On The Money: Trump says he won't declare emergency 'so fast' | Shutdown poised to become longest in history | Congress approves back pay for workers | More federal unions sue over shutdown

On The Money: Trump says he won't declare emergency 'so fast' | Shutdown poised to become longest in history | Congress approves back pay for workers | More federal unions sue over shutdown
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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.

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THE BIG DEAL: President TrumpDonald John TrumpTrump opens new line of impeachment attack for Democrats Bloomberg to spend 0M on anti-Trump ads in battleground states New witness claims first-hand account of Trump's push for Ukraine probes MORE on Friday said he will hold off on declaring a national emergency to circumvent Congress and begin building his long-promised border wall, at least for the time being.

The president's decision to pull back from his threat to declare an emergency means that the White House is bracing for the partial government shutdown to drag on.

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Trump told reporters at the White House that he has the authority to make an emergency declaration to jump-start wall construction, but said, "I'm not going to do it so fast."

"It's the easy way out, but Congress should do this," Trump said, adding he would "rather not" because the declaration could face court challenges that would delay wall construction for months. The Hill's Jordan Fabian takes us there.

 

Rewind:

  • Trump had said for days that he was leaning toward declaring a national emergency to jumpstart construction of the wall, and his administration had begun internal discussions about how to proceed.
  • During a border visit Thursday viewed widely in Washington as a wind-up to an emergency declaration, Trump told Fox News host Sean Hannity that "if we don't make a deal with Congress, most likely I will do that."

But Trump stepped back from that statement Friday, saying he rather cut a deal with Democrats who've fiercely opposed his $5.7-billion border wall funding request.

 

So what changed? A group of Republican lawmakers and White House officials, including Jared KushnerJared Corey KushnerTrump admin preparing to seize private land for border wall: report The Hill's Morning Report — Public impeachment drama resumes today Trump administration plans livestreaming border wall construction: report MORE, have urged Trump not to declare an emergency. They say the chances of starting constriction right away are slim because of the legal challenges the declaration would draw.

 

No end in sight: Talks between Trump and Democratic congressional leaders have gone nowhere this week. With no progress made toward a funding bill and the emergency declaration off the table for now, the White House is bracing for a longer shutdown.

The Wall Street Journal reported Friday that the Office of Management and Budget is planning for the partial shutdown to stretch through February.

 

Financial pain sets in: Friday is the first day that hundreds of thousands of federal employees will miss their paychecks. That's left a major chunk of the federal workforce at risk of missing mortgage payments, other bills and even basic necessities.

The House on Friday passed a bill to ensure that workers sidelined by this shutdown and any in the future will receive back pay for missed checks.

Seven House Republicans, though, voted no: Reps. Justin AmashJustin AmashTrump allies assail impeachment on process while House Democrats promise open hearings soon Hoyer: We are going to move as fast 'as the facts and truth dictate' on open hearings Conway spars with Wallace on whether White House will cooperate with impeachment inquiry after formal vote MORE (Mich.), Andy Biggs (Ariz.), Paul GosarPaul Anthony GosarGosar leaves message in tweets: 'Epstein didn't kill himself' Omar comes under scrutiny for 'present' vote on Armenian genocide House passes bill to prohibit mining near Grand Canyon MORE (Ariz.), Glen Grothman (Wis.), Thomas MassieThomas Harold MassieGOP lawmaker says newly-released Butina was jailed due to 'Russophobia' O'Rourke gun confiscation talk alarms Democrats Scalise blasts Democratic legislation on gun reforms MORE (Ky.), Chip RoyCharles (Chip) Eugene RoyLawmakers from both sides of the aisle mourn Cummings Trump congratulates China on anniversary as GOP lawmakers decry communist rule Texas Republicans sound alarm about rapidly evolving state MORE (Texas) and Ted YohoTheodore (Ted) Scott YohoHaley: Giuliani should've been named 'special envoy' to Ukraine GOP lawmakers express concerns about Giuliani's work in Ukraine CNN slams GOP for not appearing on network after mass shootings, conservatives fire back MORE (Fla.).

Trump has pledged to sign the bill, which passed the Senate yesterday.

Even so, federal employees won't receive any of that money until the shutdown ends, hitting workers living paycheck-to-paycheck the hardest. Banks and credit unions are scrambling to help those workers with mortgage payment deferrals, low or no-interest loans and overdraft protection.

But at some point, lenders will be forced to make tough decisions about how much they can aid workers if the shutdown lasts as long as the White House is expecting.

Rob Nichols, president of the American Bankers Association, urged the "administration and Congress to end the standoff before it does any more damage to the economy, federal employees and everyday citizens."

"Our member banks across the country report that the shutdown is starting to take a toll on local communities, preventing customers from securing mortgage approvals and small business loans, while threatening even more harm if the impasse continues," Nichols said.

