On The Money: White House looks to avoid shutdown | Plan for short-term spending bill gains support | Trump warns Fed against rate hike | Mnuchin blames Dems in part for deficit | Warren wants probe into consumer bureau name change

Happy Tuesday 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.

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THE BIG DEAL--Trump teases shutdown while staff signals willingness to deal: President TrumpDonald John TrumpUS reimposes UN sanctions on Iran amid increasing tensions Jeff Flake: Republicans 'should hold the same position' on SCOTUS vacancy as 2016 Trump supporters chant 'Fill that seat' at North Carolina rally MORE on Tuesday said it is "too early" to determine whether a partial government shutdown will be averted, even as his White House signaled it wants to avoid a funding lapse.  

"We'll see what happens," Trump told reporters at the White House when asked about the prospect of a shutdown. "It's too early to say."

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The president also stressed he is determined to get $5 billion for his long-desired wall along the southwest border.

"We need border security," he said.

 

Trump's provocative comments came after several signs of a potential deal emerged from the White House and Capitol on Tuesday.

 

LEADING THE DAY

Trump warns Fed against rate hike: 'Feel the market': President Trump on Tuesday early Tuesday called on the Federal Reserve to refrain from further interest rate hikes, citing a Wall Street Journal op-ed detailing why such a move would be harmful.

"I hope the people over at the Fed will read today's Wall Street Journal Editorial before they make yet another mistake. Also, don't let the market become any more illiquid than it already is. Stop with the 50 B's. Feel the market, don't just go by meaningless numbers. Good luck!" he tweeted.

Trump was also referring to the Fed's ongoing process of letting $50-billion worth of Treasury and mortgage bonds amassed during the recession mature each month.

Trump was referring to a Journal op-ed published on Monday titled "Time for a Fed Pause," which argued that Fed Chairman Jerome Powell should "ignore the politics, inside and outside the Fed, and follow the signals that suggest a prudent pause in raising rates."

 

Warren calls for probe into name change for consumer bureau: Sen. Elizabeth WarrenElizabeth WarrenBiden's fiscal program: What is the likely market impact? Warren, Schumer introduce plan for next president to cancel ,000 in student debt The Hill's 12:30 Report - Presented by Facebook - Don't expect a government check anytime soon MORE (D-Mass.) has asked the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau's (CFPB) internal watchdog to investigate whether the Trump administration's pending name change for the agency violates federal law.

Warren asked Mark Bialek, inspector general for the Federal Reserve system and CFPB, in a Monday letter to open a probe into the cost, legality, rationale and impact of changing the agency's name.

"We are concerned that the name change effort imposes unnecessary and significant costs on taxpayers and the business community, deprives the CFPB of funds it can use to protect consumers, and violates legal requirements," Warren wrote in the Tuesday letter. I've got more on her request here.

 

The background:

 

Mnuchin blames Democrats in part for deficit: Treasury Secretary Steven MnuchinSteven Terner MnuchinLawmakers fear voter backlash over failure to reach COVID-19 relief deal United Airlines, unions call for six-month extension of government aid House Democrats plan to unveil bill next week to avert shutdown MORE argued Tuesday that Democrats share responsibility for the recent ballooning of the federal budget deficit.

In an interview with Bloomberg, Mnuchin acknowledged that a federal spending bill passed early this year that included significant military spending increases played a role in the growing deficit, but suggested the fiscal shortfall was worsened by Democratic demands.

"In an effort to get the military spending -- which the president thought was critical and which I fully support -- given the issues we have all over the world and the under-investment we have had in the last eight years, this required bipartisan support and the Democrats required big increases in non-military spending," Mnuchin told the news outlet. "So that's a major component of deficit today."

Mnuchin added that President Trump is "definitely" focused on getting his Cabinet secretaries to cut back their budgets in an effort to contain the debt.

Mnuchin's remarks came less than a week after a Treasury Department report showed the U.S. budget deficit climbed to $205 billion in November, up 48 percent from the same month in 2017.

The department projected that the 2019 deficit would surpass $1 trillion and that the U.S. would need to borrow almost $1.2 trillion to pay its bills.

 

GOOD TO KNOW

 

ODDS AND ENDS

  • More than half of millennials fear that a lack of skills will limit their career advancement, according to a new survey from Prudential Financial.