Overnight Finance: Fed chief tries to stay above partisan fray | Bill would eliminate consumer agency | Trump signs repeal of SEC rule on foreign payments

Overnight Finance: Fed chief tries to stay above partisan fray | Bill would eliminate consumer agency | Trump signs repeal of SEC rule on foreign payments
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Fed chief looks to stay above partisan fray in Trump era: Federal Reserve Chairwoman Janet Yellen is doing everything she can to stay above the partisan fray in the era of President Trump.

Yellen's Tuesday appearance before the Senate Banking Committee marked her first time meeting with lawmakers since Trump took office. And with a flurry of policy proposals and controversies brewing, the Fed chief was careful not to take sides.

It wasn't easy, as Yellen was peppered with leading questions from lawmakers from both parties who jockeyed to get the economic expert to speak kindly of their preferred policy prescriptions.

"Do you support a border tax or not?" asked Sen. Dean HellerDean Arthur HellerDems look to use Moore against GOP Senate hearing shows Fed chair nominee acts the part Senate GOP votes to begin debate on tax bill MORE (R-Nev.), who had tried to pin down Yellen on a number of policy fronts.

"I'm not going to tell you," Yellen responded with a laugh. The Hill's Peter Schroeder takes us there: http://bit.ly/2kuHbn3.

GOP bill would eliminate Consumer Financial Protection Bureau: Two Republican lawmakers introduced companion bills Tuesday to eliminate the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB), the controversial watchdog agency long targeted by the GOP.

The bills from Sen. Ted CruzRafael (Ted) Edward CruzDebbie Wasserman Schultz marks 10 years as breast cancer survivor Foreign agent registration is no magical shield against Russian propaganda Let Trump be Trump and he'll sail through 2020 MORE (R-Texas) and Rep. John Ratcliffe (R-Texas) would repeal Title X of the Dodd-Frank Act, which established the agency.

Republicans have long sought to eliminate or drastically reform the CFPB, but Cruz and Ratcliffe's approach goes further than current GOP proposals to reshape the bureau.

Cruz said in a statement his bill "gives Congress the opportunity to free consumers and small businesses from the CFPB's regulatory blockades and financial activism, which stunt economic growth." I've got more here: http://bit.ly/2lgYBrb.

Trump signs repeal of transparency rule for oil companies: President Trump signed legislation Tuesday to repeal a controversial regulation that would have required energy companies to disclose their payments to foreign governments.

The legislation is the first time in 16 years that the Congressional Review Act (CRA) has been used to repeal a regulation, and only the second time in the two decades that act has been law. It is the third piece of legislation Trump has signed since taking office three weeks ago.

It is the start of one front in an aggressive deregulatory effort that the Trump administration and the GOP Congress are undertaking to roll back Obama-era rules on fossil fuel companies, financial institutions and other businesses that they say have suffered for the last eight years. The Hill's Timothy Cama explains: http://bit.ly/2kuGSbP.

House panel votes against requesting Trump's tax returns: The House Ways and Means Committee on Tuesday rejected a Democratic push to ask for President Trump's tax returns.

The amendment, offered by Rep. Lloyd Doggett (D-Texas) to the panel's oversight plan, was voted down on a party-line vote.

Bill Pascrell (D-N.J.) sent committee Chairman Kevin BradyKevin Patrick BradyRyan pledges 'entitlement reform' in 2018 Senate approves motion to go to tax conference Overnight Finance: GOP delays work on funding bill amid conservative demands | Senate panel approves Fed nominee Powell | Dodd-Frank rollback advances | WH disputes report Mueller subpoenaed Trump bank records MORE (R-Texas) a letter earlier this month asking him to request the returns from Treasury so that the committee could review them in a closed meeting and consider whether they should be made public. 

The chairmen of the Ways and Means Committee, Senate Finance Committee and Joint Committee on Taxation can request tax returns from Treasury under federal tax law.

Brady on Monday told reporters he would not request the returns, saying that the committee wouldn't weaken taxpayers' privacy rights. The Hill's Naomi Jagoda reports: http://bit.ly/2kuIjHf.

Happy Tuesday and welcome to Overnight Finance. 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 squabbling over tax reform, Republican opposition to Trump's budget pick and a new member of the Trump administration.

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:

McCain 'leaning against' voting for Trump's Budget pick: Sen. John McCainJohn Sidney McCainGOP strategist donates to Alabama Democrat Meghan McCain knocks Bannon: 'Who the hell are you' to criticize Romney? Dems demand Tillerson end State hiring freeze, consult with Congress MORE (R-Ariz.) signaled Tuesday that he could vote against Rep. Mick Mulvaney to lead the Office of Management and Budget.

The Armed Services Committee chairman told reporters in the Capitol that he is "leaning against" voting for the South Carolina congressman because of his views on defense spending.

McCain's potential defection will give Mulvaney little room for error to clear the upper chamber. Under a 2013 decision, he'll need a simple majority and Republicans have 52 seats: http://bit.ly/2kuipmW.

Financial industry works to keep bank tax on ice: Powerful lobbying groups in Washington are on guard against the revival of a proposed tax on banks and other financial institutions in the new Congress.

A bank tax was part of the 2014 tax reform proposal offered by then-House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Dave Camp (R-Mich.), drawing fierce pushback from the financial industry.

Now that GOP lawmakers are working to pass tax reform legislation, financial industry groups want to make sure the tax doesn't come back if Republicans need a way to pay for lowering tax rates. Naomi Jagoda explains: http://bit.ly/2kuFnds.

Top retailers heading to Capitol Hill to oppose border tax proposal: Seven top retail executives are headed to Washington to express their opposition to a congressionally proposed border adjustability tax.

Retailers such as Target and Best Buy will meet Wednesday with House and Senate lawmakers to argue that a tax on imports would raise consumer prices and hurt their businesses, Reuters reported on Tuesday.

"Given that retail is the largest private sector American employer, retailers support sound policies that spur economic growth and job creation," the Retail Industry Leaders Association (RILA) told The Hill in a statement. The Hill's Vicki Needham has more: http://bit.ly/2kuHkH4.

Senate approves McMahon to lead Small Business Administration: The Senate on Tuesday cleared pro wrestling magnate Linda McMahon to lead the Small Business Administration (SBA). 

McMahon, the World Wrestling Entertainment co-founder and former CEO, was approved by an 81-19 vote. She needed a simple majority vote to be confirmed.

Despite her lack of government experience, McMahon found bipartisan support, clearing through the Small Business and Entrepreneurship Committee with only Sen. Cory Booker (D-N.J.) voting against her. 

Majority Leader Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellGOP strategist donates to Alabama Democrat McConnell names Senate GOP tax conferees Brent Budowsky: A plea to Alabama voters MORE (R-Ky.) praised McMahon ahead of the vote, predicting that she would be able to use her background to help bolster small businesses: http://bit.ly/2kuzbCs.

Trade groups push Congress to reverse NLRB joint employer ruling: More than 50 business and trade groups are asking Congress to pass legislation to repeal the National Labor Relations Board's (NLRB) new joint employer standard.

In August 2015, the NLRB ruled that "indirect" and "potential" control over workers' terms and conditions makes a company a joint employer.

In a letter to members of the House Education and Workforce Committee Tuesday, the groups -- including the International Franchise Association, the National Restaurant Association and the National Retail Federation -- said the rule change has exposed a broad range of businesses, from contractors and subcontractors, to franchisors and franchisees, to workplace liability for another employer's actions and for workers they do not employ. The Hill's Lydia Wheeler explains: http://bit.ly/2lh0KD2.


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