On The Money: Trump shifts on border shutdown threat | Lawmakers fear 'catastrophic economic impact' from closure | Waters warns bankers she will take 'a hard look' to catch misconduct | Uncertainty over Dem spending proposal

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THE BIG DEAL-- Trump shifts on border shutdown threat: President TrumpDonald John TrumpLiz Cheney: 'Send her back' chant 'inappropriate' but not about race, gender Booker: Trump is 'worse than a racist' Top Democrat insists country hasn't moved on from Mueller MORE on Tuesday appeared to pull back from his threat to close the U.S. southern border this week as his administration struggles with how to stop an influx of Central American migrants from entering the country.

Trump told reporters in the Oval Office he would shutter the border if he cannot reach a deal with Congress to pass stricter immigration laws, a retreat of sorts from his threat last Friday to close all or part of the frontier unless Mexico stops migrants from crossing.


The president offered a vague answer when asked if he intends to close the border, saying, "I haven't made that intention known. And I'm ready to close it if I have to close it."

Trump's comments also keep open the possibility of closing the border at some time in the future, but he was unclear about the criteria that would trigger the move. The Hill's Jordan Fabian tells us more here.


"Catastrophic economic impact": Trump's apparent walk back came after Republicans, Democrats and business groups warned that closing the border would strike a major blow to the U.S. economy.

  • Neil Bradley, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce's executive vice president and chief policy officer, said Tuesday that closing the border would be "destructive to the U.S. economy" and added the group has "expressed our concern about closing the border" directly to White House officials.
  • "Any action that stops commerce at the border would be harmful to the U.S. economy, and in particular, the auto industry," said  Matt Blunt, president of the American Automotive Policy Council trade group. "Access to Mexico's market place and North American integration are critical to operations in the U.S."


But Trump and his team appear unmoved by the potential economic harm. Trump suggested he is unbowed by fears about the economic effects of closing the border, even as he acknowledged the move would "have a negative impact on the economy."

"Security is more important to me than trade," he said. "So, we're going to have a strong border, or we're going to have a closed border."

Top Trump economic adviser Larry Kudlow said the White House is looking for ways to minimize the impact of a possible shutdown, saying they were considering how to keep trucking lanes open in order to maintain major supply chains.

"The question is: can we deal with that and not have any economic damage? And I think the answer is we can and people are looking at different options," Kudlow told CNBC.

The White House Council of Economic Advisers has also begun studying the effects of a border shutdown, press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said.


READ MORE: From avocados to beer: 5 areas taking a hit if Trump closes southern border.


The Hill's Newsmaker Series: Tax Cuts and Small Business

Join us on Thursday, April 11th for The Hill's Newsmaker Series: Tax Cuts and Small Business. The Hill's Editor-in-Chief Bob Cusack will sit down with Larry Kudlow, assistant to the President and director of the National Economic Council, to discuss the impact of the new tax law and examine policies the administration has put in place to help small business. RSVP here



Maxine WatersMaxine Moore WatersHillicon Valley: Trump seeks review of Pentagon cloud-computing contract | FTC weighs updating kids' internet privacy rules | Schumer calls for FaceApp probe | Report says states need more money to secure elections Here are the 95 Democrats who voted to support impeachment Maxine Waters says her committee will call in Zuckerberg to testify about Libra MORE warns bankers she will take 'a hard look' to spot misconduct: House Financial Services Committee Chairwoman Maxine Waters (D-Calif.) on Tuesday warned a conference of U.S. bankers that she will be keeping a close watch on misconduct in the banking sector and expects the industry to steer record profits toward struggling communities.

Waters said in a speech that the panel will crack down on banks who abuse their customers as the sector benefits from a strong economy.

"As I've said before, bad actors that repeatedly harm consumers must face consequences," Waters said at the annual Washington conference for the American Bankers Association, the largest trade group for U.S. banks.

"Are the practices of your institutions causing harm? The committee will be taking a hard look."

I've got more on Waters' remarks and the common ground she found with the industry right here.

Waters's warning came days after former Wells Fargo chief executive and President Timothy Sloan stepped down after facing a bipartisan excoriation during a Financial Services panel hearing two weeks prior.


Now, Wells Fargo is looking for its third chief executive in two and a half years as it struggles to escape from Washington's anger.

The San Francisco bank once held a sterling reputation but is now looking outside the company for a new leader to right the ship. But getting on the good side of Washington will be a challenging undertaking for the bank and its next chief, with Wells Fargo still dealing with what critics call deep-seated problems and with unprecedented federal penalties. I explain why here.


Dem spending proposal faces uncertain vote: House Democrats may not have the votes to pass their proposal to raise discretionary spending by $51 billion in 2020, as progressives balk at increased defense spending.

House Budget Committee Chairman John YarmuthJohn Allen YarmuthMcConnell challenger faces tougher path after rocky launch The House Democrats who voted to kill impeachment effort House votes to kill impeachment effort against Trump MORE (D-Ky.) introduced legislation on Tuesday that would increase the non-defense cap to $631 billion in 2020, a $34 billion increase, and the non-defense cap to $664 billion, a $17 billion increase. In 2020, the caps would rise to $646 for non-defense and $680 for defense.

Yarmuth released the legislation, which is set for a Wednesday committee markup, despite concerns from the Congressional Progressive Caucus (CPC).

Democrats, who have 22 seats on the committee, can lose up to three votes and still pass the resolution, but 15 of their members -- including Yarmuth -- are also members of the CPC.

"We've been trying to thread a needle here," Yarmuth said Tuesday, before expressing confidence that the resolution will pass. But several committee members have already indicated their opposition to the bill. The Hill's Niv Elis lays out the stakes here.


Bipartisan IRS reform bill heads to House floor: A House panel on Tuesday advanced bipartisan bills aimed at modernizing the IRS and boosting retirement savings, with lawmakers and outside groups hopeful legislation on these topics finally gets enacted this year.

The House Ways and Means Committee approved the IRS and retirement bills by voice vote. The panel also approved a third bill by voice vote, which focused on extending reemployment services to all workers receiving unemployment benefits.

Why it's a big deal: Lawmakers in both parties and in both chambers have been working on IRS and retirement legislation for years, and the bills approved by the Ways and Means Committee reflect a growing consensus.

What's in the bills: The IRS bill includes provisions to make targeted reforms to the agency in a host of areas, including services to low-income taxpayers, taxpayer rights during the enforcement process, identity theft protection, information technology and electronic systems.

The retirement bill includes a number of provisions to encourage small businesses to participate in retirement plans and to encourage people to save for retirement and other purposes.

What's next: Ways and Means Committee Chairman Richard NealRichard Edmund NealDemocrat: Treasury 'acknowledged the unprecedented process' in Trump tax return rejection House votes to repeal ObamaCare's 'Cadillac tax' Finish the work of building a renewable fuels industry MORE (D-Mass.) told reporters after the committee markup that he thinks the odds of enactment this year are "excellent."

But despite the momentum, there are still some obstacles that remain to getting legislation signed into law. The House and Senate tax-writers still need to resolve differences between their retirement bills. And leaders need to set time for votes in both chambers.

The Hill's Naomi Jagoda has the details here.





  • The Trump administration investigated the acquisition of dating app Grindr by a Chinese company over national security concerns, NBC News reported Tuesday.