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iStock/Thinkstock(WASHINGTON) -- Following passage in the Senate and House, President Donald Trump Monday night signed a bill to fund the government for three weeks and end the three-day-long federal government shutdown.

Congress had agreed to the short-term funding bill earlier Monday after Senate Republicans provided assurances to Democrats that immigration reform and other contentious issues would be addressed in the near future.

After the Senate passed the bill by an 81-18 margin Monday afternoon, the House of Representatives concurred with the measure 266-150, sending it to President Donald Trump, whose signature would bring an end to the impasse. Between 700,000 and 800,000 federal employees were furloughed during the standoff, according to the Office of Management and Budget.

The deal was reached after Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell pledged that it was Republicans' "intention to take up legislation here in the Senate that would address DACA, border security and related issues, as well as disaster relief." Democrats had attempted to tie protection for Dreamers -- some 800,000 undocumented immigrants brought to the U.S. illegally as children -- to the funding bill. They had been covered by the Deferred Action on Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program, started under President Obama but ordered ended by President Trump.

"Let me be clear: This immigration debate will have a level playing field at the outset and an amendment process that's fair to all sides," McConnell said.

The continuing resolution to fund the government, which also included six years of funding for the Children's Health Insurance Program, passed Monday afternoon after the Senate also voted to end debate earlier in the day over the objections of just 18 senators.

Among the Senate group in opposition to the move were a number of legislators rumored to be interested in a 2020 presidential run, including Sens. Kamala Harris, D-Calif., Cory Booker, D-N.J., Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., and Kirsten Gillibrand, D-N.Y.

Though the vote to end debate was successful, Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer continued his criticism of the negotiation process and demonstrated particular frustration with what he described as a lack of bipartisanship from the White House.

"The great deal-making president sat on the sidelines," said Schumer on the Senate floor prior to the vote, explaining that he had not spoken with President Donald Trump since a meeting Friday before the shutdown began.

White House press secretary Sarah Sanders portrayed the deal agreed to as one proposed by Trump from the start — "to responsibly fund the government and debate immigration as a separate issue."

"I am pleased Democrats in Congress have come to their senses and are now willing to fund our great military, border patrol, first responders and insurance for vulnerable children," said Trump, in a statement read by Sanders at Monday's White House press briefing.

"We will make a long-term deal on immigration if, and only if, it's good for our country," the statement concluded.

Despite his isolation from Democrats during the shutdown, Trump met with Sens. Joe Manchin, D-W.V., Doug Jones, D-Ala., and a group of six Republicans Monday afternoon to chart a path forward on immigration.

"As soon as the Senate voted to reopen the government, the President continued conversations on the next steps on responsible immigration reform," Sanders said in a statement.

Earlier in the day, some moderate and Democratic senators had told ABC News that they hoped McConnell would delay the vote to allow a little more time to work out a broader deal. The cloture vote, which required 60 votes, had already failed several times and Republicans were looking for as many as seven Democrats to join them as of Monday morning.

The cloture vote passed despite a group of bipartisan senators emerging from talks earlier in agreement that McConnell needed to clarify his immigration-related promises.

"We need a little bit more clarity," Sen. Gary Peters, D-Mich., said, to the agreement of some Republicans.

"I would encourage [McConnell] to try to [get firmer language,]" said Sen. Jeff Flake, R-Ariz. "If [Democrats] can get language they're comfortable with, I think we'll have the government open."

While Flake characterized McConnell's effort as a "pretty high profile promise," and some Democrats said that they felt additionally encouraged, it was far from certain that a solution would pass.

"I was more negative yesterday, last night, than I was today," said Sen. Amy Klobuchar, D-Minn., said before the vote, saying she thought the impasse could be resolved in "a day or two."

The blame game was in full force this weekend, with Trump tweeting about how the shutdown began with the first anniversary of his inauguration: "Democrats wanted to give me a nice present. #DemocratShutdown," he wrote.

Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., weighed in that the president is not being well-served by staff in the negotiations over immigration issues that are key to resolving the impasse and reopening the government.

Asked by ABC News if he was referring to Trump's senior policy adviser, Stephen Miller, a hardliner on immigration and close adviser on the issue to Trump, Graham said: "I'll just tell you his view of immigration has never been in the mainstream of the Senate. And I think we're never going to get there as long as we embrace concepts that cannot possibly get 60 votes."

The White House hit back, dismissing Graham's comments and calling him an "outlier."

"As long as Senator Graham chooses to support legislation that sides with people in this country illegally and unlawfully instead of our own American citizens, we are going nowhere. He’s been an outlier for years," said White House spokesperson Hogan Gidley.

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Alex Wong/Getty Images(WASHINGTON) -- Access to abortions, which the Supreme Court legalized 45 years ago, is still being fought over, with advocates from either side of the issue arguing for their cause.

The landmark Roe v. Wade case was decided on Jan. 22, 1973, with the highest court in the land affirming the right that women have to privacy, as granted by the 14th Amendment, which extends to medical decisions including abortions.

Since then, however, numerous laws have been enacted at the state level restricting some access to abortions.

"Roe is still the law of the land but because anti-choice politicians have enacted hundreds of laws that restrict access to abortion, the right to get an abortion isn’t a reality for many women," said Jen Dalven, the director of the American Civil Liberty Union's Reproductive Freedom Project.

The Guttmacher Institute, a reproductive rights research group that previously operated under Planned Parenthood, notes that 43 states prohibit abortions after a certain point in the pregnancy, typically after a certain number of weeks into the pregnancy ranging from 20 to 24 weeks.

There are 35 states that require that a woman receive counseling before an abortion is performed, according to the Guttmacher Institute, while 14 states require a woman to receive an ultrasound before being given an abortion, a move that the Guttmacher Institute calls "a veiled attempt to personify the fetus and dissuade a woman from obtaining an abortion."

