Overnight Finance: Trump adviser softens tone on NAFTA | Funding bill to be released Tuesday | GOP leader won't back Trump tariff plan

Overnight Finance: Trump adviser softens tone on NAFTA | Funding bill to be released Tuesday | GOP leader won't back Trump tariff plan
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Transition official: Trump will not rip up NAFTA: Members of the Trump transition team are trying to tamp down concerns among corporate leaders that the incoming administration may spark trade wars with Mexico, Canada and other major trading partners over the next four years.

Anthony Scaramucci, a senior advisor on the Trump transition team, told a group of business leaders convened at a bipartisan meeting by the group No Labels that President-elect Donald TrumpDonald TrumpWarren says Republican party 'eating itself and it is discovering that the meal is poisonous' More than 75 Asian, LGBTQ groups oppose anti-Asian crime bill McConnell says he's 'great admirer' of Liz Cheney but mum on her removal MORE is a free-trader who is looking to make trade deals more fair, not scrap them.


"I don't think we're looking to rip up NAFTA as much as we are looking to right-size it and make it fairer," Scaramucci said Monday. "He's got a great relationship, by the way, with the Mexican president. They talk regularly," referring to Trump and Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto. The Hill's Alexander Bolton takes us there: http://bit.ly/2h8Jfzs.


House GOP to unveil short-term funding bill Tuesday: House Republican leaders are planning to release the text of a stopgap spending bill on Tuesday, four days ahead of the deadline to fund the government.

"The continuing resolution [CR], I believe, will be posted tomorrow," House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) told reporters Monday. 

McCarthy said he plans to wrap up work in the House by Thursday, letting lawmakers out a week early for the Christmas holiday. 

He declined to say which pieces of the bill were still being worked out, but said discussions were "very close" to complete. House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) told reporters on Friday that she expected to see text as early as Monday. The Hill's Sarah Ferris tells us where things stand: http://bit.ly/2gvVfLT.


Biden defends Dodd-Frank: From Morning Consult: "Vice President Joe BidenJoe BidenBiden says Beau's assessment of first 100 days would be 'Be who you are' Biden: McCarthy's support of Cheney ouster is 'above my pay grade' Conservative group sues over prioritization of women, minorities for restaurant aid MORE on Monday laid out a case for the Dodd-Frank financial law, a key policy legacy of the Obama administration, as Republican lawmakers gear up to dismantle it.

"'Let's at least make sure that the umpire is on the field,' Biden said in a speech at a Georgetown University event with former Federal Reserve Chairman Paul Volcker. 'That's why we can't allow the repeal of Dodd-Frank.'

"Biden spoke in support of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau and the Financial Stability Oversight Council, entities created by Dodd-Frank whose futures may be in flux under the incoming Trump administration as it works with the GOP-led Congress." http://bit.ly/2g3EkPC.


Trump considering fast-food CEO for labor secretary: President-elect Donald Trump is reportedly considering fast-food CEO Andrew Puzder for Labor Secretary.

Citing a transition officer who was not allowed to speak publicly about the process, The New York Times reported that the CEO of CKE Restaurants, a supporter of Trump's campaign, is "gaining steam as a candidate to become the secretary of labor."

CKE Restaurants is the parent company of burger chains Carl's Jr. and Hardee's.

Puzder has been an outspoken critic of President Obama's controversial rule expanding overtime pay, claiming it will force employers to offset costs by making cuts elsewhere. The Hill's Lydia Wheeler fills us in: http://bit.ly/2gvTtKB.


GOP leader declines to back Trump tariff plan: House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) on Monday declined to support President-elect Donald Trump's proposed 35 percent tariff on companies that leave the U.S., warning it could spark a trade war.

In a series of tweets over the weekend, Trump threatened to seek retribution against U.S. companies that ship jobs overseas by imposing a 35 percent tariff on their goods. But McCarthy and other free-market Republicans seem skeptical of that plan.  

"I don't want to get into some type of trade war," McCarthy said Monday during a news briefing with reporters in his Capitol office.  

McCarthy's briefing was dominated by questions about Trump's tariff proposal and his deal to provide millions in incentives to Carrier to keep jobs in Indiana. The Hill's Scott Wong takes us there: http://bit.ly/2hbs30w.


