By BRIAN A. HOWEY, in Indianapolis

1. Joining a closed government

Here are your final power lunch talking points for the week: U.S. Sen. Mike Braun and U.S. Reps. Jim Baird and Greg Pence were sworn into Congress on Thursday with the federal government partially shut down. It has been closed for 14 days now, with the record coming in 1995 at 21 days (it closed for five days a month earlier). Republicans did that to force President Clinton on to a course to balance the budget, which actually happened for four years. The Indiana delegation has been mum on the shutdown. One reason for that is even after the 1995 paralysis, Republican majorities persisted until 2007. Baird appeared in the best photo of the day  with Reps. Brian Mast and Dan Crenshaw, all war veterans who lost body parts in battle, with Mast tweeting: "5 eyes. 5 arms. 4 legs. All American." Ya gotta love that!

As Senate rules require, Braun wore a coat and tie  after campaigning in his blue shirt throughout 2018. He was escorted to the floor by senior Sen. Todd Young. Vice President Pence gave the oath. Braun told WANE-TV, “I spent 15 months in the process of getting here, so it's neat that the day has finally come where you're going to start your career as a senator.” Braun hopes to get on the Senate Budget Committee, as well as Agriculture. He told HPI in December, "I’ll try to get on committees that weigh in on infrastructure, weigh in on health care, bring some sanity to our budget process and agriculture. It’s a big industry in Indiana and Donnelly was on it. So, hopefully that will all fall in place."

2. Pence says no wall, no opening

Vice President Pence told Fox News'  Tucker Carlson that it's the wall or nothing. "We really are prepared to negotiate. We're prepared to talk. We're prepared to listen, and ultimately it begins with the facts," said Pence. "I want the American people to know that this is a real crisis at our border. We made progress last year and it probably was the result of the fact that the American people elected a new president who delivered a very strong message about confronting illegal immigration." But President Trump continues to move the goal posts. On the campaign trail, he vowed to build the wall and Mexico would pay for it. Since, he's called for $25 billion (to be paid by American taxpayers). That's now reduced to $5 billion, a number he couldn't get a GOP-controlled Congress to pass. Pence, himself, floated a $2.5 billion proposal to Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer in December, but he didn't believe it. At Wednesday cabinet meeting, Trump put the number at $5.6 billion. Confused? Don't be.Trump has repeatedly called for a government shutdown, saying in December he would "own the mantle." But on Thursday, top aide Kellyanne Conway punted, telling ABC News, “He doesn't own the shutdown any longer.” Say what? That's an alternative fact.

3. Bipartisanship in Indy

At the Indiana Statehouse, leaders said they would search for common ground, even though Democrats control only 43 of the 150 seats. House Republican Floor Leader Matt Lehman reiterated an emphasis to increase teacher pay, funding to the Department of Child Services by nearly $300 million, and pass a hate crimes bill. “We will work together to find common ground,” Lehman said. “We will not ignore you.”  But Democrats are calling for medicinal marijuana, redistricting reform, expanded voter participation and protecting people with preexisting health conditions, all facing long odds with the GOP super majorities.

4. Bray's agenda

Senate President Pro Tem Rodric Bray laid out his priorities. “This session, my colleagues and I will be prioritizing efforts to maintain a balanced budget, protect our most vulnerable children, support education, improve school safety, and help Hoosiers find good jobs,” Bray said. “Given the revenue forecast and the budget needs of the Department of Child Services (DCS), there’s no question that we have many challenges before us. Nevertheless, Senate Republicans stand ready to do the hard work that needs to be done in order to advance the Hoosier state, and we look forward to the session ahead.” But Senate Minority Leader Tim Lanane was underwhelmed. "I am surprised at my colleagues in the super majority for their lack of a vision for our state," he said. "It seems super majorities breed complacency."

5. True bipartisanship: Young & Warren

Looking for true bipartisanship? President Trump signed the Good Accounting Obligation in Government Act. It was authored by U.S. Sens. Todd Young and Elizabeth Warren. “I’m proud that the president signed my bipartisan bill into law today to increase accountability within our federal government to protect Hoosiers back home and taxpayers across our country,” said Young. “The bipartisan GAO-IG Act creates a new set of tools to identify and fix problems all over the federal government, so it can work better for all Americans. I was glad to work with Sen. Young to get this done,” said Sen. Warren, who launched a 2020 presidential exploratory committee earlier in the week.

6. 313k jobs added

The U.S. added 312,000 jobs in December, much more than the anticipated 270,000. But the jobless rate rose to 3.9%. That means more people are looking for jobs as the labor participation rate has risen to 61%. Wages are also rising. But there is reason for concern. After Apple announced a decline in profits due to the trade war with China, the Dow tumbled by 600 points on Thursday.

Have a great weekend, folks. We're forecasting the Colts will beat the Texans (27-23)  while the Bears will dethrone the Eagles (20-10), heading for that 2007 Super Bowl rematch. It's The Atomic!