On The Money: Trump rages at Schumer, Pelosi as talks implode | Trump threatens emergency declaration without deal | Trump insists party united as GOP senators challenge strategy | House votes to reopen Treasury, IRS | WH issues veto threat

On The Money: Trump rages at Schumer, Pelosi as talks implode | Trump threatens emergency declaration without deal | Trump insists party united as GOP senators challenge strategy | House votes to reopen Treasury, IRS | WH issues veto threat
© Greg Nash

Happy Wednesday 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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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--Trump blasts Chuck and Nancy as shutdown talks flop: President TrumpDonald John TrumpJoint Chiefs chairman denies report that US is planning to keep 1K troops in Syria Kansas Department of Transportation calls Trump 'delusional communist' on Twitter Trump has privately voiced skepticism about driverless cars: report MORE slammed Democratic leaders on Wednesday after a meeting at the White House to negotiate an end to the partial government shutdown finished abruptly.

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"Just left a meeting with Chuck and Nancy, a total waste of time," Trump tweeted minutes after meeting with Speaker Nancy PelosiNancy Patricia D'Alesandro PelosiMulvaney: Military projects impacted by wall funding haven't been decided yet Left-wing Dems in minority with new approach to spending Julian Castro hints at brother Joaquin's Senate run MORE (D-Calif.) and Senate Minority Leader Charles SchumerCharles (Chuck) Ellis SchumerWhy we need to build gateway now Campaign to draft Democratic challenger to McConnell starts raising funds Schumer congratulates J. Lo and A-Rod, but says 'I'm never officiating a wedding again' MORE (D-N.Y.).

"I asked what is going to happen in 30 days if I quickly open things up, are you going to approve Border Security which includes a Wall or Steel Barrier?" he continued. "Nancy said, NO. I said bye-bye, nothing else works!"

Pelosi, returning to the Capitol, called Trump a "petulant president" who's made an agreement all but impossible with uncompromising demands. 

"The president stomped out of the meeting when he said to me, 'Will you support a wall?' And I said no," Pelosi said. "Now they're trying to mischaracterize what he actually said. But that's par for the course with going to the White House." The Hill's Brett Samuels and Jordan Fabian break it down here.

 

Republican and Democratic leaders offered competing accounts of how the half-hour meeting turned sour.  

 

What comes next: Pelosi said the Democrats intend to push through with their plan to send four separate spending bills to the Senate over the next three days. The Democratic-led House approved a bill Wednesday to reopen the Treasury Department, Internal Revenue Service and Small Business Administration, among other federal agencies. The White House on Wednesday though issued a veto threat on the Democratic bills.

 

Meanwhile, Trump is seeking to rally Republicans for the wall as a growing number of GOP senators are speaking out against the shutdown tactic.

"I would say that we have a very, very unified party," Trump told reporters at the U.S. Capitol after meeting with Senate Republicans for more than an hour.

Trump said Wednesday that he may declare a national emergency to direct construction of the wall. Democrats question whether Trump has the legal authority to do so.

 

Mounting damage from the shutdown:

  • The Hill: Fitch: Extended shutdown, debt ceiling could lower US credit rating
  • The Washington Post: "Returning Christmas presents and raiding the kids' college fund: U.S. Reps. tell their constituents' stories"
  • The New York Times: "A Shut Down Government Actually Costs More Than an Open One"
  • The Hill: "TSA union says workers threatening to quit over shutdown"
  • The Washington Post: "Already reeling from tariff war, some farmers aren't receiving government support checks amid shutdown"
  • Pew Research: "The data casualties of the federal government shutdown"
  • The Washington Post: FDA says most food inspections halted amid shutdown

 

How the Trump administration is responding:

  • The Department of Agriculture (USDA) on Tuesday extended the deadline for farmers to apply for aid intended to help offset the economic losses caused by tariffs. 
  • The USDA also announced that it will work with states to allow food stamp benefits to be distributed early to recipients.
  • The Trump administration plans to restaff 38 wildlife refuges during the government shutdown in order to continue to provide "opportunities, including hunting," according to an internal email obtained by The Hill.

 

LEADING THE DAY

Dems look to chip away at Trump tax reform law: Democrats in the coming year will be laying the groundwork to eventually roll back parts of President Trump's tax law.

No Democratic lawmakers voted for the measure Trump signed in December 2017, criticizing the bill for providing large benefits to wealthy individuals and corporations and for adding to the federal deficit.

With Republicans controlling the Senate and the White House, Democrats are unlikely to be able to undo any significant portion of the law in the next two years.

Instead, their goal is to lay a foundation for what they can do in the future if they retake the Senate or White House, hammering away at Republicans over the law's least popular aspects ahead of the 2020 vote. The Hill's Naomi Jagoda explains how here.

 

Grassley: Trump should leave NAFTA if Dems block new trade deal: Sen. Chuck GrassleyCharles (Chuck) Ernest GrassleyKlobuchar: ObamaCare a 'missed opportunity' to address drug costs Just one in five expect savings from Trump tax law: poll Divisions emerge over House drug price bills MORE (R-Iowa) says he would "encourage the president to back out of" the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) if Democrats reject the administration's rewrite of the trade deal with Mexico and Canada.

"If they're reaching the point where we've got to go back to the negotiating table, I would encourage the president to pull out of NAFTA and hope that they're smart enough not to let that happen," Grassley, chairman of the Senate Finance Committee, said Wednesday.

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"Why would you want to go back to an environment where there's higher tariffs on our products sent to Mexico than them getting their products into this country?" Grassley added. "It just doesn't meet the common sense test." I have more here.

 

The background: 

  • Trump in October struck a deal for the U.S., Mexico, Canada Trade Agreement (USMCA), a renegotiated NAFTA. But the new agreement must be ratified by the legislatures of all three countries.
  • While Canada and Mexico are expected to approve the USMCA, some congressional Democrats say its provisions on environmental and labor protections are too weak to earn their support.
  • Trump has threatened to pull out of NAFTA if Democrats oppose the USMCA, threatening the opposition with a choice between his deal or no deal at all.
  • Grassley will play a crucial role in clearing the deal as chief of the Senate Finance Committee, which has jurisdiction over trade issues. The chairman said he'd meet with Democrats skeptical of the deal but would support Trump playing hardball.

 

GOOD TO KNOW

 

ODDS AND ENDS