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On The Money: Lawmakers strike spending deal | US, China reach limited trade deal ahead of tariff deadline | Lighthizer fails to quell GOP angst over new NAFTA

On The Money: Lawmakers strike spending deal | US, China reach limited trade deal ahead of tariff deadline | Lighthizer fails to quell GOP angst over new NAFTA

Happy Thursday and welcome back to On The Money, where we're getting ready to hibernate after next week. 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--Lawmakers strike spending deal to avert shutdown: Lawmakers reached a deal in principle Thursday on 12 annual spending bills to fund the government and avoid a shutdown.

Appropriators reached agreement on a number of contentious issues, including how to fund President TrumpDonald John TrumpMinnesota certifies Biden victory Trump tells allies he plans to pardon Michael Flynn: report Republican John James concedes in Michigan Senate race MORE's proposed border wall.

"We had a very good meeting, and there's a meeting of the minds, and we're going to look through some of the details, but I feel confident that we're going to have a product very shortly," House Appropriations Chairwoman Nita LoweyNita Sue LoweySpending deal clears obstacle in shutdown fight GSA offers to brief Congress next week on presidential transition Biden aide: First Cabinet picks will be announced Tuesday, GSA holdup preventing background checks MORE (D-N.Y.) said following days of negotiations.

The Hill's Niv Elis breaks it down here.  

 

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LEADING THE DAY

US, China reach partial trade deal: The U.S. and China on Thursday reached a partial trade agreement that includes scrapping tariffs set to go into effect on Sunday, according to a source familiar with the matter.

Further specifics of the limited deal were not immediately clear, and it must still be signed by President Trump and leaders in Beijing.

A statement from the White House was expected at some point Thursday evening, according to an official. The White House declined to comment.

The timing: The agreement, which was first reported by Bloomberg News, comes just days before tariffs on roughly $160 billion on Chinese goods — including cellphones, video games and certain toys — were set to increase.

Trump originally delayed those tariffs in August, saying the tariffs would go into effect Dec. 15.

What's next: The deal does not appear to address structural changes to Beijing’s economy that Trump’s White House has pushed for since the president first imposed tariffs more than a year ago, meaning the United States and China will continue negotiations in search of a broader agreement.

The politics: Even an initial deal with China, though, would deliver a win for Trump on one of his marquee issues and would come just two days after Speaker Nancy PelosiNancy PelosiSpending deal clears obstacle in shutdown fight Ocasio-Cortez, Cruz trade jabs over COVID-19 relief: People 'going hungry as you tweet from' vacation Rep. Rick Allen tests positive for COVID-19 MORE (D-Calif.) said the House would take up the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA), another priority for the president.

The Hill's Brett Samuels and Morgan Chalfant have more on the deal here.

 

Lighthizer fails to quell GOP angst on Trump's new NAFTA: U.S. Trade Representative Robert LighthizerRobert (Bob) Emmet LighthizerWhiskey, workers and friends caught in the trade dispute crossfire GOP senator warns quick vote on new NAFTA would be 'huge mistake' Pelosi casts doubt on USMCA deal in 2019 MORE faced pushback and a "bucket full" of questions Thursday during a closed-door caucus lunch meeting meant to sell Senate Republicans on the new trade deal with Canada and Mexico.

Republican senators stressed that they expect the U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA) will have the votes to pass the Senate but acknowledged there was still opposition within the caucus and broader frustration with how the trade negotiations had been handled.

The Hill's Jordain Carney takes us there.

The bottom line: It's hard to see a situation where Republicans kill one of Trump's top legislative priorities, even if it goes against the party's traditional views on trade. Republicans know where Trump stands on trade and have been reluctant to even curb the most unpopular of his tariffs. 

 

House passes bill that would give legal status to thousands of undocumented farmworkers: The House on Wednesday passed a bill granting legal status to thousands of undocumented farmworkers.

The legislation to provide work permits for agricultural workers was approved on a bipartisan 260-165 vote.

After months of closed-door bipartisan negotiations, the Farm Workforce Modernization Act  was introduced in late October by Reps. Mario Diaz-BalartMario Rafael Diaz-BalartHouse Hispanic Republicans welcome four new members GOP Rep. Dan Newhouse tests positive for COVID-19 Colorado Democrat Ed Perlmutter tests positive for coronavirus MORE (R-Fla.), Zoe LofgrenZoe Ellen LofgrenHillicon Valley: Four major tech issues facing the Biden administration | Pressure grows to reinstate White House cyber czar | Facebook, Google to extend political ad bans House report says lawmakers could securely cast remote votes amid pandemic Why prevailing wage reform matters for H-1B visas MORE (D-Calif.), Dan NewhouseDaniel (Dan) Milton NewhouseRep. Rick Allen tests positive for COVID-19 The Hill's Morning Report - Presented by the UAE Embassy in Washington, DC - Trump, Biden clash over transition holdup, pandemic plans Capitol's COVID-19 spike could be bad Thanksgiving preview MORE (R-Wash.), Collin PetersonCollin Clark PetersonA louder voice for women everywhere Former Minnesota Democratic leader quits party GOP sees path to House majority in 2022 MORE (D-Minn.), Jimmy PanettaJames Varni PanettaAmericans want to serve — it's up to us to give them the chance On The Money: McConnell previews GOP coronavirus bill | Senate panel advances Trump Fed nominee who recently supported gold standard | Economists warn about scaled-back unemployment benefits Bipartisan bill introduced to provide tax credit to food and beverage distributors MORE (D-Calif.), Mike SimpsonMIchael (Mike) Keith SimpsonDuring a time of uncertainty, Great American Outdoors Act deserves our support Dentists want coronavirus testing kits before reopening MLB, Congress play hardball in fight over minor leagues MORE (R-Idaho) and Doug LaMalfaDouglas (Doug) LaMalfaInterior ends endangered species protections for gray wolves Democrats hit Interior secretary for reportedly refusing to wear mask in meeting with tribes GOP lawmakers plan measure to force Americans to divest from firms linked to Chinese military: report MORE (R-Calif.).

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  • Under the proposal, the H-2A visa category for agricultural workers would be reformed to add flexibility for employers bringing in new foreign labor.
  • The bill would allow foreign workers who've worked in the U.S. agricultural sector for at least 180 days over the past two years to request five-year visas for themselves, their spouses and their minor children.

 

GOOD TO KNOW

 

ODDS AND ENDS

  • A business-backed trade group established to support President Trump's United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA) has backed off from taking a position on the deal following compromises made by the White House in its negotiations with House Democrats.
  • Just 13 percent of workers nationwide are highly concerned about their job security, according to Prudential Financial/Morning Consult survey.