On The Money: Deficit spikes 25 percent through January | Mnuchin declines to say why Trump pulled Treasury nominee who oversaw Roger Stone case | Lawmakers trade insults over Trump budget cuts

On The Money: Deficit spikes 25 percent through January | Mnuchin declines to say why Trump pulled Treasury nominee who oversaw Roger Stone case | Lawmakers trade insults over Trump budget cuts
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THE BIG DEAL--Deficit spikes 25 percent through January: The federal deficit through January climbed to $389 billion, a 25 percent spike from the same period last year, according to Treasury Department data released Wednesday.

  • The Treasury estimates the deficit will surpass $1 trillion this year for the first time since 2012.
  • Overall receipts were down since last year by $68 billion, largely due to a drop in individual and corporate taxes. Spending rose $147 billion as outlays spiked on defense, health, veterans affairs and Social Security.

The new data comes three days after President TrumpDonald John TrumpCDC updates website to remove dosage guidance on drug touted by Trump Trump says he'd like economy to reopen 'with a big bang' but acknowledges it may be limited Graham backs Trump, vows no money for WHO in next funding bill MORE called for deep cuts to domestic programs and limitations on mandatory spending in his 2021 budget proposal, and a day after Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell called on Congress to reduce the U.S. federal budget deficit to ensure the central bank could adequately respond to a financial crisis or recession.

The Hill's Niv Elis explains how we got here.


Read more: A House Budget Committee hearing turned heated Wednesday as Democrats excoriated President Trump's proposed cuts to entitlement programs and domestic spending and Republicans ripped their Democratic colleagues for failing to offer their own budget.


Committee Chairman John YarmuthJohn Allen YarmuthHouse Democrats plead with key committee chairman to allow remote voting amid coronavirus pandemic Kentucky Democrat: House lawmakers will not vote remotely during outbreak Dem Congressman: Coronavirus stimulus should be bigger than 2008 MORE (D-Ky.) called it a "destructive and irrational" proposal, while Rep. Rosa DeLauroRosa Luisa DeLauroOvernight Health Care: Trump calls report on hospital shortages 'another fake dossier' | Trump weighs freezing funding to WHO | NY sees another 731 deaths | States battle for supplies | McConnell, Schumer headed for clash House Democrats urge Trump administration to reopen ObamaCare exchanges Millennials are the unseen leaders in the coronavirus crisis MORE (D-Conn.) called it "an Orwellian presentation that showcases doublespeak."

"Your infrastructure program is weak and pathetic," said Rep. Brian HigginsBrian HigginsOn The Money: Deficit spikes 25 percent through January | Mnuchin declines to say why Trump pulled Treasury nominee who oversaw Roger Stone case | Lawmakers trade insults over Trump budget cuts Lawmakers trade insults over Trump budget cuts 'Medicare for All' backers notch win with high-profile hearing MORE (D-N.Y.).



  • The Senate Banking Committee holds a confirmation hearing for Judy Shelton and Christopher Waller's nominations to the Federal Reserve board of governors, 10 a.m.


Building the Dream: Charlotte

The Hill will be in Charlotte, N.C. on Thursday, February 20th. Our editors will sit down with Charlotte Mayor Vi Lyles, Rep. Alma AdamsAlma Shealey AdamsOvernight Health Care: Trump triggers emergency powers in coronavirus fight | McConnell sets first stimulus vote for Sunday | Five sticking points for stimulus talks | Treasury delays tax filing deadline | Dems push insurers to cover virus tests House chairman calls on Trump administration to appoint medical supply coordinator Biden cinches support from third NC House Democrat MORE (D-N.C.), state Sen. Paul Newton (R) and others to discuss financial hurdles to homeownership. Join us live in Charlotte or join the livestream.



Mnuchin declines to say why Trump pulled Treasury nominee who oversaw Roger StoneRoger Jason StoneJuan Williams: Mueller, one year on House Judiciary Committee postpones hearing with Barr amid coronavirus outbreak Trump 'strongly considering' full pardon for Flynn MORE case: Treasury Secretary Steven MnuchinSteven Terner MnuchinPhase-four virus relief hits a wall On The Money: Senate aims to quickly approve more small-business aid | Dems seek conditions on new funds for small-business loans | Pelosi says next round of relief will top T House GOP leaders back effort to boost small-business loans MORE declined to explain Wednesday why President Trump pulled the Treasury nomination of a former U.S. attorney who had supervised the prosecution of several of the president's campaign advisers.

In an appearance before the Senate Finance Committee, Mnuchin refused to say why Trump withdrew the nomination of Jessie Liu to serve as Treasury undersecretary for terrorism and financial crimes Tuesday night. 

"I think you know nominations are at the president's direction and we don't comment ... as a matter of policy when nominations are withdrawn, which happens for a variety of different reasons at different times," Mnuchin said under questioning from Sen. Sherrod BrownSherrod Campbell BrownThe Hill's Campaign Report: Wisconsin votes despite coronavirus pandemic Sen. Brown endorses Biden for president Senate Democrats propose ,000 hazard-pay plan for essential workers MORE (D-Ohio)

  • The decision came just two days before Liu's confirmation hearing and shortly after Trump dismissed two government officials who testified during his impeachment before the House.
  • Liu, the former U.S. attorney for the District of Columbia, oversaw the federal government's cases against several top Trump campaign aides, including Roger Stone.
  • Four career Department of Justice (DOJ) prosecutors resigned from Stone's case Tuesday after the department overrode their suggested sentencing recommendation of seven to nine years in prison, telling the judge in the case that Stone should get "far less."

Brown, the top Democrat on the Banking panel, replied: "I would hope you would give an explanation that's counter to the one everyone assumes, which is that she's part of the president's personal retribution tour."

Brown also condemned Trump's withdrawal of Liu's nomination and alleged retaliation against impeachment witnesses during a Banking Committee hearing Wednesday morning.


More from Mnuchin's hearing: 



  • The nation's biggest banks lack diversity in their top ranks, and the industry as a whole is falling short when it comes to disclosing workplace data, according to a report released Wednesday by House Democrats.
  • Senators pressed Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell on Wednesday to consider novel ways to spread the benefits of a record stretch of U.S. growth to Americans and communities still struggling to make ends meet.



  • The Distilled Spirits Council of the United States (DISCUS) announced that American whiskey exports to the European Union decreased by 27 percent in 2019 due to retaliatory tariffs.
  • The Education Department has launched a probe into Harvard and Yale, after it claims to have discovered that the universities failed to report billions of dollars in funding from foreign countries such as China.