Overnight Finance: GOP races to tax vote | Groups say tax plan could cost over $2 trillion | Senate eying short-term funding bill to Jan. 19 | House to unveil $81B disaster aid package | Inside the Bitcoin boom

Overnight Finance: GOP races to tax vote | Groups say tax plan could cost over $2 trillion | Senate eying short-term funding bill to Jan. 19 | House to unveil $81B disaster aid package | Inside the Bitcoin boom
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GOP racing to tax vote after Lee, Collins offer support: Republicans racing for the finish line said they could hold final votes in the House and Senate on their tax-cut bill as early as Tuesday, finishing off the first major legislative victory for President TrumpDonald John TrumpTrump suggests some states may 'pay nothing' as part of unemployment plan Trump denies White House asked about adding him to Mount Rushmore Trump, US face pivotal UN vote on Iran MORE.

Senate Majority Whip John CornynJohn CornynCOVID-19 bill limiting liability would strike the wrong balance From a Republican donor to Senate GOP: Remove marriage penalty or risk alienating voters Skepticism grows over Friday deadline for coronavirus deal MORE (R-Texas) told reporters the chamber could vote on the bill Tuesday evening or Wednesday morning as two previously undecided GOP senators, Mike LeeMichael (Mike) Shumway LeeOvernight Defense: Air Force general officially becomes first African American service chief | Senators introduce bill to block Trump armed drone sale measure | State Department's special envoy for Iran is departing the Trump administration Senators introduce bill to block Trump armed drone sale measure Trump signs major conservation bill into law MORE of Utah and Susan CollinsSusan Margaret CollinsCoronavirus deal key to Republicans protecting Senate majority From a Republican donor to Senate GOP: Remove marriage penalty or risk alienating voters The Hill's Campaign Report: Trump's visit to battleground Ohio overshadowed by coronavirus MORE of Maine, said they would back it.

While both were expected to support the bill, their public declarations added to the sense of inevitability surrounding the bill.

The House is expected to vote Tuesday.


The pre-Christmas votes will follow new reports that say the tax plan's costs could exceed $2 trillion over 10 years before factoring in economic growth if the bill's temporary tax cuts are made permanent. That's significantly higher than the Joint Committee on Taxation estimate that the bill as written would cost $1.46 trillion.

Most of the tax cuts for individuals expire after 2025, and some other provisions in the bill are also temporary, while the reduction in the corporate tax rate is permanent. Some of the tax changes are temporary in order to comply with budget rules that prevent the bill from adding to the deficit after 10 years if it is to avoid a filibuster from Democrats.

The Hill's Naomi Jagoda with the latest: http://bit.ly/2BK351Y


More on Collins... Sen. Susan Collins (R-Maine) said on Monday that she will support the GOP tax plan. 

"I rise to express my support for the conference agreement on the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act. ... This legislation will provide tax relief to working families, encourage the creation of jobs right here in America and spur economic growth that will benefit all Americans," Collins said from the Senate floor. http://bit.ly/2CyLF5a.


And for more on the Republican mood... GOP on precipice of major end-of-year tax victory: Republicans are on the brink of a massive achievement as they edge closer to finishing the first year of a GOP Congress under President Trump.

It will deliver a real victory to the White House after a year in which it has seen its legislative agenda falter on Capitol Hill.

Trump on Sunday was clearly looking forward to the week.

"As a candidate, I promised we would pass a massive TAX CUT for the everyday working American families who are the backbone and the heartbeat of our country. Now, we are just days away," he tweeted.

It will also represent a big win for Speaker Paul RyanPaul Davis RyanWary GOP eyes Meadows shift from brick-thrower to dealmaker Budowsky: Why I back Kennedy, praise Markey Democratic super PAC quotes Reagan in anti-Trump ad set to air on Fox News: 'Are you better off?' MORE (R-Wis.), a political figure closely tied to tax reform who seems poised to achieve landmark legislation as speculation swirls around his future.

