QUOTABLE, former Federal Reserve Chairman Alan Greenspan, in an interview with The Hill: "Twenty or thirty years ago, we had the same large political differences in Congress, but people talked to each other from across the aisle and found agreement. Compromise was not a pejorative term."
For my interview with Greenspan, check back to TheHill.com tomorrow morning.
TOMORROW STARTS TONIGHT: HOUSE PASSES STOPGAP MEASURE, but not without some last minute political drama.
From The Hill’s Rebecca Shabad: “The House on Wednesday approved a $1 trillion stopgap-spending bill to keep the government funded through December 11. The 319-108 vote sends the bill to the Senate, which is also expected to approve the measure on Thursday. It comes one year after a fight between Republican lawmakers and the White House triggered a 16-day government shutdown.
“The total yes vote included 143 Democrats and 176 Republicans; opposition was just as bipartisan, with 55 Democrats and 53 Republicans voting no. Republicans wanted no sequel to that episode, which injured the party badly in polls. The shutdown initially had Democrats thinking they might be able to win back the House, until the disastrous rollout of ObamaCare quickly changed the political conversation.
“The 21-page continuing resolution (CR), which the White House publicly backed on Wednesday, would fund the government at an annual rate of $1.012 trillion. Without its passage, the government would shut down on Oct. 1. http://bit.ly/1yi2fSS
SYRIA AID ALSO PASSES HOUSE: The spending bill passed after lawmakers first attached an amendment to train and equip moderate Syrian rebel groups to fight the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria.
From our Scott Wong and Cristina Marcos: “Despite vocal opposition from both war-weary liberals and defense hawks who feel the Syria plan should include more robust steps, majorities in both conferences voted 273-156 to back Obama’s plan to give military aid to vetted members of the Free Syrian Army.” http://bit.ly/1sqkvkr
THIS IS OVERNIGHT FINANCE, where it’s been a busy, busy week.
Now that the House has passed the continuing resolution, focus turns to the Senate...
SENATE SOUNDS ALARM ON EX-IM? Laura Barron-Lopez for The Hill: “A group of bipartisan senators is pushing to attach a multiyear reauthorization of the U.S. Export-Import Bank to a stopgap spending measure.
“Led by Sen. Maria Cantwell (D-Wash.), Sens. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.), Mark Kirk (R-Ill.), and Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) said the proposed short-term Ex-Im Bank extension is insufficient, arguing that uncertainty surrounding its reauthorization is already costing jobs.
-- THE MONEY QUOTE, via Sen. Cantwell at a presser earlier today: "We would like to see an alternative proposed with anywhere from two to five years, and that is what we are trying to work on, the reason is it is already costing us jobs now.” She slammed House Republicans for just approving the nine-month extension "to get them through the election so they can kill this later." http://bit.ly/1u9jShr.
-- A former senior Ex-Im official working on its reauthorization isn’t upbeat about Cantwell’s chances. We asked how likely it’d be that the Senate continuing resolution will have a longer Ex-Im reauthorization. “Not very [likely], but it all depends on Reid’s irritability on any given day,” our source said.
-- BIZ REACTION, via Steven P. Wilburn, CEO of California-based FirmGreen: "I'm glad that Congress has pulled the Ex-Im Bank back from the edge of extinction, however, the Representatives' kick-the-can down-the-road approach has severely damaged my company. My overseas competitors are using the continuing uncertainty of reauthorization to undermine our current and future project development opportunities."
SURPRISE FROM THE FEDERAL RESERVE, via Peter Schroeder: “The Federal Reserve on Wednesday pledged to keep interest rates near zero for a ‘considerable time’ after its bond purchases likely end next month.
“While the central bank continued to shrink its ‘quantitative easing’ program with an eye towards eliminating it in October, officials gave no indication they were prepared to hike interest rates anytime sooner than previously expected, amid lingering concern about the economic recovery.”
-- More reaction, via Stu Varney, PNC chief financial economist: “The section of the statement on current economic conditions is more positive compared to the previous statement, from July 30... Stock prices initially dipped with the release of the statement, but have since recovered and are up 0.2 percent for the day.” http://bit.ly/1qLH1sw.
SHOT, via New York Times’ headline on Yellen’s presser: “Fed Signals No Hurry To Raise Rates.” http://nyti.ms/ZqpQkP
CHASER, via Reuters’ headline on Yellen’s presser: “Fed Rate Hikes May Come Sooner Than Expected.” http://reut.rs/1u0909a
HOLDER WATCH, via Benjamin Goad: “Attorney General Eric Holder called on Congress Wednesday to raise the limit on rewards for whistleblowers who expose bad actors on Wall Street.
In a speech at New York University, Holder signaled the start of a crackdown on white-collar criminals who have avoided criminal prosecution as federal investigations focus on patterns of malfeasance at large institutions.” http://bit.ly/YTmXca.
PASSED: HOUSE AUDIT THE FED BILL. Cristina Marcos reports: “The House on Wednesday passed legislation to audit the Federal Reserve System.
Passed 333-92, the bill would require the comptroller general to conduct an audit of the Federal Reserve's board of governors and banks within one year and submit a report to Congress on the findings.” http://bit.ly/1wE2d66.
Somewhere, Ron Paul is smiling.
TOP TALKER: Chuck GrassleyChuck GrassleySenate panel advances bill blocking tech giants from favoring own products Voting rights and Senate wrongs Swalwell slams House Republican for touting funding in bill she voted down MORE. Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) celebrated his 81st birthday with a 6.2 mile run this morning to the Capitol. See the pic: http://bit.ly/ZqvNOK.
CFPB LOOKS TO BROADEN OVERSIGHT. Michael Corkery and Jessica Silver-Greenberg for DealBook: “The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau wants to expand its oversight to include an important player in the auto loan market: non-bank auto finance companies.
“In a proposal, released on Wednesday, the fledgling agency said the move would extend its authority to include 38 lenders that provided financing to 6.8 million consumers last year. Until now, those non-bank auto lenders, which included the so-called captive finance arms of car manufacturers, like Honda and Toyota, were not supervised at the federal level.” http://nyti.ms/1pjVoOy
FEDS URGE BANKS TO RAT OUT RATS. The Justice Department has a suggestion for banks hoping to avoid criminal charges: Rat out your employees. Marshall L. Miller, the No. 2 official in the Justice Department’s criminal division, detailed in a speech on Wednesday how banks would either earn credit for exposing nefarious individuals or face charges for protecting them.
-- WHAT MILLER SAID: “At the risk of being a little too Brooklyn, I’m going to be blunt: If you want full cooperation credit, make your extensive efforts to secure evidence of individual culpability the first thing you talk about when you walk in the door to make your presentation... Make those efforts the last thing you talk about before you walk out.”http://nyti.ms/1wqJLuE.
IMF SOUNDS THE ALARM, via Jason Lange for Reuters: “The global economy faces a growing risk from big financial market bets that could quickly unravel if investors get spooked by geopolitical tensions or a shift in U.S. interest rate policy, the International Monetary Fund said on Wednesday.
“The IMF, an institution based in Washington that is the world's premier watchdog for financial and economic stability, said in a report it still expects economic growth will pick up in the second half of 2014 after a rough start to the year. But it also warned that financial market indicators suggested investor bets funded with borrowed money looked "excessive" and that markets could quickly deflate if there were surprises in U.S. monetary policy or the conflicts in Ukraine and the Middle East.” http://reut.rs/1yi1auj.