Speed Reads

Last Night on Late Night

Late night hosts give Congress 1 cheer for averting a shutdown, ponder what Kyrsten Sinema wants

"Just hours ago, Congress passed a bill before the midnight deadline to avoid a government shutdown," Jimmy Fallon slow-clapped on Thursday's Tonight Show. "The bill will keep the government funded through early December. Smart — figure this out around the holidays, when things are less stressful."

"No, do not clap!" Stephen Colbert told his Late Show audience. "We must not reward them for doing the absolute minimum." Plus, "they're no closer to solving the other crises on our hands" — the debt ceiling, the bipartisan infrastructure bill, and the $3.5 trillion Build Back Better package, which "has split the Democratic Party in half," he deadpanned. "On one side you have the president, 48 Democratic senators, and the House majority; on the other, an equally powerful coalition of two people," Sens. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) and Kyrsten Sinema (D-Ariz.).

Manchin said he won't spend more than $1.5 trillion and called his party's agenda a gateway to entitlement mentality. "Yes, God forbid people should start feeling entitled to frivolous things like family leave and above-ground Florida," Colbert said. "But at least Manchin is saying what he would vote for. Sinema prefers to share as little as possible publicly and declines to answer reporters' questions," except when "she's making dad jokes."

The Late Show illustrated Sinema's negotiating tactics with a scene from Dog Day Afternoon.

"Two centrist Democrats are blocking the entire Democratic agenda without saying what they actually want, essentially threatening to detonate Joe Biden's presidency," and "Fox News is trying unsuccessfully to make all the super popular stuff in Biden's agenda sound scary," Seth Meyer said on Late Night. Seriously, "I could tell you about all the good this bill would do myself — or you could just listen to a Fox News host make it try to sound bad."

"Republicans say they're against raising the debt ceiling because the Democrats want to spend too much," Jimmy Kimmel said at Kimmel Live, "but the debt ceiling is for money we've already spent, under Trump, under Obama, under Bush, and so on. It's money we owe — that's why they call it debt. But Donald Trump's party, they do things like Donald Trump, they're like, 'We owe money? Let's just not pay it and see what happens.'"

Meanwhile, "according to a brand new poll, Trump is now virtually tied with Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis for the Republican nomination in 2024," Kimmel said. "I don't have a joke for that, I just wanted to make sure he hears about it."