Overnight Finance: Obama, leaders huddle on budget | McConnell tees up short-term spending bill | Trump says Yellen trying to help Obama

Budget powwow at the White House: President Obama on Monday urged congressional leaders to avert a government shutdown ahead of the Oct. 1 deadline, with election politics looming large over the discussion.

Obama encouraged leaders to move forward on an emerging compromise to keep the government open through mid-December and provide more money to fight the Zika virus.

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Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnellMitch McConnellTrump backers eye GOP primary challenges for Flake, Heller Senate spending plan boosts House moderates Cruz: Tax reform chances ‘drop significantly’ if healthcare fails MORE (R-Ky.), Senate Minority Leader Harry ReidHarry ReidConservative Senate candidate calls on GOP to end filibuster Ex-Reid aide: McConnell's 'original sin' was casting ObamaCare as 'partisan, socialist takeover' GOP faces growing demographic nightmare in West MORE (D-Nev.), Speaker Paul RyanPaul RyanGOP divided over care for transgender troops Want bipartisan health reform? Make the debate honest again Ex-CBO directors defend against GOP attacks on ObamaCare analysis MORE (R-Wis.) and House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) attended the White House meeting in what has become a familiar ritual before a funding deadline.

But the dynamic of the meeting was different than in the past, when leaders often engaged in combative negotiations. The Hill's Jordan Fabian has the details: http://bit.ly/2cjOz19

McConnell tees up short-term spending bill: Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) is turning the Senate toward a short-term spending bill as lawmakers face an Oct. 1 deadline to avoid a government shutdown.

"I expect to move forward this week on a continuing resolution through Dec. 9 ... that includes funds for Zika control and for our veterans," the Senate Republican leader announced Monday on the Senate floor.

McConnell filed cloture on proceeding to a House legislative appropriations bill, which is expected to be the vehicle for the short-term continuing resolution (CR). The move sets up the Senate to take an initial procedural vote this week, once it wraps up work on a water infrastructure bill.

Wrapping up the CR ahead of the Oct. 1 deadline could allow McConnell to get his conference out of Washington and back on the campaign trail. The Hill's Jordain Carney has the latest: http://bit.ly/2cm7j1j.

Cruz throws cyber curveball: Sen. Ted CruzTed CruzGOP wrestles with soaring deductibles in healthcare bill Cruz: Tax reform chances ‘drop significantly’ if healthcare fails Ex-CBO directors defend against GOP attacks on ObamaCare analysis MORE (R-Texas) is meeting with conservative lawmakers in both chambers to build support for a showdown with the White House over funding the government and power over the internet.

Cruz wants a stopgap measure to fund the government to include a rider that would block the administration from relinquishing the special oversight role the United States has had over the internet since its inception.

The prospect of Cruz leading rank-and-file House Republicans -- including members of the House Freedom Caucus -- into a last-minute fight with President Obama over a government funding resolution would be a rerun for the Texas senator, who was blamed by his colleagues for causing a 2013 government shutdown over an ObamaCare fight.

It's also a headache for Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.), who both want to avoid even the slightest chance of another government shutdown. The Hill's Alex Bolton tells us more: http://bit.ly/2cSjDGi.

Bill would extend foreign investor visa program: Sen. John CornynJohn CornynTrump launches all-out assault on Mueller probe Senators who have felt McCain's wrath talk of their respect for him Senate heads to new healthcare vote with no clear plan MORE (R-Texas) said Monday that a short-term spending bill will include an extension of a visa program set to expire at the end of the month, even as negotiations remain deadlocked.

Asked if the EB-5 investor visa program would be a part of the government funding bill, the Senate's No. 2 Republican told reporters "I think that will be part of the [continuing resolution], yeah."

Cornyn's comments come as talks about how to reauthorize the program have stalled in Congress, with senators split on how to determine where money under the program is sent. Jordain Carney surveys the battlefield: http://bit.ly/2cEjXsQ.

Trump: Yellen's doing Obama's bidding: Donald TrumpDonald TrumpFranken: Trump Jr., Manafort need to testify under oath Trump lawyer: Pardons are not being discussed Special counsel investigators pushing Manafort for cooperation: report MORE accused Federal Reserve Chairwoman Janet Yellen on Monday of doing President Obama's bidding by keeping interest rates low.

In an interview with CNBC, the Republican presidential nominee charged that the Fed was no longer politically independent and instead was pursuing policies to boost Obama in his final months in office.

"She's obviously political, and she's doing what Obama wants her to do," he said in a phone interview. "As soon as [rates] go up, your stock market is going to go way down, most likely. Or possibly."

While Yellen was Obama's pick to lead the Fed, the central bank prizes itself as a politically independent institution and strongly rebuts any claims that outside politicians weigh on its efforts to steer the U.S. economy. Here's more on the madness from The Hill's Peter Schroeder: http://bit.ly/2czbmJP.

