On The Money: GOP bristles over Trump plan to fund wall | Treasury sanctions Venezuelans who blocked aid | IRS watchdog to retire this year | Trump CFO in the spotlight | Lyft files to go public

On The Money: GOP bristles over Trump plan to fund wall | Treasury sanctions Venezuelans who blocked aid | IRS watchdog to retire this year | Trump CFO in the spotlight | Lyft files to go public
© Greg Nash

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.

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--GOP bristles over plan to shift military funding to border wall: GOP concerns are bubbling up over the administration's plans to divert billions in military construction money as part of 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's national emergency declaration.

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As part of an effort to pull together roughly $8 billion for the U.S.-Mexico border wall, the administration will redirect $3.6 billion originally appropriated for military construction projects across the country.

Trump's decision has sparked bipartisan backlash on Capitol Hill, where Republicans are openly concerned that the president is blurring the separation of powers and attempting to override Congress's government funding decisions. The Hill's Jordain Carney tells us more about it.

 

Reactions:

 

LEADING THE DAY

Treasury sanctions Venezuelans who blocked aid: The Treasury Department on Friday announced new sanctions against Venezuelan officials who played a role in blocking humanitarian aid from entering the country from Brazil and Colombia over the weekend.

"Former President Nicolas Maduro's border blockades of trucks and ships loaded with humanitarian aid are the latest example of his illegitimate regime weaponizing the delivery of food and critically needed supplies in order to control vulnerable Venezuelans," said Treasury Secretary Steven MnuchinSteven Terner MnuchinThe Hill's Morning Report — After contentious week, Trump heads for Japan Artist designs stamp to put Harriet Tubman's face over Jackson's on bills 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 MORE in a statement. 

"We are sanctioning members of Maduro's security forces in response to the reprehensible violence, tragic deaths, and unconscionable torching of food and medicine destined for sick and starving Venezuelans," he added.

The background: On Feb, 23, an operation to introduce humanitarian aid into the struggling country, led by opposition leader Juan Guaidó, was blockaded by security forces loyal to Maduro.

At least two people died after loyalist paramilitary groups, known as "colectivos," fired on civilians attempting to move food and medicine into Venezuela.

The penalties: The new sanctions, delivered by the Treasury's Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC), target top military brass, as well as regional commanders, special forces commanders and the national police. The Hill's Rafael Bernal tells us more here.

 

IRS watchdog plans to retire this year: Nina Olson, who has served as the IRS's in-house watchdog since 2001, announced on Friday that she is planning to retire from her job leading the Taxpayer Advocate Service (TAS) later this year.

"It is with a mix of excitement and bittersweet emotions that I am announcing today I will be retiring from the position of National Taxpayer Advocate on July 31, 2019," Olson wrote in a blog post on the TAS website.

Olson leads an organization that helps taxpayers resolve their issues with the IRS. She releases an annual report to Congress about the most serious problems taxpayers encounter, with her latest report focusing on the IRS's outdated technology and the impact of the government shutdown on the agency. The Hill's Naomi Jagoda brings us up to speed here.

 

Lyft files to go public: Lyft filed the paperwork with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) to go public on Friday, beating rival Uber as the first of the two ride-sharing companies to start an initial public offering.

The company is seeking to raise as much as $100 million in the IPO.

Lyft said it brought in $2.2 billion in revenue in 2018 — double the turnover from 2017 and more than three times what it made in 2016 — but registered a net loss of $911 million for the year.

"We have a history of net losses and we may not be able to achieve or maintain profitability in the future," the filing warned. The Hill's Harper Neidig has more here on Lyft's plans.

 

Trump CFO under scrutiny: The spotlight is shining brightly on the Trump Organization’s chief financial officer following explosive testimony this week from Michael Cohen, who repeatedly pointed to Allen Weisselberg as someone who could tell Congress all it wants to know about the president’s business.

Cohen, Trump’s former personal lawyer, told lawmakers on the House Oversight and Reform Committee on Wednesday that Weisselberg would be able to support allegations that President Trump knew about hush money payments made to women alleging affairs with Trump, and that he could provide details on the president’s potentially illegal tax practices.

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Weisselberg reportedly has an immunity deal with federal prosecutors in New York, who Cohen said Wednesday are investigating other alleged illegal acts involving Trump. If he appeared before Congress — and several Democrats are signaling they want him to — it could give lawmakers an opening to learn what those prosecutors have already found out.

Rep. Elijah CummingsElijah Eugene CummingsNancy Pelosi fends off impeachment wave — for now House Democrats, Trump lawyers ask appeals court to expedite subpoena case Lawmakers call for 'time out' on facial recognition tech MORE (D-Md.), Oversight’s chairman, said the committee will “probably” call in Weisselberg. The Hill's Jacqueline Thomsen and Brett Samuels have more on why Weisselberg is a person of interest to Democrats.

 

ON TAP NEXT WEEK

Tuesday:

  • A Senate Judiciary subcommittee holds a hearing entitled "Does America Have a Monopoly Problem?: Examining Concentration and Competition in the US Economy," 2:30 p.m.

Wednesday:

  • The Senate Small Business Committee holds a hearing entitled "Small Business and the American Worker," 10 a.m.
  • The House Ways and Means Committee holds a hearing entitled "Our Nation's Crumbling Infrastructure and the Need For Immediate Action," 10 a.m.
  • A House Appropriations subcommittee holds a hearing on oversight of student loan servicers, 10:30 a.m.
  • The House Small Business Committee holds a hearing on infrastructure investment, 11 a.m.

Thursday:

  • Consumer Financial Protection Bureau Director Kathy Kraninger will testify before the House Financial Services Committee on the bureau's semi-annual report to Congress, 10 a.m.
  • A Senate Small Business subcommittee holds a hearing entitled "China: Challenges for U.S. Commerce," 10 a.m.
  • Nina Olson, National Taxpayer Advocate for the IRS, testifies before the House Ways and Means Committee on the 2019 tax filing season, 10 a.m.
  • A House Health and Labor subcommittee holds a hearing on the multi-employer pension crisis, 10:15 a.m.
  • A House Appropriations subcommittee holds a hearing on affordable housing production, 10:30 a.m.

 

GOOD TO KNOW

  • Amazon Inc. is planning to launch a chain of grocery stores in the U.S., with the first location set to open before the end of 2019.
  • The Canadian government announced Friday that it will move forward with a hearing to extradite Huawei executive Meng Wanzhou to the U.S.
  • Black homeownership in the U.S. has fallen to 43 percent in 2017, "virtually erasing all of the gains made since the passage of the Fair Housing Act in 1968," The Washington Post reported.

 

RECAP THE WEEK WITH ON THE MONEY