Overnight Finance: Latest as shutdown looms | House Freedom Caucus may have deal with GOP leaders | Senate Dems look to force McConnell to negotiate | Whip list - Tight vote in Senate | Trump baffles GOP with tweet

Overnight Finance: Latest as shutdown looms | House Freedom Caucus may have deal with GOP leaders | Senate Dems look to force McConnell to negotiate | Whip list - Tight vote in Senate | Trump baffles GOP with tweet
© Greg Nash

Live coverage: House, Senate in scramble as shutdown looms: A shutdown of the federal government is looming with opposition in the House and Senate to a GOP bill that would keep the government open for another month. 

Without action by Congress, the government will shut down on Saturday. We'll bring you every update you could possibly need right here: http://bit.ly/2EUSDTB.


The latest: The House Freedom Caucus and GOP leaders appear to have reached a tentative deal to lock down the conservative group's support for the continuing resolution, putting the House on track to pass a stopgap bill on Thursday.

Freedom Caucus Chairman Mark MeadowsMark Randall MeadowsTestimony from GOP diplomat complicates Trump defense Obama: Cummings showed us 'the importance of checks and balances' The Hill's Morning Report - Tempers boil over at the White House MORE (R-Wis.) emerged from a meeting in Speaker Ryan's office saying that leadership promised to have separate votes to help improve military readiness and address other national security issues. They would not be attached to the CR, he added.

Meadows is urging the rest of the caucus to accept the offer. The group is now meeting in Rep. Jim JordanJames (Jim) Daniel JordanTrump embarks on Twitter spree amid impeachment inquiry, Syria outrage Testimony from GOP diplomat complicates Trump defense The Hill's Morning Report - Tempers boil over at the White House MORE's (R-Ohio) office.


Trump baffles GOP with tweet scrambling shutdown talks: President TrumpDonald John TrumpPelosi arrives in Jordan with bipartisan congressional delegation Trump says his Doral resort will no longer host G-7 after backlash CNN's Anderson Cooper mocks WH press secretary over Fox News interview MORE undermined his own party's plan to avert a looming government shutdown on Thursday after tweeting that a key Democratic bargaining chip shouldn't be attached to the funding package.

The 17-word tweet threw Capitol Hill into a state of confusion ahead of what is already expected to be a tight vote in the House on Thursday night. Republicans on both ends of Pennsylvania Avenue were trying to decipher what exactly the president meant by declaring that a popular children's health-care program should be part of a "long term solution, not a 30 Day, or short term, extension."

The strategy Speaker Paul RyanPaul Davis RyanAmash: Trump incorrect in claiming Congress didn't subpoena Obama officials Democrats hit Scalia over LGBTQ rights Three-way clash set to dominate Democratic debate MORE (R-Wis.) and his leadership team are pursuing would attach a six-year reauthorization of the Children's Health Insurance Program (CHIP) to a stopgap government funding measure as a way to sweeten the pot for wary Democrats in both the House and Senate.

But Democrats have been cool to the proposal, arguing Republicans have shut them out of talks and voicing frustration that the bill does not deal with young immigrants known as "Dreamers" who face deportation beginning as early as March because of Trump's decision to end an Obama-era program sheltering them. The Hill's Scott Wong and Melanie Zanona report: http://bit.ly/2ESs0yg.


Across the Capitol... Senate Dems say they have votes to block spending bill as shutdown edges closer: Senate Democrats say they have secured the votes to block a House plan to fund the government through mid-February. 

A Democratic aide confirmed that the caucus will be able to block Republicans from getting the 60 votes needed to overcome an initial procedural hurdle. 

"Yes. And with the Republicans it's not close," the staffer told The Hill, asked whether Democrats will be able to block the legislation. 

Three Republicans -- Sens. Rand PaulRandal (Rand) Howard PaulOvernight Defense — Presented by Boeing — Pence says Turkey agrees to ceasefire | Senators vow to move forward with Turkey sanctions | Mulvaney walks back comments tying Ukraine aid to 2016 probe On The Money: Senate fails to override Trump veto over border emergency | Trump resort to host G-7 next year | Senators to push Turkey sanctions despite ceasefire | McConnell tees up funding votes Top Foreign Relations senators introduce Turkey sanctions bill MORE (Ky.), Lindsey GrahamLindsey Olin GrahamErdoğan got the best of Trump, experts warn Graham: I'm seeking to make Trump successful 'but not at all costs' The Memo: Trump's sea of troubles deepens MORE (S.C.) and Mike RoundsMarion (Mike) Michael RoundsAmerica's newest comedy troupe: House GOP 'Mike Pounce' trends on Twitter after Trump slip at GOP retreat Conservatives offer stark warning to Trump, GOP on background checks MORE (S.D.) -- have also said they will oppose the House plan, bringing the total opponents to 41. 

