Financial Services

Beltway ‘inundated’ with fundraisers as deadline nears
From barbecue to New Kids on the Block, it’s a busy week for money-seekers in Washington

House Majority Whip James E. Clyburn is breaking out the barbecue, Mario Diaz-Balart is gearing up for a transportation breakfast and Jaime Herrera Beutler is jamming out to New Kids on the Block. The second quarter scramble is officially on. (Composite by Chris Hale/CQ Roll Call)

The subject line of a recent email solicitation from Rep. Elissa Slotkin’s campaign captures this week’s fundraising scene perfectly: “You’re about to be inundated. Sorry in advance.”

With the second quarter fundraising deadline looming on Sunday, lawmakers are sounding the alarms for their donors — making pleas to far-flung, small-dollar givers online and reliable contributors from K Street’s lobbying community to help them boost their numbers.

Congressional compensation: Isn’t there a select committee for that?
Panel tasked with modernizing Congress will look at staff but not member issues

Chairman Derek Kilmer, D-Wash., right, and vice chairman Rep. Tom Graves, R-Ga., during a Select Committee on the Modernization of Congress meeting in March. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

As lawmakers engage in a contentious debate about whether to thaw a decadelong freeze on their pay, there’s a logical place where the underlying issues of member compensation and housing could be addressed — the Select Committee on the Modernization of Congress. 

But the panel currently has no plans to take up such matters, its chairman, Rep. Derek Kilmer, and vice chairman, Rep. Tom Graves, told CQ Roll Call. 

Road ahead: House and Senate seek to pass dueling border funding bills
Defense policy, election security and spending also on the agenda ahead of July Fourth

From right, Senate Appropriations Chairman Richard C. Shelby, Vice Chairman Patrick J. Leahy and Illinois Sen. Richard J. Durbin huddle Wednesday before the committee marked up a border supplemental package. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Leaders in the House and Senate want to approve spending at least $4 billion more to address the influx of migrants and their humanitarian needs at the U.S.-Mexico border before the July Fourth recess.

Bills in the two chambers differ, however, raising doubts about whether there will be a resolution on President Donald Trump’s desk this month. 

Leaders on collision course on member pay raise issue
Hoyer proceeding with cost of living adjustment in House, but McConnell says Senate will not include it

House Majority Leader Steny H. Hoyer, D-Md., pictured here, is a proponent of raising member pay. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell is not. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Congressional leaders seem to be on a collision course over the issue of raising members’ pay, as the two majority leaders in the House and Senate are heading in opposite directions on the politically fraught issue.

House Majority Leader Steny H. Hoyer told CQ Roll Call Thursday that he expects to bring the Legislative Branch appropriations bill to the floor next week unchanged, meaning without language to block a cost-of-living adjustment to member salaries.

When sanctions become weapons of mass disruption
A popular foreign policy tool can often have unintended consequences

Russian state energy firm Gazprom is leading work on the Nord Stream 2 pipeline, which is the target of a sanctions bill by Sens. Jeanne Shaheen and Ted Cruz. (Sean Gallup/Getty Images)

These days, it seems lawmakers believe every foreign policy challenge can be resolved by imposing sanctions.

Worried that Russia will interfere in the 2020 presidential election? Concerned about the international community bringing Syria’s Bashar Assad in from the cold? Horrified by China’s mistreatment of its Uighur Muslim community? There are sanctions bills for all of them.

Justice Department sides with Treasury in blocking Trump tax returns
Mnuchin rejected demand by House Ways and Means Democrats

Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin had refused to comply with a subpoena from House Ways and Means Democrats for President Donald Trump’s tax returns. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

The Justice Department released an opinion Friday that backed up the Treasury Department’s decision not to give Congress copies of President Donald Trump’s tax returns, concluding that the “true aim” was to make the documents public and that “is not a legitimate legislative purpose.”

The Office of Legal Counsel opinion comes after Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin refused to comply with a subpoena for Trump’s tax returns from House Ways and Means Chairman Richard E. Neal last month.

House panel advances anti-money laundering bill with only some GOP support
Backers hope it’ll be enough to move in the Senate

House Financial Services ranking member Patrick T. McHenry of North Carolina was wooed to support an anti-money laundering bill but never signed off. Supporters hope that will not jeopardize its chances in the Senate. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

After holding an anti-money laundering bill for a month in the hopes of winning over the committee’s top ranking Republican, the House Financial Services Committee advanced it without him on Wednesday, in a move that could ultimately undermine the odds of passing it through the Senate.

The legislation would require corporations and limited liability companies to report who actually owns them to the Treasury Department’s Financial Crimes Enforcement Network, or FinCEN, in the hopes of curbing the use of anonymous shell companies for hiding illicit assets from criminal investigators and tax officials.

Trump stiffs Iowa Democrat from ethanol tour in her own district, she claims
White House says Rep. Axne was never invited on tour with president in the first place

Reps. Cynthia Axne, D-Iowa, right, and Katie Porter, D-Calif., attend a House Financial Services Committee hearing in March. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Rep. Cindy Axne and the White House spiraled down a classic he-said-she-said argument this week over Axne’s omission from the president’s guest list as he toured an ethanol facility in her district on Tuesday.

Axne, a Democrat representing Iowa’s 3rd District, has claimed that the White House rescinded its invitation for her to join President Donald Trump on his tour of the facility. The White House has said Axne was never invited to join Trump on the tour in the first place, but rather to attend his remarks after the tour as a guest.

Democrats’ next move unclear after approving subpoena lawsuits
Resolution is House’s broadest step so far in response to Trump’s ‘oppose-all-the-subpoenas’ strategy

Rep. Jamie Raskin, D-Md., second from left, says the resolution approved Tuesday, which gives committees the authority to take Trump administration officials to court quickly, had a broader purpose than just getting to court to get documents related to the Mueller probe. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Updated 7:13 p.m. | House Democrats voted Tuesday to bolster their oversight power by giving committees the authority to take Trump administration officials to court quickly, but it did little to settle broader questions in a caucus that is trying to balance competing political and legal strategies ahead of the 2020 elections.

The resolution becomes the House’s broadest step in response to President Donald Trump’s “oppose-all-the-subpoenas” strategy, because it allows the Democrats to skip the floor process to enforce committee subpoenas through the federal courts.

Contractors would receive shutdown pay in next spending package
Contractor back pay would provide the same benefit granted to direct federal employees

Rep. Ayanna Pressley, D-Mass., questions Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin during a House Financial Services Committee hearing. She is seeking to add provisions in a spending bill to aid contractors during a shutdown. (Photo By Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

House Democrats would make whole federal contractors who didn't get paid during the 35-day partial government shutdown that ended in January as part of a $383 billion fiscal 2020 spending bill set to hit the floor next week. 

The package combines five bills: Commerce-Justice-Science will be the vehicle, carrying the Agriculture, Interior-Environment, Military Construction-VA and Transportation-HUD measures as well.