The Hill's Jordain Carney reports: http://bit.ly/2CytYD1


Brady: 'We are on the 1-yard line and we intend to punch it in' House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Kevin BradyKevin Patrick BradyOn The Money: Five takeaways from the July jobs report Stimulus checks debate now focuses on size, eligibility Pelosi huddles with chairmen on surprise billing but deal elusive MORE (R-Texas) said Sunday that Republicans are on the "1-yard line" with their tax overhaul bill and are prepared to "punch it in" this week.

"And this means Americans on April 15, that will be the last time Americans have to file under this horrible broken tax code, so there is a lot to be happy about." http://bit.ly/2CB2IDN.


Cost of GOP tax plan could exceed $2 trillion: The GOP tax bill would cost significantly more if tax cuts that are temporary in the legislation are eventually made permanent, according to two new reports.

Most of the bill's changes for individuals sunset in 2025, even as a cut to the corporate rate from 35 percent to 21 percent is made permanent.

If future Congresses decide to extend the lower tax rates for individuals and families rather than allow them to expire, and also extend other temporary provisions, the bill will end up costing $2 trillion to $2.2 trillion, according to a report by the Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget, a nonpartisan deficit hawk group. 

Even accounting for economic growth, it predicts the bill would add $1.5 trillion to $1.7 trillion to the debt -- bringing debt levels close to 100 percent of the nation's GDP.

"If expiring provisions are extended and late-stage tax hikes avoided, debt could reach as high as 98 percent or 100 percent of GDP by 2027," the group said. "In other words, the national debt could exceed the size of the economy." The Hill's Naomi Jagoda breaks it down: http://bit.ly/2CD1Z4S.


Happy Monday 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.


Week ahead: Congress rushes to pass tax reform, funding before holidays: Congress is also scrambling to extend government funding before it expires on Dec. 22. House Republicans introduced legislation on Wednesday that would fund most of the government through mid-January and fund the Defense Department through the end of the 2018 fiscal year.

But Senate Minority Leader Charles SchumerChuck SchumerWhite House officials, Democrats spar over legality, substance of executive orders Schumer declines to say whether Trump executive orders are legal: They don't 'do the job' Schumer: Idea that 0 unemployment benefit keeps workers away from jobs 'belittles the American people' MORE (D-N.Y.) warned that proposal is dead on arrival in the Senate, where 44 of the Democratic caucus's 48 members have indicated they won't support it. Democrats say any increase in defense spending should be equally matched with more funding for nondefense matters.

Congress faces a Dec. 22 deadline to fund the government and avoid a shutdown. Lawmakers also need to get a deal to lift the budget caps before mid-January if they want to avoid automatic spending cuts under sequestration.


But Senate Republicans are eyeing another short-term bill: Sen. John Cornyn (R-Texas) signaled on Monday that Senate Republicans are eyeing a short-term bill that would fund the government through Jan. 19, breaking with House Republicans.

"We're also looking at the likelihood of another bill ... with some anomalies, some additions that takes us to Jan. 19," he told reporters.

Any changes made by the Senate will require the funding bill to bounce back to the House for a second vote.

The Senate is weighing dropping a myriad of issues into its funding bill, including two health-care provisions, an extension of a controversial surveillance program and disaster relief funding.

Asked about including a bipartisan deal crafted by Sens. Lamar AlexanderAndrew (Lamar) Lamar AlexanderSeveral GOP lawmakers express concern over Trump executive orders The Hill's Morning Report - Presented by the Air Line Pilots Association - Negotiators 'far apart' as talks yield little ahead of deadline Trump-backed Hagerty wins Tennessee GOP Senate primary MORE (R-Tenn.) and Patty MurrayPatricia (Patty) Lynn MurrayPelosi huddles with chairmen on surprise billing but deal elusive House approves two child care bills aimed at pandemic GOP, Democratic relief packages B apart on vaccine funding MORE (D-Wash.), Cornyn noted that it's the "subject of some conversations." http://bit.ly/2ke5GYk


House to unveil $81B disaster relief package: The House Appropriations Committee is preparing to release an $81 billion package later Monday to aid communities affected by recent natural disasters, according to a GOP aide.

