Overnight Finance: Day three of tax bill markup | Ryan says election results raise pressure for tax reform | Tax whip list - Where Republicans stand | Justice, AT&T spar over CNN sale | 25 Dems vow to block spending without Dream Act

Overnight Finance: Day three of tax bill markup | Ryan says election results raise pressure for tax reform | Tax whip list - Where Republicans stand | Justice, AT&T spar over CNN sale | 25 Dems vow to block spending without Dream Act
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Ryan: Virginia results show GOP needs to get tax reform done: Speaker Paul RyanPaul Davis RyanHow does the 25th Amendment work? Sinema, Fitzpatrick call for long-term extension of Violence Against Women Act GOP super PAC drops .5 million on Nevada ad campaign MORE (R-Wis.) said Wednesday that the resounding Democratic victory in the race for Virginia governor shows that Republicans in Congress need to pass tax reform so they have something to run on in the 2018 midterm elections.

In an interview on Fox News host Brian Kilmeade's radio show, Ryan tried to downplay what he described as "spin" from Democrats who are claiming the Tuesday night election wins as a sign of a backlash to President Trump as they seek to retake the House next year.

"Obviously, you know, Democrats are going to do that, and we would be saying the same kind of thing. That's the way the spin works on these things," Ryan said.

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But he said that the results offer added urgency for Republicans to get tax reform done.

"The way I see it, honestly, is we've got to get our job done. That's why I think tax reform is just so important, not just politically but just for the country," Ryan said: http://bit.ly/2zoXmh3.

 

Day three of the GOP tax bill markup: The third day of the House Ways and Means markup of the Republican tax bill drew to a close just before 7 p.m. on Wednesday, even though Democrats had expected to work well into the night.

Republicans want to approve the legislation in the committee on Thursday, at which point the Senate will release their own version of the bill.

House Ways and Means Committee Kevin BradyKevin Patrick BradyHouse GOP bill a mixed bag for retirement savers China imposes new tariffs on billion of US goods: report Trump announces tariffs on 0B in Chinese goods MORE (R-Texas) said he plans to offer an amendment to the bill on Thursday.

The amendment will be designed to ensure that the bill doesn't add more than $1.5 trillion to the deficit. The bill can't increase the deficit by more than that amount under the budget resolution that allows tax legislation to be passed on a party-line vote in the Senate.

Brady said that the markup would resume at 9 a.m. on Thursday to consider more Democratic amendments as well as his "manager's amendment."

Democrats expressed concerns that Brady's amendment would be offered with little time to look it over.

"You can't do tax policy with one party in four days," said Rep. Richard Neal (D-Mass.), the panel's top Democrat.

To recap the day's action, click here: http://bit.ly/2zu2jEX

 

The Hill's Whip List: Where Republicans stand on tax-reform bill: Republicans are aiming to quickly pass sweeping tax-reform legislation but there are concerns from both conservative and centrist lawmakers about may of the bill's provisions.

The House Ways and Means Committee began marking up the bill on Monday and Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) has set a Thanksgiving deadline for a floor vote.

Assuming all Democrats vote against the GOP bill, Republican leaders can afford no more than 22 defections.
Here is a look at how the votes are stacking up: http://bit.ly/2znfvM9.

Happy Wednesday 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.

 

On tap tomorrow

  • Senate GOP expected to release tax overhaul bill

 

The CBO on Wednesday also unveiled new numbers....

 

GOP tax bill would add $1.7 trillion to debt: CBO: The GOP's tax bill would add $1.7 trillion to the national debt over the course of a decade, and increase the country's debt-to-GDP ratio by 5.9 percentage points, according to the Congressional Budget Office.

The CBO analysis relied on the Joint Committee of Taxation's finding that the bill would cut revenues by $1.4 trillion, which falls within the level Republicans allowed themselves in their budget resolution. Still, the additional cost of debt servicing would mean that the overall debt would increase by $1.7 trillion.

The GOP allowed themselves up to $1.5 trillion of deficit increases over a decade in their budget. Despite the additional costs of servicing debt, the tax plan stays within the bounds, which means Republicans will still be able to pass the bill through budget reconciliation, a procedure that only requires a simple majority to pass in the Senate.

CBO also found that the nation's debt-to-GDP ratio, or debt burden, would rise to 97.1 percent of gross domestic product by 2027, 5.9 points higher than the current projection of 91.2 percent: http://bit.ly/2zpPRGs.

