On The Money: Senate passes first spending package as shutdown looms | Treasury moves to roll back Obama rules on offshore tax deals | Trade deal talks manage to weather Trump impeachment storm

On The Money: Senate passes first spending package as shutdown looms | Treasury moves to roll back Obama rules on offshore tax deals | Trade deal talks manage to weather Trump impeachment storm
© Greg Nash

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THE BIG DEAL--Senate passes first spending package as shutdown looms: The Senate passed its first fiscal 2020 spending package on Thursday, as lawmakers have weeks to prevent the second government shutdown of the year.


Senators voted 84-9 on the approximately $332 billion spending package, which combined four domestic spending bills covering the Departments of Agriculture; the Interior; Commerce and Justice--along with science-related spending--and Transportation and Housing and Urban Development.

The snag: The vote means that the Senate has now only passed four of the 12 fiscal 2020 spending bills, nearly a month after the fiscal year started. 

And Senate Democrats blocked a defense spending bill for the second time on Thursday, underscoring the hurdles ahead of next month's government funding deadline.

  • Congress now has until Nov. 21 to fund the government -- either by passing each of the full-year bills or another continuing resolution (CR).
  • Senators on both sides of the aisle are predicting that Congress will need to pass another CR next month given the snail's pace of the 2020 funding bills.


What happens next: Senate Appropriations Committee Chairman Richard ShelbyRichard Craig ShelbyCongress hunts for path out of spending stalemate This week: House kicks off public phase of impeachment inquiry GOP senators plan to tune out impeachment week MORE (R-Ala.) told reporters earlier this month that without a "miracle" lawmakers would need another stopgap bill.

  • "Unless a miracle happens around here with the House and the Senate, we will have to come forth with another CR," Shelby told reporters, adding that a stopgap into February or March is "probably in the ballpark."



Trade deal talks manage to weather Trump impeachment storm: Efforts to advance a new North American trade deal have managed to remain insulated from the rancor of impeachment, with Democrats and Republicans alike signaling a desire to finalize an agreement quickly.

Almost a year after President TrumpDonald John TrumpFive landmark moments of testimony to Congress Lindsey Graham basks in the impeachment spotlight Democrats sharpen their message on impeachment MORE signed the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA), House Democrats are negotiating with U.S. Trade Representative Robert LighthizerRobert (Bob) Emmet LighthizerPelosi sounds hopeful on new NAFTA deal despite tensions with White House On The Money: Economy adds 164K jobs in July | Trump signs two-year budget deal, but border showdown looms | US, EU strike deal on beef exports Chinese, US negotiators fine-tuning details of trade agreement: report MORE to address their concerns about several aspects of the deal, such as provisions focused on enforcement, labor, environment and pharmaceuticals.

Speaker Nancy PelosiNancy PelosiDemocrats sharpen their message on impeachment Congress hunts for path out of spending stalemate Siren song of impeachment lures Democrats toward election doom MORE (D-Calif.) has consistently said Democrats want to get to "yes" on the trade pact -- a message she has repeated even after opening an impeachment inquiry into Trump over his dealings with Ukraine.

Lawmakers have shared her optimism, and The Hill's Niv Elis tells us why here.


Treasury moves to roll back Obama rules on offshore tax deals: The Treasury Department on Thursday took steps to ease regulations issued during former President Barack ObamaBarack Hussein ObamaSaagar Enjeti dismisses Warren, Klobuchar claims of sexism Pennsylvania's other election-night story Buttigieg praises Obama after Los Angeles Times corrects misquote MORE's administration that were aimed at curbing offshore tax deals.

Treasury issued final regulations eliminating documentation requirements that were part of the Obama-era rules. The department also announced its intention to propose regulations in the future that alter other portions of the offshore tax rules.

Senior Treasury officials said that the moves are designed to protect the U.S. tax base while reflecting the changes to the tax code made by President Trump's tax-cut law and making the rules less burdensome for taxpayers.

The Hill's Naomi Jagoda explains the new rules here


White House talking new tax cuts: The Trump administration and congressional Republicans have begun working on a new tax package, The Washington Post reports.

In September, both Treasury Secretary Steven MnuchinSteven Terner MnuchinNew book questions Harris's record on big banks On The Money: US paid record .1B in tariffs in September | Dems ramp up oversight of 'opportunity zones' | Judge hints at letting House lawsuit over Trump tax returns proceed Democrats ramp up oversight efforts over 'opportunity zone' incentive MORE and White House economic adviser Larry KudlowLawrence (Larry) Alan KudlowMORE hinted that President Trump wanted to pass "tax cuts 2.0" before the 2020 election. Trump also said publicly in September that there would be income tax cuts for the middle-class next year.

"We’ll be looking at tax cuts 2.0, something that will be something we’ll consider next year,” Mnuchin told reporters at the time. “But right now, the economy is in very, very good shape.”

The narrative of a successful U.S. economy, though, has changed since Mnuchin made these comments.

More from The Hill's Marty Johnson on the tax cut talks here.



  • President Trump on Thursday said he and Chinese President Xi Jinping will meet at a new location to sign a partial trade agreement after plans to do so at a summit in Chile were scrapped.
  • The Treasury Department and IRS on Thursday released a draft form that is designed to collect information about investments made under the "opportunity zone" provision in President Trump's tax-cut law.