On The Money: Trump says talks on COVID-19 aid are now ‘working out’ | Pelosi shoots down piecemeal approach | Democrats raise questions about Trump tax audits

On The Money: Trump says talks on COVID-19 aid are now ‘working out’ | Pelosi shoots down piecemeal approach | Democrats raise questions about Trump tax audits

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.

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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 John TrumpFive takeaways from the vice presidential debate Harris accuses Trump of promoting voter suppression Pence targets Biden over ISIS hostages, brings family of executed aid worker to debate 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 BartiromoTom Cotton: ‘No doubt’ coronavirus won’t stop confirmation of SCOTUS nominee Biden’s team says he views election against Trump as ‘Park Avenue vs. Scranton’ Ex-NFL player running for House as Republican blasts Democrats as ‘narcissists and sociopaths’ 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.

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 SchumerPelosi asked if steroids influenced Trump’s decision on coronavirus relief Schumer and Statehood for Puerto Rico Trump orders aides to halt talks on COVID-19 relief MORE (D-N.Y.) and Senate Finance Committee ranking member Ron WydenRonald (Ron) Lee WydenJewish lawmakers targeted by anti-Semitic tweets ahead of election: ADL Hillicon Valley: Senate panel votes to subpoena Big Tech executives | Amazon says over 19,000 workers tested positive for COVID-19 | Democrats demand DHS release report warning of election interference Democrats demand DHS release report warning of election interference 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 HarrisFive takeaways from the vice presidential debate Harris accuses Trump of promoting voter suppression Pence targets Biden over ISIS hostages, brings family of executed aid worker to debate 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 BidenFive takeaways from the vice presidential debate Harris accuses Trump of promoting voter suppression Pence targets Biden over ISIS hostages, brings family of executed aid worker to debate 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.