On The Money: Cohen reportedly questioned over Trump dealings with Russia | Trump hails economy | Tells workers to 'start looking' if they want a better job | Internal poll shows tax law backfiring on GOP
On The Money: House, Senate to huddle on spending bills | Canada sounds optimistic note on NAFTA talks | Federal deficit soars to $895B | Job openings hit record high
Welcome back to On The Money, where we're keeping the victims and heroes of the September 11, 2001 attacks in our thoughts tonight. I'm Sylvan Lane, and here's your nightly guide to everything affecting your bills, bank account and bottom line.
THE BIG DEAL--House and Senate to huddle on spending bills: The House and Senate have scheduled conference meetings for Thursday on two spending bill packages to limit a shutdown come October 1.
The first of the so-called "minibus" packages covers defense spending as well as the Labor, Health and Human Services and Education bill, which combined make up a large share of Congress's annual spending.
The second package, which lawmakers hope to pass before the new fiscal year begins, includes Interior and Environment, Financial Services and General Government, Agriculture, and Transportation, Housing and Urban Development Appropriations.
The meeting mark progress toward the goal of resolving the differences between the chambers' spending bills. The Hill's Niv Elis tells us where things stand as we edge closer to the government funding deadline.
- Congress must pass funding bills to cover 12 areas of spending each year, or pass a continuing resolution (CR) for those areas to keep current levels in place when the new fiscal year begins. Failure to do so results in a government shutdown.
- Congress hopes to pass the 9 bills in three minibus packages alongside a CR for the three remaining bills. The latter include controversial items such as President Donald Trump's proposed border wall.
- Trump has threatened to veto spending bills if they do not fund the wall to his satisfaction, but also said that he does not favor a shutdown, which would take place just a month before November's midterm elections.
ON TAP FOR TOMORROW
- Senate Banking Committee: Hearing entitled "Countering Russia: Assessing New Tools," 2:30 p.m.
LEADING THE DAY
Canada sounds optimistic tone on NAFTA talks: U.S. and Canadian trade negotiators on Tuesday resumed talks on the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) seeking breakthroughs on key issues.
Canadian Foreign Minister Chrystia Freeland said even though they didn't meet, she talked to U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer over the weekend and that that talks continue to be productive between the two major trading partners.
Acknowledging the 17th anniversary of the events of Sept. 11, 2001, Freeland called it a "really significant day," and said "above all it is important to pause today, to remember all of the people who died and all of their families in this horrific brutal attack."
She said remembering this day helps to put into perspective the NAFTA negotiations, and the importance of the relationship between the U.S. and Canada.
Job openings hit record high 6.94 million: U.S. job openings in July surged to a record high while the number of people who quit their jobs rose to the highest level in 17 years, the Labor Department reported Tuesday.
The number of jobs to be filled increased by 117,000 to 6.94 million, from 6.82 million, in June, according to Job Openings and Labor Turnover Survey reports.
The quits rate rose to a 17-year high of 2.4 percent as 3.58 million Americans quit their jobs, a sign that workers are comfortable in their ability to find a new job.
"Workers are feeling more and more confident in this labor market," said Nick Bunker, an economist at the Indeed Hiring Lab. The Hill's Vicki Needham breaks down the numbers here.
Federal deficit soars 32 percent to $895B: The federal deficit hit $895 billion in the first 11 months of fiscal 2018, an increase of $222 billion, or 32 percent, over the same period the previous year, according to the Congressional Budget Office (CBO).
The nonpartisan CBO reported that the central drivers of the increasing deficit were the Republican tax law and the bipartisan agreement to increase spending. As a result, revenue only rose 1 percent, failing to keep up with a 7 percent surge in spending, it added.
Revenue from individual and payroll taxes was up some $105 billion, or 4 percent, while corporate taxes fell $71 billion, or 30 percent.
The August statistics were somewhat inflated, however, due to a timing shift for certain payments, putting the deficit measure through August slightly out of sync with the previous year, the CBO noted. Had it not been for the timing shift, the deficit would have increased $154 billion instead of $222 billion.
GOOD TO KNOW
- House GOP legislation that would delay or repeal certain parts of ObamaCare will cost $51.6 billion over the next decade, according to a new government analysis.
- China is planning to request permission to impose sanctions against the U.S. amid an escalating trade war between the two countries.
- Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) has found the perfect new target for his message about inequality ahead of a possible second run for the White House in 2020: Amazon, the nearly $1 trillion online retailer.
- Speaking of Amazon, Business Insider has a harrowing report on the 'missing wages, grueling shifts, and bottles of urine' that mar delivering packages for the retail titan.
- Leaders of the United Steelworkers union are demanding higher wages from two of the biggest U.S. steelmakers as President Trump's tariffs propel industry profits.
- Advocacy groups worried about the deficit excoriated the Republican new plan to extend tax cuts, saying it would require the government to borrow trillions of dollars.
- Federal regulators have rejected Wells Fargo;s plan to repay customers who were pushed into unnecessary auto insurance, according to Reuters.
ODDS AND ENDS
- A federal judge ruled Tuesday that cryptocurrency offerings could be considered securities under U.S law, giving a boost to federal regulators who've pledged to crackdown on fraud in the virtual coin market.
- More on the crypto front: Three of the largest cryptocurrency firms in the nation are forming their own lobbying group, according to Politico.
- Fuel prices and shortages are rising as Hurricane Florence speeds to the U.S. coast, according to Reuters.