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 TrumpA better VA, with mental health services, is essential for America's veterans Pelosi, Nadler tangle on impeachment, contempt vote Trump arrives in Japan to kick off 4-day state visit 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 pushing for GOP donor's company to get border wall contract: report Trump family members will join state visit to UK Top Palestinian negotiator: Trump wants our surrender 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 AmashEx-GOP lawmaker pens op-ed calling for Trump to be impeached On The Money: Senate passes disaster aid bill after deal with Trump | Trump to offer B aid package for farmers | House votes to boost retirement savings | Study says new tariffs to double costs for consumers Amash: Some of Trump's actions 'were inherently corrupt' MORE (Mich.), Andy Biggs (Ariz.), Paul GosarPaul Anthony GosarGOP lawmakers lay out border security proposals for DHS House Freedom Caucus votes to condemn Amash's impeachment comments Amash storm hits Capitol Hill MORE (Ariz.), Glen Grothman (Wis.), Thomas MassieThomas Harold MassieOn The Money: Senate passes disaster aid bill after deal with Trump | Trump to offer B aid package for farmers | House votes to boost retirement savings | Study says new tariffs to double costs for consumers Republicans attempt to amend retirement savings bill to include anti-BDS language House votes to boost retirement savings MORE (Ky.), Chip RoyCharles (Chip) Eugene RoyOn The Money: Conservative blocks disaster relief bill | Trade high on agenda as Trump heads to Japan | Boeing reportedly faces SEC probe over 737 Max | Study finds CEO pay rising twice as fast as worker pay The Hill's 12:30 Report: Trump orders more troops to Mideast amid Iran tensions Conservative blocks House passage of disaster relief bill MORE (Texas) and Ted YohoTheodore (Ted) Scott YohoSecrecy behind Saudi nuclear talks infuriates Congress Congress can finally ensure horses are not tortured for ribbons and prizes Trump's decision on health care law puts spotlight on Mulvaney 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 DavisThe Go-Go's rock the stage at annual 'We Write the Songs' DC concert House Administration Committee to make election security a 'primary focus' GOP voices skepticism about viability of T infrastructure deal MORE (Ill.), Brian FitzpatrickBrian K. FitzpatrickHere are the eight Republicans who voted with Democrats on the Equality Act House approves anti-LGBT discrimination Equality Act This week: House to vote on bill to ban LGBTQ discrimination MORE (Pa.), Jaime Herrera BeutlerJaime Lynn Herrera BeutlerDems push to revive Congress' tech office Bill allowing Congress to hire Dreamers advances House fails to override Trump veto on border wall MORE (Wash.), Will HurdWilliam Ballard HurdDemocrats talk subpoena for Mueller Here are the eight Republicans who voted with Democrats on the Equality Act House approves anti-LGBT discrimination Equality Act MORE (Texas), John KatkoJohn Michael KatkoAfter National Police Week, clearer heads must prevail in legislation slashing Amtrak security Here are the eight Republicans who voted with Democrats on the Equality Act House approves anti-LGBT discrimination Equality Act MORE (N.Y.), Adam KinzingerAdam Daniel KinzingerOvernight Defense: Trump officials say efforts to deter Iran are working | Trump taps new Air Force secretary | House panel passes defense bill that limits border wall funds Trump taps new Air Force secretary The Hill's 12:30 Report: Alabama abortion bill revives national debate MORE (Ill.), Chris SmithChristopher (Chris) Henry SmithThirty-four GOP members buck Trump on disaster bill House votes to overturn Trump ObamaCare move Main Street businesses need permanent tax relief to grow MORE (N.J.), Elise StefanikElise Marie StefanikHillicon Valley: Lawmakers seek 'time out' on facial recognition tech | DHS asks cybersecurity staff to volunteer for border help | Judge rules Qualcomm broke antitrust law | Bill calls for 5G national security strategy Bipartisan House bill calls for strategy to protect 5G networks from foreign threats Here are the eight Republicans who voted with Democrats on the Equality Act MORE (N.Y.), Fred UptonFrederick (Fred) Stephen UptonThirty-four GOP members buck Trump on disaster bill Overnight Health Care: Lawmakers get deal to advance long-stalled drug pricing bill | House votes to condemn Trump's anti-ObamaCare push | Eight House Republicans join with Dems | Trump officials approve Medicaid expansion in Maine The 8 Republicans who voted against Trump's anti-ObamaCare push MORE (Mich.) and Greg WaldenGregory (Greg) Paul WaldenHouse Democrats seek bipartisan working group on net neutrality Overnight Health Care — Presented by PCMA — Senators unveil sweeping bipartisan health care package | House lawmakers float Medicare pricing reforms | Dems offer bill to guarantee abortion access Here are the eight Republicans who voted with Democrats on the Equality Act 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 McConnellThe Hill's 12:30 Report: Trump orders more troops to Mideast amid Iran tensions What if 2020 election is disputed? Immigration bills move forward amid political upheaval 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.