Overnight Finance: Ryan stops vote on earmarks | Dems press Wall Street to condemn Bannon | Stocks come down to earth

Overnight Finance: Ryan stops vote on earmarks | Dems press Wall Street to condemn Bannon | Stocks come down to earth
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Ryan stops vote on bringing back earmarks: Speaker Paul RyanPaul Davis RyanAmash: Trump incorrect in claiming Congress didn't subpoena Obama officials Democrats hit Scalia over LGBTQ rights Three-way clash set to dominate Democratic debate MORE (R-Wis.) on Wednesday persuaded GOP lawmakers to postpone a vote on two measures that would chip away at the ban on legislative earmarks.

The House Republican conference was set to vote on changes to the House GOP rules that would allow lawmakers to direct spending for pet causes in their districts, under certain circumstances.

Republican Reps. John Culberson of Texas, Mike Rogers of Alabama and Tom Rooney of Florida filed the amendment, which would have been voted on through a secret ballot during the GOP leadership elections on Wednesday. A separate proposal by Rooney that focused more narrowly on Army Corps of Engineer projects appeared that it had the votes to pass, several lawmakers said. The Hill's Megan R. Wilson tells us what happened: http://bit.ly/2givz9A.

Dems call on banks to help boot Bannon: Top Democrats overseeing the financial industry are calling on banking leaders to condemn one of President-elect Donald TrumpDonald John TrumpZuckerberg launches public defense of Facebook as attacks mount Trump leaning toward keeping a couple hundred troops in eastern Syria: report Warren says making Israel aid conditional on settlement building is 'on the table' MORE's top advisers, Stephen Bannon.

The most influential Democrats on financial policy sent a letter to a litany of industry groups Wednesday, claiming they had a "moral obligation" to publicly condemn Trump's decision to give Bannon a top advisory role in his administration.

"This appointment will put a bigot beloved by white supremacists and supported by the American Nazi Party and the KKK a few steps from the Oval Office and empower him to influence every major decision the next President makes," the lawmakers wrote.

"As leaders in the business community, you have a moral obligation to speak out against this appointment as contrary to the values of this country and to the values of your industry. We urge you to condemn this appointment immediately and without reservation." The Hill's Peter Schroeder has reports: http://bit.ly/2fYkZn1.

Trump adviser suggests splitting tax reform into two bills: An economic adviser to President-elect Donald Trump said Wednesday that he would recommend the incoming administration consider tackling business tax reform in a separate bill from individual tax reform.

"I think that the business tax reform is a lot easier to get done," Stephen Moore said at an event hosted by Politico. "I would label this a jobs bill."

Tax reform is a top priority for both Trump and congressional Republicans.

Moore suggested that a business tax-cut bill could pass the House within one month of Trump taking office.

It could take a year or two to pass a bill that makes tax changes for individuals, Moore added, given the challenge of taking on the lobbyists who advocate for individual tax preference.

"The tax code is what makes the lobbyists possible," he said. "It just becomes very difficult to take on the swamp, as Donald Trump would call it." The Hill's Naomi Jagoda fills us in: http://bit.ly/2giCqjl.

Dow, S&P 500 drop; tech boosts Nasdaq: From Reuters: "The S&P 500 closed lower and the Dow ended a seven-day rally on Wednesday as financial stocks fell but gains in technology stocks helped Nasdaq end the day higher.

"U.S. stocks had been on a tear since the real estate developer's surprise victory in the Nov. 8 U.S. presidential election. The Dow had closed higher for the previous seven sessions, with the last four at record levels.
"The S&P financial sector ended its own seven-day rally with a 1.4 percent decline. Both the Dow and S&P pared losses in choppy afternoon trading." http://reut.rs/2f1B32y.

Happy Wednesday and welcome to Overnight Finance, where we're also trying to figure out what the heck Jamie Dimon is going to do. I'm Sylvan Lane, and here's your nightly guide to everything affecting your bills, bank account and bottom line.

Tonight's highlights include the earmark comeback's derailment, soaring Republican economic confidence, tech companies prepping Obama aides for life after the administration, and a proposal from a Fed chair.

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://bit.ly/1NxxW2N.

