Government Shutdown Looms in 2018
January 02, 2018
Congress to open 2018 on DACA, with a shutdown looming; White House threatens new sanctions against Iran as crackdown on protesters continues; US oil prices start 2018 high amid protests in Iran.
- Congress to open 2018 on DACA, with a shutdown looming. Wednesday, congressional leaders from both parties will meet with the White House budget director to discuss action on DACA, the Deferred Action for Child Arrivals program, which exempts undocumented immigrants who came to the US as children from deportation. Congressional leaders also hope to address the rapidly approaching government shutdown date of January 19th, when stop gap funding passed in December runs out. Liberal activists have pressured the Democratic party to vote down any spending bill that does not include DACA protections, while the Trump administration has said it won’t consider DACA without funding for the President’s border wall. [Washington Post]
- White House threatens new sanctions against Iran as crackdown on protesters continues. At least 20 people have died since the start of anti-government protests in Iran on December 28th, where a rally against rising prices and economic conditions spiraled into a multi-day protest on the political establishment. Hundreds more have been arrested in several cities in Iran. This event comes ahead of a deadline of US sanctions that were frozen under the terms of the Iran nuclear deal. Trump’s support of protesters departs from the precedent of the Obama administration, which cautioned that too much support for protesters would delegitimize their cause in Iran. Trump’s sanction threats came in the form of tweet, and the administration will likely announce their formal policy in the coming days. [Bloomberg]
Economic Indicators and News
- US oil prices start 2018 high amid protests in Iran. Oil prices recorded their highest start to a calendar year since 2014 amid the political unrest in Iran. Oil was trading above $60/barrel, despite increases in US production. Iranian protesters angry at the government attacked police stations Monday night, as security forces struggled to retain control. Other market conditions are broadly supportive of oil prices. Oil prices are still largely down from the $120/barrel prices in June of 2014, due to weakening demand and domestic production. [CNBC]