On The Money: Fed pick Moore says he will drop out if he becomes a 'political problem' | Trump vows to fight 'all the subpoenas' | Deutsche Bank reportedly turning Trump records over to NY officials | Average tax refund down 2 percent

On The Money: Fed pick Moore says he will drop out if he becomes a 'political problem' | Trump vows to fight 'all the subpoenas' | Deutsche Bank reportedly turning Trump records over to NY officials | Average tax refund down 2 percent
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Happy Wednesday and welcome back to On The Money, where we're puzzled by the John Cornyn-Patton Oswalt feud. I'm Sylvan Lane, and here's your nightly guide to everything affecting your bills, bank account and bottom line.

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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--Stephen Moore says he'll drop out of consideration if he becomes a liability.

Stephen Moore, 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's controversial pick for the Federal Reserve Board, said Wednesday that he is "totally committed" to seeing the process through, but would bow out if he became a political liability to Republicans.

In a Thursday interview with The Wall Street Journal, the conservative economist and commentator said he would stick with the vetting process for a formal nomination unless it could damage the GOP's standing in the 2020 election.

What Moore said: "I'm totally committed to it as long as the White House is totally committed to it," Moore told the Journal, ceding that he would drop out, "if something I said or something I've done becomes a political problem."

"I don't want to be a liability," Moore added. "Why should we risk a Senate seat for a Federal Reserve board person, you know? I mean that just doesn't make any sense."

Why Moore is so controversial: Moore has been a figure in Washington conservative circles for decades, but several Republican senators have expressed concerns about his close ties to Trump, who has repeatedly and harshly criticized the Fed for almost a year.

Moore has also come under scrutiny for old columns he authored opposing the presence of women in sports or sportscasting, which he said Wednesday that he regretted.

 

LEADING THE DAY 

Trump says he'll fight 'all the subpoenas': President Trump said Wednesday that he intends to fight "all the subpoenas" issued by the House, setting up a drawn-out battle between the White House and congressional Democrats.

"We're fighting all the subpoenas," Trump told reporters as he left the White House for a conference in Atlanta on opioid abuse.

"We have been, I have been the most transparent president and administration in the history of our country by far," Trump said.

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The president asserted that Democrats are investigating his administration and issuing subpoenas for political reasons, suggesting it would help the party in the 2020 election.

"Look, these aren't impartial people," he said. "The Democrats are trying to win 2020. They're not going to win with the people that I see, and they're not going to win against me."

The Hill's Brett Samuels has more here.

 

Most of these subpoenas are related to issues raised in the Mueller report or other aspects of Trump's tenure. But Trump and his legal team are also fighting subpoenas related to probes of the president's finances led by the House Financial Services, Oversight and Intelligence committees.

President Trump and his private business are also 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.

But it doesn't appear that Trump is trying to prevent Rep. 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 (D-Calif.), chairwoman of the House Financial Services Committee, from obtaining financial records she requested from Deutsche Bank.

 

And if you want an On The Money angle to the impeachment talk (we're very on brand here): Trump on Tuesday lamented that some Democrats are discussing the prospect of impeachment proceedings on the same day that the stock market closed at record highs, suggesting he should be given more credit.

"You mean the Stock Market hit an all-time record high today and they're actually talking impeachment!?" Trump tweeted. "Will I ever be given credit for anything by the Fake News Media or Radical Liberal Dems? NO COLLUSION!"

For what it's worth: The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 228.9 percent during the presidency of Bill ClintonWilliam (Bill) Jefferson ClintonTrump on his 'chosen one' remark: 'It was sarcasm' Kentucky basketball coach praises Obama after golf round: 'He is a really serious golfer' Democratic governors fizzle in presidential race MORE, who was impeached.

 

Deutsche Bank reportedly handing over Trump records: Deutsche Bank has reportedly started turning over President Trump's financial documents to the New York state attorney general's office, according to reports.

CNN and AFP each reported the development Wednesday, citing anonymous sources. 

The attorney general's office earlier this year subpoenaed the bank for records on loans made to Trump for several of his business projects.

CNN reported that Deutsche Bank is turning over documents related to the Trump International Hotel in Washington, D.C., the Trump International Hotel and Tower in Chicago, the Trump National Doral Miami resort and Trump's unsuccessful attempts to buy the NFL's Buffalo Bills. The AFP report did not specify which documents the bank was beginning to give officials.

What the bank is saying: A spokesperson for Deutsche Bank told AFP that the bank is cooperating with the investigation but didn't comment further.

"We remain committed to cooperating with authorized investigations," the spokesperson said.

Deutsche Bank declined comment to The Hill. 

Why Deutsche is in the spotlight: The Times has previously reported that the bank issued more than $2 billion in loans to Trump over the years, including during periods when his businesses struggled to get loans from other financial institutions.

The Hill's Michael Burke has more here.

 

Average tax refund down 2 percent in first year of Trump tax law:

The average refund amount through the end of the first tax-filing season under President Trump's tax law was down 2 percent, but more taxpayers have received refunds so far this year, according to data the IRS released Wednesday.

