Week ahead: GOP's next steps on tax reform | Fed chief speculation heats up | Senate to vote on disaster relief

Week ahead: GOP's next steps on tax reform | Fed chief speculation heats up | Senate to vote on disaster relief
© Camille Fine

Both the Senate and House have passed their 2018 budgets and now the two chambers will have to agree on a resolution that will serve as their vehicle for a planned massive tax code overhaul.

Senate Republicans on Thursday evening narrowly voted 51-49 to pass the fiscal 2018 budget after a grueling hours-long marathon on the Senate floor, the first step to passing a tax plan and fulfilling a key GOP campaign pledge.

The budget was essential because it includes instructions that allow Republicans to pass their tax plan using a process that can avoid a Democratic filibuster. Sen. Rand PaulRandal (Rand) Howard PaulWhite House debates vaccines for air travel Senate lawmakers let frustration show with Blinken Rand Paul: 'Hatred for Trump' blocking research into ivermectin as COVID-19 treatment MORE (R-Ky.) joined with every Democrat and independent to vote against the budget bill.


A last-minute amendment by Senate Budget Committee Chairman Mike EnziMichael (Mike) Bradley EnziWhat Republicans should demand in exchange for raising the debt ceiling Senate votes to end debate on T infrastructure bill The Hill's 12:30 Report - Presented by AT&T - Biden celebrates monstrous jobs report MORE (R-Wyo.) adopting technical and procedural language from the House budget may expedite its final passage.

A House GOP source told The Hill that the amendment seems sufficient to avoid a conference committee between the two chambers, and allow the House to simply pass the Senate resolution as early as the coming week.

President Trump praised Senate Republicans late Thursday for passing the fiscal 2018 budget.

"This resolution creates a pathway to unleash the potential of the American economy through tax reform and tax cuts, simplifying the overcomplicated tax code, providing financial relief for families across the country, and making American businesses globally competitive," the White House said in a statement.

The GOP push for tax reform isn't the only big story in the coming week, which will see both the House and Senate in session.

The Senate is also expected to vote on the House's $36.5 billion disaster relief bill to help communities hit by hurricanes and wildfires. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellGOP political operatives indicted over illegal campaign contribution from Russian national in 2016 McConnell privately urged GOP senators to oppose debt ceiling hike On The Money — Dems dare GOP to vote for shutdown, default MORE (R-Ky.) has lined up the bill for a procedural vote Monday with final passage as early as Tuesday.

It's the second disaster relief bill in the last two months as the U.S. recovers from hurricanes Irma, Harvey, and Maria, as well as the raging fires in California.

President Trump is also close to announcing his pick to lead the Federal Reserve beyond February.

In an interview on Fox Business Network's "Mornings with Maria" set to air Sunday, Trump said he is considering Federal Reserve Governor Jerome Powell, Stanford University economist John Taylor and current Fed Chairwoman Janet Yellen.

"Well as you know, I've been seeing a number of people, and most people are saying it's down to two — Mr. Taylor, Mr. Powell," Trump said. "I also met with Janet Yellen who I like a lot, I really like her a lot. So I have three people I'm looking at, and there are a couple of others."

White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said on Friday that Trump is considering nominating Powell and Taylor to the top two positions on the board, and that an announcement on the matter will come soon.

Yellen on Friday made her second trip in as many days to the White House as President Trump mulls his decision. Yellen had lunch with National Economic Council Director Gary Cohn, according to a White House spokesperson. The White House said Yellen and Cohn lunch together "semi-regularly," and that Friday's meeting was "nothing out of the ordinary," despite rumors Trump is considering Cohn to replace Yellen as head of the Fed.

Yellen and Cohn have had a standing meeting over breakfast or lunch each month, according to Yellen's public calendars from February through August. Each time, they ate in the White House Mess, a cafeteria.

Some of President Trump's nominees will also be taking the hot seat in the week ahead.

The Senate Banking Committee on Thursday announced confirmation hearings for Trump's nominees to lead the Securities and Exchange Commission and Export-Import Bank.

The Banking panel will meet Wednesday to consider the nominations of Hester Peirce and Robert Jackson Jr. to join the SEC alongside Trump's pick to lead the U.S. Mint, David Ryder.

Peirce, currently a senior researcher at the libertarian-learning Mercatus Center, is a former SEC counsel and Senate Banking Committee staffer. Jackson was a Treasury Department special assistant and corporate attorney before joining Columbia Law School.

Both Peirce, first nominated by former President Barack ObamaBarack Hussein ObamaBill Maher, Isiah Thomas score over the NFL's playing of 'Black national anthem' Democrats confront 'Rubik's cube on steroids' White House debates vaccines for air travel MORE, and Jackson should have little issue clearing the committee. The Banking Committee approved Pierce's nomination in 2016, but she was never confirmed by the full Senate.


Your week ahead:





Recap the week with Overnight Finance:

Monday: White House says corporate tax cut will boost worker wages | Trump adviser sees deal near on easing bank regs | GOP senator's absence puts budget vote on knife's edge

Tuesday: Senate begins budget debate | McCain to vote yes | Cochran returns | Bannon becomes threat to Senate GOP on taxes | Trump, GOP play defense on middle-class tax cut pitch

Wednesday: Mnuchin says failing to pass tax reform would hurt stock market | GOP leaders split on tax plan timing | Dems say WH meet didn't win them over on taxes | Schumer urges Dems to keep gun votes out of budget debate

Thursday: Senate budget vote-a-rama gets underway | Trump meets Yellen amid Fed chair search | Republican's desire to retire seen as sign of DC frustration | Banks dig in for long fight over Dodd-Frank


Recent stories:

Conservatives drop demands for bigger spending cuts to get to tax reform

Trump officials blame deficit on slow growth

Ryan: Tax bill will include bracket for high earners

Democrats demand Pence pay back costs of traveling to NFL game

Corker calls budget 'a hoax'

Jobless claims fall to nearly 44-year low


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