STREAMING NOW: Watch Now
CLOSINGS: View Closings

Congress week ahead: Government shutdown deadline looms

Congress returns this week with just eight legislative days before a possible government shutdown.Top Republic...

Posted: Jan 8, 2018 12:04 PM
Updated: Jan 8, 2018 12:04 PM

Congress returns this week with just eight legislative days before a possible government shutdown.

Top Republican leaders huddled with President Donald Trump over the weekend at Camp David to chart the 2018 legislative agenda and prepare for the challenging midterm elections in November, but more immediately they need to figure out a budget deal before the January 19 deadline when the government runs out of money.

Republican members of Congress are pressing for an uptick in defense spending

Democrats say any increase must be matched equally with domestic programs

Bipartisan budget talks began last week, but Democrats and Republicans are still restating their long-held positions -- the GOP pressing for a significant uptick in defense spending and Democrats insisting that any increase for the Pentagon be matched with equal increase for domestic programs.

RELATED: Trump reiterates he wants DACA as long as it comes with border wall

Perhaps an even thornier issue is what to do about the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program (DACA), which is set to expire in early March. Many progressive Democrats are pressing their leaders not to agree to any spending deal that also doesn't ensure that undocumented immigrants brought to the United States as children aren't required to leave the country. Republicans want to deal with the issue separately, but say they can work together on a bipartisan plan. All eyes are on a meeting with Trump at the White House this week, where lawmakers are hoping to learn what exactly the White House will accept.

Pot protocol

There was bipartisan pushback against Attorney General Jeff Sessions' move to roll back the Obama administration's position of allowing states to determine how they handled marijuana laws.

Members of both parties blasted the move as inconsistent with Sessions' own position of deferring to states' rights. But it's unclear whether there is any real momentum for Congress to step in and pass legislation to put the power back in the hands of those states that have passed measures to legalize pot for medical and recreational purposes.

Intelligence committee

House Intelligence Committee Chairman Devin Nunes reached a deal with the Department of Justice for documents he requested in the Russia probe. The panel's investigation continues along stark partisan lines, with Republicans pressing to wrap up interviews while Democrats argue there is more work to be done.

Rep. Adam Schiff, the top Democrat on the panel, said on CNN last week that he expected former White House adviser Steve Bannon to appear before the committee soon.

Notable hearings

The House is scheduled to vote Tuesday on a non binding resolution supporting the people of Iran, many of whom are protesting the current regime in Tehran.

The Senate Finance Committee will hear from Trump's nominee to be the next secretary of Health and Human Services, Alex Azar. His nomination -- which was not held over from the last session of the Senate and had to be re-submitted by the White House -- is expected to face some pointed questions over the Affordable Care Act, also known as Obamacare, and Medicaid and Medicare funding.

The Senate Judiciary Committee will also be considering the re-submission of judicial nominees, including Stuart Kyle Duncan of Louisiana for the 5th US Circuit Court of Appeals, and David Stras for the 8th US Circuit Court of Appeals.

The Judiciary Committee hearings have gained must-watch status since the simple-yet-devastating questioning by Louisiana Sen. John Kennedy, a Republican, that effectively derailed the nomination of Matthew Petersen to the US District Court for the District of Columbia.

In Duncan's case, Kennedy has provided the traditional "blue slip" approval, a process by which a nominee's home state senator turns in a blue piece of paper signifying his or her approval for a confirmation hearing to be held -- but Kennedy marked himself as "undecided" on Duncan's nomination.

During Duncan's previous appearance before the committee, Kennedy made clear that he was not consulted by the White House before Duncan's nomination -- a move that is typically part of the blue slip process -- saying Duncan's questionnaire "seems to imply that Mr. Duncan's name came from Sen. (Bill) Cassidy and me. At least from my point of view, that is not accurate."

"In truth, I don't know Mr. Duncan very well," Kennedy said in the November hearing. "I hope that he can demonstrate to me today that he is the second coming of Justice (Oliver Wendell) Holmes or Justice (Antonin) Scalia and not the second cousin of somebody who is politically connected in the Washington swamp."

