Trump trials, possible government shutdown loom in 2024

It's now a presidential election year, and while the battle for the White House will take center stage, there are other political events to watch for.
Posted at 10:58 AM, Jan 01, 2024

Now that a new year has started, voters have a presidential election to look forward to this year. Although the battle for the White House will get plenty of attention, it is not the only major political event that will occur in 2024.

1. Possible government shutdown

Republican House Speaker Mike Johnson and Democratic Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer only have until Jan. 19 to avoid a partial government shutdown. That's because funding for about 20% of the government, including some veterans assistance programs, is set to run out then. On Feb. 2, the entire government could shut down unless there is a deal. To make matters even more complicated, Congress isn't expected to return until Jan. 8, and a previous law from last year has billions of dollars worth of government cuts mandated unless Congress acts. 

Not to mention, Congress did not resolve aid to Israel or Ukraine before members left town for the holidays.

Retirements could tip control of the US House majority
The Capitol Dome in Washington.

Retirements could tip control of the US House majority

A few more retirements can be expected after the holidays when lawmakers have had a chance to spend time with families and as filing deadlines near.


2. Trump trials

Former President Donald Trump could face up to four criminal trials this year, although he could successfully delay many or all of them. The country has never had a challenger for the presidency having to deal with so many legal issues while also having to campaign.

On March 4, the trial surrounding his involvement in the Jan. 6, 2021, insurrection was set to begin, but recent appeals have currently delayed that.

On March 25, the Manhattan criminal case involving his business is set to begin, and two months later in Florida, his case involving possessing classified documents is scheduled. 

3. Supreme Court rulings

Much of the Trump legal calendar is in doubt because the Supreme Court is expected to rule on related appeals. How they decide could impact not just if some trials happen on time but also if some charges can occur at all.

Other than Trump, the Supreme Court will also rule on abortion again and whether states can ban a commonly used abortion pill.

These were the top political stories of 2023
Former President Donald Trump

These were the top political stories of 2023

One of the biggest stories of the year was former President Donald Trump being indicted in four different cases.


4. Elections and the many questions that exist

We can't do a preview story without some mention of how elections, including the Iowa caucuses in a few weeks, will define 2024. One question is will former Trump secure the Republican nomination soon or will a challenger surge and create competition? So far, the polls have Trump up by a wide margin.

We also don't know if the Republican and Democratic nominees will actually debate after the Republican National Committee pulled out of the Commission on Presidential Debates. 

Republicans will gather in Milwaukee for their convention in July. The Democratic Convention will be in Chicago in August.