We drink for Dodd-Frank... keep reading...
TOMORROW STARTS TONIGHT: GOP BRACES FOR BATTLE ON IMMIGRATION. Rebecca Shabad and Cristina Marcos for the hometown paper: "The House voted Wednesday to block funding for President Obama’s immigration orders, firing the first shot in a high-stakes battle over deferred deportations for the millions of people who are in the country illegally. The measure passed in a 236-191 vote, with 10 Republicans voting against it and two Democrats voting in favor."
-- PROBLEM FOR GOP IN 2016? Mike Lillis for The Hill: "House Democrats are warning that Republican efforts to undo President Obama's lenient deportation policies have just cost the GOP the White House in 2016. 'We need to put it in terms of consequences. Next November of 2016 is going to be a really, really early night,' Rep. Luis Gutiérrez (D-Ill.) said Wednesday. "They'll never be a national party if they turn their backs, like they're doing today, on the immigrant community.'" Full story: http://bit.ly/1xZYhwv
Speaking of 2016, we'll be on Fox Business Network tonight at 8 p.m. with Neil Cavuto talking presidential politics...
THIS IS OVERNIGHT FINANCE, and Ashley Judd returned to Washington today. More on that in a second. Tweet: @kevcirilli; email: firstname.lastname@example.org; and subscribe:http://thehill.com/signup/48. Pick up the pace, we're not at the weekend yet...
DODD-FRANK DEMOCRATIC REVOLT: 29 HOUSE DEMS BUCK WARREN-WING, WHITE HOUSE. My take with Cristina Marcos: "The House on Wednesday passed legislation, blocked by Democrats last week, that would delay the implementation of a controversial provision in the 2010 Dodd-Frank Wall Street reform law. Passage fell largely along party lines by a vote of 271-154. Twenty-nine Democrats joined all but one Republican in support...
-- THE BATTLE LINES: "The bill, which the White House is threatening to veto, would delay implementation of Dodd-Frank's "Volcker rule" until 2019, rather than 2017 as originally planned. The Volcker Rule, named after former Federal Reserve Chairman Paul Volcker, requires big banks to sell-off financial investments known as collateralized loan obligations (CLOs). Progressives argue that CLOs are a risky form of financing that, if left unregulated, could lead to another financial collapse. But centrist Democrats and Republicans say CLOs are an important way for small and big businesses alike to obtain financing during a sluggish economic recovery." Story: http://bit.ly/1Agg53r.
-- THE DEM OPPOSITION LIST: Twenty-nine House Democrats supported the bill, bucking the White House and progressive leaders including Sen. Elizabeth WarrenElizabeth WarrenFederal Reserve officials' stock trading sparks ethics review Manchin keeps Washington guessing on what he wants Warren, Daines introduce bill honoring 13 killed in Kabul attack MORE (D-Mass.), [who worked] to keep Democrats in opposing the bill." Full list in our story here: http://bit.ly/1Agg53r.
-- A FINANCIAL SERVICES INSIDER EMAILS OVERNIGHT: "The Ds who voted yes were all expected and brave. Interesting that most of them are in marginal [swing-district] seats. So when Democrats attack them for voting yes, remember that they are most likely to lose (Bera, Foster, Delaney, Graham, Murphy, Maloney). Don Beyer, a freshman from VA, voted yes."
Let's drink... for Dodd-Frank?
SHOT, Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) reacting to the House vote: "House Republicans are starting this Congress where they left off: trying to gut Wall Street reforms so that big banks can boost their profits. These banks want to make more risky bets using taxpayer-backed money. I’m glad the President and House Democrats are standing together to oppose this giveaway – with the risk of another financial crisis still far too high, we should be strengthening financial reforms, not rolling them back to benefit Wall Street."
CHASER, Rep. John Carney (D-Del.) on why he voted with Republicans in an interview with The Delaware News Journal: "The provisions in this bill have passed Congress overwhelmingly in years past... Only now has it become distorted and mischaracterized for political purposes. I will continue to stand firm in supporting improvements to financial regulations that will protect consumers and help businesses create jobs. That’s why I voted for this bill." Full story: http://delonline.us/1KKSUqu
Let's come up for air after our deep dive into wonk world...
