On The Money: Lawmakers closing in on border deal | Dems build case for Trump tax returns | Trump, Xi won't meet before trade deadline | Waters in talks with Mnuchin for testimony

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.

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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--Lawmakers say they're closing in on border deal to prevent shutdown: Lawmakers on Thursday said they are closing in on an agreement to prevent a second partial government shutdown and resolve the months-long fight over President TrumpDonald John Trump#IStandWithIlhan trends after crowd at Trump rally chants 'Send her back' 'Racism' top search after Trump rally: Merriam Webster Ocasio-Cortez offers encouragement to those 'scared for our future' after Trump rally MORE's proposed border wall.

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Congress has until Feb. 15 to send the president legislation, but negotiators consider Monday their unofficial deadline to ensure an agreement has enough time to make it through both chambers and to Trump's desk by next Friday.  

 

What they're saying:

 

How we got here: The acceleration of negotiations is a drastic turnaround from Monday, when the bicameral conference committee was off to a painfully slow start and had not, according to lawmakers, begun talking about "substance" yet.

But there were signs of progress on Thursday, when Shelby briefed Trump and Vice President Pence at the White House about the negotiations.

  • "If we can work within some of the parameters that we've talked about today ... I think he would sign it," Shelby said. "And I think he's, from my perspective, been quite reasonable."
  • "Both sides are moving along. We'll see what happens," Trump said at the White House. "We need border security. We have to have it. It's not an option. Let's see what happens."

 

What comes next: In addition to Trump, any agreement would need to get approval from congressional leadership. House Speaker Nancy PelosiNancy PelosiHouse unravels with rise of 'Les Enfants Terrible' Will Trump's racist tweets backfire? Al Green: 'We have the opportunity to punish' Trump with impeachment vote MORE (D-Calif.) said she was being a "non-interventionist" on the talks and had urged the White House to take the same position. 

"Just let them do their work, and then hopefully, that will get some good news in a short period of time," she told reporters.

 

LEADING THE DAY

Trump, Xi won't meet before March 1 trade deadline: President Trump said Thursday he has no plans to meet with Chinese President Xi Jinping before a self-imposed March 1 deadline for the two countries to reach a trade agreement.

Trump was also noncommittal when asked if there would be a meeting in the next month or so, saying "not yet, maybe."

"Probably too soon. Probably too soon," he said of a meeting in that timeframe.

The comments came after White House officials said the two sides remained far apart on key trade disputes, stoking fears about the potential for U.S.-China trade tensions to flare once again. The Hill's Jordan Fabian tells us more.

Stock markets plunged on the news. The Dow Jones Industrial Average finished the day down more than 220 points and the S&P 500 Index fell almost 1 percent.

The U.S. and China reached a temporary trade truce in December, with the Trump administration agreeing to hold off on raising tariffs on billions of dollars in Chinese imports from 10 percent to 25 percent while both sides negotiated a broader agreement.

 

Dems build case for Trump tax returns: House Democrats on Thursday used a much-anticipated Ways and Means Committee subcommittee hearing to help make their case for obtaining President Trump's tax returns from the Treasury Department.

"When we have cause for concern over conflicts or tax violations, we have every reason to use the authority given to this committee. The law is on our side," Rep. Bill PascrellWilliam (Bill) James PascrellHow Trump suddenly brought Democrats together on a resolution condemning him 82-year-old House Democrat asks 'The Squad' if he can join Democrats struggle with repeal of key Trump tax provision MORE (D-N.J.), a leader in Democrats' push to obtain Trump's tax returns, said at Thursday's hearing.

The big picture: Obtaining Trump's tax returns is one of the new House Democratic majority's top oversight priorities. Democrats are interested in reviewing the documents to learn about any possible conflicts of interests that Trump may have.

What's next: A provision in the federal tax code allows the chairmen of Congress's tax committees to request anyone's tax returns from the Treasury Department and review them in a closed session. The committees could vote to send a report on the returns to the full House or Senate, and tax-return information in the report could then become public.

Ways and Means Committee Chairman Richard NealRichard Edmund NealFinish the work of building a renewable fuels industry Tlaib blasts Foreign Affairs Committee's anti-BDS bill as 'unconstitutional' Top Republican offers resolution following Trump tax return lawsuit MORE (D-Mass.) has said he plans to use his authority to request Trump's tax returns, but he's also said he wants to move methodically because the request is likely to lead to a lengthy legal battle. Neal is facing pressure from progressives to move quickly with the 2020 election approaching.

 

Waters in talks with Mnuchin for testimony on Russia sanctions: Rep. Maxine WatersMaxine Moore WatersSenators unload on Facebook cryptocurrency at hearing Democrat Sherrod Brown torches Facebook at hearing: They 'broke journalism,' 'helped incite a genocide' House Democrats mull bill to ban Facebook cryptocurrency project MORE (D-Calif.) is reportedly in talks with Treasury Secretary Steven MnuchinSteven Terner MnuchinBen Carson: Trump is not a racist and his comments were not racist The Hill's Morning Report - A raucous debate on race ends with Trump admonishment White House, Congress inch toward debt, budget deal MORE about testifying before her committee about the Trump administration's decision to ease sanctions on companies tied to Oleg Deripaska, a Russian oligarch with links to Vladimir Putin.

Politico and CNN report that Waters and Mnuchin spoke on Wednesday about possible dates for Mnuchin's testimony before the House Financial Services Committee.

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Waters told reporters on Wednesday that her committee would seek to understand why the Trump administration reduced sanctions on three companies after Deripaska reduced his ownership stake in the firms.

 

GOOD TO KNOW: 

 

ODDS AND ENDS

  • Johnson & Johnson said Thursday it will start showing the list price of its prescription drugs in television ads, making it the first company to do so.
  • Op-Ed: Rachel Greszler, senior policy analyst at the Heritage Foundation, argues that federal workers need to see a "drastic overhaul"  of their compensation system instead of a pay raise.