Daily Digest: Still no deal in Washington

Good morning and welcome to another Monday. Unfortunately for the Vikings there was no miracle finish in Philadelphia yesterday. The Super Bowl will be played in Minneapolis without them. Here’s the Digest.

1. The government shutdown is in its third day.  The Senate inched closer but ultimately fell short of an agreement Sunday night that would have reopened federal agencies before the beginning of the workweek. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and Democratic leader Chuck Schumer said negotiations kept going late into the night, with a vote to break a Democratic filibuster on a short-term funding bill scheduled for noon Monday. Under the proposal taking shape, Democrats would agree to a three-week spending measure — until Feb. 8 — in return for a commitment from the Republican leadership in the Senate to address immigration policy and other pressing legislative matters in the coming weeks. But Democrats appeared to be holding out for a firmer commitment from McConnell. “We have yet to reach an agreement on a path forward,” Schumer said late Sunday. (AP)

2. Federal employees will be the first to feel the effects. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell gave a foreboding warning from the Senate floor on Sunday. “The shutdown is going to get a lot worse tomorrow,” he warned. “A lot worse.” Republicans are insisting the shutdown is less “weaponized” than the last time this happened, in 2013 under President Obama, but it’s still sure to have a broad effect across the country and get worse the longer it goes. Here’s as good summary of what will continue running and what won’t. (NPR)

3.  The shutdown will create some headaches for some Minnesotans. About 32,000 federal employees in Minnesota could face furloughs or work without pay Monday if Congress fails to pass a spending bill. And if the shutdown goes on much longer, the lack of paychecks will put many workers who are struggling to pay for rent or child care in a bind, even if Congress eventually authorizes back pay, said Gregg James, national vice president for the local district of the American Federation of Government Employees. For those who don’t work for the federal government, the shutdown’s toll will be less obvious. Cutbacks to office staff could delay paperwork, and some national parks’ visitors centers will close. But for the most part, national parks will remain open. Postal workers will deliver mail. Social Security benefits will arrive. Super Bowl preparations will continue. (Star Tribune)

4. Abortion opponents are already campaigning against Sen. Tina Smith because she used to work for Planned Parenthood. “Tina Smith doesn’t just support abortion,” MCCL executive director Scott Fischbach says on the organization’s website. “She lobbied on its behalf. She worked to defeat any conceivable limitations on it. She was an executive for the state’s abortion leader. She is the abortion senator.” But Smith isn’t running from her past. Noting Planned Parenthood’s reach — it serves 66,000 people in Minnesota annually — Smith said, “It is an organization that is deeply trusted to be there for women, men and families when it’s needed, and that’s something I’m very proud of.” (Star Tribune)

5. Unlike in other states, there was no march in Minnesota over the weekend, but there was behind the scenes organizing. Minnesotans joined hundreds of thousands of people across the world this weekend who turned out in protests against President Donald Trump and to rally for change on the anniversary of huge women’s marches last year. St. Paul’s “Hear Our Voices” event, held by Women’s March Minnesota at Union Depot Sunday, sold out with 2,500 tickets purchased, organizers said. The event focuses on registering voters, encouraging women to run for office and getting people politically involved. (Pioneer Press)

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