And there are more battles to come, including a ballot initiative that will be included in the November 2018 ballot in Alabama where voters are asked to decide whether or not to amend the state's constitution to support "the sanctity of unborn life and the rights of unborn children" and to not protect the right to abortion or require funding of abortions.

The Guttmacher Institute states there were 401 state-level abortion restrictions enacted from 2011 through 2017.

Jeanne Mancini, the president of the education and defense fund at the anti-abortion rights group March for Life, pointed to that data as well and cited various parental notification and consent laws, among others, as a victory.

Danielle Wells, a Planned Parenthood for America spokesperson, said that their group was optimistic because of the grassroots activity they have seen in the past year, citing the turnout at both the 2017 and this year’s Women’s March.

She said that recent years have brought an “onslaught of attacks on people’s rights and freedoms, and at the same time we've seen a historic groundswell of support for people's health and rights and Planned Parenthood and at every turn we've seen the resistance growing stronger.”

Of Planned Parenthood's current roster of about 11 million supporters, Wells said that 1.5 million of those joined within the last year.

"That energy has translated into tangible gains and policies at the state level," Wells told ABC News.

While Wells is excited about the support from the people at large, Mancini is optimistic about the support of one person in particular. She hopes to see more abortion-restricting legislation moving through during the Trump administration, citing how she feels President Donald Trump has kept "all" of his promises on the issue thus far.

"In terms of public policy in defense of the unborn, he's been quite good and we have every expectation that he will continue to be so," Mancini said.

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Robin Marchant/Getty Images(PARK CITY, Utah) -- Sharing her own #MeToo experience, 84-year-old U.S. Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg told a crowd at the Sundance Film Festival on Sunday that "it's about time" women speak up about sexual harassment.

Speaking at a Park City, Utah forum, in advance of the premiere of a documentary about her titled "RBG" by filmmakers Betsy West and Julie Cohen, Ginsburg said she was encouraged that women have been speaking out about sexual harassment and marching in the streets of America.

"Well, I think it's about time," she said to rousing applause. "For so long, women were silent, thinking there was nothing you could do about it. But now the law is on the side of women, or men, who encounter harassment and that's a good thing."

She surprised the audience by speaking of her own experience with sexual harassment back when she was a student at Cornell University in the 1950s. She said her chemistry professor tried to make an inappropriate pass at her.

"Every woman of my vintage knows what sexual harassment is, although we didn't have a name for it," she said. "I'm taking a chemistry course at Cornell and my instructor said, because I was uncertain about my ability in that field, 'I'll give you a practice exam.' So he gave me a practice exam. The next day on the test, the test is the practice exam and I knew exactly what he wanted in return. And that's just one of many examples."

But Ginsburg said she didn't let the instructor get away with his overture.

"I went to [the instructor's] office and said, 'How dare you! How dare you do this!' And that was the end of that," she said. Laughing, she added that when she took the actual test, "I deliberately made two mistakes."

Ginsburg, who will turn 85 in March, said she was encouraged by what she saw at the Women's Marches across the country and globe this past weekend. Asked by interviewer Nina Totenberg, the award-winning NPR legal correspondent, if she feared there will be a backlash, she said, "Let's see where it goes. So far, it's been great. When I see women appearing every place in numbers, I'm less worried about a backlash than I might have been 20 years ago," she said.

In the interview, Ginsburg tackled a wide range of subjects from her fight for equal pay to her favorite movies.

She recounted being a member of the faculty at Rutgers Law School from 1963 to 1972 and fighting for the same pay as men.

"The dean, who was a very kindly man, said, 'Ruth you're going to have to take a cut in salary.' And I said, 'I understand that, state universities don't pay so well.' But when he told how much of a cut, I was astonished. So I asked, 'Well, how much do you pay so-and-so?' a man who was out of law school about the same amount of time I was was? And the dean replied, 'Ruth, he has a wife and two children to support. You have a husband with a good paying job in New York.' That was the very year the Equal Pay Act was passed.'"

Instead of accepting the pay cut, she said she and other women at Rutgers took action.

"What the women at Rutgers did, they didn't make a big fuss. They got together and they filed an equal pay complaint," she said. "So, the suit was filed in 1964. The university settled. The lowest increase was $6,000, which in those days is a lot more than it is today."

When she joined the faculty at Columbia Law School, she continued her battle for women's rights in the workplace when the university tried to lay off all its women janitors and none of the men.

"I went to the university vice president for business and told him that the university if violating Title VII" of the Civil Rights Act, which prohibits employment discrimination based on race, color, religion, sex and national origin, she said. "He said, 'Professor Ginsburg, Columbia has excellent Wall Street lawyers representing them. Would you like a cup of tea?'"

Instead, she filed an injunction motion to halt the layoffs and garnered the support of famed feminists of the day, including Bella Abzug, Gloria Steinem and Susan Sontag. The university back down from laying off the female janitors.

"These were women who really didn't care that they were paid less. They expected that, but they wanted jobs. They didn't want to be on welfare," Ginsburg said of the janitors. "In the course of that litigation, those women grew in self-esteem and two of them ended up being shop stewards."

Besides her legal career, Ginsburg also shared her personal tastes in movies, art and music, saying that she dreamed since the age of 11 of being an operatic diva.

"That's a recurring dream. I'm on stage at the Metropolitan Opera and I'm about to sing 'Tosca' and then I remember, I'm a monotone," she said to laughter.

She said her favorite movie of all-time is the classic "Gone With the Wind" -- a film she has seen five times. As far as current films go, she said "Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri" -- a film about a small town mother seeking justice for her murdered daughter -- was "fantastic."

