On The Money: Shutdown Day 27 | Trump fires back at Pelosi by canceling her foreign travel | Dems blast 'petty' move | Trump also cancels delegation to Davos | House votes to disapprove of Trump lifting Russia sanction

On The Money: Shutdown Day 27 | Trump fires back at Pelosi by canceling her foreign travel | Dems blast 'petty' move | Trump also cancels delegation to Davos | House votes to disapprove of Trump lifting Russia sanction
© Greg Nash

Happy Thursday 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.

See something I missed? Let me know at slane@thehill.com or tweet me @SylvanLane. And if you like your newsletter, you can subscribe to it here: http://bit.ly/1NxxW2N.

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 fires back at Pelosi, cancels her foreign travel: President TrumpDonald John TrumpWinners and losers from the South Carolina debate Five takeaways from the Democratic debate Democrats duke it out in most negative debate so far MORE on Thursday hit back at Speaker Nancy PelosiNancy PelosiOcasio-Cortez: Trump would 'never' say to her face some of the shots he takes at her on Twitter Oversight Committee room to be dedicated to late Rep. Elijah Cummings Lawmakers raise alarms over Trump coronavirus response MORE (D-Calif.) for warning she may postpone the State of the Union address by scrapping her planned trip overseas.


In a letter to Pelosi, Trump told her that a congressional delegation trip she intended to take to Brussels, Egypt and Afghanistan, which he dismissed as a "public relations event," is now "postponed."

"We will reschedule this seven-day excursion when the shutdown is over," Trump wrote. "I also feel that, during this period, it would be better if you were in Washington negotiating with me and joining the Strong Border Security movement to end the shutdown."

The announcement means that Trump will refuse to provide military transportation for lawmakers to make the journey, which would have included a stop in a war zone, according to the White House.

Trump added, however, if Pelosi wanted to go ahead by flying commercial, "that would certainly be your prerogative." The Hill's Jordan Fabian has more here on the latest in a bizarre series of power plays. 


Why the White House says Trump did it:

  • "If she had gone on this trip, she would have guaranteed that 800,000 federal workers would not receive their second paycheck because she would not have been here to negotiate any kind of deal," White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said in an email explaining the decision.

Pelosi's office responds:

  • Pelosi's office said the trip, which was not previously announced, would have included meetings with top NATO commanders in Brussels "to affirm the United States' ironclad commitment" to the alliance as well as a visit with troops serving in Afghanistan.
  • "The purpose of the trip was to express appreciation and thanks to our men and women in uniform for their service and dedication, and to obtain critical national security and intelligence briefings from those on the front lines," Hammill said in a statement.


More reaction: "Petty"..."inappropriate"..."sophomoric":  Trump move drew harsh rebukes from critics ranging from top Democrats to some of his closest Republican allies.


Here's what's so weird about it:

  • Trump and Pelosi are both political brawlers, but politicians tend to keep domestic squabbles out of foreign affairs. While "politics ends at the ocean's shore" usually applies to criticism of the president's performance on the global stage, visits to troops serving in combat zones are usually kept out of the partisan fray.
  • There's also some pretty massive security implications here. Pelosi's trip was kept secret due to security concerns since she's second-in-line to the presidency and thus a massive target for America's enemies. The same secrecy also applies to presidential and vice presidential trips, like Trump's recent surprise visit to Iraq.
  • The timing was brutal, too. Trump sent out his letter around 2:15 p.m. this afternoon, just more than an hour before Pelosi and lawmakers were scheduled to leave. Reporters snapped pictures of a bus waiting to take the Democrats to the airport while Trump's letter came in.


Meanwhile, Trump and Democrats are no closer to a deal to end the shutdown, now in it's 27th day. The president used a speech at the Pentagon earlier Thursday to rip Democrats for refusing his demand for $5.7 billion for a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border.

"The party has been hijacked by the open-borders fringe within the party," Trump said. "The radical left becoming the radical Democrats. Hopefully, Democrat lawmakers will step forward to do what is right for our country.


Then, the House rejected a GOP measure to pay furloughed workers but keep the government closed in a 222-195 vote.

Six Democrats voted for the GOP measure, offered as an alternative to a Democratic bill to reopen the government. The Democratic bill to fund the government through Feb. 28 is expected to pass the House but will be dead on arrival in the Senate.

Democrats will seek a revote next week on the measure to reopen the government after a Thursday attempt blew up into a partisan bickering match on the House floor.

Chaos broke out after Republicans blasted Democrats for passing a stopgap spending measure to reopen the government through voice vote. The vote will be postponed after Republicans called foul on their request for a roll call vote not being granted.


Across Capitol Hill, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellRepublicans give Barr vote of confidence Democrats block two Senate abortion bills VA could lead way for nation on lower drug pricing MORE (R-Ky.) blocked legislation on Thursday that would have reopened most of the federal government impacted by the partial shutdown.

Sen. Tim KaineTimothy (Tim) Michael KaineRepublicans give Barr vote of confidence The Hill's Morning Report — AG Barr, GOP senators try to rein Trump in Overnight Defense: Senate votes to rein in Trump war powers on Iran | Pentagon shifting .8B to border wall | US, Taliban negotiate seven-day 'reduction in violence' MORE (D-Va.) tried to get consent to take up a House-passed bill that would reopen all agencies except the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), which is at the center of the shutdown fight. But McConnell objected.

