Week ahead: Showtime for GOP tax plan | Trump expected to unveil Fed pick | Ex-Im nominee faces tough confirmation

Camille Fine

House Republicans are scheduled to release their long-anticipated tax-reform bill on Wednesday, a major step toward fulfilling a critical part of the GOP agenda.

Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) detailed the House’s timeline on tax legislation Tuesday, two days before the chamber passed the Senate budget. The budget will allow Republicans to pass a tax overhaul that adds up to $1.5 trillion to the deficit through a process known as reconciliation. That process will only require 51 votes to pass in the Senate, helping them avoid a Democratic filibuster.

House Ways and Means Chairman Kevin Brady (R-Texas) announced after the budget’s passage that his panel will mark up the tax bill on Nov. 6. The five days between the bill’s introduction and hearing gives stakeholders a narrow window to protest eliminated deductions or rate changes they oppose.


Republicans are already preparing for the fight ahead.

Ryan warned Wednesday that Republicans will have to navigate the most difficult phase of tax reform once a bill is unveiled and lobbyists start fighting to preserve prized tax breaks.

GOP leaders have set ambitious goals for their tax code overhaul — including slashing the corporate tax rate from 35 to 20 percent and cutting most individual rates. The hunt is on to find ways to fund the $1.5 trillion in tax cuts.

The tight 216-212 House vote Thursday to pass the GOP budget is also raising a red flag for Republicans on tax reform.

A number of Republican lawmakers held their votes until the end on Thursday, telling leaders that they will have to deal with them on the tax bill if they want it approved. That included 11 GOP lawmakers from New York and New Jersey who wanted to send a message about the need for their leaders to compromise on plans to eliminate the state and local tax deduction, which could hit their districts hard.

President Trump is also expected to announce his choice to lead the Federal Reserve as soon as this week, potentially reshaping U.S. monetary and financial regulatory policy.

Current Federal Reserve Board Chair Janet Yellen’s term expires next February, and Trump has spoken highly of the incumbent since he took office in January.

But Republicans eager for a break from Yellen’s moderate monetary policy and defense of the Dodd-Frank financial reform law want to see Trump pick a more conservative candidate. Several GOP senators said Trump asked them to pick between Federal Reserve Governor Jerome Powell and Stanford University economist John Taylor when he attended their closed-door policy lunch on Tuesday.

Trump has said he’s considering Powell, Taylor and White House chief economic adviser Gary Cohn for the job.

Trump has been largely complimentary of Yellen since taking office, despite calling her “obviously political” during his White House campaign. He has praised Yellen for maintaining relatively low interest rates, which he says he prefers as a former real estate developer.

While Powell and Taylor are both Republicans, they would likely bring a different lens on monetary policy. A Powell Fed would resemble much of Yellen’s current preference for slow rate hikes, while Taylor would likely move to bring higher rates faster.

The Senate Banking panel will also meet on Nov. 1 to grill Trump’s nominee to lead the Export-Import Bank, former Rep. Scott Garrett (R-N.J.).

Garrett, a staunch opponent of the U.S. export subsidizer, faces a tough road to confirmation. Republicans and Democrats from U.S. manufacturing hotbeds say they fear the conservative former congressman would attempt to destroy the bank from within.

The National Association of Manufacturers is ramping up its campaign against Garrett’s nomination to head the bank, citing his long opposition to it while in Congress.

“Scott Garrett has a long and disgraceful record of trying to kill the Ex-Im Bank, while showing no concern for the 1.4 million American jobs it supports,” said NAM President and CEO Jay Timmons. “Letting him lead the Ex-Im Bank is simply too big a risk for America’s manufacturing workers.”

Garrett will appear beside Ex-Im Bank first vice president and vice chairman nominee Kimberly Reed, board nominees former Rep. Spencer Bachus (R-Ala.), Judith Pryor and Claudia Slacik — who’ve been backed by NAM — and inspector general nominee Mark Greenblatt.


Your week ahead:


  • House Republicans expected to release tax bill
  • House Financial Services Committee: Hearing entitled “Examining the Community Development Block Grant-Disaster Recovery Program,” 10 a.m.
  • Senate Banking Committee: Hearing on the nominations of Scott Garrett to be President, Kimberly A. Reed to be First Vice President, Mark L. Greenblatt to be Inspector General, and Spencer Bachus III, of Alabama, Judith Delzoppo Pryor, of Ohio, and Claudia Slacik, of New York, each to be a Member of the Board of Directors, all of the Export-Import Bank, 10 a.m.



Recap the week with Overnight Finance:

Monday: Trump promises tax proposal won’t change 401(k) plans | Trump ‘very, very close’ to picking Fed chair | House to vote on Senate budget | Treasury slams arbitration rule | Trump touts Boeing deal

Tuesday: Disaster aid bill heads to Trump’s desk | Ryan says tax bill coming next week | Trump asks senators for show of hands on Fed choices | Senators race to repeal consumer arbitration rule

Wednesday: Trump, GOP open to 401(k) changes | White House eyes gas tax hike for infrastructure | Republicans flex power over consumer agency | Cohn reportedly out of running for Fed chief

Thursday: Trump feuds endangering tax plan | House adopts Senate budget, takes step toward tax revamp | Trump talks NAFTA withdrawal with GOP senators


Today’s stories:

White House: Corporate tax changes would boost GDP, by Naomi Jagoda

US economy grew at a 3 percent pace in Q3, by Vicki Needham

Watchdog had warned about FEMA disaster funding, by Devin Henry

Schumer blocking two Trump trade nominees, by John Bowden

Treasury calls for looser federal oversight of insurance companies, by Sylvan Lane


Write us with tips, suggestions and news:,, and Follow us on Twitter: @SylvanLane,  @VickofTheHill, @NJagoda and @NivElis.

Tags Kevin Brady Paul Ryan Scott Garrett Spencer Bachus

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