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On The Money: Senate GOP faces post-Trump spending brawl | Senate confirms SEC chief Gensler to full five-year term | Left-leaning group raises concerns about SALT cap repeal

On The Money: Senate GOP faces post-Trump spending brawl | Senate confirms SEC chief Gensler to full five-year term | Left-leaning group raises concerns about SALT cap repeal
© 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—Senate GOP faces post-Trump spending brawl: Republicans are bracing for a fierce fight over spending as the party tries to figure out its post-Trump identity.

GOP senators this week will wade into two major sources of division in the conference: whether to nix an earmark ban, one of the few remaining vestiges of the Tea Party years, and whether to adopt a caucus rule that endorses offsetting any increase in the debt ceiling with spending cuts.

Sen. John ThuneJohn Randolph ThuneLawmakers bicker over how to go after tax cheats GOP split on counteroffer to Biden's spending Senate GOP dismayed by vote to boot Cheney MORE (S.D.), the No. 2 Senate Republican, said he had “no clue” how this week’s debate will play out given the divided caucus. The Hill’s Jordain Carney breaks it down here.

The fault lines: The Senate GOP fight is politically complicated, and the result could signal where the party and the caucus are going, particularly if they win back one or both chambers next year.

 

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LEADING THE DAY

Senate confirms SEC chief Gensler to full five-year term: The Senate on Tuesday voted to approve Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) Chairman Gary GenslerGary GenslerFinancial market transactions should not be taxed or restricted Putting the SEC cops back on the Wall Street beat On The Money: US economy roars in first three months of 2021 | Jobless claims drop again | White House: No tax hikes for couples making less than 9K MORE for a full five-year term after confirming him to the Wall Street watchdog last week.

  • Senators voted 54 to 45 for Gensler to serve as a commissioner and chairman of the SEC through June 5, 2026. 
  • The Senate last week confirmed Gensler to serve the remaining two months of former SEC Chairman Jay Clayton’s term by a nearly identical margin.

Gensler, who was sworn in to the SEC on Sunday, was a professor at the MIT Sloan School of Management before joining the commission. He was also the chairman of the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) during the Obama administration, a Treasury Department undersecretary during the Clinton administration and a partner at Goldman Sachs for almost two decades.

 

Left-leaning group: SALT cap repeal would worsen racial income disparities: Repealing the cap on the state and local tax (SALT) deduction would exacerbate racial income and wealth disparities, according to an analysis released Tuesday from the left-leaning Institute on Taxation and Economic Policy (ITEP).

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The think tank's report comes as a growing number of Democratic lawmakers are pushing for the SALT cap to be repealed in forthcoming infrastructure legislation.

The background: 

  • Republicans' 2017 tax law capped the SALT deduction at $10,000 in an effort to help offset the cost of tax cuts in the measure. 
  • A number of lawmakers on both sides of the aisle from high-tax states such as New York, New Jersey, California and Illinois oppose the cap, arguing that it hurts their residents and their states.

"Repealing the SALT cap would worsen the racial income and wealth divides by primarily benefiting wealthy white households," ITEP wrote in its report. "It would also likely crowd out other, much more progressive policies and programs from the upcoming infrastructure package while doing comparatively little to encourage progressive revenue raising at the state and local levels."

The Hill’s Naomi Jagoda explains here.

 

ON TAP TOMORROW: The Senate Commerce Committee holds a hearing on the nomination of Lina Khan to serve as a commissioner of the Federal Trade Commission at 10 a.m.

 

GOOD TO KNOW

 

ODDS AND ENDS

  • A Geico data breach that lasted over a month earlier this year exposed customers’ driver’s license numbers to hackers, according to a notice filed with California’s attorney general earlier this month. 
  • Lobbyists had a strong start to the new year with a new Congress and new administration, following a year of major growth lobbying for relief during the coronavirus pandemic.