On The Money: Congress, White House aim to include debt limit increase in spending deal | McConnell optimistic budget deal near | Carson defends HUD eviction plan | Senate votes to undo tax hike on Gold Star families

On The Money: Congress, White House aim to include debt limit increase in spending deal | McConnell optimistic budget deal near | Carson defends HUD eviction plan | Senate votes to undo tax hike on Gold Star families
© Aaron Schwartz

Happy Tuesday and welcome back to On The Money, where we're craving Oreos *and* a solution to America's affordable housing crisis. 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, njagoda@thehill.com  and nelis@thehill.com. Follow us on Twitter: @SylvanLane, @NJagoda and @NivElis.

 

THE BIG DEAL-- Congress, White House indicate debt limit increase will be part of spending deal: Congressional leaders and White House officials on Tuesday indicated that raising the debt ceiling will be part of a broader deal on spending caps.

"We all agree debt ceiling is going to be part of an overall deal, but we're not discussing that right now," Senate Democratic Leader Charles SchumerCharles (Chuck) Ellis SchumerTurkey says soldier killed despite cease-fire in Syria Schumer calls for FDA to probe reports of contaminated baby food How Trump and Pelosi went from bad to worse MORE (N.Y.) told reporters after meeting with Congress's three other party leaders and President TrumpDonald John TrumpZuckerberg launches public defense of Facebook as attacks mount Trump leaning toward keeping a couple hundred troops in eastern Syria: report Warren says making Israel aid conditional on settlement building is 'on the table' MORE's senior advisers.

A White House official said the administration would be open to combining a debt limit increase and new defense and nondefense budgetary caps.

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Senate Republican Whip John ThuneJohn Randolph ThuneTurkey sanctions face possible wall in GOP Senate GOP cautions Graham against hauling Biden before Senate War of words at the White House MORE (S.D.), who did not participate in Tuesday's meeting in Speaker Nancy PelosiNancy PelosiTurkey sanctions face possible wall in GOP Senate Trump lashes out at Pelosi as she visits Jordan to discuss Syria Thomas D'Alesandro III, brother of Nancy Pelosi, dies at 90 MORE's (D-Calif.) office, said it makes sense to attach debt limit legislation to a spending caps agreement.

"It has to be done somewhere. That would be a natural vehicle to put it on," he said. The Hill's Alexander Bolton and Niv Elis tell us more about the state of play.

 

The meeting:

  • Congressional leaders met with senior White House officials for more than two hours in Pelosi's office on Tuesday morning and reported "progress."
  • Acting Homeland Security Secretary Kevin McAleenan joined for a portion of the meeting.
  • Mulvaney declined to say whether he could agree to a two-year spending deal, which Democratic and GOP leaders favor as a strategy to avoid another government shutdown.
  • "We are coming back later this afternoon," said Mulvaney, who declined to discuss any details.

 

The differences on spending:

  • The White House has called for the fiscal 2020 spending caps set by the 2011 Budget Control Act to take effect and to increase defense spending with the Overseas Contingency Operations fund, which does not count against the budget caps.
  • Democrats say nondefense domestic programs need to be increased alongside defense programs.
  • A senior Democratic aide said before the meeting that "Democrats want parity in increases between defense and nondefense and want to avoid sequestration at all costs."

 

General agreement on raising the debt ceiling: 

While there are deep divides over how to handle spending, Democrats and Republicans are largely unified on raising the debt ceiling, the legal limit on how much the federal government can owe.

  • "I know Mnuchin wants it, and we certainly want it," he said, referring to an inclusion of the debt increase in a spending deal. The Treasury Department did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
  • The negotiators are likely to settle on a numerical increase, as opposed to the more common practice in recent years of suspending the ceiling for a certain period, Yarmuth said.

 

What comes next: Congressional leaders and administration officials are aiming to strike a deal by the end of Tuesday, and McConnell told reporters earlier that he's optimistic about getting there soon.

"We are anxious to agree to a caps agreement. We met for two hours," McConnell said. "Our hope is to make a deal before the day is over."

"I've been a lot of these meetings over the years -- and I don't want to be too forward leaning in predicting an agreement, but it seems to me without exception everyone would like to," he said.

 

ON TAP TOMORROW

  • Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin appears before the House Financial Services Committee to continue his testimony from April 9 on the state of the international financial system, 8:30 a.m.
  • House Appropriations Committee marks up the fiscal 2020 Commerce, Justice, Science, and Interior, Environment bills. 10:30 a.m.
  • Interior Secretary David Bernhardt testifies before Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on Interior and Environment.

