Overnight Finance: House Appropriations chair to retire | Exit sets off fight for gavel | GOP banks on tax cuts to help in midterms | Crypto exchange under scrutiny after theft | Conservatives push Trump on capital gains taxes

Overnight Finance: House Appropriations chair to retire | Exit sets off fight for gavel | GOP banks on tax cuts to help in midterms | Crypto exchange under scrutiny after theft | Conservatives push Trump on capital gains taxes
© Greg Nash

House Appropriations chairman to retire: Rep. Rodney FrelinghuysenRodney Procter FrelinghuysenOn The Money: Lawmakers get deal to avoid shutdown | House panel approves 'tax cuts 2.0' bill | Jobless claims hold steady near 49-year low Congress sends first spending package to Trump in push to avert shutdown Congress reaches deal to fund government through Dec. 7, preventing shutdown MORE (R-N.J.), the chairman of the powerful House Appropriations Committee who defied his party to vote against President TrumpDonald John TrumpOver 100 lawmakers consistently voted against chemical safeguards: study CNN's Anderson Cooper unloads on Trump Jr. for spreading 'idiotic' conspiracy theories about him Cohn: Jamie Dimon would be 'phenomenal' president MORE's tax cuts, announced Monday that he will not seek reelection.

Frelinghuysen, 71, was a top Democratic target given the tilt of his district, which Trump won over Hillary ClintonHillary Diane Rodham ClintonTrump to declassify controversial text messages, documents related to Russia probe Hypocrisy in Kavanaugh case enough to set off alarms in DC Clinton: Hard to ignore 'racial subtext of virtually everything Trump says' MORE in 2016 by just a percentage point.

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Trump's low approval ratings only raised Democratic hopes that they could defeat Frelinghuysen if he sought a 13th term -- especially after passage of a tax-cut bill that puts a $10,000 ceiling on the exemption for local and state taxes and property taxes, which was expected to hit the Republican's district hard.

Frelinghuysen had touted his bipartisan credentials, but his decision to retire suggests he faced a difficult path at best to win reelection. The Hill's Cristina Marcos reports: http://bit.ly/2rKgYJK.

 

House retirement sets off scramble for coveted chairmanship: The race to lead the House Appropriations Committee is already heating up following Chairman Rodney Frelinghuysen's (R-N.J.) retirement announcement Monday. 

Reps. Robert AderholtRobert Brown AderholtHealthy business vs healthy people — how will this administration address the two? The stakes are sky-high for the pro-life cause in the upcoming midterms Adoption Provider Act is about religious freedom — not same-sex adoption MORE (R-Ala.) and Kay GrangerNorvell (Kay) Kay GrangerThe stakes are sky-high for the pro-life cause in the upcoming midterms Bipartisanship alive and well, protecting critical infrastructure McCarthy's path to Speaker gets more complicated MORE (R-Texas), two of the most senior members on the spending panel, both appeared to throw their hats into the ring for the gavel shortly after Frelinghuysen said he would not seek reelection. 

"Today, I am announcing that I'm running to be chairwoman of the @HouseAppropsGOP," Granger wrote on Twitter. "This is a very challenging time for our country, and Chairman Frelinghuysen will leave tough shoes to fill. I will work hard to earn the support of my colleagues, and I look forward to a spirited race." 

Granger currently chairs the Appropriations Subcommittee on Defense and previously served as vice chair of the House Republican Conference from 2007 to 2009. Putting Granger in charge of the full committee would increase the GOP's female representation atop House committees, where only two Republican women now serve as chairs. The Hill's Melanie Zanona fills us in: http://bit.ly/2rSit8K.

 

GOP confident tax overhaul will be a 2018 winner: Republicans are increasingly confident that their tax-reform bill is growing in popularity and will help them buffer the stiff political headwinds they face in the 2018 midterm elections.

At a gathering of donors affiliated with billionaire conservative activists Charles and David Koch, GOP lawmakers and donors said they see signs the public is warming to the bill after initial polling indicated the overhaul would be a massive drag on the party.

The Koch network spent $20 million in advertising in support of the bill before it passed and has pledged another $20 million to tout the bill before the midterm elections.

"I'm delighted that the network will be committed to helping us tell that story," said Sen. John CornynJohn CornynKavanaugh, accuser to testify publicly on Monday Kavanaugh furor intensifies as calls for new testimony grow Grassley: Kavanaugh accuser 'deserves to be heard' in 'appropriate' manner MORE (R-Texas). "We'll have to continue to combat the misinformation and the naysayers that want this to fail. … Shame on us if we don't make it an issue [in 2018]." The Hill's Jonathan Easley has more: http://bit.ly/2rMQrf3.

 

Trump to share infrastructure plans in State of the Union: President Trump is scheduled to deliver his first State of the Union address on Tuesday.

