Another Shutdown Grips Washington

Friday, February 9, 2018Screen Shot 2018-02-09 at 8.58.14 AM

Good Friday morning, 
Here are some of the stories making news in Washington and politics today:
  • The federal government shut down briefly early Friday as a single Republican senator, Rand Paul of Kentuckyheld up a vote in his chamber on a far-reaching budget deal. The Senate eventually approved the measure, followed hours later by the House.
  • Mr. Paul opposes the huge spending increases at the center of the deal, a sign of Republicans’ continuing to embrace the kind of free spending and budget deficits they once claimed to loathe.

  • White House officials conceded Thursday that they regretted the way they handled accusations against Rob Porter, the staff secretary who resigned Wednesday, after two former wives publicly accused him of abusing them. But officials refused to provide any information about when President Trump’s most senior advisers first learned about the episodes.

  • Mr. Porter’s resignation is the latest in a string of unwelcome headlines for John F. Kelly, the White House chief of staff.

  • In a secured room where the House Intelligence Committee is supposed to be pressing its inquiry into Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election, workers will be erecting a physical barrier to separate the cubicles of aides from each party — a gesture emblematic of the committee’s division.

  • Mr. Trump delivered an uncharacteristically subdued message of faith and American values at the National Prayer Breakfast, saying, “We praise God for how truly blessed we are to be American.”
— The First Draft Team

Budget Deficits Will Balloon Under the Bipartisan Spending Deal

By ALICIA PARLAPIANO
The two-year budget agreement reached by Senate leaders on Wednesdayand later passed by both the House and Senate will probably contribute hundreds of billions of dollars to federal deficits.
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Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg arriving to speak at New York University’s law school in Manhattan on Monday. Her off-the-court schedule of late has been filled with public appearances.
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Americans say the coalition repelled an attack by forces backing President Bashar al-Assad in a rare confrontation between groups that have both fought ISIS.

Teenage candidates for the Kansas governor race spoke at a forum in Lawrence in October. From left, Ethan Randleas, 17; Alexander Cline, 17, a candidate for lieutenant governor; Jack Bergeson, 16; Tyler Ruzich, 17; and Dominic Scavuzzo, 17.

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By JOSE A. DEL REAL

Six young men, ages 16, 17 and 18, are running for governor in Kansas, and they want to be taken seriously.

A visiting North Korean band leaving a welcoming ceremony for the country’s Olympic athletes in Gangneung, South Korea, on Thursday.

The Quiet Diplomacy to Save the Olympics From a Nuclear Standoff

By JANE PERLEZ, CHOE SANG-HUN AND REBECCA R. RUIZ

Organizers worried that the North would spoil the Winter Games in Pyeongchang. But after months of anxiety and failed diplomacy, there was a deal.

A member of the American-backed Syrian Democratic Forces in October inside a prison built by Islamic State fighters in Raqqa, Syria. The group is said to have detained two Britons infamous for their role in torturing Westerners.

2 of ISIS’ Infamous British Fighters Are Captured by Syrian Kurds

By ADAM GOLDMAN AND ERIC SCHMITT

The men were part of a notorious group of Islamic State militants known as the Beatles because of their British accents.

Television crews set up in the rotunda of the Russell Senate Office Building waiting to interview lawmakers on Wednesday. The Senate is expected to vote on a spending bill on Thursday.

What’s Hidden in the Spending Bill?

By MARGOT SANGER-KATZ, BRAD PLUMER, ERICA L. GREEN AND JIM TANKERSLEY

Tax breaks for horse owners, energy credits and a small college in Kentucky are among the provisions tucked into the spending package.

Jordan Roth, a prominent Broadway theater owner and producer, appearing in his new video series that opened with a raunchy attack on President Trump.

A Broadway Bigwig Lampoons Trump, Despite Family Ties

By MICHAEL PAULSON

The Roth family dynamic: The son makes fun of President Trump in an explicit video series, despite the father’s political and financial history with him.

Charles P. Rettig, a longtime tax lawyer who has specialized in defending people and companies against the I.R.S.

To Lead I.R.S., Trump Nominates Lawyer Who Battled It

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Charles P. Rettig is a longtime tax lawyer who has specialized in defending people and companies against the agency.

Jon Favreau, one of the hosts of the podcast “Pod Save America,” at CBS Radio Studios in Los Angeles last summer. HBO plans to have the hosts do a series of specials on the campaign trail in the run up to the 2018 midterm elections.

‘Pod Save America’ Is Coming to HBO

By JOHN KOBLIN

The hosts, all veterans of the Obama White House, will broadcast a series of hourlong specials focused on the midterm elections.

Ciara Renée as Esmeralda in a 2015 production of “The Hunchback of Notre Dame” at the Paper Mill Playhouse in New Jersey.

Casting Controversy Derailed High School Play. Then Came Threats.

By SOPAN DEB

After Ithaca High School canceled its production of “The Hunchback of Notre Dame” because of students’ pushback, an online mob targeted the town.

The budget bill provides $3.8 billion for the current fiscal year and $4 billion for 2019 to fund community health centers — up from $3.6 billion last year.

From Clinics to Child Insurance, Budget Deal Affects Health Care

By ROBERT PEAR

A budget deal billed as a measure to stabilize government funding is chockfull of provisions that have consequences for the health care system.

The teachers’ union leaders Randi Weingarten, right, and Lily Eskelsen García, center, outside the Department of Education building on Thursday.

Union Leaders Protesting Education Secretary Are Left Out in the Cold

By ERICA L. GREEN

The leaders were not allowed access to the Education Department building to deliver failing “report cards” to Secretary Betsy DeVos.