Good morning. Here’s your Early Warning for Thursday, 24 January 2019.
Venezuela: Yesterday, the president of the National Assembly declared himself the president of the country, a move applauded by many South American governments and the United States, which now recognizes Juan Guaidó as the country’s leader. Maduro said that he would not be stepping down, and gave U.S. diplomats 72 hours to leave the country. The State Department said that they would ignore the demand, and were in the process of inviting Guaidó’s diplomats to the United States. Maduro reportedly retains power over the military, security forces, and state oil company. In a statement released yesterday, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo urged the Venezuelan military and security forces to protect the people and defend the country’s constitution.
The rest: Meanwhile, the governments of Russia, China, and Turkey recommended that Maduro remain in power. Russia called the usurpation illegal, and in December deployed two nuclear-capable bombers to an airbase near Caracas.
The President has no publicly scheduled events.
Shutdown: Day 34. Yesterday the House passed another spending bill to reopen government. The lone Democrat ‘no’ vote was Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY), who voted against the bill because it funded ICE. Even though the Senate will vote on two spending proposals today, shutdown watchers don’t expect either bill to pass, meaning roughly 800,000 federal employees will miss another paycheck tomorrow. Democrats have doubled their previous offer for border security, but it includes no border wall funding.
SOTU: The latest victim of the partial shutdown is the State of the Union address, which has been postponed until after the shutdown ends.
Air Traffic: The Air Traffic Controllers Association, Air Line Pilots Association, and the Association of Flight Attendants released a joint statement, warning of the risks to air safety. “We have a growing concern for the safety and security of our members, our airlines, and the traveling public due to the government shutdown…. In our risk averse industry, we cannot even calculate the level of risk currently at play, nor predict the point at which the entire system will break. It is unprecedented.” Air traffic controllers and safety inspectors continue to work without pay.
Deutsche: The chairs of the House Intelligence and House Financial Services committee are planning a joint investigation into Deutsche Bank over their business dealings with President Trump.
Secretary Pompeo is scheduled to meet with the UK’s foreign secretary.
Acting Defense Secretary Patrick Shanahan has no publicly scheduled events.
These are the last publicly reported locations of these ships. Conflict requiring an aircraft carrier/carrier strike group does not appear imminent.
The Carl Vinson (CVN-70) was last reported as arriving at its new home port in Kitsap-Bremerton, Washington.
The Abraham Lincoln (CVN-72) was last reported as having returned to Norfolk.
The John Stennis (CVN-74) was last reported as in the North Arabian Sea.
The Harry Truman (CVN-75) was last reported as having returned to Norfolk.
The Ronald Reagan (CVN-76) was last reported as having returned to home port in Yokosuka, Japan.
The George H. W. Bush (CVN-77) was last reported as having returned to Norfolk.
Bold indicates significant changes to last reported location or other amplifying information.
Significant House Activity:
- Nothing significant to report.
Significant Senate Activity:
- Nothing significant to report.
* Only events pertinent to national security are listed. Significant reporting will appear in this week’s Strategic and National Intelligence reports
According to new data from Indeed, more federal employees may be on the job website looking at new employment options. The chart below shows a 30 percent increase since mid-December in the share of clicks from TSA, DHS, and IRS workers.
In a CNN interview, the chairman of the White House Council of Economic Advisors said that the U.S. could end up with zero first quarter growth if the shutdown lasts through March. “It is true that if we get a typically weak first quarter and then have an extended shutdown, that we could end up with a number that’s very, very low,” but added that the economy should make up lost ground once the government re-opens.
What I’m Looking at this Morning
“This is not only about economic growth and power. A lot of this is about international security policy. We’re aiming at the Russians. We can beat them.” – a senior Trump official on the administration’s plan to boost domestic energy production