Trump After Dark: A Long December edition

The government is funded for another two weeks.

But that doesn’t mean that President Donald Trump isn’t staring down the possibility of a government shutdown.

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The Senate and House each today passed a continuing resolution that funds the government until just before Christmas, POLITICO’s John Bresnahan, Sarah Ferris and Rachael Bade reports. That stops an immediate crisis but punts a range of thorny issues, including spending priorities and immigration until right before Christmas.

“The biggest hurdles have yet to come. Republicans know they need Democrats to pass any broader spending agreement to fund the government through 2018, and Democrats are flexing their muscles and making significant policy demands for their votes.”

Negotiations over a budget come as the GOP is trying to reconcile the House and Senate tax bills — an issue the White House has been negotiating on, too.

Congressional leaders are facing a series of tough asks — appeasing “defense hawks and conservative hard-liners in the House Freedom caucus” and Democrats who want movement on immigration.

It all adds up to a long month with no reason to believe there’s a clear outcome.

Elsewhere in President Trump’s orbit:

HELICOPTER CABINET: Interior Sec. Ryan Zinke spent more than $14,000 on helicopters for events in the D.C. area for events such as attending the swearing in of his successor in Congress and a horseback ride with Vice President Mike Pence.

INTERN BASHING: In a video uncovered by ABC News, Jeff Sessions mocks and dismisses a Department of Justice intern who raises the issue of police violence and dismissed another who said evidence showed more people were killed by guns than marijuana.

NOT THE WRAY HE SEES IT: FBI Director Christopher Wray dismissed President Trump’s recent assertion that the FBI was in “tatters.”

CUT AND DRY: White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders attributed President Trump’s slurred speech at the end of his speech on recognizing the Jerusalem as the capital of Israel to a dry throat, and nothing more.

KT MUST WAIT: CNN reports that Democrats put a hold on K.T. McFarland’s nomination to be ambassador to Singapore until she answers questions about Michael Flynn and Russia.

GATES ARE OPEN: Former Trump campaign aide Rick Gates now has a weekend pass from his pre-trial home confinement after reaching a $5 million bail agreement with prosecutors.

NO DRESSING THIS UP: The Senate parlimentarian’s decision to remove a provision from the GOP tax bill could mean that Newman’s Own, the food label that benefits the charitable foundation of the late actor Paul Newman, must be sold.

There you have it. You’re caught up on the Trump administration. TGIT.

http://www.politico.com