Overnight Finance: Trump-Russia probe reportedly expands to possible financial crimes | Cruel September looms for GOP | Senate clears financial nominees | Mulvaney reverses on debt ceiling

Overnight Finance: Trump-Russia probe reportedly expands to possible financial crimes | Cruel September looms for GOP | Senate clears financial nominees | Mulvaney reverses on debt ceiling
© Greg Nash

Trump-Russia probe expands to possible financial crimes: report: The federal probe into alleged ties between the Trump campaign and Russia has expanded to focus on possible financial crimes, including those not necessarily related to the 2016 presidential campaign, CNN reported Thursday.

CNN reported that some leads unrelated to Russia, but that involved individuals close to President Trump, are being passed along to special counsel Robert Mueller, who is leading the probe, to encourage cooperation.

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Acting Attorney General Rod Rosenstein noted in the letter appointing Mueller in May that the special counsel can probe any matters that "arose or may arise directly from the investigation."

The president publicly warned Mueller to not investigate his business transactions during a New York Times interview last month, saying the special counsel would be crossing a line: http://bit.ly/2vu1kTk.

 

Cruel September looms for GOP: For Republicans, September is shaping up to be a month of bitter pills.

It appears increasingly likely to GOP lawmakers that they will be asked to vote for two things they hate at the end of the month.

The first is a continuing resolution that would keep the government open and funded at current spending levels.

It is likely to be tied to the second: a bill to raise the debt ceiling, another measure anathema to congressional conservatives.

"I think we're in for a long fall," White House director of legislative affairs Marc Short said at an Americans for Prosperity event Monday night.

Congress faces a Sept. 30 deadline to prevent a government shutdown, while Treasury Secretary Steven MnuchinSteven Terner MnuchinMark Mellman: History’s judgment Trump's motorcade greeted with chants of 'lock him up' in NYC Treasury watchdog probes lack of tax plan analysis from Mnuchin MORE, somewhat conveniently, has set a Sept. 29 deadline for raising the nation's borrowing limit. The Hill's Niv Elis reports: http://bit.ly/2vuhLyX.

 

Mulvaney, in reversal, backs Mnuchin on debt ceiling: White House budget chief Mick Mulvaney on Thursday said he supports getting "the simplest debt ceiling increase that we can get," an about-face that puts him in line with Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin.

While Mnuchin has consistently called for an increase to the debt limit with no policy changes attached, Mulvaney had taken a different tack.

Mulvaney, who leads the Office of Management and Budget, had said earlier this summer that he would like to see things attached to the debt-limit bill "that drive certain spending reforms and debt reforms in the future."

But Mulvaney on Thursday said Mnuchin, who is calling for a "clean" debt ceiling increase, "speaks for the administration" on the issue: http://bit.ly/2vu3lPo.

 

Senate confirms key financial nominees before recess: The Senate confirmed on Wednesday 10 Trump administration financial regulatory appointments, including the chairman of the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) and key Treasury Department aides.

Among dozens of other Trump administration nominees confirmed before the chamber breaks for recess, the Senate approved Republican J. Christopher Giancarlo to be the CFTC's chairman -- he has served as the commission's acting chief since President Trump took office. The Senate also confirmed Republican Brian Quintenz and Democrat Rostin "Russ" Behnam as commissioners of the federal regulator overseeing futures, swaps and derivatives trades.

The Senate cleared David Malpass to be Treasury undersecretary of international affairs, David Kautter to be assistant secretary for tax policy and Chris Campbell for assistant secretary of financial institutions. I've more here: http://bit.ly/2vuuwta.

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.

 

Sanders accuses Nissan of worst 'anti-union crusade in decades' Sen. Bernie SandersBernard (Bernie) SandersSchumer: Franken should resign Franken resignation could upend Minnesota races Avalanche of Democratic senators say Franken should resign MORE (I-Vt.) defended the Mississippi workers at a Nissan plant who are fighting to start a worker's union, accusing the car company of a "vicious crusade" in a Thursday op-ed for The Guardian.

Sanders slammed Nissan's efforts to sway workers from voting for a union, saying that the company is flooding the workers with anti-union literature and threatening them with moving the plant out of state if they choose to organize.

"This could go down as one of the most vicious, and illegal, anti-union crusades in decades," wrote Sanders, a self-described Democratic socialist. "Workers should never have to endure this type of threatening campaign or walk through a minefield just to vote for a union."

Sanders called Nissan's efforts an "all-too-familiar story of how greedy corporations divide and conquer working people."

The former Democratic presidential candidate added that the area where the plant is located in Canton, Miss., is a poverty-stricken area where safety nets are "frayed," making the people more desperate to take a job with lower wages in the factory: http://bit.ly/2vu5I4C.

