Week ahead: Trump, lawmakers face end-of-year spending fight | Tax bill conference kicks off

Week ahead: Trump, lawmakers face end-of-year spending fight | Tax bill conference kicks off
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Lawmakers will return to Washington on Monday with just 12 days to fund the government past a new Dec. 22 deadline.

Trump on Friday signed a stopgap spending bill to avoid a government shutdown and buy lawmakers two more weeks to negotiate a broader budget deal.

Trump signed the measure without fanfare, one day after Congress sent it to his desk.

Democrats and Republicans have been at an impasse over a long-term government funding deal.


The two parties have been unable to agree on spending levels. Republicans also want to boost defense spending, but Democrats want that matched by a hike in nondefense spending.

Democrats also want other measures tied to the bill, including a fix to aid young immigrants brought to the country illegally.

Speaker Paul RyanPaul Davis RyanGOP super PAC drops .5 million on Nevada ad campaign Blue wave poses governing risks for Dems Dems seek to rebuild blue wall in Rust Belt contests MORE (R-Wis.), Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellKey GOP senators appear cool to Kavanaugh accuser's demand Trump hints at new executive action on immigration, wants filibuster-proof Senate majority The Hill's Morning Report — Sponsored by United Against Nuclear Iran — The Hill interviews President Trump MORE (R-Ky.), Senate Minority Leader Charles SchumerCharles (Chuck) Ellis SchumerTrump, GOP regain edge in Kavanaugh battle READ: President Trump’s exclusive interview with Hill.TV The Hill's 12:30 Report — Trump slams Sessions in exclusive Hill.TV interview | Kavanaugh accuser wants FBI investigation MORE (D-N.Y.) and House Minority Leader Nancy PelosiNancy Patricia D'Alesandro PelosiTrump boosts Heller, hammers 'Wacky Jacky' opponent in Nevada Lawmakers consider easing costs on drug companies as part of opioids deal New grounds for impeachment? House Dem says Trump deserves it for making society worse MORE (D-Calif.) met with Trump at the White House on Thursday to try and hammer out an agreement.

The White House sounded optimistic that a deal is in reach, with one official saying afterward the parties tentatively agreed to defense spending levels, one of the main snags.

Congressional leaders, however, sounded less optimistic and said more work needed to be done.

House Democrats opposed the short-term spending bill when it came to the floor Thursday afternoon, forcing Republicans to mostly approve the bill along party lines.

Conservative Republican members of the House Freedom Caucus, though, were initially skeptical of plans to extend funding to Dec. 22. They worried a deadline close to Christmas would be loaded with measures they oppose in a rush to wrap up work before the holiday.

They initially pushed for a Dec. 30 spending bill but settled after promises from GOP leaders for higher defense funding.

That will be a tougher sell with Democrats.

GOP lawmakers will also be looking to finish off work on their plan to overhaul the United States tax code this week. House and Senate leaders both appointed conferees to the committee responsible for negotiating a compromise bill.

The conference bill will have to be approved again by the House and Senate, both by simple majority votes. The committee will have to negotiate several differences that can decide the fate of the bill.

Sen. Marco RubioMarco Antonio RubioNikki Haley: New York Times ‘knew the facts’ about curtains and still released story March For Our Lives founder leaves group, says he regrets trying to 'embarrass' Rubio Rubio unloads on Turkish chef for 'feasting' Venezuela's Maduro: 'I got pissed' MORE (R-Fla.) on Friday warned the House-Senate tax conference committee that there would be "problems" if they bump up the corporate tax rate above 20 percent but don't further expand the child tax credit.

Rubio's remarks come as Republicans weigh increasing the final tax bill's corporate rate above 20 percent. Doing so would be unpopular among many GOP lawmakers, conservatives and business groups, but could help to raise revenue to help pay for other tax cuts.

Rubio and Sen. Mike LeeMichael (Mike) Shumway LeeReexamining presidential power over national monuments Utah group complains Mia Love should face criminal penalties for improper fundraising Senate approves 4B spending bill MORE (R-Utah) have been pushing for a more robust child tax credit for years. During the debate over the Senate bill last week, the pair offered an amendment that would have made the credit refundable against payroll taxes. But the amendment was shot down in part because it was paid for by ticking up the corporate rate.

Meanwhile, 26 conservative groups are pressing the House-Senate conference panel to stick with plans to lower the corporate rate to 20 percent.

"The United States currently has the highest corporate tax rate in the developed world — dropping that rate to 20 percent will spur American competitiveness, increase wages and deliver the relief middle-class taxpayers deserve," the groups wrote in a Friday letter written and circulated by the National Taxpayers Union.

The organizations — which include the Club for Growth, FreedomWorks and Grover Norquist's Americans for Tax Reform — noted that both the House- and Senate-passed bills cut the corporate rate from 35 percent to 20 percent. They called that cut the "central pro-growth provision" of the bills.

Your week ahead:



  • Federal Reserve Federal Open Market Committee meeting announcement, 2 p.m.
  • House-Senate tax conference panel open meeting, 2 p.m.



Recap the week with Overnight Finance:

Monday: 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

Tuesday: 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

Wednesday: Trump says shutdown 'could happen' | Ryan, conservatives inch closer to spending deal | Senate approves motion to go to tax conference | Ryan promises 'entitlement reform' in 2018

Thursday: Congress sends Trump funding bill to avert shutdown | WH sees 'tentative' deal on defense spending | GOP discovers corporate tax snag | Consumer bureau fight heats up | Apple could see $47B windfall from tax bill


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