By Kevin Cirilli - 07/23/14 07:14 PM EDT
BIG STORY, via Reuters Jeff Mason: “President Barack Obama has sent a team to Texas to assess whether a U.S. National Guard deployment would help to handle an immigration crisis at the Mexican border, White House officials told Reuters on Wednesday, having so far resisted Republican calls for such a move.”http://reut.rs/1kcKzlH.
“IRS Commissioner John Koskinen, testifying before a House oversight subcommittee, stressed that he does not know ‘how they found them’ or ‘whether there's anything on them or not.’ But he said the inspector general's office advised him the investigators are reviewing tapes to see if they contain any ‘recoverable’ material.
“The revelation is significant because the IRS claimed, when the agency first told Congress about the missing emails, that backup tapes ‘no longer exist because they have been recycled.’” http://fxn.ws/1rtOT0k.
CR-WATCH: HOUSE VOTE NEXT WEEK STILL POSSIBLE, via Cristina Marcos for the hometown paper: “The chairman of the House spending panel said Wednesday that members are talking about moving a continuing resolution before the chamber adjourns for the August recess next week, but have not made a final decision. House Appropriations Committee Chairman Hal Rogers (R-Ky.) said limited time is the rationale for moving a funding measure before the five-week break.” http://bit.ly/1rMeeBV.
DAYS UNTIL EX-IM EXPIRES: 69. And we’re hearing from both Republicans and Democrats alike that Ex-Im supporters’ have regained the upper hand against its Tea Party critics.
A top GOP strategist – who opposes reauthorization – tells OVERNIGHT that the Democrats’ “biggest weapon” is the Continuing Resolution (CR). The strategist said that Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) “rightly knows the number one thing that Republicans want to avoid is a government shutdown with only one month to go before the November elections.”
-- MEANWHILE, Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) told me earlier today that he’s put his Ex-Im reauthorization bill with Sen. Mark Kirk (R-Ill.) on-hold as they wait for the House to figure out what they’ll do with Ex-Im. Manchin smiled when asked if including Ex-Im in a CR would make it difficult for the bank's opponents to shut it down. Then he quipped: "It makes it a little difficult, doesn't it?"
TOP TALKER – NY Times alleges that Sen. John Walsh (D-Mont.) plagiarized his college thesis. Walsh denies. http://nyti.ms/1pdppm8.
WATCH THIS: BIDEN WHITE BOARDS HIGHWAY TRUST. The White House released a 5-min. video today of Vice President Joe Biden urging a long-term extension of federal transportation. Congress is considering a $10.9 billion temporary extension through May 2015 of road and transit funding that’d otherwise run out next month. http://bit.ly/1r9wfsG.
-- HOW IT PLAYED: BuzzFeed’s Evan McMorris-Santoro writes, “President Obama has a pen and a phone. On Wednesday, Vice President Biden got a marker and a whiteboard.” http://bzfd.it/1kceRVB.
BAD MOVE? WATERS SLAMS CFTC FOR ‘REVOLVING DOOR.’ House Financial Services ranking member Maxine Waters (D-Calif.) criticized Scott O’Malia earlier today for leaving the CFTC for a job at a derivatives industry trade group. Ben Goad reports for The Hill:
Waters said she would have ‘serious concerns’ about the transition, as reported, and said she would have questions about O’Malia’s intentions.
‘It does not bode well to have someone move and go right into a position that they could exercise some influence based on where they’ve been, so I would have concerns about that,’ she said. Waters added that Congress should ‘start to talk about how we would prevent that kind of move from happening.’” http://bit.ly/1ngWvCa.
QUOTABLE: Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-Utah), blasting Democrats who claim there’s a tax loophole for U.S. businesses that ship jobs overseas, “It’s total B-S. It’s amazing to me what people will do for political advantage. It’s shameless.” http://bit.ly/1nhARxx.
SEC APPROVES RULES ON MONEY MARKET FUNDS, via William Alden for DealBook: “Regulators on Wednesday imposed new restrictions on a vast market that played a major part in the 2008 financial crisis.
“By a 3-to-2 vote, the Securities and Exchange Commission adopted a set of new rules for money market funds, a $2.6 trillion industry where ordinary individuals and sophisticated institutions alike park their cash. The rules come after years of debating among regulators and lobbying from Wall Street.” http://nyti.ms/1x3157Z.
BAD BET: ATLANTIC CITY, Elis Young for Bloomberg: “Atlantic City, New Jersey, the gambling hub that’s been pummeled by regional competition in the U.S. Northeast, had its credit rating cut two levels to speculative grade by Moody’s Investors Service.”
“The reduction to Ba1 from Baa2 on the city’s $245 million of general-obligation debt reflects a weakened tax base resulting from anticipated casino closings, the New York-based ratings company said today in a statement. The outlook remains negative.” http://bloom.bg/WDzcZx.
THE SCENE – Former House Financial Services Chairman Barney Frank (D-Mass.) getting up and walking out of Committee hearing twice to take cell phone calls. Even Chairman Jeb Hensarling (R-Texas) cracked a smile. The fiery Frank, as expected, took his critics head on during his testimony earlier today before the committee, where he defended Dodd-Frank four years after its passage. Our Ben Goad has the story: http://bit.ly/1jW3TmB.
-- HOW IT PLAYED: The Hill: ‘Barney Frank ‘not embarrassed’ about toll of financial regs’ ...WSJ: ‘Barney Frank Challenges GOP’s ‘Too Big to Fail’ Arguments’ ...Boston Globe: “Barney Frank returns to D.C. for financial services hearing’ ...BusinessWeek: “’Bring it on,’ Frank Tells Dodd-Frank Critics at Hearing.’
-- RT Nathaniel Hoopes, @forumwonk, at Financial Services Forum: “Standard @BarneyFrank: brings prepared notes doesn't use them, splutters a bit, brings sarcasm, quotes groucho marx, opponents left baffled.”
SIDESHOW: PALIN SINKS TEETH INTO ‘TRUE BLOOD.’ Sarah Palin to Breitbart News, weighing-in on ‘True Blood’ making fun of Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas): “The brilliant minds of True Blood were brazen enough to ask me to do a cameo on their show, apparently so they could insult a conservative woman in person instead of just all conservative women in general. Their offer wasn’t presented in any negative way, perhaps to benefit from a surprise factor after the guest appearance. I turned them down anyway...
“To producers who throw these deceitfully ‘flattering’ bones that sound fun on the surface, is it really any wonder I don’t accept your offers to participate in your shows. Nice try HBO. I’d put any mama grizzly in America against a vampire any day; for only one of them actually exists. The left wants to talk about a ‘war on women?’ Keep engaging in your misogynist attacks on women you disagree with and we’ll see who wins your self-inflicted war in the court of decent public opinion.”http://bit.ly/1sS1XOU.