WELL, HERE WE ARE. It’s Monday, and by next Friday, a chunk of government is slated to shut down. PRESIDENT DONALD TRUMP also wants funding for his border wall by Dec. 7. Seven spending bills need to pass in the next 11 days to avoid a temporary shutdown of big patches of government.
THE INCENTIVES …
— THE PRESIDENT: TRUMP has just 39 days left of an all-Republican D.C. He has every incentive to push as hard as he possibly can for as much funding as possible for his border wall. A shutdown wouldn’t even hurt too badly. Department of Homeland Security funding — which expires Dec. 7 — can be continued on an emergency basis if Congress cannot pass a bill. So there is nothing stopping him from a big-time, drag-out fight.
— DEMOCRATS: Democrats take control of the House in a few weeks, so they have zero incentive to cooperate in passing spending for Trump’s border wall without a big concession. DREAM Act? DACA protections? These could all be on the table. Remember: Trump needs 60 votes in the Senate, so Democratic cooperation is a must.
— REPUBLICANS: There’s a huge slice of the House GOP that feels like Republicans never lived up to the promise of Trump’s election by not fighting hard enough for a border wall. So watch for the Jim Jordans of the world to push for wall funding. Remember: the deadline is Dec. 7, and the only backstop is Christmas.
— WHAT DEMOCRATS WANT: “Democrats Tie Support for Spending Bill to Mueller Probe,” by WSJ’s Sadie Gurman and Kristina Peterson
ALSO THIS WEEK … HOUSE DEMOCRATS will hold closed leadership elections Wednesday. NANCY PELOSI (CALIF.), STENY HOYER (MD.) and JIM CLYBURN (S.C.) are all running unopposed for speaker, majority leader and whip.
— MORE GOOD NEWS FOR PELOSI … “Another rebel Dem softens on opposing Pelosi for speaker,” by Rachael Bade, Heather Caygle and John Bresnahan: “Rep. Stephen Lynch (D-Mass.), one of 16 lawmakers or members-elect who had signed a letter promising to vote against Pelosi on the floor, said on Sunday he would back her over a Republican during the critical Jan. 3 vote.
“‘If it becomes as a choice between a Republican and Nancy Pelosi, I’ll obviously support Nancy Pelosi,’ Lynch told a local TV station. ‘But I do think we risk losing the majority in the House — we risk having Trump elected for another four years — if the Democrats don’t offer a new direction in the Democratic Party.’” POLITICO
ROUGH PRESS BACK HOME … LOWELL SUN: “Anti-Pelosi effort raises questions for Moulton,” by Seth Lisinski
ON THE BORDER … AP’S CHRISTOPHER SHERMAN in Tijuana, Mexico: “Mexico to up security at border after migrants try to cross”: “Mexico pledged to shore up security near its border with the United States and local authorities said that 39 migrants were arrested after a peaceful march devolved into chaos when U.S. agents fired tear gas into Mexico to stop some migrants who tried to breach the border.
“Mexico’s Interior Ministry said Sunday it would immediately deport those who tried to ‘violently’ enter the U.S. from Tijuana. Meanwhile, Tijuana’s municipal government said that more than three-dozen migrants were arrested for disturbing the peace and other charges stemming from the march and what followed.” AP
KARLA ZABLUDOVSKY, BuzzFeed’s Mexico bureau chief (@karlazabs): “11,000 Central Americans have been deported from Mexico since Oct. 19th (MX Immigration authorities say some requested to be returned home). That’s not a typo: 11,000 people in 37 days. Of these, 1,906 were part of the caravans.”
Good Monday morning and welcome back. SPOTTED: Bill, Hillary and Chelsea Clinton and Marc Mezvinsky seeing “Torch Song” on Broadway this weekend. Pool report from a tipster: “They were accompanied by Dan Baer (former United States Ambassador for the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe). Also in the audience (sitting separately) was Randi Zuckerberg …
“There were two standing ovations: one at the beginning of the night for the Clintons when they walked into the theater and the other at the end of the night for the actors when they bowed. After the show the Clintons went backstage to congratulate the cast and crew along with Eric Kuhn, one of the show’s producers.”