Mentioning that Ginsburg is considered a "rock star" to countless fans and that her face appears on T-shirts and coffee mugs, Totenberg asked how her colleagues on the Supreme Court react to her fame.

"My colleagues are judiciously silent about the 'Notorious RBG,'" she said.

She revealed she only recently saw the "Saturday Night Live" sketch in which she was spoofed by cast member Kate McKinnon.

"I like the actress who portrayed me," she said, "and I would like to say 'Gins-burn' to my colleagues."

Speaking of her husband of 56 years, Marty Ginsburg, who died in 2010 after a battle with cancer, the Supreme Court justice said, "He cared that I had a brain."

"I certainly wouldn't be here today were it not for Marty because he made me feel that I was better than I thought I was," she said. "He had a great sense of humor and another very important strength, he was a wonderful cook."

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ABC News(WASHINGTON) -- America's federal government shutdown is now in its third day at the start of a work week, with lots of uncertainty looming.

At noon Monday, the Senate is set to vote on ending debate and proceeding on a proposal to fund the government through Feb. 8, and the House will return to the Hill to await action in the upper chamber.

Results are anything but certain for the vote, which was originally scheduled for 1 a.m. Monday Morning but got pushed back.

White House press secretary Sarah Sanders is holding a daily press briefing at 1:30 p.m., when she will likely weigh in on the vote and the status of negotiations.

"The president’s been very clear on exactly what he wants," Sanders said on Good Morning America today.

"First and foremost we have to reopen our government. We have to fund our government. As soon as that is done, we're more than happy to negotiate on responsible immigration reform," she said.

The blame game was in full force this weekend, with President Donald Trump tweeting about how the shutdown began with the first anniversary of his inauguration: "Democrats wanted to give me a nice present. #DemocratShutdown," he wrote.

Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., weighed in that the president is not being well-served by staff in the negotiations over immigration issues that are key to resolving the impasse and reopening the government.

ABC News' David Wright asked Graham if he meant Trump's senior policy adviser Stephen Miller -- a hardliner on immigration and close adviser on the issue to Trump.

"I'll just tell you his view of immigration has never been in the mainstream of the Senate," Graham said of Miller. "And I think we're never going to get there as long as we embrace concepts that cannot possibly get 60 votes."

The White House hit back, dismissing Graham's comments and calling him an "outlier."

"As long as Senator Graham chooses to support legislation that sides with people in this country illegally and unlawfully instead of our own American citizens, we are going nowhere.  He’s been an outlier for years," said White House spokesperson Hogan Gidley.

On Saturday evening, Eric Trump spoke to Fox News' Jeanine Pirro about the shutdown, saying, "Honestly, I think it's a good thing for us, because people see through it."

"I mean, people have seen a year that's incredible. It's been filled with nothing but the best for our country, 'America First' policies, and they're happy with where we are as a nation. It has the Democrats worried," he said.

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Bob Riha, Jr./Getty Images(WASHINGTON) -- Most Americans know of her only by her pseudonym, Jane Roe, the namesake plaintiff in the landmark Roe v. Wade Supreme Court case.

But the real woman behind the anonymous pseudonym eventually came out of the shadows and into the limelight.

Norma McCorvey went public initially as an abortion rights activist. But she later became an outspoken opponent of abortion rights.

Jan. 22 marks 45 years since the high court's decision in Roe v. Wade, and the first anniversary since her death on Feb. 18, 2017.

21 years old and pregnant with her third child

McCorvey's journey to becoming Jane Roe began after she tried to have an abortion while pregnant with her third child.

It was 1969, McCorvey was 21 and living in Texas. She initially claimed to have been raped, which might have allowed her to have an abortion legally since Texas law made exceptions for cases of rape and incest. But she later publicly acknowledged that had been a lie.

McCorvey was put in touch with two Texas lawyers who were building a case against state laws that banned abortion. She ended up having the child, whom she put up for adoption, and continued to have her case attached to the suit as it moved over time through the court system.

The Supreme Court sided with her - Jane Roe -- in its 7-2 ruling in January 1973 that it was unconstitutional to make abortion illegal.

Going public

McCorvey went public with her role in the case in 1984, according to her obituary in The Los Angeles Times, eventually writing a biography titled I Am Roe: My Life, Roe v. Wade, and Freedom of Choice in 1994.

Her religious and ideological conversion took place a year after her biography was published. She became an evangelical Christian after befriending people who ran an operation opposed to abortions that had set up shop next door to a women's health clinic that performed abortions where McCorvey worked.

The New York Times noted in its obituary that McCorvey had been bisexual but primarily lesbian for much of her early life, and that this continued for years.

McCorvey became a vocal advocate against abortion rights. In 1998, she wrote a second book, "Won by Love," which detailed her conversion and concluded with an account of her work for the anti-abortion organization, Operation Rescue.

Jeanne Mancini, the president of the education and defense fund at the anti-abortion rights group March for Life, told ABC News that McCorvey spoke three times at the organization's annual march.

"Her story was what helped to legalize abortion in America. It's remarkable when you consider the fuller story of what happened after that. Many people don't know it," Mancini said.

"We miss her greatly and remember her as we're marching without her today," she said to to ABC News on Jan. 19, the date of this year's March for Life.

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Win McNamee/Getty Images(WASHINGTON) -- With the U.S. now on day three of a federal shutdown, White House press secretary Sarah Sanders disputed any notion that President Donald Trump is not being clear about what he wants in any deal to reopen the government.

“The president’s been very clear on exactly what he wants," White House press secretary Sarah Sanders told ABC News Chief Anchor George Stephanopoulos on Good Morning America.

"He wants to make a deal on DACA," the program that protects young immigrants brought illegally to the U.S. as children, Sanders said. "The fact that Democrats are trying to pretend as if that is something that we haven't put on the table is disingenuous and a bit ridiculous."

