OVERNIGHT FINANCE: Tax breaks in lame duck trouble?

TOMORROW STARTS TONIGHT: LAWSON LEAVING? The Wall Street Journal's Christopher M. Matthews: "Benjamin Lawsky, New York state’s top banking regulator and one of Wall Street’s most dogged pursuers, will likely leave his government position early next year, according to a person familiar with the matter.

"Mr. Lawsky has explored options in the private sector in recent weeks, the person said, but has not come to a final decision about when he will leave his state government post." http://on.wsj.com/1xvAnYS

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EXTENDERS WATCH: TROUBLE AHEAD IN LAME DUCK? The push for extending expired tax breaks, dubbed “extenders,” is on a collision course with the lame duck.

Ryan Ellis, tax policy director the conservative Americans for Tax Reform, tells OVERNIGHT that there’s no concrete path forward.

“It’s a wide open conversation right now,” Ellis said. “The preference is obviously for this not to get carried into next year, but House leadership is going to use this term in the lame duck to see what the Senate is willing to do.”

Many House Republicans want to push the tax extenders to 2015, so that a GOP Congress could make many of the breaks permanent. But GOP Senate leaders want to clear many lingering the issues in the lame duck before they take control next year.

— ELLIS’S BOTTOM LINE: “The extender with the best shot at being made permanent is R&D [research and development]. That’s what’s driving all the politics downtown on this.”

— FAST FACT: The total value of the two-year extenders package is $67.4 billion. R&D is $15.4 billion — or just under 23 percent, according to an estimate from the Joint Committee on Taxation. http://1.usa.gov/1B45LBR.

LEAHY BACKS OFF APPROPS AMBITIONS, via Alexander Bolton: “Sen. Patrick LeahyPatrick Joseph LeahyBipartisan representatives demand answers on expired surveillance programs Democrats shoot down talk of expanding Supreme Court Battle over timing complicates Democratic shutdown strategy MORE (D-Vt.), the most senior member of the Senate Democratic caucus, said Tuesday that he would not make a bid to serve as the top Democrat on the Appropriations Committee next year.

“Leahy, the chairman of the Judiciary Committee, voiced his full support for Sen. Barbara MikulskiBarbara Ann MikulskiForeign policy congressional committees need to call more women experts Lobbying World Only four Dem senators have endorsed 2020 candidates MORE of Maryland to continue serving as the top-ranking Democrat on the Appropriations Committee.” http://bit.ly/1tZqRL9.

TRIA WATCH: SHORT TERM REAUTH LIKELY? House Financial Services Committee Chairman Jeb Hensarling (R-Texas) could score a second political victory by securing a shorter-term reauthorization of the Terrorism Risk Insurance (TRIA) program.

That’s not sitting too well with Jimi Grande, senior vice president at the National Association of Mutual Insurance Companies:

“I find this unfortunate. This reauthorization has been on the table for more than a year and there is no reason why it needs to be held to the last minute ... Nobody wants to start all over again next year and any short-term options would be a disaster for policyholders, lenders, developers, insurers and the economy.”

— AS FINCHER LETTER BUILDS SUPPORT FOR LONG-TERM BILL: Rep. Stephen FincherStephen Lee FincherTrump announces, endorses ambassador to Japan's Tennessee Senate bid Lamar Alexander's exit marks end of an era in evolving Tennessee Tensions on immigration erupt in the House GOP MORE (R-Tenn.), a member of Hensarling’s committee, has already nabbed 20 Republican signatures urging GOP leadership to pass a long-term TRIA reauthorization, according to a source familiar with his letter.

Having Ex-Im déjà vu? Us, too...

HENSARLING KEEPING OPTIONS OPEN? Hensarling has said he’s not challenging BoehnerJohn Andrew BoehnerLongtime House parliamentarian to step down Five things we learned from this year's primaries Bad blood between Pelosi, Meadows complicates coronavirus talks MORE this go-around for Speaker. But a top financial lobbyist has interesting analysis for OVERNIGHT.

“The leadership question has been answered for Hensarling,” the lobbyst said. “But a run for leader is possible next cycle. On TRIA... he is likely fine with a short-term reauthorization. He’ll get to negotiate the next one with an R Senate.”

2016 WATCH: Marco RubioMarco Antonio RubioGOP online donor platform offering supporters 'Notorious A.C.B.' shirts Sunday shows preview: Lawmakers prepare for SCOTUS confirmation hearings before election GOP lawmakers distance themselves from Trump comments on transfer of power MORE’S NEW BOOK, via The Hill’s David McCabe: “Sen. Marco Rubio’s (R-Fla.) new book will be released in January, not long before candidates are expected to begin announcing their plans for the 2016 presidential race.

“The book, titled American Dreams: Restoring Economic Opportunity For Everyone, is the Florida senator and potential GOP presidential contender’s second. It will focus more on policy, according to the Tampa Bay Times, than his first book, which shared his personal story as the son of Cuban immigrants.” http://bit.ly/1wgW37d.

GROVER BACKS BOEHNER, via Bernie Becker: “Grover Norquist, the anti-tax activist, heaped praise on Speaker John BoehnerJohn Andrew BoehnerLongtime House parliamentarian to step down Five things we learned from this year's primaries Bad blood between Pelosi, Meadows complicates coronavirus talks MORE (R-Ohio) on Tuesday for vowing to block online sales tax legislation in the upcoming lame-duck session of Congress.” http://bit.ly/1whxerE.

OBAMA, PUTIN CHAT IN CHINA, Matt Spetalnick for Reuters: “A few brief encounters between Barack ObamaBarack Hussein ObamaJudge orders Georgia officials to provide backup paper poll books ahead of election Supreme Court fight should drive Democrats and help Biden Michelle Obama says even former first families can get on each other's nerves during quarantine MORE and Vladimir Putin during an Asia-Pacific summit in China on Tuesday spoke volumes about the chilly state of relations between the United States and Russia.

“With the two men crossing paths twice this week, first in Beijing and later at a G20 summit in Brisbane, Australia, there was little chance they could avoid interacting on the international stage — and with the eyes of the world press and fellow leaders upon them.

“Obama and Putin have never had anything close to personal chemistry, and with tensions high especially over Russia’s role in the conflict in Ukraine, there was little warmth on display in their contacts at the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) forum.” http://reut.rs/1pOu55R.

FORMER DIRECTOR: DON’T POLITICIZE CBO: Rebecca Shabad for The Hill: “Republicans shouldn’t appoint a “party hack” to head the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office (CBO) next year, a former director of the agency warned Tuesday. 

In an op-ed for Bloomberg View, former CBO and Office of Management and Budget Director Peter Orszag urged Republicans to reappoint current CBO Director Douglas Elmendorf.” http://bit.ly/1B4gjkm

— OBVIOUS OVERNIGHT MUSING: This is Washington, folks, everything is political.

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