On The Money: House Dems asks Supreme Court to reject challenge to CFPB | New IMF chief warns of 'global slowdown' | CBO estimates federal deficit at $948 billion | NBA looks to shift message on China

On The Money: House Dems asks Supreme Court to reject challenge to CFPB | New IMF chief warns of 'global slowdown' | CBO estimates federal deficit at $948 billion | NBA looks to shift message on China
© 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.

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THE BIG DEAL-- House leaders ask Supreme Court to reject Trump challenge to consumer bureau: The Democratic-led House of Representatives filed a brief late Monday night asking the Supreme Court to reject a challenge to the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau's (CFPB) constitutionality.

  • The House filed a brief Monday opposing a request for the Supreme Court to take up a case from the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals arguing that the structure of the CFPB, a powerful financial regulator, infringes on the president's executive authority.
  • In the case, a law firm, Seila Law, refused to comply with a CFPB request for documents related to an enforcement action. The firm claimed the agency was unconstitutional. But a district court rejected that argument and the appeals court also ruled in favor of the agency against Seila Law.
  • Seila Law has since asked the Supreme Court to take up the case, but the high court did not add it to the docket for its upcoming October term. 

Even so, the House is looking to kill the request after the Trump administration announced last month it would not defend the CFPB's structure before the Supreme Court. I explain why here.

 

The background: CFPB critics argued that by making the bureau's director fireable by the president only "for cause," which is generally considered to be severe incompetence or misconduct, Dodd-Frank illegally restricted the president's control over the executive branch.

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The U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit ruled in 2016 that the CFPB's structure was unconstitutional. But that decision, authored by eventual Supreme Court Justice Brett KavanaughBrett Michael KavanaughOn The Money: Supreme Court takes up challenge to CFPB | Warren's surge brings scrutiny to wealth tax | Senators eye curbs on Trump emergency powers Supreme Court agrees to hear challenge to consumer agency First-generation American launches Senate campaign against Booker MORE, was overturned by the full court in 2018.

 

The House's rebuttal: The House brief asked the Supreme Court to abide by the D.C. Circuit ruling to protect the CFPB, arguing that the president has ample authority to fire the bureau's director if she or he is not enforcing the law.

The brief also noted that because the CFPB is controlled by a single director, the president wields significant power over the agency by choosing who leads it.

 

LEADING THE DAY

New IMF head: Trade disputes contributing to 'synchronized global slowdown' New International Monetary Fund (IMF) Managing Director Kristalina Georgieva cautioned on Tuesday that reports to be released next week will show the lowest global economic growth numbers this decade.

According to The Associated Press, the Bulgarian economist said in her first speech as head of the IMF that 90 percent of world economies will experience a decrease in growth amid what Georgieva described as a "synchronized global slowdown."

Georgieva, who succeeded former IMF leader Christine Lagarde last month, attributed the "slowdown" to increased trade conflicts, namely the ongoing trade war between the United States and China. These conflicts, she said, could lead to a loss of $700 billion in world trade output, or 0.8 percent of the world's gross domestic product.

"Everyone loses in a trade war," Georgieva said in her speech.

 

Federal deficit estimated at $984B, highest in seven years: The federal budget deficit for 2019 is estimated at $984 billion, a hefty 4.7 percent of gross domestic product (GDP) and the highest since 2012, the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) said on Monday.

The difference between federal spending and revenue has only ever exceeded $1 trillion four times, in the period immediately following the global financial crisis.

The deficit, which has grown every year since 2015, is $205 billion higher than it was in 2018, a jump of 26 percent.

The CBO has warned that the nation's debt is on an unsustainable path. Higher levels of debt increase borrowing costs, make it harder for the government to battle economic downturns and increase the share of future spending devoted to paying off interest costs. The Hill's Niv Elis breaks down the data here.

 

McConnell warns NBA to respect free speech: Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellTurkey sanctions face possible wall in GOP Senate Fox's Wallace says 'well-connected' Republican told him there's a 20 percent chance GOP will vote for impeachment White House staggers after tumultuous 48 hours MORE (R-Ky.) on Tuesday warned the NBA not to put its profits over free speech when it comes to the democracy movement in Hong Kong.

"The people of Hong Kong have risked much more than money to defend their freedom of expression, human rights, and autonomy. I hope the @NBA can learn from that courage and not abandon those values for the sake of their bottom line," McConnell tweeted.

McConnell is only the latest lawmaker to criticize the league for attempting to quash Houston Rockets General Manager Daryl Morey's tweet urging support for pro-democracy protesters in Hong Kong. The Hill's Alex Bolton has more on McConnell weighing in on the controversy.

NBA commish shifts message: Earlier Tuesday, NBA Commissioner Adam Silver issued a new statement as the league battled accusations from lawmakers in both parties that it had bowed to pressure from China in expressing regret over an executive's tweet of support for demonstrators in Hong Kong.

Silver said he recognized that the league's initial statement had left people "angered, confused or unclear on who we are or what the NBA stands for," and then insisted it would continue to offer support for free expression by players and executives. At the same time, Silver made it clear the NBA would not be taking sides in the political dispute over civil rights in Hong Kong.

"It is inevitable that people around the world -- including from America and China -- will have different viewpoints over different issues. It is not the role of the NBA to adjudicate those differences," Silver said in the statement. "However, the NBA will not put itself in a position of regulating what players, employees and team owners say or will not say on these issues. We simply could not operate that way."

More from The Hill's Marty Johnson here.

  

GOOD TO KNOW

 

ODDS AND ENDS

  • Disabled advocates scored a victory this week when the U.S. Supreme Court refused to review a ruling allowing a blind plaintiff to sue a retailer under the Americans with Disabilities Act for an inaccessible website.