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 TrumpSenate GOP budget ignores Trump, cuts defense Trump says he'll nominate Stephen Moore to Fed White House: ISIS territory in Syria has been 100 percent eliminated 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 KushnerClinton and Ocasio-Cortez joke about Kushner's alleged use of WhatsApp Hillicon Valley: Kushner accused of using WhatsApp, personal email for official work | White House rejects request for Trump-Putin communications | Facebook left 'hundreds of millions' of passwords unsecured | Tech pressured to root out extremism Cummings says Ivanka Trump not preserving all official communications 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 AmashProperty is a fundamental right that is now being threatened GOP lawmaker tells party to 'do better' after O'Rourke St. Patrick's Day post The 25 Republicans who defied Trump on emergency declaration MORE (Mich.), Andy Biggs (Ariz.), Paul GosarPaul Anthony GosarTrump: I told Republicans to vote for 'transparency' in releasing Mueller report House votes for Mueller report to be made public The 23 Republicans who voted against the anti-hate resolution MORE (Ariz.), Glen Grothman (Wis.), Thomas MassieThomas Harold MassieThe 25 Republicans who defied Trump on emergency declaration Trump: I told Republicans to vote for 'transparency' in releasing Mueller report House votes for Mueller report to be made public MORE (Ky.), Chip RoyCharles (Chip) Eugene RoyThe 23 Republicans who voted against the anti-hate resolution House passes anti-hate measure amid Dem tensions The Hill's 12:30 Report: Dems aim to end anti-Semitism controversy with vote today MORE (Texas) and Ted YohoTheodore (Ted) Scott YohoThe 23 Republicans who voted against the anti-hate resolution House passes anti-hate measure amid Dem tensions The new Democratic Congress has an opportunity to move legislation to help horses 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 DavisOvernight Health Care: CDC pushes for expanding HIV testing, treatment | Dem group launches ads attacking Trump on Medicare, Medicaid cuts | Hospitals, insurers spar over surprise bills | O'Rourke under pressure from left on Medicare for all Dem group launches ads attacking Trump's 'hypocrisy on Medicare and Medicaid cuts' GOP lawmakers: House leaders already jockeying for leadership contests MORE (Ill.), Brian FitzpatrickBrian K. FitzpatrickThe importance of moderate voters Overnight Health Care: CDC pushes for expanding HIV testing, treatment | Dem group launches ads attacking Trump on Medicare, Medicaid cuts | Hospitals, insurers spar over surprise bills | O'Rourke under pressure from left on Medicare for all Dem group launches ads attacking Trump's 'hypocrisy on Medicare and Medicaid cuts' MORE (Pa.), Jaime Herrera BeutlerJaime Lynn Herrera BeutlerThe 25 Republicans who defied Trump on emergency declaration 13 House Republicans who bucked Trump on emergency declaration House votes to overturn Trump's emergency declaration MORE (Wash.), Will HurdWilliam Ballard HurdProperty is a fundamental right that is now being threatened The 25 Republicans who defied Trump on emergency declaration The 31 Trump districts that will determine the next House majority MORE (Texas), John KatkoJohn Michael KatkoThe importance of moderate voters Overnight Health Care: CDC pushes for expanding HIV testing, treatment | Dem group launches ads attacking Trump on Medicare, Medicaid cuts | Hospitals, insurers spar over surprise bills | O'Rourke under pressure from left on Medicare for all Dem group launches ads attacking Trump's 'hypocrisy on Medicare and Medicaid cuts' MORE (N.Y.), Adam KinzingerAdam Daniel KinzingerBooker, Gabbard to make appearances with Colbert The Hill's 12:30 Report: Cohen back on the hot seat The Hill's Morning Report - Citing probes, Trump says 2020 race has begun MORE (Ill.), Chris SmithChristopher (Chris) Henry SmithThe 31 Trump districts that will determine the next House majority Tax Foundation: Bill to restore full SALT deduction would benefit high earners Trump should push to end persecution of Chinese Christians as part of trade negotiations MORE (N.J.), Elise StefanikElise Marie StefanikThe 25 Republicans who defied Trump on emergency declaration 13 House Republicans who bucked Trump on emergency declaration House votes to overturn Trump's emergency declaration MORE (N.Y.), Fred UptonFrederick (Fred) Stephen UptonOvernight Health Care: CDC pushes for expanding HIV testing, treatment | Dem group launches ads attacking Trump on Medicare, Medicaid cuts | Hospitals, insurers spar over surprise bills | O'Rourke under pressure from left on Medicare for all Dem group launches ads attacking Trump's 'hypocrisy on Medicare and Medicaid cuts' The 25 Republicans who defied Trump on emergency declaration MORE (Mich.) and Greg WaldenGregory (Greg) Paul WaldenThe 25 Republicans who defied Trump on emergency declaration House GOP lawmaker says Green New Deal is like genocide Overnight Health Care — Presented by PCMA — FDA issues proposal to limit sales of flavored e-cigs | Trump health chief gets grilling | Divisions emerge over House drug pricing bills | Dems launch investigation into short-term health plans 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 McConnellTrump: Green New Deal 'the most preposterous thing' and 'easy to beat' 2020 Dems avoid this year's AIPAC conference GOP eager to exploit Dem court-packing fight 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.