On The Money: Trump takes aim at China in UN address | Consumer confidence fell as trade tensions rose | Senate proposes $5 billion for Trump border wall

On The Money: Trump takes aim at China in UN address | Consumer confidence fell as trade tensions rose | Senate proposes $5 billion for Trump border wall
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Happy Tuesday 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: Well, that would probably be the Speaker of the House announcing an impeachment inquiry into the President of the United States, which you can read about here.

We've also got more coverage on the swell of Democratic support for impeachment that led to Speaker Nancy PelosiNancy PelosiMcConnell focuses on confirming judicial nominees with COVID-19 talks stalled Overnight Defense: Top admiral says 'no condition' where US should conduct nuclear test 'at this time' | Intelligence chief says Congress will get some in-person election security briefings Pelosi must go — the House is in dire need of new leadership MORE's decision, President Trump's response, how former Vice President Joe BidenJoe BidenCast of 'Parks and Rec' reunite for virtual town hall to address Wisconsin voters Biden says Trump should step down over coronavirus response Biden tells CNN town hall that he has benefited from white privilege MORE and other 2020 Democratic presidential candidates weighed in, and how the Senate might have laid the groundwork for Trump to hand over the whistleblower complaint at the center of this storm.

Of course, we've got plenty of finance news, too, below.





Trump takes aim at China in UN address: President TrumpDonald John TrumpHR McMaster says president's policy to withdraw troops from Afghanistan is 'unwise' Cast of 'Parks and Rec' reunite for virtual town hall to address Wisconsin voters Biden says Trump should step down over coronavirus response MORE on Tuesday accused China of engaging in unfair trade practices and offered up a robust defense of his trade war with Beijing during an address at the United Nations General Assembly.

Trump argued that China's admittance to the World Trade Organization (WTO) in 2001 had backfired and that the country has chosen not to adopt reforms while engaging in currency manipulation and intellectual property theft at the expense of the United States and other countries.


"Not only has China declined to adopt promised reforms, it has embraced an economic model dependent on massive market barriers, heavy state subsidies, currency manipulation, product dumping, forced technology transfers and the theft of intellectual property -- and also trade secrets -- on a grand scale," Trump said.

The Hill's Morgan Chalfant has more on Trump's searing condemnation of China.

Trump defended his trade war with China, which has rattled global markets and contributed to fears of the prospect of a U.S. recession heading into the 2020 elections.

But his intense criticism of China comes as Trump is seeking to lock down another round of high-level trade talks with Chinese officials. 

  • Trump said last week that he would not agree to a narrow deal with China and that he didn't believe he needs an agreement before the 2020 presidential election, arguing that the battle wasn't dragging on the U.S. economy, despite data showing it has. 
  • "The American people are absolutely committed to restoring balance to our relationship with China," Trump said Tuesday. "Hopefully we can reach an agreement that can be beneficial to both countries, but as I have made very clear, I will not accept a bad deal for the American people."


Consumer confidence fell as US-China trade tensions rose: Optimism about the U.S. economy sunk for the second consecutive month, according to a closely watched monthly gauge of consumer confidence released Tuesday.

The Conference Board's Consumer Confidence Index dropped 9.1 points to 125.1 in September from 134.2 in August, the corporate research firm announced Tuesday. 

Lynn Franco, the Conference Board's senior director of economic indicators, said that the drop was largely driven by a sharp spike in trade tensions between the U.S. and China.

  • "The escalation in trade and tariff tensions in late August appears to have rattled consumers. However, this pattern of uncertainty and volatility has persisted for much of the year and it appears confidence is plateauing," Franco said.
  • "While confidence could continue hovering around current levels for months to come, at some point this continued uncertainty will begin to diminish consumers' confidence in the expansion." 

I explain why here.


Senate proposes $5 billion for Trump wall: Senate Republicans on Tuesday unveiled a spending bill that includes $5 billion for President Trump's proposed border wall, setting up a battle with Democrats that could prompt a government shutdown. The money, included in a $70.8 billion Homeland Security appropriations bill, would fully fund Trump's fiscal year 2020 request for the wall.

Sen. Shelley Moore CapitoShelley Wellons Moore CapitoSecond GOP senator to quarantine after exposure to coronavirus GOP senator to quarantine after coronavirus exposure Hillicon Valley: Zuckerberg acknowledges failure to take down Kenosha military group despite warnings | Election officials push back against concerns over mail-in voting, drop boxes MORE (R-W.Va.), the chairman of the subcommittee that handled the request, estimated it would bring total funding for Trump's wall to $14.8 billion, a figure that includes funds Trump reprogrammed from other departments using emergency powers.

  • Most Democrats are expected to vote against the measure at a full committee markup Thursday, and eventually oppose it on the Senate floor.
  • Since Trump took office, the wall has become a central hurdle in the annual appropriations process. The issue has derailed several other spending bills in the past two weeks, and preempted the Senate Appropriations Committee from debating bills on health and military construction.
  • Democrats opposed to Trump's redirection of funds for the wall have insisted on including riders that would block Trump from using emergency powers to empty relevant accounts. They've also refused to backfill funds for projects affected by Trump's reprogramming.

What's next? To prevent a shutdown, the Senate is preparing to approve a stopgap measure on Wednesday that would keep the government funded until Nov. 21. Trump is expected to sign the bill, which was approved by the House last week.

Staff-level discussions between the two chambers have begun in hopes of finding a consensus on spending for the entirety of the fiscal year, but the path forward remains unclear and additional stopgaps may be necessary

The Hill's Niv Elis on what this means for the spending fight.



  • The Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions (HELP) Committee on Tuesday voted along party lines to advance Eugene Scalia, President Trump's nominee to lead the Labor Department.
  • House Democrats are urging a federal judge to deny the administration's motion to dismiss their lawsuit aimed at obtaining President Trump's federal tax returns.



  • WeWork co-founder Adam Neumann will leave his position as the office-sharing company's CEO and will serve as nonexecutive chairman of the board.