HOUSE DEMOCRATIC LEADERSHIP MET in the Capitol for the first time in a while Monday evening, and they began to confront what many of them see as an only-in-a-TRUMP-presidency question: If DONALD TRUMP loses, will he lash out and do something dramatic, like shut down the government?
THE SCENARIO was raised in the closed-door, no-staff meeting by Connecticut Democratic Rep. ROSA DELAURO, and it’s more than a passing political hypothetical. It’s a real-life governing challenge that Democrats believe they are being forced to confront in the coming days.
SPEAKER NANCY PELOSI is working with Treasury Secretary STEVEN MNUCHIN and Senate Majority Leader MITCH MCCONNELL on how long to fund the government for after Sept. 30.
THERE ARE TWO GENERAL OPTIONS: 1) Extend government funding to sometime in December. This would make the most sense. THE UPSIDE: A mid-December expiration would give a tad bit of post-election breathing room for lawmakers. It would also give Congress a chance to try for some more Covid relief this calendar year with a cudgel to force action. THE DOWNSIDE: If the election is undecided, lawmakers may be hesitant to engage in big-ticket legislating. And with TRUMP as unpredictable as we’ve seen, could he shut down the government if things aren’t going his way, they asked?
2) CONGRESS could extend funding until February. But that’s a really long time to wait for another deadline to force through Covid relief. (Of course, Covid relief can move without a funding deadline, but let’s not give Congress too much credit.)
OF COURSE, Congress could just do its job and pass a full year of government funding, and more Covid relief for a nation reeling from the deadly virus. But … 2020.
A MASSIVE DAY FOR MIDDLE EAST POLITICS … ISRAEL, BAHRAIN and THE UNITED ARAB EMIRATES will sign the Abraham Accords today at the White House. Here’s what to expect: ISRAEL and the UAE will sign a document, as will ISRAEL and BAHRAIN. Then all three parties will sign one together. THE UAE document will be longer because they had a longer negotiation. BAHRAIN just committed last week. “A FEW HUNDRED” people will be at the event, on the South Lawn, including some senior Democrats. …
… THE TEXT that the three countries will sign will not be made public until after the event, so we won’t really know what they are signing quite yet.
NOTABLE QUOTABLE, from a senior administration official on a background call with reporters: “Hi, everybody. This is [senior administration official], but I guess it’s on background. I don’t know why we can’t say who I am, but OK. Here we are.”
— NYT’S MICHAEL CROWLEY and DAVID KIRKPATRICK: “A White House Ceremony Will Celebrate a Diplomatic Win and Campaign Gift”: “[A]s proclaimed in new Trump campaign advertisements, they make up the heart of the president’s message on foreign policy as the 2020 campaign