Overnight Finance: Senate passes Russian sanctions deal | White House divided on debt limit strategy | Budget office wages 'war on waste' | Trump expected to tighten Cuba rules

Overnight Finance: Senate passes Russian sanctions deal | White House divided on debt limit strategy | Budget office wages 'war on waste' | Trump expected to tighten Cuba rules
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Senate overwhelmingly approves Russia sanctions deal: The Senate on Thursday overwhelmingly passed legislation imposing new sanctions on Russia and giving Congress the ability to block President Trump from lifting current penalties.

Senators voted 98-2 on the bill, which also includes new sanctions targeting Iran's ballistic missile development, support for terrorism, weapons transfers and human rights violations. Sens. Rand PaulRandal (Rand) Howard PaulGOP senator asks to be taken off Moore fundraising appeals Red state lawmakers find blue state piggy bank Prosecutors tell Paul to expect federal charges against attacker: report MORE (R-Ky.) and Bernie SandersBernard (Bernie) SandersWorld leaders reach agreement on trade deal without United States: report Sanders on Brazile revelations: DNC needs ‘far more transparency’ Sen. Warren sold out the DNC MORE (I-Vt.) voted against the measure.

The legislation marks the Senate's most significant check on the Trump administration's foreign policy, which has flirted with lifting sanctions in a bid to entice Moscow into an agreement.

The bill now heads to the House, where it faces an uncertain future amid signs of pushback from the administration. The Hill's Jordain Carney explains: http://bit.ly/2rAvlLv.

 

Mulvaney: White House hasn't settled on debt limit strategy: White House budget director Mick Mulvaney on Thursday said the administration hasn't settled on a strategy for how to raise the debt ceiling a little more than three months before a possible deadline.

"We haven't settled on a final way to address the debt ceiling any more than the Hill has," Mulvaney told reporters.

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Mulvaney appeared to highlight differences of opinion on how to move forward with lifting the nation's borrowing limit, saying at one point that Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin would remain the point person on the debt issue "once we settle on our policy, if we do."

Mulvaney and Mnuchin have offered different public views on how to handle the debt hike, creating an unusual policy rift between the budget director and Treasury secretary. Here's more from The Hill's Niv Elis: http://bit.ly/2rABNlN.

 

Supreme Court weighs fate of Trump travel ban order: It's decision time for the Supreme Court when it comes to President Trump's travel ban.

The justices in the coming days must decide whether to lift the temporary injunction on the ban and whether to hear the government's appeal of lower court rulings that stopped the policy from taking effect.

The order, which Trump signed in March, would ban most nationals from six predominantly Muslim countries from entering the United States for 90 days. The administration said the countries -- Iran, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen -- are at heightened risk for terrorism.

Critics have fought the policy tooth and nail in court, calling it unconstitutional.

If the court decides to take up the case, some expect that the justices will schedule a special sitting to hear oral arguments before they break for the summer at the end of the month or in early July. The Hill's Lydia Wheeler tells us about the road ahead: http://bit.ly/2rAvHBP.

 

Happy Thursday 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. 

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.

 

Trump reportedly set to restrict Cuba trade, travel: President Trump on Friday is expected to announce a shift in U.S. policy toward Cuba that includes restrictions on business with government or military entities, as well as further restrictions on tourist travel, Politico reported Thursday.

Trump will make the announcement in a speech in Miami following the administration's full review of current U.S. policy.

The administration aims to reinforce certain aspects of the 65-year-old trade embargo, in the interest of preventing business dealings with the nation that they say only serve to keep the communist government in place while doing little to help the population.

The Hill's Josh Delk has more here: http://bit.ly/2rwshEW

 

Budget office kicks off 'war on waste': The White House budget office on Thursday kicked off the administration's "war on waste," eliminating reports and requirements in an effort to set an example for other government agencies.

"Government may do a decent job of looking forward, but we do a lousy job of cleaning out the closet," Office of Management and Budget Director Mick Mulvaney said.

Over time, Mulvaney said, government agencies build up an unruly list of reporting requirements and regulations that are seldom addressed.

His office went through 253 guidance and policy documents and decided to pull 59 of them, including an ongoing reporting requirement on the Y2K bug and a report on a completed Bush-era e-government program. Here's more from Niv Elis: http://bit.ly/2rAvrTn.

