Monday, Jan. 28
Š The Congressional Budget Office issued a report saying that the government shutdown that ended the previous Friday cost the U.S. $3 billion that will not be recovered.
Š House Speaker Nancy Pelosi invited President Donald Trump to deliver the State of the Union message on Feb. 5.
Š The Trump administration blocked all U.S. revenue to Venezuela’s national oil company and called on members of the Venezuelan armed forces to switch their allegiance from President Nicolas Maduro to his rival, Juan Guaido, whom the U.S. has recognized as the legitimate president.
Tuesday, Jan. 29
Š Secretary of State Mike Pompeo gave Guaido control over certain Venezuelan government accounts at the Federal Reserve Bank of New York in an effort to “safeguard those assets for the benefit of the Venezuelan people. The State Department also issued a Level 4 “do not travel” advisory on Venezuela.
Š Trump advisor Roger Stone pled not guilty to charges by special counsel Robert Mueller’s team that he gave false answers to Congress and tried to tamper with a witness to hide his outreach to WikiLeaks during the 2016 campaign.
Š The Senate Judiciary Committee delayed a vote on William Barr’s nomination as attorney general after Democrats, including Sen. Dianne Feinstein, raised concerns about whether he would allow Mueller to finish his investigation and publicize the results.
Š National Intelligence Director Dan Coats told the Senate Intelligence Committee that he and the intelligence community think it is very unlikely that North Korea will give up its nuclear weapons and production capabilities. He also said competitors such as Russia, China and Iran “probably already are looking to the 2020 U.S. elections as an opportunity to advance their interests.”
Š The directors of the FBI and CIA and other officials also testified before the Senate Intelligence Committee, also revealing significant differences between the intelligence community and the president’s claims on a variety of security issues.
Wednesday, Jan. 30
Š U.S. Envoy Zalmay Khalilzad reported that there have been “agreements in principle toward a framework for peace with the Taliban in the 17+ year war in Afghanistan.
Š The Federal Reserve decided not to change interest rates and signaled it was unlikely to raise rates soon because of uncertainty around economic slowdowns in China and Europe, Brexit, U.S.-China trade talks and the possibility of another government shutdown.
Š Prosecutors from Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s team claimed in a federal court filing that more than 1,000 files turned over to the defense team for an indicted Russian company were leaked by hackers in a cyber-disinformation campaign apparently aimed at discrediting the Mueller investigation.
Š Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said that a Democratic bill that would make Election Day a federal holiday is a “political power grab.”
Š Trump called his intelligence officials “passive and naēve” and said they should “go back to school” for their testimony the previous day before the Senate Intelligence Committee.
Thursday, Jan. 31
Š The vast majority of Republican senators voted to advance an amendment to a larger Middle East policy bill drafted by McConnell, declaring that the Islamic State and al-Qaeda remain serious threats in Syria and Afghanistan and directly contradicting the Trump’s assessment and his justification for seeking to withdraw U.S. troops from both countries.
Š In an interview with the New York Times, Trump said he had all but given up negotiating with Congress to fund a wall on the southwestern border, suggesting that he planned to declare a national emergency to build it instead.
Š Trump said the media fabricated a conflict between himself and the intelligence community and said officials were “misquoted” after a public congressional hearing Tuesday that was carried live on television.
Friday, Feb. 1
Š Pompeo announced the U.S. will suspend its participation in the 1987 Inermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty, charging that Russia is violating the treaty.
Š The Washington Post reported that McConnell told Trump that declaring a national emergency to build a border wall could divide congressional Republicans and that Congress might pass a resolution disapproving of the emergency declaration, pitting the president against his own party.
Š Sen. Debbie Stabenow predicted that legislators working on a border security spending package to avoid another government shutdown will craft a proposal that could survive a veto from Trump.
Saturday, Feb. 2
Š Russian President Vladimir Putin said Russia will also pull out of the 1987 Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces treaty, but will only deploy missiles if the U.S. does.
Sunday, Feb. 3
Š No news to report.