UPDATED 6:34 AM PT — Friday, January 17, 2019
Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin is declining an offer to testify about how the government shutdown has affected the economy.
His department responded to the House Ways and Means Committee Thursday, saying they will instead send senior Treasury Department and IRS officials to testify in his place.
The committee is seeking answers in how the tax filing season will run if the shutdown continues.
About 70,000 Treasury Department employees have been furloughed, but a new plan, unveiled this week, is calling for half to return to work without pay once the early filing period begins on January 28, 2019.
Secretary Mnuchin is expected to meet with President Trump Friday to discuss the situation.