On The Money: Trump to sign border deal, declare emergency to build wall | Senate passes funding bill, House to follow | Dems promise challenge to emergency declaration

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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THE BIG DEAL—Trump to sign border deal, declare national emergency: President TrumpDonald John TrumpNASA exec leading moon mission quits weeks after appointment The Hill's Morning Report — After contentious week, Trump heads for Japan Frustration boils over with Senate's 'legislative graveyard' MORE will declare a national emergency to fund his demand to build a border wall, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellThe Hill's Morning Report — After contentious week, Trump heads for Japan Frustration boils over with Senate's 'legislative graveyard' New Yorker cover titled 'The Shining' shows Graham, McConnell, Barr polishing Trump's shoes MORE (R-Ky.) announced on the Senate floor Thursday.

"I had an opportunity to speak with President Trump and he, I would say to all my colleagues, has indicated he's prepared to sign the bill. He also [will] be issuing a national emergency declaration at the same time. I indicated I'm going to support the national emergency declaration," McConnell announced shortly after 3 p.m. Thursday.

The White House affirmed Trump would sign the package minutes later in an emailed statement from press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders.

“President Trump will sign the government funding bill, and as he has stated before, he will also take other executive action - including a national emergency - to ensure we stop the national security and humanitarian crisis at the border,” Sanders said.

The Senate passed the bill shortly after McConnell’s announcement by an 83-16 vote following several hours of drama.

  • There were rising doubts that Trump would actually sign the deal, which funds a quarter of the government that is poised to run out of funding at midnight on Friday.

  • McConnell, who reportedly advised Trump not to declare a national emergency, said he will support the president's action.

  • "I think he ought to feel free to use whatever tools he can legally use to enhance his effort to secure the border, so no I would not be troubled by that," McConnell told reporters.

GOP split on emergency declaration while Dems promise legal action: While McConnell came around to supporting the emergency maneuver after previously opposing it, his conference has mixed feelings about the decision.

Democrats seized on the decision and said it would almost certainly be challenged in court.

What comes next: The House is expected to clear the bill later tonight and send it to Trump, who has until the end of Friday to sign it before 25 percent of the federal government shuts down.


US retail sales suffer steepest drop in nine years: U.S. retail sales in December suffered their worst decline in nine years, according to Commerce Department data released Thursday, a potential red flag for economic growth.

Advance estimates of December 2018 retail and food services sales, a major driver of the U.S. economy, fell 1.2 percent from the previous month, to $505.8 billion, according to the Census Bureau.

The drop is the steepest plunge in retails sales since August 2009, according to a Bloomberg News analysis of Commerce Department data.

Consumer spending is responsible for roughly 70 percent of U.S. growth and considered a key indicator of future economic conditions. The unexpected December plunge is the latest in a series of signs that growth is starting to slow after gradually accelerating since 2017. I’ve got more on the data here.

Push for paid family leave heats up ahead of 2020: The issue of paid family leave is receiving renewed attention from the White House and lawmakers in both parties, putting it in the spotlight ahead of the 2020 election.

Ivanka TrumpIvana (Ivanka) Marie TrumpTrump family members will join state visit to UK The Hill's 12:30 Report: Trump blows up meeting after Pelosi 'cover up' remarks Trump adviser expected to leave White House, join Juul MORE, the president’s daughter and senior adviser, met with a group of Republican senators on Wednesday to discuss ways to push the issue forward. And Sen. Kirsten GillibrandKirsten Elizabeth Gillibrand2020 Democrats join striking McDonald's workers Fox News contributor Campos-Duffy compares abortion to slavery 2020 Dems put spotlight on disabilities issues MORE (D-N.Y.), who is running for president, reintroduced her legislation Tuesday to create a federal paid family and medical leave program.

Republicans and Democrats have different thoughts about how to approach paid family leave, and legislation on the issue is unlikely to be enacted in the immediate future. But the latest flurry of activity is putting new momentum behind the complicated issue.

The Hill’s Naomi Jagoda tells us what to know about the debate.



  • President Trump is reportedly mulling a 60-day extension for the deadline to impose higher tariffs on Chinese imports, Bloomberg News reported late Wednesday.



  • The Federal Trade Commission is reportedly pushing for a record multibillion-dollar fine against Facebook over privacy violations following an investigation into the company’s handling of the Cambridge Analytica scandal.

  • Amazon on Thursday announced that it has canceled plans to open its second headquarters, dubbed "HQ2," in New York City following aggressive pushback from some local lawmakers and activists.