“First and foremost we have to reopen our government. We have to fund our government. As soon as that is done, we're more than happy to negotiate on responsible immigration reform.”

Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., has raised questions about the clarity of the president’s positions in talks to reopen the government. “We don’t have a reliable partner at the White House to negotiate with,” Graham said

Sanders said on GMA Monday that if congressional leaders are unsure where the president stands, “then maybe sometimes they're not paying attention."

Stephanopoulos also pressed Sanders on how engaged Trump is in negotiations to end the shutdown. The president did not participate in any meetings over the weekend with congressional leaders.

“The president has been engaged," the press secretary said. "I think that different circumstances call for a different type of leadership. He's been incredibly engaged. He’s spent a lot of time on the phone.”

Sanders added that Trump has had "a lot of meetings internally with staff here in the White House. They have been going back and forth with negotiations.”

The White House spokeswoman also addressed an ad that Trump’s re-election campaign put out over the weekend to hammer out a deal. The ad implied that Democrats will be “complicit” in any murders committed by undocumented immigrants.

“Look, the president's number one job as commander in chief and the president is national security, and we cannot protect American citizens -- we cannot protect this country -- if we don't secure our border," Sanders said. "That's the point the president is trying to make.”

The Senate is slated to vote today at noon to proceed on a proposal that will fund the government through Feb. 8. Democrats are pushing to ensure that if they approve the short-term funding fix, Congress will address immigration issues and other policy matters in the coming weeks.

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iStock/Thinkstock(WASHINGTON) -- Democrats have solidified their position in the November midterm elections in the latest ABC News/Washington Post poll, maintaining a 12-point lead among registered voters while improving to a wide 14-point advantage among likely voters in congressional preference.

Democrats typically lose support in the shift to likely voters, given lower turnout among their stalwart groups. That’s not the case now: Among those most likely to vote, 54 percent support the Democratic candidate in their congressional district, compared to 40 percent for the Republican.

See PDF for full results, charts and tables.

This double-digit Democratic lead among likely voters compares with a dead heat in this group in early November. One factor: They’ve locked down their base, including party identifiers, women and minorities.

Eleven weeks ago, 91 percent of Democratic likely voters backed their party’s candidate in 2018. That’s jumped to 97 percent now.


Nonwhites favor the Democrat in their congressional district by a 59-point margin, 74-15 percent, up from 32 points in November. And Democratic candidates win support from a vast two-thirds of women, 64-29 percent, up from 55-40 percent in the fall. The race is steady among men, 42-51 percent.

In another key group, 51 percent of political independents support the Democratic candidate, compared to 37 percent for the Republican –- a wide and important gap, though, in this case, unchanged.

The survey, produced for ABC News by Langer Research Associates, finds the GOP still polling strongly in its core groups, though not always at the same levels. While 81 percent of conservatives are in the Republican camp, for instance, 14 percent cross to the Democrats –- twice the share of liberals who support GOP candidates. And Republicans haven’t seen as much growth in their support groups as Democrats have in theirs.

One likely-voter criterion used in this analysis is having voted in the 2014 midterms –- a cycle during which Republicans scored big wins. But self-reported past voting can be influenced by current political engagement; it’s up 6 points among Democrats and Democratic-leaning independents since November, another sign they’re fired up.

In all, 34 percent of likely voters are Democrats, compared to 25 percent Republicans; and 29 percent are liberals, compared to 32 percent conservatives.

About a quarter are nonwhites. The burning question for November is whether these levels of participation are in fact achievable by the Democrats.

The answer likely hinges on whether 2018 serves as a referendum on someone who won’t be on the ballot: President Donald Trump. His approvers back the Republican in their district by 90-6 percent; his disapprovers flip almost exactly, 6-88 percent.

In statistical analysis, views of Trump are a strong independent predictor of 2018 vote preference, even holding constant partisanship, ideology, and demographics such as race and gender. With Trump at just 36 percent approval after one year in office -– a historic low –- Republican fortunes this election year clearly are tied to the president’s.


This ABC News/Washington Post poll was conducted by landline and cellular telephone Jan. 15-18, 2018, in English and Spanish, among a random national sample of 1,005 adults and 846 registered voters. Results have a margin of sampling error of 3.5 points, including the design effect. Partisan divisions are 31-23-40 percent, Democrats-Republicans-independents.

The survey was produced for ABC News by Langer Research Associates of New York, N.Y., with sampling, data collection and tabulation by Abt Associates of Cambridge, Massachusetts. See details on the survey’s methodology here.

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Alex Wong/Getty(WASHINGTON) -- Federal lawmakers are now in a shutdown standoff: Democrats are refusing to support a bill funding the government unless they have a deal on immigration. Republicans are refusing to negotiate on immigration until Democrats support a bill to fund the government.

But amid the noise and recriminations, President Donald Trump and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer are tantalizingly close to a surprising immigration deal that would protect the "Dreamers," approximately 800,000 young immigrants who were brought illegally to the U.S. as children.

Sources inside the White House tell ABC News that the president has expressed a willingness to support legal status for "Dreamers" in exchange for full funding of his border wall at a cost of about $20 billion over seven years.

Trump has expressed a willingness to do this, sources tell ABC News, even if he gets nothing on the two other big Republican immigration priorities: ending the visa lottery system and restricting so-called chain migration.

Democratic sources tell ABC News that Schumer told Trump he is open to exactly such a deal: Funding the wall in exchange for a deal on the 'Dreamers.'

Sources said Schumer didn't reject the $20 billion figure for the wall either. Congress generally funds the government one year at a time, but under the deal that was discussed, a fund would be set up to make money available for the border wall’s construction over the next several years.