 

CBO says Repealing ObamaCare mandate means millions more uninsured: Repealing ObamaCare's individual mandate would lead to 4 million more uninsured Americans by 2019 and 13 million by 2027, a new estimate from the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) said, coming as some Republicans favor repealing the requirement as part of their tax overhaul.

The nonpartisan budget office also said a repeal would save $338 billion over 10 years.

It comes after Republicans failed to repeal the health law and have moved on to their bid to rewrite the tax code. But some in the GOP are pushing hard to include repeal of the fee for forgoing health coverage to help fund tax cuts.

A prior CBO analysis, from December 2016, pegged the savings at $416 million and projected 16 million people would be uninsured by 2026: http://bit.ly/2zvcNSC

 

More on tax reform...

 

Dem predicts GOP will make major changes to tax bill: Ways and Means Committee ranking member Richard Neal (D-Mass.) said it appears that Republicans are preparing a "substantial change" to their tax bill.

"I think part of it was the elections last night, part of it is the skittishness that has arisen because of the fact that the Senate is unlikely to embrace many of the proposals that have been here," he told reporters.

Democrats on Wednesday afternoon scaled back the number of amendments they plan to offer and reduced the amount of time they spent discussing the amendments.

But Republicans also look to be preparing an amendment of their own, ending Wednesday's session of the markup early in the evening rather than late at night and taking a recess in the middle of the afternoon.

Neal noted that Committee Chairman Kevin Brady (R-Texas) has spent much of Wednesday outside of the room where the markup is being held.

http://bit.ly/2zHc4Au

 

Lobbyists in 'frenzy' over GOP's tax-reform push: For lobbyists in Washington, it's all tax reform, all the time.

The GOP's consideration of tax legislation has stirred feverish activity on K Street, with an army of lobbyists -- even those who don't specialize in taxes -- swarming the Capitol to keep tabs on the bill.

The stakes couldn't be higher, with Republicans considering a sweeping overhaul of the tax code that could affect business profits for decades to come.

"It's guns ablazing, from what I've witnessed. This is the time to get your changes or to shape the policy. Once it goes to the floor, you're too late in the process," said one Republican lobbyist who asked for anonymity in order to speak freely.

The GOP lobbyists who spoke with The Hill asked for anonymity so as to not alienate their clients or employers. All of them said the work on tax legislation is consuming their lives.

"It's a frenzy, there are literally not enough hours in the day to have the discussions anybody who wants to make a change needs to have," a second Republican said: http://bit.ly/2zpOB6c.

 

House panel declines to restore infrastructure financing tool in GOP tax bill:

House tax-writers declined to restore an infrastructure financing tool that was cut out of the GOP tax bill, while the Senate has not yet decided how to treat the issue in its own tax package.

In a party-line vote on Wednesday, the House Ways and Means Committee rejected a Democratic amendment that would have kept the deduction on tax-exempt private activity bonds, which are used by public-private partnerships to back a wide range of infrastructure projects around the country.

The House GOP tax plan, which is expected to get a final committee vote on Thursday, eliminates the program for private activity bonds. Doing so would save $38.9 billion, according to a summary sheet.

But there is bipartisan support for keeping the preferential tax treatment for the bonds.

Transportation advocates are warning that eliminating the program could hurt President Trump's infrastructure push, which is supposed to rely on public-private partnerships: http://bit.ly/2hVi8uJ

 

Senate tax plan may delay corporate rate cut by one year: The Senate tax plan is likely to have significant differences from the House version, including delaying the introduction of a lower corporate tax rate by a year, according to a Washington Post report.

The report, which cites four unnamed sources familiar with the plan, said the delay was an effort to reduce the bill's cost by $100 billion during the first decade. President Trump, however, has insisted that the plan go into effect right away.

The bill would also reportedly maintain seven income tax brackets and scrap all state and local deductions, both key differences from the House plan.

Sen. John HoevenJohn Henry HoevenOvernight Energy: Trump Cabinet officials head west | Zinke says California fires are not 'a debate about climate change' | Perry tours North Dakota coal mine | EPA chief meets industry leaders in Iowa to discuss ethanol mandate 74 protesters charged at Capitol in protest of Kavanaugh Big Oil’s carbon capture tax credit betrayal MORE (R-N.D.) told The Hill there "have been discussions" about delaying the corporate tax cut for a year, but that he believes it will go into effect in 2018 and that's his preference: http://bit.ly/2zovMk0.

