On The Money: GOP shrugs off Trump shutdown threat | Trump warns Japan ties could sour over trade | US businesses add 163k workers in August | House GOP huddles on 'tax cut 2.0'

On The Money: GOP shrugs off Trump shutdown threat | Trump warns Japan ties could sour over trade | US businesses add 163k workers in August | House GOP huddles on 'tax cut 2.0'
© Getty

Happy Thursday and welcome back to On The Money. I'm Sylvan Lane, and here's your nightly guide to everything affecting your bills, bank account and bottom line.

See something I missed? Let me know at slane@thehill.com or tweet me @SylvanLane. And if you like your newsletter, you can subscribe to it here: http://bit.ly/1NxxW2N.

Write us with tips, suggestions and news: slane@thehill.com, vneedham@thehill.com, njagoda@thehill.com and nelis@thehill.com. Follow us on Twitter: @SylvanLane, @VickofTheHill, @NJagoda and @NivElis.



THE BIG DEAL--GOP shrugs off Trump shutdown threat: Congressional Republicans say they are unfazed by President Trump's on-and-off threats to shut down the government ahead of a funding deadline at the end of the month.

"I don't think he'll let that happen," said Rep. Hal RogersHarold (Hal) Dallas RogersTrump says he'll decide on foreign aid cuts within a week Pelosi warns Mnuchin to stop 'illegal' .3B cut to foreign aid Appropriators warn White House against clawing back foreign aid MORE (R-Ky.), a member of the House Appropriations Committee. "Leadership is having good conversations with the president and I've got to believe we'll get this job done."

Appropriators in both the House and Senate aim to pass nine of 12 spending bills in three packages by the end of the month in order to fund the government in the new fiscal year, which begins Oct. 1. They expect to pass a continuing resolution (CR) to keep current funding levels for the remaining three bills, and any other appropriations they fail to pass by the deadline.

Trump renewed his threats on Wednesday to shut down the government, saying he was "willing to do anything" to get funding for his signature policy proposal, a wall along the U.S. border with Mexico.

But GOP leaders seemed unshaken by Trump's comments.


The Hill's Niv Elis tells us more here.



What comes next: Congress has a narrow window to pass the nine remaining funding bill needed to keep the government open. Negotiators were said to be approaching a breakthrough on a veterans health-care funding issue that would allow the first package of three spending bills to move forward to a vote early next week.





Trump: Japan ties could sour when 'I tell them how much they have to pay.' President TrumpDonald John TrumpTrump reversed course on flavored e-cigarette ban over fear of job losses: report Trump to award National Medal of Arts to actor Jon Voight Sondland notified Trump officials of investigation push ahead of Ukraine call: report MORE touted his good relations with Japan on Thursday but warned the relationship may sour over trade.

"Of course that will end as soon as I tell them how much they have to pay," the president said of his strong ties with Japan in a call to Wall Street Journal assistant editor James Freeman.

Freeman shared the president's remarks in a WSJ op-ed published Thursday. Freeman said Trump had called him shortly after the editor appeared in a segment on the Fox News Channel praising the president for the strong U.S. economy.

Trump's comments about Japan come as the U.S. finds itself in a number of trade fights with allies and other countries.


More from the frontlines of the trade war:


US businesses add 163k workers in August: Private sector companies added 163,000 workers to their payrolls in August, according to a report released Thursday, a solid gain that fell below economists' predictions for the month.

The report from ADP Research Institute and Moody's Analytics showed a strong but slowing job market in August after nonfarm businesses added 217,000 workers in July. ADP reported last month that private sector firms added 219,000 employees in July, but revised that total down in Thursday's release.

Economists polled by Reuters projected employers to hire 190,000 workers in August. While the ADP and Moody's report came in well below that prediction, both firms touted the strength of the overall job market.


"Although we saw a small slowdown in job growth the market remains incredibly dynamic," said Ahu Yildirmaz, vice president and co-head of the ADP Research Institute.

Mark Zandi, chief economist at Moody's, added, "The job market is hot. Employers are aggressively competing to hold onto their existing workers and to find new ones." I break down the numbers here.

More good economic news: The number of U.S. workers filing for unemployment benefits also fell last week to the lowest level since December 1969.


FINANCE IN FOCUS--House GOP huddles on 'tax cuts 2.0' plan: House Republicans on Thursday met to discuss a second package of tax cuts, ahead of the rollout of legislation next week.

The meeting came as some lawmakers from high-tax states have voiced concerns about the package, which is expected to cement the 2017 tax law's $10,000 cap on the state and local tax (SALT) deduction.

The centerpiece of the package, known as "tax cuts 2.0," is to make the 2017 tax law's changes for individuals permanent. Those tax changes -- which include tax rate cuts and an increase in the standard deduction in addition to the SALT deduction cap -- are currently slated to expire after 2025 because lawmakers wanted to pass last year's tax overhaul using special budget rules that allowed the Senate to clear the measure without any Democratic votes.


The divide: The vast majority of House Republicans who voted against the 2017 law were GOP lawmakers in New York, New Jersey and California who were concerned about the SALT deduction cap. And some of them have worries about making the cap permanent.

The timeline: House GOP leaders plan to hold a floor vote on the legislation later this month, less than two months before the midterm elections. Many of the blue-state Republicans face competitive reelection races. House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Kevin BradyKevin Patrick BradyLawmakers under pressure to pass benefits fix for military families How centrist Dems learned to stop worrying and love impeachment On The Money: Senate passes first spending package as shutdown looms | Treasury moves to roll back Obama rules on offshore tax deals | Trade deal talks manage to weather Trump impeachment storm MORE (R-Texas) said after Thursday's meeting that he still plans for tax cuts 2.0 to cement the SALT deduction cap.

Doubts shadow push for 'tax cuts 2.0': House GOP leaders insistence that they plan to hold a floor vote on a second package of tax cuts this month, comes as questions mount about whether such a move is politically smart for Republicans. The Hill's Naomi Jagoda breaks down those worries here.



  • Economists are debating the effects of minimum wage increases after the University of California, Berkeley, published a study Thursday showing pay increases for restaurant workers did not harm job growth in six major U.S. cities.
  • The U.S. on Thursday announced new financial sanctions on allies of Syrian President Bashar Assad amid concerns over an imminent assault on Idlib province.
  • Secretary of Health and Human Services Alex Azar on Thursday met with Republican lawmakers on the House Ways and Means Committee to discuss ways to lower drug prices.
  • The European Union has signed off on Apple's proposal to buy Shazam, effectively clearing the way for the deal to close.
  • Former Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) Chairman Martin Gruenberg reiterated his opposition to proposed changes to the enhanced supplementary leverage ratio backed by the Federal Reserve and the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency, per American Banker.
  • Equifax's new chief information security officer is pushing changes meant to help prevent another customer data breach similar to the one that struck the company in September 2017, according to The Wall Street Journal.