Overnight Finance: Path clears for Ryan; GOP backing off debt-limit bill

TOMORROW STARTS TONIGHT: RYAN READY FOR NEW ERA? Scott Wong: "Two key GOP groups threw their support behind Rep. Paul RyanPaul Davis RyanDem: Ex-lawmaker tried to pin me to elevator door and kiss me Two months later: Puerto Rico doesn’t have power, education or economy running again On Capitol Hill, few name names on sexual harassment MORE on Thursday, making it almost certain the Wisconsin Republican will be elected next week as the 54th Speaker of the House. The 170-member conservative Republican Study Committee and the 55-member centrist Tuesday Group formally said they were endorsing Ryan for Speaker following separate meetings with him Wednesday and Thursday.

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"The pair of endorsements came a day after Ryan cleared his toughest hurdle in his bid for Speaker. After huddling with the Freedom Caucus for more than an hour Wednesday, the band of roughly 40 hard-line conservatives said a 'super-majority' of its members would support Ryan. Ryan, the current Ways and Means Committee chairman and his party's 2012 vice presidential nominee, had said earlier in the week he would only run for the post if he could win the endorsement of the three major GOP caucuses. But the strong support from the Freedom group -- about 70 percent of its members -- was enough to convince Ryan to press on with his candidacy."

-- RYAN REDISTRIBUTES THE WEALTH, via Wong: Ryan also has been telling his GOP colleagues he's open to changing some internal rules and procedures that conservatives have been clamoring for. Sources who attended Ryan's meeting with the Freedom group Wednesday night said he expressed support for tweaking the Steering Committee, which picks committee chairmen and slots, as well as exploring other ways to "spread power around the conference more." http://bit.ly/1OLfNOr

THIS IS OVERNIGHT FINANCE. As always, thank you for reading. Tweet: @kevcirilli; email: kcirilli@thehill.com; and subscribe: http://thehill.com/signup/48. This is just the beginning...

HOUSE BACKS AWAY FROM DEBT-LIMIT BILL: From The Hill's Cristina Marcos: "House Republicans are backing away from a tentative plan to vote Friday on raising the debt limit with a package of conservative reforms, leaving them without a clear path forward ahead of the looming Nov. 3 deadline. The conservative Republican Study Committee (RSC) had authored a proposal that would hike the debt limit into 2017, impose a freeze on new regulations, ban the Senate from filibustering spending bills after October and prevent either chamber from adjourning in September if they haven’t finished work on appropriations bills.

"But GOP aides indicated Thursday that the bill is now unlikely to hit the floor this week. The RSC is comprised of about 170 members, which is short of the 218 votes needed to pass legislation. One source said GOP centrists were objecting to a show-vote measure they believed had little chance of success, given opposition to the plan in the Senate." http://bit.ly/1W80l3l

NEW BEGINNING: EX-IM POISED TO COME BACK FROM DEAD, via me: Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellAlabama election has GOP racing against the clock McConnell PAC demands Moore return its money Klobuchar taking over Franken's sexual assault bill MORE has found himself at the center of a pitched battle over the reauthorization of the federal Export-Import Bank. Supporters of the besieged bank enraged conservatives earlier this month by deploying a rarely used legislative tactic to force a vote in the House -- expected next week -- to restore the bank's congressional charter, which lapsed over the summer.

The maneuver, known as a discharge petition, is likely to result in House approval of reauthorization despite fierce opposition from the GOP's conservative wing, which views the financing provided by the bank for private-sector projects overseas as corporate welfare. Expected passage of Rep. Stephen FincherStephen FincherFormer Tennessee rep enters race for Corker's Senate seat Tennessee Gov. Haslam won't run for Senate Rep. Fincher to retire MORE's (R-Tenn.) bill would put the ball squarely in McConnell's court. http://bit.ly/1GXnRDU

More Ex-Im later on... keep reading...

HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO THIRD WAY, which is celebrating it's 10th birthday tonight with a bash in D.C. Birthday shots?

SHOT, via the conservative Club For Growth white paper: "[Dr. Ben Carson's health policy positions are a] "de facto nationalization of private companies [that] would be extremely anti-growth and a direct assault on economic liberty... Carson's advocacy for it raises serious questions about his understanding of the problem of government overreach."

CHASER, via Iowa-GOP presidential front-runner Ben Carson campaign spox: "Easy for them to write when they knew from the start how they wanted their analysis to end," Carson Communications Director Dough Watts told the Washington Examiner. "The club never reached out to our campaign, never solicited our views, never asked for a meeting with Dr. Carson. It is the club and it is only interested in the growth of their own power." http://bit.ly/1LPJVWD

FIRST LOOK - - > FIDUCIARY FIGHT: TEA PARTY GROUPS BLAST RETIREMENT REG PROPOSALS, via John Berlau at the right-leaning Competitive Enterprise Institute: "Today, a coalition letter signed by leaders of 33 leaders of free-market and conservative public policy organizations urges Congress to defund the Department of Labor's (DOL) 'fiduciary rule' takeover of 401(k)s and individual retirement accounts (IRAs). The letter, coordinated by the Competitive Enterprise Institute, states that Congress 'must exercise its power of the purse' to stop this 'action by the administration that has attracted bipartisan opposition owing to the massive negative effects it would have on Americans' retirement savings.'

