On The Money: Trump wall fight endangers must-pass defense bill | Slumping Halloween sales spook analysts | Survey finds business hiring has fallen | Dems eye tax hikes on corporations, financial transactions

Happy Monday 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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THE BIG DEAL–Trump wall endangers must-pass defense bill: Talks on the annual defense policy bill are hitting a wall — President Trump’s border wall.

Negotiators in the House and Senate say they are struggling to reach a compromise on several issues in the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) related to the wall, dragging the must-pass bill into a quagmire that has bedeviled multiple legislative efforts in recent years.

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The border wall was always expected to be among the most difficult issues in this year’s NDAA conference discussions. But grievances from the leaders of the House and Senate Armed Services committees that have spilled into public from the private negotiations suggest a murky path forward for a bill that has been signed into law for nearly 60 years straight.

  • “I want to be really clear about this: There is one, and only one, reason why we’re not making progress on the bill, and that’s the wall,” House Armed Services Chairman Adam SmithDavid (Adam) Adam SmithOvernight Defense: Latest on al-Baghdadi’s death | Trump weighs releasing raid video | Pentagon reveals 2 suspects captured in raid | House to vote on impeachment procedures | Border wall fight stalls defense bill On The Money: Trump wall fight endangers must-pass defense bill | Slumping Halloween sales spook analysts | Survey finds business hiring has fallen | Dems eye tax hikes on corporations, financial transactions Trump wall endangers must-pass defense bill MORE (D-Wash.) said.
  • Senate Armed Services Chairman Jim InhofeJames (Jim) Mountain InhofeThe Hill’s 12:30 Report — Presented by Nareit — White House cheers Republicans for storming impeachment hearing GOP senators frustrated with Romney jabs at Trump The Hill’s Morning Report – Presented by Better Medicare Alliance – Diplomat’s ‘powerful’ testimony and ‘lynching’ attract headlines MORE (R-Okla.) said separately that negotiations are “not going well” and that the “border issue is probably the one that is the biggest issue.”

The Hill’s Rebecca Kheel explains why this poses risks for a government shutdown.

 

ON TAP TOMORROW

  • The Federal Reserve’s Federal Open Markets Committee (FOMC) begins its two-day meeting in Washington, D.C.
  • A House Financial Services subcommittee holds a hearing on LGBTQ+ discrimination within the housing and lending industries, 10 a.m.
  • A House Judiciary subcommittee holds a hearing entitled “Antitrust and Economic Opportunity: Competition in Labor Markets,” 10 a.m.
  • The House Financial Services Committee holds a markup of pending legislation related to the Export-Import Bank, terrorism risk insurance, 1 p.m.

 

LEADING THE DAY

Slumping Halloween sales spook experts: Beyond ghosts and ghouls and the walking dead, Halloween may have some frightening news for the economy.

Retailers say they expect American consumers to shell out $8.8 billion this Halloween on costumes, candy and pumpkins. That figure may sound massive, but it represents the second consecutive fall in annual spending, a worrying sign for a consumer-driven economy — and for President TrumpDonald John TrumpJudge schedules hearing for ex-Trump aide who refused to appear in inquiry READ: Army officer to tell investigators he twice reported concerns over Trump’s Ukraine dealings Murkowski, Collins say they won’t co-sponsor Graham’s impeachment resolution MORE‘s reelection prospects.

In a year that’s seen tariffs imposed on $360 billion in imports from China and with warning signs of a recession flashing, the bite into holiday spending could be a sign the economy is going the way of the undead.

The trend for consumer sentiment over the past year has been clear, according to John Leer, an analyst at Morning Consult, which recently launched a daily consumer sentiment index that tracks how consumers feel about the current economy and their expectations of where the economy is headed.

“For all these consumer indexes, we see that they are considerably lower than they were at this time last year,” Leer said. The Hill’s Niv Elis explains why here.

The big takeaway: Consumer spending accounts for roughly 70 percent of the U.S. economy, so a drop in consumer sentiment can be a bad omen for growth. It could also pose risks for Trump, who is hoping to ride a strong economy to reelection.

 

GOOD TO KNOW

  • The S&P 500, an index that tracks the largest U.S. companies, hit a new peak of 3,043 on Monday, breaking a summer record of 3,027.
  • The left-leaning Institute on Taxation and Economic Policy on Monday released a paper arguing a financial transaction tax (FTT) could reduce wealth and income inequality, as several Democratic presidential candidates have released proposals calling for those types of taxes.
  • Interest is also growing among 2020 Democrats in raising the corporate tax rate back to the level where it was prior to President Trump’s tax-cut law.
  • The Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget (CRFB) on Monday released a paper providing its preliminary estimates for various ways to finance “Medicare for All,” as the issue of how to pay for such a health plan has taken center stage in the Democratic presidential primary.
  • A survey of U.S. companies by the National Association for Business Economics (NABE) found hiring has fallen sharply in recent months, according to an NABE summary of the survey.

 

ODDS AND ENDS

  • The parent company of Google is in talks to purchase Fitbit, the company behind a line of wearable fitness trackers, Reuters reports.
  • Op-Ed: Sens. Kevin CramerKevin John CramerOn The Money: Trump wall fight endangers must-pass defense bill | Slumping Halloween sales spook analysts | Survey finds business hiring has fallen | Dems eye tax hikes on corporations, financial transactions Reauthorizing the EXIM Bank must be a top priority for Congress GOP worries it’s losing impeachment fight MORE (R-N.D.) and Kyrsten Sinema (D-Ariz.) argue why “Reauthorizing the EXIM Bank must be a top priority for Congress”

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