There’s only one topic (well, one and a half) on the Sunday shows this morning. That would be Friday’s abrupt, allegedly temporary, halt to the shutdown and What It Means for relations between Trump and congressional Democrats going forward. Interestingly, no one from the White House is booked to try to spin what happened as I write this on Saturday morning. That’ll probably change before the shows air.
For now, the lead guests are Senate moderates Joe Manchin and Susan Collins, keys to any potential compromise on border security over the next three weeks. They’ll both be on “Face the Nation,” with Manchin making a separate appearance on “Fox News Sunday” as well. Each voted for both bills to hit the Senate floor on Thursday, Manchin the lone Democrat supporting Trump’s “BRIDGE Act for wall” deal and Collins one of six Republicans supporting Schumer’s clean funding bill. One question they’ll both be asked: Why would/should Democrats compromise with Trump on wall funding now when he just blinked after a long standoff on the issue? It’s farcical to think the GOP will tolerate another long shutdown next month if there’s no deal by mid-February. Even if Trump is game to do it, McConnell will quickly if reluctantly move to round up enough Republican votes for a veto override. Which would be even more wrenching for the party than Friday’s spectacle was.
Kevin McCarthy will also drop by “Meet the Press” this morning to talk shutdown even though he’s the one leader in Congress who really doesn’t get a say. The other half-topic on the menu is the uprising in Venezuela and Trump’s surprising decision to weigh in on the side of opposition chief Juan Guaido. Marco Rubio will be on “Meet the Press” and “State of the Union” to make the case for why the U.S. should support Maduro’s ouster and to congratulate Trump on standing up for human rights abroad. Why POTUS did that in Venezuela when he’s been reluctant to do it elsewhere, no one’s sure. Although theories abound. The full line-up is at the AP.