Overnight Finance: Mulvaney asks Congress to retake power over consumer agency | Backs House in fight over Dodd-Frank rollback | Why Corker thinks tax cuts could be one of his 'worst votes' ever | House panel advances IRS reform bills

Overnight Finance: Mulvaney asks Congress to retake power over consumer agency | Backs House in fight over Dodd-Frank rollback | Why Corker thinks tax cuts could be one of his 'worst votes' ever | House panel advances IRS reform bills
© Greg Nash

Happy Wednesday and welcome back to Overnight Finance, where we're excited to announce our bid for Speaker of the House. 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.

 

THE BIG DEAL: The acting director of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) asked a House committee Wednesday to rein in the agency's power to police the financial sector.

Mick MulvaneyJohn (Mick) Michael MulvaneyAppropriators warn White House against clawing back foreign aid The Hill's Morning Report - How will Trump be received in Dayton and El Paso? Democratic lawmaker criticized for tweeting names of Trump donors MORE, who is also the White House budget director, urged the House Financial Services Committee to impose several new restrictions on the bureau. He said lawmakers need to take control of the agency's funding, make his successors fireable at will by the president and install an inspector general, among other things.

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"It's not accountable to you. It's not accountable to the public. It's not accountable to anybody but itself," Mulvaney said of the CFPB, telling lawmakers to "take back authority as the legislature of the country."

Republicans showered praise on Mulvaney's efforts to pull back the CFPB, an agency they've long accused of violating the law and abusing its powers to wage a crusade against financial institutions.

Democrats who long resisted GOP efforts to change the CFPB ripped Mulvaney for his efforts to ease off its historically aggressive enforcement. Some of them even refused to recognize him as the bureau's acting chief. I'll take you inside the contentious hearing right here.


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What comes next: Mulvaney will appear before the Senate Banking Committee on Thursday. Sen. Elizabeth WarrenElizabeth Ann WarrenAre Democrats turning Trump-like? Manufacturing shrinks, raising questions for Trump Volatile presidential polls spark new round of anxieties MORE (D-Mass.), the architect of the CFPB who has emerged as the most vocal critic of Mulvaney, will have a chance to grill Mulvaney.

 

LEADING THE DAY

Mulvaney backs Hensarling in power struggle over Dodd-Frank rollback: Mulvaney also endorsed House Republican efforts to seek changes to a bipartisan bill rolling back strict banking rules passed after the 2008 financial crisis.

Mulvaney, who is also the acting director of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB), praised the Senate for passing a bill to loosen parts of the Dodd-Frank Act. But he urged senators to add several measures produced by the House to the bill amid a power struggle between the chambers.

"I think that is the best formula for arriving to the best result," said Mulvaney, testifying before the House Financial Services Committee. "Why can't we add to the Senate bill?"

The Senate last month passed a bipartisan bill to exempt dozens of banks from some of the strictest parts of Dodd-Frank. The measure from Senate Banking Committee Chairman Mike CrapoMichael (Mike) Dean CrapoA US-UK free trade agreement can hold the Kremlin to account Oversight Republicans demand answers on Capital One data breach On The Money: Fed cuts rates for first time since financial crisis | Trump rips Fed after chief casts doubt on future cuts | Stocks slide | Senate kicks budget vote amid scramble for GOP support MORE (R-Idaho) passed 67-31 and is the most sweeping change to the 2010 law to receive support from Democrats.

But Speaker Paul RyanPaul Davis RyanEmbattled Juul seeks allies in Washington Ex-Parkland students criticize Kellyanne Conway Latina leaders: 'It's a women's world more than anything' MORE (R-Wis.) vowed to freeze the bill until senators backing the measure agree to include bills produced by the Financial Services panel that earned wide bipartisan support in the House.

 

Why this matters: Mulvaney's comments are the most direct endorsement of Hensarling's efforts to amend the Senate bill from a White House official. The White House has previously said President TrumpDonald John TrumpTrump watching 'very closely' as Portland braces for dueling protests WaPo calls Trump admin 'another threat' to endangered species Are Democrats turning Trump-like? MORE would sign the bill, and called on lawmakers to strike a deal as soon as possible.

Trump himself said last week that a bill to loosen Dodd-Frank "should be done fairly quickly," but didn't weigh in on the talks between the Senate and House.

Mulvaney took a different tone.

"It makes complete sense to continue that debate," Mulvaney said, calling the Senate bill "a great fallback" that should target "as much of Dodd-Frank, especially the parts pertaining to the [CFPB], as you possibly can."

 

Corker fears long run impact of tax cuts: Retiring Tennessee Sen. Bob CorkerRobert (Bob) Phillips CorkerTrump announces, endorses ambassador to Japan's Tennessee Senate bid Meet the key Senate player in GOP fight over Saudi Arabia Trump says he's 'very happy' some GOP senators have 'gone on to greener pastures' MORE (R) said his vote on the GOP tax law could be one of the worst of his career if estimates that it will add $1.9 trillion to deficits over a decade prove correct.

"If it ends up costing what has been laid out here, it could well be one of the worst votes I've made," he said at a Senate Budget Committee hearing on the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) estimate that produced the figure.

"I hope that is not the case, I hope there's other data to assist, whether it's jobs or growth or whatever," Corker added. The Hill's Niv Elis tells us why.

 

House panel approves bipartisan bills aimed at improving the IRS: The House Ways and Means Committee on Wednesday approved a package of bipartisan bills aimed at reforming the IRS, days before the April 17 tax filing deadline.

The bills, which passed the committee by voice vote, make changes aimed at improving the IRS's taxpayer services, cybersecurity, enforcement and appeals.

The Ways and Means Committee has been working on efforts to modernize the IRS for the past year and a half, and its oversight subcommittee has held several hearings on the topic. Republicans had sought to overhaul the IRS following the passage of their tax bill. The Hill's Naomi Jagoda breaks them down. 

MARKET CHECK: Stocks fell on the day with the Dow Jones Industrial Average dropping 218 points (0.9 percent), while the Nasdaq and S&P 500 fell 0.36 percent and 0.55 percent each.

 

GOOD TO KNOW 

  • The Trump administration is seeking to limit backlash to its trade policies with a relief package for farmers affected by the U.S. tariff fight with China, according to The Wall Street Journal.
  • Federal Reserve officials at their March meeting saw strong economic growth, rising inflation and more reasons to hike interest rates. (CNBC).
  • Economists say Trump's tariffs are the wrong way to address a valid issue. (New York Times).
  • The Wall Street Journal explores how sanctions have soured investors on Russian markets.
  • Bloomberg explains how Trump's tweets made Russia's top export more valuable than ever.

 

ODDS AND ENDS

  • A Netflix shareholder is reportedly suing the company's board of directors, accusing them of rigging the compensation process in the past so that executives would always receive bonuses.
  • Bernie Madoff's former beach house is on the market with an asking price of $21 million.