Happy Thursday and welcome back to On The Money, where we would have loved to have been a fly on the wall in the Oval Office. I’m Sylvan Lane, and here’s your nightly guide to everything affecting your bills, bank account and bottom line.
THE BIG DEAL–Trump appeals to Supreme Court to keep tax returns from NY prosecutors: President Trump on Thursday appealed to the Supreme Court, asking it to reverse a court order requiring his accountants to hand over eight years of tax returns, in a dramatic escalation of his fight to keep his financial records private.
In their petition to the Supreme Court, Trump’s personal lawyers called the records request “politically motivated,” and said the subpoena should not be allowed to pierce the immunity the Constitution gives to the president.
- Trump’s request comes after a federal appeals court in New York last week said Manhattan prosecutors could enforce a subpoena against Trump’s accounting firm Mazars USA for his personal and corporate financial records from 2011 to 2018.
- A three-judge panel of the Second Circuit last week said Manhattan prosecutors could obtain Trump’s financial records as part of a grand jury investigation, over Trump’s claims of presidential immunity.
- Cyrus Vance Jr., the Democratic district attorney for New York County, agreed not to enforce the subpoena because Trump’s lawyers said they would quickly appeal to the Supreme Court.
The stakes: Trump’s appeal sets up the potential for a historic case before the high court testing separation of powers and the president’s immunity from prosecution.
The Supreme Court will take up the case if four justices sign on to Trump’s request. If the court does take the case, some legal analysts believe a ruling could come next summer, just months before the 2020 election.
The Hill’s John Kruzel tells us what comes next.
ON TAP TOMORROW
- The House votes on the U.S. Export Finance Agency Act, which is expected to pass along party lines and die once it reaches the Senate, where it is opposed by Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell.
More here: The White House and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) on Thursday announced their opposition to a Democratic bill to fund and reform the Export-Import Bank.
LEADING THE DAY
Pelosi: Deal on new NAFTA ‘imminent’ House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) on Thursday said that a deal to update the North American Trade Agreement (NAFTA) was “imminent.”
“I do believe that if we can get this to the place it needs to be, which is imminent, that this can be a template for future trade agreements, a good template,” she said at her weekly press conference.
The Hill’s Niv Elis tells us why here.
The background: House Democrats have been involved in intense negotiations with the Trump administration over provisions of the new trade deal, called the U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA).
- Democrats have sought stronger enforcement provisions, particularly in regard to labor, environmental and pharmaceutical issues.
- Pelosi met Thursday afternoon with the top Democrats negotiating the deal, and is scheduled to speak with U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer later.
- Rep. Richard Neal (D-Mass.), the head of the Ways and Means Committee that oversees trade, said he did not expect an announcement Thursday, but indicated that talks were nearing completion.
Mnuchin, lawmakers hopeful to avoid a shutdown: The administration is not planning to shut down the government as negotiations over funding President Trump’s border wall rush toward a Nov. 21 deadline, said Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin.
“We have no intention of having a shutdown. I think everybody intends to keep the government open,” Mnuchin said following a meeting with House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) and the top congressional appropriators from both chambers.
- Wall funding has become the central obstacle for passing bills to fund the government and avoid a shutdown.
- Last year, the same issue led to a 35-day shutdown, the longest in the nation’s history. Trump has been seen as the wild card in the negotiations, and Mnuchin’s participation in Thursday’s meeting and insistence that a shutdown is not in the books raises the chances of things going smoothly.
Negotiators in the meeting agreed to find a solution by Wednesday on how to allocate funds between the government’s agencies.
- Both Senate Appropriations Committee Chairman Richard Shelby (R-Ala.) and House Appropriations Committee Chairwoman Nita Lowey (D-N.Y.) said they want to get a deal on the top-line figures, known as 302(b)s, by Wednesday.
- “We’re talking about the 302(b)s and we’re talking about the allocations for all of the subcommittees,” Lowey told reporters after the meeting.
- Lowey added that the goal was to get the topline figures by Wednesday. She added Democrats have given a new proposal to the Senate, but did not provide the details of that proposal.
Ocasio-Cortez, Sanders unveil $180B green public housing plan: Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.) and Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) on Thursday unveiled the next step to their Green New Deal plan with a bill focused entirely on reimagining public housing.
- The proposal calls for an investment of $180 billion over 10 years to sustainably retrofit and repair public housing with the goal of eliminating all carbon emissions.
- The housing units would meet the zero-emissions goal through the use of solar panels and renewable energy sources.
- The lawmakers say the legislation would not only cut the carbon footprint of the country’s fleet of housing units but enrich the lives of their inhabitants.
The Hill’s Miranda Green tells us why.
GOOD TO KNOW
- Lawmakers and stakeholder groups are pushing for legislation to be enacted this year that would help families of deceased military members have more money in survivor benefits.
- President Trump on Thursday mocked Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell for refusing to lower interest rates, while touting Walmart’s better than expected third-quarter earnings.
- Former Vice President Joe Biden released a campaign plan on Thursday to invest $1.3 trillion in electric car-charging stations, high-speed railroads, clean energy research and other infrastructure.
ODDS AND ENDS
- A new trade association for hemp farmers held its first fly-in Thursday, as members went to Capitol Hill and the Department of Agriculture (USDA) to push policies that support the industry.
- Amazon is taking the battle over the Pentagon’s $10 billion cloud-computing contract to federal court.
- The group of 50 attorneys general investigating Google’s market dominance will also probe the company’s search and Android businesses, expanding their investigation, according to CNBC.