 

25 percent would see higher tax rates in 2027 under GOP plan: An updated report from the Tax Policy Center finds that at least a quarter of taxpayers would see their taxes go up within a decade under the Republican plan to overhaul the tax code.

The analysis also finds that at least 7 percent would see increases in the very first year.

On average, though, the report said, there would be a reduction in taxes overall throughout the decade.

The Tax Policy Center released its original report on Monday, but was forced to retract it after finding an error. The earlier report claimed 30 percent, not 25 percent, would face higher taxes after a decade.

One reason taxes rise over the course of the decade is that the plan includes several tax credits with expiration dates: http://bit.ly/2zog20v.

 

In other news...

 

Justice, AT&T trade accusations over CNN sale: The Department of Justice (DOJ) and AT&T traded accusations on Wednesday over whether the company would have to sell off CNN, the cable network frequently feuding with President Trump, as a condition of its merger with Time Warner.

Sources at the Justice Department told The Hill and other news outlets that antitrust officials had rejected an offer from AT&T on Monday to divest in CNN in order to win approval for the $85 billion deal.

The sources, who spoke on the condition of anonymity, said that the offer did not alleviate their concerns that the deal could potentially harm the public by giving the new company too much power to deliver only the content it produces through AT&T's networks.

AT&T CEO Randall Stephenson, however, flatly denied that his company had ever entertained the idea of selling CNN to win approval of the deal.

"Throughout this process, I have never offered to sell CNN and have no intention of doing so," he said.

http://bit.ly/2hmCY9q

 

25 Dems vow to block spending without Dream Act: House Democrats are escalating their threat to oppose a year-end spending bill unless it includes deportation relief for more than 1 million immigrants brought to the country without legal permission as kids.

A group of 25 House Democrats said Wednesday they won’t vote for any government spending bill, risking a shutdown, unless Congress passes the Dream Act — a measure that would provide permanent residency and a path to citizenship to that group of immigrants.

Reps. Luis Gutiérrez (Ill.), Raul Grijalva (Ariz.) and Adriano EspaillatAdriano de Jesus Espaillat CabralOvernight Defense: Officials rush to deny writing anonymous op-ed | Lawmakers offer measure on naming NATO headquarters after McCain | US, India sign deal on sharing intel Dems plan resolution to withdraw US forces from Yemen civil war Impeachment debate moves to center of midterm fight MORE (N.Y.) penned an op-ed in The Hill Wednesday taking that stance. They shared the text with their Democratic colleagues, 22 of whom decided to endorse the idea, according to Gutiérrez.

“We didn’t lobby, we didn’t do anything,” Gutiérrez said. “Had we tried, we’d have many, many more.”

The Dream Act is Democrats' preferred vehicle to provide permanent relief for recipients of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program, which President Trump rescinded in September.

http://bit.ly/2zt5zyg

 

GOP lawmaker says Congress won't meet Dec. 8 spending deadline: Congress is unlikely to have a deal to pass an omnibus spending bill by Dec. 8, and will likely need to agree to a short-term measure to prevent a government shutdown, says Rep. Tom ColeThomas (Tom) Jeffrey ColeConservatives left frustrated as Congress passes big spending bills Overnight Health Care: House GOP blocks Trump-backed drug pricing provision | Maryland sues to protect ObamaCare | Insurers offer help to hurricane-impacted areas House GOP blocks Trump-supported drug pricing provision from spending bill MORE (R-Okla.), a key member of the House Appropriations Committee.

Republican leadership is huddling with Democrats and the administration to agree on overall spending levels for the coming year. Without an agreement soon on those top-line numbers, Cole said it is unlikely the Dec. 8 deadline will be met.

"I don't see how it's possible. I think the end of the year is the best we can do. If we're getting the numbers after Thanksgiving, there's just not enough time," he said.

He said the real deadline for the larger omnibus is probably Christmas.

Cole said leadership may get a deal on the top-line figures after Thanksgiving, but that would not leave enough time to agree to other details over the bill to meet the Dec. 8 deadline: http://bit.ly/2zqKW8u.

 

Americans think economy is improving -- just not for them: More Americans say the economy is improving, but even those who see more prosperous times around them feel that their families are being left behind.

The contrast is likely to present a challenge to politicians at all levels running for office next year. Those seeking reelection must find a way to claim credit for the improving economy while simultaneously empathizing with those struggling to keep up. 

A new survey from the Pew Research Center found 50 percent of Americans said there were plenty of jobs available in their local communities, while 42 percent said jobs are difficult to find.