The $81 billion figure is nearly double the $44 billion the Trump administration requested last month in response to hurricanes in Texas, Florida, Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands.

Lawmakers from those areas had panned the Trump administration request as too low to adequately help communities ravaged by the natural disasters.

GOP leaders are under pressure to get the disaster aid done before Congress adjourns for the holidays.

Members of the Texas and Florida delegations have threatened to oppose a stopgap spending bill to avert a government shutdown if they don't secure the disaster aid for their constituents.

The Hill's Cristina Marcos has more: http://bit.ly/2kIA1xr


GOP senator says must-pass funding bill to include ObamaCare fix: Sen. Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.) says that his bipartisan ObamaCare insurer fix will be added to a government funding bill this week, potentially setting up a showdown with House conservatives who oppose the measure.

Alexander told local reporters on Friday that the bill aimed at stabilizing insurer markets -- from him and Sen. Patty Murray (D-Wash.) -- would be added to a stop-gap government funding bill that must pass before this Friday's funding deadline, according to a pledge from Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellTrump signs executive orders after coronavirus relief talks falter Coronavirus deal key to Republicans protecting Senate majority Coronavirus talks collapse as negotiators fail to reach deal MORE (R-Ky.). 

"Senator McConnell has pledged to put Alexander-Murray on the spending bill that will also pass next week," Alexander told reporters Friday, according to audio posted by Nashville Public Radio.

McConnell previously pledged to Sen. Susan Collins (R-Maine) that he would support passage of Alexander-Murray, and another bipartisan ObamaCare bill from Collins and Sen. Bill NelsonClarence (Bill) William Nelson Trump, facing trouble in Florida, goes all in NASA names DC headquarters after agency's first Black female engineer Mary W. Jackson NASA, SpaceX and the private-public partnership that caused the flight of the Crew Dragon MORE (D-Fla.), before the end of the year, in exchange for her vote on the GOP tax-reform legislation: http://bit.ly/2CBEhpS.


Key GOP chairman: Corker had no role in change to tax bill: The chairman of the Senate Finance Committee on Monday shot down reports that a tax break for real estate developers was "airdropped" into the final GOP tax bill and that Sen. Bob CorkerRobert (Bob) Phillips CorkerTennessee primary battle turns nasty for Republicans Cheney clashes with Trump Sessions-Tuberville Senate runoff heats up in Alabama MORE (R-Tenn.) had pushed for it.

"Both assertions are categorically false," Sen. Orrin HatchOrrin Grant HatchSenate GOP divided over whether they'd fill Supreme Court vacancy  Five takeaways as panel grills tech CEOs Trump awards medal of freedom to former congressman, Olympian Jim Ryun MORE (R-Utah) said in a letter to Corker.

Hatch's letter comes after a request from Corker on Sunday to get more information about how a provision relating to pass-through businesses ended up in the final tax legislation. The provision in question allows capital-intensive pass-through businesses to receive more tax relief.

The International Business Times reported that the provision would benefit those with real estate investments such as Corker and President Trump. Liberals quickly labeled the provision the "Corker kickback" on social media and suggested the provision was inserted specifically to win the senator's vote.

Corker voted "no" on the Senate's original tax bill earlier this month, which did not include the provision, but said Friday that he would vote for the final measure, which is coming up for a vote this week.

Hatch said he is "disgusted" by press reports that have "distorted" how the provision originated: http://bit.ly/2CAopUr.


 Sanders: 'I think we did everything we could' to stop tax bill: Sen. Bernie SandersBernie SandersTrump is fighting the wrong war Michelle Obama, Sanders, Kasich to be featured on first night of Democratic convention: report The Memo: Trump team pounces on Biden gaffes MORE (I-Vt.) said lawmakers "did everything that we could" regarding the Republican tax overhaul, which Democrats spent weeks fighting. 
"Well, I think we did everything that we could," Sanders told CBS's "Face the Nation."

Sanders described the GOP legislation as a "massive attack on the middle class," countering Republicans' argument that the bill will help middle-class families through tax cuts.

