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

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THE BIG DEAL--Trump blasts Chuck and Nancy as shutdown talks flop: President TrumpDonald John TrumpTrump rails against impeachment in speech to Texas farmers Trump administration planning to crack down on 'birth tourism': report George Conway on Trump adding Dershowitz, Starr to legal team: 'Hard to see how either could help' MORE slammed Democratic leaders on Wednesday after a meeting at the White House to negotiate an end to the partial government shutdown finished abruptly.


"Just left a meeting with Chuck and Nancy, a total waste of time," Trump tweeted minutes after meeting with Speaker Nancy PelosiNancy PelosiDemocrats worry a speedy impeachment trial will shut out public Schiff huddles in Capitol with impeachment managers Media's selective outrage exposed in McSally-Raju kerfuffle MORE (D-Calif.) and Senate Minority Leader Charles SchumerCharles (Chuck) Ellis SchumerTrump administration installs plaque marking finish of 100 miles of border wall Sanders defends vote against USMCA: 'Not a single damn mention' of climate change Schumer votes against USMCA, citing climate implications 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.



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 GrassleyTrump administration planning to crack down on 'birth tourism': report Senate begins preparations for Trump trial Big Pharma looks to stem losses after trade deal defeat 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.


"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.