Overnight Finance: Senate budget vote-a-rama gets underway | Trump meets Yellen amid Fed chair search | Republican's desire to retire seen as sign of DC frustration | Banks dig in for long fight over Dodd-Frank

Overnight Finance: Senate budget vote-a-rama gets underway | Trump meets Yellen amid Fed chair search | Republican's desire to retire seen as sign of DC frustration | Banks dig in for long fight over Dodd-Frank
© Greg Nash

Live coverage - Senate budget vote-a-rama: The Senate kicked off its marathon voting session -- known as a vote-a-rama on Thursday afternoon. The hours-long floor drama will cap off with Republicans passing their fiscal 2018 budget either Thursday night or early Friday morning.

The budget is key to the GOP tax-reform effort because it includes instructions allowing the plan to avoid a Democratic filibuster.

Vote-a-ramas frequently last into the early morning hours, though senators have voiced optimism that Thursday's marathon session could wrap up early.

Democrats have said they want to keep their amendments focused on the GOP tax plan instead of a free-for-all.

As of 3 p.m. more than 400 amendments have been filed. The Hill is providing live coverage of the Senate's Thursday voting marathon. Click here for the live blog: http://bit.ly/2yARzUs


Trump predicts Senate will pass budget: President Trump on Thursday predicted the Senate would pass its 2018 budget resolution, a key step toward advancing the Republicans' tax plan.

"It will be successful tonight," Trump told reporters in the Oval Office. "I think we have the votes for the budget."

"Frankly, I think we have the votes for the tax cuts that will follow shortly thereafter," Trump added.

The president's Oval Office comments on the budget were more optimistic than his assessment earlier Thursday, when he tweeted, "I think we have the votes, but who knows?" http://bit.ly/2yzm0ss.


Trump meets Yellen amid Fed chair search: President Trump reportedly met with Federal Reserve Chairwoman Janet Yellen on Thursday as he mulls keeping her in the position or nominating a new chairperson.

The meeting comes before Yellen's term is up in February.

Trump has said in the past that he's met with at least four candidates about the job. And Reuters reported that Yellen was the fifth person on Trump's shortlist to get a formal meeting with him.

Chief White House economic adviser Gary Cohn, as well as former Fed Governor Kevin Warsh, Fed Governor Jerome Powell and Stanford University economist John Taylor are also under consideration.

"I'll make a decision over the next fairly short period of time," Trump said on Tuesday, adding that he likes all of the candidates under consideration. http://bit.ly/2znQ8pJ


Tiberi departure seen as sign of growing frustration in Washington: Rep. Pat Tiberi (R-Ohio) on Thursday became just the latest in a string of long-serving, influential moderate Republicans who've announced they are quitting Congress, a sign of growing frustration with gridlock in Washington despite full GOP control of government.

Tiberi had just been named chairman of the newly created Republican Main Street Caucus, a group of business-friendly moderate Republicans; it's unclear who will succeed him in that role. Another centrist leader, Tuesday Group Chairman Charlie DentCharles (Charlie) Wieder DentMidterms put GOP centrists in peril House GOP group cuts financial support for Coffman, Bishop GOP House candidate placed on leave from longtime position after sexual misconduct allegation MORE (R-Pa.), announced earlier that this will be his last term.

"Tiberi's retirement is bad for Congress and bad for the country," Dent told The Hill on Thursday. "I certainly understand his reasons. Our retirements speak to a frustration among the governing wing of the party." The Hill's Scott Wong and Naomi Jagoda report: http://bit.ly/2yyMH0g.


Happy Thursday and welcome back to Overnight Finance. I'm Sylvan Lane, and here's your nightly guide to everything affecting your bills, bank account and bottom line.

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.


Join us Wednesday, Oct. 25, as The Hill goes one-on-one with Dr. Ben CarsonBenjamin (Ben) Solomon CarsonHUD official quits amid Interior Department watchdog controversy Inspector general: Zinke used taxpayer-funded travel for his wife Overnight Energy: Inspector general finds Zinke used taxpayer-funded travel for family | Interior says Trump appointee won't be new watchdog | EPA chief says agency taking climate report 'very seriously' MORE, Secretary of Housing and Urban Development, for a Newsmaker Series exclusive. We will discuss his agency's relief efforts in hurricane-affected areas, his priorities for the department and the growing need for affordable housing. RSVP Here


Jobless claims fall to nearly 44-year low: The number of Americans filing for unemployment benefits last week fell to the lowest level in more than 44 years as job growth marches on despite severe weather that caused job losses in September.

