Overnight Finance: Senate wants House to go first on debt

TOMORROW STARTS TONIGHT: RYAN TO MEET WITH HOUSE FREEDOM CAUCUS, via Scott Wong: "Rep. Paul RyanPaul Davis RyanVulnerable Republicans include several up-and-coming GOP leaders Trump ally suspends reelection campaign Congress should prohibit members from serving on company boards MORE met with members of the conservative House Freedom Caucus on Tuesday evening, a sign the Wisconsin Republican is seriously considering running for Speaker. Ryan spokesman Brendan Buck confirmed the meeting, and said the Freedom Caucus requested it... The meeting took place before an evening vote series and a special closed-door meeting of all House Republicans set for 7 p.m.

Ryan spent last week's Columbus Day recess weighing the pros and cons of a bid for Speaker. But his allies say he won't run if the Freedom group -- a bloc of roughly 40 conservative hard-liners -- place certain conditions on his candidacy, including a list of procedural and rules reforms they want to see implemented. The Freedom Caucus, led by Chairman Jim Jordan (R-Ohio), played a big role in pressuring Speaker John BoehnerJohn Andrew BoehnerWomen poised to take charge in Dem majority Freedom Caucus ponders weakened future in minority Consultant to Virginia Senate candidate compared GOP establishment to 'house negro': report MORE (R-Ohio) to leave office early and forcing House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) to abandon his bid for the top post." http://bit.ly/1jzlUIT

Oh to be a fly on the wall....

THIS IS OVERNIGHT FINANCE, where we are still elated with the Eagles' win. Tweet: Tweet: @kevcirilli; email: kcirilli@thehill.com; and subscribe: http://thehill.com/signup/48. Back to work.

BoehnerJohn Andrew BoehnerWomen poised to take charge in Dem majority Freedom Caucus ponders weakened future in minority Consultant to Virginia Senate candidate compared GOP establishment to 'house negro': report MORE'S FINAL TEST: DEBT CEILING, via Pete Schroeder: "Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) has his work cut out for him in passing a bill to raise the $18.1 trillion debt ceiling. The lame-duck Speaker needs to win 30 Republican votes to lift the government's borrowing limit, even if the entire House Democratic Caucus votes with him." http://bit.ly/1MCkCn6

-- WHITE HOUSE: WE WILL NOT NEGOTIATE, via Alexander Bolton: "Treasury Secretary Jack LewJacob (Jack) Joseph LewOvernight Finance: US reaches deal with ZTE | Lawmakers look to block it | Trump blasts Macron, Trudeau ahead of G-7 | Mexico files WTO complaint Obama-era Treasury secretary: Tax law will make bipartisan deficit-reduction talks harder GOP Senate report says Obama officials gave Iran access to US financial system MORE told Republican and Democratic members of the Senate Finance Committee on Tuesday that President Obama will not negotiate entitlement reforms in order to raise the debt ceiling. Lew warned the powerful panel, which has jurisdiction over Social Security, Medicare and tax law, that Obama will only accept a clean bill to extend the nation's borrowing authority." http://bit.ly/1NSNX2t

-- SENATE WAITING FOR HOUSE, via Jordain Carney: "Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellThe Hill's 12:30 Report Republican strategist: Trump is 'driven by ego' Senate GOP campaign arm asking Trump to endorse McSally in Arizona: report MORE (R-Ky.) on Tuesday insisted the House would have to move first on raising the debt ceiling. 'No matter how many times you ask me, we're going to wait and see what the House does on that subject,' McConnell told reporters, adding that the Senate will 'respond accordingly.'

The Republican leader declined to say if anything except a clean increase of the debt limit could pass the Senate. Asked by reporters if Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) has told him when the House could start its work, McConnell referred those questions to Boehner." http://bit.ly/1ZVg5Ww

BACK TO BASICS: CLINTON BACK IN THE LEAD IN NEW HAMPSHIRE, via Jesse Byrnes: "A new poll finds Hillary ClintonHillary Diane Rodham ClintonHillicon Valley: FBI fires Strzok after anti-Trump tweets | Trump signs defense bill with cyber war policy | Google under scrutiny over location data | Sinclair's troubles may just be beginning | Tech to ease health data access | Netflix CFO to step down Signs grow that Mueller is zeroing in on Roger Stone Omarosa claims president called Trump Jr. a 'f--- up' for releasing Trump Tower emails MORE getting a post-debate bounce in New Hampshire, where she leads Sen. Bernie SandersBernard (Bernie) SandersOvernight Health Care: States fight Trump on non-ObamaCare plans | Analysis looks into surprise medical bills | Left hits industry group working against single payer Overnight Energy: Trump Cabinet officials head west | Zinke says California fires are not 'a debate about climate change' | Perry tours North Dakota coal mine | EPA chief meets industry leaders in Iowa to discuss ethanol mandate Sen. Sanders blasts Zinke: Wildfires 'have everything to do with climate change' MORE (I-Vt.) 41 percent to 33 percent. The survey from the left-leaning Public Policy Polling shows Clinton has an eight-point lead over Sanders with usual primary voters. Vice President Biden, who is expected to announce a decision soon on entering the race, is further behind at 11 percent." http://bit.ly/1W2YhnK