According to The Hill's whip list, 38 Democratic senators are prepared to vote "no" on the GOP bill in addition to the three Republicans. Here's more from The Hill's Jordain Carney: http://bit.ly/2ERLwLx.


Senators float days-long funding bill: A group of senators is floating a days-long government funding bill as a longer House plan faces growing pushback in the Senate.

"I just want to make sure that people ... who want to make sure we don't have a shutdown and people who want to resolve differences know that there is an option to doing something different than a month-long [continuing resolution]," Sen. Jerry MoranGerald (Jerry) MoranMcConnell signaling Trump trial to be quick, if it happens Overnight Defense — Presented by Huntington Ingalls Industries — Furor over White House readout of Ukraine call | Dems seize on memo in impeachment push | Senate votes to end Trump emergency | Congress gets briefing on Iran Senate again votes to end Trump emergency declaration on border wall MORE (R-Kan.) told reporters on Thursday.

Moran suggested that senators could pass stopgap bills that last only one or two days. He added that he spoke about the idea during Wednesday's closed-door Republican policy lunch. 

Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) told reporters that he supports Moran's idea, arguing negotiators could get a deal on immigration and defense spending in days if they wanted to.

Sen. Jeff FlakeJeffrey (Jeff) Lane FlakeTrump's GOP impeachment firewall holds strong How to survive an impeachment Are Senate Republicans certain that Trump can return to office? MORE (R-Ariz.) also said he prefers a days-long stopgap measure.

Sens. Tim KaineTimothy (Tim) Michael KaineLawmakers set to host fundraisers focused on Nats' World Series trip The Hill's 12:30 Report: Washington mourns loss of Elijah Cummings GOP cautions Graham against hauling Biden before Senate MORE (D-Va.) and Mark WarnerMark Robert WarnerSenate Democrats want Warren to talk costs on 'Medicare for All' US ban on China tech giant faces uncertainty a month out Lawmakers set to host fundraisers focused on Nats' World Series trip MORE (D-Va.) earlier Thursday also pitched a days-long stopgap bill to give negotiators more time when they announced their opposition to the House's bill, which funds the government through mid-February: http://bit.ly/2EWbYn1.


WHIP LIST: Keep track of where each senator stands on how to fund the government: http://bit.ly/2ES2U2Q.


Happy Thursday 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.


Mulvaney asks Fed to withhold additional consumer bureau funding: The acting director of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) asked the Federal Reserve on Wednesday to withhold additional funding from the agency for the second quarter of fiscal 2018.

Acting CFPB Director Mick MulvaneyJohn (Mick) Michael MulvaneyTrump says his Doral resort will no longer host G-7 after backlash CNN's Anderson Cooper mocks WH press secretary over Fox News interview Trump accuses media, Democrats of going 'crazy' over G-7 at his Miami resort MORE requested $0 from the Fed to fund bureau operations for three months in a letter to Fed chairwoman Janet YellenJanet Louise YellenWhat economic recession? Think of this economy as an elderly friend: Old age means coming death On The Money: Rising recession fears pose risk for Trump | Stocks suffer worst losses of 2019 | Trump blames 'clueless' Fed for economic worries MORE. While Mulvaney said the CFPB's expects to spend $145 million in the next quarter, he intends to fund it through the bureau's $177 million emergency reserve account with the Fed's New York branch.

"I have been assured that the funds in the currently in the Bureau Fund are sufficient for the Bureau to carry out its statutory mandates for the next fiscal quarter while striving to be efficient, effective and accountable," Mulvaney wrote.

Mulvaney's empty request is his latest effort to reshape and reign in the CFPB. The agency announced Wednesday that it would allow companies subject to its new payday lending rule to apply for a delay in complying with its first deadline. And Mulvaney announced Thursday that the CFPB would solicit complaints about its practices as he looks to loosen its hold on the financial services industry. I explain here: http://bit.ly/2ETZbBC.


