Overnight Finance

On The Money: Trump asks court to block release of tax returns to Congress | Private sector adds 330K jobs in July, well short of expectations

Happy Tuesday and welcome back to On The Money, where we're still waiting for our invitations to former President Obama's 60th birthday party. 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 and njagoda@thehill.com. Follow us on Twitter: @SylvanLane and @NJagoda.

THE BIG DEAL-Trump asks court to block release of tax returns to Congress: Former President Trump's personal attorneys are asking a federal judge to block the release of his tax returns to Congress after the Biden administration issued a legal memo authorizing that the records be handed over to House Democrats who have been seeking them for two years.

In a court filing submitted Wednesday morning, Trump's lawyers argued that the 2019 request from the House Ways and Means Committee to the IRS has no legitimate legislative purpose and that it is designed to "expose the private tax information of one individual - President Trump - for political gain."

"The requests are tailored to, and in practical operation will affect, only President Trump," the filing reads. "The requests single out President Trump because he is a Republican and a political opponent. They were made to retaliate against President Trump because of his policy positions, his political beliefs, and his protected speech, including the positions he took during the 2016 and 2020 campaigns." 

The brief argued that turning over the tax records would be a violation of Trump's privacy and his First Amendment and other constitutional rights.

The Hill's Harper Neidig brings us up to speed here.

LEADING THE DAY

Private sector adds 330K jobs in July, well short of expectations, says ADP: U.S. private sector payroll growth fell well short of expectations in July, according to data released Wednesday, raising doubts about the strength of the upcoming federal jobs report.

  • The ADP National Employment report for July showed a gain of just 330,000 jobs for non-farm businesses in the private sector, down from 680,000 in June and roughly half of the 650,000 jobs economists expected firms to add last month. 
  • While the ADP report has differed greatly with the federal report throughout the pandemic, the sharp drop in private sector payroll growth comes amid growing concerns about the economic impact of the delta variant of COVID-19.

"July payroll data reports a marked slowdown from the second quarter pace in jobs growth," ADP chief economist Nela Richardson said in the report. "Bottlenecks in hiring continue to hold back stronger gains, particularly in light of new COVID-19 concerns tied to viral variants."

I break it down here.

Senate panel advances first three spending bills: The Senate Appropriations Committee on Wednesday advanced its first spending bills for fiscal 2022 as senators prepare for their fall recess and the deadline to avert a government shutdown quickly approaches.

The panel passed appropriations bills to fund the departments of Energy, Agriculture and Veteran Affairs, among other agencies, marking the passage of three of the 12 appropriations bills the committee has to send to the full chamber for consideration.

Though the legislation saw bipartisan support, with each measure so far getting backing from Senate Appropriations Committee Vice Chairman Richard Shelby (R-Ala.) upon passage, the panel's progress on the bills without a larger deal on spending did not go without warning from Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.).

McConnell said Republicans won't back the bills, which need at least 60 votes to pass the evenly divided upper chamber, in absence of a larger budget deal. 

"When it comes to floor consideration, we cannot and will not start planting individual trees before we have bipartisan consensus on the shape of the forest," he said.

GOOD TO KNOW

  • Income inequality in the United States grew between 1979 and 2018, a recent report on the distribution of household income released by the Congressional Budget Office has found.
  • President Biden is attempting to thread the needle by replacing a lapsed federal eviction ban with new protections designed to keep millions of Americans from losing their homes amid surging coronavirus cases.
  • Trading in online investment platform Robinhood was temporarily halted Wednesday after a rapid surge in its stock price just a week after the company's lackluster debut on the Nasdaq. 
  • The Federal Trade Commission is facing a "tidal wave" of new mergers, it said in a Tuesday announcement that also warned companies against consummating unreviewed deals.

ODDS AND ENDS

  • Senate Democrats are set to unveil legislation that would tax energy companies responsible for major greenhouse gas emissions to pay for the costs of climate disasters.
  • Target announced on Wednesday that it would be covering workers' college tuition and textbooks in a new debt-free education assistance program.
Outbrain