Overnight Finance: Lawmakers see shutdown odds rising | Trump calls for looser rules for bank loans | Consumer bureau moves to revise payday lending rule | Trump warns China on trade deficit

Overnight Finance: Lawmakers see shutdown odds rising | Trump calls for looser rules for bank loans | Consumer bureau moves to revise payday lending rule | Trump warns China on trade deficit
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Lawmakers see shutdown's odds rising: Lawmakers warned Tuesday that the chances for a government shutdown are greater than at any other time since a 16-day closure in October 2013.

Republicans appear poised to offer a plan forward that would fund the government for another month while extending a popular children's health program for six years.

But Republican leaders will need Democratic votes in the Senate -- and possibly the House as well -- to pass that measure. And Democrats are refusing to make any commitments until they strike a deal to shield hundreds of thousands of young, undocumented immigrants from deportation.

"It's pretty close to 50-50," Rep. Daniel WebsterDaniel Alan WebsterRepublicans mull new punishments for dissident lawmakers Dems eyeing smaller magic number for House majority Republicans fear retribution for joining immigration revolt MORE (R-Fla.) said of the possibility of a shutdown. "It's like playing chicken and seeing who is going to blink first. It's a dangerous game."


A conservative House lawmaker said Tuesday that prospects for a deal on a short-term stopgap are "not looking good" at the moment.

Lawmakers faced serious hurdles to reaching a deal even before President TrumpDonald John TrumpLondon terror suspect’s children told authorities he complained about Trump: inquiry The Memo: Tide turns on Kavanaugh Trump to nominate retiring lawmaker as head of trade agency MORE at a White House meeting reportedly said the United States should not take immigrants from "shithole countries" such as Haiti. The controversy surrounding those remarks has roiled the talks, amplifying tensions on both sides. The Hill's Scott Wong and Melanie Zanona have more: http://bit.ly/2mCDY7P.


McConnell to Dems: Don't hold government 'hostage' over DACA: Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellKey GOP senators appear cool to Kavanaugh accuser's demand Trump hints at new executive action on immigration, wants filibuster-proof Senate majority The Hill's Morning Report — Sponsored by United Against Nuclear Iran — The Hill interviews President Trump MORE (R-Ky.) is urging Democrats to support a short-term funding bill needed to prevent a government shutdown despite an increasingly heated fight over immigration.

"With no imminent deadline on immigration and with bipartisan talks well under way, there's no reason why Congress should hold government funding hostage over the issue of illegal immigration," McConnell said during his floor remarks on Tuesday.

His plea comes as Congress has to pass a continuing resolution (CR) by the end of Friday in order to prevent a shutdown of the Republican-controlled government.

McConnell argued that Democrats should support the CR because there are "serious bipartisan conversations" under way and Congress has until at least March to pass a fix for the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program: http://bit.ly/2mEK33L.


Trump calls for looser rules for bank loans in Dodd-Frank overhaul: President Trump said Tuesday that he's looking to loosen restrictions on consumer lending while he and Republican colleagues push to roll back the Dodd-Frank Act.

Trump said during a White House event that he wants to give banks the freedom to loan to customers deemed too risky under Dodd-Frank, the sweeping post-crisis financial rules enacted in 2010.

"We're looking now at Dodd-Frank because we have to free up so that the banks can loan money to great people because they were restricted, Trump said at the "Conversations With the Women of America" event: I've got more here: http://bit.ly/2mFOGdZ.


Consumer bureau takes first step to revising payday lending rule: The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) announced Tuesday that it would accept applications from lenders to waive the first deadline for complying with its payday lending rule.

The move comes as acting CFPB Director Mick MulvaneyJohn (Mick) Michael MulvaneyOn The Money: Midterms to shake up House finance panel | Chamber chief says US not in trade war | Mulvaney moving CFPB unit out of DC | Conservatives frustrated over big spending bills Warren suggests Mulvaney broke law by speaking to GOP donors Mulvaney plans to move some consumer bureau staff to new Atlanta office MORE and staff consider changes to the agency's hallmark rule.

The rule, aimed at protecting consumers from incurring crippling debts through short-term, high-interest loans, took effect on Tuesday.

Finalized last year under former CFPB Director Richard CordrayRichard Adams CordrayElection Countdown: Trump confident about midterms in Hill.TV interview | Kavanaugh controversy tests candidates | Sanders, Warren ponder if both can run | Super PACs spending big | Two states open general election voting Friday | Latest Senate polls Mulvaney plans to move some consumer bureau staff to new Atlanta office New polling shows Brown, DeWine with leads in Ohio MORE, it imposes limits on how frequently a lender can offer, collect on and extend high-interest loans with deadlines of only a few weeks.

The bureau said in a statement that it would accept applications to waive the April 16 deadline for lenders subject to the rule to register with the bureau. Lenders have until Aug. 19, 2019, to comply with most other provisions: http://bit.ly/2mF0aOv.