The numbers: The average refund through April 19 was $2,725, compared to an average refund of $2,780 through April 20, 2018. The percentage of processed tax returns receiving refunds was 73.2 percent, about the same as the percentage of 73.1 percent through a similar period last year.

Why it matters: Data about tax returns and tax refunds has received increased attention this year, because it's the first time people are filing tax returns that reflect Trump's 2017 tax-cut law. It's also the first time people are filing tax returns that reflect changes to withholding from people's paychecks made in light of new tax law.

A note of caution: Tax preparers said that changes in refund sizes depended on individuals' personal situations, so some taxpayers may have received bigger refunds this year while others who typically receive refunds may have had a balance due to the IRS. The Hill's Naomi Jagoda has more on the numbers and what they mean.

 

Lighthizer, Mnuchin to travel to China for latest round of trade talks: The long journey toward a China trade deal isn't over yet.

United States Trade Representative Robert LighthizerRobert (Bob) Emmet LighthizerOn The Money: Economy adds 164K jobs in July | Trump signs two-year budget deal, but border showdown looms | US, EU strike deal on beef exports Chinese, US negotiators fine-tuning details of trade agreement: report The Trump economy keeps roaring ahead MORE and Treasury Secretary Steven MnuchinSteven Terner MnuchinThe Hill's Morning Report: How will Trump be received at G-7? White House won't move forward with billions in foreign aid cuts Trump says he'll decide on foreign aid cuts within a week MORE will go to Beijing for trade talks beginning April 30, the White House announced Tuesday.

Chinese Vice Premier Liu He will head the negotiations for China and then bring a delegation to Washington for additional talks beginning May 8, the White House said in a statement.

The negotiations will cover trade topics including intellectual property, forced technology transfer, non-tariff barriers, agriculture, services, purchases and enforcement.

Washington and Beijing have engaged in a series of tit-for-tat trade measures against each other over the past year, with President Trump frequently railing against Beijing's trade practices and intellectual property theft, among other things.

Mnuchin said earlier this month that the two countries had agreed on a mechanism for enforcing the trade deal. Trump has also said they are moving closer to a deal.

"If we have a deal there'll be a summit," he said earlier this month.

 

READ MORE ON THE TRADE WAR: President Trump's tariff on imported washing machines helped create 1,800 jobs but cost American consumers $815,000 for each one of those jobs, according to a University of Chicago and Federal Reserve study.

 

Justices back business in case over class-action lawsuits: The Supreme Court on Wednesday ruled on behalf of a business seeking to stop a class-action lawsuit brought forward by an employee, handing a win to companies that want to block some types of litigation.

In a 5-4 ruling divided along ideological lines, Chief Justice John Roberts wrote that under the Federal Arbitration Act, an "ambiguous" arbitration agreement between an employee and their employer does not mean that that both parties agreed to any class arbitration.

How the court broke down: Roberts was joined in the decision by conservative Justices Neil Gorsuch, Samuel Alito, Brett KavanaughBrett Michael KavanaughTrump wishes Ginsburg well after radiation treatment for tumor Ginsburg completes radiation treatment for cancerous tumor Mississippi professor, who went to Georgetown Prep with Brett Kavanaugh, sues HuffPost MORE and Clarence Thomas, who also wrote his own concurring opinion.

However, each of the court's four liberal justices wrote their own dissenting opinions opposing the ruling, signaling a deep divide on the court when it comes to arbitration cases.

The details: The case centered around any employee named Frank Varela, who filed a class-action lawsuit against his employer, Lamps Plus, after a hacker used a spear-phishing attempt to get another employee to inadvertently reveal the tax information of about 1,300 staffers.

Varela had signed an arbitration agreement with the company, but filed state and federal lawsuits against Lamps Plus. The business sought to dismiss the lawsuits, pushing for individual legal action instead.

The Hill's Jacqueline Thomsen has more on the ruling here.

 

Poll: Just less than half of voters say Congress should focus on getting Trump's tax returns: About half of registered voters say Congress should prioritize obtaining President Trump's tax returns, according to a new Morning Consult/Politico poll.

Forty-nine percent of respondents in the survey conducted Friday through Sunday said forcing Trump to release his returns should be a top priority or an important but lower priority, while 39 percent said that doing so should not be too important of a priority or shouldn't be done at all.

Respondents were divided along party lines: 60 percent of Democrats said it should be a top priority, while only 8 percent of Republicans agreed.

The poll comes after 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.) on April 3 formally requested six years of Trump's personal and business tax returns from the IRS. The Treasury Department, which oversees the IRS, on Tuesday missed Neal's second deadline for the returns, with Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin saying the department is expected to decide whether to comply with the request by May 6.

 

GOOD TO KNOW

 

ODDS AND ENDS

  • Amazon employees charged with auditing Alexa users' commands can access customer location data and home addresses, according to Bloomberg.
  • Op-Ed: Douglas Carr, an associate fellow at the R Street Institute, argues why "the Fed must resolve its many policy contradictions this year."