Happy Thursday 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.
THE BIG DEAL—Trump says talks on COVID-19 aid are now 'working out' Two days after calling off coronavirus relief talks with Democrats, President TrumpDonald TrumpTrump goes after Cassidy after saying he wouldn't support him for president in 2024 Jan. 6 panel lays out criminal contempt case against Bannon Hillicon Valley — Presented by Xerox — Agencies sound alarm over ransomware targeting agriculture groups MORE did a full 180-degree turn and said Thursday that he was now negotiating a “bigger deal” than a narrowly focused package to rescue airlines.
“I shut down talks two days ago because they weren’t working out. Now they’re starting to work out,” Trump said in the phone interview with Fox Business host Maria BartiromoMaria Sara BartiromoJudge: Request for Tucker Carlson personnel files is 'intrusive' The Memo: Fall in white population could add fuel to nativist fire A tale of two chambers: Trump's power holds in House, wanes in Senate MORE.
“We’re talking about airlines and we’re talking about a bigger deal than airlines,” he said.
Even so, there was no evidence that the two sides had restarted talks on a broader, trillion-dollar-plus stimulus package, and the timing of Trump’s bullish remarks came on the Fox Business Network just before the stock market opened.
- The comments came less than 48 hours after Trump abruptly derailed talks on another massive round of emergency COVID-19 aid, announcing that he had instructed Treasury Secretary Steven MnuchinSteven MnuchinThe Hill's Morning Report - Presented by Alibaba - Biden jumps into frenzied Dem spending talks Former Treasury secretaries tried to resolve debt limit impasse in talks with McConnell, Yellen: report Menendez, Rubio ask Yellen to probe meatpacker JBS MORE to halt his communications with Speaker Nancy PelosiNancy PelosiBiden to take part in CNN town hall in Baltimore Manchin on finishing agenda by Halloween: 'I don't know how that would happen' The Hill's Morning Report - Presented by Uber - Build Back Better items on chopping block MORE (D-Calif.).
- Facing pushback from lawmakers and stakeholder industries, Trump hours later said he was ready to sign stand-alone bills that would provide funding for another round of $1,200 stimulus checks, and help for small businesses and beleaguered airlines.
But Pelosi has rejected that piecemeal approach without assurances from the White House that President Trump will support a much larger comprehensive aid package.
"The comment I made to the administration last night was: We're happy to review what that standalone bill would look like as part of a bigger bill — if there is a bigger bill," Pelosi told reporters in the Capitol. "But there is no standalone bill."
Pelosi also spoke with Mnuchin later Thursday. According to Drew Hammill, Pelosi’s deputy chief of staff, “The Secretary made clear the President's interest in reaching such an agreement. The Speaker pointed out that, unfortunately, the White House Communications Director contradicted that assertion during their call. The Speaker trusts that the Secretary speaks for the President.”
LEADING THE DAY
Deficit hit record-shattering $3.1T in 2020: CBO: The federal deficit for 2020 is believed to have hit a record-smashing $3.1 trillion in 2020, well over double the highest deficit on record, according to an estimate by the Congressional Budget Office released Thursday.
- Even before the pandemic, the deficit was on track to exceed $1 trillion for the only time since the four-year period following the Great Recession. The fiscal response to that economic downturn led to the previous record deficit of $1.4 trillion in 2009, but that number steadily declined until the mid-2010s.
- Since President Trump took office, the deficit has grown dramatically on the back of unfunded tax cuts and increased spending on both defense and domestic priorities.
- But the onset of the novel coronavirus and the massive government response exploded the deficit this year, though the estimate is below the $3.3 trillion expected even a few weeks ago.
The Hill’s Niv Elis breaks down the data here.
Top Democrats call for investigation into interference in Trump's audits: Two top Senate Democrats are calling for Treasury Department inspectors general to investigate whether there has been any inappropriate interference into IRS audits of President Trump.
The request Thursday, from Senate Minority Leader Charles SchumerChuck SchumerBiden's Supreme Court commission ends not with a bang but a whimper Hispanic organizations call for Latino climate justice in reconciliation Senate to vote next week on Freedom to Vote Act MORE (D-N.Y.) and Senate Finance Committee ranking member Ron WydenRonald (Ron) Lee WydenOvernight Energy & Environment — Presented by the American Petroleum Institute — Democrats address reports that clean energy program will be axed America can end poverty among its elderly citizens Congress needs to step up on crypto, or Biden might crush it MORE (D-Ore.), comes after The New York Times reported last week that Trump has been subject to a years-long audit over a $72.9 million refund he claimed in 2010.
"Due to significant concerns of potential efforts to undermine the integrity of the mandatory audit process and other audits within the IRS, it is essential that the Office of the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration (TIGTA) and Office of the Inspector General (OIG) ensure the appropriate safeguards remain in place to prevent such interference at the agency," Schumer and Wyden wrote in a letter to the leaders of the two offices.
The Hill’s Naomi Jagoda has more here.
GOOD TO KNOW
- Only 28 percent of all workers expect they'll be working in person by the time 2021 rolls around, according to a survey released Thursday by The Conference Board.
- The number of Americans filing their first claims for unemployment benefits dropped to 840,000 during the first week of October, according to data released Thursday by the Labor Department, falling 9,000 from the previous week’s revised level.
- Sen. Kamala HarrisKamala HarrisHarris to campaign with McAuliffe in Virginia Harris to highlight drought, climate change in Nevada trip Senate GOP signals they'll help bail out Biden's Fed chair MORE (D-Calif.) raised the issue of President Trump's tax returns during Wednesday's vice presidential debate, in an effort to contrast Democratic presidential nominee Joe BidenJoe BidenJan. 6 panel lays out criminal contempt case against Bannon Overnight Energy & Environment — Presented by the American Petroleum Institute — Democrats address reports that clean energy program will be axed Two House Democrats to retire ahead of challenging midterms MORE with Trump on the issue of transparency.
- Elliott Broidy, a former top Republican National Committee (RNC) fundraiser, has been charged with conspiring to act as an unregistered foreign agent as part of a back channel effort to lobby the Justice Department.
- The National Confectioners Association (NCA) connected candymakers with lawmakers ahead of a unique Halloween through a virtual fly-in this week.