On The Money: House Dems asks Supreme Court to reject challenge to CFPB | New IMF chief warns of 'global slowdown' | CBO estimates federal deficit at $948 billion | NBA looks to shift message on China
October 9, 2019
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THE BIG DEAL– House leaders ask Supreme Court to reject Trump challenge to consumer bureau: The Democratic-led House of Representatives filed a brief late Monday night asking the Supreme Court to reject a challenge to the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau’s (CFPB) constitutionality.
The House filed a brief Monday opposing a request for the Supreme Court to take up a case from the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals arguing that the structure of the CFPB, a powerful financial regulator, infringes on the president’s executive authority.
In the case, a law firm, Seila Law, refused to comply with a CFPB request for documents related to an enforcement action. The firm claimed the agency was unconstitutional. But a district court rejected that argument and the appeals court also ruled in favor of the agency against Seila Law.
Seila Law has since asked the Supreme Court to take up the case, but the high court did not add it to the docket for its upcoming October term.
Even so, the House is looking to kill the request after the Trump administration announced last month it would not defend the CFPB’s structure before the Supreme Court. I explain why here.
The background: CFPB critics argued that by making the bureau’s director fireable by the president only “for cause,” which is generally considered to be severe incompetence or misconduct, Dodd-Frank illegally restricted the president’s control over the executive branch.
The U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit ruled in 2016 that the CFPB’s structure was unconstitutional. But that decision, authored by eventual Supreme Court Justice Brett KavanaughBrett Michael KavanaughGOP requests update on criminal referrals prompted by 2018 Kavanaugh probe On The Money: House Dems asks Supreme Court to reject challenge to CFPB | New IMF chief warns of ‘global slowdown’ | CBO estimates federal deficit at 8 billion | NBA looks to shift message on China Harris says Trump should be in ‘timeout’ from appointing a Supreme Court justice MORE, was overturned by the full court in 2018.
The House’s rebuttal: The House brief asked the Supreme Court to abide by the D.C. Circuit ruling to protect the CFPB, arguing that the president has ample authority to fire the bureau’s director if she or he is not enforcing the law.
The brief also noted that because the CFPB is controlled by a single director, the president wields significant power over the agency by choosing who leads it.
LEADING THE DAY
New IMF head: Trade disputes contributing to ‘synchronized global slowdown’ New International Monetary Fund (IMF) Managing Director Kristalina Georgieva cautioned on Tuesday that reports to be released next week will show the lowest global economic growth numbers this decade.
According to The Associated Press, the Bulgarian economist said in her first speech as head of the IMF that 90 percent of world economies will experience a decrease in growth amid what Georgieva described as a “synchronized global slowdown.”
Georgieva, who succeeded former IMF leader Christine Lagarde last month, attributed the “slowdown” to increased trade conflicts, namely the ongoing trade war between the United States and China. These conflicts, she said, could lead to a loss of $700 billion in world trade output, or 0.8 percent of the world’s gross domestic product.
“Everyone loses in a trade war,” Georgieva said in her speech.
Federal deficit estimated at $984B, highest in seven years: The federal budget deficit for 2019 is estimated at $984 billion, a hefty 4.7 percent of gross domestic product (GDP) and the highest since 2012, the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) said on Monday.
The difference between federal spending and revenue has only ever exceeded $1 trillion four times, in the period immediately following the global financial crisis.
The deficit, which has grown every year since 2015, is $205 billion higher than it was in 2018, a jump of 26 percent.
The CBO has warned that the nation’s debt is on an unsustainable path. Higher levels of debt increase borrowing costs, make it harder for the government to battle economic downturns and increase the share of future spending devoted to paying off interest costs. The Hill’s Niv Elis breaks down the data here.
McConnell warns NBA to respect free speech: Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellMurkowski warns against rushing to conclusions on Trump impeachment Overnight Defense: Trump defends Turkey amid fierce criticism | Senators demand briefing on Syria decision | Turkey confirms strikes on Syrian border | White House says it won’t cooperate on impeachment inquiry McConnell blasts House Democrats over handling of impeachment inquiry MORE (R-Ky.) on Tuesday warned the NBA not to put its profits over free speech when it comes to the democracy movement in Hong Kong.
“The people of Hong Kong have risked much more than money to defend their freedom of expression, human rights, and autonomy. I hope the @NBA can learn from that courage and not abandon those values for the sake of their bottom line,” McConnell tweeted.
McConnell is only the latest lawmaker to criticize the league for attempting to quash Houston Rockets General Manager Daryl Morey’s tweet urging support for pro-democracy protesters in Hong Kong. The Hill’s Alex Bolton has more on McConnell weighing in on the controversy.
NBA commish shifts message: Earlier Tuesday, NBA Commissioner Adam Silver issued a new statement as the league battled accusations from lawmakers in both parties that it had bowed to pressure from China in expressing regret over an executive’s tweet of support for demonstrators in Hong Kong.
Silver said he recognized that the league’s initial statement had left people “angered, confused or unclear on who we are or what the NBA stands for,” and then insisted it would continue to offer support for free expression by players and executives. At the same time, Silver made it clear the NBA would not be taking sides in the political dispute over civil rights in Hong Kong.
“It is inevitable that people around the world — including from America and China — will have different viewpoints over different issues. It is not the role of the NBA to adjudicate those differences,” Silver said in the statement. “However, the NBA will not put itself in a position of regulating what players, employees and team owners say or will not say on these issues. We simply could not operate that way.”
More from The Hill’s Marty Johnson here.
GOOD TO KNOW
The Trump administration is considering rolling back an Obama-era tax rule aimed at cracking down on offshore tax deals, Bloomberg reported Tuesday, citing people familiar with the discussions.
Facebook has agreed to pay a $40 million dollar settlement over allegations that the social networking site inflated the amount of time that users watched videos.
The House Energy and Commerce Committee is asking U.S. Trade Representative Robert LighthizerRobert (Bob) Emmet LighthizerOn The Money: Economy adds 164K jobs in July | Trump signs two-year budget deal, but border showdown looms | US, EU strike deal on beef exports Chinese, US negotiators fine-tuning details of trade agreement: report The Trump economy keeps roaring ahead MORE to testify about the administration’s effort to include controversial language protecting internet platforms from legal liability in international trade agreements.
China’s foreign ministry called on the U.S. to remove eight Chinese firms from a Commerce Department blacklist Tuesday but said planned trade talks between Beijing and Washington would proceed as scheduled, according to The Associated Press.
Bloomberg News: “The Federal Reserve signed off on an overhauled Volcker Rule, making it the last of five agencies to approve changes that will dial back the regulation’s restrictions on Wall Street banks’ speculative investments.”
ODDS AND ENDS
Disabled advocates scored a victory this week when the U.S. Supreme Court refused to review a ruling allowing a blind plaintiff to sue a retailer under the Americans with Disabilities Act for an inaccessible website.