Overnight Finance: GOP divided over welfare cuts in budget | Lawmaker loses $17M on pharma stock he pitched | Yellen says another financial crisis unlikely in our lifetimes

Overnight Finance: GOP divided over welfare cuts in budget | Lawmaker loses $17M on pharma stock he pitched | Yellen says another financial crisis unlikely in our lifetimes

House budget plan delayed again over welfare cuts: The House Budget Committee will not mark up a budget resolution this week, as it had hoped to, amid lingering disagreements within the Republican caucus over spending levels.

"We're just working really hard to get the final numbers put out," said Budget Committee Chairman Diane BlackDiane Lynn BlackRyan picks his negotiating team for tax cut bill Overnight Finance: House approves motion to go to tax conference — with drama | GOP leaders to consider Dec. 30 spending bill | Justices skeptical of ban on sports betting | Mulvaney won't fire official who sued him Lawmakers take to Twitter to spread the Thanksgiving cheer MORE (R-Tenn.).

The House Freedom Caucus is threatening to withhold its support from the budget resolution unless deeper cuts are made to mandatory spending, largely in welfare programs such as the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), commonly known as food stamps.

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While the Budget Committee had settled on levels of $621 billion in defense spending, $511 billion on nondefense spending and mandatory cuts on the order of $150 billion, the Freedom Caucus wants to increase the cuts past $200 billion. The Hill's Niv Elis explains: http://bit.ly/2sjNIo9.

 

Yellen: Another financial crisis not likely 'in our lifetime' From CNBC: "Fed Chair Janet Yellen said Tuesday that banks are "very much stronger" and another financial crisis is unlikely anytime soon.

Speaking during an exchange in London with British Academy President Lord Nicholas Stern, the central bank chief said the Fed has learned lessons from the financial crisis and has brought stability to the banking system.

Banks last week passed the first round of the Fed's stress tests to see how they would perform under adverse conditions like a 10 percent unemployment rate and turbulence in commercial real estate and corporate debt.

[Yellen] also made a bold prediction: that another financial crisis the likes of the one that exploded in 2008 was not likely 'in our lifetime.'" http://cnb.cx/2sjnOAY.

 

Lawmaker loses $17M on pharma stock pitched to colleagues: A Republican congressman lost close to $17 million on Tuesday when stock in an Australian pharmaceutical company he allegedly promoted to other lawmakers plunged to pennies per share.

Shares of Innate Immunotherapeutics fell more than 90 percent in Sydney after a multiple sclerosis drug being tested by the pharma company showed no signs of working.

Rep. Chris Collins (R-N.Y.), the largest stockholder in the company, lost roughly $17 million as Innate's stock price sunk after the news broke Tuesday morning, according to Bloomberg. Collins sits on the company's board of directors.

In a statement Tuesday, Collins called the failed clinical trial and subsequent drop in the stock price "disappointing," but said he and other investors knew they were taking a risk. The Hill's Scott Wong and I tell you more: http://bit.ly/2sjELLK.

 

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.

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 Subcommittee on Monetary Policy and Trade: Hearing entitled "The Federal Reserve's Impact on Main Street, Retirees, and Savings," 10 a.m. http://bit.ly/2s3GuEM.

House Financial Services Subcommittee on Financial Institutions and Consumer Credit: Hearing entitled "Examining the BSA/AML Regulatory Compliance Regime," 2 p.m. http://bit.ly/2s3Q8qW.

 

The day's big story: Senate Republican leaders decided to delay a vote on legislation to repeal and replace ObamaCare until after the July 4 recess after opposition mounted. Three more Republicans announced their opposition on Tuesday. Senate 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, though, insisted the repeal effort was not dead. And GOP senators met with President Trump to discuss the path forward.

 

House approves extra funding for lawmaker security: The House passed a measure on Tuesday that grants lawmakers an extra $25,000 to pay for security needs in the wake of the shooting at the GOP baseball practice this month.

