TOMORROW STARTS TONIGHT: HENSARLING BLASTS SENATE DEMS ON TERROR INSURANCE. House Financial Services Committee Chairman Jeb Hensarling (R-Texas) is accusing Senate Democrats of refusing to negotiate on reauthorizing Congress’s terrorism insurance program (TRIA). Lawmakers must act before the end of the year or the program will expire.
You already know: TRIA allows the federal government to front costs for businesses after a massive terror attack, but Hensarling says that puts taxpayers at risk for hundreds of millions of dollars.
Hensarling says Senate Dems are hurting chances for a long-term reauthorization. Business groups oppose any short-term measure, arguing that it will only lead to economic uncertainty. But critics of the program see a short-term reauthorization as a way to gain leverage to push reforms.
— INSIDE HENSARLING’s TRIA STRATEGY: Hensarling’s comments set the stage for a key meeting tomorrow. He and Rep. Randy Neugebauer (R-Texas) will meet member-to-member Wednesday afternoon inside the Capitol with fellow House Republicans, urging them to support his plans to reauthorize TRIA with reforms.
Hensarling argues that the Senate’s seven-year TRIA reauthorization — which passed in July on a 93-4 vote — violates House spending rules, which require any increase in government spending programs to be offset by cuts in spending. (House Rule 21 is commonly known as “cut-go.”)
— HENSARLING TELLS OVERNIGHT: “I share my colleagues’ frustrations on TRIA negotiations because most Members support a long-term reauthorization. But Senate Democrats refuse to negotiate, even after I offered a compromise that moves more than halfway towards the Senate’s TRIA bill with reasonable reforms. They not only rejected my compromise, they refuse – refuse — to negotiate.
“By refusing to negotiate, Senate Democrats are jeopardizing the long-term reauthorization. It’s even more frustrating because the Senate bill, as passed, cannot even be taken up by the House. It violates House spending rules… If Senate Democrats continue to insist on their ‘my way or the highway’ approach, I fear a long-term reauthorization may have to wait until the next Congress.” My story for the hometown paper: http://bit.ly/1ygOzFO
— DEMS RESPOND: Hensarling is in talks with Sen. Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.) on a deal. Schumer spokesman Matthew House rejected Hensarling’s criticisms, noting that he voted to waive House spending rules numerous times. House said Hensarling was adding “extraneous riders unrelated to TRIA to his proposals.”
“It is clear from these ridiculous demands that he is not serious about negotiating a real long-term reauthorization deal,” House said.
Big day for TRIA tomorrow, folks…
THIS IS OVERNIGHT FINANCE. And it’s only Tuesday so pick up the pace, folks. Tweet: @kevcirilli; email: email@example.com; and subscribe: http://thehill.com/signup/48.
BUDGET BATTLE: REID SIGNALS SUPPORT FOR HOUSE PLAN? Alexander Bolton for The Hill: “Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) on Tuesday signaled that he will accept a House Republican plan to pass an omnibus spending bill that funds the Department of Homeland Security for only a few months. Reid, who has made passing an omnibus spending bill one of his top priorities of the lame-duck session, said he would consider House passage of the ‘cromnibus’ a policy win.”
— WHAT REID SAID: “That would be a big accomplishment if we could get a bill over here that would fund all the appropriations subcommittees except for one. I think it’s kind of unfortunate that they’re talking about not doing Homeland Security but that’s the way it is.” http://bit.ly/1rSALks.
HOUSE VOTES TO STOP BENEFITS FOR NAZIS. Cristina Marcos for The Hill: “The House on Tuesday passed legislation to terminate Social Security benefits for suspected Nazi war criminals. Passed 420-0, the bill came in light of an October Associated Press report that dozens of suspected Nazi war criminals forced to leave the U.S. collected millions of dollars in federal benefits.” http://bit.ly/1FKq58b.
EXTENDERS WATCH, via Justin Sink: “The White House on Tuesday signaled it might be able to support a tax deal that would extend dozens of tax breaks for a year. The measure is gaining momentum one week after the White House said President Obama would veto an earlier package of tax cut extensions that Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) had been negotiating.” That proposal would have made some of the tax cuts permanent. http://bit.ly/1AcROx7.
— HATCH: OBAMA ‘SHABBY’ TOWARD REID. Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-Utah) criticized President Obama for dealing with Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) in a ‘shabby way’ last week by threatening to veto a tax extender deal. “The plan was undercut by the president and his liberal allies in the Senate. I don’t understand why the president does some of these things,” Hatch said on the Senate floor earlier today. Ramsey Cox for The Hill: http://bit.ly/1wm9Uyc.
— CLUB FOR GROWTH OPPOSES TAX DEAL. Bernie Becker: “The Club for Growth on Tuesday urged lawmakers to oppose a temporary extension of tax breaks that expired at the end of 2013… ‘This legislation is mainly a hodge-podge of special interest earmarks in the federal tax code. Thankfully, these extenders expired at the end of 2013, so the best thing Congress can do now is nothing,’ the Club’s Andy Roth wrote to congressional offices.” http://bit.ly/1zMN6p6.