THE NEW DEMOCRATIC MAJORITY — RACHAEL BADE: “Capitol Hill boys club braces for scores of new female members”: “A record 102 women were elected in the midterms, a total that includes several moms with young children. The influx is forcing lawmakers to reassess policies to make Capitol Hill more female- and parent-friendly. Renovations are already underway to install nursing stations around the Capitol. And there’s talk among Democratic women about how to best arrange the congressional schedule so that parents can video chat with their kids over dinner, help them with their school work and make it home three days a week.
“The increased number of women with children, while still a small minority of lawmakers, will likely reinvigorate a debate over child care costs as well. Lawmakers, who earn $174,000 a year, are barred from using any official funds for child care needs, but there’s a quiet debate underway among some new members about whether that rule should be tweaked.” POLITICO
NANCY COOK and DARREN SAMUELSOHN: “White House lacks lawyers to deal with empowered Democrats”: “The White House counsel’s office is down to a skeletal staff, potentially leaving them unprepared to deal with a flood of subpoenas for documents and witnesses when Democrats take control of the House. The office has been without a permanent leader since ex-White House senior attorney Don McGahn left the administration in mid-October.
“His replacement, Pat Cipollone, is caught up in an extended background check that’s prevented him from starting. And in the coming weeks, deputy counsel Annie Donaldson, who served as McGahn’s most trusted aide and as the office’s chief of staff, is expected to leave the administration, according to two Republicans close to the White House. …
“Amid the leadership tumult, the counsel’s office has shrunk to about 25 lawyers, according to a second Republican close to the administration. That’s lower than its recent high point of roughly 35 attorneys and well short of the 40 people that some expect it will need to deal with a reinvigorated Democratic party eager to investigate the president’s tax returns and business dealings in foreign countries, reopen probes into Russian election meddling and explore the behavior of a bevy of Cabinet officials.” POLITICO
DEFICITS MATTER AGAIN? — “Trump demands action to reduce deficit, pushes new deficit spending,” by WaPo’s Josh Dawsey and Damian Paletta: “President Trump is demanding top advisers craft a plan to reduce the country’s ballooning budget deficits, but the president has flummoxed his own aides by repeatedly seeking new spending while ruling out measures needed to address the country’s unbalanced budget. Trump’s deficit-reduction directive came last month, after the White House reported a large increase in the deficit for the previous 12 months.
“The announcement unnerved Republicans and investors, helping fuel a big sell-off in the stock market. Two days after the deficit report, Trump floated a surprise demand to his Cabinet secretaries, asking them to identify steep cuts in their agencies. …
“When staffers sought to include an attack on Democrats’ Medicare-for-all proposals in Trump’s campaign speeches this fall, he initially blanched, two administration aides said. Medicare is popular, he said, and voters want it. Eventually, he agreed to the attack if he could say Democrats were going to take the entitlement away.” WaPo
FINALLY … L.A. TIMES: “California’s deadliest fire on record is 100% contained, officials say,” by Ruben Vives and Sonali Kohli: “More than two weeks after the deadliest fire on record in California swept through Butte County, killing at least 85 people and destroying 14,000 homes, officials announced Sunday that the massive Camp fire was finally 100% contained. The devastating blaze, which began on Nov. 8, scorched more than 153,000 acres and destroyed more than 18,000 structures, according to California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection officials. The number of residents still missing stands at 249, and thousands more have been displaced by the massive blaze.” LAT
IN MISSISSIPPI — “‘We don’t want an Alabama’: Hyde-Smith has Republicans holding their breath,” by James Arkin: “Republicans think Cindy Hyde-Smith will ultimately pull out a win Mississippi’s special Senate election on Tuesday. But they say the race has tightened — and after what happened in Alabama last year, they’re on edge.
“A swirl of controversy surrounding the Republican senator — stirred up by her comment about attending a ‘public hanging’ — has given Democrat Mike Espy momentum in the home stretch, officials from both parties say. Hyde-Smith has never trailed in polling, and Democrats acknowledge she’s likely to win, but they argue that her flubs have given Espy a very narrow opening if everything breaks his way.
