Week ahead: House scrambles on spending bill | What's next on tax reform | Panel to vote on Fed chair nominee

Week ahead: House scrambles on spending bill | What's next on tax reform | Panel to vote on Fed chair nominee
© Greg Nash

Congressional leaders are rushing in the coming week to strike a plan to fund the government beyond Dec. 8 and avoid a shutdown.

House Republican leaders are pursuing a short-term bill to fund the government through Dec. 22, GOP leadership aides told The Hill. The plan would mean lawmakers will likely need to pass a second stopgap spending measure right before the holidays that would keep the government's lights on into January.

GOP leadership has been wrestling with how to avoid a government shutdown when current funding runs out. The latest strategy to emerge on Thursday would involve passing a two-week continuing resolution next week, GOP aides said.

But it's a potentially risky gambit that relies on Democrats agreeing to back two separate resolutions. The GOP needs the support of some Senate Democrats to keep the government going.

And House conservatives are also not sold. They worry that a year-end spending bill will be full of measures they don't want.

Several Democrats and at least one Republican have also objected to voting on a government funding measure that doesn't provide some sort of permanent protection for recipients of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program. The program offered work permits for some young immigrants brought to the country illegally as children.


Tax reform

All eyes will also be watching for the next steps in the Republican push to pass tax reform. Senate Republicans passed their tax overhaul bill early Saturday morning in a 51-49 vote.

Republicans had to kick work on the tax plan into Friday when deficit hawks led by Sen. Bob CorkerRobert (Bob) Phillips CorkerCorker: 'Everything points' to Saudi crown prince ordering Khashoggi's killing CIA concludes Saudi crown prince ordered Khashoggi murder: report  McConnell, Flake clash over protecting Mueller probe MORE (R-Tenn.) threatened to kill the bill during an unexpected floor showdown on Thursday evening.

But on Friday, McConnell won the support of two key holdouts, Sens. Ron JohnsonRonald (Ron) Harold JohnsonFDA tobacco crackdown draws fire from right Overnight Health Care — Presented by The Partnership for Safe Medicines — FDA restricts sales of flavored e-cigs | Proposes ban on menthol in tobacco | Left wants vote on single-payer bill in new Congress | More than 12k lost Medicaid in Arkansas Commerce Department IG to audit Trump's tariff exemptions MORE (R-Wis.) and Steve DainesSteven (Steve) David DainesLawmakers say California will eventually get emergency funding for fire relief Tester fights for survival at home Trump planning fourth visit to Montana to battle Tester MORE (R-Mont.). The senators said they were "yes" votes after changes to provide more favorable treatment to smaller businesses and so-called pass-through entities.

Corker was the lone Republican to vote against the bill.


Senate panel to vote on Fed nominee, Dodd-Frank rules

The Senate Banking Committee will also take two major steps toward reshaping federal financial regulatory and economic policy on Tuesday. The panel is expected to approve the nomination of Jerome Powell to be Federal Reserve chairman, then mark up a bipartisan bill to exempt small and mid-size banks from portions of the Dodd-Frank Act.

The bill from Chairman Mike CrapoMichael (Mike) Dean CrapoBanking panel showcases 2020 Dems On The Money: Why the tax law failed to save the GOP majority | Grassley opts for Finance gavel, setting Graham up for Judiciary | Trump says China eager for trade deal | Facebook reeling after damning NYT report Senate GOP readies for leadership reshuffle MORE (R-Idaho) would raise the threshold at which a bank holding company is considered a "systemically important financial institution" (SIFI) from $50 billion to $250 billion.

SIFIs are subjected to stricter risk mitigation requirements, federal stress tests and oversight under the 2010 Dodd-Frank Act, enacted in the wake of the 2007-2008 financial crisis.

The deal would also exempt all banks with less than $100 billion in assets from federal oversight immediately.

The bill is sponsored by eight other Republican senators, seven of whom are on the Banking Committee, as well as nine Democrats.

Powell pledged to defend large portions of Dodd-Frank Act rules that were created to curb risky behavior in the financial sector, but said he would seek to limit the law's impact on smaller firms, during his nomination hearing on Tuesday.

Powell has supported keeping most of Dodd-Frank intact despite widespread opposition to the law from most other Republicans. He also told lawmakers Tuesday that he supports maintaining key provisions of the law, such as strict stress tests for the largest banks, capital requirements across the sector and a federal backstop for large failing financial firms called Orderly Liquidation Authority (OLA).

OLA would use an account funded by fees on large banks to fund the process of carefully dismantling a failing bank or financial firm to prevent triggering another financial crisis. While OLA gives no taxpayer money to any financial institution, Republicans call it a bank "bailout" fund.

Powell said he prefers major bank failures to be handled through the bankruptcy process. But unlike most other Republicans, he said an OLA-like system is essential to protect the financial system.


Your week ahead:

  • Senate Banking Committee: Executive Session to consider the nomination of The Honorable Jerome H. Powell and S. 2155, the Economic Growth, Regulatory Relief and Consumer Protection Act, 10 a.m. http://bit.ly/2iwNH1I.



  • House Financial Services Committee: Hearing entitled "Sustainable Housing Finance: Private Sector Perspectives on Housing Finance Reform, Part IV," 10 a.m. http://bit.ly/2Az39Bd.


  • House Financial Services Committee: Hearing entitled "Examining the Office of Financial Research," 10 a.m. http://bit.ly/2ixW7Wy.
  • House Financial Services Committee: Hearing entitled "Legislative Proposals for a More Efficient Federal Financial Regulatory Regime: Part II," 2 p.m. http://bit.ly/2iz3Tzv.


Recap the week with Overnight Finance:

Monday: Directors battle over consumer agency | Second GOP senator opposes current tax plan | Trump wants changes to bill | Fed nominee heads to Tuesday hearing | Retailers expect record Cyber Monday | Congress returns to nightmare December

Tuesday: Trump tears into Dems for skipping meeting | Court sides with Trump in consumer agency fight | Senate Budget panel approves tax bill | Fed nominee signals he'll stay the course

Wednesday: Senate votes to begin debate on tax bill | Trump opens GOP eyes on reform | Republicans could punt funding fight to January | Yellen says national debt 'should keep people awake at night'

Thursday: GOP to reduce tax relief by $350B to win over deficit hawks | Republicans eye two-week spending bill | Fed official urges caution on digital currency | Security of auditing system under scrutiny

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