Overnight Finance

On The Money: Senate passes first 2019 spending bill | Trump hits Harley-Davidson in tariffs fight | Mnuchin rips report of investment restrictions | Justices side with American Express in antitrust case

Happy Monday and welcome to On The Money, your guide to the days economic and financial news from Washington. I’m Niv Elis, attempting to fill Sylvan Lane’s shoes for the day, because it’s important to have life goals (and, ok, he’s on vacation). See something I missed? Let Sylvan know at slane@thehill.com or @SylvanLane, and he’ll think twice about taking another day off. But if you like your newsletter, you can subscribe to it here: http://bit.ly/1NxxW2N.

Write us with tips, suggestions and news: slane@thehill.com, vneedham@thehill.com, njagoda@thehill.com and nelis@thehill.com. Follow us on Twitter: @SylvanLane, @VickofTheHill, @NJagoda and @NivElis.


THE BIG DEAL — Talk of new investment restrictions: President Trump is reportedly planning to block Chinese companies from investing in U.S. tech companies and stop U.S. tech exports to China, according to The Wall Street Journal.

The newspaper reported that the Treasury Department is drafting rules that would prevent companies with a minimum of 25 percent Chinese ownership from buying companies that take part in “industrially significant technology.”


Financial markets didn’t like that news. The Dow Jones Industrial Average dropped over 400 points, before ending the day down 328 points.

Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin called the report “fake news,” but seemed to confirm that new restrictions are being prepared for “all countries that are trying to steal our technology.”

White House Trade Advisor Peter Navarro echoed the sentiment on CNBC.

Read more details from yours truly here.



  • President Trump warned other countries that the U.S. would retaliate if they placed trade barriers and tariffs on U.S. exports. 
  • Sen. Bob Corker (R-Tenn.) said that he thinks there is support building for legislation to check President Trump’s power on implementing tariffs.
  • Despite all that, a majority of U.S. adults said they approve of President Trump’s handling of the economy in a new poll.   
  • Op-ed: Certain trade remedies insulate firms from needed competition.


Trump hits back at Harley-Davidson: Harley-Davidson announced that it will move the production of motorcycles bound for European countries out of the United States, citing rising costs from European Union tariffs on its products on Monday. The company cited that EU tariffs on motorcycles exported from the U.S. rose from 6 percent to 31 percent in recent weeks.

That led the president to fire back.

“Surprised that Harley-Davidson, of all companies, would be the first to wave the White Flag. I fought hard for them and ultimately they will not pay tariffs selling into the E.U., which has hurt us badly on trade, down $151 Billion. Taxes just a Harley excuse – be patient!” Trump tweeted.



  • Washington Post event on tax reform’s six-month anniversary, with Ways and Means Chairman Rep. Kevin Brady (R-Texas) and Council of Economic Advisors Chair Kevin Hassett.
  • Senate Appropriations Subcommittees markup Defense and Labor, Health and Human Services bills.
  • CBO will release its 30-year budget and economic outlook (preview: our debt is exploding and is on track to continue exploding)



Senate passes first 2019 spending bill: The Senate on Monday passed its first funding bill for the 2019 fiscal year as lawmakers try to avoid a high-profile shutdown fight heading toward the fall.

Senators voted 86-5 to approve a “minibus,” which merged funding for energy and water, the legislative branch and military construction and veterans affairs.

The low-drama Senate floor debate marks a stark U-turn from the intense GOP feuding over a mammoth defense policy bill, where Republicans blocked each others’ amendments and sniped at each other during a closed-door policy lunch.

Lawmakers have until the end of September to fund the government and avoid the third shutdown of the year.

But they’re trying to avoid jamming through another omnibus after President Trump in March railed against a similar bill that cleared Congress in a matter of days and sparked heated backlash from conservatives.

Read more from Jordain Carney and me here.


Supreme Court sides with American Express in antitrust case: The Supreme Court on Monday sided with American Express, upholding a provision in its contract that prohibits merchants from persuading shoppers to use credit cards with lower swipe fees.

