On The Money: Waters will soon wield gavel in feud with White House | McHenry announces bid for Financial Services ranking member | Fed keeps rates steady in November

On The Money: Waters will soon wield gavel in feud with White House | McHenry announces bid for Financial Services ranking member | Fed keeps rates steady in November

Happy Thursday and welcome back to On The Money. 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.

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--Maxine WatersMaxine Moore WatersMarcia Fudge under spotlight as Pelosi Speaker fight heats up On The Money: Senior GOP senator warns Trump against shutdown | Treasury sanctions 17 Saudis over Khashoggi killing | HQ2 deal brings new scrutiny on Amazon | Senate confirms Bowman to Fed board Pelosi allies rage over tactics of opponents MORE will soon wield gavel in feud with White House: The public feud between Rep. Maxine Waters and President TrumpDonald John TrumpAvenatti ‘still considering’ presidential run despite domestic violence arrest Mulvaney positioning himself to be Commerce Secretary: report Kasich: Wouldn’t want presidential run to ‘diminish my voice’ MORE is poised to reach new heights when the California Democrat is granted subpoena power as head of a powerful congressional committee overseeing the financial sector.

Waters, a fierce critic of both the president and the banking industry, is in line to wield the gavel on the House Financial Services Committee, giving her the authority to launch investigations into Trump's bank transactions.

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Industry representatives are bracing for heated hearings and rebukes from Waters, who has proposed breaking up big banks and major penalties for scandal-ridden Wells Fargo. They're also aware that politics will infuse much of the committee's agenda.

"The ball's going to be in her court," said Richard Hunt, president and CEO of the Consumer Bankers Association. "We're not going to undermine the reputational risk in front of us." I've got more on Waters' rise right here.

 

The breakdown:

  • Waters's dueling role as the Democratic lead on financial policy and one of Trump's most effective foils could dovetail as she takes control of the committee in January.
  • Waters said she's prioritizing efforts to expand affordable housing, undo the Trump administration's weakening of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, snuff out predatory financial products and bolster federal shelter support for struggling Americans.
  • But she is also expected to launch probes into Trump's personal finances to look for possible connections with Russian nationals. As chairman, she'd be legally authorized to subpoena documents from the Treasury Department and Deutsche Bank that could illuminate those ties.

 

The feud:

 

LEADING THE DAY

McHenry announces bid for Financial Services ranking member: Rep. Patrick McHenryPatrick Timothy McHenryHouse Republicans set to elect similar team of leaders despite midterm thumping On The Money: Dems mark Trump tax returns as key part of agenda | Waters defends planned probe of Trump finances after GOP backlash | Reports: Trump mulls replacing Commerce chief Ross by end of year Waters defends planned probe of Trump finances after GOP backlash MORE (R-N.C.) on Thursday announced he is running to be the top Republican on the House Financial Services Committee in the next Congress.

McHenry, the Financial Services panel's current vice chairman, said Thursday he would run to be the committee's ranking Republican in 2019. The congressman said he would be "continuing my conversations with my House Republican colleagues as I make the case for why I'm the best candidate to lead our committee going forward."

McHenry touted a record of working "with both Republicans and Democrats to increase access to capital for American small businesses and families." I've got more on McHenry's almost-certain ascension right here.

 

The background:

 

What it means for 2019:

  • McHenry is poised to serve as the Republican foil to Rep. Maxine Waters (D-Calif.). McHenry warned that he will "fight back against any efforts by Democrats to use this committee to roll back our successes from the last two years or use the committee as the launch pad for endless, partisan investigations."

 

Fed keeps rates steady in November: The Federal Reserve on Thursday announced it would hold interest rates steady amid stable inflation and cooling business investment.

The central bank voted unanimously to keep the baseline federal funds rate at a 2-2.25 percent target range in it's second to last meeting of 2018. Analysts and traders expected the Fed to hold off on a November rate hike after raising rates in March, June and September.

The Fed's decision comes as the economy appears to be moving past its peak. The U.S. added a staggering 250,000 jobs in October and the economy grew at a strong 3.5 percent clip in the third quarter, beating expectations. But lagging business investment, higher household debt levels and declining exports point to an impending, if minor, slowdown.

"Job gains have been strong, on average, in recent months, and the unemployment rate has declined," said the Fed in its' Thursday statement. "Household spending has continued to grow strongly, while growth of business fixed investment has moderated from its rapid pace earlier in the year." I explain the decision here.

 

GOOD TO KNOW

  • A new lawsuit claims that Wells Fargo executives were warned that the bank's auto insurance program was harming customers four years before it was shut down, according to CNN.
  • Corporations and business groups spent hundreds of millions in this week's midterm elections to defeat ballot measures that would have harmed their bottom lines.
  • The next deadline for raising the debt ceiling is expected in mid-summer 2019, posing a federal spending challenge for the new House Democratic majority.
  • Incomes for top earners grew at three times the rate of other households over a 36-year period, according to a new report from the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office.
  • A major overhaul of the federal budgeting process appears to be off the table, as a special committee on reform prepares to instead advance a scaled-back version of the proposal.
  • Tesla's board on Thursday named the chief financial officer of Australia's largest telecommunications company as its new chair, replacing Elon Musk as part of a settlement with the Securities and Exchanges Commission (SEC).
  • Colorado passed a proposition Tuesday to cap the annual interest rate on payday loans at 36 percent and eliminate other charges and fees, according to The Coloradoan.
  • Fixed-income traders are telling the Federal Reserve that it might end up making a big policy mistake, according to Bloomberg.

 

ODDS AND ENDS

  • U.S. businesses have more faith in small firms and large employers than state government, individual community members and federal government when it comes to who can "provide the financing needed to help their communities thrive," according to a new survey from Prudential Financial.
  • A coalition of workers at major technology companies criticized Google CEO Sundar Pichai's announcement about new workplace rules, saying they exclude contract workers and don't provide a seat at the board. Google is ending forced arbitration for sexual harassment cases after protests from the company's wokforce.