Banking & Finance

The Unkindest Cut: How to Pay for Tax Overhaul Sweeteners
Hundreds of billions of dollars needed to pay for sought-after changes

Ways and Means Chairman Kevin Brady is among the top negotiators in the House-Senate conference committee on the GOP’s tax overhaul. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

As the House and Senate prepare for a conference committee on the Republican tax overhaul, the two chambers face the challenge of reconciling stark differences, and where to find billions of dollars they may need to smooth things over. 

Among the most significant discrepancies are the treatments of pass-through businesses, the estate tax and the corporate alternative minimum tax. House Republicans are also considering a provision to further scale back the proposed trimming of the state and local tax deduction.

Senate Banking Advances Powell Nomination for Fed Chairman
Sen. Elizabeth Warren only senator to vote against recommendation

Jerome Powell earned the support of all but one member of the Senate Banking Committee to advance his nomination for Fed chairman. (Photo By Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

The Senate Banking Committee voted 22-1 Tuesday to recommend confirmation of Jerome Powell as the next chairman of the Federal Reserve. Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren voted against the recommendation.

Powell received the support of Chairman Michael D. Crapo, who had voted against him during his renomination to the Fed board in 2014.

Opinion: Bipartisanship Still Exists and Financial Reform Is Proof
Senate bill isn’t perfect, but it can have a lasting effect

The Senate Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs Committee will mark up a bipartisan bill this week. From left, Chairman Michael D. Crapo, Republican Sen. Jerry Moran, ranking member Sherrod Brown and Democratic Sen. Brian Schatz prepare for a hearing in July. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

As U.S. politics descends ever further into partisanship, there are still signs that old-fashioned legislating is not dead. This week, the Senate Banking Committee will mark up one of the first significant pieces of financial regulatory legislation in years with real bipartisan support. That means an opportunity for lasting, incremental progress that we should welcome.

The proposed bill, which has 10 Republican and 10 Democratic co-sponsors, would not revolutionize the U.S. financial regulatory system, and that’s a good thing. The Dodd-Frank Act and other post-financial crisis reforms have made the financial system and Americans safer overall, but like most major reforms, they have also created unintended consequences. The Senate bill would address some of these, while retaining the overall post-crisis framework that is generally working.

Trump’s Tweet Could Raise Odds of Government Shutdown
President aims to lessen Democrats’ leverage in year-end talks

President Donald Trump makes a brief statement to the media as Speaker Paul D. Ryan, R-Wis., left, and White House Chief of Staff John Kelly, right, look on, after a meeting with the House Republican Conference in the Capitol to discuss the GOP’s tax reform bill earlier this month. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Updated 1:02 p.m. | President Donald Trump raised the odds of a government shutdown next month, tweeting that his differences with Democratic leaders over immigration policy could prevent a deal on a year-end spending package.

The president noted that he was scheduled to meet Tuesday afternoon with “‘Chuck and Nancy’ ... about keeping government open and working.” He was referring to House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi and Senate Majority Leader Charles E. Schumer. Also set to attend the White House meeting were House Speaker Paul D. Ryan and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell.

JCT: Low-Income Households Worse Off Under New Senate Tax Plan
Families will be “clobbered,” Wyden says

The Senate Finance Committee is debating a revised GOP tax plan that would raise taxes on lower-income households, according to the JCT. Pictured here, ranking member Ron Wyden, left, and Chairman Orrin G. Hatch at a Wednesday markup. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

An updated Senate plan to overhaul the U.S. tax code could dramatically raise taxes on households earning between $10,000 to $30,000 starting in 2021, according to new findings released Thursday by the Joint Committee on Taxation.

The analysis incorporates the effect of changes released by Senate Republicans late Tuesday in a chairman’s mark, including repeal of the individual mandate penalty for failure to purchase health insurance coverage, bigger tax rate cuts and child tax credits, and sunsetting provisions affecting individuals and families after 2025.

‘Pass-Through’ Changes Dog Senate GOP Tax Overhaul
Republican Ron Johson says plan not generous enough to pass-throughs

From left, Michigan Sen. Debbie Stabenow, Senate Finance ranking member Ron Wyden, Senate Finance Chairman Orrin G. Hatch and Iowa Sen. Charles E. Grassley participate in the committee markup of the Senate GOP’s tax bill Wednesday. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Trouble signs emerged Wednesday for the Republican tax overhaul effort, even as the Senate Finance Committee crept closer — slowly, and sometimes painfully — toward approving its bill later this week.

The top tax writers on each side forecast long hours still ahead. “Tomorrow, we are going to be here a while,” Sen. Ron Wyden, the Finance panel’s ranking member, said Wednesday.

Analysis: New Senate Tax Bill Solves Some Issues, Raises Others
‘This is largely a partisan exercise,’ McConnell tells CEOs

If there were any doubts that Republicans were bent on advancing the tax bill with only GOP support, those were squashed on Tuesday by Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, seen here with Senate Finance Committee Chairman John Cornyn. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

The latest version of the Senate bill to overhaul the U.S. tax code solves some problems for Republican leadership, but potentially creates a host of others.

The updated chairman’s mark would direct more tax relief to lower- and middle-class Americans through several new provisions, including a proposed reduction in the tax rates for the current seven income brackets. But those cuts would now be temporary and expire in 2026. At the same time, the proposal would make the reduction in the corporate tax rate from 35 percent to 20 percent permanent.

Freedom Caucus Chairman Predicts Tax Bill Will Pass
But Rep. Mark Meadows says members expect more changes in conference

Freedom Caucus Chairman Mark Meadows says caucus members still have more changes they’d like to see in the final GOP tax overhaul. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

House Freedom Caucus Chairman Mark Meadows on Monday predicted the Republican tax bill will pass the House this week, saying several members of his caucus appear willing to support the bill to keep the process moving.

“I think most of our members are a ‘Lean yes,’ some are undecided,” the North Carolina Republican said. “But all of that is with the caveat that there is still much work that needs to be done before there’s support for a final bill. So if this bill were to come up for a final vote on the floor, there wouldn’t be as many yeses as there are right now.”

Trump Picks Jerome Powell to Head Federal Reserve
President praises nominee as a “consensus builder”

Jerome Powell, who was nominated by President Donald Trump for chairman of the Federal Reserve, looks on as Trump speaks at the White House Rose Garden on Thursday. (Drew Angerer/Getty Images)

President Donald Trump announced Thursday he has selected Jerome H. Powell to be the next chairman of the Federal Reserve. Powell, a longtime Republican, has been a member of the Fed’s board of governors for five years.

“I hope the Senate will swiftly confirm him once again,” Trump said in an announcement Thursday at the White House Rose Garden. He also called the nominee a “consensus builder,” who understands what it will take to grow the economy.

Garrett Does a 180 on Ex-Im Bank
Trump nominee will reverse course on bank, according to prepared remarks

Former New Jersey Rep. Scott Garrett faces a confirmation hearing Wednesday on his nomination to lead the Export-Import Bank. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

President Donald Trump’s nominee to lead the Export-Import Bank is preparing to make a full reversal of his past opposition to the agency’s continued operation.

Former Rep. Scott Garrett plans to tell senators that he not only opposes winding down the Ex-Im Bank, but that he wants it fully operational going forward under his potential stewardship.