Shutdown Continues Into a Third Day

The U.S. Capitol Building as night falls in Washington, Sunday, Jan. 21, 2018 and Congress continues to negotiate during the second day of the federal government shutdown.

The U.S. Capitol Building as night falls in Washington, Sunday, Jan. 21, 2018 and Congress continues to negotiate during the second day of the federal government shutdown. J. David Ake/AP

In the shutdown's shadow, Congress also renewed controversial internet spying powers.

The government shutdown continues into the third day after lawmakers failed to reach a short-term spending deal Sunday night.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., announced the Senate would vote noon Monday on a continuing resolution to fund the government through Feb. 8. The resolution wouldn’t address the immigration, border security, increased military spending or disaster relief that lawmakers are still negotiating.

"Should these issues not be resolved by the time the funding bill before us expires on Feb. 8, 2018, assuming the government remains open, it would be my intention to proceed to legislation that would address [Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals], border security and related issues," McConnell said.

Meanwhile, federal employees must report to work Monday to start orderly shutdown procedures and, depending on their agency, turn in government-issued devices. Some agencies such as the Environmental Protection Agency and the Federal Communications Commission announced they would remain open using carry-forward funding and transfer authorities, Office of Management and Budget Director Mick Mulvaney said Friday.

Furloughed employees will head home assuming no deal is reached, while others who fill critical functions in national security, public safety and health will continue to work without pay until funds are appropriated. The White House on Friday said it would support back pay for furloughed federal employees, though that takes congressional action. The Federal Employee Fair Treatment Act was already introduced by Sen. Ben Cardin, D-Md., and 20 sponsors prior to the December continuing resolution.

Active-duty troops also continue working and receive pay after a budget passes. During the 2013 shutdown, Congress moved quickly to make sure they were paid during the shutdown, and this time around Sen. Claire McCaskill, D-Mo., attempted to fast-track a similar resolution. McConnell, however, objected, leaving the issue unresolved.

McCaskill, Heidi Heitkamp, D-N.D., Jon Tester, D-Mont., Debbie Stabenow, D-Mich., and Joe Manchin, D-W. Va, also introduced the No Government No Pay Act, which would withhold lawmakers’ pay during a shutdown. The bill would go into effect for the next Congress and apply to each new Congress after.

Trump Signs FISA 702 Renewal

President Donald Trump signed a 6-year renewal for a controversial internet spying law Friday, five years after revelations by National Security Agency leaker Edward Snowden rocketed U.S. surveillance into the spotlight. The Senate voted 60-38, a zero vote margin under Senate rules, to open debate on the bill Wednesday then passed it comfortably Thursday.

Civil libertarians and privacy hawks tried to push an amendment requiring a warrant before law enforcement can query a database of information gathered under the law—Section 702 of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act—but weren’t allowed to debate it on the Senate floor.

Lawmakers Back Microsoft at Supreme Court

Sens. Orrin Hatch, R-Utah, and Chris Coons, D-Del., filed a friend-of-the-court brief with the Supreme Court Thursday arguing against the Justice Department’s position that it should be able to serve warrants on U.S. tech companies for digital information that’s stored outside the United States.

The case stems from Microsoft’s refusal to turn over emails in a drug case that are stored in Dublin. Microsoft argues the pre-internet law at issue—The 1986 Electronic Communications Privacy Act—doesn’t extend beyond U.S. borders.

The senators’ brief effectively sides with Microsoft and says it should be Congress’s job to update the outdated law for the digital era rather than the court’s job to give the law an internet era interpretation. Hatch has introduced legislation that would do that.

The brief was joined by Reps. Darrell Issa, R-Calif., Doug Collins, R-Ga., and Hakeem Jeffries, D-N.Y.

House Moves to Restore Top Cyber Diplomat

The House passed a bill Wednesday that would reinstate a top cyber diplomat post at the State Department that Secretary of State Rex Tillerson nixed last year.

The bill, which marks a rare break on cyber policy between House Republicans and the Trump administration, would also make the position a presidential appointment. The bill doesn’t yet have a Senate counterpart.

Dem Queries Intel on Spectre, Meltdown Vulnerabilities

At least one lawmaker wants answers from chip maker Intel about massive hardware vulnerabilities in its computer chips. Rep. Jerry McNerney, D-Calif., wrote to Intel’s chief executive Tuesday seeking a briefing on the vulnerabilities known as Spectre and Meltdown.

“I am looking to better understand the nature of these critical vulnerabilities, the danger they pose to consumers, and what steps your companies plan to take to protect consumers,” McNerney wrote.

Rubio, Van Hollen Aim to DETER Russian Election Meddling

The nation’s spymaster would be required to certify whether or not foreign actors had meddled in each U.S. election within one month, under a bill introduced Tuesday by Sens. Marco Rubio, R-Fla, and Chris Van Hollen, D-Md.

The bill, which the senators call the Defending Elections from Threats by Establishing Redlines, or DETER, Act would also outline when outside meddling would elicit U.S. retaliation, according to a Washington Post op-ed by the lawmakers.  