Huntsville/Redstone
Clear
49° wxIcon
Hi: 56° Lo: 37°
Feels Like: 46°
Muscle Shoals
Clear
53° wxIcon
Hi: 57° Lo: 37°
Feels Like: 53°
Huntsville/Madison
Clear
50° wxIcon
Hi: 55° Lo: 35°
Feels Like: 45°
Decatur
Clear
48° wxIcon
Hi: 57° Lo: 39°
Feels Like: 44°
Fort Payne
Clear
50° wxIcon
Hi: 58° Lo: 38°
Feels Like: 46°
WAAY Radar
WAAY WAAY-TV Cam
WAAY Temperatures

Alabama Coronavirus Cases

Cases: 498887

Reported Deaths: 10122
CountyCasesDeaths
Jefferson719121402
Mobile36328740
Madison32639469
Tuscaloosa24372421
Montgomery22765520
Shelby22231218
Baldwin19890289
Lee15057158
Calhoun13901294
Morgan13770255
Etowah13407325
Marshall11452213
Houston10130264
Elmore9499190
Limestone9429138
St. Clair9041227
Cullman8991183
Lauderdale8618214
DeKalb8507175
Talladega7628165
Walker6593259
Jackson6551104
Autauga633392
Blount6246128
Colbert6004121
Coffee5268104
Dale4676107
Russell407333
Franklin400078
Covington3998106
Chilton3902103
Escambia379273
Tallapoosa3631143
Clarke344553
Chambers3432111
Dallas3422142
Pike293273
Marion288595
Lawrence285386
Winston258568
Bibb245758
Marengo243057
Geneva240570
Pickens225557
Barbour213951
Hale212269
Fayette202257
Butler201766
Henry183641
Cherokee178140
Monroe166739
Randolph165140
Washington156836
Macon147745
Crenshaw146555
Clay146054
Cleburne139941
Lamar133933
Lowndes132851
Wilcox122825
Bullock117436
Conecuh107024
Perry106227
Sumter100432
Coosa90224
Greene88732
Choctaw55423
Out of AL00
Unassigned00

Tennessee Coronavirus Cases

Cases: 780894

Reported Deaths: 11534
CountyCasesDeaths
Shelby877551513
Davidson81978873
Knox46346589
Hamilton40635463
Rutherford38663387
Williamson25433204
Sumner21498320
Montgomery17505213
Out of TN1711195
Wilson16553211
Unassigned15813126
Sullivan14489275
Blount14167184
Bradley13039141
Washington12834234
Maury12262162
Sevier12127165
Putnam10647170
Madison10130231
Robertson9016121
Hamblen8086165
Anderson8075158
Greene7317145
Tipton6972103
Coffee6423115
Dickson6274106
Gibson6197141
Cumberland6130123
Carter5996155
McMinn596293
Roane593896
Bedford5826120
Loudon573567
Jefferson5700119
Lawrence557883
Monroe536990
Warren532877
Hawkins527898
Dyer5243101
Franklin475485
Fayette468673
Obion437095
Lincoln415962
Rhea415373
Cocke402596
Cheatham396344
Marshall392257
Campbell382859
Weakley379660
Giles375597
Henderson362374
Carroll349281
White339766
Hardeman339165
Macon337473
Hardin331963
Lauderdale309742
Henry301475
Marion295245
Scott288344
Wayne288230
Overton286258
Claiborne283769
McNairy268653
Hickman267141
DeKalb266951
Haywood264960
Smith257736
Grainger244946
Trousdale239822
Morgan230838
Fentress229644
Johnson217338
Chester202448
Bledsoe201210
Crockett197647
Unicoi181647
Polk178722
Cannon178030
Union173334
Grundy170130
Lake167926
Sequatchie157227
Humphreys155221
Decatur154137
Benton151139
Lewis147525
Meigs126923
Jackson125734
Stewart124125
Clay107131
Houston103732
Perry103628
Moore94616
Van Buren79720
Pickett74623
Hancock49712

Community Events