First-time claims for jobless benefits dropped 22,000, to a seasonally adjusted 222,000, for the week ending Oct. 14, the best showing since March 1973, the Labor Department said on Thursday.

The four-week moving average of claims, a steadier measure of the labor market performance, fell 9,500, to 248,250.

The economy shed 33,000 jobs last month -- the first monthly loss in nearly seven years -- after hurricanes Harvey, Irma and Maria lashed the Gulf Coast as well as Puerto Rico and the Caribbean, leaving more than 100,000 restaurant workers without jobs: http://bit.ly/2yziD4B.


Bank industry digs in for long fight over Dodd-Frank: United States banks and financial services companies are digging in for a long fight to curtail the Dodd-Frank Act, the Obama-era banking regulation bill.

Republicans lack the votes in the Senate to fulfill President Trump's campaign promise to "dismantle" Dodd-Frank and face pushback from Obama-era officials who still hold key regulatory roles.

That's forced the industry to seek smaller wins while the Trump administration labors to reshape and slim down federal banking and trading regulations.

"[The Trump administration] came in and they were completely naive to the workings in Washington," said a former senior Senate aide who is now on K Street. "I think the president thought whatever he says goes, not realizing the tremendous power of the folks on Capitol Hill."

Trump-appointed financial regulators have made some moves to ease Dodd-Frank rules, and it's possible that lawmakers will pass bipartisan legislation this year to ease the regulatory burden on mid-sized banks.

But financial services lobbyists and Capitol Hill aides say more significant progress on Dodd-Frank could reach well beyond next year's midterm elections. I explain why here: http://bit.ly/2yBxXxY.


Corker calls budget 'a hoax' Sen. Bob CorkerRobert (Bob) Phillips CorkerThe Memo: Trump in a corner on Saudi Arabia Corker: US must determine responsibility in Saudi journalist's death Dem senator calls for US action after 'preposterous' Saudi explanation MORE (R-Tenn.) lambasted the budgetary process ahead of a key vote Thursday, calling the Senate budget a hoax and saying that he would dismantle the Senate Budget Committee.

"The only thing about this that matters is preparation for the tax reform," said Corker, who is retiring at the end of the Congress. "Other than that, these amendment votes, everything about this is a hoax. A hoax. It has no impact on anything whatsoever.

"If I were chairman of the budget committee, I would dismantle it. I would move to end it immediately in its current form," Corker said.

"Unless we create a real budget process, which this is not, our country's fiscal situation will continue to go down the tube, and we have no mechanism to control real spending, 70 percent of which is mandatory, that's not even covered by this," he continued: http://bit.ly/2yC274d.


GOP senator: Every tax change doesn't need to be made this year: Sen. Roy BluntRoy Dean BluntGOP loads up lame-duck agenda as House control teeters Congress moves to ensure the greater availability of explosives detecting dogs in the US McConnell sets key Kavanaugh vote for Friday MORE (R-Mo.) said Thursday that Republicans don't have to make every desired improvement to the tax code this year but have to at least get the ball rolling.

"We don't have to do everything that could possibly be done to improve the tax code this year to take an important step," Blunt said in a speech on the Senate floor. "But if we don't take that important step, my belief is we're likely not to have the kind of tax relief that working families need in the next four years."

Blunt, a member of Senate GOP leadership, suggested that if Congress passes some type of tax bill this year, they will "have the incentive to take a second look" before the end of President Trump's first term. However, if they don't pass anything, that won't be the case.

"Fights that can't be won in the next few weeks can be won in this presidential term, but only if we take this step successfully right now," he said. http://bit.ly/2yzxFr8.


Sanders, Cruz spar over tax reform in CNN debate: Sens. Bernie SandersBernard (Bernie) SandersSanders: Trump setting 'terrible example' for our children Gabbard considering 2020 run: report Sanders, Harris set to criss-cross Iowa MORE (I-Vt.) and Ted CruzRafael (Ted) Edward CruzDemocrats slide in battle for Senate O'Rourke's rise raises hopes for Texas Dems down ballot Election Countdown: Small-donor donations explode | Russian woman charged with midterm interference | Takeaways from North Dakota Senate debate | O'Rourke gives 'definitive no' to 2020 run | Dems hope Latino voters turn Arizona blue MORE (R-Texas) sparred over tax reform in a prime-time debate on CNN Wednesday, with Cruz arguing that the GOP's recently released framework would benefit the economy and Sanders lambasting it as a boon for the wealthy.

