2019年2月13日 星期三

On The Money: Lawmakers race to pass border deal | Trump rips 'stingy' Democrats, but says shutdown would be 'terrible' | Battle over contractor back pay | Banking panel kicks off data security talks

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Happy Wednesday 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, vneedham@thehill.com, njagoda@thehill.com and nelis@thehill.com. Follow us on Twitter: @SylvanLane, @VickofTheHill, @NJagoda and @NivElis.


THE BIG DEAL--Lawmakers race to pass border deal: Lawmakers are rushing to pass a bipartisan border deal that would prevent a looming government shutdown and resolve the long-standing impasse over President Trump's border wall.

Democratic leaders said they expect the House to pass the funding package Thursday night, giving senators across the Capitol a little more than 24 hours to vote and send it to Trump for his expected signature. Parts of the government will shut down on Saturday if a new funding bill has not been signed into law.

Lawmakers had yet to even see legislation on Wednesday evening, meaning many in Congress are likely to cast votes on the bill without reading many of its details. Democrats said they planned to unveil the legislation Wednesday night. The Hill's Scott Wong and Niv Elis give us the state of play here.

What we know:

  • Democrats are broadly supportive of the legislation, which has also won the support of Senate GOP leaders.
  • But the top two Republicans in the House -- Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (Calif.) and Minority Whip Steve Scalise (La.) -- said Wednesday they would not commit to voting for the deal until they got a chance to read the bill's text.
  • Conservatives unveiled a stopgap bill to give them more time to read the deal
  • Dozens of Republicans are expected to vote no on the deal, with one leadership ally predicting there could be as many as 140 GOP defections during the Thursday roll call. That would mean, rather than a big bipartisan vote in the House, newly empowered Democrats largely would be responsible for pushing the funding bill across the finish line.

All eyes on the White HouseTrump has been critical of the legislation, and while he is expected to sign it, he has not confirmed that he would. He called Democrats "stingy" for failing to deliver the $5.7 billion he had been demanding for his border wall, but said earlier Wednesday that a shutdown "would be a terrible thing."

How the wall gets built: Trump could declare a state of emergency to access defense funds or take steps to retool general operations funds from the Department of Homeland Security. If Trump does that, it'll likely spur many lawsuits and concern from Congress.

Conservative pressure: But Freedom Caucus Chairman Mark Meadows (R-N.C.), one of Trump's closest allies in Congress, said the president would be committing "political suicide" of he doesn't do what he can to fund the wall.

If Trump "takes other methods to obtain funding for additional border security measures, then I think there's very little political liability from conservatives," Meadows said.

Negotiators brush off concerns: The bicameral leaders of the conference committee -- the group that negotiated the deal -- dismissed concerns about rushing the legislation.

  • Rep. Kay Granger (Texas), the top House GOP negotiator, briefed her colleagues in a closed-door meeting on the details of the agreement and has been personally updating her fellow GOP appropriators, Republican lawmakers said.
  • "We've got a deadline coming up. ... They basically know what's in the bills," said Senate Appropriations Committee Chairman Richard Shelby (R-Ala.), one of the key negotiators.
  • House Appropriations Committee Chairwoman Nita Lowey (D-N.Y.), Shelby's counterpart in the talks, similarly warned that the only other course would be yet another short-term continuing resolution.



  • The Senate Banking Committee holds a confirmation hearing on the nominations of Bimal Patel, of Georgia, to be an assistant secretary of the Treasury; Todd M. Harper to be a member of the National Credit Union Administration Board; Rodney Hood to be a member of the National Credit Union Administration Board; and Mark Calabria to be Director of the Federal Housing Finance Agency, 10 a.m.


Push to include contractor back pay in funding deal hits GOP roadblock: An effort to include back pay for contractors in the government funding deal is running into GOP opposition.

Senate Minority Leader Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.) said Democrats were trying to get the 17 conferees to approve adding back pay stemming from the longest shutdown in U.S. history into the legislative text of the government funding agreement.

"Thousands of federal contractors have not been reimbursed from the 35-day shutdown. This issue is still hanging in the balance," Schumer said. "No one should stand in the way of that. It's just not fair to them. They were hostages."

  • A Democratic source familiar with the negotiations said Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) was objecting to including the back pay for contractors.
  • A spokesman for McConnell directed questions about the issue to the Office of Management and Budget.
  • A source familiar with the legislation said the administrative cost for implementing the new back pay requirements would be almost as high as the pay out to contractors impacted by the partial government shutdown.


Bipartisan Senators reintroduce legislation to slap new sanctions on Russia: A bipartisan group of senators is renewing their effort to slap new sanctions on Russia over its 2016 election interference and activities in Ukraine and Syria. 

The bill, spearheaded by Sens. Bob Menendez (D-N.J.) and Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.), includes a wide array of new financial penalties targeting Russia's energy sectors, financial institutions and "political figures, oligarchs, and family members and other persons that facilitate illicit and corrupt activities, directly or indirectly, on behalf of Vladimir Putin."

In addition to sanctions, it would also require a two-thirds vote for the United States to leave NATO and force the State Department to determine if Russia is a state sponsor of terrorism. 
Jordain Carney breaks it down here.


Senate Banking panel kicks off talks on data security bill: The leaders of the Senate Banking Committee on Wednesday kicked off a push to write stricter data collection and security standards for financial institutions.

Sen. Mike Crapo (R-Idaho), the panel's chairman, and Sen. Sherrod Brown (Ohio), the ranking Democrat, on Wednesday asked for input on ways to give consumers more control of personally identifiable information collected by financial firms and regulators.

Data security, privacy and collection issues are among the top bipartisan priorities for the Banking Committee, which has broad oversight over U.S. banks, lenders, insurers, traders and credit reporting agencies.

Crapo and Brown's call for feedback is one of the first steps toward proposing a bipartisan bill to address those concerns.





  • President Trump on Wednesday touted a Gallup poll released this week, tweeting that it was "Nice!" that "69% of our great citizens expect their finances to improve next year, a 16 year high."
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