On The Money: Smaller tax refunds put GOP on defensive | Dems question IRS on new tax forms | Warren rolls out universal child care proposal | Illinois governor signs bill for $15 minimum wage
On The Money: Trump signs first 2019 'minibus' spending package | Mueller probing transactions by Russian organizers of Trump Tower meeting | Stocks brush off trade fears
Happy Friday 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.
THE BIG DEAL--Mueller investigating Russian payments made by Trump Tower meeting organizers: Special counsel Robert Mueller is investigating millions of dollars paid between two organizers of the Trump Tower meeting that involved Donald Trump Jr., top Trump campaign aides and a Russian lawyer who promised damaging information on Hillary Clinton.
BuzzFeed News reports that Mueller's team is examining $3.3 million in payments between Aras Agalarov -- a real estate developer and Russian billionaire with close ties to both President Trump and Russian President Vladimir Putin -- and Agalarov's longtime employee, Irakly "Ike" Kaveladze.
Kaveladze, who was also involved in planning the June 2016 meeting that Trump associates say resulted in no cooperation between Moscow and the Trump campaign, has been investigated in the past for money laundering, according to BuzzFeed News.
LEADING THE DAY
Trump signs first 'minibus' spending package for 2019: President Trump on Friday signed into law a package of three spending bills for 2019, temporarily setting aside a veto threat that could have shut down the government.
It is the first time in over a decade that the president has signed three spending bills into law before the beginning of the fiscal year.
The $147 billion package covered military construction and veterans affairs, the legislative branch, and energy and water.
Those bills made up a quarter of the 12 planned total funding bills, but just a small fraction of the overall spending total. The Senate approved the measure 92-5, while the House passed it 377-20.
Trump had threatened to veto spending bills if Congress did not adequately fund his border wall proposal. He also said he would never sign another massive omnibus spending package. Congress settled on a strategy of passing "minibus" packages of a few spending bills at a time. Here's more from The Hill's Niv Elis.
Receding trade fears push stocks to six-month high: Reuters: "The U.S. dollar rebounded and world shares hit a six-month high on Friday after China's moves to boost domestic consumption bolstered a rally driven by investor bets the latest U.S.-China trade fracas was unlikely to dent global growth.
"The U.S. benchmark S&P 500 stock index and the Dow industrials scaled record peaks for a second session, though the Nasdaq turned lower soon after the market opened."
ON TAP NEXT WEEK
- House Financial Services Committee: Hearing entitled "HUD Office of Inspector General Report: HUD's Oversight of the Alexander County (Illinois) Housing Authority," 4 p.m.
- The Securities and Exchange Commission hosts a roundtable on investor fraud, 9:30 a.m.
- House Financial Services Committee: Hearing entitled "Oversight of the SEC's Division of Investment Management," 10 a.m.
- Senate Commerce Committee: Hearing on safeguarding consumer data, 10 a.m.
- House Energy and Commerce Committee: Hearing entitled "Built in America: Jobs and Growth in the Manufacturing Sector," 10 a.m.
- Senate Finance Committee: Hearing entitled "Impact of Tariffs on the U.S. Automotive Industry," 10:30 a.m.
- House Ways and Means Committee: Hearing on the Internal Revenue Service's taxpayer online authentication efforts, 10:45 a.m.
- Joint Economic Committee: Hearing entitled "Examining the Rise of American Earnings and Living Standards," 10:45 a.m.
- House Financial Services Committee: Hearing entitled "Administration Goals for Major Sanctions Programs," 2 p.m.
- Consumer Financial Protection Bureau hosts advisory committee meetings, 9:30 a.m.
- House Financial Services Committee: Hearing entitled on oversight of the Federal Housing Finance Administration, featuring FHFA Director Mel Watt, 10 a.m.
- House Judiciary Committee: Hearing on the future of sports betting, 10 a.m.
- House Ways and Means Committee: Hearing on the state of Social Security's information technology, 11 a.m.
THE HILL EVENT
Join us Thursday, Sept. 27 for "The Hill's Newsmakers Series" as Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin sits down for a one-on-one interview with Editor-in-Chief Bob Cusack to discuss the state of the economy, the new tax law, trade issues and other news of the day. RSVP Here.
NEXT WEEK'S NEWS, NOW
- The House will vote on a spending package passed by the Senate on Tuesday bundling defense spending with labor, health and education, as well as a funding extension for other agencies to keep the government's lights on until December 7. Vetoing that bill would trigger a shutdown, but also require Trump to quash the first defense bill to pass Congress in time in a decade.
- Federal Housing Finance Administration Director Mel Watt will testify before the House Financial Services Committee on Thursday. While he's likely to face tough questions about the state of the federal housing finance system, lawmakers are likely to bring up claims from one of Watt's former employees that the director repeatedly sexually harassed her.
- The U.S. and Canada will continue negotiations over a new North American Free Trade Agreement as the Trump administration tries to bring Canada into the NAFTA revamp it struck with Mexico. U.S. tariffs on $200 billion in Chinese imports will also go into effect Monday.
GOOD TO KNOW
- The Trump administration is helping Vladimir Putin get Russia's billionaires to start repatriating some of their assets, according to Bloomberg News.
- The federal government has given $25.8 million to farmers this September under a program designed to help them weather President Trump's international trade battle, according to The Washington Post.
- Growth, unemployment and inflation all suggest an upward shift at the lower end of the Fed's upcoming rate projections.
ODDS AND ENDS
- Investors are craving marijuana stocks as Canada prepares to legalize pot next month, leading to giant gains for Canada-based companies listed on U.S. exchanges
RECAP THE WEEK WITH ON THE MONEY
- Monday: Trump announces new China tariffs | Wall Street salaries hit highest level since 2008 | GOP bets the House on the economy
- Tuesday: Senate approves $854B spending bill | China imposes new tariffs on $60 billion in US goods | Ross downplays new tariffs: 'Nobody's going to actually notice'
- Wednesday: Midterms to shake up House finance panel | Chamber chief says US not in trade war | Mulvaney moving CFPB unit out of DC | Conservatives frustrated over big spending bills