The Vermont senator's comments come after Republicans on Friday revealed the final version of their tax bill from the House-Senate conference committee. The bill cuts the top individual rate from 39.6 percent to 37 percent and also slashes the corporate tax rate from 35 to 21 percent.
"Why weren't the tax breaks for the middle class made permanent?" Sanders asked during the interview. "Because it has to do with the priorities of the folks who wrote that legislation." http://bit.ly/2CAoyap.


Republicans at state level fret over GOP tax overhaul: The Hill's Reid Wilson from CORONADO, Calif. -- While Congress races to pass a massive tax overhaul by the end of the year, Republicans in state capitals across the country find themselves in a bind as they plan their own state budget requirements.

On one hand, Republicans at the state level say their party must prove it is able to handle the responsibilities of leadership by notching legislative victories that voters will be able to judge next November.

On the other, some legislative leaders say the tax package being pushed by congressional Republicans will undoubtedly impact their states in a negative way, foisting new uncertainty into the budgetary process as tax collections have already begun to sag.

"The Republicans have got to show they can do something, they can do something good, and they can get it done while they have the power so people can judge for themselves," said Brent Hill, the Republican president of the Idaho state Senate.

"If Republicans go into [the midterm elections] without having accomplished anything, people get impatient, and they're going to be looking at another way." http://bit.ly/2CCoGGn.


Bitcoin boom brings new scrutiny from Washington: Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies rallied to all time highs this past week, attracting new attention from U.S. regulators.

Professional and amateur investors are flocking to the digital currencies as they explode in value. That's left lawmakers and regulators scrambling to understand the technology behind digital currencies and their implications on financial markets.

"It's something that they're just trying to get their arms around," said a lobbyist representing financial services companies.

"The reality is the speed at which the technology is evolving is much more than what regulators are able to keep up with at this point in time." The Hill's Ali Breland and I explain: http://bit.ly/2CzNAGM.


Justice Department, Republican AGs back Trump in fight over consumer bureau: The Justice Department and a group of 13 Republican attorneys general on Monday backed President Trump and his pick for the acting director of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) in a case challenging the appointment.

Both filed briefs supporting Trump and Office of Management and Budget Director Mick MulvaneyMick MulvaneyFauci says positive White House task force reports don't always match what he hears on the ground Bottom line White House, Senate GOP clash over testing funds MORE, whom Trump named acting director of the CFPB, in a federal suit over control of the CFPB in the district court for Washington, D.C.

The Justice Department and the group of GOP state law enforcement chiefs argued that Mulvaney is the rightful acting director of the CFPB.

CFPB Deputy Director Leandra English is suing Mulvaney and Trump for control of the agency, arguing the line of succession outlined in the Dodd-Frank financial reform law, which created the CFPB, makes her the legal acting chief.

English is appealing the D.C. district court's decision earlier this month to reject her suit against Trump and Mulvaney: http://bit.ly/2CA4EfR.


Dem looks to curb tax breaks for employee buyouts over sexual misconduct: A House Democrat unveiled legislation on Monday that would prevent businesses from deducting the costs of buyouts for employees accused of sexual misconduct to lower the amount of taxes owed.

Rep. Carolyn MaloneyCarolyn Bosher MaloneyUS could avoid 4.5M early deaths by fighting climate change, study finds Carolyn Maloney defeats Suraj Patel to win New York primary: AP Maloney, Torres declare victory in NY primary races after weeks of delays MORE's (D-N.Y.) proposal would expand a provision tucked into the GOP's final tax reform legislation that comes amid the national reckoning over sexual harassment.

Under the GOP tax overhaul set for votes in both the House and Senate this week, any settlement payments or attorney fees related to sexual harassment could not be deducted as business expenses if they are subject to nondisclosure agreements.

A number of prominent male figures accused of sexual misconduct in recent weeks have used settlements. The New York Times reported on about $45 million worth of settlements involving former Fox News host Bill O'Reilly, while Hollywood producer Harvey Weinstein also used settlements. One settlement Weinstein reached with actress Rose McGowan reportedly totaled $100,000: http://bit.ly/2CCpQBJ.

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