And while the politicians flight, more than 1,500 federal workers have turned to begging for money on the Internet to make ends meet. A group of House Democrats on Thursday rolled out legislation that would require the Treasury Department to provide loans to federal employees hurt by the government shutdown.



Ocasio-Cortez, freshmen poised to take on Wall Street: An influx of young, progressive freshman members, headlined by Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-CortezAlexandria Ocasio-CortezOcasio-Cortez: Trump would 'never' say to her face some of the shots he takes at her on Twitter Ocasio-Cortez suggests a Bloomberg presidency would pave the way for 'a worse Trump' Twitter falling short on pledge to verify primary candidates MORE (D-N.Y.), is set to create new headaches for Wall Street and its allies in Washington.

Ocasio-Cortez and several of her newly elected Democratic colleagues are joining the Financial Services Committee, the powerful House panel overseeing banks, lenders and markets.

The rising liberal stars will soon enjoy a prominent platform in their efforts to push the party to the left, moves that could result in clashes with Democratic colleagues who have close ties to the financial sector.

Reps. Ayanna PressleyAyanna PressleyProgressive Democrat confronts Rep. Cuellar at parade, calls for him to debate her: report There's no such thing as a free bus Don't let 'welfare for all' advocates derail administration's food stamp program reforms MORE (D-Mass.), Rashida TlaibRashida Harbi TlaibOmar offers sneak peek at her forthcoming memoir Sanders wins endorsement of top Muslim group Don't let 'welfare for all' advocates derail administration's food stamp program reforms MORE (D-Mich.) and Katie Porter (D-Calif.) appear to be ideologically in step with Rep. Maxine WatersMaxine Moore WatersMaxine Waters: Gang members have 'more integrity' than 'street player' Trump Maxine Waters blasts Trump as 'mafia boss' over Stone case Democrats highlight lack of diversity at major banks in new report MORE (D-Calif.), the new head of the Financial Services Committee who has pledged to "undo the damage" of Trump administration regulatory rollbacks and to hold big banks under close scrutiny. I'll tell you what to expect here

House chairman calls for Mnuchin to testify on shutdown's economic effects: The chairman of a House panel has called on Treasury Secretary Steven MnuchinSteven Terner MnuchinFinancial trade tax gains traction with 2020 Democrats Hillicon Valley: Agencies play catch-up over TikTok security concerns | Senate Dems seek sanctions on Russia over new election meddling | Pentagon unveils AI principles Senate Democrats urge Trump administration to impose sanctions on Russia for election interference MORE to testify in a public hearing next week on the economic effects of the partial government shutdown.

House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Richard NealRichard Edmund NealWyden, Mnuchin clash over Trump tax returns, Hunter Biden probe Overnight Health Care: House panel advances legislation on surprise medical bills | Planned Parenthood, ACLU sue over Trump abortion coverage rule | CDC identifies 13th US patient with coronavirus White House warns of raising health costs in debate over surprise medical bills MORE (D-Mass.) made the request in a letter to Mnuchin sent Wednesday night. The Trump administration official has not yet responded to the request, which asks him to appear before the panel on Jan. 24.

Economists say that the shutdown, which will pass its one-month mark next week, is starting to eat into economic growth. The White House has itself doubled its estimate on how much the shutdown is costing the economy, projecting that it would reduce quarterly economic growth by 0.13 percentage points each week it lasts. The Hill's Niv Elis fills us in.

Davos trip scrapped too: Mnuchin was scheduled to lead a U.S. delegation to the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, between Jan. 22 and 25. Late Thursday, the White House scrapped the delegation's trip, citing the government shutdown.


Dow jumps after report that US mulling lifting China tariffs: The Dow Jones Industrial Average jumped 250 points on Thursday afternoon following a report that the Trump administration is considering scaling back tariffs on China. The Dow closed for the day up 163 points.


Citing people close to the deliberations, The Wall Street Journal reported that Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin has raised the prospect of lowering tariffs as a means of advancing stalled trade talks with China. According to the report, U.S. Trade Representative Robert LighthizerRobert (Bob) Emmet LighthizerGOP senator warns quick vote on new NAFTA would be 'huge mistake' Pelosi casts doubt on USMCA deal in 2019 Pelosi sounds hopeful on new NAFTA deal despite tensions with White House MORE opposes the move, worrying that it would be seen as a sign of weakness.

  • The Trump administration has imposed tariffs on billions worth of Chinese imports. Trump agreed to postpone until March 1 a scheduled increase in tariffs on $200 billion of imports, from 10 percent to 25 percent.
  • Both the U.S. and China have felt the economic effects of the trade war. In November, China imported no U.S. soybeans for the first time since the protracted trade battle began, while China has scaled back its economic growth projections.

A Treasury spokesperson denied that Mnuchin had recommended such a plan. "Neither Secretary Mnuchin nor Ambassador Lighthizer have made any recommendations to anyone with respect to tariffs or other parts of the negotiation with China. This an ongoing process with the Chinese that is nowhere near completion," the spokesperson said.