On The Money: Conservatives rally behind Moore for Fed | White House interviewing other candidates | Trump, Dems spar on Tax Day | Budget watchdogs bemoan 'debt denialism'

On The Money: Conservatives rally behind Moore for Fed | White House interviewing other candidates | Trump, Dems spar on Tax Day | Budget watchdogs bemoan 'debt denialism'
© Greg Nash

Happy Tuesday 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, njagoda@thehill.com and nelis@thehill.com. Follow us on Twitter: @SylvanLane, @NJagoda and @NivElis.

 

THE BIG DEAL-- Conservatives urge Trump to stick with Moore for Fed: Conservatives are rallying around economist Stephen Moore as President TrumpDonald John TrumpTrump cites tax cuts over judges as having biggest impact of his presidency Trump cites tax cuts over judges as having biggest impact of his presidency Ocasio-Cortez claps back at Trump after he cites her in tweet rejecting impeachment MORE's controversial pick for the Federal Reserve Board faces a tough fight ahead.

Moore's allies in conservative circles are urging the president and GOP Senate to stand by the controversial potential nominee, who is facing criticism from across the political spectrum and new questions about the White House's support.

ADVERTISEMENT

"Steve's view of the world is something that's going to be brand new for the Fed and they need to hear it," Arthur Laffer, a prominent conservative economist close to Moore, said in a phone interview. Laffer was among the Moore supporters who signed the letter.

But their efforts to build momentum for Moore, who has not been formally nominated and is still being vetted, faced fresh uncertainty on Tuesday. I explain why here.

 

White House mulling replacements: Larry KudlowLawrence (Larry) Alan KudlowMORE, director of the White House Council of Economic Advisers, told reporters that officials are interviewing other candidates to potentially replace Moore and Herman CainHerman Cain'Landslide' for Biden? A look at 40 years of inaccurate presidential polls Another VPOTUS tries for POTUS: What does history tell us? Restaurant association president announces retirement MORE, another nominee to the Fed board, as the president's picks.

"We're talking to a number of candidates. We always do," Kudlow said. "Stephen MooreStephen MooreTime to capitalize on rare earth abundance in the United States Time to capitalize on rare earth abundance in the United States Trump to award Medal of Freedom to economist Arthur Laffer MORE is in the process. We support him. We support Herman Cain."

"We'll just let things play out in the vetting," Kudlow added.

 

But Moore's supporters are urging the administration to stick by their pick:

  • "I just hope against hope that there's not an attempt to replace him," said Laffer.
  • "He's got a long history of being a small-government Republican," said J.W. Verret, a law professor at George Mason University. "The fact that he's done some thinking punditry shouldn't be held against him."

 

The background:

  • Trump floated nominating Moore and Cain to the central bank last month, sparking a firestorm of criticism. Cain, who ran for president in 2012, reportedly is considering withdrawing his name after GOP senators made it clear he lacked the votes for confirmation.
  • Those who support Moore say his unapologetic advocacy for conservative ideals would add a fresh perspective to the Fed. They also argue that he would find a way to work with the rest of his central bank colleagues despite his often-brash criticism of its current leadership.
  • But critics of Moore have seized on his decades of partisan and often controversial commentary. His detractors say Moore's harsh attacks on Fed officials, close ties to Trump and support for contentious economic ideas make him unfit for the central bank.

 

LEADING THE DAY

GOP senators divided on Trump trade pushback: Senate Republicans are negotiating among themselves over how to respond to President Trump's trade agenda as they brace for new tariffs on the European Union and a trade deal with China that some fear could leave American farmers worse off.

There are divisions over whether to send a stern message to the White House with a tough bill that's likely to get vetoed -- or a more modest proposal that could actually get Trump's signature and become law.

It was a dilemma that GOP leaders eschewed altogether in the run-up to the 2018 midterm elections, deciding not to advance legislation curbing Trump's power to impose tariffs for fear an intraparty fight could hurt voter turnout.

This year, however, there is strong support from influential members of the Senate GOP for reining in Trump's tariff power but disagreement over exactly how to proceed, putting Majority Leader Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellGOP nervous that border wall fight could prompt year-end shutdown GOP nervous that border wall fight could prompt year-end shutdown Jon Stewart slams McConnell over 9/11 victim fund MORE (R-Ky.) in a bind. The Hill's Alexander Bolton tells us why.

 

The dynamic:

 

The proposals:

  • Portman has legislation that would require the Department of Defense, instead of the Department of Commerce, to justify the national security concerns invoked to impose new tariffs under Section 232 of the 1962 Trade Expansion Act. It would empower Congress to block them by passing a resolution of disapproval, expanding the check provided in the original trade law, which only applied to action on oil imports.
  • Toomey's bill is tougher. It would give Congress 60 days to approve any proposed tariffs under Section 232. If Congress fails to pass an approval resolution within that period, the president's proposed tariffs would have no effect. Motions to proceed to those approval resolutions would be privileged in both chambers and could not be filibustered. They would be automatically discharged out of committee after 10 days.

 

Dems, Trump harden 2020 battle lines on Tax Day: Republicans and Democrats on Monday used Tax Day to drive home their arguments about President Trump's 2017 law, as millions more Americans are poised to soon find out whether they personally benefited from the tax overhaul.

Trump and Republicans spent the day praising their tax-code rewrite and linked it to growth in the economy and wages.

Democrats, meanwhile, argued that the law has been more beneficial for corporations than for American workers. They highlighted their own tax proposals and pressed the IRS to comply with a formal request from House Democrats for six years of Trump's tax returns. The Hill's Naomi Jagoda has more here.

 

GOOD TO KNOW

 

ODDS AND ENDS

  • Members of the progressive Tax March group protested outside the IRS building with an inflatable Trump chicken in Washington, D.C., on Monday to demand President Trump release his tax returns.
  • The White House is rejecting a request from top House Democrats for information that would shed light on whether President Trump tried to sway the Justice Department into opposing the AT&T-Time Warner merger.