Overnight Finance: CBO score roils ObamaCare debate | Dems fire warning shot over border wall funding | Obstacles mount for tax reform

Overnight Finance: CBO score roils ObamaCare debate | Dems fire warning shot over border wall funding | Obstacles mount for tax reform
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CBO: 24 million more uninsured under GOP bill over a decade: The Congressional Budget Office (CBO) on Monday projected that the number of uninsured people would grow by 14 million in 2018 under the Republican ObamaCare replacement bill, with that number rising to 24 million in a decade.

The long-awaited analysis from the nonpartisan congressional scorekeeper is likely to shake up the debate in Congress over the measure, which could come up for a vote in the House next week.

The estimate of the drop in coverage is larger than even many analysts had predicted.

In positive news for Republicans, the CBO finds the legislation would decrease the federal deficit by $337 billion over the 2017-2026 period, mostly through the elimination of ObamaCare's Medicaid expansion and the law's subsidies to help people buy insurance. The Hill's Peter Sullivan and Jessie Hellmann break down the pivotal report: http://bit.ly/2ml4bWd.


Trump official slams CBO score: It's 'just not believable': The Trump administration on Monday slammed the Congressional Budget Office's projection that millions of people would lose their health insurance under the Republicans' plan to repeal and replace ObamaCare.  

"We disagree strenuously with the report that was put out," Health and Human Services Secretary Tom Price told reporters at the White House. 

Price said the report, released Monday afternoon, does not take into account the entirety of the GOP plan to replace the Affordable Care Act. The Hill's Jordan Fabian reports: http://bit.ly/2mkSONW.


Moody's: Debt ceiling won't affect US credit rating: Hitting the debt ceiling won't impact the United States' standing with one key credit agency.

Moody's Investors Service said Monday that it won't dock the country's AAA credit rating if the government doesn't immediately raise the federal limit on how much debt the U.S. can hold.

The federal government is expected to hit the debt ceiling on March 15 or 16. The U.S. wouldn't be allowed to take on any more debt, so the Treasury will take "extraordinary measures" to make essential payments without increasing the debt.

Moody's said it expects the federal government to raise the debt ceiling before risking a default and that extraordinary measures would give lawmakers enough time -- roughly until October or November -- to reach a deal. I've got more here: http://bit.ly/2mkWUpl.


Happy Monday and welcome to Overnight Finance, where we're crossing our fingers for a snow day. I'm Sylvan Lane, and here's your nightly guide to everything affecting your bills, bank account and bottom line.

Tonight's highlights include more obstacles to tax reform, Democratic opposition to funding the border wall and concern about the debt ceiling.

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 (barring snow delays)

  • Senate Banking Committee: Hearing on reauthorizing the National Flood Insurance Program, 10 a.m. http://bit.ly/2mQQ8vY.
  • Senate Finance Committee: Confirmation hearing for Robert Lighthizer to serve as U.S. Trade Representative, 10 a.m. http://bit.ly/2mQLWfS.


Fed watch: The Federal Reserve's Federal Open Markets Committee will meet Tuesday and Wednesday as the central bank is likely to raise interest rates for the first time since December 2016.

Fed officials have hinted at another hike this month, and Federal Reserve Board Chair Janet Yellen said last week that barring a massive economic shift, the bank will likely raise rates.

Friday's positive jobs report makes it almost certain the Fed will hike rates.


Senate Dems: Don't include Trump border wall funding in spending bills: The Senate's top Democrats are issuing an early warning ahead of next month's government funding deadline, arguing that Republicans should avoid inserting "poison pills," including funding for President Trump's southern border wall, in the spending bills.

Senate Minority Leader Charles SchumerCharles (Chuck) Ellis SchumerSanders defends vote against USMCA: 'Not a single damn mention' of climate change Schumer votes against USMCA, citing climate implications Senators are politicians, not jurors — they should act like it MORE (D-N.Y.) and Democratic Sens. Dick DurbinRichard (Dick) Joseph DurbinOvernight Defense: Book says Trump called military leaders 'dopes and babies' | House reinvites Pompeo for Iran hearing | Dems urge Esper to reject border wall funding request Senate Dems urge Esper to oppose shifting Pentagon money to border wall Trump's trial a major test for McConnell, Schumer MORE (Ill.), Patty MurrayPatricia (Patty) Lynn MurrayDemocrats request briefing on intel behind Trump's embassy threat claim Democrats ask if US citizens were detained at border checkpoints due to Iranian national origin Overnight Health Care: Trump knocks 'mini Mike Bloomberg' over health care | Appeals court skeptical of Trump rule on TV drug ads | Oklahoma sues opioid distributors MORE (Wash.), Debbie StabenowDeborah (Debbie) Ann StabenowThe Hill's Morning Report — President Trump on trial John Lewis to miss Martin Luther King Jr. Day event Bottom Line MORE (Mich.) and Patrick LeahyPatrick Joseph LeahyOvernight Defense: Book says Trump called military leaders 'dopes and babies' | House reinvites Pompeo for Iran hearing | Dems urge Esper to reject border wall funding request Senate Dems urge Esper to oppose shifting Pentagon money to border wall Senate opens Trump impeachment trial MORE (Vt.) sent a letter to Majority Leader Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellDems plan marathon prep for Senate trial, wary of Trump trying to 'game' the process Senate GOP mulls speeding up Trump impeachment trial Republicans will pay on Election Day for politicizing Trump's impeachment MORE (R-Ky.) and Sen. Thad CochranWilliam (Thad) Thad CochranBottom Line Mike Espy announces Mississippi Senate bid Biden has a lot at stake in first debate MORE (R-Miss.) -- who heads the Appropriations Committee -- on Monday outlining their priorities on government spending. 