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. 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.


Trump tells Xi trade deficit with China 'not sustainable' President Trump is firing a warning shot at China, telling President Xi Jinping that the U.S. trade deficit "is not sustainable," the White House said on Tuesday.

Trump spoke with Xi on Monday to discuss trade and talks between North and South Korea to deescalate the nuclear crisis on the peninsula, according to a White House statement.

"President Trump expressed disappointment that the United States' trade deficit with China has continued to grow," the White House said. "President Trump made clear that the situation is not sustainable."

The president has frequently cited the trade deficit as evidence the U.S. is "losing" to countries like China.

The trade deficit with China grew to $33.5 billion in November, according to the latest figures from the Commerce Department.

Trump is also reviewing a Commerce Department report he was given last week on whether to slap higher tariffs on foreign steel, which would target China's over-production of steel: http://bit.ly/2mAm45E.


Maryland state lawmakers roll out response to Trump tax law: Democrats in Maryland's state legislature on Tuesday rolled out three bills in response to the new tax overhaul that President Trump signed last month, including trying to protect state and local tax (SALT) deductions.

"This federal bill pushed by Donald Trump, pushed by the right wing of the Republican party, imposes double taxation on the people of Maryland," Senate President Mike Miller (D) said in a news conference.

One of the bills is designed to mitigate the fact that the new tax law caps the SALT deduction at $10,000. Under the measure, Maryland residents would be able to make charitable contributions to a state fund and receive a credit against their state taxes. The donations could still be deductible from federal taxes.

The other two bills would decouple Maryland's tax code from the federal tax code. The Hill's Naomi Jagoda explains how: http://bit.ly/2mAmb14.


Steelworkers union president 'disappointed' and 'frustrated' with Trump: The president of the United Steelworkers union says the group is "terribly disappointed" with President Trump, who he says has done nothing to protect American jobs since taking office last January.

In an interview with CNN, United Steelworkers President Leo Gerard said that American workers are in some ways worse off now than they were just a year ago.

"We're terribly disappointed and hugely frustrated," Gerard told CNN. "There's been no action that has done anything to protect and defend American jobs. ... In some cases we're worse off now than we were then."

Chief among Gerard's concerns is the Trump administration's investigation, announced last April, into steel and aluminum imports from China and other countries suspected of violating trade practices.

At the time, Trump called the investigation "a historic day for American steel and, most importantly, for American steelworkers," and predicted that his administration would take action stemming from the investigation by the summer. So far, no action has been taken: http://bit.ly/2mH2zZo.


Chamber of Commerce to call for gas tax hike to pay for infrastructure: The U.S. Chamber of Commerce will advocate for a hike to the gas tax to fund plans for a massive infrastructure package, the organization's president said in a recently published interview.

"I've been pushing this for a long, long time, but now gangs of people are pushing it," Tom Donohue told The Washington Post.

The Chamber, which has for years backed an increase to the federal gas tax, will reportedly press for a 25-cent-per-gallon hike, an effort that comes ahead of the Trump administration's long-awaited infrastructure plan. The business group will unveil its strategy for the effort this week, the Post said.

"We just got a new tax bill for the first time in 31 years," Donohue told the newspaper.

"We're making some significant changes in regulatory reform. We've got a president -- everybody's got all their own views about him and what he stands for and all that -- but the guy's getting stuff done ... and he's a builder. I think we can get some help here." http://bit.ly/2mFu7hD.


UnitedHealth expects $1.7B windfall from tax law: UnitedHealth Group, the country's largest insurer, will gain $1.7 billion in additional earnings in 2018 because of the GOP tax bill, the company's CEO said Tuesday.

In a fourth quarter earnings call, Dave Wichmann told investors the company will "accelerate" investing the windfall in new technology and local community-based health-care initiatives.

The legislation signed by President Trump last month slashed the corporate tax rate in an attempt to boost wages and add new jobs in the U.S. However, Wichmann did not mention that UnitedHealth would be using the additional cash for higher wages for its employees.

UnitedHealth had $201 billion in revenue and $10.6 billion in profit in 2017, according to the earnings statement. The company stopped participating in ObamaCare exchanges in most states in 2017: http://bit.ly/2mCT1hH.


Business groups key-vote miscellaneous tariff bill: Two business groups said Tuesday they will key-vote House passage of a measure that would eliminate duties on imported raw materials needed for production that aren't readily available in the United States.

The National Association of Manufacturers and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce will record how House lawmakers vote on the Miscellaneous Tariff Bill, which is set for a vote under suspension of the rules Tuesday evening.

If passed by the House, which is expected, the bill would head to the Senate for clearance to the White House.

The program, which expired five years ago, is expected to save businesses millions of dollars a year while making them more globally competitive. The Hill's Vicki Needham explains: http://bit.ly/2ENhdFK.