LAWMAKERS, BANKS, FED UNITE: DON'T SLASH DIVIDEND RATE! My latest for The Hill: A bipartisan group of lawmakers has joined the banking industry in urging House leadership not to slash the interest rate banks earn off dividends from the Federal Reserve. House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) and House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) each declined comment through spokespeople on Tuesday after a group of 150 bipartisan members sent them a letter urging them not to cut the rate, fearing the consequences of such a move on the banking system.

-- WHAT HAPPENED: Reps. Bill Huizenga (R-Mich.) and Bill FosterGeorge (Bill) William FosterOvernight Defense: House passes 5B defense spending bill | Pentagon moving forward on Trump military parade | Mattis vows 'ironclad' support for South Korea's defense House passes 5B Pentagon spending bill Overnight Health Care — Sponsored by PCMA — ObamaCare premium wars are back MORE (D-Ill.) circulated the letter, which asked leaders to stop any Congressional talk of lowering the rate "until there is greater examination of the issue and an understanding of the implications that such a statutory change might have on the banking system." The lawmakers and the banking industry are concerned that House leaders will seek to lower the rate in an effort to pay for a federal transportation fund, which expires Oct. 31. Senate leaders attempted the same strategy in July, though it ultimately failed. "We have to quit robbing Peter to pay Paul," Huizenga said in an interview.

-- GET SMART FAST: Federal Reserve officials grant banks a 6 percent interest rate on dividend investments in an effort to incentivize banks to join into the system, thereby promoting national banking stability. Leadership is considering slashing it to 1.5 percent, which could mean small and medium sized banks will stay out of the Federal Reserve membership system. What happens after that is anyone's guess. Federal Reserve chairwoman Janet Yellen, whom President Obama appointed, warned in Senate testimony in July that slashing the rate would create significant uncertainty. "I would be concerned that reducing the dividend could have unintended consequences for banks' willingness to be part of the Federal Reserve system -- and this might particularly apply to smaller institutions," Yellen said in July.

-- THE POLITICS BEHIND THE POLICY: Politically, the issue has united Republicans who back the banking industry as a whole with Democrats, who are skeptical of larger financial institutions but sympathetic to medium-sized and small banks. Big banks and small banks often butt heads on certain financial regulatory issues, but they're united on this effort.One-hundred-and-three House Republicans and 47 House Democrats signed the letter, including 19 of the 26 Democrats on the House Financial Services Committee. "We got a good showing from members of both parties indicating that this is a significant worry," Foster said in an interview.Foster said he wants the non-partisan Government Accountability Office (GAO) to study the likely impact of a change before the interest rate is lowered."I'm a big believer in getting the facts before we just charge off in some direction," he said.House Financial Services Committee chairman Jeb Hensarling (R-Texas) has also asked for a GAO officials study.

-- INDUSTRY RESPONSE: Meanwhile, the banking industry is again urging leadership not to slash the rate. "This letter appears to be a simple statement of concern about a policy item that has never been the subject of a single hearing," said Francis Creighton, head of government affairs with the Financial Services Roundtable. Creighton said that "certainly Members of Congress and Senators should understand how their actions will impact the economy before they do it." Paul Merski, an executive vice president at the Independent Community Bankers of America (ICBA), said that they worked to get signatures on the letter. He called talk of slashing the rate "insult to injury since most medium and small banks are still waiting for regulatory relief." "And now they're considering this backdoor tax without having a single hearing on it?" Merski said. "No one knows what the fall-out will be if banks start switching out from being Fed members to be state-chartered banks." One-third of banks in the U.S. are members of the Federal Reserve membership system, Merski said. "The whole point [of the 6 percent rate] is to have banks buy into part of the Federal Reserve," he said. "They won't have the incentive to do that. And everybody is warning lawmakers not to do this: banks, lawmakers and even the Fed chairwoman." http://bit.ly/1M6ru1T

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