Overnight Finance: GOP plans to unveil tax framework in late September | Critical stretch for Trump tax team | Equifax CEO called to testify | Sanders unveils single-payer bill

Overnight Finance:  GOP plans to unveil tax framework in late September | Critical stretch for Trump tax team | Equifax CEO called to testify | Sanders unveils single-payer bill
© Greg Nash

GOP eyes tax framework for Sept. 25 release: Key Congressional Republicans and administration officials are planning to release a "consensus" tax-reform framework the week of Sept. 25, House Ways and Means 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) told his colleagues Wednesday.

Brady told reporters after a House GOP conference meeting that the framework will include the "core elements of tax reform."

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.) said during a press conference that the framework will be "the beginning of a very important process to achieve for the first time in a generation overhauling our tax system and giving middle-class families a much deserved break."

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Brady said during the meeting that once the tax framework comes out, the House and Senate will focus on passing a budget resolution by mid-October, according to a person in the room. Republicans need to approve a budget resolution if they want to be able to pass tax legislation through "reconciliation" so that a bill doesn't need votes from Democrats in the Senate: http://bit.ly/2h2LHwQ.

 

Trump's tax lieutenants face a critical stretch: President Trump's economic team is heading into a critical stretch on tax reform in a weakened position that could make the task even more difficult.

National Economic Council Director Gary Cohn and 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 are two of the administration's key negotiators and pitchmen on a tax-code overhaul.

But Cohn's relationship with Trump was badly damaged by his criticism of the president's response to white supremacist marches in Charlottesville, Va., raising doubts about his clout with the president.

Mnuchin has had trials of his own, having received a tongue-lashing from House Republicans for an off-key presentation last week where he pressed them to raise the debt ceiling as a favor to him. One Republican fuming over the speech told The Hill it was an "arrogant lecture." The Hill's Naomi Jagoda reports: http://bit.ly/2h3qymn.

 

Trump: Rich people 'will not be gaining at all' under tax plan: President Trump said Wednesday that wealthy individuals "will not be gaining at all" from his tax plan, as he seeks Democratic support for his push to rewrite the tax code.

"I think the wealthy will be pretty much where they are," Trump said at a meeting with lawmakers at the White House when a reporter asked if the rich will see higher tax rates.

"If we can do that, we'd like it. If they have to go higher, they'll go higher, frankly. We're looking at the middle class and we're looking at jobs," he added: http://bit.ly/2h22csX.

 

Happy Wednesday and welcome back 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

  • Senate Banking Committee: Hearing entitled "Examining the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States," 10 a.m http://bit.ly/2vL3Wtf.
  • Senate Finance Committee: Hearing on individual tax reform, 10 a.m. http://bit.ly/2vKPfq4.

 

Report: Mnuchin wanted government jet for honeymoon: Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin requested the use of a government jet for his honeymoon in Europe earlier this year, ABC News reported Wednesday.

The Treasury Department's Office of Inspector General is now investigating Mnuchin's request for the plane to take him and his wife, Louise Linton, on their honeymoon to Scotland, France and Italy, according to ABC.

The jet Mnuchin requested was a U.S. Air Force jet that can reportedly cost about $25,000 an hour to operate, according.

A Treasury Department spokesman told ABC that Mnuchin requested the jet to make sure he had a secure line of communication, but that he dropped the request after they found that other ways to communicate were available.

"The Secretary is a member of the National Security Council and has responsibility for the Office of Terrorism and Financial Intelligence," the spokesman said in a statement. "It is imperative that he have access to secure communications, and it is our practice to consider a wide range of options to ensure he has these capabilities during his travel, including the possible use of military aircraft."

Mnuchin is already facing an inquiry from his department's inspector general after he and Linton traveled to Fort Knox at the time of the solar eclipse earlier this summer, raising questions over whether the couple had used government resources to view the event. Read more here: http://bit.ly/2xlCJB5

 

Equifax CEO called to testify before Congress: The CEO of the credit reporting company at the center of a massive cybersecurity scandal has been called to testify before congressional lawmakers at the beginning of October.

