OVERNIGHT FINANCE: Hensarling holds keys to Ex-Im, terror risk bill

BIG STORY: “HRABOVE, Ukraine (AP) — A Malaysia Airlines passenger plane carrying 295 people was shot down over war-torn eastern Ukraine on Thursday, Ukrainian officials said, and both the government and the pro-Russia separatists fighting in the region denied any responsibility for downing the aircraft.” http://bit.ly/1nf685e.

TOMORROW STARTS TONIGHT – WELCOME TO THE JEB HENSARLING SHOW. Thanks to his chairmanship of the House Financial Services Committee, the rising Tea Party star now holds political clout on the most important financial services issues left on Congress’ to-do list: reauthorizing both the Terrorism Risk Insurance Act (TRIA); and the Export-Import Bank.

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-- HENSARLING TO BIZ GROUPS: EX-IM OR TRIA, PICK YOUR POISON. “What does Jeb have now? Leverage,” griped a former senior congressional staffer turned TRIA reauthorization advocate to OVERNIGHT. “This is all about deal making and who has the power to decide what gets done in the last couple of legislative weeks. Jeb has both Ex-Im and TRIA sitting in his lap right now and he knows it... With TRIA tied-up now, he has more leverage on Ex-Im.”

-- HOW IT HAPPENED: Earlier today, the Senate voted 93-4 to pass a TRIA reauthorization bill that business groups say provides a critical federal backstop in case of a terrorist attack. Business groups back the Senate bill... but balked at the House version. TRIA needs to be reauthorized by Dec. 31st or it expires.

Hensarling in a public statement earlier this afternoon: “I’m still committed to getting a bill passed, but it has become very clear this week that the process is going to take several more months before there is a resolution. 

“We have a diverse Republican caucus in the House... Washington is paying a lot of attention to one group’s concerns, but not enough attention to the other’s. That’s got to change if any TRIA bill is going to pass.” Jeb wants to slow down, but incoming House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) wants to speed up...

Tea Partiers argue that the private sector should have more of a foothold in the terrorism insurance market, while more centrist GOPers think the government has a role to play in case of an attack. Also at issue are the conditions that would trigger the backstop and the threshold for government action.

More on that in a sec... but first...

THIS IS OVERNIGHT FINANCE, and tomorrow is Friday. Congrats, you made it to the end of another week. Tweet: @kevcirilli; email: kcirilli@thehill.com; and subscribe: http://thehill.com/signup/48.

DOJ: WE DON’T WANT AN IRS SPECIAL PROSECUTOR. Bernie Becker for The Hill: A top Justice Department official on Thursday brushed aside GOP requests for a special prosecutor to investigate the IRS’s treatment of Tea Party groups, saying the evidence didn’t warrant such an appointment.

‘It is very, very rare to use a special prosecutor,’ Deputy Attorney General James Cole told a House Oversight subcommittee, adding that he and Attorney General Eric Holder determined the IRS case ‘didn’t meet any sort of standard to warrant a special prosecutor.’ Cole tried to assure Republicans at a House hearing that his department was taking seriously a criminal investigation that a host of GOP lawmakers have accused of being shoddy. http://bit.ly/WfjByF.

DAYS UNTIL EX-IM EXPIRES: 75.

HOUSE LAUNCHES EX-IM INVESTIGATIONS. The House Oversight Committee is investigating Ex-Im in wake of a Wall Street Journal story detailing corruption at the bank. Chairman Darrell Issa (R-Calif.) and Rep. Jim Jordan (R-Ohio) wrote to Ex-Im Chairman Fred Hochberg today asking for more details. Damien Paletta for WSJ: http://on.wsj.com/UeujUW.

MEANWHILE... Rep. Patrick McHenry (R-N.C.), chairman of the House Financial Services subcommittee on oversight and investigations, wrote to Hochberg requesting the minutes of the Bank’s board of directors since 2010 and that top Ex-Im officals be made available for transcribed interviews conducted by House FinServ Oversight staff. READ THE LETTERS HERE: http://bit.ly/1mZeD2I AND HERE: http://bit.ly/1zOhmlc.

McHenry’s requests aren’t formally an investigation. House rules allow for a Committee to study agencies to see whether they should be reformed or eliminated.   

VOTABLE -- THE HILL’s 50 MOST BEAUTIFUL PEOPLE. You can vote now for The Hill's 50 Most Beautiful: Reader's Choice winner. http://bit.ly/U4awab. Deadline is tomorrow.

QUOTABLE, Hensarling on CNBC earlier today, talking about the fourth anniversary of Dodd-Frank: “I hesitate to ever agree with Elizabeth Warren on anything, but I think there’s a growing consensus – including a consensus with the president of the United States of America -- that Dodd-Frank did not end ‘too big to fail’ and ‘too small to matter’ ...At the end of the day, Dodd-Frank has ensured that the big banks have gotten bigger, the small banks have gotten fewer, the taxpayers have gotten poorer, and our economy is less robust.” Video: http://bit.ly/1mSHRRw.

NOTABLE: WARREN IN DETROIT TOMORROW: The could-be 2016 candidate will speak at Netroots Nation in Detroit tomorrow. Earlier today, another rumored “Hillary alternative” spoke at the liberal activist conference: Vice President Joe Biden. Perry Bacon Jr. for NBC News: http://nbcnews.to/1zO85tw.

HILLARY WATCH: The former secretary of State and likely 2016 Democratic candidate will be on Charlie Rose tonight. ICYMIClinton was on Jon Stewart last night. Video: http://on.cc.com/1nbhSWj.

HATCH OPEN TO SHORT-TERM CHANGE ON TAX DEALS, via Bernie Becker: Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-Utah) on Thursday said he was open to a short-term fix for offshore corporate tax deals, becoming the first top Republican to express support for the idea.

“In a letter to Treasury Secretary Jack Lew, Hatch, the Finance Committee’s top Republican, declined to lay out what sort of short-term measures he might propose for corporations that shift their legal address abroad, slashing their tax bill in the process.” http://bit.ly/1ruT239.

KEVIN MCCARTHY’s FIRST TEST? Incoming House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) said earlier today that the House may consider bills to provide funding for the border and TRIA reauthorization, despite the whip count on the latter dropping yesterday. "Members should be prepared for possible consideration of border crisis legislation," McCarthy told reporters earlier today. Cristina Marcos recaps for the hometown paper: http://bit.ly/1r7km8l.

 

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This post was updated July 21 at 12:43 p.m.