On The Money: Trump, Dems reach agreement to pursue $2T infrastructure plan | Tough questions ahead on funding | GOP skeptical deal will be reached | Moore's Fed bid on shaky ground | Trump presses Schumer, Pelosi on stalled trade deal

On The Money: Trump, Dems reach agreement to pursue $2T infrastructure plan | Tough questions ahead on funding | GOP skeptical deal will be reached | Moore's Fed bid on shaky ground | Trump presses Schumer, Pelosi on stalled trade deal
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Happy Tuesday and welcome back to On The Money, where it's always Infrastructure Week... (though this time maybe for real). 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--Pelosi, Schumer say they've agreed to pursue $2T infrastructure bill with Trump: Democratic congressional leaders said Tuesday they reached an agreement with President TrumpDonald John TrumpDemocrats ask if they have reason to worry about UK result Trump scramble to rack up accomplishments gives conservatives heartburn Seven years after Sandy Hook, the politics of guns has changed MORE to seek a deal on a $2 trillion infrastructure bill, a surprising development that comes amid intense partisan warfare in Washington.

Speaker Nancy PelosiNancy PelosiTrump scramble to rack up accomplishments gives conservatives heartburn Sherrod Brown backs new North American trade deal: 'This will be the first trade agreement I've ever voted for' Overnight Health Care — Presented by That's Medicaid — Turf war derails push on surprise medical bills | Bill would tax e-cigarettes to pay for anti-vaping campaign | .5M ad blitz backs vulnerable Dems on drug prices MORE (D-Calif.) and Senate Minority Leader Charles SchumerCharles (Chuck) Ellis SchumerTurf war derails bipartisan push on surprise medical bills Senate confirms Trump's nominee to lead FDA CEO group pushes Trump, Congress on paid family, medical leave MORE (D-N.Y.) sounded a decidedly positive note after leaving a White House meeting shortly after noon, with Schumer saying "there was goodwill" on both sides toward developing a major piece of legislation.

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"That was different than some of the other meetings that we've had," Schumer told reporters on the North Lawn driveway. "This was a very, very good start. … We hope it will go to a constructive conclusion."

Pelosi said both sides had "come to one agreement: that the agreement would be big and bold."

The Hill's Jordan Fabian brings us up to speed.

 

How it gets funded: That's not clear, but that answer will likely make or break the deal.

  • Pelosi and Schumer cautioned that they and the White House had not agreed on how to pay for a $2 trillion package to improve the nation's roads, bridges, waterways and broadband, but they decided to meet in three weeks to solicit Trump's ideas on funding.
  • Democratic lawmakers will not propose their own spending plan at the next meeting, leaving it for Trump to come up with funding options he can support, according to a senior Democratic aide.

 

The mood: The tone of the meeting was far calmer than the group's last huddle in December, which ended in disaster when Trump told Schumer on live television that he would take responsibility for a government shutdown.

This time, the discussion remained "very cordial" and Pelosi even accepted a Tic Tac from Trump at one point during the 90-minute, closed-door meeting, according to a Democratic aide.

  • "In previous meetings, the president has said 'if these investigations continue, I can't work with you.' He didn't bring it up," Schumer said. "The two are not mutually exclusive and we were glad he didn't make it that way."

 

The prognosis: Passing a major infrastructure bill is a longshot, especially so close to the presidential election. Beyond that, debates over funding mechanisms for the package will likely pose major obstacles.

  • Trump and members of Congress from both parties have long agreed on the need to spend more to rebuild the nation's infrastructure, but disagreements on how to pay for it and what types of projects should be included have stymied progress.
  • Democrats acknowledged ahead of the meeting that those disputes could derail the process. In their latest push, the party has also called for the inclusion of new taxes to generate revenue for projects and initiatives to address climate change -- both of which are unpopular among Republicans.
  • Republicans, meanwhile, are openly skeptical that any $2 trillion infrastructure deal will emerge from talks between the White House and Democratic leaders in Congress. They said there was little chance that Democrats and Republicans could agree to a way to pay for the new spending, adding that they doubted Trump could agree Pelosi and Schumer on a pay-for either. Republicans were not invited to the White House for the meeting and have insisted that there be no tax hikes to pay for an infrastructure bill.

 

ON TAP TOMORROW

 

LEADING THE DAY

Moore's bid for Federal Reserve looks increasingly shaky: Stephen Moore's bid for a spot on the Federal Reserve stood on increasingly shaky ground Tuesday after a number of GOP senators expressed deep misgivings about his possible nomination.

