Overnight Finance: Dems introduce $15 minimum wage bill | Sanders clashes with Trump budget chief | Border tax proposal at death's door

Overnight Finance: Dems introduce $15 minimum wage bill | Sanders clashes with Trump budget chief | Border tax proposal at death's door
© Greg Nash

Sanders, Dems introduce $15 minimum wage bill: Sen. Bernie SandersBernie SandersSanders joins Biden atop 2020 Democratic field: poll The Hill's Morning Report - Trump trial begins with clashes, concessions Trump on Clinton's Sanders comments: 'She's the one that people don't like' MORE (I-Vt.) is teaming up with top congressional Democrats to try to raise the federal minimum wage to $15, a move that has divided Democrats for years.

Sanders, Senate Minority Leader Chuck SchumerCharles (Chuck) Ellis SchumerDemocratic senator blasts 'draconian' press restrictions during impeachment trial Feds seek 25-year sentence for Coast Guard officer accused of targeting lawmakers, justices Clinton: McConnell's rules like 'head juror colluding with the defendant to cover up a crime' MORE (D-N.Y.), Sen. Patty MurrayPatricia (Patty) Lynn MurrayConservative groups aim to sink bipartisan fix to 'surprise' medical bills Democrats 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 MORE (D-Wash.)--the top Democrat on the Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee--and 28 other Democratic senators introduced the Senate legislation on Thursday.

The bill would increase the federal minimum wage, currently at $7.25, to $15 by 2024, and tie future increases to the median wage growth. It would also gradually eliminate the current exception to the minimum wage for tipped workers.

"Just a few short years ago, we were told that raising the minimum wage to $15 an hour was 'radical,'" Sanders said. "Our job in the wealthiest country in the history of the world is to make sure that every worker has at least a modest and decent standard of living."


With Thursday's legislation a majority of the Senate Democratic caucus is now supporting a $15 federal minimum wage bill. Reps. Bobby ScottRobert (Bobby) Cortez ScottHoyer: Democratic chairmen trying to bridge divide on surprise medical bills To support today's students, Congress must strengthen oversight of colleges Democratic lawmaker tears into DeVos: You're 'out to destroy public education' MORE (D-Va.) and Keith Ellison (D-Minn.) also introduced the bill in the House with 152 cosponsors.

The Hill's Jordain Carney has more here: http://bit.ly/2rExLwy

Sanders, Mulvaney clash heatedly over Trump budget: Senator Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) and White House budget chief Mick Mulvaney clashed Thursday over President Trump's budget proposal, interrupting each other and raising their voices in a Senate Budget Committee hearing.

Sanders kicked off the hearing by charging that the budget's repeal of the estate tax would give massive breaks to the country's wealthiest families -- including President Trump's family, which he estimated would save $4 billion, and the Walton family of Walmart fame, which he said would save $52 billion.

Sanders asked Mulvaney to explain why America's richest family needs a $52 billion tax break, while people who rely on programs such as Meals on Wheels and Medicaid would be left out in the cold under Trump's budget.

He also expressed anger that Republicans were impugning the work of Congressional Budget Office Director Keith Hall, even though he was appointed by Republicans.

Read more from The Hill's Niv Elis, and watch the video of the exchange, here: http://bit.ly/2r150Yi

More administration officials on the budget: Thursday was the second day in a row in which Mulvaney and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin testified before Congress on President Trump's budget and tax proposals. Some highlights:

Happy Thursday and welcome to Overnight Finance, where we're looking forward to the upcoming long weekend. I'm Naomi Jagoda, filling in for Sylvan Lane.

You can reach me at njagoda@thehill.com, or via Twitter @njagoda. Subscribe to the newsletter at http://bit.ly/1NxxW2N.

Border-adjustment tax proposal at death's door: Speaker Paul RyanPaul Davis RyanWarren now also knocking Biden on Social Security Biden alleges Sanders campaign 'doctored video' to attack him on Social Security record Sanders campaign responds to Biden doctored video claims: Biden should 'stop trying to doctor' public record MORE's (R-Wis.) border-adjustment tax proposal is increasingly looking like it's on death's door.