Speaker Paul RyanPaul Davis RyanMcConnell names Senate GOP tax conferees House Republican: 'I worry about both sides' of the aisle on DACA Overnight Health Care: 3.6M signed up for ObamaCare in first month | Ryan pledges 'entitlement reform' next year | Dems push for more money to fight opioids MORE (R-Wis.) had briefed House Republicans on Friday about possibly expanding lawmakers' annual office budgets to help pay for security costs. House Administration Committee Chairman Gregg Harper (R-Miss.) then brought up a resolution four days later that passed by unanimous consent.

"This month, our congressional community was impacted by a terrible, senseless attack committed by an armed gunman who opened fire at a practice for the annual Congressional Baseball Game," Harper said in a statement.

"While federal law enforcement continues to investigate this attack, our committee has been listening to Members and their concerns regarding the safety of their constituents, staffers, as well as themselves."

The funds allocated by the resolution will be available to House members through Jan. 2, 2018. Here's more from The Hill's Cristina Marcos: http://bit.ly/2sjEloE.

 

Senators considering breaking Fannie, Freddie into pieces: From Bloomberg "Two U.S. senators working on a bipartisan overhaul of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac are seriously considering a plan that would break up the mortgage-finance giants, according to people with knowledge of the matter.

The proposal by Tennessee Republican Bob CorkerRobert (Bob) Phillips CorkerFormer Dem Tenn. gov to launch Senate bid: report McConnell 'almost certain' GOP will pass tax reform Former New Mexico gov: Trump's foreign policy is getting 'criticized by everybody' MORE and Virginia Democrat Mark WarnerMark Robert WarnerSenate panel moves forward with bill to roll back Dodd-Frank Comey back in the spotlight after Flynn makes a deal Warner: Every week another shoe drops in Russia investigation MORE would attempt to foster competition in the secondary mortgage market, where loans are packaged into bonds and sold off to investors, said the people.

Corker and Warner's push to develop a plan marks Congress' latest attempt to figure out what to do with Fannie and Freddie, an issue that has vexed lawmakers ever since the government took control of the companies in 2008 as the housing market cratered." https://bloom.bg/2sjMRE5.

 

GOP chairman wants 'robust' tax reform process in the Senate: Senate Finance Committee Chairman Orrin HatchOrrin Grant HatchMcConnell names Senate GOP tax conferees Ryan pledges 'entitlement reform' in 2018 Utah governor calls Bannon a 'bigot' after attacks on Romney MORE (R-Utah) maintained Tuesday that tax reform would not be a "secretive exercise," saying he has asked members of his panel to provide input on specific tax issues.

In a speech on the Senate floor, Hatch said that he is "committed to ensuring a robust process in the Senate for developing, considering and passing any tax reform package."

House and Senate GOP leaders, the chairmen of the congressional tax-writing committees as well as Trump administration officials have had several private meetings in recent weeks on tax reform in an effort to develop a plan that they can all support.

Hatch said that "while this process may result in an agreed-upon framework, this will not be the be-all-end-all of tax reform." The Hill's Naomi Jagoda reports: http://bit.ly/2sjVkqW.

 

EPA head faces skeptical senators on budget cuts: Environmental Protection Agency head Scott Pruitt on Tuesday faced senators skeptical of the agency's proposed steep budget cuts.

Senators from both parties voiced concerns with at least some parts of the Trump administration's proposed $5.65 billion budget for the EPA for next year, a cut of about 30 percent below this current funding level.

Pruitt faced repeated pressure to defend slashes to programs that enjoy wide support among lawmakers, such as Superfund and air quality grants.

"The budget request before us today is downright offensive," said Sen. Tom UdallThomas (Tom) Stewart UdallAvalanche of Democratic senators say Franken should resign Dem senator slams Trump's 'moral authority' after 'Pocahontas' remark Overnight Cybersecurity: Kushner was contacted about WikiLeaks before election | Tech experts blast Trump's 'extreme vetting' plan | Senate passes defense bill with measure to modernize feds' IT MORE (N.M.), the top Democrat on the Appropriations Committee's subpanel with authority over the EPA's finances.

Udall took particular issue with big cuts to research, enforcement, Superfund and environmental justice, among other programs. The Hill's Timothy Cama takes us there: http://bit.ly/2sjDMuW.

 

US levies more tariffs on Canadian softwood lumber: The U.S. is slapping more tariffs on the Canadian softwood lumber industry less than two months ahead of the start of talks on an updated North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA).