"Bernie and the Democrats want to raise your taxes, and the Republicans want to cut them so that you have more in your pocket," Cruz said.

But according to Sanders, "What this entire proposal is about is to give tax breaks to people who don't need it, and you do that by making massive cuts in education, in health care, in housing, in the programs that working families desperately need."

The debate between the two former presidential candidates comes as Republicans aim to pass legislation overhauling the tax code by the end of the year. The White House and congressional GOP leaders released a framework last month that would reduce the number of individual tax brackets and cut rates for businesses. 


Senate eyes adding more money to disaster relief bill: Senators are eyeing more money for a House-passed disaster relief bill, including more help for Puerto Rico and states hit by a recent spate of hurricanes.

"I think so far what has been done is not been as much as we should do, so we're having a conversation with various members who come from the regions affected by Maria, by Irma, by Harvey, by wildfires, other natural disasters," Sen. John CornynJohn CornynO'Rourke's rise raises hopes for Texas Dems down ballot Five takeaways from Cruz, O'Rourke debate showdown Live coverage: Cruz faces O'Rourke in Texas debate showdown MORE (R-Texas) told reporters this week. 

Cornyn noted Thursday that it is still unclear if the Senate will add more money, but the Senate could take an initial vote on Monday.

The House passed the legislation last week before leaving Washington for a weeklong recess. The bill would provide $36.5 billion to fund hurricane relief, a flood insurance program and wildfire recovery efforts in the West amid a string of natural disasters.
Cornyn, whose home state was hit by Hurricane Harvey, didn't specify how much additional funding senators were discussing: http://bit.ly/2x8pikT


Democrats demand Pence pay back costs of traveling to NFL game: A group of House Democrats on Thursday urged Vice President Pence to reimburse taxpayers the cost of his travel this month to Indianapolis for an NFL game he abruptly left after players kneeled during the national anthem.

In a letter to Pence, five House Democrats demanded the vice president pay back the expenses of attending the game, where the Indianapolis Colts faced off against the San Francisco 49ers.

A CNN report estimated that Pence's travel to and from Indiana cost taxpayers about $242,500, which doesn't include the cost of Secret Service or advance staff. The Democratic lawmakers asked that Pence make clear exactly how much public funds were spent on the trip.

"Flying across the country and back at taxpayer expense simply to enter and then immediately depart a football stadium serves no discernible public interest," Democratic Reps. Ruben Gallego (Ariz.), Ted Lieu (Calif.), Pramila Jayapal (Wash.), Brendan Boyle (Pa.) and Jamie Raskin (Md.) wrote.

"Instead, the fact that your campaign immediately sought to capitalize on this exercise in order to solicit donations leaves the distinct impression that this trip was purely political in nature and was unrelated to your official duties." http://bit.ly/2x9s9ds.


Trump will nominate DC antitrust lawyer to chair FTC: President Trump will nominate antitrust attorney Joseph Simons for chairman of the Federal Trade Commission, a White House spokeswoman confirmed.

Simons is a partner and co-chairman of the antitrust department at the law firm Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison. He would replace Maureen Ohlhausen, a Republican commissioner who has been serving as acting chairman since January.

Trump will also nominate Rohit Chopra and Noah Phillips to fill the remaining Democratic and Republican commission seats respectively.

The nominations were first reported by Reuters.

Senate Minority Leader Charles SchumerCharles (Chuck) Ellis SchumerThe Hill's Morning Report — Presented by the Coalition for Affordable Prescription Drugs — Health care a top policy message in fall campaigns McConnell says deficits 'not a Republican problem' Medicare for All is disastrous for American seniors and taxpayers MORE (D-N.Y.) had recommended Chopra, a consumer advocate and former Department of Education official, for a spot on the commission in May: http://bit.ly/2x9bhDH.


From The Hill's opinion pages: Dems miss forest for trees: GOP tax plan will help working families, by Christine Harbin from Americans for Prosperity


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