The House and Senate have both convened on this first full day of the Trump Shutdown. There's the faintest glimmer of a potential resolution coming from Sen. Jeff Flake (R-AZ). He says he has secured agreement from Majority Leader Mitch McConnell to put immigration legislation on the floor. McConnell has been refusing to do that because Trump has "not yet indicated what measure he is willing to sign."
Trump has careened from saying he'd "take the heat" on any immigration agreement the Congress reached to refusing to discuss anything unless he got his wall and a bunch of seriously xenophobic and racist demands. Demands that come and go depending on who has his ear in the White House and from the Freedom Caucus, to whom Speaker Paul Ryan has apparently ceded all power. But it really is quite simple to find out what he'll do, as Flake says. "The way to find out what the president wants on DACA is to pass a bill, to bring a bill to the floor. And that is what the majority leader has now agreed to do," Flake said.
Is that enough to end the shutdown? Probably not, because of the hard line Republicans are taking. Which is because Ryan, and the Freedom Caucus which is controlling him, is setting the agenda.
That agenda is all about keeping people from "shithole" countries out.
Republicans say they won't negotiate on immigration while the government is shut down. […]
"I think it's more difficult to get any agreement on DACA in a shutdown," said House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy while walking into a meeting with GOP leaders Saturday. […]
White House Legislative Director Mark Short, who attended a closed-door meeting of House Republicans on Saturday, took the same stance. […]
House Republicans scoffed at a tentative framework to reopen the government being discussed by a bipartisan group of senators.
And Ryan insisted that the Senate needed to approve the House bill to fund the government until Feb. 16 as a starting point for any broader agreement.
"We were not party to any negotiations, and our only message to the Senate all day yesterday was pass our bill to keep the government open," AshLee Strong, Ryan's spokeswoman, said in a statement. "The government shut down because Senate Democrats decided to hold the entire federal government and children’s health insurance hostage. It’s pretty straight forward."
In other words, the Republican position, including from the White House, is "we're not negotiating." And they're still trying to pin this on Democrats. And that's AFTER they refused to even allow a bill from Sen. Claire McCaskill (D-MO) to guarantee military pay and death benefits during the shutdown, something they passed in 2013.
To top it all off, the Trump administration has done essentially nothing to prepare for this shutdown. Government agencies are floundering with no guidance. The guy who is supposed to be providing that guidance? Office of Management and Budget Director Mick Mulvaney. Here's how seriously he's taking all this:
"[T]he Office of Management and Budget is charged with, you know, sort-of implementing running a shutdown.
In fact, I found out for the first time last night that the person who technically shuts the government down is me, which is kind of cool.
It's "kind of cool." The entire government is now being run by Steve King.