed to Trump’s threat of declaring a national emergency if he doesn’t get additional money for a border wall.