Happy Monday and welcome to Overnight Finance, where we could be just four days from the end of this session of Congress. 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 Democratic showdown on coal miner pensions, ways for Trump to settle potential conflicts of interest, a wrestling mogul's chances of joining the new administration, and a breakthrough for financial technology.

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.


Five ways Trump could address his business conflicts: President-elect Donald Trump is pledging to take steps to separate himself from his business in order to focus on running the country.

Federal law exempts presidents from conflict-of-interest rules that apply to other government employees, but Trump has come under intense pressure to follow the longstanding tradition of presidents walling themselves off from their financial dealings.

Critics warn his apparent plan to let his adult children take control isn't enough to erase the ethical entanglements created by his global empire.

Here are five ways Trump could eliminate the conflicts completely or lower the risk surrounding them, according to legal experts: http://bit.ly/2g3IC9C.


Bank regulator proposes charters for financial tech companies: The nation's top bank regulator said Friday that financial technology companies could soon apply for charters.

Charter recognition would give startup "fintech" companies, like online lenders, a path around earning approval from each state they operate in but subject them to strict federal bank regulations.

The Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC) proposed Friday how fintech companies could receive charters as "special purpose" banks, which must perform financial management services, receive deposits, lend money or pay checks. The regulator asked for industry and public comment by Jan. 15. I'll tell you what to expect: http://bit.ly/2h8v7q3.


Senate Dems draw hard line over miners' pension bill: Four Senate Democrats are threatening to play hardball as they angle for the Senate to take up a miners' pension bill before it leaves town for the year. 

Democrat Sens. Joe ManchinJoe ManchinIs the Constitution in the way of DC statehood? Biden 'encouraged' by meeting with congressional leaders on infrastructure Joe Manchin is wrong — D.C. statehood is constitutional MORE (W.Va.), Sherrod BrownSherrod Campbell BrownSenate Democrats offer bill to scrap tax break for investment managers Wyden: Funding infrastructure with gas tax hike a 'big mistake' Sherrod Brown calls Rand Paul 'kind of a lunatic' for not wearing mask MORE (Ohio), Bob CaseyRobert (Bob) Patrick CaseyA historic moment to truly honor mothers Democrats face big headaches on Biden's T spending plan The Hill's Morning Report - Presented by Facebook - GOP makes infrastructure play; Senate passes Asian hate crimes bill MORE (Pa.) and Mark WarnerMark Robert WarnerBiden signs executive order to improve federal cybersecurity Overnight Defense: Former Pentagon chief to testify about Capitol riot Wednesday | Senate Intelligence chairman wants Biden to review US Space Command move Wyden: Funding infrastructure with gas tax hike a 'big mistake' MORE (Va.) said Monday they will block the Senate from passing any bills by unanimous consent until the upper chamber has "adequately addressed" legislation to protect retired coal miners' pension and healthcare benefits.

"These miners cannot wait another day and it's up to us to protect what they've earned for a lifetime of dangerous, backbreaking work. We are confident this bill would pass on the floor and we demand action to provide long-term certainty for these miners," the senators said in a joint statement. The Hill's Jordain Carney explains: http://bit.ly/2gdz2Ex.


Study: Trump in position to kill $1.7B worth of Dodd-Frank regs: President-elect Donald Trump would be able to roll back financial regulations worth at least $1.7 billion to the industry and others that must meet those rules, according to new analysis.

There are nine rule-writing projects recently completed by regulators that Trump would be able to immediately rescind after taking office, as the incoming president has vowed to dismantle the Dodd-Frank financial reform law.

Making major changes to the law could be politically tricky, given that easing rules on the financial sector typically serves as a potent attack for advocates of tougher rules. Democrats are likely to fight hard on making wholesale changes to the law, enacted in 2010 following the financial crisis. The Hill's Peter Schroeder breaks it down: http://bit.ly/2h0Eg7F.


Senate reverses passage of anti-terrorism bill: The Senate took the rare step of reversing a bill's passage Monday after initially clearing legislation meant to curb international terrorism funding.

The bill from Senate Banking Committee Chairman Sen. Richard Shelby (R-Ala.) and ranking Democrat Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio) passed by unanimous consent Monday afternoon. But the Senate reversed the bill's passage an hour later.

