It’s Monday, and here are five things to know for your New Day.
It funds the government through March 23 (so, no shutdown tonight).
It would bust the budget caps and significantly hike spending – by $300 billion – on both defense and domestic items over the next two years.
It provides disaster relief funding for Florida, Texas and Puerto Rico.
It raises the debt ceiling (remember that?) through at least next year.
It funds community health centers for two years.
Congress still has to vote on this, which it will do today, but the feeling is that this will get done. Not everybody’s happy with it, though. House conservatives are furious about all this spending (so much for reining it in) and may withhold their votes.
Now, you may notice there’s nothing in this deal about immigration. Nancy Pelosi noticed that, too, and took to the House floor – for a record-breaking EIGHT hours! -- to complain about it. She wants a commitment from House Speaker Paul Ryan that there will be a vote on DACA.
2. Tax reform
The end of the government shutdown finds Republicans and Democrats moving even further apart on immigration. Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer withdrew an offer that would have approved funding for President Trump’s border wall. And the White House indicates it wants more than just the wall and additional resources on the Southern border in exchange for a DACA fix. It wants Homeland Security to have more power to remove undocumented immigrants. These changes in positioning risk losing the support of very conservative and very liberal lawmakers. Which means we’ll probably be facing another immigration-fueled shutdown come February 8.
Meantime, President Trump’s approval rating is on the rise, hitting 40% in a new Quinnipiac poll. He can thank growing approval of the GOP tax cuts and the fact that for the first time more people give him credit for the good economy, rather than Barack Obama.
3. Sanctuary cities
Simone Biles says #MeToo. The Olympic gymnast, who won four gold medals at the Rio Games, took to Twitter to accuse USA Gymnastics team doctor Larry Nassar of sexually abusing her. Nassar will be sentenced today after he pleaded guilty in November to seven counts of criminal sexual conduct and admitted that he used his position as a trusted medical professional to sexually abuse young girls. More than 140 female athletes, including members of the gold medal-winning “Fierce Five” team from the 2012 London Games, have accused Nassar of abuse. Biles called out USA Gymnastics, saying it allowed Nassar to abuse girls for years. She also said what happened was not her fault: “I will not and should not carry the guilt.”
4. Hawaii false alarm
Hawaii is suspending nuclear warning siren tests while it investigates just how the heck a false emergency missile alert inadvertently got sent out. The alert created instant chaos Saturday morning in Hawaii, where residents and tourists had been told they’d have less than 20 minutes to find shelter if North Korea launched a missile attack. Terrified people shared what they thought were their final good-byes to loved ones via text messages. The state says an employee hit a wrong button, but everybody, from President Trump on down, wants a more thorough explanation.
5. Frankfurt evacuation
The Venezuelan police pilot accused of launching a shocking helicopter attack on the country’s Supreme Court is dead. A government official told CNN that Oscar Perez was killed Monday. CNN has not been able to independently confirm Perez’s death, but Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro said an operation had been held to hunt down the “terrorist group that attacked the Supreme Court.” Last summer, Perez reportedly used a helicopter to attack the Supreme Court building with gunfire and grenades.
PyeongChang 2018: Aiming for Gold
NORTH KOREA: As North Korea puts on a huge military parade in Pyongyang, the country’s 22 Olympic athletes raised their flag at an official “welcome” in the Olympic Village.
RUSSIAN ATHLETES’ FATE: The Court of Arbitration for Sport is due to rule soon on 32 Russian athletes’ appeals.
COLDEST OLYMPICS IN DECADES: Plunging to minus 20 degrees Celsius (-4 Fahrenheit) at night and rarely breaking above freezing in the day, the temperatures have put PyeongChang on track to be the coldest Olympics ever. The 1994 Winter Games in Lillehammer, Norway, holds the record.
Meet Lucas, the first child with Down syndrome to be the Gerber baby.
We’ll always have … China?
Can’t make it to Paris? That’s OK, you can soak up all the Parisian vibes you want in the replica city of Tianducheng, China, which even has its own Eiffel Tower.
From TV attorney to real-life candidate
Seems like everybody’s running for public office these days. Now, a star from “Law & Order: SVU” is throwing her hat in the ring.
There’s one heck of a light show going on along the shores of California’s Big Sur. You can thank Mother Nature for this one.
WHAT’S FOR LUNCH
The National Prayer Breakfast is this morning in Washington, and President Trump will be there.
NUMBER OF THE DAY
The increase in US suicides in the months after the death of Robin Williams, according to a new study
QUOTE OF THE DAY
’I can only say that in the slow waning of my physical forces, inwardly I am on a pilgrimage toward Home.’
Former Pope Benedict, responding to an inquiry from an Italian newspaper’s readers on how he’s doing
AND FINALLY …
Seeing is believing
It’s every Oscar-winning visual effects winner ever – in less than 12 minutes. (Click to view)