Overnight Finance: Dems propose letting Puerto Rico declare bankruptcy

SENATE DEMS RELEASE PUERTO RICO BANKRUPTCY BILL: Senate Democrats have unveiled legislation to alleviate Puerto Rico's debt woes, urging that the island be allowed to declare bankruptcy on all of its debt.

The bill, released Monday, would allow the U.S. territory to restructure its $72 billion in outstanding debt and create a fiscal oversight board for the island.


"For the 3.5 million American citizens living on the island of Puerto Rico, time is running short," said Sen. Bob MenendezRobert (Bob) MenendezThomas Kean wins GOP primary to take on Rep. Tom Malinowski Trump administration moves to formally withdraw US from WHO Senate Dems request briefing on Russian bounty wire transfers MORE (D-N.J.), one of the bill's sponsors. "Congress has to act immediately to fix the federal funding shortfalls and give Puerto Rico the tools it needs to fully restructure its debt." The Hill's Peter Schroeder gives us more: http://bit.ly/1QShFnu.

FORMER SENATOR TO LOBBY FOR H+R BLOCK: Former Sen. Jon Kyl (R-Ariz.) has registered to lobby on behalf of the tax preparation company H&R Block.

Kyl and a colleague at his new employer, Covington & Burling, will advocate on behalf of H&R Block in favor of the "creation of minimum standards for paid tax preparers," according to a registration form.

A federal appeals court ruled in 2014 that the Internal Revenue Service doesn't have the authority to broadly regulate preparers. Since then, some members of Congress have been interested in legislation that would grant the IRS more authority to regulate preparers. However, some Republicans have expressed concerns about giving the IRS more power in the wake of the political-targeting scandal. The Hill's Naomi Jagoda breaks it down: http://bit.ly/1QSwu9z.

LABOR CHIEF HITS HILL TO DEFEND RETIREMENT RULE: Labor Secretary Thomas PerezThomas Edward PerezClinton’s top five vice presidential picks Government social programs: Triumph of hope over evidence Labor’s 'wasteful spending and mismanagement” at Workers’ Comp MORE is heading to Capitol Hill to defend a controversial rule on investment advisers that's facing attacks from Republicans and many Democrats.

The Department of Labor's fiduciary rule would require retirement investment advisers to disclose more information about their compensation to clients. Supporters say it would ensure that they act in the best interests of their clients. But critics, including the investment industry, say the rule would raise costs and discourage those who need investment advice the most from seeking it.

Lawmakers will get three shots at Perez in the coming week when he swings by Capitol Hill for a series of hearings. The Hill's Tim Devaney and Lydia Wheeler give us a preview: http://bit.ly/1M2Rprk.

HAPPY MONDAY and welcome to Overnight Finance, where we're still recovering from the lost hour of sleep. I'm Sylvan Lane, and here's your nightly guide to everything affecting your bills, bank account and bottom line.

Tonight's highlights include a bleak analysis of Trump's healthcare plan and the benefits of federal lending programs as "shadow stimulus."

See something I missed? Let me know at slane@thehill.com or tweet me @SylvanLane. And if you like your newsletter, you can subscribe to it here: http://www.thehill.com/signup/48.


  • Senate Banking Committee: Hearings to examine the nominations of Matthew Rhett Jeppson, of Florida, to be Director of the Mint, Department of the Treasury, and of Lisa M. Fairfax, of Maryland, and Hester Maria Peirce, of Ohio, both to be members of the Securities and Exchange Commission, 10 a.m.
  • House Foreign Affairs Committee: Hearing on Trade with Cuba: Growth and Opportunities, 1:30 p.m.
  • House Foreign Affairs Committee: Hearing on U.S.-India Relations: Democratic Partners of Economic Opportunity, 2 p.m.
  • The American Bankers Association begins its Government Relations Summit
  • The U.S. Chamber of Commerce kicks off its 10th Annual Capital Markets Summit

ON TAP THIS WEEK: Check out our look at the week ahead here: http://bit.ly/1UtSXfB.

STUDY: TRUMP HEALTHCARE PLAN WOULD END COVERAGE FOR 21M: Donald TrumpDonald John TrumpKimberly Guilfoyle reports being asymptomatic and 'feeling really pretty good' after COVID-19 diagnosis Biden says he will rejoin WHO on his first day in office Lincoln Project offers list of GOP senators who 'protect' Trump in new ad MORE's healthcare plan would result in about 21 million people losing health insurance and cost about $270 billion over 10 years, according to a new study.

The analysis, from the Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget (CRFB), looks at the healthcare plan that Trump released earlier this month, which includes many popular Republican concepts. The Hill's Peter Sullivan explains: http://bit.ly/1pq2SYv.

SHADOW STIMULUS?: The expansion of 150 federal credit programs yielded $344 billion in stimulus in 2010, according to research from Deborah Lucas, an economist at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology: http://on.wsj.com/1QYxDKv.

NIGHTCAP: The government can spend a scary high amount of money, but House Republican Conference Chair Cathy McMorris RodgersCathy McMorris RodgersGOP lawmakers voice support for Israeli plan to annex areas in West Bank Trio of GOP lawmakers asks Zoom to clarify China ties after it suspends accounts Bipartisan senators call for investigation of TikTok's child privacy policies MORE is focusing on the problem of "zombie programs" in a spooky way to promote her bill to crack down on the problem.

Write us with tips, suggestions and news: slane@thehill.com, vneedham@thehill.com; pschroeder@thehill.com, and njagoda@thehill.com. Follow us on Twitter: @SylvanLane,  @VickofTheHill; @PeteSchroeder; and @NJagoda.