TOMORROW STARTS TONIGHT: Rep. Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) as the next House majority leader; Tea Party-friendly Rep. Steve Scalise (R-La.) is the next House GOP Whip. House GOPers voted earlier this afternoon. No vote tallies were released.
--WHAT’S NEXT: So now Hill fodder turns toward whom Scalise will pick for chief deputy whip, a decision is expected any day. Rep. Aaron Schock (R-Ill.) backed Scalise in the whip race, bucking his Illinois colleague Rep. Peter Roskam (R), who ran for whip and lost.
--THE BUZZ: Schock endorsed Scalise to position himself for deputy whip. Other rumored contenders include two House Financial Services Committee members: Reps. Patrick McHenry (R-N.C.); and freshman Ann Wagner (R-Mo.), a rising star who whipped people from the freshman class to support Scalise. A freshman has never been named deputy whip and Wagner is not lobbying for the spot.
Back to work...
FED WATCH: MARKETS RALLY FOR SECOND DAY. Caroline Valetkevitch for Reuters: “The S&P 500 ended at another record high on Thursday, extending gains for a fifth day on investors' optimism that the Federal Reserve will keep interest rates low for a long period of time.” http://reut.rs/SWNBx5.
2016 WATCH: The Associated Press: “Prosecutors believe Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker, a potential 2016 Republican candidate for president, was at the center of a nationwide ‘criminal scheme’ to illegally coordinate fundraising with outside conservative groups, according to previously secret court documents released Thursday.” http://cnb.cx/1idzijU.
WORD ‘ROUND TOWN -- LANNY DAVIS: “Jeb Bush – A Formidable Candidate for President.” The former Clinton adviser makes clear in his Hill op-ed he won’t be voting for Bush, though. Read it here: http://bit.ly/1lFrTsJ.
TRIA TALK: HENSARLING SIGNALS SMOOTH COURSE FOR PASSAGE: Tomorrow the House Financial Services Committee will finish marking-up its Terrorism Risk Insurance Act (TRIA) reauthorization legislation. With Chairman Jeb Hensarling (R-Texas) backing the bill, most don’t think there will be a political fight and expect reauthorization in the coming weeks. (The Senate Banking Committee has already approved a TRIA bill.)
Three quick Q’s:
1.) Hold up, Tea Party favorite Hensarling supports government involvement in the insurance market? In this case he does – for now. And in his opening statement at this morning’s mark-up he walked the line carefully:
“We know that TRIA primarily speaks to one issue and that is, after an unspeakable act of terrorism, who pays the bill: property owners, insurance companies, or taxpayers? I, for one, believe that ultimately there are far too many costs that are involuntarily socialized by the government today...
“I remind all that TRIA when originally envisioned was meant to be a transitional program... [However] I have concluded that today there remains a need for a federal backstop against heinous acts of terrorism that cannot be reasonably modeled, reasonably mitigated and whose catastrophic size truly impacts our economy.”
2.) What are the main differences between the Senate and House bills? The so-called “trigger” issue for when the government would step in to help with terrorist attack losses. House sets the trigger at $500 million. Senate sets it at $100 million.
3.) Why isn’t the Tea Party fighting against TRIA? One word: Terrorism. Hensarling himself even mentioned his recent visit to the September 11 museum at today’s hearing.
Politically speaking, “TRIA is hard to fight because of the optics around terrorism,” a former senior GOP staffer turned TRIA lobbyist told OVERNIGHT FINANCE.
-- EX-IM? Aside from terrorism, Hensarling could be keeping his political powder dry for the looming Export-Import Bank reauthorization fight. Hensarling and the Tea Party oppose its reauthorization, dubbing it “corporate cronyism.”
Our source said: “At the end of the day, Ex-Im is going to be reauthorized. But what’s the middle ground for that? Hensarling can still come away with a political win by saying, ‘Hell no, I’m not green-lighting this before September. I’m going to put the fear of God into these people – and then I’m just going to do a temporary reauthorization for six months.’”
“A six-month reauthorization gets him through a political maze because it’d provide shelter for hard-line Republicans up for reelection, who then can say they reauthorized Ex-Im for the short-term in preparation for a bigger fight around the corner.”
COLLINS AMENDMENT TWEAK POISED TO BECOME FIRST DODD-FRANK ‘FIX-IT’: Hensarling signaled this morning that he’s open to supporting a bipartisan Dodd-Frank ‘fix-it’ bill in the Senate that tweaks the Collins Amendment. It’d clarify that under Dodd-Frank’s Collins Amendment, the Fed can’t apply capital and liquidity requirements meant for banks to insurance companies.
A House bill has already been introduced, but today’s House Financial Services hearing means the House could just vote right away on the Senate version, avoiding conference and speeding up the process.
STALLED: SENATE APPROPS BILL. Ramsey Cox for The Hill: “Senate leaders could not agree Thursday on an amendment process to a “minibus” spending bill that aims to fund parts of the government after September.
“Senate Majority Leader Harry ReidHarry ReidFranken emerges as liberal force in hearings GOP eyes new push to break up California court The DC bubble is strangling the DNC MORE (D-Nev.) tried to get unanimous consent to hold votes on germane amendments to the three appropriations bills as long as passage was held to a 60-vote threshold.” http://bit.ly/1l7HX6G.
CFPB COLLECTS $225M FROM GE CAPITAL FOR DISCRIMINATION SETTLEMENT. Tim Devaney for the hometown paper: “Federal regulators on Thursday announced the largest credit card discrimination settlement in history, as the bank formerly known as GE Capital agreed to pay a total of $225 million to resolve claims of discrimination and deceptive marketing.
“GE Capital, which has since changed its name to Synchrony Bank, will pay $169 million to about 108,000 Hispanic borrowers that the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) and Justice Department allege were discriminated against.
“GE Capital will also pay $56 million to reimburse about 638,000 consumers who faced deceptive marketing practices. The CFPB is fining the bank $3.5 million for these deceptive marketing violations, but not for the discrimination claims because the bank self-reported that problem.” http://bit.ly/1pou7y3.
TAX WATCH, via Julian Hattem: “Members of both parties and both chambers are pushing congressional leaders to move swiftly on a bill to ban taxes on access to the Internet. The leaders of the Congressional Internet Caucus on Thursday urged the heads of the House and Senate to take up the legislation before the August recess.” http://bit.ly/1m132zS.
MORE FROM THE HILL’s TEAM:
--BoehnerJohn BoehnerLobbyists expect boom times under Trump Last Congress far from ‘do-nothing’ Top aide: Obama worried about impeachment for Syria actions MORE: WH ‘has not lifted a finger’ for IRS investigation: http://bit.ly/1pk3KYh
--Camp says trade agenda at risk without fast-track: http://bit.ly/1nlNP9i
--House Dem: CFTC bill would be 'sowing the seeds of future disaster’: http://bit.ly/1lDjLKF
--Business lobby opposes tax holiday for highway plan: http://bit.ly/1m18nap
--K Street hits jackpot with casino magnet: http://bit.ly/1nnFyTB