On The Money: Cain withdraws from Fed consideration | Says he didn't want 'pay cut' | Trump sues to block subpoena for financial records | Dems plot next move in Trump tax-return battle

On The Money: Cain withdraws from Fed consideration | Says he didn't want 'pay cut' | Trump sues to block subpoena for financial records | Dems plot next move in Trump tax-return battle
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Happy Monday and welcome back to On The Money, where we're wondering about the financial cost of preparing for the Battle of Winterfell. 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--Cain withdraws from Fed consideration: President TrumpDonald John TrumpDavid Axelrod after Ginsburg cancer treatment: Supreme Court vacancy could 'tear this country apart' EU says it will 'respond in kind' if US slaps tariffs on France Ginsburg again leaves Supreme Court with an uncertain future MORE said Monday that former Republican presidential candidate Herman CainHerman CainPresident Trump is right: Mainstream media 'do a very good job' Trump says media is part of vetting his nominees: 'We save a lot of money that way' Trump withdraws Ratcliffe as Intelligence pick MORE has withdrawn from consideration to be nominated to the Federal Reserve Board amid GOP senators' intense opposition.

"My friend Herman Cain, a truly wonderful man, has asked me not to nominate him for a seat on the Federal Reserve Board. I will respect his wishes. Herman is a great American who truly loves our Country!" Trump tweeted.

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GOP critics of Cain argued he was unfit to serve on the Fed board, due to either past misconduct allegations or his outspoken support for Trump. The Hill's Jordan Fabian and I remind you how we got here.

 

The timeline:

  • Trump said on April 4 he had chosen Cain for a Fed board seat, but the president never formally nominated him to the post.
  • Less than a week later, Trump called Cain a "wonderful man" but said the former Godfather's Pizza CEO "will make that determination" whether to move forward with the process after sexual misconduct accusations resurfaced.
  • GOP senators were also concerned about Cain's close ties to Trump, including his leadership of a super PAC supporting the president's reelection.

 

The final straw:

 

Cain denied Monday that he withdrew because of political pressure, but rather because of the money and influence he would lose by working for the central bank. He wrote Monday that while he "did like the idea of serving on the Fed," he did not want to take "a pay cut" because of "ethical restrictions."

  • "I would have to let go of most of my business interests. I could not serve on any boards. I could not do any paid speeches. I could not advocate on behalf of capitalism, host my radio show or make appearances on Fox Business," he wrote.
  • "Without getting too specific about how big a pay cut this would be, let's just say I'm pretty confident that if your boss told you to take a similar pay cut, you'd tell him where to go," he added.
  • Cain also wondered if he would "be giving up too much influence" through his media commentary "to get a little bit of policy impact."

 

Schumer to Republicans: Now do Moore: Senate Minority Leader Charles SchumerCharles (Chuck) Ellis SchumerJewish Democratic congresswoman and veteran blasts Trump's 'disloyalty' comments Schumer says Trump encouraging anti-Semites Saagar Enjeti: Biden's latest blunder; Krystal Ball: Did Schumer blow our chance to beat McConnell? MORE (D-N.Y.) on Monday said Senate Republicans should derail Stephen MooreStephen MoorePresident Trump is right: Mainstream media 'do a very good job' Immigrants should not be on welfare Trumponomics is no flop MORE's potential nomination to the Federal Reserve Board after successfully quashing Herman Cain's bid for the central bank.

In a Monday statement, Schumer called on Republicans to block Moore's potential appointment to the Fed, calling him "equally unqualified, and perhaps more political" than Cain.

  • "Herman Cain was woefully unqualified to be on the Federal Reserve and his failure to garner adequate support should not be used as a pathway by Senate Republicans to approve Stephen Moore," Schumer said.
  • "Mr. Cain clearly saw the writing on the wall and withdrew his name from consideration; hopefully Senate Republicans will again voice their deep concerns and force Mr. Moore to do the same," Schumer added.

Moore is seen as a slightly more viable candidate for the Fed given his extensive ties to Washington Republicans. An economist and commentator, Moore spent several decades with right-leaning groups advocating for conservative economic proposals and political candidates.

But Moore, an opinion contributor for The Hill, has also faced intense criticism across the political spectrum for his close ties to Trump, controversial statements and what detractors call a series of dubious and inconsistent economic views.

Moore's lengthy record of commentary has also posed obstacles to his confirmation. In a March 2002 column for National Review unearthed Monday by CNN's KFile, he suggested that women should have no role whatsoever in men's college basketball.

"Here's the rule change I propose: No more women refs, no women announcers, no women beer venders, no women anything," Moore wrote.

 

Schumer gets at an interesting question here: Does Herman Cain's Fed bid help or hurt Stephen Moore's? So let's break it down.