Republicans on the House Energy and Commerce Committee sent a letter to Equifax CEO Richard Smith on Wednesday formally requesting his testimony before members of the committee on October 3.

Smith will testify before members of the subcommittee focused on digital commerce and consumer protection. He had already agreed to testify before the lawmakers, but the letter represents a formal notification of his invitation to appear before the committee.

Equifax, one of the three major credit bureaus in the United States, has been under fierce scrutiny since disclosing a data breach that exposed personal information on as many as 143 million Americans to hackers.

Rep. Greg Walden (R-Ore.), chairman of the committee, announced last Friday that he would hold a hearing on the breach after receiving a briefing from Equifax.

"We look forward to hearing directly from Mr. Smith on this unprecedented breach that has raised serious questions about the security of consumers' personal information," Walden and Rep. Bob Latta (R-Ohio), chairman of the subcommittee, said in a joint statement on Wednesday.  The Hill's Morgan Chalfant has more here: http://bit.ly/2w9MbYI

 

Top House Dem asks Equifax rivals about security measures: A top Democrat on the House Financial Services Committee asked Equifax's competitors on Wednesday whether they've taken steps to prevent a similar security breach.

Rep. Carolyn Maloney (D-N.Y.) asked the CEOs of credit reporting agencies TransUnion and Experian about their security measures after hackers accessed the personal financial information of more than 140 million United States individuals stored by Equifax.

"Because of the nature of the information that was stolen -- largely Social Security numbers and birth dates, which are both critical and unchangeable for consumers -- criminals could be using this information to steal consumers' identity for years to come," Maloney said.

Maloney asked the CEOs what steps they've taken to secure their data storage systems after the breach was reported last week, and whether they use the Apache Struts software the hackers reportedly exploited. TransUnion said it has used the Struts software, and Apache reportedly issued security updates for Struts in March, but Equifax did not download the patches: http://bit.ly/2h1GHIJ.

 

Chair pushing for floor vote this month on House budget: House Budget Chairwoman 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.) wants a floor vote on the House Budget Resolution this month, even though she still doesn't have the votes to pass it, according to Politico.

"Sometimes when you get this close, perhaps you just need to put it on the floor," Black said in a Politico interview.

The budget chairwoman, who is running for Tennessee governor and is expected to step down from the position -- and possibly from Congress altogether -- has struggled to get the support of conservatives, who are demanding more details on tax reform.

The budget document is key to the tax-reform process, because it defines and unlocks the reconciliation process that will allow Republicans to overcome a Democratic filibuster in the Senate: http://bit.ly/2h1RcM4.

 

Cruz lays out his tax reform goals: 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) on Wednesday laid out his priorities for tax reform, including full and immediate write-offs of businesses' capital investments, a longer budget window for the reconciliation process and the repeal of the Dodd-Frank financial reform law.

At an event hosted by the Tax Foundation, Cruz said that tax reform is a "fundamental promise that Washington is grappling with."

Cruz's speech came the same day that House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Kevin Brady (R-Texas) announced that a six-person group of tax-reform minded lawmakers and administration officials plan to release a tax framework the week of Sept. 25.

Cruz had discussed taxes frequently when he campaigned for president in 2016, but he is not a member of the Senate's tax-writing committee. The speech, though, was an opportunity for him to prominently interject his ideas into the tax-reform conversation. Naomi Jagoda tells us about it: http://bit.ly/2h1QYEI.

 

House votes to block aircraft sales to Iran: The House adopted measures on Wednesday to prevent sales of commercial aircraft to Iran, despite warnings from some Democrats that it would undermine the international accord to curtail the country's nuclear weapons program.

Rep. Peter Roskam (R-Ill.) offered two amendments to a 2018 government spending package that would specifically prohibit the use of funds to authorize financial transactions for the sales and prevent the Office of Foreign Assets Control from clearing licenses to allow aircraft sales.

Roskam said that the U.S. should refrain from selling the aircraft to Iran given the country's history of using commercial aircraft to transport resources, like weapons and troops, to support President Bashar Assad in Syria.