BUSINESS URGES CONGRESS TO FINISH UP LAME-DUCK TO-DO LIST. Pete Schroeder and me: “Anticipating another year of tepid economic growth, America’s top executives are gearing up to push the new Congress to finally get something done with the White House on broad issues like tax reform and immigration. But first, they are hoping the current Congress could at least clear a minimal amount of legislation they view as critical, including a government funding measure and extending several expired tax breaks.
“’Right now, we’re just hopeful we can mitigate a massive tax increase,’ said Randall Stephenson, chairman of the Business Roundtable. ‘It’s like we’re playing with live ammo here. These are real numbers that influence investment of billions and billions of dollars.’” STORY: http://bit.ly/1wmbGj1
Back to TRIA…
TERROR INSURANCE WATCH (more), via me from last night: Forty-five House Republicans are urging House leadership to pass a long-term terrorism insurance (TRIA) reauthorization. That includes six Tea Partiers: Rep. Stephen Fincher (R-Tenn.), Joe Wilson (R-S.C.), Randy Hultgren (R-Ill.), Bill Johnson (R-Ohio), Richard Nugent (R-Fla.) and Mike Coffman (R-Colo.). LETTER: http://bit.ly/1yd1Nof STORY: http://bit.ly/1yCHtuf.
THE CONVERSATION — SEN. SHERROD BROWN (D-Ohio) chats with OVERNIGHT:
— On becoming ranking member of Banking Committee next Congress if Sens. Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.) and Robert Menendez (D-N.J.) pass: “He’s got to make a decision. If I ask him as many times as people say I ask him? No. He’s got to make a decision. But it’s his decision. And if Chuck says, ‘No,’ then Menendez makes a decision. But I’d like to be ranking member, of course.”
— On criticism the New York Federal Reserve is going easy on Wall Street: “We want to talk to people about what’s next at the New York Fed. I haven’t had time yet because nothing is going to happen this session legislatively to sit down with staff and people from the New York Fed about where we go next with that. But I do like [Sen. Jack Reed’s (D-R.I.)] bill.” Reed’s bill would make the head of the New York Fed a presidential appointee.
— On Antonio Weiss, whom Obama nominated to be Treasury’s top domestic finance official and whom Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) and other progressives oppose: “I’m meeting with him this week or next week. I set up an appointment and I told him that I’d meet with him and talk with him before I made public comments.”
WONKBLOG TARGETS EX-IM. Matt O’Brien for The Washington Post’s Wonk Blog: “Getting rid of the ExIm Bank, in other words, might be a good idea, but it’s not a good use of Congress’ time. Indeed, if you were ranking policies by their importance, there’s a strong case that this would be last. But that’s part of the appeal of this particular fight. It’s a mostly symbolic way of showing that Republicans are against ‘crony capitalism’ without angering conservative voters, like they would if they, say, eliminated agriculture subsidies for wealthy farmers.
“That’s what makes the ExIm Bank the perfect legislative battle for a do-nothing Congress. It won’t upset anyone over than Boeing’s lobbyists, because nobody else cares about it. And it will give activists a new bright, shiny object to focus on during their Two Minutes of Hate of everything Washington. Even better, because so little is riding on the outcome, it doesn’t really matter whether they win or lose the fight. In fact, Republicans might secretly prefer to lose it, because that would keep the issue alive, and continue to give themselves the illusion of a middle-class agenda.” http://wapo.st/1BaM0rn
SIDESHOW: CHRISTINE LAGARDE TALKS POPE FRANCIS. Ian Talley for The Wall Street Journal: http://on.wsj.com/1CCP5C9.
SORKIN GOES AFTER THE REVOLVING DOOR. Andrew Ross Sorkin for DealBook: “The boards of Wall Street’s biggest banks recently received a letter posing a provocative question. Why, the letter asked, do banks routinely pay out special compensation packages to executives who leave to take government jobs when those packages were intended to retain them?…
“The letter, sent by Heather Slavkin Corzo, director of the A.F.L.-C.I.O.’s office of investment, has created a stir within the halls of banks and parts of corporate America. Ms. Slavkin Corzo appears to be preparing to go to war with the banks over the pay policy, already submitting proxy proposals to have shareholders vote against it at the annual meetings of Citigroup and Morgan Stanley, for starters…
“At issue is a long-running debate about the Wall Street practice of accelerating the vesting of restricted shares and deferred compensation to executives who leave for a role in government. Usually, executives who leave for another job elsewhere, or decide to retire early, forfeit such payments, which act as an incentive to stay and a penalty for departing. But that isn’t the case for Wall Street executives who join the public sector or, in some cases, take jobs in education or the nonprofit world.” http://nyti.ms/1w18l9w.
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