On The Money: Second White House meeting scheduled as shutdown drags toward week three | McConnell suggests shutdown could last weeks | Trump blames stock market slide on 'glitch'

Happy Wednesday and welcome back to On The Money, where we'll hopefully get off to a better 2019 than the stock market did. 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--Second White House meeting scheduled as shutdown drags toward week three: A partial government shutdown showed no signs of ending Wednesday as congressional leaders left what appeared to be an unproductive meeting with President TrumpDonald John TrumpTrump defends Stephanopolous interview Trump defends Stephanopolous interview Buttigieg on offers of foreign intel: 'Just call the FBI' MORE.

Before and after the meeting, there was little if any sign of compromise.


Trump invited congressional leaders to return to the White House for another meeting on Friday, the day after Democrats take over the House majority.

"We are asking the president to open up the government," House Minority Leader Nancy PelosiNancy PelosiElection security bills face GOP buzzsaw Election security bills face GOP buzzsaw Dems eye repeal of Justice rule barring presidential indictments MORE (D-Calif.) said outside the White House following the meeting. "We are giving him a Republican path to do that. Why would he not do it?"

Pelosi said she planned to move ahead with a plan to vote on a spending bill Friday without funding for a border wall, as Trump demanded. The Hill's Jordan Fabian brings us up to speed here.


How we got here:

  • The shutdown began on Dec. 22 after Democrats refused to agree to Trump's demand for $5 billion in funding for a wall on the Mexican border. 
  • Democrats have proposed a plan to fund most of the closed parts of the government through the end of the fiscal year, while only funding the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) through Feb. 8. Republicans call it a non-starter.
  • "Border Security and the Wall 'thing' and Shutdown is not where Nancy Pelosi wanted to start her tenure as Speaker! Let's make a deal?" Trump tweeted Tuesday, without explaining what that would entail.

McConnell says shutdown could last weeks: Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellElection security bills face GOP buzzsaw Election security bills face GOP buzzsaw Overnight Defense: Trump doubles down on claim Iran attacked tankers | Iran calls accusations 'alarming' | Top nuke official quietly left Pentagon | Pelosi vows Congress will block Saudi arms sale MORE (R-Ky.) after a White House meeting with President Trump and other congressional leaders said Wednesday that the partial government shutdown could continue for days or even weeks.

"It was a civil discussion. We're hopeful that somehow in the coming days and weeks we'll be able to reach an agreement," McConnell told reporters, opening the door to a lengthy shutdown that is already in its 12th day. 

McConnell and other members of congressional leadership of both parties met with Trump and members of the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) for what was billed as a "briefing" on the border.



  • The 116th Congress officially begins. Buckle up.



Trump blames 'glitch' for stock market downturn: President Trump on Wednesday played down a brutal December for Wall Street and called on the Federal Reserve to help boost the declining stock market.

Trump told reporters Wednesday that the bloody December for U.S. stocks was caused by "a little glitch" and predicted a strong 2019 for the market. He predicted that stocks would rise close to 30 percent by year's end after the president finalizes trade deals with China and the European Union.

Last year was the worst for U.S. stocks since 2008, and this past month was the bloodiest December for Wall Street since the Great Depression. While stocks skyrocketed from Trump's 2016 election through the end of 2017, the market turned sour in 2018 amid rising threats to the global economy.

Stocks opened sharply lower Wednesday, the first day of trading in 2019, before rebounding by the afternoon.

Trouble on the horizonTrump has frequently blamed the Fed and its chairman, Jerome Powell, for 2018's rocky market, citing the central bank's interest rate hikes. He renewed his criticism of the Fed on Wednesday, saying "We need a little help from the Fed," for the market to rebound, according to Bloomberg.

While traders have braced for rising interest rates driven by Fed rate hikes, analysts have pinned most of the market downturn on trade tensions triggered by Trump's tariffs on steel, aluminum and Chinese goods. Economists also see growing signs of a global slowdown within the next two years.

Apple CEO Tim Cook on Wednesday warned investors that the company expects to fall as much as $9 billion short of its earlier revenue target for the first fiscal quarter of 2019.

The Apple CEO pointed to a struggling market in China clobbered by trade tensions with the U.S. as the biggest factor for the change.

"While we anticipated some challenges in key emerging markets, we did not foresee the magnitude of the economic deceleration, particularly in Greater China," Cook wrote in a letter to investors. "In fact, most of our revenue shortfall to our guidance, and over 100 percent of our year-over-year worldwide revenue decline, occurred in Greater China across iPhone, Mac and iPad."

Dismal Asian manufacturing data released Wednesday showed the first contraction in Chinese industrial output in two years. And data from Europe released Wednesday also showed falling business spending.

Shares of Tesla and Netflix also took major hits Wednesday after both companies appeared to miss annual sales targets and projections. 

The news also comes on the heels of a volatile fourth quarter for U.S. markets, leading some to worry about a potential downturn in 2019.


Prominent progressives to oppose Dem rules package: Top progressive lawmakers Rep. Ro KhannaRohit (Ro) KhannaDems eye repeal of Justice rule barring presidential indictments Dems eye repeal of Justice rule barring presidential indictments Congress must use upcoming defense bills to guard against a confrontation with Iran MORE (D-Calif.) and Rep.-elect Alexandria Ocasio-CortezAlexandria Ocasio-CortezPolice say man trespassed into Ocasio-Cortez's office Police say man trespassed into Ocasio-Cortez's office Ocasio-Cortez starts petition to repeal Hyde Amendment MORE (D-N.Y.) said this week they will vote against bylaws to govern the 116th Congress, a challenge to House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.), the likely next Speaker.


They are objecting to the inclusion of what's known as a pay-as-you-go budgetary rule, which requires that legislation be deficit neutral, meaning any costs would need to be offset with new revenue or cuts elsewhere. Niv Elis and Naomi Jagoda explain.



  • House Democrats are planning to introduce legislation that would require presidential nominees disclose 10 years of tax returns, congressional aides confirmed to The Hill on Wednesday.
  • House Democrats have unveiled a package of new rules for the upcoming Congress that aim to promote diversity and attack the deficit. But liberals are protesting the inclusion of what's known as a pay-as-you-go budgetary rule, which requires that legislation be deficit neutral.
  • K Street is bracing for a hectic 2019 on trade issues as lobbyists field questions from clients about what's next. Here are the top trade issues lobbyists will be watching in the coming year.



  • The Smithsonian on Wednesday announced that its museums, along with the National Zoo, were closing due to the government shutdown.
  • Americans woke up Tuesday to higher pharmacy costs as more than three dozen pharmaceutical companies raised their prices on hundreds of drugs including generic medicines, according to a study first reported by The Wall Street Journal.