On The Money — Presented by Wells Fargo — Social Security emerges as flash point in Biden-Sanders fight | Dems urge Supreme Court to save consumer agency | Trump to sign USMCA next week

On The Money — Presented by Wells Fargo — Social Security emerges as flash point in Biden-Sanders fight | Dems urge Supreme Court to save consumer agency | Trump to sign USMCA next week
© Greg Nash

Happy Friday and welcome back to On The Money, where we're wondering how many other inconvenient voicemails from Rep. Jeff Van DrewJeff Van DrewGinsburg expresses hope amid a Senate she thinks is 'divided sharply' Democrats slam GOP on drug prices in bilingual digital ads Democratic NJ mayor said he was told he was not welcome at Trump rally MORE (R-N.J.) might exist. 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--Social Security emerges as latest flash point in Biden-Sanders tussle: 

A spat between former Vice President Joe BidenJoe BidenBiden faces do-or-die primary in South Carolina Democrats view Sanders as having best shot to defeat Trump: poll Karl Rove: 'Long way to go' for Sanders to capture nomination: 'The field is splintered' MORE and Sen. Bernie SandersBernie SandersAdvisor: Sanders could beat Trump in Texas Bloomberg rips Sanders over Castro comments Liberal author Matt Stoller: Iowa caucus screw-up was 'Boeing 737 Max of the Democratic Party' MORE (I-Vt.) over Social Security has brought an issue long considered a sacred cow for Democrats to the forefront of the 2020 race. 

The two leading Democratic contenders have in recent days lobbed attacks against each other on Social Security, as they both engage in an intensifying battle for the nomination with just over a week left before the Iowa caucus.

Social Security is an especially important issue for older Democratic voters, which has emerged as an important base of support for Biden, as experts warn the program faces insolvency in coming years. The Hill's Niv Elis tells us what's happening here.


Where each candidate stands:

  • Sanders has consistently called for expanding the entitlement programs such as Social Security as well as benefits, promising to raise money by increasing taxes on the wealthy and on corporations. 
  • Meanwhile, Biden has also argued for an expansion of Social Security, though he has also frequently called for "grand bargains" that would sacrifice Republican sacred cows by raising taxes and also Democratic ones by addressing, in some form, the unsustainable elements of Social Security.




Democrats urge Supreme Court to save consumer agency from chopping block: Democrats are rallying around the consumer protection agency Congress created in the aftermath of the 2008 financial crisis as conservatives urge the Supreme Court to declare the regulator unconstitutional.

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) could be on the chopping block as it faces a Supreme Court case over whether its unique structure violates the Constitution. Current and former Democratic lawmakers argued in court filings this week that the justices should reject the attacks from conservatives and free market groups against an agency they see as crucial to defending ordinary people from predatory financial firms.

"The independence of the Consumer Bureau is essential to curb the fraud and abuse that led up to the Great Recession and wreaked havoc on the economic strength and stability of countless American seniors, servicemembers, veterans, students and consumers across the country," Speaker Nancy PelosiNancy PelosiImmigrants who seek opportunity should comply with longstanding American values Trump's intel moves spark Democratic fury Buttigieg sounds alarm after Sanders wins Nevada MORE (D-Calif.) said in a statement.

The Hill's Harper Neidig tells us more about what's at stake here.


Warren: Former Wells Fargo execs should 'face handcuffs' over sales scandals: Sen. Elizabeth WarrenElizabeth Ann WarrenJack Black endorses Elizabeth Warren Democrats view Sanders as having best shot to defeat Trump: poll Poll: Biden, Sanders tied in Texas, followed by Warren MORE (D-Mass.) on Thursday called for former Wells Fargo executives to face arrest after a federal bank regulator announced its intent to charge five former bank officials over a series of abusive sales practices.

"Giant banks like Wells Fargo will only clean up their act when their executives know they'll face handcuffs when they preside over massive fraud," Warren said in a Thursday night statement. 

"Tomorrow morning, former Wells Fargo CEO John Stumpf will wake up to his cushy retirement while the thousands of low-level branch employees who took the fall for him -- and the hundreds of thousands of consumers who were cheated on his watch -- continue to deal with the repercussions of his scams," continued Warren, a 2020 presidential candidate.

Warren was responding to a Thursday announcement by the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC) that the agency will file civil charges against five former Wells Fargo executives




  • The House Ways and Means Committee holds a hearing on proposals for paid family and medical leave, 10 a.m. 


  • Comptroller of the Currency Joseph Otting testifies before the House Financial Services Committee on the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency's proposal to update the Community Reinvestment Act, 10 a.m.
  • The House Science Committee holds a hearing entitled "Losing Ground: U.S. Competitiveness in Critical Technologies," 10 a.m.
  • The House Ways and Means Committee holds a hearing on financing and funding infrastructure investments, 10 a.m.
  • The House Budget Committee holds a hearing on the Congressional Budget Office's budget and economic outlook, 10 a.m.
  • The Federal Reserve announces its decision on interest rates at 2 p.m., followed by a press conference with Fed Chairman Jerome Powell at 2:30 p.m.


  • The House Financial Services Committee's Task Force on Financial Technology holds a hearing entitled "Is Cash Still King? Reviewing the Rise of Mobile Payments," 9:30 a.m.



Rising housing costs are forcing families to sacrifice basic needs like food, health care and education.


Wells Fargo is committing $1 billion in philanthropic giving over the next six years to reduce the cost burden of housing – and help American families move into safe, stable, and affordable homes.


NEXT WEEK'S NEWS, NOW: President Trump is expected to sign the USMCA on Wednesday, which would tee it up to go into effect once Canada ratifies the agreement. Later that day, the Fed is expected to announce that it will hold steady on interest rates. 


  • Reuters: "Remaining hurdles for scandal-hit Wells Fargo"
  • Bloomberg News: "U.S. Rust-Belt Swing States Lost Manufacturing Jobs in 2019"