I'm Gabe Fleisher, reporting live from WUTP World HQ in my bedroom. It’s Thursday, February 14, 2019. 1 days until government funding expires. 354 days until the 2020 Iowa caucuses. 628 days until Election Day 2020. Have comments, questions, suggestions, or tips? Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
House, Senate to vote on government funding compromise
"Congressional negotiators finalized a massive funding package just before midnight Wednesday, confident they'll have enough support to deliver it to President Trump's desk in time to avert a shutdown."
"The Senate plans to move quickly to approve the funding accord Thursday, sendingit to the House, where it's also expected to have large bipartisan backing. The bill will then be sent to Trump, where even top lawmakers are still holding their breath that he'll sign it and avert a second shutdown."
"The 1,100-page funding deal would fund one-quarter of the government, including the contentious homeland security budget. Notably, though, Republican and Democratic leaders failed to reach a deal to reauthorize a landmark set of protections for domestic violence survivors, the Violence Against Women Act."
"That program is now set to expire Friday, though some lawmakers and aides say funding likely won't be affected until March."
"Party leaders also couldn't agree on whether to include back pay for thousands of federal contractors who went unpaid during the 35-day shutdown."
"With the legislation finally released, both Democrats and Republicans quickly began to sell the deal as a win for their own parties, after a months-long standoff over Trump's border wall."
..."Trump has yet to publicly say whether he'd sign the bill, but hinted Wednesday that he is leaning in that direction, while also praising Republicans for their border security efforts."
Judge rules that Manafort lied to Mueller prosecutors: "Former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort lied to prosecutors with special counsel Robert S. Mueller III about matters close to the heart of their investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 election, a federal judge ruled Wednesday."
"The judge’s finding that Manafort, 69, breached his cooperation deal with prosecutors by lying after his guilty plea could add years to his prison sentence and came after a set of sealed court hearings."
"Manafort’s lies, the judge found, included 'his interactions and communications with [Konstantin] Kilimnik,' a longtime aide whom the FBI assessed to have ties to Russian intelligence." (Washington Post)
FEMA Administrator resigns: "The head of the U.S. Federal Emergency Management Agency, Brock Long, said he would resign on Wednesday, after overseeing the government’s response to a string of record-breaking hurricanes, wildfires and other natural disasters."
"Long was widely praised for his tenure at a time when the United States faced its most devastating stretch of natural disasters since Hurricane Katrina in 2005."
"But his reputation took a hit last fall when the Department of Homeland Security determined he had inappropriately used government vehicles to commute between Washington and his home in North Carolina." (Reuters)
House votes to end support for Saudi war in Yemen: "The House voted on Wednesday to end American military assistance for Saudi Arabia’s war in Yemen, a defiant and rare move to curtail presidential war powers that underscored anger with President Trump’s unflagging support for Saudi Arabia even after the killing of a Washington Post columnist, Jamal Khashoggi."
"The 248-to-177 vote, condemning a nearly four-year conflict in Yemen that has killed thousands of civilians and inflicted a devastating famine, will pressure the Republican-controlled Senate to respond. Eighteen Republicans — almost all of them hard-line conservatives with the Freedom Caucus — voted with the Democratic majority." (New York Times)
Parkland, one year later: "A Year After the School Shooting That Was Supposed to Change Everything" (New York Times)
White House schedule
POTUS: At 11:45 a.m., President Trump participates in a national pro-life conference call. At 2:45 p.m., he meets with Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen.
VP: Vice President Pence is in Warsaw, Poland today, where he will address the Ministerial to Promote a Future of Peace and Security in the Middle East working luncheon. Pence will also visit the Monument to the Ghetto Heroes and the Warsaw Uprising Monument, and hold meetings with the Prime Ministers of Israel and Poland.
Senate: The Senate is expected to vote today on confirmation of Attorney General nominee William Barr and on the government funding package.
House: The House is also expected to vote on the government funding package today, after the Senate does so.
Supreme Court schedule
The Supreme Court is currently between sittings.
*All times Eastern