"Until Iran ceases using commercial aircraft to support terrorists and war criminals, western companies ought not be allowed to sell Iranian airliners more aircraft that they can use to fuel Assad's brutal war," Roskam said during House floor debate. http://bit.ly/2h28MzJ.

 

Sanders unveils single-payer bill to cheers from supporters: 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.) unveiled his single-payer health-care plan on Wednesday to cheers and a brief "Medicare for all" chant from supporters.

Nine Senate Democrats joined Sanders for the unveiling, with two possible presidential candidates, Sens. Cory BookerCory Anthony BookerGOP and Dems bitterly divided by immigration Dems put hold on McFarland nomination over contradictory testimony: report Corker: McFarland's nomination 'frozen' over contradictions in her testimony MORE (N.J.) and Kirsten GillibrandKirsten Elizabeth GillibrandDemocrats turn on Al Franken Report: Franken will resign Thursday Minnesota's largest newspaper calls on Franken to resign MORE (N.Y.), getting into the camera shot.

"The American people want to know what we're going to do to fix a dysfunctional health-care system, which costs us twice as much" per person as any other country, Sanders said at the opening of the press conference, casting aside speculation by the media about what the bill might mean politically for Democrats. The Hill's Jessie Hellmann and Rachel Roubein take us there: http://bit.ly/2h4qJhi.

 

White House rips Sanders's 'horrible' single-payer plan: The White House on Wednesday slammed the push by Senate Democrats for a single-payer health-care plan at the same time Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) announced his proposal, calling the plan "horrible."

"The president as well as the majority of the country know the single-payer system the Democrats are proposing is a horrible idea," White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said during the daily briefing.

"I can't think of anything worse than having government be more involved in your health care instead of less involved," she continued: http://bit.ly/2h2aeSH.

 

Trump blocks sale of US chip company to China-backed firm: President Trump on Wednesday blocked the sale of a United States electronics company to a group that included Chinese investors, citing national security risks.

Trump ceased the pending sale of Lattice, an Oregon-based semiconductor and chip manufacturer, to a group of investors including China Venture Capital Fund Corporation, which is owned by Chinese state-owned entities.

Trump's decision to personally stop the sale was based on fears that an investment fund with ties to Beijing could send sensitive manufacturing and intellectual property information to the Chinese government, according to Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin.

Mnuchin said Trump blocked the deal due to unavoidable concerns about "the potential transfer of intellectual property to the foreign acquirer, the Chinese government's role in supporting this transaction, the importance of semiconductor supply chain integrity to the U.S. government, and the use of Lattice products by the U.S. government."  http://bit.ly/2h1Tz1v.

 

House votes to curb asset seizures: The House voted Tuesday to curb the law enforcement practice of seizing cash and property from people who are suspected of illegal activity but who have not necessarily been charged.

A bipartisan group of lawmakers pushed an amendment to a government-spending package for 2018 that would prohibit the Trump administration from using funds to remove restrictions on the use of asset forfeiture. The practice allows law enforcement to seize cash and property and keep at least part of the proceeds.

Opposition to relaxing asset-forfeiture limits produced a strange-bedfellows effort by members of the conservative House Freedom Caucus and liberal progressives. Sponsors of the amendment included Reps. Justin AmashJustin AmashGOP leaders agree to consider Dec. 30 spending bill House approves motion to go to tax conference — with drama 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 MORE (R-Mich.), Mark Sanford (R-S.C.), Raúl Labrador (R-Idaho), Pramila Jayapal (D-Wash.), Ro Khanna (D-Calif.) and Don Beyer (D-Va.).

Their amendment would specifically restrict the use of what's known as "adoptive forfeiture," which allows the federal government to take assets seized by local authorities: http://bit.ly/2h4ROR9.

 

Good reads from around the web

Marketwatch: Bitcoin at crossroads after shedding nearly $20 billion in value

CNBC: Equifax waives credit lock fees for consumers, amid criticism

WSJ: LaCroix fizzy water is everyone's favorite. Nobody knows what's in it

Bloomberg: Oil rises to five-week high as outlook for demand brightens

 

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