On tap tomorrow

  • Joint Economic Committee: Hearing on the economic outlook, 10 a.m. Fed Chairwoman Janet Yellen will testify.

Poll: GOP optimism on economy soars after Trump win: President-elect Donald Trump's victory has Republicans feeling vastly better about the economy, according to a Gallup poll released Tuesday. 

Between Nov. 9 and 13, the five days following Trump's win, 49 percent of Republicans polled by Gallup said they think the economy is getting better. Only 16 percent of Republicans polled from Nov. 1 to 7 said the same thing.

More than 80 percent of Republicans polled before the election said they thought the economy was doing worse. That dropped to 44 percent after the Nov. 8 vote.

Republicans were also sunnier on the current state of the economy after the election. While 16 percent polled before the election said the economy was in "excellent" or "good" shape, 21 percent said so after the election. I explain here: http://bit.ly/2f5Bs7J.

Fed official unveils 'too big to fail' plan: A Top Federal Reserve official unveiled his ambitious plan to ensure the nation's biggest banks are no longer "too big to fail."

Neel Kashkari, president of the Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis, argued that his approach could drastically reduce the possibility of a future bank bailout, by forcing banks to hold significantly more capital as a cushion against any future losses. And in turn, he argued, the financial system would be safer and gigantic banks would have a much smaller footprint.

"What will the financial system look like after the Minneapolis Plan has been fully implemented?" he told the Economic Club of New York. "We will have fewer mega banks, and there will be far less concentration in the banking system." Peter Schroeder breaks it down: http://bit.ly/2ghU0TU.

Facebook, Instagram helping White House aides find jobs: Representatives from social media giants Facebook, Instagram and LinkedIn are helping White House staffers find jobs for after President Obama leaves office, The Associated Press reported Wednesday.

Facebook and Instagram figures are advising staffers on the current job market, while LinkedIn officials are offering help with resumes and marketing their skills.

Georgetown University is also offering a customized career development program called "Future44," named after Obama's service as the 44th president. The program, funded by an anonymous donor, has hosted 271 White House staffers so far. I've got more here: http://bit.ly/2fGw0Gu.

Economic fights highlight wealth gap for Hispanics: Hispanics chasing the American Dream have seen their fortunes rise steadily over the years, except when it comes to the measure that might be most vital: accumulating wealth.

The most common gauge of economic well-being is income. But wealth is a far more comprehensive measure, taking into consideration things like home ownership, investments, businesses and savings, while subtracting any debts. It's a better barometer of how well families are able to weather emergencies, fund higher educations, start businesses and pass assets down to their children, thereby growing the fortunes of younger generations.

When all those things are considered, Hispanics are at an enormous disadvantage: Their wealth, relative to whites, is 8 cents on the dollar. And the divide has only grown over the years. The Hill's Mike Lillis and Rafael Bernal tell us how: http://bit.ly/2gi04vv.

Postal service posts $5.6B loss for 2016: The U.S. Postal Service, which has suffered through years of financial trouble, recorded a net loss of $5.6 billion for fiscal 2016 despite an increase in revenue.

The Postal Service had $610 million in so-called controllable income for the year, down from $1.2 billion in 2015.

Controllable income, which takes into account operational expenses including compensation and benefits, excludes the $5.8 billion payment mandated by the government to prefund the agency's retirement benefits.

Excluding the obligation, the Postal Service would have recorded net income of about $200 million in 2016.

The agency's losses increased from 5.1 billion in 2015. Here's more from The Hill's Vicki Needham: http://bit.ly/2gi0F0h.

SEC greenlights construction of massive securities database: The Securities and Exchange Commission unanimously approved a new database on Tuesday that is intended to help them respond to a sudden and dramatic shift in markets such as the "flash crash" of 2010.

The "consolidated audit trail" (CAT) will create a database of every trade order and execution made so that regulators have access to information that might cause huge market changes that happen at light speed. 

"The import of today's action cannot be overstated," SEC Chairwoman Mary Jo White said in a statement. The Hill's Timothy Weatherhead tells us why: http://bit.ly/2eHa7tQ

The Hill Extra: Finance: Try us for FREE to get our exclusive take on finance policy and regulation coverage: http://bit.ly/29qHDjz.

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