1 Trump To Address The Nation, Dems Demand Equal Time
President Trump is planning to address the nation about the ongoing government shutdown tonight. What was up in the air for a minute? Who would air it – at first, FOX was the only net that carved the time out in their schedule – at 9pm ET. But the other majors – ABC, CBS and NBC – have now confirmed they’ll run it as well. As for what’s on the docket – early yesterday, White House Press Secretary Sarah Sanders said Mr. Trump will visit the U.S.-Mexican border on Thursday. There’s also the partial government shutdown, which is in its third week. Considering he’s mentioned calling a national emergency in order to get the border funding Democrats continue to reject in recent days – chances are we’ll have those answers. Meanwhile, Democrats are demanding their turn. Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer are demanding equal airtime as following the President’s address. A joint statement released by the Speaker's office offers, in part: “Now that the television networks have decided to air the President’s address, which if his past statements are any indication will be full of malice and misinformation, Democrats must immediately be given equal airtime.”
2 Democrats Threaten To Block Action In Senate Until Government Reopens
Democrats in the U.S. Senate are threatening to block all action in that body until Majority Leader Mitch McConnell allows a vote on bills passed by the House to reopen the government. Republicans have the majority in the Senate but any legislation needs 60 votes to move forward under the body's rules. McConnell of Kentucky has said he won't bring forth any appropriations bill that does not have the support of President Trump. Minority Leader Chuck Schumer of New York said he will not vote on Senate Bill 1, which authorizes security assistance to Israel. Maryland Senator Chris Van Hollen was the first to propose that Democrats not vote on anything else until the government reopens.
3 Tax Refunds Will Go Out Amid Government Shutdown
There was some doubt that the IRS would be giving out tax refunds because of the shutdown. The White House now says the IRS will give out tax refunds even if the government is shut down when they're due to go out. In past shutdowns, the IRS accepted tax returns, but wouldn't dole out refunds until after the government was funded again. The acting head of the White House Office of Management and Budget says the administration is trying to make the shutdown as painless as possible. The government shutdown is in its 18th day and shows no sign of ending as Democrats and the White House remain deadlocked over the issue of funding for a border wall.