The speech comes as the president and lawmakers are rushing to settle a number of critical issues before the 2018 campaign season hits full swing.

Trump will likely use his second address to Congress to boast about the strength of the economy, the passage of the GOP tax-reform bill and his intent to sign a trillion-dollar infrastructure plan into law. The president will also likely highlight his administration's ongoing efforts to loosen regulations on businesses, including the Dodd-Frank Act rules on banks and financial firms.

But Trump and Congress face a slate of crucial deadlines and political hurdles to overcome in the few months before the Capitol shuts down and lawmakers hit the campaign trail. Here's more on what to expect from the speech: http://bit.ly/2rNDhyd.

 

Happy Monday 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.

 

Trump touts economy: 'We are on the right track' President Trump on Sunday touted the U.S. economy and low unemployment rates, saying the country is "on the right track."

"Our economy is better than it has been in many decades. Businesses are coming back to America like never before," Trump wrote on Twitter.

"Chrysler, as an example, is leaving Mexico and coming back to the USA. Unemployment is nearing record lows. We are on the right track! http://bit.ly/2rOOChF.

 

Poll: 2 percent say they've benefited from GOP tax plan with raise or bonus: Only 2 percent of American adults reported receiving a bonus, a bump in pay or another perk due to the Republican tax overhaul passed in December, a new survey found.

Twenty-seven percent of respondents in the Reuters/Ipsos poll said they believe the legislation will increase the amount they pay in taxes, while 24 percent said they think they will pay less in taxes and 23 percent did not anticipate their tax payment will be altered.

A third of the respondents polled said the new legislation made them more likely to cast a ballot for a Democrat, while a quarter of those surveyed said the same for a Republican: http://bit.ly/2rSth6U.

 

Cryptocurrency exchange under scrutiny after massive theft: A Tokyo-based cryptocurrency exchange is coming under the scrutiny of Japanese regulators after hackers pulled off what may be the largest cryptocurrency theft to date.

The hackers made off with hundreds of millions in virtual currency from the exchange, Coincheck, on Friday.

Japan's financial regulator, the Financial Services Agency (FSA), on Monday ordered the exchange to "improve business operations" following the "illicit transfer," Coincheck announced in a blog post. 

The FSA ordered Coincheck to investigate the incident, submit a written report, provide proper support to customers, and to strengthen and develop new methods to prevent future thefts. The agency gave the exchange a Feb. 13 deadline to comply: http://bit.ly/2rMZHzP.

 

Conservatives urge Trump to issue order on capital gains taxes: Leaders of prominent conservative groups are urging the Trump administration to issue an executive order to index capital gains taxes to inflation, arguing that doing so would end taxes on "phantom income."

"For much the same reason that regular income tax brackets were indexed to inflation over 30 years ago, we believe that it is only a matter of fairness to do the same for capital gains," the conservative leaders said Monday in a letter to President Trump and Treasury Secretary Steven MnuchinSteven Terner MnuchinTrump announces tariffs on 0B in Chinese goods Trump: China tariff announcement to come Monday afternoon Trump could hit China with tariffs of 0 billion as soon as Monday MORE.

Under current law, when people sell investments, they pay taxes on the difference between the amount they sold the investment for and the amount for which they purchased it. But the conservatives argue that taxpayers' actual gains are lower than the amount that's currently taxed because of inflation.

"For example, if someone saving for retirement purchased an S&P index fund for $1,000 in 2008 and dutifully held it for ten years, they could now sell it for $1,934. That's a gain of $934," the conservative leaders wrote. "Unfortunately, the full amount would be subject to taxation. But $168 of that $934 isn't a real gain at all. It's phantom income that was eaten away because of inflation. And yet, taxpayers are currently forced to pay taxes on this nonexistent income." http://bit.ly/2rNgRxl.

 

ExxonMobil plans to invest $50 billion in five years amid tax reform: ExxonMobil credited the new tax-cut legislation on Monday as it announced plans to invest more than $50 billion in the United States over the next five years as part of an expansion of its business.

Darren Woods, chairman and CEO of the oil and gas company, announced in a blog post that the investment will increase oil production in the Permian Basin in West Texas and New Mexico, expand and improve existing operations and build new manufacturing sites in the United States.

"These are quality investments for our shareholders that are made even better by tax reform," Woods wrote. "That's good news if you're among the millions of Americans who own ExxonMobil stock directly or have indirect ownership through the many public pension funds, mutual funds or exchange traded funds that are ExxonMobil owners."

A number of corporations have announced plans for investments, or bonuses or raises to employees that they have linked to the tax bill. FedEx, Home Depot and Starbucks all announced this month that they would be handing out benefits to their employees: http://bit.ly/2rN0YXD.