On The Money: Lawmakers dismiss fears of another shutdown | Income for poorest Americans fell faster than thought | Net employment holds steady in September | Groups press Senate on retirement bill

On The Money: Lawmakers dismiss fears of another shutdown | Income for poorest Americans fell faster than thought | Net employment holds steady in September | Groups press Senate on retirement bill

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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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--Lawmakers dismiss fresh fears of another government shutdown: Congress is preparing another stopgap funding measure to avert a shutdown later this month after little progress on spending negotiations, particularly regarding President TrumpDonald John TrumpHouse drip-bombing of witness testimony softens landing zone for public support Republican who aided in Clinton impeachment trial: Trump Ukraine phone call 'troublesome' Trump highlights Gingrich comments on 'coup' by 'left-wingers' MORE's border wall.

The preparations for meeting a Nov. 21 deadline come amid increased tensions following Trump's refusal on Sunday to rule out a shutdown. But key lawmakers said they are skeptical the president would trigger another lapse in funding after the record 35-day shutdown earlier this year yielded little in return for the White House.

The Hill's Niv Elis explains why here.

 

LEADING THE DAY

Income for poorest Americans fell faster than previously thought: The poorest Americans saw their income decline 7 percent over the past 15 years, while everyone else gained financially, according to a new study.

Real income for low-income Americans fell more than 7 percent between 2004 and 2018, in part because of rising costs for items and services purchased by those Americans, according to the report published by the Groundwork Collaborative and the Center on Poverty and Social Policy (CPSP) at Columbia University.

How? The report focused on how rising prices can affect different income groups. The study found higher price increases for products typically purchased by low-income households.

"Given strong evidence that low-income families in America are paying higher prices and living in poverty in higher numbers than official metrics account for, this is a major problem," said co-authors Christopher Wimer, co-director of CPSP; Sophie Collyer, a policy analyst at the center; and Xavier Jaravel, an assistant professor at the London School of Economics.

Niv breaks it down here.

 

Net employment holds steady in September as job openings drop: The number of U.S. job openings dropped slightly in September while net employment remained largely unchanged, according to data released Tuesday by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS).

There were 7 million unfilled jobs on the last business day of September, according to BLS, 277,000 fewer openings than the last business day of August. The U.S. added roughly 180,000 jobs in September, according to revised figures released by BLS last week.

The unemployment rate also dropped to 3.5 percent in September, a 50-year low, though net employment stayed roughly the same since August. In both months, roughly 5.9 million people took new jobs, while 5.8 million left their current jobs.

Net employment -- or the difference between hires and separations -- has increased by 2.5 million people in 2019. Economists estimate that the U.S. must add roughly 100,000 jobs each month to maintain the unemployment rate close to its current level of 3.6 percent.

 

Groups pressure Senate on retirement bill: Dozens of insurance companies and trade associations are urging Senate leaders to take "quick action" to pass a bipartisan retirement savings bill that the House passed earlier this year.

"This important piece of legislation helps to ensure millions of Americans' financial security," the groups wrote in a letter to Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellLindsey Graham basks in the impeachment spotlight Biden not ruling out Senate voting to impeach Trump: 'It will depend on what their constituency says' Congress hunts for path out of spending stalemate MORE (R-Ky.) and Senate Minority Leader Charles SchumerCharles (Chuck) Ellis SchumerIlhan Omar blasts Pete King as an 'Islamophobe' after he announces retirement: 'Good riddance' Top Senate Dem: Officials timed immigration policy around 2020 election Senate fight derails bipartisan drug pricing bills MORE (D-N.Y.).

Groups that signed the letter include the American Council of Life Insurers, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, Prudential Financial, and the National Volunteer Fire Council.

The House in May passed by a vote of 417-3 a bipartisan bill, known as the SECURE Act, that includes a host of provisions aimed at making it easier for people to save for retirement.

The legislation would make it easier for small businesses to join together to offer retirement plans and require employers that offer 401(k) plans to make certain part-time workers eligible for them. It also would undo a provision in Republicans' 2017 tax-cut law that had the unintended consequence of increasing taxes on the survivor benefits received by the children of deceased military members.

While the SECURE Act passed with overwhelming support in the House and similar bipartisan legislation has been offered in the Senate, the measure has yet to receive a vote in the upper chamber. The Senate has, however, passed stand-alone legislation to undo the tax increases on military survivor benefits received by children.

More from Naomi here.

 

GOOD TO KNOW

  • The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) on Tuesday formally confirmed its approval of the T-Mobile-Sprint merger along party lines, clearing the final hurdle for government approval.
  • Boeing's CEO is giving up his 2019 bonus amid the widespread backlash over two deadly crashes for the company's 737 Max planes.
  • The New York Times: "An exodus of grocery stores is turning rural towns into food deserts. But some are fighting back by opening their own local markets."
  • Bloomberg News: "China Insists Trump Give Up His Favorite Trade Weapon--Tariffs"

 

The Hill Event: Building the Dream: Minneapolis: The Hill is hitting the road on Monday, November 18th to host Building the Dream: Minneapolis. Our editors will be sitting down with Mayor Jacob Frey, state Rep. Kurt Daudt, and the Minneapolis City Council's Lisa Bender to discuss local and national housing inequities and Minneapolis' ambitious 2040 plan. RSVP today!