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ABC News(WASHINGTON) -- A Democratic congressman said President Donald Trump’s key campaign promise of building a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border would be a “monumental waste of taxpayers’ money,” but Democrats should go along with it if necessary to win Republican agreement for granting legal immigration status to "Dreamers."

“I think the wall is a monumental waste of taxpayer money, and it’s to build a monument to stupidity and it’s just idiotic,” Rep. Luis Gutierrez, D-Ill., told ABC News Chief Anchor George Stephanopoulos on This Week Sunday.

“Having said that, if that’s what it’s going to take in order to put 800,000 young men and women in the country -- 'Dreamers' -- in a safe place and put them on course to full integration in our society, I say pay it,” Gutierrez said.

Gutierrez, who is a member of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus, likened the president’s demands for a border wall to holding the 'Dreamers' hostage. And, he predicted that Republicans would suffer in the midterm elections as a result.

“Next November, we’ll deal with the ‘kidnappers’ at the election and at the polls,” Gutierrez said.

Stephanopoulos noted that White House Legislative Affairs Director Marc Short said in his appearance on This Week Sunday that funding the border wall would not be enough and that there also need to be changes in two practices that enable legal immigration: the visa lottery system and chain immigration.

When asked whether he’d be willing to accept those changes, Gutierrez accused the administration of moving the goal post because its true objective is to end legal immigration.

"Here's what they're saying to us, George, and we have to be very clear about it, and we are going to fight this: They want to end legal immigration to the United States," the congressman said. "They say, 'Let's build a wall to keep us safe.' But then they say, ‘The lottery system, let's end it.' That's legal immigration to the United States."

“They want to end legal immigration and you know what, George,” Gutierrez said. “We have to fight that because it's the essence of who we are as a nation. It’s core to what it is to be American to have an immigration policy. We would not be a nation without immigrants and an immigration policy, and we have to push back.”

Gutierrez also addressed a statement he put out last week recounting that White House Chief of Staff John Kelly told Democratic lawmakers in a meeting Wednesday on Capitol Hill that “the president’s campaign was not fully informed about the wall he was promising to voters.”

The Illinois congressman reiterated to Stephanopoulos his account of what Kelly said: “I was sitting right next to him, next to Mr. Kelly, and here's what he said. He said the president of the United States, when he was campaigning, made promises that were not fully informed. I wrote it down. I wrote it down. It was so astonishing to me that I immediately wrote it down. He said was not fully informed.”

Gutierrez added, “[Kelly] said, 'I've educated the president, and the president has evolved on the issue.' And when I asked General Kelly. 'What's a wall?' he said it could be the inhospitable terrain [on the U.S.-Mexico border]. It could be Border Patrol agents. It could be drones."

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Aaron P. Bernstein/Getty Images(WASHINGTON) -- An explosive new ad by the Trump campaign implying that Democrats would be "complicit" in any murder committed by undocumented immigrants "doesn't work," a leading Democratic senator said.

"The American people are not going to accept the premise that immigrants are criminals and that we ought to deport the 'Dreamers,'" Democratic Sen. Dick Durbin of Illinois told ABC News Chief Anchor George Stephanopoulos on This Week Sunday. "It doesn't work."

Immigration issues have been core to the debate in Washington, D.C., as Democrats and Republicans seek to reach an agreement to end the government shutdown. Key topics include President Donald Trump's proposed border wall and protections for so-called "Dreamers," the approximately 800,000 young immigrants who came illegally to the U.S. as children.

"What it comes down to, is we need a reasonable approach [to immigration] that is mindful of our national security -- No. 1 -- but embraces a basic value in America," Durbin said. "We are a diverse nation, a nation of immigrants, and we're proud of it."

Stephanopoulos asked about the deal that Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer reportedly offered to the president Friday: full funding of the border wall in exchange for protecting "Dreamers" from deportation and making no changes in some other programs that enable legal immigration into the country.

"It is true that Chuck Schumer made what I considered to be a bold and important concession, and said, 'Yes, we'll go forward with the wall as long as we do this in a responsible fashion,'" Durbin responded.

Stephanopoulos asked if it was correct that the border wall would cost $20 billion.

"I'm not going to quote numbers because I don't think that's my place, but I can tell you it was a substantial commitment to the president. The president embraced it. And Chuck came back to the Hill."

But, Durbin added, "Two hours later, a call from the White House says, 'The deal is off. We're not going to stand by this at all.'"

The senator added, "How can you negotiate with the president under those circumstances where he agrees face-to-face to move forward with a certain path and then within two hours calls back and pulls the plug?"

Asked if Congress will reach a deal in time for the government to reopen Monday, the Illinois Democrat said, "There are bipartisan conversations going on right now."

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Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images(WASHINGTON) -- The White House's legislative affairs director said Republicans have been "showing flexibility" in their attempts to strike a deal with Democrats on immigration issues in order to reopen the government.

“I think you've seen us move. I think you've seen us move throughout the negotiation on immigration,” White House Legislative Affairs Director Marc Short told ABC News Chief Anchor George Stephanopoulos in an interview on This Week Sunday.

“We have been yielding; we have been showing flexibility to say, ‘Let's find a deal to make sure that, again, our troops and our Border Patrol agents are not denied payment,' but the Democrats seem unwilling to even accept that offer, George,” Short said.

Stephanopoulos asked if Republicans and Democrats are close to coming to an agreement to resume funding the government. Short said, "I think we are making progress."

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Justin Merriman/Getty Images(WASHINGTON) -- President Donald Trump's son Eric doesn't believe the government shutdown is all that bad.

In fact, he views it in a positive light because he believes it paints the "absolutely terrified" Democrats in a negative light.

