Overnight Finance: House passes $1.2T funding package for 2018 | FTC launches Equifax probe | Mnuchin defends honeymoon jet request |

Overnight Finance: House passes $1.2T funding package for 2018 | FTC launches Equifax probe | Mnuchin defends honeymoon jet request |
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House passes $1.2T government funding package for 2018: The House on Thursday completed its work on the annual appropriations bills for 2018, ahead of expected negotiations at the end of this year to keep the government funded.

By a vote of 211-198, the House passed a $1.2 trillion package of spending bills to fund wide swaths of the federal government, ranging from the Department of Homeland Security to the Environmental Protection Agency.

"This is a big day," Speaker Paul RyanPaul Davis RyanGOP leaders jockey for affection of House conservatives Five GOP lawmakers mulling bid to lead conservative caucus On The Money — Sponsored by Prudential — Trump walks back criticism of UK Brexit strategy | McConnell worries US in 'early stages' of trade war | US trade deficit with China hits new record MORE (R-Wis.) said, touting the House's use of regular order to pass the 12 bills.

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"This is the first time the House has done that since 2009," he said.

The package included eight new bills, plus four previously passed appropriations bills that advanced through the House in July. Regular order for appropriations typically involved passing each of the bills individually, not in groups of 4 or 8. The Hill's Cristina Marcos and Niv Elis tell us more: http://bit.ly/2x3iuFO.

 

Right explodes in anger over Trump's immigration push: President Trump's supporters are apoplectic and lashing out at "Amnesty Don" for pursuing a deal with Democratic leaders to protect young immigrants who were brought to the U.S. illegally as children.

Only a week ago, Trump thrilled his base by rescinding an Obama-era order on the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program, which allows about 800,000 young people brought into the country illegally to live and work without fear of deportation.

But the president quickly backtracked, reaching an agreement late Wednesday over dinner with Democratic leaders Sen. Charles SchumerCharles (Chuck) Ellis SchumerRed-state Dem tells Schumer to 'kiss my you know what' on Supreme Court vote Dem infighting erupts over Supreme Court pick Trump's latest win: More Americans are saying, 'I quit!' MORE (N.Y.) and Rep. Nancy Pelosi (Calif.) that would extend protection to the so-called Dreamers in exchange for promises to enhance border security.

The trade-off does not appear to secure funding for Trump's promise to build a border wall, which was the cornerstone of his insurgent campaign and a primary reason why grassroots conservatives trusted him over the establishment Republicans in the first place: http://bit.ly/2wcX5Nn.

 

Mnuchin: Request for government plane 'purely about national security':  Treasury Secretary Steven MnuchinSteven Terner MnuchinMexico's president presses Pompeo on reuniting migrant families Senators seek data on tax law's impact on charitable giving 'Our Cartoon President' takes on Mueller probe, NATO and Melania in second season MORE on Thursday defended his request to use a government plane for his honeymoon in June, casting the inquiry as a national security matter.

"I probably spend about 50 percent of my time on national security issues, on sanctions," Mnuchin said at a Politico Live event. "We're dealing with, as you know, some of the most complicated issues right now."

"Effectively it was a portable office so that I could be available," he added. "This had nothing to do with convenience. This was purely about national security."

Mnuchin said the story was "misreported" by the media, and said that the request was withdrawn after he consulted with his staff on alternative ways to ensure access to secure communications and information.

Mnuchin is a member of the National Security Council and oversees the Treasury Department's Office of Terrorism and Financial Intelligence. http://bit.ly/2wcFtRT.

 

Equifax shares plunge after FTC announces probe of data breach: Equifax stock plunged in value Thursday morning after the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) announced an investigation into the security breach that exposed the personal information of roughly 143 million people to hackers.

Shares of the embattled credit reporting company dropped nearly 10 percent after the market opened Thursday morning, sinking as low as $90.64 per share, about $8 lower than Wednesday's close. Equifax stock recovered slightly by 11 a.m., reaching $95 per share. It closed at 96.66 down for the day.

FTC's announcement shook the market, given that the regulator typically doesn't announce pending investigations.

