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Many pundits have speculated that the Democrats’ impeachment inquiry may end up hurting the party and could lead to a Republican victory in 2020. After the Mueller investigation dragged on for nearly two years and failed to yield anything conclusive, many Americans have become weary of Democrat efforts to impeach Trump. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi also showed apprehension in calling for a formal impeachment inquiry. However, after increasing pressure from her colleagues in the House, she took concrete step towards impeachment.
- The House of Representatives voted to condemn “anti-Semitism, Islamophobia, racism and other forms of bigotry” Thursday, in the wake of controversial remarks by freshman Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN). The vote was 407-23.
- The partial shutdown of the federal government entered its second week Saturday, with no apparent end in sight and both sides effectively dug in. Congress stands adjourned until New Year’s Eve, and President Trump remains at the White House.
- Some 380,000 federal employees on furlough and 420,000 working without pay are also bracing for a long shutdown. To that end, the Office of Personnel Management tweeted out sample letters for federal employees to send to creditors, mortgage companies, and landlords.
- Despite fears to the contrary, Coast Guard members will still receive paychecks on New Year’s Eve. The short-term solution for active duty members, reservists, and retirees was agreed upon by the Trump administration, Department of Homeland Security, and the Coast Guard.
- Why did the Democrats shut down a quarter of the federal government to stop Trump’s wall? Because, as Deroy Murdock of National Review opines, Trump loves it. “They hate Trump’s guts more than they love America.”
- If conservatives really wanted a wall, writes Vox’s Matthew Yglesias, they would offer something Democrats would want in return. However, the core truth of the standoff, he says, is that immigration hardliners don’t see the wall as a good idea, and thus, won’t trade it for anything.
- The House and Senate adjourned Friday night without passing any of seven funding bills necessary to keep the federal government open. At issue is $5 billion President Trump demanded to fund a border wall. Both chambers will gavel in at noon Saturday.
- Holiday travelers will likely remain unaffected throughout a shutdown. Flights and trains should not be impacted, and packages should still arrive on time. However, national parks, sites, and museums might be closed.
- The current disagreement appears to have come by way of an about face on the wall. After Congress passed legislation funding the government without the wall, by Thursday, President Trump indicated he would veto it. This change appears to have been driven by the president’s base.
- President Trump has indicated he will keep the government shut as long as necessary to win funding for the wall, and his supporters— in and out of Congress— have urged him to “dig in.” RNC Chair Ronna McDaniel called on Senate Democrats to “stop opposing the wall and sensible border security.“
- The President’s supporters also took to GoFundMe in a multimillion-dollar effort to voluntarily pay for the wall themselves. CNN’s Sally Kohn called it, “a horrific bait-and-switch,” which “is symbolic of much of Trump’s presidency.”
- Democratic strategists are beginning to acknowledge a Senate takeover is unlikely this year. The 2018 map was always tilted against them as they were forced to defend 10 seats in states President Trump won.
- The question being asked now is whether Republicans can retain seats in Nevada and Arizona while picking up seats in Florida, Indiana, Montana, Missouri, North Dakota, Ohio and West Virginia. A GOP senate majority of 54 to 58 seats is very possible. And democrats may be stuck in the minority.
- Meanwhile, the House still has many seats in play, nearly all of them Republican. Democrats need just 23 seats to capture control of the chamber. The key battleground states include California, Illinois, Michigan, Minnesota, New Jersey, New York and Nevada, where President Trump’s popularity dips.
- Congressional campaigns are on pace to break fundraising records with House candidates raising $1.2 billion so far this year. However, it seems the GOP failed to target enough vulnerable Democrat seats this year.
- Both sides say they’re fighting for Independent and Republican-leaning women in suburban districts. Republicans believe the recent Kavanaugh confirmation fight turned the tide in their favor. Democrats say Trump’s crude treatment of women, including recently calling Stormy Daniels “horseface” will drive enough women voters away to end the GOP House Majority.
- IN SUMMARY: The gender war midterm battle could be a dry run for the presidential election in 2020 and fundamentally reshape the nation’s political parties.