"Honestly, I think it's a good thing for us, because people see through it," Eric Trump told Jeanine Pirro on Fox News's "Justice with Judge Jeanine" Saturday night. "I mean, people have seen a year that's incredible. It's been filled with nothing but the best for our country, 'America First' policies, and they're happy with where we are as a nation ... It has the Democrats worried."

Trump, 34, told Pirro that the Democrats are supportive of the shutdown because it takes the focus off of his father's achievements.

"The only reason they want to shutdown government is to distract and to stop his momentum," the president's third child said. "I mean, my father has had incredible momentum. He has gotten more done in one year than arguably any president in history."

He continued, "And so how do they divert from that message? How do they save their own party when they don't have any leadership, they don't have any good candidates out there, they don't have a message of their own? How do they do that? They obstruct, they distract, they try and place blame."

While Republicans are blaming Sen. Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., for the shutdown, employing on social media the hashtag #SchumerShutdown, Democrats are opting for the hashtag #TrumpShutdown.

Copyright © 2018, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.


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iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- The government shutdown and the results of President Donald Trump's physical exam, released Friday by his physician Ronny Jackson, provided fodder for this week's "Saturday Night Live."

The cold open features "SNL" cast member Aidy Bryant as White House Press Secretary Sarah Sanders kicking off a daily press briefing.

"Thank you for all for being here," Bryant's Sanders says to the reporters. "First off, I would like to wish everybody a Happy Women's March. A million women strong out there to celebrate the president's kick a-- year in office. We did it, girls!" Women's Marches were held in cities across the globe Saturday, including Washington, D.C., New York and Los Angeles.

In a nod to the government shutdown, Bryant's Sanders tells the reporters, "If you want to blame somebody for the shutdown, blame Senator Chuck Schumer, hashtag 'Schumer shutdown.' Please let's get it trending, guys."

"SNL" cast member Beck Bennett, who plays Dr. Jackson, then addresses the reporters. "Once again, this is the president’s unbiased, 100 percent accurate health assessment."

Bennett's Jackson says, "It's my expert medical opinion, that the president's gotta rockin' bod."

A reporter, played by "SNL" cast member Kate McKinnon asks, "There's been questions about the president's mental fitness, and the White House has of course pushed back on that. Since you examined him personally, my question is, how broke that brain?"

Bennett's Jackson responds, "We did do a cognitive exam at the president's request and he passed it with flying colors. Almost no hits."

Another reporter, played by "SNL" cast member Mikey Day, asks, "The president has bragged about scoring higher on that test than any other president, is that true?"

Bennett's Jackson responds, "In fairness, no other president has taken the test. We typically only use it to make sure someone is not severely brain damaged or a monkey in people clothes. But the president grabbed me by the collar and insisted taking it. He has the grip of a guy who would fail that test, if you know what I mean."

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Mark Wilson/Getty Images(WASHINGTON) -- A year in the presidential spotlight hasn’t been kind to President Donald Trump: His approval rating is the lowest in modern polling for a president at this point, with deep deficits on policy and personal matters alike. Strikingly, the public divides evenly on whether or not he’s mentally stable.

That question aside, a lopsided majority, 73 percent of those polled, rejects Trump’s self-assessed genius. Seventy percent say he fails to acquit himself in a way that’s fitting and proper for a president. Two-thirds say he’s harming his presidency with his use of Twitter. And 52 percent see him as biased against blacks -- soaring to 79 percent of blacks themselves.

ABC News/Washington Post poll

See PDF for full results, charts and tables.

Just 36 percent of Americans approve of Trump’s job performance, while 58 percent disapprove, essentially unchanged since midsummer. Next lowest at one year was Gerald Ford’s 45 percent in 1975; average pre-Trump approval -- since Harry Truman’s presidency -- is 63 percent.

Women are especially critical of Trump in this poll, produced for ABC News by Langer Research Associates: A mere 29 percent approve of his work, vs. 44 percent of men. And a remarkable 55 percent of women doubt Trump’s mental stability.

Trump’s signature achievement, the new tax law, is unpopular; 60 percent say it favors the wealthy (even most well-off Americans say so), and the public by a 12-point margin, 46 to 34 percent, says it’s a bad thing for the country. At the same time, a majority celebrates his most prominent failure, on Obamacare; 57 percent say the program’s continuation is a good thing.

ABC News/Washington Post Poll

A vast 87 percent support the DACA immigration program that Trump ended and whose fate in Congress is uncertain -- including two-thirds of strong conservatives, three-quarters of evangelical white Protestants and as many Republicans, core Trump groups. And 63 percent overall oppose a U.S.-Mexico border wall, essentially unchanged since before the 2016 election.

As reported Friday, Trump -- and his party leaders -- also are at greater risk in the government shutdown, with Americans 20 points more likely to say they’d blame Trump and the Republicans in Congress than the Democrats in Congress.

More issues

In a controversy that continues to cloud his presidency, half of Americans think members of Trump’s 2016 presidential campaign colluded with Russia to try to influence the election. About as many, 49 percent, think Trump himself obstructed justice in the Russia investigation.

That said, far fewer, 26 percent, think there’s been “solid evidence” of obstruction; the rest call it their suspicion only. And approval of special counsel Robert Mueller’s handling of the investigation has ebbed, from 58 to 50 percent in 11 weeks.

Trump’s ratings might be yet worse were it not for sharply improved economic sentiment. Fifty-eight percent say the economy is in good (or even excellent) shape, the most in 17 years. But just 38 percent say the Trump administration deserves credit; many more, 50 percent, credit the Obama administration. It’s axiomatic that a successful economy doesn’t guarantee presidential popularity, it merely makes it possible -- and Trump’s other challenges tie his shoelaces.

