On The Money: Trump revives shutdown threat over border wall | Trump, Trudeau dig in on NAFTA talks | House GOP leaders plan 'tax cut 2.0' vote this month | Sanders bill targets Amazon

On The Money: Trump revives shutdown threat over border wall | Trump, Trudeau dig in on NAFTA talks | House GOP leaders plan 'tax cut 2.0' vote this month | Sanders bill targets Amazon
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Happy Wednesday and welcome back to On The Money, which is not written by an anonymous senior administration official. I'm Sylvan Lane, and here's your nightly guide to everything affecting your bills, bank account and bottom line.

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THE BIG DEAL--Will he or won't he? Trump threatens border-wall shutdown again: Trump on Wednesday again threatened to shut down the government at the end of the month, days after indicating that he wanted to avoid such a move.

"If it happens it happens. If it's about border security, I'm willing to do anything," Trump told reporters at the White House on Wednesday.

Trump was heading into a meeting to discuss spending with congressional leaders, who were hoping to dissuade Trump from considering a shutdown ahead of November's midterm election.

While Trump had threatened to shut down the government if Congress failed to adequately fund his proposed border wall earlier in the year, in recent days he had seemed to back off the threat.

"I don't like the idea of shutdowns," Trump said in a Sunday interview with The Daily Caller published earlier Wednesday. "I don't see even myself or anybody else closing down the country right now," he added.

Trump's comments came soon after a top White House official and congressional leaders sought to downplay the threat of shutdown weeks before the midterm election. White House budget director Mick MulvaneyJohn (Mick) Michael MulvaneyPoll: Cruz up 9 in Texas Senate race Financial policymakers must be suffering from amnesia On The Money: Broad coalition unites against Trump tariffs | Senate confirms new IRS chief | Median household income rose for third straight year in 2017 | Jamie Dimon's brief battle with Trump MORE personally assured lawmakers in the conservative Republican Study Committee that Trump did not want to shut down the government, according to sources in the room.

 

House Republicans though say they are confident there won't be a shutdown. House Speaker Paul RyanPaul Davis RyanCorey Stewart fires aide who helped bring far-right ideas to campaign: report GOP super PAC hits Randy Bryce with ad starring his brother Super PACs spend big in high-stakes midterms MORE (R-Wis.) said during a Wednesday press conference that Trump is aware that "not in anyone's interest, and he knows that."

Rep. Carlos CurbeloCarlos Luis CurbeloThe Hill's Morning Report — Sponsored by Better Medicare Alliance — Cuomo wins and Manafort plea deal Hillicon Valley: North Korean IT firm hit with sanctions | Zuckerberg says Facebook better prepared for midterms | Big win for privacy advocates in Europe | Bezos launches B fund to help children, homeless Bipartisan trio asks US intelligence to investigate ‘deepfakes’ MORE (R-Fla.) said he thinks the president made the remarks to put pressure on Congress to act, adding there is "no question" he believes shutting down the government is a bad idea.

"I highly doubt it's going to happen," Curbelo told reporters. "I think he likes to say things like that, but I highly doubt it's going to happen," he told reporters.

 

ON TAP TOMORROW

 

LEADING THE DAY

Trump, Trudeau dig in as NAFTA talks resume: The U.S. and Canada resumed negotiations Wednesday to hammer out the final details of an updated North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) before an end of September deadline.

The two major trading partners spent most of last week trying to whittle down and resolve the toughest issues ahead, such as more U.S. market access to Canadian dairy, intellectual property protections and dispute settlement rules.

Before heading in to meet with U.S. Trade Representative Robert LighthizerRobert (Bob) Emmet LighthizerMcConnell urges GOP senators to call Trump about tariffs Companies brace for trade war MORE, Canadian Foreign Minister Chrystia Freeland told reporters that the U.S. and Canada had worked over the weekend and she was looking forward to constructive talks.

Freeland addressed concerns that Canada was being left behind, saying: "We are back, as we said we would be last week."

But despite the public optimism, negotiators face a tough task ahead. The Hill's Vicki Needham tell us why here. 