NOTABLE: TALK OF THE TOWN - - ASHLEY JUDD RETURNS TO WASHINGTON. The Hill's "In The Know" gossip columnist Judy Kurtz scoops: Ashley Judd says voters shouldn’t count her out of the political arena just yet. 'I might run some day,' she tells ITK, 'I don't know.' The 'Divergent' actress famously [considered] a Kentucky Senate bid against Sen. Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) [but ultimately did not run]."
-- ON WHY SHE DIDN'T RUN: "That particular moment in time was unique. I was prepared to run, I was very excited... I had bizarre thoughts in the morning like 'It’s a great day to raise $20 million' — not that I think that's a good thing in American politics, because we need massive campaign finance reform! But it was all systems go."
-- JUDD ADMITS TO BIG EGO, FEARED 'FLAKY' PERCEPTION. "It was a real leap of faith on my part because I am not ego-free... I had my own self-centered fear: people might think that I was dabbling or that I was flaky... I couldn’t stop crying as [I] consulted [my] advisers about what to do... I was like, 'What are you hearing me say?' And they were very ego-less because they had a vested interest in my going forward. They said, 'I'm hearing you say at this moment in your life, it's too much, too soon.'" Full story:http://bit.ly/1IxUha0
TAX TALK - - GROVER NORQUIST: IRS USING SCARE TACTICS. Bernie Becker reports: "The IRS is employing scare tactics by slowing refunds in the face of budget cuts, anti-tax activist Grover Norquist said Wednesday. John Koskinen, the IRS commissioner, told agency staffers this week that a $346 million budget cut could even force the IRS to shut down for two days, and raised the specter of reducing efforts to rein in tax cheats and identity thieves. But Norquist’s Americans for Tax Reform said Wednesday that Koskinen was going out of his way to make the cuts more painful than they had to be.
-- GROVER'S GRIPES: "Koskinen is telling the world that he's not competent and capable enough to manage the IRS with the budget that Congress gave him. He should apologize for taking a job he's not ready for and step down and be replaced by somebody capable." Story: http://bit.ly/1u51TxP.
Did you start your tax returns yet? You better...
IRS SERVICE COULD BE WORST IN A DECADE, Becker picks it up: "Taxpayers are likely to get their worst service from the IRS in more than a decade, a federal watchdog said Wednesday. Nina Olson, the national taxpayer advocate, said in her annual report that missed phone calls and unanswered letters about questions would be the biggest problem for taxpayers this year. Olson, an in-house watchdog for the IRS, has for years warned about the agency’s declining customer service, and urged lawmakers to provide more funding to help stem the problem." http://bit.ly/1CmSK2X
TOM DONOHUE'S BEST ZINGERS: The president and CEO of the Chamber of Commerce laid out his game-plan for the year during his "State of American Business" speech earlier today in Washington. It was what you'd expect from the Chamber: repeal parts of ObamaCare, reauthorize the Export-Import Bank, pressure Obama to get trade agreements, etc. My recap here: http://bit.ly/14BbW1g
-- TOM TAKES ON 'YOU DIDN'T BUILD THAT' CROWD: "Contrary to what some of our political leaders have said, businesses really do create the jobs. They really do build things. Whether they reside on Main Street or even on Wall Street, businesses are not the enemy. They are a big part of the solution to the challenges we face as a nation and a people."
-- TOM TAKES ON WARREN-WING: Today we’re hearing a lot of talk about so-called economic populism. Its advocates claim they are standing up for the average citizen -- but what they really stand for is the unbridled growth of the central government and a state-run economy. We already have real economic populism in this country, and I’ll tell you what it is.
"It’s 28 million businesses of every conceivable size and endeavor that have sprung to life in every town, city, and community. It’s millions of businesses invented around a kitchen table, in a garage, or in a college dorm. It’s millions of women- and minority-owned businesses whose owners are persistently laying claim to their share of the American Dream."
BEIGE BOOK: ECONOMY LOOKS GOOD. Sarah Portlock for The Wall Street Journal: "The economic outlook was generally positive for the end of last year, according to anecdotes from the Federal Reserve’s latest survey of regional economic conditions. Consumer spending was strong and companies were considering raising wages in the New Year. But plunging oil prices are starting to threaten energy-related industries in some parts of the country, according to the report." http://on.wsj.com/1xqExx3