ABC News/Washington PostThere’s criticism for the Democrats, as well, in their response to Trump’s unpopularity, but it’s eased to some extent. In November, 61 percent of Americans said the Democratic Party’s leaders were criticizing Trump without presenting alternatives; that’s down to 53 percent. However, just 31 percent say the Democrats are offering alternatives, essentially unchanged from 28 percent last fall. Instead, more now are simply unsure.

It’s true, too, that some Trump initiatives, while not popular, are not broadly opposed. Three divide the country about evenly: the federal crackdown on undocumented immigrants (46 percent say it’s a good thing for the country, 47 percent a bad thing); reduced business regulations (44-42 percent); and a reduction in the federal workforce (44-43 percent).

Among other results, 60 percent say Trump’s accomplished not much or nothing in his first year; Bill Clinton did as badly on that score, but still ended 1993 with an approval rating that’s 22 points higher than Trump’s today. Most, in another result, say Trump’s policies haven’t affected their own families, but more say they’ve been hurt (26 percent) than helped (20 percent).


Trump’s gone from 11 points underwater in job approval last spring to 22 points today, a shift that occurred by July and has stabilized since. That’s a vast swing from his 12 predecessors, who averaged 29 points to the positive after a year in the White House.

Four previous presidents -- Barack Obama, Jimmy Carter, Ronald Reagan and Truman – were at 51 to 53 percent approval after one year; Bill Clinton saw 56 percent and the rest ranged from 63 percent (Richard Nixon) to 83 percent (George W. Bush, after 9/11). Ratings at one year don’t predict a career trajectory. That said, a score in the 30s, this early in a presidency, is uncharted territory.

Indeed just six of the past 12 presidents ever went as low or lower in approval as Trump is now -- Truman, Lyndon B. Johnson, Nixon, Carter and both Bushes -- and all but Truman, much later in their presidencies.

ABC News/Washington Post Trump’s “strong” disapprovers, moreover, outnumber his strong approvers by a 2-1 margin. Obama got there as well, but it took him more than two-and-a-half years in office, and a deeply struggling economy.

Compared with the first ABC News/Washington Post poll of his presidency, in April, Trump is less popular generally across the board, but especially among college graduates (-11 points, to 31 percent approval), residents of the Northeast and West regions (-9 and -8 points, respectively) and whites -8 points, vs. no change among nonwhites, who started so low).

Partisan gaps

There are impressive differences among groups above and beyond the wide gender gap in Trump’s approval. He’s at new lows, 6 and 7 percent approval, respectively, among Democrats and liberals, compared with 80 percent of strong conservatives, 78 percent of Republicans and 68 percent of evangelical white Protestants. (He slips to 59 percent approval among “somewhat” conservatives.)

Such gaps have become a fixture of the sharply divided political firmament. Obama, for example, saw a low of 7 percent approval for Republicans, at the same time (March 2015) that he was at 79 percent among Democrats.

Partisan predispositions influence more than job approval. Consider:

-- Seventy-nine percent of Democrats think Trump obstructed the Russia investigation, and 51 percent of independents agree – diving to just 13 percent of Republicans.

-- Seventy-five percent of Democrats think Trump is not mentally stable. Forty-six percent of independents share that view. Just 14 percent of Republicans agree. (Party and ideology aside, Trump is most likely to be seen as stable by white evangelicals, 79 percent, and non-college-educated white men, 69 percent; and most likely to be seen as not stable by nonwhites, including two-thirds of blacks and Hispanics alike.)

-- Fifty percent of Republicans say Trump’s a genius. That plummets in other groups -- 17 percent of independents, 6 percent of Democrats. There’s also a notable division within conservative ranks on the question. Among people who are strongly conservative, 52 percent call Trump a genius, while among “somewhat” conservatives, this drops to just 29 percent.


There are notable differences among groups on substantive issues as well. Fifty-eight percent of whites call the federal crackdown on undocumented immigrants a good thing for the country; just 26 percent of nonwhites -- including 18 percent of Hispanics -- agree. Or, looking at two key voting groups in 2016, 74 percent of non-college-educated white men say it’s a good thing, compared with 39 percent of college-educated white women.

Then there’s the tax bill. Among Americans on the lower half of the income scale, 26 percent call it a good thing for the country, compared with 41 percent of those with middle incomes or more. Even in those middle and higher ranges, though, there’s only a division on whether the bill is a good thing or bad thing -- 41-43 percent in the $50,000 to $100,000 bracket, and about the same, 40-43 percent, in the $100,000-plus range (about two in 10 adults).

One last finding cuts to a telling example of general agreement, rather than disagreement, and again not to Trump’s advantage. Among lower-income Americans, 64 percent say the tax bill favors the wealthy. And among the comparatively wealthy themselves, those with $100,000-plus incomes, 56 percent say the same thing.


This ABC News/Washington Post poll was conducted by landline and cellular telephone Jan. 15-18, 2018, in English and Spanish, among a random national sample of 1,005 adults. Results have a margin of sampling error of 3.5 points, including the design effect. Partisan divisions are 31-23-40 percent, Democrats-Republicans-independents.

The survey was produced for ABC News by Langer Research Associates of New York, N.Y., with sampling, data collection and tabulation by Abt Associates of Cambridge, Massachusetts. See details on the survey’s methodology here.

Copyright © 2018, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.


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ABC News(WASHINGTON) -- The federal government officially shut down Saturday on the one-year anniversary of Donald Trump's inauguration as president.

Congress is to reconvene to try again to broker an agreement to fund the government. But as soon as it became clear Friday night that no deal would be reached before midnight, finger-pointing began.

Vice President Mike Pence told reporters early Saturday that the blame lay with Democrats.

"It's disappointing to every American that Democrats would shut down the national government," Pence said from aboard Air Force Two as he was about to take off for a trip to Cairo. "I think what we have to do in this moment is demand ... [that lawmakers] do their job."

