Day 26 of the government shutdown, economy and polls lag, day 2...

Day 26 of the government shutdown, economy and polls lag, day 2 of the William Barr confirmation hearings

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William Barr answers a question at his Senate Judiciary Committee confirmation hearing to become Attorney General of the United States, January 15, 2019, (Photo ©2019 Douglas Christian)
William Barr answers a question at his Senate Judiciary Committee confirmation hearing to become Attorney General of the United States, January 15, 2019, (Photo ©2019 Douglas Christian)

ON THE HILL WITH DOUG CHRISTIAN

CAPITOL HILL – On day 26 of the government shutdown, negotiations between President Donald Trump and Democratic congressional leaders are at a standstill. Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) tells reporters:

“The last I spoke with him was when he walked out, threw a temper tantrum and walked out, so we haven’t heard from him since then.”

If the shutdown continues into next week, House leaders say they will cancel the Martin Luther King Day recess.

The shutdown appears to be taking an unexpectedly harsh toll on the economy, as well as the president’s poll numbers. The Council of Economic Advisers says that the shutdown has already cut projected economic growth from 2.2% for the quarter to 1.5%. And yesterday’s Quinnipiac poll shows that 56% of people blame President Trump and congressional Republicans for the shutdown, while only 36% blame Democrats.

Today, the confirmation hearing for William Barr to become the next Attorney General of the United States continues. Most questioning from Democrats is revolving around Barr’s support for the probe led by Special Counsel Robert Mueller III into Russian interference into the 2016 election.

Sen. Chris Coons (D-Del.) asked Barr if he would follow the model of former Attorney General Elliot Richardson who was asked by President Nixon to kill the investigation into the Watergate break-in. Barr replied:

(Audio: William Barr)

Doug Christian, Capitol Hill

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