The proposal to tax imports and exempt exports has been facing long odds for several months, with retailers, conservative groups and senators warning that it would lead to consumers paying more for items such as clothes and groceries.

But in recent weeks and days, the concerns have been mounting from the White House and House Republicans.

Read more from Scott Wong and me here: http://bit.ly/2rjs9Iz

Senators air grievances on Trump energy budget, delays: Senators of both parties used a Thursday hearing on a trio of energy-related nominees to the Trump administration to criticize the president's policies and the delays in approvals by a federal agency.

Members of the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee lodged few, if any, complaints against the three nominees before them: Dan Brouillette to be the deputy secretary at the Department of Energy (DOE), and Neil Chatterjee and Robert Powelson to be members of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission.

Sen. Lisa MurkowskiLisa Ann MurkowskiSenate Republicans muscle through rules for Trump trial Senate blocks push to subpoena Bolton in impeachment trial Impeachment trial begins with furor over rules MORE (R-Alaska), chairwoman of the Energy Committee, said she supported the nominees, and her colleagues did little to disagree.

Instead, the panel sought assurances that their states' priorities would be protected if the nominees were confirmed.

The hearing came two days after President Trump unveiled his first budget proposal, which included deep cuts to many programs at the DOE, especially those related to renewable energy and energy efficiency.

The Hill's Timothy Cama has more: http://bit.ly/2rE1rdu

Senate takes lead on Trump's infrastructure proposal: The Senate is taking the lead on President Trump's effort to move a massive infrastructure package through Congress.

Top GOP lawmakers in the upper chamber are pushing ahead with plans that could serve as the building blocks for negotiations on the president's initiative following the first real glimpse of Trump's $1 trillion infrastructure proposal this week.

"We're working on a bill. We think it's important to do," Sen. John BarrassoJohn Anthony BarrassoSenate GOP mulls speeding up Trump impeachment trial Green groups raise alarms about alleged Pentagon incineration of 'forever chemicals' House passes sweeping bill to target spread of toxic 'forever chemicals' MORE (R-Wyo.), chairman of the Environment and Public Works (EPW) Committee, said in a telephone interview. "This is along the lines of what President Trump promised the country. ... That's why the first hearing I held as EPW chairman was on infrastructure."

Lawmakers from both parties have been clamoring for more information about Trump's highly anticipated infrastructure package.

Read more from The Hill's Melanie Zanona: http://bit.ly/2rTVCWB

Survey concludes US must do better job of promoting interests abroad: A majority of registered voters say the United States must do a better job of promoting the nation's interests at international organizations like the United Nations, according to a new survey released Thursday.

The survey shows that 76 percent of respondents want U.S. leaders to focus on policies that help Americans while a similar majority -- 75 percent -- say the United States must remain part of the U.N. and other international groups to protect against policies that could cost manufacturing jobs here, according to the data compiled by Morning Consult.

The Hill's Vicki Needham has more about the survey here: http://bit.ly/2qSGxG4

OPEC to extend oil production cuts: OPEC agreed on Thursday to extend its oil production limits for at least the next nine months as a way to ensure higher crude prices.

Delegates at an Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) gathering in Vienna decided to maintain the production cuts they initially implemented late last year, Reuters reports.

Members of the 13-country organization, as well as a dozen non-members including Russia, will likely abide by the output limits, according to Reuters.

OPEC initially decided to cut production levels last December, when a sustained global supply glut and increasing production from non-OPEC members -- including the United States -- caused oil prices to sag. A barrel of crude oil cost over $100 in July 2014; by February 2016, the price briefly dipped below $27.

The December agreement -- when OPEC producers decided to cut output by 3.7 percent, to 32.5 million barrels per day -- was the first production limit instituted by OPEC since 2008. In the months that followed, prices rose to over $58 per barrel.

The Hill's Devin Henry has more here: http://bit.ly/2rEwYvC


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