 

LEADING THE DAY

House Dems pass more funding bills: The House approved legislation that would fund and reopen the Interior Department, Environmental Protection Agency and Forest Service in an 240-179 vote on Friday, the latest effort by Democrats to put pressure on Republicans and President Trump to end the partial shutdown.

Ten Republicans joined Democrats in voting for the measure. They were GOP Reps. Rodney DavisRodney Lee DavisNew hemp trade group presses lawmakers on immigration reform, regs Shimkus says he's reconsidering retirement Shimkus says he's been asked to reconsider retirement MORE (Ill.), Brian FitzpatrickBrian K. FitzpatrickHillicon Valley: Critics press feds to block Google, Fitbit deal | Twitter takes down Hamas, Hezbollah-linked accounts | TikTok looks to join online anti-terrorism effort | Apple pledges .5B to affordable housing Twitter takes down Hamas, Hezbollah-affiliated accounts after lawmaker pressure GOP lawmakers express concerns about Giuliani's work in Ukraine MORE (Pa.), Jaime Herrera BeutlerJaime Lynn Herrera BeutlerGOP lawmakers offer new election security measure GOP group calls out five House Republicans to speak up on Ukraine Dems push to revive Congress' tech office MORE (Wash.), Will HurdWilliam Ballard HurdThe Hill's 12:30 Report: Democrats open televised impeachment hearings Here are the key players to watch at impeachment hearing Hillicon Valley: Schumer questions Army over use of TikTok | Federal court rules against random searches of travelers' phones | Groups push for election security funds in stopgap bill | Facebook's new payment feature | Disney+ launch hit by glitches MORE (Texas), John KatkoJohn Michael KatkoProgressive group unveils first slate of 2020 congressional endorsements Democratic lawmakers call on Judiciary Committee to advance 'revenge porn' law Katie Hill resignation reignites push for federal 'revenge porn' law MORE (N.Y.), Adam KinzingerAdam Daniel KinzingerHonoring service before self House approves Turkey sanctions in rare bipartisan rebuke of Trump The Hill's 12:30 Report — Presented by Nareit — White House cheers Republicans for storming impeachment hearing MORE (Ill.), Chris SmithChristopher (Chris) Henry SmithChina threatens 'strong countermeasures' if Congress passes Hong Kong legislation This week: Congress returns to chaotic Washington Nancy Pelosi is ready for this fight MORE (N.J.), Elise StefanikElise Marie StefanikFive takeaways from ex-ambassador's dramatic testimony Trump defends Yovanovitch attack: 'I have freedom of speech' Live coverage: Ex-Ukraine ambassador testifies in public impeachment hearing MORE (N.Y.), Fred UptonFrederick (Fred) Stephen UptonShimkus says he's reconsidering retirement Shimkus says he's been asked to reconsider retirement Trump urges GOP to fight for him MORE (Mich.) and Greg WaldenGregory (Greg) Paul WaldenHillicon Valley: Twitter shares more details on political ad rules | Supreme Court takes up Google-Oracle fight | Pentagon chief defends Microsoft cloud contract House, Senate announce agreement on anti-robocall bill House panel advances flavored e-cigarette ban MORE (Ore.).

It was the fourth measure approved by the Democratic-controlled House this week. Democrats are voting on a series of bills to open up the parts of the government closed since Dec. 22, which has left about 800,000 federal workers furloughed or working without pay.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellOn The Money: Trump asks Supreme Court to block Dem subpoena for financial records | Kudlow 'very optimistic' for new NAFTA deal | House passes Ex-Im Bank bill opposed by Trump, McConnell Top House Democrats ask for review of DHS appointments Warren promises gradual move toward 'Medicare for All' in first 100 days MORE (R-Ky.) has said he will not bring any of the bills up to a vote in the Senate until there is a deal between Trump and Democrats on the president's demand for border wall funding. The Hill's Juliegrace Brufke has more here.

 

Unions sue over shutdown: Federal employee unions filed a lawsuit Friday alleging that the government is violating federal labor laws by requiring employees deemed "essential" to continue working through the partial shutdown without pay.

The lawsuit in the U.S. Court of Federal Claims in Washington, D.C., was brought by the National Federation of Federal Employees, the National Association of Government Employees SEIU, the National Weather Service Employees Organization and the law firm Snider & Associates on behalf of federal workers.

The 19-page complaint accuses the federal government of violating the Fair Labor Standards Act by not paying workers overtime and minimum wage. The Hill's Lydia Wheeler has more here.

  

GOP senators pitch immigration-wall deal as shutdown talks stall: A pair of Republican senators introduced legislation on Friday that would pair President Trump's border funding request with a fix for an Obama-era immigration program, as lawmakers hunt for an end to the ongoing partial government shutdown. The Hill's Jordain Carney tells us more here.

 

GOOD TO KNOW

 

ODDS AND ENDS

  • The marijuana industry is boasting its largest lobbying team in Washington ever, as it gears up to push through major legislation in 2019.
  • The Trump administration is considering moving forward with a major conservative change to Medicaid by allowing states to get block grants for the program.