X
This website uses cookies to enhance user experience and to analyze performance and traffic on our website. We also share information about your use of our site with our social media, advertising and analytics partners. Learn More / Do Not Sell My Personal Information
Accept Cookies
X
Cookie Preferences Cookie List

Do Not Sell My Personal Information

When you visit our website, we store cookies on your browser to collect information. The information collected might relate to you, your preferences or your device, and is mostly used to make the site work as you expect it to and to provide a more personalized web experience. However, you can choose not to allow certain types of cookies, which may impact your experience of the site and the services we are able to offer. Click on the different category headings to find out more and change our default settings according to your preference. You cannot opt-out of our First Party Strictly Necessary Cookies as they are deployed in order to ensure the proper functioning of our website (such as prompting the cookie banner and remembering your settings, to log into your account, to redirect you when you log out, etc.). For more information about the First and Third Party Cookies used please follow this link.

Allow All Cookies

Manage Consent Preferences

Strictly Necessary Cookies - Always Active

We do not allow you to opt-out of our certain cookies, as they are necessary to ensure the proper functioning of our website (such as prompting our cookie banner and remembering your privacy choices) and/or to monitor site performance. These cookies are not used in a way that constitutes a “sale” of your data under the CCPA. You can set your browser to block or alert you about these cookies, but some parts of the site will not work as intended if you do so. You can usually find these settings in the Options or Preferences menu of your browser. Visit www.allaboutcookies.org to learn more.

Sale of Personal Data, Targeting & Social Media Cookies

Under the California Consumer Privacy Act, you have the right to opt-out of the sale of your personal information to third parties. These cookies collect information for analytics and to personalize your experience with targeted ads. You may exercise your right to opt out of the sale of personal information by using this toggle switch. If you opt out we will not be able to offer you personalised ads and will not hand over your personal information to any third parties. Additionally, you may contact our legal department for further clarification about your rights as a California consumer by using this Exercise My Rights link

If you have enabled privacy controls on your browser (such as a plugin), we have to take that as a valid request to opt-out. Therefore we would not be able to track your activity through the web. This may affect our ability to personalize ads according to your preferences.

Targeting cookies may be set through our site by our advertising partners. They may be used by those companies to build a profile of your interests and show you relevant adverts on other sites. They do not store directly personal information, but are based on uniquely identifying your browser and internet device. If you do not allow these cookies, you will experience less targeted advertising.

Social media cookies are set by a range of social media services that we have added to the site to enable you to share our content with your friends and networks. They are capable of tracking your browser across other sites and building up a profile of your interests. This may impact the content and messages you see on other websites you visit. If you do not allow these cookies you may not be able to use or see these sharing tools.

If you want to opt out of all of our lead reports and lists, please submit a privacy request at our Do Not Sell page.

Save Settings
Cookie Preferences Cookie List

Cookie List

A cookie is a small piece of data (text file) that a website – when visited by a user – asks your browser to store on your device in order to remember information about you, such as your language preference or login information. Those cookies are set by us and called first-party cookies. We also use third-party cookies – which are cookies from a domain different than the domain of the website you are visiting – for our advertising and marketing efforts. More specifically, we use cookies and other tracking technologies for the following purposes:

Strictly Necessary Cookies

We do not allow you to opt-out of our certain cookies, as they are necessary to ensure the proper functioning of our website (such as prompting our cookie banner and remembering your privacy choices) and/or to monitor site performance. These cookies are not used in a way that constitutes a “sale” of your data under the CCPA. You can set your browser to block or alert you about these cookies, but some parts of the site will not work as intended if you do so. You can usually find these settings in the Options or Preferences menu of your browser. Visit www.allaboutcookies.org to learn more.

Functional Cookies

We do not allow you to opt-out of our certain cookies, as they are necessary to ensure the proper functioning of our website (such as prompting our cookie banner and remembering your privacy choices) and/or to monitor site performance. These cookies are not used in a way that constitutes a “sale” of your data under the CCPA. You can set your browser to block or alert you about these cookies, but some parts of the site will not work as intended if you do so. You can usually find these settings in the Options or Preferences menu of your browser. Visit www.allaboutcookies.org to learn more.

Performance Cookies

We do not allow you to opt-out of our certain cookies, as they are necessary to ensure the proper functioning of our website (such as prompting our cookie banner and remembering your privacy choices) and/or to monitor site performance. These cookies are not used in a way that constitutes a “sale” of your data under the CCPA. You can set your browser to block or alert you about these cookies, but some parts of the site will not work as intended if you do so. You can usually find these settings in the Options or Preferences menu of your browser. Visit www.allaboutcookies.org to learn more.

Sale of Personal Data

We also use cookies to personalize your experience on our websites, including by determining the most relevant content and advertisements to show you, and to monitor site traffic and performance, so that we may improve our websites and your experience. You may opt out of our use of such cookies (and the associated “sale” of your Personal Information) by using this toggle switch. You will still see some advertising, regardless of your selection. Because we do not track you across different devices, browsers and GEMG properties, your selection will take effect only on this browser, this device and this website.

Social Media Cookies

We also use cookies to personalize your experience on our websites, including by determining the most relevant content and advertisements to show you, and to monitor site traffic and performance, so that we may improve our websites and your experience. You may opt out of our use of such cookies (and the associated “sale” of your Personal Information) by using this toggle switch. You will still see some advertising, regardless of your selection. Because we do not track you across different devices, browsers and GEMG properties, your selection will take effect only on this browser, this device and this website.

Targeting Cookies

We also use cookies to personalize your experience on our websites, including by determining the most relevant content and advertisements to show you, and to monitor site traffic and performance, so that we may improve our websites and your experience. You may opt out of our use of such cookies (and the associated “sale” of your Personal Information) by using this toggle switch. You will still see some advertising, regardless of your selection. Because we do not track you across different devices, browsers and GEMG properties, your selection will take effect only on this browser, this device and this website.