"The FTC typically does not comment on ongoing investigations," FTC spokesman Peter Kaplan said in an email. "However, in light of the intense public interest and the potential impact of this matter, I can confirm that FTC staff is investigating the Equifax data breach." http://bit.ly/2wcuoQG.

 

Happy Thursday 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.

 

Top Dem introduces bill to ban credit freeze fees after Equifax hack: The top Democrat on the Senate Finance Committee released on Thursday a bill to ban credit reporting agencies from charging customers for credit freezes, following the massive Equifax data breach.

Offered by Sen. Ron WydenRonald (Ron) Lee WydenDems launch pressure campaign over migrant families Senators urge DOJ to probe whether Russians posed as Islamic extremist hackers to harass US military families Dems say new emails show Cohen ‘selling access’ to White House MORE (Ore.), the Free Credit Freeze Act would prevent credit reporting agencies such as Equifax from charging customers to freeze their credit accounts, a tool meant to prevent identity theft and fraud.

"Companies like Equifax that have stockpiled massive, insecure databases of Americans' most sensitive personal data must make security the top priority at every single stage," Wyden said.

"Given the frequency of these mega breaches, it is simply unacceptable for the credit agencies to continue to charge hardworking Americans who want to protect their credit and their identity from fraudsters." http://bit.ly/2x3jdHb.

 

Debt-ceiling gambit stirs GOP debate: President Trump's apparent willingness to scrap the debt ceiling has sparked debate among Republicans, with some suggesting the system could be changed to make fiscal reforms more likely.

Trump appeared open to nixing the borrowing limit after his recent funding deal with Democrats, telling reporters there are a "lot of good reasons" to get rid of it.

The financial cap is a perennial problem for Republicans, who have to contend with competing demands from conservatives, who are loath to raise the borrowing limit, and Senate Democrats, whose help they need to get 60 votes.

But GOP leadership is showing little appetite for abolishing the debt ceiling altogether, warning it would make it even harder for lawmakers to control federal spending. The Hill's Niv Elis and Jordain Carney report: http://bit.ly/2wdiV3i.

 

Floor vote on House Budget unlikely until October: The House is unlikely to bring its budget resolution -- an important step in the planned tax reform -- until October, according to a spokesperson for House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.).

The House will not convene next week, and the following week is already packed legislatively, the spokesperson said, meaning that even once the resolution gains enough support, it is unlikely to see a vote until early October.

House Budget Chairman Diane BlackDiane Lynn BlackGOP lawmaker introduces legislation labelling first-time illegal border crossing as a felony Scalise throws support behind Black, Blackburn ahead of Tennessee primary GOP lawmaker: Porn partly to blame for school shootings MORE (R-Tenn.) had hoped to bring the bill to the floor for passage this week, but a whip count found that conservatives in the House Freedom Caucus were still holding out.

The Freedom Caucus members have demanded greater detail on the upcoming tax reform, and without their votes, the budget is unlikely to pass: http://bit.ly/2wdek11.

 

Hatch: GOP's 'Big Six' will not dictate committee tax reform work: Senate Finance Committee Chairman Orrin HatchOrrin Grant HatchGOP moderates hint at smooth confirmation ahead for Kavanaugh GOP senators introduce resolution endorsing ICE Yale Law School students, alumni denounce Trump Supreme Court pick MORE (R-Utah) on Thursday sought to downplay the work of the Republican-only "Big Six" tax-reform negotiators, saying the group "will not dictate the direction we take in this committee."

The Big Six consists of Hatch, other House and Senate GOP leaders, and members of President Trump's economic team. The group is planning to release a tax-reform framework document during the week of Sept. 25.

But Hatch stressed at a Finance Committee hearing that the panel and the House's tax-writing committee would ultimately be responsible for crafting legislation.

"Any forthcoming documents may be viewed as guidance or potential signposts for drafting legislation," he said. "But, at the end of the day, my goal is to produce a bill that can get through this committee. That takes at least 14 votes, and hopefully we'll get more." http://bit.ly/2wcBX9T.

