Business & Economy

Overnight Finance: House clears tax plan; Pelosi casts doubt on omnibus passing

TAX PACKAGE PASSES HOUSE: The House approved a $622 billion tax package today by a 318-109 vote. The “tax extenders” bill renews dozens of expiring tax credits, some indefinitely, and passed with 77 Democrats supporting it and three Republicans voting against it. The Hill’s Cristina Marcos and Naomi Jagoda wrap it up: http://bit.ly/1TSBhI2.

“House Republicans cast the measure as a step toward tax reform that would provide certainty for people and businesses… House Democrats argued that by raising the deficit, the bill would make it difficult for the federal government to make necessary investments in defense and domestic spending.

What’s up next: “The House is expected to vote Friday on a $1.1 trillion omnibus spending measure that would fund the government through September 2016… Just 79 House Republicans voted for the budget deal brokered by former Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) in October that provides the outline for the spending package. But more Republicans may vote for the omnibus on Friday due to a ‘sweetener’ provision attached to the bill that lifts the crude oil export ban, a top priority for the GOP.”

{mosads}RYAN AIMS FOR BIG WIN: House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) wants to finish strong and get a majority of his caucus behind the spending bill. Though Democrats have had to carry previous votes on major funding bills, delivering most of his members could be a solid first step toward the new way of legislating Ryan promised when he took the gavel in October. The Hill’s Scott Wong lays out what’s at stake: http://bit.ly/1PbGyv3.

PELOSI CASTS DOUBT ON OMNIBUS: The House minority leader told reporters she wasn’t confident the long-term spending bill rolled out at 1:30 a.m. yesterday would earn enough votes to pass. “We’re talking it through,” she said. The Hill’s Mike Lillis explains the Democratic fault lines: http://bit.ly/22btqew.

SENATE SET TO FINISH FRIDAY: Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) set up Friday votes on the bills standing between Congress and Christmas break. The Senate will hold up to four votes to pass the long-term spending bill and tax extenders bill before heading home for the holidays. The Hill’s Jordain Carney breaks it down here: http://bit.ly/1PbtPID.

HAPPY THURSDAY and welcome to Overnight Finance, where we can already smell chestnuts roasting and jet fumes wafting. 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@digital-stage.thehill.com or tweet me @SylvanLane. And if you like our newsletter, you can subscribe to it here: http://www.digital-stage.thehill.com/signup/48.

LIBERALS SEETHE AT OMNIBUS: Rep. Luis Gutierrez (Ill.) called it “a disgrace.” The leaders of the Congressional Progressive Caucus, Reps. Keith Ellison (Minn.) and Raul Grijalva (Ariz.) said they’d vote against it. Congressional Black Caucus Chairman G.K. Butterfield (N.C.) said he’s “reluctant” to support it. The House’s most liberal Democrats aren’t happy with the long-term spending bill, and The Hill’s Mike Lillis tells us why: http://bit.ly/1k5fQal.

“The spending bill has put Pelosi in a pickle, caught between a liberal Democratic caucus opposed to many of the GOP tax and policy provisions and the reality that Republicans control both chambers of Congress.

“Pelosi has tried to walk a line between those forces by blasting certain provisions of the package — in particular the oil export provision and the absence of language helping Puerto Rico manage its debt crisis — while attempting to explain her support for it.”

CONSERVATIVES ANGRY TOO: Members of the House Freedom Caucus were blocked from adding several conservative amendments to the omnibus, most of which were leftovers from policy riders that didn’t make it into the bill. Some conservative are livid about a massive increase in foreign worker visas and Sen. Mike Lee (R-Utah) said Congress should pass a six-week deadline extension and try again in the new year.

ROCKETS, MAN?: From Jordain Carney: http://bit.ly/1MjH0ks.

“A provision included in an end-of-the-year spending bill lifting restrictions on the use of Russian rocket engines is sparking a fierce battle in the Senate.

“Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) ripped Sens. Richard Shelby (R-Ala.) and Dick Durbin (D-Ill.) on Wednesday, accusing them of “air dropping” the language into the omnibus legislation unveiled before dawn Wednesday morning.

“‘It is simply immoral to help subsidize Russia’s intervention in Ukraine and line the pockets of Putin’s gang of thugs who profit from the sale of Russian rocket engines,’ he said. “It borders on corruption.'”

RYAN SETS DEADLINE FOR PUERTO RICO: The speaker is giving lawmakers three months to craft a “responsible solution” to the cash-strapped island’s financial woes. Despite pleas from Puerto Rico, the White House and several Democrats, nothing to address Puerto Rico’s billions in debt made it into the omnibus. The Hill’s Peter Schroeder explains: http://bit.ly/1RrBhB1.

“Grappling with a long-struggling economy and a massive amount of debt, Puerto Rican officials have said the island will be unable to pay back all the money it owes to creditors. At the same time, they have pushed Congress to pass a law that would give Puerto Rico the same bankruptcy powers that states have… While congressional Democrats have backed the bankruptcy proposal, Republicans have resisted the idea for months. They argue Puerto Rico’s troubles are the result of years of fiscal mismanagement and have questioned allowing the territory to alter the terms of legally entered contracts.”

CANADA AND MEXICO SAY ‘BE COOL OR ELSE’: Economic leaders in the two border countries are warning Congress that they’ll slap the U.S. with billions in tariffs if lawmakers don’t follow through on repealing country-of-origin labeling (COOL) regulations by passing the omnibus. The Hill’s Vicki Needham reports: http://bit.ly/1QvFKm4.

“Chrystia Freeland, Canada’s minister of international trade, and Ildefonso Guajardo Villarreal, Mexico’s secretary of economy, said in a joint statement that they are ‘closely following recent and positive developments in the U.S. Congress to repeal COOL for beef and pork.’

“‘COOL harms both Canadian and Mexican livestock producers,’ they said from the World Trade Organization’s (WTO) Ministerial Conference in Nairobi. ‘If the COOL repeal is not signed into law, Canada and Mexico are prepared to quickly exercise their retaliatory rights.'”

WHITE HOUSE RENEWS CALLS TO END CUBAN EMBARGO: From The Hill’s Jordan Fabian: http://bit.ly/1P9szDW.

“‘Congress can support a better life for the Cuban people by lifting an embargo that is a legacy of a failed policy,’ said President Obama in a statement.

“Obama hailed slow but steady progress toward normalizing relations with Cuba after ending five decades of hostilities stemming from the Cold War.

“‘Change does not happen overnight, and normalization will be a long journey,’ he said. “‘The last 12 months, however, are a reminder of the progress we can make when we set the course toward a better future.'”

NIGHTCAP: Ever wonder what the logos of all 32 NFL teams would look like if they were redesigned to resemble Donald Trump? You don’t need to anymore.

OVERNIGHT VINE-ANCE: Martin Shkreli getting hauled away by FBI agents.

Write us with tips, suggestions and news: slane@digital-stage.thehill.com, vneedham@digital-stage.thehill.com; pschroeder@digital-stage.thehill.com, and njagoda@digital-stage.thehill.com. Follow us on Twitter: @SylvanLane,  @VickofTheHill; @PeteSchroeder; and @NJagoda.

Tags Boehner Dick Durbin Donald Trump G.K. Butterfield John Boehner John McCain Luis Gutierrez Mike Lee Mitch McConnell Paul Ryan

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