The Note: Trump and GOP fenced in by wall, immigration

The TAKE with Rick Klein

A wall – more specifically, *the* wall – could wind up fencing President Donald Trump and his Republican Party in.

A day after seeming to endorse a “clean” bill to help the Dreamers – and also saying he would basically sign any immigration bill Congress could pass – the president added back one big, beautiful, and familiar caveat.

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“Any solution has to include the wall, because without the wall, it all doesn’t work,” Trump said.

So it is that a defining battle for the Republican and Democratic parties gets higher – and more expensive – stakes.

Legislative proposals are only now bouncing around Capitol Hill, just eight days before a possible government shutdown. A big slice of the Democratic base would risk a shutdown to protect Dreamers; a chunk of Republican lawmakers would be willing to force a similar outcome if left unhappy by an agreement. Businesses are mobilizing to make the case that Dreamers can’t wind up facing deportation.

The widespread belief is that the president will take whatever border security money he gets and declare it a down payment on the wall. Trump’s guidance notwithstanding, it’s not clear whether he is helping or hindering Congress as it scrambles to get its work done.

The RUNDOWN with MaryAlice Parks

The Republican leadership in the House of Representatives is going to be a whole lot different next year, even if the GOP maintains its majority.

Rep. Darrell Issa, R-Calif., was not only the nineteenth House Republican to announce his retirement, he was one of almost as many top tier, well-known, powerful Republicans to do so.

Of the 19, seven currently lead committees and another six, like Issa, formerly headed up committees or led subcommittees. Big picture, we are talking about men and women who have been decision-makers on the Hill and the face of the party.

It is these folks, in decent numbers now, who are packing it in and deciding it is not worth grueling fights at home that they may very well lose.

A new poll out from Quinnipiac, marking the almost-one year anniversary of the president’s time in office, perhaps shed light on these retirement decisions.

More than twice as many respondents gave the president an “F” for his first year, compared to those who gave him an “A.” While his approval rating hovered, in the high 30s, his disapproval rating shot up by double-digits across the board over the year, and a comfortable majority said he did not represent average Americans.

Those are numbers that are hard to shake in a year that will likely be a referendum on him.

The TIP with Meridith McGraw

A new report says that if Congress fails to approve funding for the Children’s Health Insurance Program in January, least 24 states with separate CHIP programs are projected to have insufficient funds to cover all children beyond February.

The report from the Georgetown University Health Policy Institute’s Center for Children and Families estimates 11 states, Ariz., Conn., D.C., Fla., Hawaii, La., Minn., Nev., N.Y., Ohio, and Wash., will experience funding shortfalls after January.

Funding for CHIP, a federal program that provides low-cost insurance to nearly 9 million babies, children, and pregnant women, expired over 100 days ago on Sept. 30. Congress passed a short term patch of $2.85 billion to prop up the program until March.

But even CMS isn’t confident that the money will stretch until then, saying some states could run out of money after Jan. 19.



We’ll see what happens. Certainly I’ll see what happens. But when they have no collusion and nobody has found any collusion at any level, it seems unlikely that you would even have an interview,” –President Trump said, responding to a question at a joint press conference with the Prime Minister of Norway.


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