“Henry Barbour, the [RNC] committeeman and a longtime Mississippi operative, said base voters in both parties are energized, but gave a slight edge to Espy’s supporters. He said he expects Hyde-Smith to win on Tuesday, though he added that Republicans should be concerned about the potential for weak turnout.” POLITICO
TRUMP’S MONDAY — The president is having lunch at 12:30 p.m. with VP Mike Pence. He will leave the White House at 2:35 p.m. to travel to Tupelo, Miss. He will headline a political rally at 4:15 p.m. Central time. He will then travel to Gulfport, Miss., where he will participate in a criminal justice roundtable at 6:50 p.m. Central time. Afterward, he will head to Biloxi, Miss. At 8 p.m. Central time, the president will headline a political rally at the Mississippi Coast Coliseum. Afterward, he will return to Washington.
N.Y. POST’S RICHARD JOHNSON: “Jared and Josh Kushner buying luxe Lower East Side hotel”: “Jared and Joshua Kushner are expanding their real estate empire by buying the hip Hotel on Rivington on the Lower East Side.” NYP
FOR YOUR RADAR — “Report: Netanyahu’s Prosecutor Recommends Indictment in Two Cases,” by Jerusalem Post’s Yonah Jeremy Bob: “The state prosecution team working on Cases 1000 (the ‘Illegal Gifts Affair’) and 2000 (the ‘Yediot Aharonot-Yisrael Hayom Affair’) against Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has sent its recommendation for corruption to State Attorney Shai Nitzan, Channel 10 reported late Sunday. The report suggested that Economic Crimes Division Director Liat Ben-Ari’s recommendations were for an indictment against Netanyahu for bribery in Case 1000.” Jerusalem Post
2020 WATCH — “Democrats’ Senate losses jeopardize national spotlight for possible 2020 hopeful,” by WaPo’s Karoun Demirjian and Seung Min Kim: “Senate Democrats’ midterm losses have created a dilemma for the party’s leadership over a key committee seat held by Sen. Kamala D. Harris (D-Calif.), a prospective 2020 presidential contender who is at risk of having to forfeit the high-profile assignment and the national spotlight that comes with it. Harris, a former prosecutor and state attorney general, is the Senate Judiciary Committee’s most junior member. …
“[U]nless Democrats strike a deal, either with the Senate’s Republican majority or with fellow Democrats on the committee, numbers and seniority dictate that Harris will be out — and that has liberal groups scrambling to save her position.” WaPo
— NATASHA KORECKI and LAURA NAHMIAS: “Franken scandal haunts Gillibrand’s 2020 chances”: “More than a dozen prominent West Coast, New York and national donors and bundlers — many of them women — said they would never again donate to or fundraise for Gillibrand or would only do so if she ended up as the Democratic presidential nominee.
“Gillibrand has defended her approach by insisting she placed deeply held personal values over party loyalty. But the still-burning resentment among the donor class now confronts Gillibrand as she explores a presidential bid, cutting her off from influential and deep-pocketed contributors and their networks at a time when an expansive 2020 field will compete for their dollars.” POLITICO
OBAMA ALUMNI — “Obama Alumni Return to Washington, This Time as House Freshmen,” by NYT’s Catie Edmondson and Sheryl Gay Stolberg: “Their previous jobs have taken them to the Oval Office, the Situation Room and the Senate floor. One met with a Saudi king and plotted strategy to fight the Islamic State. Another cracked down on human rights abuses in North Korea.
“Their Rolodexes are flush with former cabinet members and current Pentagon officials who are happy to take their calls. Nearly a dozen members of the House’s incoming class are far from being gawky freshmen, stumbling wide-eyed through the strange corridors of Capitol Hill, but are instead experienced policymakers who have worked in previous presidential administrations — seven of them for former President Barack Obama.
