Business & Economy

OVERNIGHT FINANCE: Moderate Dems deal blow to Shelby’s bill

THE SCENE – – Rep. Maxine Waters (D-Calif.) pulled out all the stops to convince Republicans to support reauthorizing the Export-Import Bank, which conservatives have turned into a “Bridge to Nowhere.” Speaking to Rep. Bruce Poliquin (R-Maine) during a committee markup, she urged him “your warm smile” to convince GOPers to support the bank. “If anyone can convince your party – it’s you,” she said smiling.

{mosads}TOMORROW STARTS TONIGHT: MODERATE DEMS OPPOSE SHELBY’S FINANCIAL BILL. My report: Moderate Democrats on the Senate Banking Committee are planning to oppose Chairman Richard Shelby’s (R-Ala.) financial regulatory proposal during Thursday’s mark-up, dealing the sweeping plan an early and significant blow.

Three quick points…

1.) THE NO VOTES: Sources close to Sens. Mark Warner (D-Va.), Heidi Heitkamp (D-N.D.), Bob Menendez (D-N.J.) and Jon Tester (D-Mont.) each said that four moderate members of the panel are planning to vote against Shelby’s proposal. THE NO COMMENT: A spokesperson for Sen. Joe Donnelly (D-Ind.), another of the panel’s moderates, did not respond to requests for comment.

2.) WHAT IT MEANS: The moderates’ opposition signals that the Senate Banking Committee will likely approve Shelby’s bill on a party-line vote. But it also means that Shelby will have a hard time clearing a 60-vote procedural hurdle if he wants to get a vote on the Senate floor. Banking Committee aides have suggested that they could attempt to move portions of the bill through the appropriations process.

3.) THE POLICY BEHIND THE POLITICS: Shelby’s bill is the most aggressive financial regulatory overhaul proposal since the 2010 Dodd-Frank Wall Street reform law. It would ease regulations on smaller banks and credit unions, while also seeking to make structural changes at the Federal Reserve to increase transparency. Meanwhile, Dems have a bill that would provide regulatory relief to small banks while expanding the power of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB). Story:

THIS IS OVERNIGHT FINANCE, and tomorrow is Thursday — the eve of a three-day weekend. Where are you going? Hopefully somewhere with friends and family. Enjoy the respite. You deserve it. Tweet: @kevcirilli; email:; and subscribe: Back to work…

TUNE IN: Thanks to Fox News’ Jon Scott for having me on earlier this afternoon to discuss 2016 politics and business. Watch our segment with National Review‘s Eliana Johnson here:

LEGISLATIVE DAYS UNTIL EX-IM SHUTS DOWN: 18. And we’ve been calling this for weeks… the Senate is attempting to attach Ex-Im to trade. Alexander Bolton for the hometown paper: “The Senate debate on trade promotion authority has become mired in a dispute over the Export-Import Bank that could complicate the push to pass the bill before the end of the week. Senate Republican Whip John Cornyn (Texas) told reporters that Sen. Maria Cantwell (D-Wash.) is objecting to votes on amendments unless she gets a vote on a proposal to reauthorize the bank. Its charter expires at the end of June…

— DEMS THREATEN TO BLOCK TRADE OVER EX-IM. Bolton breaks it down: “Democrats have threatened to block a final vote on trade promotion authority (TPA), also called fast-track, unless they have an opportunity to offer amendments to the legislation. So far, the Senate has voted on only two amendments, and six are currently pending on the floor.

— ‘PLAN B’ FOR PRO-EXIMers: HIGHWAY TRUST, via Bolton: “Cornyn said there is some discussion of attaching the Ex-Im reauthorization to a long-term highway funding bill that the Senate is expected to consider in July. Congress is set to pass a two-month extension of highway funding before leaving town for its Memorial Day recess.” Bolton’s story:

We’ve been saying this for weeks, as you all know…

FIRST IN OVERNIGHT: Rep. Bill Flores (R-Texas), chairman of the Republican Study Committee, is expected to announce his opposition to Ex-Im tomorrow, according to two sources with direct knowledge of the situation.