"Stretching to the bone its narrow authority over pensions from the 40-year-old Employee Retirement Income Security Act, the DOL has proposed a rule that would cause great harm to middle-class savers. This rule would severely restrict investment choices in savings plans such as 401(k)s and individual retirement accounts (IRAs), especially by poor and middle class investors, by forcing investment professionals to adhere to a one-size-fits-all definition of 'best interest' for assets and investing strategies in these savings plans. FULL BLOG POST: http://bit.ly/1Xn4c9K

Hillary ClintonHillary Diane Rodham ClintonO’Malley tells Dems not to fear Trump FBI informant gathered years of evidence on Russian push for US nuclear fuel deals, including Uranium One, memos show Pelosi blasts California Republicans for supporting tax bill MORE ON THE HILL: HOW'D SHE DO? According to The Associated Press, she did alright: "WASHINGTON (AP) -- Hillary Rodham Clinton firmly defended her record before, during and after the Benghazi attacks as she came face-to-face Thursday with the Republican-led special investigation of the 2012 violence in Libya, hoping to put to rest the worst episode of her tenure as secretary of state and clear an obstacle to her presidential campaign...

"There were no gaffes for Clinton and few fiery interactions. She never raised her voice as she did at a Senate hearing on Benghazi in January 2013, when she delivered the oft-replayed sound bite: "What difference, at this point, does it make?' Instead, it was the panel's members who engaged among themselves in the nastiest fight as the initial, almost 3.5-hour session ended, with Clinton merely observing.

-- THE CONTEXT: "The hearing came at a moment of political strength for Clinton. On Wednesday, a potential rival for the Democratic nomination, Vice President Joe BidenJoseph (Joe) Robinette BidenObama tweets birthday message to Biden: 'The best vice president anybody could have' The Hill's 12:30 Report Tech beefs up lobbying amid Russia scrutiny MORE, announced he would not join the race. Clinton also is riding the momentum of a solid debate performance last week. Gowdy says he won't call Clinton to appear a second time." http://bit.ly/1hY3lML

MORE ON THE PARTISAN BACK-AND-FORTH, from The Hill's Julian Hattem: "The GOP chairman of the House Select Committee on Benghazi has repeatedly squared off with Congressional Democrats during former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s all-day testimony. Benghazi Chairman Trey GowdyHarold (Trey) Watson GowdyCongressional investigators make first evidence requests in Russia nuclear bribery case Dem demands documents from TSA after scathing security report Dems find an unlikely attack dog on Russia MORE (R-S.C.) and Ranking Democratic Rep. Elijah Cummings (D-Md.) held a fiery exchange three hours into the hearing over whether testimony by longtime Clinton associate Sidney Blumenthal should be publicly released. It left Clinton watching from the sidelines — at times with a smirk on her face. ...

"Gowdy also tangled with Rep. Adam SchiffAdam Bennett SchiffCarter Page held high-level meetings with pro-Putin Hungarian government: report Schiff blasts Trump over UCLA tweet: ‘How can someone in such a big office be so small?’ Tech beefs up lobbying amid Russia scrutiny MORE (D-Calif.) over the Blumenthal testimony, which ultimately led to a party-line vote to keep the transcripts secret. 'You asked for the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth,' Cummings shouted at Gowdy. 'Why don’t you just put that entire transcript out there and let the world see it! What do you have to hide?'"

SCHUMER, GILLIBRAND UNITE FOR BROOKLYN NIGHT. That's right, the Democratic New York delegation brought Brooklyn to Congress last night. More than 30 businesses from Brooklyn were on hand to tout Brooklyn's economic stories. There were Nathan's hotdogs and plenty of cannolis (though not as good as my mom's, God bless) as well as Sen. Charles SchumerCharles (Chuck) Ellis SchumerJuan Williams: The politics of impeachment Texas Republicans slam White House over disaster relief request Dem rep: Trump disaster aid request is 'how you let America down again' MORE (D-N.Y.) relishing in his bike rides through Brooklyn just to grab the perfect egg cream. Here's some comments from Brooklyn Chamber of Commerce President Carlo Scissura: "These companies create job and are exporting all across America and across the world -- you can see Brooklyn Brewery throughout the world.

-- ON THE BROOKLYN BRAND: "We wanted to highlight the Brooklyn brand. It's the hottest thing. It's interesting, it's innovative, it's cool, ethnic and diverse, it's a grit. It's not Manhattan and boring -- it's not everything looks the same."

-- THE KICKER: "Philly is the next Brooklyn." Nah, Carlo, Brooklyn is the new Philly... But I'm not one to get confrontational in my interviews.

-- ON EX-IM, TPP: "We support it. I don't know why we have to play politics with stuff like this. Our businesses need this type of assistance... TPP is critical for our members. And you know, when you listen and you hear that if you are Brooklyn Brewery and you want to sell to Japan -- you have 35 percent more taxes than other places. That's ludicrous."

HIGHWAY BILL UPDATE: HOUSE UNVEILS BILL, via Keith Laing: "The House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee on Thursday approved a bipartisan bill to spend up to $325 billion on transportation projects over the next six years while Congress scrambles to prevent a loss of infrastructure spending at the end of the month. The measure, titled the Surface Transportation Reauthorization and Reform Act of 2015, would spend $261 billion on highways, $55 billion on transit and approximately $9 billion on safety programs -- but only if Congress can come up with a way to pay for the final three years. The committee pushed the process forward ahead of an Oct. 29 deadline for renewing federal transportation funding. Supporters of the measure said Thursday's committee vote is the first step toward Congress passing a long-term highway bill for the first time in 10 years." http://bit.ly/1MVIZAO

-- PAY-FOR UPDATE: They won't announce the pay-for until it gets out of committee. But expect lots of hijinks and banking lobbying if they try to slash the Fed dividend rate from 6 percent to 1.5 percent -- this has been the rate since the Fed was created in 1913 and there hasn't been one study or hearing on the impact of the rate cut. Even Fed chairwoman Janet Yellen has warned against it!

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