The Commerce Department on Monday said it would impose up to 7.7 percent in preliminary anti-dumping duties on Canadian lumber imports, the second set of tariffs since April over the prolonged lumber dispute between the two countries.

Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross said the rates would run between 4.59 percent and 7.72 percent.

"The United States is committed to free and fair trade, as seen today with the preliminary decision to exclude softwood lumber from the Canadian Atlantic Provinces in the ongoing antidumping and countervailing duty cases," Ross said: http://bit.ly/2sjsh72.

 

House panel approves plan to privatize air traffic control: A House panel approved a controversial proposal on Tuesday to separate air traffic control from the federal government after a lengthy debate over the effort, which stalled on the House floor last year amid opposition from both parties.

In a 32-25 vote, mostly along party lines, the Transportation and Infrastructure Committee advanced legislation that would reauthorize the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) and transfer the agency's air navigation system to a nonprofit organization.

Transportation leaders hope the FAA bill will be considered on the House floor next month. Lawmakers are up against a tight timeline, with the agency's legal authority expiring at the end of September. The Senate remains opposed to the idea, unveiling a long-term FAA bill last week that keeps air traffic control operations in place.

But supporters of separation believe they have new momentum now that President Trump has come out in strong support of the privatization model, making it a central component of the White House's recent "infrastructure week" initiative.

The Hill's Melanie Zanona has the details: http://bit.ly/2sYVjKX

 

Republican wants scrutiny on AT&T-Time Warner merger: Republican Sen. Susan CollinsSusan Margaret CollinsOvernight Health Care: 3.6M signed up for ObamaCare in first month | Ryan pledges 'entitlement reform' next year | Dems push for more money to fight opioids Study: ObamaCare bills backed by Collins would lower premiums Right scrambles GOP budget strategy MORE (Maine) wants the Justice Department to take a closer look at AT&T's merger with Time Warner.

In a letter to acting Assistant Attorney General Andrew Finch, Collins reportedly expressed concern with a consolidation of power that could lead to "reduced programming choices and higher prices for consumers."

"The risk is real that the acquisition of such a prominent content producer by a distributor of AT&T's size could allow it to dramatically reduce consumer choice in favor of its new in-house brand," Collins wrote.

The merger would combine one of the nation's telecom giants with an entertainment powerhouse.

The Hill's Ali Breland has more: http://bit.ly/2rZJnYc

 

Labor chief begins review of Obama overtime rule: The Labor Department officially put out a request for public comment on the controversial overtime rule finalized under former President Barack ObamaBarack Hussein ObamaPatagonia files suit against Trump cuts to Utah monuments Former Dem Tenn. gov to launch Senate bid: report Eighth Franken accuser comes forward as Dems call for resignation MORE.

The agency announced Tuesday that it sent a request for information to the White House Office of Management and Budget to be published in the Federal Register.

Labor Secretary Alexander Acosta told lawmakers at a House budget committee hearing earlier this month that a request for information is the first step an agency must take if it wants to change or repeal a rule.

Under the Administrative Procedures Act, he said the agency must go through the same lengthy process used to issue new rules in order to get rid of one.

The rule, which was blocked from taking effect Dec. 1 by a Texas district court order, more than doubles the Fair Labor Standards Act threshold for who can qualify for overtime, by raising the exemption from $23,660 to $47,476 a year.

While testifying before the committee, Acosta suggested he supports an increase but thinks the threshold was set too high.

The Hill's Lydia Wheeler explains here: http://bit.ly/2skcHI1

 

Supreme Court agrees to hear sports betting case: The Supreme Court agreed Tuesday to hear a case challenging whether New Jersey can repeal its own state bans on sports betting.

The National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) and other major U.S. sports leagues are fighting a 2014 state law that partially repeals prohibitions against sports wagering at New Jersey racetracks and casinos.

The sports leagues claim the state law authorizes and licenses sports gambling violates the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act (PASPA).

The federal law, which Congress passed in 1992, prohibits states from sponsoring, operating, advertising, promoting, licensing or authorizing sports gambling in all but a handful of states.

The Hill's Lydia Wheeler has more: http://bit.ly/2ufLRT5

 

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