It is the first time since Pew pollsters began asking about job openings, back in 2001, that more people have said there are plenty of jobs available than those who have said work is hard to come by.

But many still think they are falling behind. Forty-nine percent of Americans told Pew their family's income level is not keeping pace with the cost of living, while 40 percent said they are staying about even.  

Just 9 percent of Americans say they feel like they are getting ahead. The Hill's Reid Wilson breaks it down: http://bit.ly/2zqGxlY.

 

Trump tightens restrictions on personal travel, business ties to Cuba: The Trump administration on Wednesday tightened travel and commercial ties to Cuba, part of its effort to roll back former President Barack ObamaBarack Hussein ObamaThe Hill's 12:30 Report — Trump questions Kavanaugh accuser's account | Accuser may testify Thursday | Midterm blame game begins Dems look to Gillum, Abrams for pathway to victory in tough states Ford taps Obama, Clinton alum to navigate Senate hearing MORE's historic opening with Havana.

The new rules come nearly five months after President Trump announced he would reverse Obama-era policies that loosened the decades-long trade embargo against the communist island, an attempt to fulfill a promise he made during the 2016 campaign.

The changes, which take effect Thursday, restrict Americans' ability to travel to Cuba and prevent business deals with certain entities controlled by the Cuban government and military.

But the core of Obama's policies will remain intact.

Under new Treasury Department rules, individual "people-to-people" trips -- which have enabled American travelers to visit Cuba for educational purposes on their own as opposed to with a tour group -- will be eliminated.

Such trips will no longer be approved by the U.S. government unless travelers booked a flight or hotel accommodations before Trump's June 16 announcement.

http://bit.ly/2AnS1nc

 

Fed vice chairman: Bank will boost transparency, take 'fresh look' at rules: Federal Reserve vice chairman of supervision Randal Quarles said Tuesday that the central bank will soon ask for public feedback on how it can be more transparent.

Quarles, who oversees Fed financial regulation, said the bank will take "a fresh look" at regulations during his tenure, according to Reuters.

"As I have come into the job I have perceived quite an openness in the deep-state Fed to taking a fresh look, which I found very encouraging," Quarles told a banking conference in New York. I've got more here: http://bit.ly/2zohFes.

 

Bipartisan group of lawmakers aim to reform US sugar program: A bipartisan group of lawmakers on Tuesday introduced legislation in the House and Senate that would overhaul the U.S. sugar program.

Reps. Virginia FoxxVirginia Ann FoxxTrump calls North Carolina redistricting ruling ‘unfair’ Women poised to take charge in Dem majority House passes bill putting restrictions on unfunded mandates MORE (R-N.C.) and Danny K. Davis (D-Ill.) and Sens. Jeanne ShaheenCynthia (Jeanne) Jeanne ShaheenSome employees' personal data revealed in State Department email breach: report Dems seek ways to block Trump support for Saudi-led coalition in Yemen Hillicon Valley: Trump signs off on sanctions for election meddlers | Russian hacker pleads guilty over botnet | Reddit bans QAnon forum | FCC delays review of T-Mobile, Sprint merger | EU approves controversial copyright law MORE (D-N.H.) and Pat ToomeyPatrick (Pat) Joseph ToomeyOvernight Defense: Pick for South Korean envoy splits with Trump on nuclear threat | McCain blasts move to suspend Korean military exercises | White House defends Trump salute of North Korean general WH backpedals on Trump's 'due process' remark on guns Top GOP candidate drops out of Ohio Senate race MORE (R-Pa.) are proposing a measure that would limit domestic supply restrictions and reduce market distortions caused by sugar import quotas while ensuring that taxpayers don't pay for sugar industry bailouts.

Supporters of the overhaul argue that the existing sugar program hurts businesses that use sugar as an ingredient in their products while protecting a small group of well-connected sugar producers.
Those advocates say the Sugar Policy Modernization Act could save their businesses and consumers billions every year.

"Our nation's antiquated sugar program seeks to prop up prices for the sugar industry at every turn, sticking consumers with the bill," Foxx said.

"The way our current system is set up, taxpayers and manufacturers bear all of the risks in the form of bailouts, uncertainty and shortages, while the sugar industry reaps guaranteed rewards," she said: http://bit.ly/2zp05Hj.

 

From The Hill's opinion pages:

'Paint-by-numbers' lawmaking waters down tax reform, by Jason J. Fichtner

GOP tax bill: Good for business, bad for debt, meh for middle class, Kent Hughes

 

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