One of President Trump's closest allies in the Senate, Sen. Lindsey GrahamLindsey Olin GrahamTrump: 'I wouldn't mind' a long Senate impeachment process Poll finds Graham with just 2-point lead on Democratic challenger Hill editor-in-chief calls IG report 'a game-changer' MORE (R-S.C.), said Moore's nomination would be "very problematic" given his controversial statements and writings about women and a host of other subjects, adding that it would be "tough" for him to win confirmation.

Sen. Joni ErnstJoni Kay ErnstWhite House makes push for paid family leave and child care reform Houston police chief stands by criticism of McConnell, Cruz, Cornyn: 'This is not political' Democrats spend big to put Senate in play MORE (R-Iowa), vice chairman of the Senate Republican Conference, said Tuesday that she is "very unlikely" to support Moore, and that other GOP colleagues privately shared her opposition.

Asked if she thought Moore could be confirmed, Ernst replied: "I don't think so."

Sen. Shelley Moore CapitoShelley Wellons Moore CapitoManchin warns he'll slow-walk government funding bill until he gets deal on miners legislation GOP senators unveil bill to expand 'opportunity zone' reporting requirements ICE emerges as stumbling block in government funding talks MORE (R-W.Va.) said Moore's comments about women "are hard to look past," while Sen. Marsha BlackburnMarsha BlackburnTikTok chief cancels Capitol Hill meetings, inflaming tensions Lawsuits pose new challenge for TikTok TikTok's leader to meet with lawmakers next week MORE (R-Tenn.), who coasted to a Senate election win with deep support from Trump last fall, warned that Moore would face heat about his remarks if he faces the Senate.

"I've known him for years. Always had a good relationship with him," Blackburn said. "If he is nominated, we will visit with him I guarantee you--you can be assured--his comments will be...  [something] that we discuss."

The Hill's Jordain Carney and I have more here.

  • Moore has faced severe backlash for columns he wrote in the early 2000s criticizing the inclusion of women in sports.
  • Moore has also been criticized for expressing concerns about women earning more than men, arguing that a female breadwinner would be "disruptive" to a household. He defended his comments in a Tuesday interview with CNBC, saying "the biggest problem I see in the economy over the last 25 years" is the decline in male earnings.

Moore appears to be all but doomed as Republicans become more vocal about their concerns with his nomination.

  • Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.), a close Trump ally, also said Tuesday that Moore's nomination would be "very problematic" but did not rule out supporting him.

 

Trump presses Democratic leaders on stalled trade deal at White House: While Trump, Schumer and Pelosi met to discuss an infrastructure bill, the president and his top economic adviser, Larry KudlowLawrence (Larry) Alan KudlowMORE, pressed the duo on moving the stalled U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA), which faces opposition from labor and environmental groups.

"We talked about we need much more adequate enforcement of labor protections. We brought up the pharmaceutical provision and we brought up environmental protections," Schumer said. "They were very eager to figure what we needed to pass it."

Trump, Kudlow, Schumer and Pelosi didn't get into details about whether the trade deal with Canada and Mexico needs to be reopened or whether it can be adjusted more simply through implementing legislation.

"We certainly said it has to have adequate enforcement," Schumer said. "They said, 'Well, it does now. Labor is on board.' And we said, 'No, labor is not on board but open to discussion.'"

But White House acting chief of staff Mick MulvaneyJohn (Mick) Michael MulvaneyThe Hill's Morning Report — Sponsored by AdvaMed — House panel delays impeachment vote until Friday Senate gears up for battle over witnesses in impeachment trial Conservative group hits White House with billboard ads: 'What is Trump hiding?' MORE on Tuesday rejected Democratic demands to renegotiate elements of the USMCA.

If Pelosi does not bring the deal in its current form to the floor for a vote, Mulvaney said, the Trump administration would be more likely to leave things as they are or withdraw from NAFTA.

"You could stay status quo … which is just NAFTA. You could withdraw from NAFTA, which the president has talked about many, many times. Or you could go all the way back to the beginning and renegotiate from scratch with the Canadians, the Mexicans," Mulvaney said at the Milken Institute Global Conference in California.

 

GOOD TO KNOW

  • The Trump administration will ask Congress for additional funds to address the humanitarian crisis at the southern border, acting Homeland Security Secretary Kevin McAleenan told lawmakers Tuesday.
  • Meanwhile, a federal judge on Tuesday rejected President Trump's request to dismiss a lawsuit alleging that Trump has violated the Emoluments Clause of the Constitution.

 

ODDS AND ENDS

  • President Trump tweeted Tuesday he would impose "a full and complete embargo" on Cuba if the island doesn't withdraw its security aid from Venezuela.
  • Progressive House Democrats pushed two powerful committee chairmen on Tuesday to go bolder on legislation aimed at lowering drug prices.