— ARE THERE ENOUGH VOTES IN HOUSE? While there’s a handful of Ex-Im reauthorization bills in the House, there are a bunch of “poison pill” attachments that would be tough for either party to swallow, including, but not limited to, coal amendments. So it’s still very much unclear whether Ex-Im supporters would be able to rally behind any particular legislation.

— TONY FRATTO, partner at Hamilton Place Strategies, which is working to reauthorize the bank: “[House Financial Services Committee Chairman Jeb Hensarling (R-Texas)] is doing everything he can to prevent a vote on the bank. What is he afraid of? The answer is that a majority of House members, including many members of his own committee and party, want to reauthorize Ex-Im. Not only do we have support in the Republican Study Committee, 33 RSC members are actually co-sponsors of the House Ex-Im reauthorization bill. They deserve a vote on this issue now.”

HBD: REP. JOHN CARNEY (D-Del.). He downplayed his birthday during today’s never-ending Financial Services markup: “Everybody’s got these notifications on their cell phones and what not. I’ve gotten more Happy Birthdays today than I have in my life, I think.”

MOVING ON: PAUL LAWSKY, via me and Cory Bennett: “Benjamin Lawsky, widely viewed as one of Wall Street’s toughest regulators, resigned Wednesday to start his own technology-based political consulting firm. As superintendent of the New York State Department of Financial Services (NYDFS), Lawsky frequently found himself butting heads with big banks during his four-year tenure.”

OVERNIGHT OBSERVATIONS: The second most-read article on at the moment is a story titled, “Taylor Swift: Watch Her Explosive New ‘Bad Blood’ Video.”

BAD BLOOD: NOT JUST FED — ECB UNDER FIRE FOR TRANSPARENCY, TOO! Brian Blackstone for WSJ: “The European Central Bank will no longer release in advance the speeches of its executive board members to journalists under embargo, a bank spokesman said Wednesday. The decision, which has been under consideration for several months by the ECB’s communications department, is aimed at ensuring the widest possible access to ECB speeches, the spokesman said, adding that it was becoming increasingly difficult to determine which journalists should have access to embargoed comments.”

— OVERNIGHT MUSINGS: Here’s a thought for our friends across the pond: Any journalist who asks for the embargoed speech should receive the embargoed speech after agreeing to the embargo… 

FED MINUTES: NO JUNE RATE HIKE LIKELY, Jon Hilsenrath for WSJ: “Federal Reserve officials meeting in late April doubted they would be ready to raise short-term interest rates by midyear, according to minutes of the meeting released Wednesday. Fed officials are trying to make sense of a first-quarter economic slowdown. Many at the April 28-29 policy meeting believed temporary factors were holding the economy back.”

FIRST IN OVERNIGHT: POLL RESULTS HIT LABOR’S ROLE ON FINANCIAL ADVISER RULE. The center-right American Action Forum’s latest poll on the fiduciary regulations signals how critics of President Obama’s regulatory proposal for financial advisers might frame the debate in the months ahead. As you know, the administration is backing the Department of Labor’s efforts to add more disclosure requirements for financial advisers, arguing that it will better protect consumers. But moderate Democrats, Republicans and the business community say these regulations will end up out-costing low-income Americans from receiving financial advice.

— THE POLL found that when Americans were asked if “the Department of Labor should… be in the business of running individual retirement accounts,” the majority of Americans opposed the regulations by a 69 percent to 20 percent margin, with the remainder undecided.

— WHY IT MATTERS: Moderate Democrats are already beginning to voice concerns over the regulation, which failed to gain traction in 2010. View the poll here:

WARREN’S $1.3 MILLION BoA LINE OF CREDIT, via Kimberly Atkins for Boston Herald: “WASHINGTON — A loophole in a federal financial disclosure law for members of Congress let U.S. Sen. Elizabeth Warren — a strident critic of big banks — withhold information about a high-limit line of credit against her Cambridge home with one of the country’s largest banks.”

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–Follow us on Twitter: @VickofTheHill@PeteSchroeder@BernieBecker3; @RebeccaShabad and @kevcirilli.

Tags Dodd-Frank law Elizabeth Warren Ex-Im Jeb Hensarling Maxine Waters Richard Shelby

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