I'm Gabe Fleisher, reporting live from WUTP World HQ in my bedroom. It’s Friday, November 30, 2018. 427 days until the 2020 Iowa caucuses. 701 days until Election Day 2020. Have comments, questions, suggestions, or tips? Email me at email@example.com.
Washington pauses to remember George H.W. Bush
Partisan rancor will take a pause in Washington, D.C. this week as the denizens of the nation's capital, past and present, gather to remember George Herbert Walker Bush and his years of service. Bush passed away on Friday at the age of 94; he served as the 41st President of the United States, as Vice President under Ronald Reagan, Director of the CIA, envoy to China, chairman of the Republican National Committee, Ambassador to the United Nations, and as a U.S. congressman. He is the first former president to die since Gerald Ford in December 2006, which also brought a temporary, days-long end to partisan warfare.
Bush's body will be transported from his hometown of Houston, Texas to Washington, D.C. today, departing at 11:30 a.m and arriving at 3:30 p.m. President Trump has approved the use of his presidential aircraft, which is referred to as "Air Force One" only when the sitting president is aboard but will be redesignated as "Special Mission 41" for Bush's final flights this week. According to CNN, Bush family members including his sons former President George W. Bush and Neil Bush, and many of his grandchildren, will fly with body, as will a handful of friends and former aides, such as former Secretary of State James Baker and Bush's longtime chief of staff Jean Becker.
At 4:45 p.m, Bush's body will arrive at the U.S. Capitol, where an arrival ceremony will be held; he will lie in state at the Capitol rotunda from today at 5 p.m. through Wednesday at 8:45 a.m. Public viewing will begin at 7:30 p.m tonight and end at 7 a.m. on Wednesday. He will be the 12th former president to lie in state; like of all them, his body will lay on the Lincoln catafalque, which was constructed after the assassination of Abraham Lincoln in 1865.
Speakers at the Capitol ceremony today will include the Senate and House chaplains, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY), House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WI), and Vice President Mike Pence.
In order to avoid a nasty spending battle while mourning Bush, lawmakers are discussing implementing a short-term stopgap measure that would avert a partial government shutdown set to take place on Friday if funding legislation isn't passed. According to Politico's Jake Sherman, the stopgap bill would likely extend funding until December 18 or December 21.
President Trump told reporters Saturday that he would be open to a short-term funding extension during the week of Bush memorials. "If they come — which they have — to talk about an extension because of President Bush’s passing, I would absolutely consider it and probably give it," Trump said.
Trump, who has had an at-times uneasy relationship with the Bush family in the past, has ordered flags to be lowered to half-staff for the next 30 days and declared Wednesday a national dayofmourning, when federal agencies will close "as a mark of respect" for the 41st president. Trump and numerous lawmakers and luminaries are expected to attend the funeral at the National Cathedral that day, and the Supreme Court has announced that it will push its oral arguments scheduled for Wednesday to Thursday.
- Statements from President Trump, former President Barack Obama, and former President Bill Clinton
- Interviews with George W. Bush, Obama, and Clinton on Bush 41, via CBS News
- Reactions from world leaders, via CNN
- Remembrances from former Bush Administration officials, via the Washington Post
- A look at George Bush's final days, via the New York Times
From that Times piece:
"His longtime friend and former secretary of state, James A. Baker III, arrived at his Houston home on Friday morning to check on him.
Mr. Bush suddenly grew alert, his eyes wide open.
'Where are we going, Bake?' he asked.
'We’re going to heaven,' Mr. Baker answered.
'That’s where I want to go,' Mr. Bush said.
Barely 13 hours later, Mr. Bush was dead. The former president died in his home in a gated community in Houston, surrounded by several friends, members of his family, doctors and a minister. As the end neared on Friday night, his son George W. Bush, the former president, who was at his home in Dallas, was put on the speaker phone to say goodbye. He told him that he had been a 'wonderful dad' and that he loved him.
'I love you, too,' Mr. Bush told his son.
Those were his last words."
Trump at the G-20: President Donald Trump and Chinese president Xi Jinping agreed to a trade war truce in a Saturday night meeting on the sidelines of the G-20 summit in Buenos Aires, Argentina. According to White House press secretary Sarah Sanders, China agreed to buy "a very substantial amount of agricultural, energy, industrial, and other products from the United States" as part of the agreement; in exchange, U.S. tariffs on $200 billion worth of Chinese goods will not rise from 10 percent to 25 percent on January 1, as the president had threatened. President Trump also announced in a tweet on Sunday that China had agreed to "reduce and remove" tariffs on U.S. automobiles, which are currently set at 40 percent, although confirmation on that part of the agreement was not immediately available.
Infrastructure Week, again: "The Trump administration is preparing to make another attempt at honoring one of the biggest unfulfilled promises of the president’s election campaign: a $1 trillion upgrade of the nation’s road, rail and energy infrastructure." (Wall Street Journal)
2020 Central: "'Nothing’s invisible now': How the 2020 contenders are trampling the old rules" (Politico)
Russia probe: "Mueller Exposes the Culture of Lying That Surrounds Trump" (New York Times)
White House schedule
POTUS: At 11:30 a.m, President Trump receives his intelligence briefing. At 1:45 p.m., he meets with Secretary of Housing and Urban Development.
VP: At 5 p.m., Vice President Mike Pence delivers remarks at the Lying in State of George H.W. Bush.
Senate: The Senate meets at 3 p.m. today. At 5:30 p.m., the chamber will hold a cloture vote on the nomination of Bernard L. McNamee to be a member of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC).
House: The lower chamber was not scheduled to meet today, but will convene at 3:45 p.m. to approve a resolution allowing former President Bush's body to lie in state at the Capitol rotunda.
Supreme Court schedule
*All times Eastern