In a 5-4 ruling, the court held that the company’s anti-steering provisions do not violate federal antitrust laws.

On one side: Ohio and 10 others states — Connecticut, Idaho, Illinois, Iowa, Maryland, Michigan, Montana, Rhode Island, Utah and Vermont — brought the challenge, arguing the company’s rule violates federal antitrust laws by restricting trade.

The states claimed the rules had the actual market effect of raising the price of fees credit card companies charge merchants and that those increased costs have been passed on to the consumer.

On the other side: American Express, however, argued its rules have allowed it to compete in a market where Visa and MasterCard command a combined share of 68 percent of credit card transactions.

The ruling: Justice Clarence Thomas delivered the majority opinion, which Chief Justice John Roberts and Justices Anthony Kennedy, Samuel Alito and Neil Gorsuch joined. Thomas said the court found the challengers’ argument that American Express agreements increase merchant fees unpersuasive.

Lydia Wheeler has more on the case here.


Mulvaney and the CFPB: Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) acting Director Mick Mulvaney is going to bat for his potential successor, and in doing so he’s poised to extend his influence at the watchdog agency.

Mulvaney, who doubles as head of the White House Office of Management and Budget (OMB), has emerged as a key proponent of Kathy Kraninger, President Trump’s pick to be the CFPB’s full-time director, despite his previous reluctance to influence the selection process.

Trump’s decision to nominate Kraninger, an associate director at the OMB, surprised lawmakers and industry advocates who were expecting the president to go with a bigger-name nominee.

As a result, Mulvaney has sought to quell concerns about Kraninger’s credentials to lead the 7-year-old agency. He’s called key Republican senators this week to tout Kraninger’s experience, and he issued a glowing statement in support of her Senate confirmation.

The Hill’s Sylvan Lane has more details here.


GOP scrambles to regain fiscal credibility: Six months after passing a tax bill that is projected to blow a $1.9 trillion hole in the deficit, Republicans on the House Budget Committee are scrambling to regain fiscal credibility with their 2019 spending plan. 

The plan would cut over $8 trillion in spending over the course of a decade, according to estimates from the Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget, including $5.4 trillion in mandatory spending.

Committee Chairman Steve Womack (R-Ark.) called the nation’s debt “the largest looming shadow of doubt” on America’s future.

Republicans, who have traditionally defined themselves as the party of fiscal responsibility, have been playing defense on the issue. They’ve faced accusations from Democrats that they’ve mortgaged America’s future for the sake of the tax cut

“They may be trying to, in some way, insulate themselves from attacks that they’ve blown a hole in the deficit through spending and taxes,” suggested Rep. John Yarmuth (D-Ky.), the ranking member on the committee.

More on the deficits problem here



  • Bloomberg: Former Toys ‘R’ Us CEO is working on the retailer’s reboot.
  • Tech Crunch: Silicon Valley VC Andreessen Horowitz put its first female general partner in charge of a newly unveiled crypto fund.
  • A Senate government funding bill would require details of the Trump administration’s travel ban to be publicly released.
  • WSJ: Automation is hitting fast food chains, but not because they can’t find workers.
  • Op-Ed: Supreme Court ruling on online sales tax sets level playing field, writes American Enterprise Institute scholars Alex Brill and Alan Viard in The Hill
  • Op-Ed: Trump boom ignites small business, writes FreedomWorks President Adam Brandon in The Hill. 


Join us Tuesday, June 26 for “Mergers and Innovation: Measuring Performance and Patient Care,” featuring HHS Deputy Secretary Eric Hargan, Sen. Bill Cassidy (R-La.) and Rep. Gene Green (D-Texas). Topics of discussion include how the landscape of health care delivery in the United States is undergoing a dramatic shift, its implications for health care industry stakeholders and patients and also the role of Congress in ensuring all Americans have access to quality care. RSVP Here.

Tags Bill Cassidy Bob Corker Donald Trump Gene Green John Yarmuth Kevin Brady Mick Mulvaney Steve Womack Steven Mnuchin

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