New CFPB director puts target on payday loan rules: The new leaders of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) are taking the most significant step yet toward unwinding rules panned by the finance industry and the GOP.

The CFPB announced this week that it would delay compliance with new regulatory rules for short-term, high-interest loans, commonly known as payday loans. The agency said it is considering how to roll back those rules.

The reassessment is part of acting Director Mick Mulvaney's broader push to rescind the bureau's most aggressive regulations and refocus the agency's work on promoting consumer freedom. I've got more here: http://bit.ly/2ERRCLV.


Jobless claims fall to nearly 45-year low: First-time claims for unemployment benefits fell to a nearly 45-year low last week as the labor market shows further signs of tightening this year.

Claims plummeted to 220,000, a decrease of 41,000 from the previous week's 261,000, the lowest level since Feb. 24, 1973, the Labor Department reported on Thursday.

The latest figures, which were likely lower because of holiday hiring and winter weather, show that employers are holding on to their workers as the pool of skilled people shrinks.

The Federal Reserve's Beige Book released Wednesday said that most areas "cited on-going labor market tightness and challenges finding qualified workers across skills and sectors, which, in some instances, was described as constraining growth."

Several regions reported greater demand for manufacturing and construction labor, the report said. The Hill's Vicki Needham breaks it down: http://bit.ly/2DrqHJD.


Chamber makes case for gas tax increase to fund infrastructure: The U.S. Chamber of Commerce on Thursday made its case for increasing the gas tax as it unveiled a plan to rebuild America's roads, bridges and trains.

Chamber President Tom Donohue called for a 25-cent increase to the gas tax over the course of five years, but said his group would also support a proposal that increased the tax all at once.

"Five cents [per year] over five years, but if we can get it all in the beginning, we'd take it. It's simpler; you do it once," Donohue told reporters. "You begin to accrue and build up a sock of money which you're going to need for these projects."

The Chamber has long supported an increase to the fuel tax, but is renewing its push as Republicans and the White House work on the outlines of an infrastructure package: http://bit.ly/2Dt1U88.


Beijing: Trump admin lacks 'objectivity' in dealing with Chinese businesses: China questioned on Thursday the "objectivity and credibility" of an assessment by the U.S. Trade Representative listing several Chinese companies as "notorious markets."

The Associated Press reported that Gao Feng, a spokesman for the Chinese Commerce Ministry, said the decision to target three Chinese online commerce platforms and six physical bazaars was unfounded.

"We have to question the objectivity and credibility of the relevant U.S. department in issuing its report," Gao said, according to the AP. "The Chinese government has always attached great importance to the protection of intellectual property, the results of which are obvious to all."

The criticism came after the U.S. Trade Representative issued its Notorious Markets list, in which the office accused the companies of harming U.S. businesses and copyright holders: http://bit.ly/2DujOHG.


Major battle over new tax law expected in Ohio Senate race: The new tax law could play a major role in the Ohio Senate race, with the contests potentially shaping up to be a showdown between two congressional tax-writers.

Incumbent Sen. Sherrod BrownSherrod Campbell BrownCritics pounce as Facebook crypto project stumbles Trump administration blocked consumer watchdog from public service loan forgiveness program: report Democrats fear Ohio slipping further away in 2020 MORE (D), who for years has fashioned himself as a populist fighter for the working class, is a member of the Senate Finance Committee and vocally opposed the GOP tax measure signed into law by President Trump last month.

Rep. Jim RenacciJames (Jim) B. RenacciDemocrats fear Ohio slipping further away in 2020 Medicare for All won't deliver what Democrats promise GOP rep: If Mueller had found collusion, 'investigation would have wrapped up very quickly' MORE (R), who switched from the Ohio governor's race to the Senate race last week and may face a difficult primary, is a member of the House Ways and Means Committee who was involved in developing and championing the legislation.
Both candidates believe the new tax law will be to their advantage in the race.

"I think that my state overwhelmingly understands this tax bill is all about helping the richest 1 percent at the expense of everybody else," Brown told reporters last week.

Renacci argued that the new law helps the economy and working families.

"Middle-class Americans are starting to see the benefit of it," he said. "I think what Sherrod Brown did is vote against middle-class Americans." The Hill's Naomi Jagoda breaks it down: http://bit.ly/2DukpZW.