 

LEADING THE DAY

Carson on HUD eviction plan: 'You take care of your own first'  House lawmakers sparred Tuesday over a plan from the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) to remove thousands of immigrant families from federally subsidized homes.

In a heated hearing with HUD Secretary Ben CarsonBenjamin (Ben) Solomon CarsonTrump officials say aid to Puerto Rico was knowingly stalled after Hurricane Maria Yes, President Trump, we do have a homelessness crisis and you're making it harder for us to address New HUD rule would eliminate housing stability for thousands of students MORE, Democratic members of the House Financial Services Committee blasted President Trump's housing chief for what they called an inhumane and ineffective proposal to evict undocumented immigrants from federal housing.

"The 'D' in HUD does not stand for 'deportation,' " said Rep. Carolyn MaloneyCarolyn Bosher MaloneyHouse Republicans 'demand the release of the rules' on impeachment The Hill's Morning Report — Trump's impeachment jeopardy deepens The Hill's 12:30 Report: Washington mourns loss of Elijah Cummings MORE (D-N.Y.). "We cannot create affordable housing for Americans by throwing other Americans out in the street with no place to go." I've got more on the showdown here.

  

The proposal: HUD announced in April it would tighten regulations barring immigrants in the country illegally from receiving federal housing benefits.

  • While families with at least one member eligible for HUD programs are currently allowed to live in federally subsidized housing, Carson's proposal would evict all households led by undocumented immigrants.
  • HUD estimates that 32,000 federally subsidized households and 55,000 children would be subject to evictions under its proposal.
  • That could force thousands of U.S.-born children of undocumented immigrants, along with legal permanent residents, refugees, and asylum-seekers, into homelessness.

 

Democrats rip Carson: Throughout his term as HUD chief, Carson has been criticized by Democrats for proposals to ease more Americans out of public housing, cut spending on development grants, and its handling of disaster relief funding.

But HUD's eviction proposal launched a new wave of backlash from Democrats as the Trump administration and Republicans pushed forward with similar initiatives to cut other federal benefits for undocumented immigrants, including Medicaid and food stamps.

Democrats ripped Carson on Tuesday for putting thousands of U.S.-born children at risk of homelessness to help solve what he called an "affordable housing crisis," while proposing budget cuts to crucial housing programs.

 

Carson and House Republicans insisted Tuesday that the evictions are necessary to comply with federal law and cut down a waiting list of more than 4 million U.S. citizens seeking HUD-subsidized housing.

  • "It's not that we're cruel, mean-hearted. It's that we are logical," Carson said. "This is common sense. You take care of your own first."
  • The secretary compared the eviction proposal to a flight crew advising airplane passengers to put on their own oxygen masks before helping others with theirs.
  • "It's the same concept," Carson added. "It seems only logical that tax-paying American citizens should be taken care of first."

 

Tensions flare: Tensions ran high among the Financial Services panel members as they debated the HUD proposal. After Velazquez criticized Carson for his "hypocritical" defense of the eviction rule, Rep. Bill PoseyWilliam (Bill) Joseph PoseyGOP lawmakers offer new election security measure On The Money: Tax, loan documents for Trump properties reportedly showed inconsistencies | Tensions flare as Dems hammer Trump consumer chief | Critics pounce as Facebook crypto project stumbles Tensions flare as Democrats urge consumer bureau to boost penalties MORE (R-Fla.) apologized to the secretary for the "bad behavior" of his Democratic colleagues.

"That's a little selfish," Posey said.

"What did you say?" Velazquez shot back. "You call me selfish? For fighting here for children in America? Shame on you."

Carson acknowledged the potential toll of the eviction proposal but noted that households subject to eviction under the proposal would have up to 18 months to defer their removal while they seek other housing.

 

There were a few other highlights from Carson's appearance before the committee:

  • Carson appeared confused by a Democratic lawmaker's questions about a minority inclusion office HUD does not have, and confused a real estate term with a popular cookie.
  • Rep. Katie Porter (D-Calif.) asked Carson about real estate owned (REO) foreclosures, which Carson appeared to confuse with the Oreo cookie.

 

GOOD TO KNOW

  • Congress and the executive branch have saved $262 billion since 2010 through reforms to improve government efficiency, but could save billions more through further action, according to a Government Accountability Office (GAO) report issued Tuesday.

 

ODDS AND ENDS

  • GOP senators on Tuesday signaled they are divided over whether to pursue antitrust enforcement against the country's largest tech companies.