Fed official urges caution in raising rates: Lael Brainard, a member of the Federal Reserve Board of Governors, made the case Monday for the Fed holding off on rate increases, arguing that inflation remains lower than normal and there remain economic risks looming abroad. That combination of factors "counsels prudence in the removal of policy accommodation," she said.

Brainard's speech had been closely monitored by financial markets for any indications that the central bank could be preparing to raise interest rates again at its September meeting. The Fed has only raised rates once since the financial crisis, back in December, but Fed watchers are expecting another hike could be coming soon.

But Brainard's speech appeared to suggest such a hike could still be a ways off, as she contended that there was still more the Fed could do to boost the labor market while keeping rates low to protect the U.S. economy from potential disruptions from foreign economies: http://bit.ly/2cqzQRx.

Happy Monday and welcome to Overnight Finance, where we're also feeling a bit better after this weekend, thank you for asking. I'm Sylvan Lane, and here's your nightly guide to everything affecting your bills, bank account and bottom line.

Tonight's highlights include more anger over the Iran settlement, congressional heat on Wells Fargo, more Fed rate hike delays and a vision for a new financial regulatory system.

See something I missed? Let me know at slane@thehill.com or tweet me @SylvanLane. And if you like your newsletter, you can subscribe to it here: http://bit.ly/1NxxW2N.

On tap tomorrow:

  • House Financial Services Committee: Markup of the Financial CHOICE Act of 2016, 10 a.m. http://bit.ly/2cA1i0l.
  • House Small Business Committee: Hearing entitled "The Cumulative Burden of President Obama's Executive Orders on Small Contractors," 10 a.m. http://bit.ly/2c5X1pT.
  • House Ways and Means Committee: Hearing on tax-exempt college and university endowments, 10 a.m. http://bit.ly/2cLDuv1.
  • Senate Banking Committee: Hearing on National Flood Insurance Program mapping, 10:30 a.m. http://bit.ly/2cr3pq4.
  • House Judiciary Committee: Hearing on Oversight of the Patent and Trademark Office, 1 p.m. http://bit.ly/2czNymh.
  • Amplifying U.S.-Africa Trade, Investment, and Economic Relations: From Obama to the Next Administration, 2 p.m. http://bit.ly/2cSpvzs.

Chamber calls for overhaul of financial regulatory system: While Congress mulls how to replace Dodd-Frank financial regulation, the United States' largest business advocate is looking to reshape the system around it.

The U.S. Chamber of Commerce on Monday called for a complete reboot of how the United States regulates financial institutions and banks, insisting that the current framework is outdated and cumbersome for businesses of all sizes.

Top Chamber officials panned the country's "1930s regulatory system," arguing it stifles economic growth and capital access with redundant, overbearing regulations.
The Chamber's Center for Capital Markets Competitiveness (CCMC) outlined potential fixes in a report released Monday that it said was meant to start an "honest debate" about the country's regulatory future.

The release comes a day before the House Financial Services Committee marks up the panel's sweeping overhaul of Dodd-Frank. I'll take you inside the Chamber's proposal here: http://bit.ly/2cHWw0v.

Senate Dems call for investigation into Wells Fargo's fake accounts: Five Senate Democrats are calling for hearings to investigate the actions of Wells Fargo employees who created millions of fake bank and credit card accounts to boost their sales.

Led by Sen. Robert MenendezRobert MenendezBipartisan group, Netflix actress back bill for American Latino Museum The Mideast-focused Senate letter we need to see Taiwan deserves to participate in United Nations MORE (N.J.), the Democrats sent a letter on Monday to Senate Banking Committee Chairman Richard Shelby (R-Ala.) urging him to hold immediate hearings to delve into what happened at one of the nation's largest banks and to determine whether more consumer protections are needed.

"The magnitude of this situation warrants thorough and comprehensive review," the senators wrote in the letter. The Hill's Vicki Needham explains: http://bit.ly/2cRJS3F.

Coalition urges SEC to require disclosure of more tax info: The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) should update its rules to require U.S. multinational corporations to disclose more tax information, a financial-transparency coalition argued in a report released Monday.

"As multinational corporations have increasingly relied upon complex, international tax strategies to affect their bottom lines, the SEC's disclosure framework has not kept pace," the Financial Accountability & Corporate Transparency Coalition wrote in the report. "It's time for the SEC's disclosure rules to catch up."

The report was issued shortly after the European Commission ruled last month that Apple owes Ireland $14.5 billion in back taxes because Irish authorities gave the company an unfair advantage over other businesses. The Hill's Naomi Jagoda breaks it down: http://bit.ly/2c6mL44.