"We are also concerned with reports that there may be an effort to include funding for a very expensive new wall along the southern border with Mexico and a 'deportation force,'" the senators wrote. Here's more from The Hill's Jordain Carney: http://bit.ly/2mkLJgE.


Obstacles mount for tax reform: President Trump and congressional Republicans will have to overcome mounting obstacles if they want to enact tax reform legislation this year.

The fight over legislation to repeal and replace ObamaCare has the potential to slow down the agenda, and there are serious disagreements among Republican lawmakers about what the tax-reform legislation should look like.

Leaders of the tax reform effort have set an ambitious timeline. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said on Fox Business this month that his goal is to have legislation signed by August. 

But that timeline may slip. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) on Thursday said that he thought finishing the bill would take longer than that. The Hill's Naomi Jagoda explains: http://bit.ly/2mkPmDe.


Senate Republicans eyeing alternative tax reform plan: Senate Republicans are exploring alternatives to Speaker Paul RyanPaul Davis RyanEsper's chief of staff to depart at end of January Latinos say they didn't benefit from Trump tax cuts — here's why Conservative commentator rips Trump's signature tax overhaul: 'It was a big mistake' MORE's (R-Wis.) tax reform package, which hinges on a border adjustment tax proposal that is deeply unpopular in the upper chamber.

Finance Committee Chairman Sen. Orrin HatchOrrin Grant HatchKey Republicans say Biden can break Washington gridlock Trump awards Medal of Freedom to racing industry icon Roger Penske Trump holds more Medal of Freedom ceremonies than predecessors but awards fewer medals MORE (R-Utah) says he won't proceed until the House bill hits a dead end, but senators are laying the groundwork for a new direction, expecting the House plan will either fail or require substantial revisions. The Hill's Alexander Bolton reports: http://bit.ly/2mkMrdO.


House Dems urge Trump to prevent a default on US debts: The top Democrats on two House committees are urging President Trump to make sure that the U.S. doesn't default on its debt, as the borrowing limit is set to be reinstated this week.

"It is imperative that you, like all of your predecessors, send a clear message that the United States will continue to pay its debts, on time, and in full," House Budget Committee ranking member John YarmuthJohn Allen YarmuthBlue Dogs push Democrats to pass budget Democrats don't expect to do 2020 budget Trump shocks, earns GOP rebukes with Dingell remarks MORE (D-Ky.) and House Ways and Means Committee ranking member Richard Neal (D-Mass.) said Monday in a letter to Trump. Here's more from Naomi Jagoda: http://bit.ly/2mkWEXp.


Dem worries Trump will interfere in merger reviews: A top Democrat is hammering President Trump for discussing a planned multibillion merger during a meeting with the companies' CEOs.

Sen. Amy KlobucharAmy Jean KlobucharSanders to headline Iowa event amid impeachment trial On The Money — Presented by Wells Fargo — Sanders defends vote against USMCA | China sees weakest growth in 29 years | Warren praises IRS move on student loans Poll: Sanders holds 5-point lead over Buttigieg in New Hampshire MORE (D-Minn.) voiced her concerns over any interference by the president in the government's review of the pending $66 billion merger between the agrochemical company, Monsanto, and the pharmaceutical giant, Bayer.

"At a meeting with the President-elect that occurred recently, the CEOs of Bayer and Monsanto discussed their $66 billion merger, which is currently being reviewed by the Justice Department," Klobuchar said in a speech on antitrust policy at the Center for American Progress on Monday.
The lawmaker, who is the top Dem on the Senate Judiciary Committee's antitrust subcommittee, noted that the Justice Department typically reviews mergers without White House involvement. The Hill's Ali Breland reports: http://bit.ly/2mkWEXp.


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