 

Liberal groups launch campaign to oppose tax cuts for the wealthy: A group of progressive organizations announced Thursday that they are launching a campaign to oppose tax cuts for wealthy individuals and corporations, as Republicans turn their focus to tax reform following the Senate's failure to pass healthcare legislation.

The "Not One Penny" campaign will work to defeat tax proposals that reduce taxes for millionaires and large companies. The group has already launched a website where activists can pledge to oppose "any effort to cut taxes for the wealthy and well-connected," and the campaign will also include a seven-figure ad buy in eight congressional districts, according to a news release.

Congressional Republicans and the White House are hoping to enact tax-reform legislation this year, and they want to cut tax rates across-the-board for individuals and businesses. A joint statement from key Republicans released last week said that "the goal is a plan that reduces tax rates as much as possible." http://bit.ly/2vum4u0.

 

Rubio pitches boost to child tax credit in Breitbart op-ed: Sen. Marco RubioMarco Antonio RubioRyan pledges 'entitlement reform' in 2018 Richard Gere welcomes lawmakers' words of support for Tibet Dem lawmaker gives McConnell's tax reform op-ed a failing grade MORE (R-Fla.) said lawmakers should increase the Child Tax Credit in an op-ed for Breitbart on tax reform, defending the deduction in a website influential among President Trump, his advisers and political base.

Rubio called the $1,000 per child tax credit for parents "the cornerstone of pro-family economic policy," pitching the deduction as an essential boost to working families.

"Families are the fundamental building blocks of our communities," Rubio wrote, "and the health of our society depends on families being able to provide safe and secure homes, raise active citizens, and love their children unconditionally in ways no other social institution can."

Rubio suggested raising the tax credit to $2,500 per qualifying child, applied to both income and payroll taxes, adapted from a proposal he co-sponsored with Sen. Mike LeeMichael (Mike) Shumway LeeSupreme Court takes on same-sex wedding cake case House approves motion to go to tax conference — with drama Trump really will shrink government, starting with national monuments MORE (R-Utah). To make up for the loss of federal revenue, Rubio said Congress should eliminate loopholes for the wealthy and "special interests," and take measures to ensure only legal U.S. residents get tax benefits: http://bit.ly/2vublQr.

 

GOP group launches Spanish-language tax reform ads: A GOP advocacy group with ties to 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.) is looking to shore up six vulnerable Republican congressional districts with a bilingual tax reform ad campaign launched on Thursday.

The five-week radio campaign is part of the American Action Network's pledge to spend $5 million during the House August recess.

The ads will target the Latino-heavy districts of Republican Reps. Martha McSally (Ariz.), Jeff Denham (Calif.), Steve Knight (Calif.), David Valadao (Calif.), Carlos Curbelo (Fla.) and Will Hurd (Texas).

In the ad, a narrator tells listeners that the tax code is hurting working families and ties complicated small-business taxation to job loss to China: http://bit.ly/2vumiBm.

 

Fiscal hawks call for 'mini-bargain' on budget: A bipartisan, fiscally conservative advocacy group has called on Congress to strike a "mini-bargain" to reform the budget process, an opening bid to addressing the nation's debt woes.

"Major tax and spending reforms are needed to fix the country's debt, but we can't let the perfect be the enemy of the good," said co-chair of the Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget (CRFB) Leon Panetta, a Democratic former Defense Secretary, White House chief of staff and House Budget Committee chairman.

The plan would seek to do away with the harsh "sequestration" spending caps of the budget control act and replace them with "realistic and responsible" limits; increase the debt ceiling to avoid an economic crisis; and eliminate commonly used budget gimmicks from the process.

It also calls for bipartisan efforts to tackle the country's major debt drivers, such as Social Security and other mandatory spending: http://bit.ly/2vubqDJ.


Senate Dems push to update tax code for same-sex marriages: 
The entire Senate Democratic Caucus on Thursday introduced a bill that would take gender-specific references to marriage out of the tax code.

The legislation follows the Supreme Court's ruling in 2015 that legalized same-sex marriage nationwide, as well as Treasury Department guidance finalized last year that allows same-sex married couples to file joint federal tax returns.

"For two years LGBTQ Americans have been able to enjoy the same marriage rights afforded to all Americans, yet they continue to face unjust discrimination in many aspects of life," Senate Finance Committee Chairman Ron WydenRonald (Ron) Lee WydenDemocratic senator predicts Franken will resign Thursday Avalanche of Democratic senators say Franken should resign Lobbying world MORE (D-Ore.) said in a statement. "Love is love and it's high time Congress updated our tax code to reflect that."

The bill is not the first measure relating to taxes and same-sex marriages that Democrats have introduced in recent weeks: http://bit.ly/2vueBel.

 

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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