The White House also pointed at Democrats.

"Senate Democrats own the 'Schumer Shutdown'," press secretary Sarah Sanders said in a statement early Saturday morning. "This is the behavior of obstructionist losers, not legislators. When Democrats start paying our armed forces and first responders we will reopen negotiations on immigration reform."

And on Saturday at 6:17 a.m., the president posted his first tweet since the shutdown, writing, "Democrats are far more concerned with Illegal Immigrants than they are with our great Military or Safety at our dangerous Southern Border. They could have easily made a deal but decided to play Shutdown politics instead. #WeNeedMoreRepublicansIn18 in order to power through mess!"

A subsequent tweet read, "This is the One Year Anniversary of my Presidency and the Democrats wanted to give me a nice present. #DemocratShutdown."

Schumer meanwhile noted that Republicans hold the reins in both houses of Congress and the White House.

"Every American knows the Republican Party controls the White House, the Senate, the House. It's their job to keep the government open," the Democratic senator said. "There is no one—no one—who deserves the blame for the position we find ourselves in more than President Trump."

Schumer also repeatedly called the shutdown the "Trump shutdown". The term began trending on social media.

The Senate minority leader said he believed he was close to striking a deal when he met with Trump earlier on Friday after "reluctantly" agreeing to fund a border wall in exchange for protections for Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program recipients.

“President Trump, if you are listening, I am urging you: please take yes for an answer," Schumer said.

"It's almost as if you were rooting for a shutdown," he said. "Republican leadership can't get to yes because President Trump refuses to."

House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi also said Trump deserved much of the blame.

"President Trump earned an 'F' for failure in leadership," she said in a statement. "I am proud of House and Senate Democrats’ unity in insisting on a budget that supports our military and the domestic investments that keep our nation strong, and that honors our values by protecting the DREAMers."

In a surprise move, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said he will put up for a vote a short-term funding measure to keep the government running through Feb. 8, a compromise path that Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-South Carolina, had been pushing earlier in the evening.

Late-night negotiations

It was a night of frantic behind-closed-doors negotiations as lawmakers held out hope for a bipartisan solution.

Late into the night, senators were still discussing a shorter plan to fund the government as the deadline drew ever closer -- at one point, Schumer walked off the floor with McConnell, chatting on the sidelines -- but no clear plan emerged.

As the clock approached midnight, Graham huddled with GOP leaders before joining Sen. Jeff Flake, R-Ariz., in a discussion with Schumer and other Senate Democrats.

Senators continued to gather in tight groups on the Senate floor as Republican leaders held the vote open past midnight, locked in discussion as government funding lapsed.

The vote was finally closed at 12:16 a.m., with the continuing resolution failing to advance.

Earlier in the evening, Sen. Graham floated the possibility of a three-week extension through Feb. 8. He was spotted shuffling between McConnell and Schumer's offices acting as a go-between.

The procedural vote that was held open could have happened hours earlier, but McConnell opted to force this late-night vote, upping the pressure on Democrats.

Democrats stood firm, opposing the bill over their demands that it include protections for Dreamers, who are poised to lose their legal protections come March 5.

Five Democrats have voted with Republicans to fund the government -- four of them facing tough re-election battles in the coming months in states Trump handily won in the 2016 election. Those lawmakers include Sens. Claire McCaskill of Missouri, Joe Donnelly of Indiana, Joe Manchin of West Virginia and "Heidi" Heitkamp of North Dakota. Newly elected Alabama Sen. Doug Jones also voted with that group; he is up for re-election in 2020.

Four Republicans have voted down the measure, either because of their DACA concerns or military funding. Those senators include Graham of South Carolina, Flake of Arizona, Rand Paul of Kentucky and Mike Lee of Utah.

Despite the apparent lack of a deal to avoid a shutdown, the mood was slightly more optimistic on both ends of Pennsylvania Avenue earlier on Friday evening, with negotiators hopeful that a deal would come together -- if not by midnight -- then sometime this weekend before nearly a million federal workers head back to work on Monday.

Lawmakers working toward a fix

Missing Friday's midnight deadline triggered a technical shutdown, but not one with significant immediate impact since most federal offices are closed over the weekend.

"I think there's a deal in the next 24 hours," Mick Mulvaney, director of the Office of Management and Budget director, said on CNN earlier Friday evening.

"There's a really good chance it gets fixed" before government offices open on Monday, he later told reporters in an impromptu, off-camera gaggle at the White House.

President Trump, who canceled a planned trip to Florida on Friday, engaged with lawmakers by phone and Twitter.

When asked if Trump might go to Florida on Saturday, Mulvaney said "he's not leaving until this is finished."

Agencies prepped for a shutdown

Earlier in the day, Mulvaney sent a memo to the heads of federal departments and agencies with guidance to review their contingency plans and be prepared to furlough non-essential employees.

"This guidance reminds agencies of their responsibilities to plan for agency operations under such a contingency. At this time, agencies should be reviewing their plans for operations in the absence of appropriations," Mulvaney said in the memo.

The Office of Management and Budget has been working with agencies for the last week to make sure they prepared to enact their contingency plans if government funding lapsed, administration officials said.

"You're seeing across-the-board efforts by the administration and each of the agencies to minimize the impact of the shutdown on the American people," one White House official said on a conference call with reporters.

Agencies have been encouraged to use "carryover balances" at their disposal to continue operations as normal for as long as possible.

If lawmakers don't show progress toward a resolution soon, some federal employees will begin to receive furlough notices as soon as Saturday, though administration officials could not offer an overall number.

The military's ongoing military operations will not be impacted, though nearly 1.3 million active-duty service members would not be paid until after the shutdown ends.

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