“Their return to Washington is, in part, a way to undo what they see as the unspooling of the values and legacy of the nation’s 44th president. … [Elissa] Slotkin’s stack of congratulatory notes looks like a who’s who of Washington. ‘A lot of my national security community from both sides of the aisle have been reaching out and saying, “Anything we can do,”’ she said in an interview.” NYT
MILESTONE — “For the First Time, a Black Woman Will Lead The Harvard Crimson,” by NYT’s Amy Chozick: “Writers and editors at The Harvard Crimson have gone on to be presidents (John F. Kennedy, Franklin D. Roosevelt), tech billionaires (Steve Ballmer, the former chief executive of Microsoft), news media bosses (Jeff Zucker, the head of CNN) and a number of my colleagues at The New York Times. But what the newspaper had in power, it lacked in diversity. Now Kristine E. Guillaume will lead The Crimson’s ‘146th guard,’ making her the third black president and first black woman to helm the organization since its founding in 1873.” NYT
MEDIAWATCH — Elana Schor is joining AP as a political reporter covering the 2020 campaign. She most recently worked at POLITICO.
— Joe Tone is joining “Vice News Tonight on HBO” as deputy Washington editor. He most recently was editor-in-chief of the Dallas Observer.
SPOTTED: Sen. Jon Kyl (R-Ariz.) on AA 1634 from PHX to DCA seated in first class after clearing from his No. 1 position on the upgrade list. “He boarded early as an American Airlines ‘Concierge Key’ member,” per our tipster. … Nina Totenberg on yesterday afternoon’s Southwest STL to DCA flight. … Lady Gaga at a corner table at the Four Seasons yesterday at 9 a.m. having breakfast.
WEEKEND WEDDING — “‘It Makes Sense Now’: Joe Scarborough and Mika Brzezinski Tie the Knot in a Secret Washington D.C. Ceremony,” by Vanity Fair’s Emily Jane Fox: “The Morning Joe co-hosts made it official during an intimate Saturday ceremony at the National Archives, in front of the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution, officiated by Rep. Elijah Cummings. … The Archives, closed to the public on Saturday evening and almost entirely empty apart from security and staff, were opened to accommodate the couple and five guests, plus their children.
“It was the first time a wedding has ever been held there. … After the ceremony, the couple joined a reception of around 40 at Chez Billy Sud, a little French bistro off of M Street … Before 10 o’clock, the couple cut into their 20-layer traditional crepe layer cake, and everyone had trickled out by about 10:45. … I realized I had left without asking her the most important question: Was she changing her name, I texted her after everyone had gone home? ‘Yup,’ she replied.” With two pics: VF
BIRTHDAY OF THE DAY: former Delaware Gov. Jack Markell is 58. A fun fact about Jack: “I rode my bicycle across the U.S. when I finished my second term as governor. Wouldn’t trade the experience for anything. And I’d never do it again!” Playbook Plus Q&A
BIRTHDAYS: Gabe Brotman is 29 … Chris Hughes, co-chair of the Economic Security Project, is 35 … Sen. Shelley Moore Capito (R-W.Va.) is 65 … Neal Conan is 69 … former CIA Director Porter Goss is 8-0 (hat tip: son Chauncey) … Dannia Hakki of PR firm Moki Media … Stuart Jolly, founder and owner of Command Solutions … Matt Frei, Channel 4 Europe editor and presenter … POLITICO’s Randon White (h/t Kam Mumtaz) … Douglas Smith … Mark Weisenmiller is 55 … Randy Mikkelsen … Lynn Aronoff … Sarah Wildman … Fahad Shah … Erica Brettell … Wes Allison is 5-0 … Marcia Coyle, chief Washington correspondent for National Law Journal … Lisa Vedernikova, special projects manager for NYT publisher A.G. Sulzberger and an HFA alum (h/t Alex Halpern Levy) …
… Jenna Gibson, senior editorial producer for CBS News … Katie Gommel of Sunshine Sachs (h/t Leah Nelson) … POLITICO’s William Hall … Webber Steinhoff, principal at Prospect Strategic Communications (h/t Andy Hemming, filing from Dublin) … former Rep. Steve Buyer (R-Ind.) is 6-0 … No Labels chief of staff Sasha Borowsky … Tyler Threadgill … Amy Shlossman … Vicente Garcia … Gaby Siem … Valerie Holford … Scott Tannen … Jamie Corley … Kate Vasiloff … Edelman’s Todd Deutsch … Brittany Heyer of Save the Children … Greg Davis … Alicia Jennings, senior producer at NBC News … Ray Glendening, CEO of Scarlet Oak Strategies LLC, is 39 … James Devitt … Doug Winslow … Andy McGuire (h/ts Teresa Vilmain)