  • Trump is embarking on a high-stakes gamble, cutting a deal with Mexico first, in hopes of forcing Canada to acquiesce. Last week, Trump notified Congress of his plans to sign a trade deal with Mexico, replacing NAFTA.
  • Trump lashed out at Canada after talks last week failed to yield a final agreement, tweeting that "there is no political necessity to keep Canada in the new NAFTA deal."
  • Trudeau is also digging in and vowing that Canada won't be pressured into a deal, saying "We're going to continue to be constructive and thoughtful and focused on getting to the right deal around the table but we're not going to accept that we should have to sign a bad deal just because the president wants it."

 

House GOP leaders say 'tax cuts 2.0' vote will happen this month: House GOP leaders insisted Wednesday that they plan to hold a floor vote this month on a second round of tax cuts, dismissing reports that they may drop such an effort.

"Correct," Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) told reporters when asked if there would be a floor vote in September.

"On the floor," House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthyKevin Owen McCarthyThe Hill's Morning Report — Sponsored by United Against Nuclear Iran — Kavanaugh confirmation in sudden turmoil GOP: The economy will shield us from blue wave Jordan hits campaign trail amid bid for Speaker MORE (R-Calif.) added.

The central component of the new legislative package would be to permanently extend the tax changes for individuals from the 2017 law, but The Hill's Naomi Jagoda tells us why that could hit a snag. 

 

Sanders bill takes aim at Amazon: Sen. Bernie SandersBernard (Bernie) SandersWarren joins Sanders in support of striking McDonald's workers Kavanaugh allegations could be monster storm brewing for midterm elections      Senate approves 4B spending bill MORE (I-Vt.) is escalating his feud with Amazon and its founder, Jeff Bezos, introducing a new bill that would charge big companies for the federal welfare programs that support their low-wage workers.

Sanders introduced the bill on Wednesday that they named the Stop Bad Employers by Zeroing Out Subsidies Act, or Stop BEZOS Act.

"At a time of massive income and wealth inequality, when the 3 wealthiest people in America own more wealth than the bottom 50 percent and when 52 percent of all new income goes to the top one percent, the American people are tired of subsidizing multi-billionaires who own some of the largest and most profitable corporations in America," Sanders said in a statement.

Sanders cited a report by the nonprofit New Food Economy suggesting that a third of Amazon employees in Arizona -- and thousands in other states -- rely on food stamps.

Amazon, the senator said, paid half its workforce just $28,500 a year, or $13.67 an hour. Many other workers, he added, were hired through subcontractors, who might pay less.

 

GOOD TO KNOW

  • The Government Accountability Office (GAO) released a report Wednesday arguing that the decline of community bank lending is due more to economic and market trends than excessive regulation, rebutting a frequent argument from bank lobbyists.
  • The White House Council of Economic Advisers (CEA) on Wednesday pushed back on federal data that shows wages have been stagnant or even falling, arguing that the government figures omit important information.
  • Shares of American Express declined after the release of a media report that the FBI is investigating pricing practices at its foreign-exchange operations.
  • The Nasdaq and S&P 500 also fell as Netflix led a steep tech sell-off, according to CNBC.
  • Christine Lagarde said male domination of the banking industry made the collapse of Lehman Brothers more likely.

 

ODDS AND ENDS 

 

Join us Wednesday, September 12 for "A Healthy Start: Infant and Early Childhood Nutrition," featuring Reps. Nanette Barragán (D-Calif.) and Bobby ScottRobert (Bobby) Cortez ScottHealthy business vs healthy people — how will this administration address the two? Washington turns focus to child nutrition The Hill's Morning Report — Sponsored by Better Medicare Alliance — McConnell warns of GOP `knife fight’ to keep Senate control MORE (D-Va.), and Administrator of the Food and Nutrition Service Brandon Lipps. Editor in Chief Bob Cusack will sit down with the headliners to discuss maternal, infant, and early childhood nutrition, and what steps can be taken to establish healthier eating patterns across all communities. RSVP Here.