  • Some say GOP senators will be too afraid to buck Trump on another Fed nominee after rejecting Cain. That's not super compelling, since Republicans have already rejected two of Trump's previous Fed nominees and Senate Republicans are getting annoyed with ambush nominations.
  • Another idea is that Cain makes Moore look better by comparison. That might be true, but Cain is off the table now and we're getting a whole lot of stories like this that don't really help Moore's case.
  • Five of the seven Fed board seats are filled, so Republicans are also not in a huge rush to fill the others. Most of the Fed board members are also more in line ideologically with the Senate GOP than Trump, who wants to cut rates and bring back quantitative easing.
  • All in all, it's not clear if Cain is going to make or break Moore, or that there's a compelling reason why he would or wouldn't. But stay tuned...

 

LEADING THE DAY

Dems digging into Trump finances post-Mueller: Democrats are pressing forward with their investigations into President Trump's personal finances well beyond the boundaries of the special counsel probe.

Robert MuellerRobert (Bob) Swan MuellerMueller report fades from political conversation Trump calls for probe of Obama book deal Democrats express private disappointment with Mueller testimony MORE's investigation focused on questions of collusion in the 2016 election and potential obstruction of justice.

But Democratic Reps. Maxine WatersMaxine Moore WatersNadler asks other House chairs to provide records that would help panel in making impeachment decision Bank watchdogs approve rule to loosen ban on risky Wall Street trades F-bombs away: Why lawmakers are cursing now more than ever MORE and Adam SchiffAdam Bennett SchiffHillicon Valley: YouTube disables 200+ accounts over Hong Kong misinformation | Lawmakers sound alarm over Chinese influence efforts | DHS cyber agency details priorities | State AGs get tough on robocalls | DOJ busts online scammers Nadler asks other House chairs to provide records that would help panel in making impeachment decision YouTube disables over 200 accounts amid protests in Hong Kong MORE of California, who chair the House Financial Services and Intelligence committees, respectively, are taking a deeper look at Trump's business empire, including potential dealings with Russian nationals, for any evidence of financial crimes.

Trump's attorneys have sought to prevent House Democratic investigators from obtaining his financial records. And Republican lawmakers have dismissed the probe as a partisan fishing expedition to undermine the president.

But Democrats insist the investigation into Trump's financial history is a crucial component of their oversight over the financial sector, raising concerns about money laundering by Russian nationals. I explain here.

  • Waters and Schiff launched their joint investigation with a primary focus on the broader issue of Russian money laundering, an area of bipartisan interest. But the probe is inextricably linked to Democratic claims of conspiracy between the Trump campaign and Russia to influence the 2016 election.
  • There is bipartisan support in the House for an investigation into dirty money flowing through the U.S. financial system from Russia. But Democrats and Republicans are deeply divided over investigations into Trump's personal and business financial records, even if it relates to Russian money laundering.
  • Waters may also explore Trump's finances beyond any business connections to Russia, focusing on allegations of bank, tax and insurance fraud.

 

READ MORE... How Trump is fighting back: President Trump and his private business are suing House Oversight and Reform Committee Chairman Elijah CummingsElijah Eugene CummingsGOP Oversight report says Interior head met with group tied to former clients Nadler asks other House chairs to provide records that would help panel in making impeachment decision Nikki Haley voices 'complete support' for Pence MORE (D-Md.) to try to block a subpoena requesting financial records from the president's accountant.

The lawsuit, which was filed Monday, asks a federal court in Washington, D.C., to prevent Cummings from obtaining records from Mazars USA, an accounting firm used by the president and his businesses, arguing congressional Democrats are abusing their subpoena power.

"Democrats are using their new control of congressional committees to investigate every aspect of President Trump's personal finances, businesses, and even his family," the suit reads. "Instead of working with the president to pass bipartisan legislation that would actually benefit Americans, House Democrats are singularly obsessed with finding something they can use to damage the President politically."

 

Dems plot next move in Trump tax-return battle: The Trump administration this week is expected to miss a second deadline for providing President Trump's tax returns, setting up an almost certain legal battle.

House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Richard NealRichard Edmund NealDemocrats push judge for quick action on Trump tax returns lawsuit Trump argues NY tax return case should take place in DC NY files motion to keep Trump tax returns lawsuit out of DC court MORE (D-Mass.) gave the IRS until Tuesday at 5 p.m. to turn over six years of Trump's tax filings and said he'd consider a failure to comply to be a denial of the request. Neal initially set a deadline of April 10 in an April 3 letter to the IRS, but the administration missed that deadline.

Some Democrats say their next move will likely involve issuing a subpoena for the documents. Administration officials have said the president will not turn over his returns, meaning a subpoena standoff would shift the battleground into the courts. The Hill's Naomi Jagoda tells us what to expect.

 

GOOD TO KNOW

 

ODDS AND ENDS

  • K Street kicked off the first quarter of 2019 with firms seeing modest increases in revenue, showing the so-called Trump effect going strong.
  • Amazon is hiring a lobbyist to help with policy issues related to buying and selling alcohol, according to a post on the company's jobs website.