Overnight Finance: Disaster aid bill heads to Trump’s desk | Ryan says tax bill coming next week | Trump asks senators for show of hands on Fed choices | Senators race to repeal consumer arbitration rule
Senate sends $36.5B disaster relief bill to Trump: The Senate easily cleared a disaster relief bill on Tuesday, sending the legislation to President Trump’s desk.
Senators voted 82-17 on the House-passed measure, which includes help for the response to a string of wildfires and trio of hurricanes.
Each of the 17 “no” votes came from Republicans, including Sens. Bob Corker (Tenn.), Jeff Flake (Ariz.) and Mike Lee (Utah), among others.
Senators rejected an uphill bid from Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) to include an offset that would pay for the more than $36 billion in funding.
“You’ll find often that it’s easy to be compassionate with someone else’s money. But it’s not only that. It’s not only compassion with someone else’s money. It’s compassion with money that doesn’t even exist, money that’s borrowed,” Paul said during a speech from the Senate floor.
The bill, which passed the House earlier this month, would provide $36.5 billion to fund hurricane relief, a flood insurance program and wildfire recovery efforts in the West. http://bit.ly/2z4UGVU
Ryan: Tax bill coming next week: Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) detailed the House’s timeline on tax reform Tuesday, saying Republicans will pass the Senate budget on Thursday, unveil their long-awaited tax reform legislation next week and send the bill to the Senate before Thanksgiving.
The Speaker laid out that ambitious timeline during a closed-door meeting of House Republicans in the basement of the Capitol, according to sources in the room.
House GOP leaders have decided to take up the fiscal 2018 budget resolution that the Senate passed last week. Approving that budget will allow Republicans to fast-track their tax-reform plan without needing to secure any Democratic votes in the Senate.
“Passing the budget this Thursday will provide for us the runway to take off on tax reform, as the Speaker indicated, with a landing pad by the end of the year on the president’s desk,” said Rep. Tom Reed (R-N.Y.), who serves on the Ways and Means Committee that is writing the tax bill.
Reed and other Republicans on the same committee will hold day-long meetings Tuesday and Wednesday in the Longworth Building to hash out more of the details of the tax plan. The Hill’s Naomi Jagoda has more: http://bit.ly/2gJQELb.
House conservatives prepared to defer to Senate tax plan: House conservatives say they’re prepared to take the Senate version of a tax-reform plan over their own in order to move forward with the legislation.
“I see us taking it,” said Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-Fla.) at a “conversation with conservatives” event in the Capitol Tuesday. “If you look at every major issue that comes before the 115th Congress, we do what the Senate wants. Long live the Senate.”
Members of the House GOP have loudly complained about the Senate’s inability to pass major legislation, stalling their agenda.
Gaetz said that the House would have passed nearly any health-care bill the Senate was able to muster in the ObamaCare repeal debate, and was prepared to vote on the “atrociously bad” Senate version of the budget this week because it was all the Senate could muster.
While some conservatives dislike aspects of the Senate plan, Gaetz said most are willing to adopt it to accomplish their legislative agenda rather than send their version back to the Senate, where it will stall. http://bit.ly/2gGWAVb.
Frenzy builds as tax legislation nears: The frenzy over a Republican tax bill is escalating in Washington as the release of legislative details becomes more imminent.
Draft legislation is expected soon after the House clears the Senate’s budget resolution, scheduled for Thursday. President Trump and GOP lawmakers hope to get a bill enacted by the end of the year so they can claim a victory ahead of the midterm elections.
As legislation is being finalized, Trump and other key players are stepping up their sales efforts. At the same time, lobbyists eagerly await the details and are pushing back against various proposals that they’ve heard could be on the table.
“Things are very intense right now,” said Rosemary Becchi, a partner at McGuireWoods, who advises clients on tax issues. “The [congressional] staff is working day in and day out drafting a bill and developing policy.” http://bit.ly/2gExbLQ.
Happy Tuesday 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.
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The Hill event: Join us Wednesday, Oct. 25, as The Hill goes one-on-one with Dr. Ben Carson, 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
On tap tomorrow
House Financial Services Committee: Hearing entitled “Sustainable Housing Finance: Private Sector Perspectives on Housing Finance Reform,” 10 a.m.
Joint Economic Committee: Hearing on “The Economic Outlook with CEA Chairman Kevin Hassett,” 10 a.m.
House Financial Services Committee: Continuation of hearing on Equifax data breach, 2 p.m.
House Oversight and Government Reform Committee: Hearing on management challenges at the IRS, 2 p.m.
House Ways and Means Committee: Hearing on the Miscellaneous Tariff Bill: Providing tariff relief to U.S. manufacturers, 2 p.m.
Senate GOP races to repeal consumer arbitration rule: Senate Republicans are looking to quickly repeal a controversial consumer bureau rule banning companies from using forced settlements to resolve disputes with customers.