 

Conservative groups step up tax reform push: Conservative groups and activists are stepping up their push for tax reform, arguing to key GOP lawmakers and administration officials that passage of legislation is key for the midterm elections.

"There is broad consensus on the need for tax reform," more than 80 conservatives wrote in a letter dated Thursday. "With the 2018 midterm elections in sight, it is also crucial that bold policies keeping the promises made to the American people are realized soon."

The letter comes one day after plans were announced for the "Big Six" tax-reform negotiators to release a framework document during the week of Sept. 25.

The conservative groups' letter was addressed to the members of the "Big Six": Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wis.), House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Kevin BradyKevin Patrick BradyOn The Money — Sponsored by Prudential — Trump angers GOP, businesses with new tariffs | Liberals see Kavanaugh as mortal threat to consumer bureau | Lawmakers pitch family leave plans Trump tariffs prompt rising fear, anger from GOP, business Top House Republican calls for Trump to meet with Chinese president over trade war MORE (R-Texas), Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellDoug Jones walks tightrope on Supreme Court nominee Kavanaugh gets questionnaires for confirmation hearing Dem infighting erupts over Supreme Court pick MORE (R-Ky.), Senate Finance Committee Chairman Orrin Hatch (R-Utah), Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin and National Economic Council Director Gary Cohn. http://bit.ly/2wdq5EM.

 

House votes to block DC reproductive health law: The House voted on Thursday to prevent D.C. from receiving funding to implement a local law making it illegal for employers to discriminate against workers based on reproductive health decisions.

An amendment offered by Rep. Gary Palmer (R-Ala.) to a 2018 government-spending package would prohibit the use of funds for the District to implement the law, which bans employers from punishing workers for obtaining contraception, family planning services or abortions.

Palmer's amendment was adopted on a mostly party-line vote of 214-194. Eleven Republicans joined with all but two Democrats in opposing the effort.

The law has already been in effect for more than two years despite multiple efforts by Republicans in Congress to eliminate it. It includes a provision that clarifies religious organizations don't have to provide health insurance coverage for contraception or abortions. http://bit.ly/2wdsRd9.

 

House scraps measure to boost credit union regulator oversight: The House of Representatives on Wednesday night struck down a measure that would place the federal regulator for credit unions under tighter congressional control, earning praise from credit union trade groups.

The House removed language from a funding bill that would have placed the National Credit Union Administration (NCUA) under congressional appropriations. That measure would have given lawmakers control of the independent regulator's budget, and was included in a bill to roll back much of the Dodd-Frank Act.

Lawmakers approved the change through an amendment offered by Reps. Mark AmodeiMark Eugene AmodeiRevitalize our defense industrial base with mine permitting reform To reduce China's leverage, rebuild America's minerals supply chain GOP staves off immigration revolt — for now MORE (R-Nev.) and Pete AguilarPeter (Pete) Ray AguilarImmigration compromise underlines right’s clout Pelosi, Dems hammer GOP for ‘derailing’ DACA debate Hoyer warns GOP: Don’t dabble with DACA compromise bill MORE (D-Calif.).

Groups representing credit unions praised the House for striking the language, calling the move a major win for the industry. Credit union advocates said that congressional interference could complicate the small firms' close relationship with NCUA and give the regulator less control over stabilizing credit unions: http://bit.ly/2wcM4LV.

 

US sanctions Iranian nationals for cyberattacks against banks: The Trump administration on Thursday sanctioned seven Iranian nationals and an Iran-based computer security company for their role in cyberattacks targeting the U.S. financial system.

The Treasury Department announced sanctions on 11 entities and individuals for supporting Iran's elite Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC) and networks responsible for cyberattacks targeting the U.S. financial system.

The seven Iranian nationals added to the Office of Foreign Assets Control sanctions list are the same ones indicted by the Justice Department in March 2016 for their role in coordinated cyberattacks against the U.S. financial sector between 2011 and 2013.

Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin cast the new sanction as part of a broader effort by the Trump administration to "take strong actions to counter Iran's provocations." http://bit.ly/2x3iYff.

 

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