The reversal comes as Brown and fellow Democrat Sens. Joe Manchin (W.Va.), Bob Casey (Pa.) and Mark Warner (Va.) pledged to block the Senate from passing any bills by unanimous consent until it addresses legislation to protect retired coal miners' pension and healthcare benefits. I've got it all here: http://bit.ly/2g2dQ5H.


Former trade official says ditching TPP would be massive mistake: A former top trade official said Monday that withdrawing from an expansive free trade agreement in the Pacific Rim would be a grave misstep for the United States.

Charlene Barshefsky, a former U.S. Trade Representative who served under President Bill ClintonWilliam (Bill) Jefferson ClintonObama calls on governments to 'do their part' in increasing global vaccine supply China's emissions now eclipse the developed world — preventing climate protection Trump endorses Glenn Youngkin in Virginia governors race MORE, said abandoning the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) would be a "catastrophic mistake."

"If you don't like it, fix it; don't abandon it," Barshefsky told business leaders during a bipartisan meeting by the group No Labels.

President-elect Donald Trump has said that on his first day in office he will pull the United States out of the deal with 11 other nations and focus instead on bilateral trade agreements. The Hill's Vicki Needham has more: http://bit.ly/2h0yx1W.


Ex-comptroller: Trump will try to govern like Reagan: Donald Trump will try to govern like former President Ronald Reagan did in a number of ways, a co-founder of No Labels said Monday.

The president-elect will "have a set of priorities he wants to focus on, hire good people, delegate responsibility and accountability," Dave Walker, a former U.S. comptroller general who now works at PricewaterhouseCoopers, said at an event for the group, which is focused on bipartisan problem-solving. 

Trump will "use the bully pulpit of the presidency to go directly to the American people to try to put pressure on elected officials to do things that he thinks need to be done," Walker said. Here's more from The Hill's Naomi Jagoda: http://bit.ly/2gZAOYr.


NY lawmakers: Trump should pay for his own security: Several Democratic members of the New York congressional delegation think President-elect Donald Trump should pay for his own security costs if his family chooses to maintain two residences while he's in the White House. 

In a letter Monday to New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio and New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo, six Democrats representing various New York City boroughs said Trump should pick up the tab for the security costs of living in Washington and Manhattan.

Also Monday, de Blasio said he's asking the Obama administration to reimburse New York $35 million for Trump's security costs through Inauguration Day on Jan. 20. He specifically requested House and Senate leaders to include the funds in an upcoming government spending bill expected to be considered in Congress this week. The Hill's Cristina Marcos tells us more: http://bit.ly/2h8uCwa.


Wrestling mogul McMahon could slam her way into Trump administration: President-elect Donald Trump will be the first World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE) Hall of Famer to occupy the Oval Office. The former CEO of that same wrestling empire could soon be the next chief of the Small Business Administration (SBA).

Linda McMahon fits the profile of many high-level Trump advisors and appointees. She made millions in the private sector, has a decades-long relationship with Trump and has little experience in government. 

McMahon was twice Connecticut's GOP nominee for Senate, losing to Democratic Sens. Richard Blumenthal in 2010 and Chris MurphyChristopher (Chris) Scott MurphyKabul attack spurs fears over fate of Afghan women as US exits Sen. Murphy calls for Yemen's Houthis to accept ceasefire following trip to Middle East US, Iran signal possible breakthroughs in nuke talks MORE in 2012, and served on the state's board of education before her campaigns. 

She met with Trump in New York earlier this week, and is reportedly in the running to lead the SBA, which helps connect small business owners with resources and financing. I'll tell you what you need to know about her: http://bit.ly/2h0v4jM.


Working-class voters to lobby Trump, Congress: A group representing the same working-class voters who helped President-elect Donald Trump ascend to the White House will travel to Capitol Hill this week to advocate for job training.

The fly-in orchestrated by the Business Leaders United for Workforce Partnerships will bring dozens of small business owners to Washington on Wednesday to meet with members of Congress and potentially Trump's transition team.

The business leaders are calling for lawmakers to address the "skills gap" they say plagues many blue-collar workers, who need more training to fill job openings at their companies.

"This is a demographic that elected Trump, but there are obvious concerns whether Trump will actually deliver," Aurora Matthews, a spokeswoman for Business Leaders United, told The Hill: http://bit.ly/2gdu36L.


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