GOP senators aim to vote to repeal the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau’s (CFPB) rule on forced arbitration before a window to do so with only 51 votes closes this week.
Republicans are attempting to shore up enough votes from their slim majority to repeal the CFPB rule under the Congressional Review Act, which gives lawmakers 60 legislative days to repeal an executive branch rule after it is finalized.
The House has already passed a repeal resolution, and Senate Republican aides said Tuesday that the upper chamber could vote to nix the rule within days.
Repealing the rule would be a victory for Republican leaders and CFPB critics who’ve long tried to curtail the agency’s power and influence. I’ve got more here: http://bit.ly/2gGQ9lc.
Trump asks senators to choose next Fed chair by show of hands: President Trump on Tuesday asked Republican senators to vote their preference for a new Federal Reserve chairman with a show of hands.
Several GOP senators said Trump asked them to pick between Federal Reserve Governor Jerome Powell and Stanford University economist John Taylor when he attended their closed-door policy lunch on Tuesday.
Sen. Mike Rounds (R-S.D.), a member of the Senate Banking Committee, said Trump brought up the Fed search in a “conversational” way, simply feeling out the GOP conference’s views.
Rounds said Trump only asked about Powell and Taylor, and that most senators simply smiled instead of raising a hand for either candidate.
Sen. Bob Corker (R-Tenn.), amid a bitter feud with Trump, said he declined to participate because “I don’t think that’s a very good way of picking a Fed chair.” http://bit.ly/2gEBXck.
House passes North Korea sanctions: The House passed legislation on Tuesday that seeks to cut off North Korea’s access to financial institutions around the world amid its nuclear provocations.
The measure, passed 415-2, would direct the Treasury Department to ban U.S. financial institutions from engaging in transactions that benefit people or entities associated with the North Korean government.
It would also authorize cutting off financial assistance to foreign governments that knowingly fail to prevent transactions that benefit the North Korean regime.
“It’s time for those banks to choose between aiding and abetting the North Korean government or standing for peace with America and its allies,” Rep. Andy Barr (R-Ky.), the author of the bill, said during House floor debate.
Manufacturers ramp up opposition to Ex-Im nominee: The National Association of Manufacturers is ramping up its campaign against Scott Garrett’s bid to head the Export-Import Bank ahead of a Senate hearing next week.
NAM uses Garrett’s words against him to blast the former New Jersey Republican lawmaker’s long opposition to Ex-Im while he was in Congress in a new web ad released Tuesday.
“Scott Garrett has a long and disgraceful record of trying to kill the Ex-Im Bank, while showing no concern for the 1.4 million American jobs it supports,” said NAM President and CEO Jay Timmons.
“Letting him lead the Ex-Im Bank is simply too big a risk for America’s manufacturing workers,” Timmons said.
The 30-second ad urges voters to call their senators and tell them to vote “no” on Garrett’s confirmation. http://bit.ly/2gG5Bhy.
Head of OPIC says it’s here to stay: Ray Washburne is hitting the ground running in his new job leading the Overseas Private Investment Corporation (OPIC), which only a handful of months ago faced termination under President Trump’s proposed budget.
The 57-year-old Dallas businessman and former powerhouse Republican fundraiser — confirmed by the Senate in early August to helm the obscure, 46-year-old agency — is dispelling any lingering concerns that the Trump administration will shutter it.
“I have the full support of the White House,” Washburne said during a recent interview in his OPIC office, which overlooks downtown Washington.
In fact, support for the agency is building all along Pennsylvania Avenue, from Capitol Hill to the White House, he added.
“I feel very comfortable it’s going to be here.” http://bit.ly/2gERn0e.
GOP group spending $2M on tax ad ahead of key vote: The American Action Network (AAN) on Tuesday announced that it’s spending $2 million on a television ad buy promoting the GOP’s tax-reform plan ahead of an expected House vote later in the week on a budget resolution that would advance it.
The ad features a Wisconsin woman saying the tax plan would help middle-class families. It is slated to run in 32 congressional districts, including many held by GOP lawmakers whose districts are being targeted by Democrats in next year’s midterm elections.
AAN, which is closely aligned with Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wis.), said it has spent more than $14 million since the beginning of August on its efforts to advocate for an overhaul of the tax code.
The group’s latest initiative comes in advance of the House’s scheduled vote on Thursday on the Senate’s budget resolution. That measure would allow Congress to pass a tax bill on a party-line vote that adds up to $1.5 trillion to the deficit over 10 years. http://bit.ly/2gGywBX.
And from The Hill’s opinion pages…
Two differing views on Republicans’ tax reform effort:
401(k) fears largely overblown regarding GOP tax plan, by Andrew G. Biggs from the American Enterprise Institute
Tax breaks for millionaires isn’t a philosophy, it’s a pay-off, by Ben Cohen, co-founder of Ben & Jerry’s ice cream
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