Top Dem urges Labor Dept. to investigate Chipotle for wage theft: Rep. Rosa DeLauro (D-Conn.) is calling on the Labor Department to investigate allegations that Chipotle Mexican Grill is failing to pay employees overtime.
According to media reports, nearly 10,000 workers from the fast casual Mexican restaurant chain have joined a class action lawsuit against the company for allegedly forcing employees to work "off the clock" hours without compensation.

The workers claim in the suit that Chipotle uses timekeeping technology that automatically punches workers off the clock, even if they are required to continue to work

In a letter Monday to the David Weil, the director of the Labor Department's Wage and Hour Division, DeLauro demanded an investigation into the corporation's labor practices and policies. The Hill's Lydia Wheeler has it all here: http://bit.ly/2cmb7Q5.

GOP lawmaker wants answers on Iran payment: A Republican congressman is asking the Treasury Department whether a recent cash payment to Iran could be used to fund terrorism, and how the department plans to keep that from happening.

Rep. Joe WilsonJoe WilsonObama left nuclear waste in South Carolina, Trump can clean it up Congress to take up North Korea travel ban legislation as soon as next month: report An unlikely home in DC MORE (R-S.C.) said he's "gravely concerned with the nefarious possibilities" of what Iran could do with $1.7 billion in cash from the United States. He sent a letter sent Tuesday to the Treasury under secretary for terrorism and financial intelligence, outlining his fears.

At issue is a payment made to Iran by the U.S. earlier this year to settle part of a 1970s lawsuit between the countries. The payment, converted into European cash and airlifted to Iran, preceded a prisoner swap between Iran and the United States.

Republicans have since accused the Obama administration of paying ransom for American prisoners and funding Iran's terror sponsorship with untraceable money.

"By providing this regime with billions [sic] of dollars in untraceable foreign currency, the Administration is aiding the regime and criminals across the world in their perpetuation of financial crimes," wrote Wilson: http://bit.ly/2cjFsxn.

India challenges US renewable energy programs at WTO: India has filed a new dispute against the United States at the World Trade Organization (WTO) challenging domestic content requirements and subsidies in renewable energy programs across eight states.

The complaint, highlighted by the WTO on Monday, argues that renewable energy programs in Washington, California, Montana, Massachusetts, Connecticut, Michigan, Delaware and Minnesota are getting favorable treatment compared with imported products to the United States.

India's case charges that the energy program measures are inconsistent with WTO's rules "because they provide less favorable treatment to imported products than to like domestic products, and because the subsidies are contingent on the use of domestic over imported goods," the trade group said.

The new case comes a few days ahead of an expected WTO Appellate Body decision on a U.S. challenge to India's domestic content requirements for solar cells and solar modules under the Jawaharlal Nehru National Solar Mission. Here's more from Vicki Needham: http://bit.ly/2cqBqDf.

Flood risk: SmarterSafer, A coalition of dozens of environmental, business and fiscal groups are urging Congress to act on flood insurance. The Hill has an exclusive excerpt of a letter to be sent to lawmakers tomorrow:

"Congress should invest in proven mitigation strategies--both at a community and property level--for those areas most at risk to future disasters. Mitigation should include multiple options including strengthening natural features that help buffer storms, buyouts and preservation of green space, and elevation and other property-level interventions. In addition to shifting to additional pre-disaster spending, Congress should make changes to disaster assistance including strengthening requirements for communities and states--those states and communities that plan for and mitigate risks would be 'rewarded' with the full share of federal disaster assistance, while those that do not plan for known risks, would get less in federal assistance.  In addition, federal disaster assistance funds should only be spent on resilient projects--on building smarter and safer-- and not spent on construction that is not resilient and not safe.  This will protect people, communities, and scarce federal resources.

Congress must also strengthen the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) and reduce regulatory burdens to private sector competition.  Too few people purchase flood insurance, even those at risk. While there are numerous reasons for this, many people do not trust NFIP, and many people mistakenly believe the federal government will step in and disaster assistance will make them whole. Given the average award of disaster assistance ($8,016 for Superstorm Sandy), without flood insurance, many families are unable to rebuild."

 

Join The Hill on Wednesday, September 14 for "Preparing for the Next Disaster: A Policy Discussion on Community Resilience," featuring Sen. Joe ManchinJoe ManchinManchin bashes GOP candidate for pushing McCain to resign McCain’s primary challenger asks him to step aside after diagnosis Governors-turned-senators meet to talk healthcare MORE (D-W.Va.)Rep. Blaine Luetkemeyer (R-Mo.), and Timothy W. Manning, Deputy Administrator for Protection and National Preparedness at FEMA. Topics of discussion include preparedness efforts to increase community resilience and the role of federal, state & local government in pre-disaster mitigation. RSVP here.

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Write us with tips, suggestions and news: slane@thehill.com, vneedham@thehill.com; pschroeder@thehill.com, and njagoda@thehill.com. Follow us on Twitter: @SylvanLane,  @VickofTheHill; @PeteSchroeder; and @NJagoda.