The Note: Shutdown ends, but costs rise for GOP

The U.S. Capitol in Washington on Thursday night, Feb. 8, 2018. The Senate passed a budget deal and spending measure to reopen the shuttered federal government early Friday morning, sending the bill to the House. (AP Photo/Jon Elswick)PlayThe Associated Press
WATCH Lawmakers' late-night showdown ends with bipartisan budget deal

The TAKE with Rick Klein

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Budget peace is messy, sleep-deprived and expensive. And those were only one a few of the steep costs incurred in Washington this week.

Overnight Senate and House votes mean one of the shorter and most pointless shutdowns in history will itself be history with a morning presidential signature.

But Sen. Rand Paul’s point was heard – much as his colleagues wanted to unhear it — as were the “no” votes of the House Freedom Caucus. This is big spending coming quick on the heels of a deficit-driving tax cut; the chapter of GOP deficit hawks dictating policy outcomes now appears closed, with President Donald Trump along for that ride.

Also gone, of course, are long-term prospects for Trump’s plans for slashing government agencies, and for ending budget deficits. The great immigration debate starts next with no clear GOP plan, and now no new money for the president’s border wall.

Then there are the costs incurred in the Rob Porter affair. A communications director whose name has stayed relatively clean of controversy is in the middle of that, as is a chief of staff who was supposed to be the guy who brought order to White House chaos.

That doesn’t even begin to cover the damage to relationships with the Justice Department and the FBI, as the Democratic-authored memo still waits on presidential approval.

It’s been less than two weeks since Trump’s first State of the Union address opened possibilities for a new start. Things have changed fast, but there are no do-overs for the White House now.

The RUNDOWN with MaryAlice Parks

Politically, Democrats are on the offensive.

This week, they expanded their battleground map (increasing the number of races they plan to invest and aggressively compete in) and looked confident and united as they celebrated recruitment and fundraising numbers.

On Capitol Hill, the story felt very different as Democratic lawmakers appeared divided, both between the House and the Senate and within the House Democratic caucus itself.

First, there was the split-screen of the two chambers. Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., taking a victory lap on the Senate floor and tying a bow on the bipartisan deal he crafted, while his should-be counterpart, House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., launched into a history-making protest performance of the floor of her chamber.

Clearly Pelosi, or at least enough members of her caucus, felt she did not get enough from the budget talks. Half in her ranks wanted to deliver something concrete on immigration before moving forward, while others felt the budget deal that landed in their laps was one they could not ignore. Ranking Member of the House Budget Committee, John Yarmuth, D-Ky., announced he would back the deal even though Pelosi was holding out.

Arguably, Schumer left Pelosi out to dry.

The TIP with Lissette Rodriguez

If you’re looking to gauge electoral implications around budget votes, the primaries might be the first place to go. One particular congressman from Florida is being closely watched — for his ties to Trump and the Freedom Caucus.

Rep. Ron DeSantis, and his already Trump tweet-endorsed campaign for Florida governor, is a tried-and-true conservative who helped create the House Freedom Caucus.

“We support funding our troops, but growing the size of government by 13 percent is not what the voters sent us here to do,” read a Feb. 7 Wednesday night tweet from the House Freedom Caucus.

Conservative organizations like the Club for Growth, which helped get DeSantis elected to the House and gives him a 96 percent lifetime score, also oppose the deal. According to a statement released Wednesday night, the group opposes the deal on the grounds it provides “$80+ billion in so-called disaster relief spending.”

Disaster relief is on the forefront in the minds of many Floridians after the devastating effects of a historic 2017 hurricane season.

Early Friday morning. Rep. DeSantis voted for the budget deal.

WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW TODAY

  • President Donald Trump meets behind closed doors with Secretary of State Rex Tillerson at 11:30 a.m. and then with EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt at 3:30 p.m.
  • U.S. Secretary of the Interior Ryan Zinke will make a make a big conservation announcement at the Salt Palace in Salt Lake City, Utah.
  • This Week on ‘This Week’: The Powerhouse Roundtable debates the week in politics, with former Obama senior adviser and University of Chicago Institute of Politics director David Axelrod, Republican strategist and ABC News contributor Alex Castellanos, ABC News political analyst Matthew Dowd, former Bloomberg Businessweek editor Megan Murphy, and ABC News senior White House correspondent Cecilia Vega.
  • QUOTE OF THE DAY

    “If you were against President Obama’s deficits and now you’re for the Republican deficits, isn’t that the very definition of hypocrisy,” Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., said on the Senate Floor Thursday during the debate over the budget deal.

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    The Note is a daily ABC News feature that highlights the key political moments of the day ahead. Please check back Monday for the latest.

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