 

Poll: CEOs give Trump a failing grade: Half of CEOs and business executives would give President Trump an "F" for his presidency so far, a new poll finds.

Another 21 percent of the leaders surveyed at the Yale CEO summit would give Trump's performance a "D," and just one percent would give the president an "A," according to CNN Money.

Jeffrey Sonnenfeld, the Yale School of Management professor who led the summit, said the overarching message from CEOs is that Trump has to "stop random 3 a.m. tweets" and "the needless brushfires diverting from the agenda."

Sonnenfeld noted 80 percent of the leaders surveyed are CEOs, including Blackstone CEO Steve Schwarzman and IBM's Ginni Rometty, who are both on Trump's advisory council: http://bit.ly/2rAtUwI.

 

House panel votes to extend tax credit for nuclear power: The House Ways and Means Committee on Thursday approved a bipartisan bill that would lift a deadline for the nuclear power production tax credit.

The panel passed the bill by voice vote.

The legislation would lift a requirement that nuclear facilities be placed in service by 2020 to be eligible for the credit. It would also allow public and nonprofit entities to transfer credits to other partners on the facilities, such as the projects' designers.

The bill, which was introduced by Reps. Earl BlumenauerEarl BlumenauerLive coverage: Day two of the Ways and Means GOP tax bill markup GAO disputes that IRS had to award .25M contract to Equifax Congress should stand with the majority of Americans and support Rohrabacher-Blumenauer amendment MORE (D-Ore.) and Tom Rice (R-S.C.), is of particular importance in South Carolina and Georgia, where new nuclear power plants are being constructed.

"We need to give these plants the certainty of the tax credits as Congress originally intended, not just for South Carolina and Georgia, but for the continued innovation of carbon-free nuclear energy and the security of our nation," Rice said: http://bit.ly/2rAQUvn.

 

Trump's EPA budget cuts hit strong opposition in the House: House lawmakers repeatedly told the head of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) that many of the Trump administration's proposed cuts for that agency will not fly.

Members of both parties identified major problems they had with the proposed 30 percent cut to the EPA's budget and pressed Administrator Scott Pruitt to defend them.

The chilly reception Thursday at the House Appropriations Committee's subcommittee that oversees the EPA's spending solidifies the long-brewing view among lawmakers that a 30 percent cut to the agency's budget of roughly $8 billion is untenable.

"In many instances, the budget proposes to significantly reduce or terminate programs that are vitally important to each member on this subcommittee," Rep. Ken Calvert (R-Calif.), the panel's chairman, told Pruitt at the hearing: http://bit.ly/2rAuTNr.


Treasury acts to disrupt ISIS financing network: The Treasury Department on Thursday targeted an Iraqi national and money transfer company for its ties to ISIS's financing network.

The agency's Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) took action against Umar al Kubaysi and his company, Al Kawthar Money Exchange, blocking them from the United States financial system and freezing any U.S.-based assets. 

Officials say Al Kubaysi has moved money for the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria since 2006, long before it split off from al Qaeda in Iraq. The Iraqi national helped move funding and arms to ISIS and other insurgent groups across the country and Syria, often through his financial exchange company, according to OFAC.

Al Kawthar Money Exchange acted in financial transfers worth approximately $2.5 million with another Iraq-based money exchange associated with the ISIS financial network, according to OFAC. http://bit.ly/2rAi6um.

 

Homebuilder confidence falls in June: Homebuilder confidence fell slightly in June as the market gradually improves but continues to face hurdles to more robust growth.

Sentiment dropped two points to 67 from May's reading of 69, according to the latest National Association of Home Builders/Wells Fargo Housing Market Index released on Thursday.

"Builder confidence levels have remained consistently sound this year, reflecting the ongoing gradual recovery of the housing market," said NAHB Chairman Granger MacDonald, a homebuilder and developer from Kerrville, Texas.

The index gauges builder perceptions of current single-family home sales and sales expectations for the next six months. The survey also asks builders to rate traffic of prospective buyers.

Any number over 50 indicates that more builders view conditions as good than poor.

The Hill's Vicki Needham crunches the numbers here: http://bit.ly/2suuRuB

  

Write us with tips, suggestions and news: slane@thehill.comvneedham@thehill.comnjagoda@thehill.com and nelis@thehill.com. Follow us on Twitter: @SylvanLane,  @VickofTheHill@NJagoda and @NivElis