On The Money: Judge approves AT&T-Time Warner merger opposed by Trump | GOP effort to kill Trump’s tariffs blocked in Senate | WH: Kudlow to remain in hopsital
Happy Tuesday and welcome back to On The Money, which doesn’t have a private plane… yet. I’m Sylvan Lane, and here’s your nightly guide to everything affecting your bills, bank account and bottom line.
THE BIG DEAL: A federal judge on Tuesday ruled that AT&T and Time Warner may go through with their $ 85 billion merger, delivering a blow to the Trump administration’s Justice Department.
The decision from U.S. District Judge Richard Leon gives AT&T an entry into the media business with control over popular brands like CNN, HBO, TNT and TBS. It could also set in motion a series of mega deals across industries.
The Justice Department, which may still appeal the decision, sued the companies in November, arguing that the tie-up could be used to suppress competition and raise prices.
What comes next: Other major industry players could take Tuesday’s ruling as a green light to pursue their own deals. Comcast is expected to try to buy much of 21st Century Fox, potentially laying the groundwork for a bidding war with Disney.
DOJ react: Makan Delrahim, the Justice Department’s antitrust chief, said prosecutors were “disappointed” with the decision but did not reveal whether they would seek a stay or appeal the ruling.
AT&T react: “We’re disappointed that it took 18 months to get here but we’re relieved that it’s finally behind us,” AT&T lead attorney Daniel Petrocelli told reporters outside the courthouse.
David McAtee, AT&T’s general counsel, added in a statement that the company was looking forward to closing the deal on June 20.
The Hill’s Harper Neidig has more on this breaking story right here.
ON TAP TOMORROW
- House Financial Services Committee: Comptroller of the Currency Joseph Otting testifies on financial industry regulation, 10 a.m
- Brookings Institution hosts an event entitled “Building a More Dynamic and Competitive Economy,” 1:30
- House Financial Services Committee: Hearing entitled “Ensuring Effectiveness, Fairness, and Transparency in Securities Law Enforcement,” 2 p.m.
- Senate Select Committee on Pension Solvency: Hearing entitled “Employer Perspectives on Multiemployer Pension Plans,” 2 p.m.
LEADING THE DAY
GOP effort to kill Trump’s tariffs blocked in Senate: Legislation reining in President TrumpDonald John TrumpSanford at risk in primary shadowed by Trump McConnell cements his standing in GOP history Ready for somebody? Dems lack heir apparent this time MORE‘s tariff authority was blocked from getting a vote in the Senate on Tuesday.
Sen. Bob CorkerRobert (Bob) Phillips CorkerChina is no friend to US — Trump’s putting a stop to these unfair trade deals GOP, business groups slam Trump attacks on Canada This week: Congress faces what could be biggest news week of 2018 MORE (R-Tenn.) was trying to attach his bill as an amendment to the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA). His legislation, which is backed by roughly a dozen senators, would require congressional approval if Trump wanted to enact tariffs in the name of national security.
Corker tried to bring up his bill and schedule a vote but was blocked by GOP Sen. Jim InhofeJames (Jim) Mountain InhofeThis week: Congress faces what could be biggest news week of 2018 Unending Pruitt controversies leave Republicans frustrated Overnight Finance: Senators introduce bill to curb Trump’s tariff authority | McConnell calls it ‘exercise in futility’ | Kudlow warns WTO won’t dictate policy | Mulvaney feud with consumer advocates deepens MORE (Okla.), who is managing the defense bill for Republicans.
Corker ripped his GOP colleagues from the Senate floor arguing they are afraid of provoking backlash from Trump.
“Gosh, ‘we might poke the bear’ that is the language I’ve been hearing in the hallways. We might poke the bear,” Corker said during his floor speech.
Asked if he was “giving up” for now, Corker fired back at a reporter: “It’s blocked! I’m not giving the fight up, it’s blocked. I cannot offer the amendment because they’re objecting it. I’m not giving up.”
The Hill’s Jordain Carney tells us more about the showdown here.
White House: Kudlow to stay in the hospital following heart attack: White House economic adviser Larry Kudlow will remain in the hospital as he recovers from a heart attack that occurred Monday, the administration says.
A statement from press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders on Tuesday confirmed that Kudlow was expected to return to work “soon,” but gave no timetable for the aide’s recovery.
Administration officials and lawmakers spent Tuesday wishing a Kudlow a quick recovery.
House Speaker Paul RyanPaul Davis RyanGOP senators blast White House aide over trade remarks GOP centrists face decision day on Dreamer petition Scalise to publish memoir ‘Back in the Game’ MORE (R-Wis.), House Minority Leader Nancy PelosiNancy Patricia D'Alesandro PelosiSchumer blames congressional GOP for net neutrality repeal Alec Baldwin: I want to see ‘a healthy Republican Party’ Open primaries are working in California MORE (D-Calif.) and Treasury Secretary Steven MnuchinSteven Terner MnuchinHillicon Valley: Net neutrality ends | What repeal means and what’s next | Treasury sanctions Russian firms for aiding cyberattacks | How trolling became diplomacy’s new trend | Feds crack down on email scams | Defense bill cyber update Treasury slaps sanctions on firms aiding Russia security service White House considers more economic penalties against Canada: report MORE joined a flurry of well-wishers on Twitter.
Kudlow is reportedly eager to return to the White House, but there are growing concerns about the 80-year-old NEC director’s health and the impact his job could have on it, according to Politico.
Senate panel advances Trump’s latest Fed nominees: The Senate Banking Committee on Tuesday approved President Trump’s two most recent nominees to the Federal Reserve Board with bipartisan votes.
The panel voted to recommend Richard Clarida to serve as the Fed’s vice chairman and Michelle Bowman to take the spot on the Fed’s board reserved for a community banker.
The full Senate is expected to easily confirm Clarida and Bowman, two Republicans who fit the mold of Trump’s previous Fed and financial regulatory appointees.
Republicans had high praise for Clarida, an advisor for PIMCO investment bank and a Columbia University professor, and Bowman, the Kansas state bank commissioner and former community bank CEO.
While a block of moderate Democrats supported their nominations, their liberal committee colleges said Clarida and Bowman failed to give sufficient answers to their questions about financial stability and the causes of the 2007-8 crisis.
FINANCE IN FOCUS
- Tax law snags: Congress is facing rising pressure to fix the 2017 tax law as stakeholders across multiple industries beg lawmakers to tackle the bill’s unintended consequences. The Hill’s Naomi Jagoda tells us how that process could get caught up in election politics, as Democrats resist helping the GOP refine their trademark bill.
- Yo, Canada? Republicans and business groups are slamming President Trump and his advisers over scathing remarks about Canada following the Group of Seven (G-7) summit in Quebec over the weekend. The Hill’s Vicki Needham and Niv Elis break down the tensions here.
GOOD TO KNOW
- Peter Navarro, an adviser to President Trump on trade, apologized Tuesday for saying there is a “special place in Hell” for Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau or “any foreign leader” for crossing President Trump.
- Just weeks after passing a new tax on big businesses, Seattle political leaders signaled late Monday they would reverse course and repeal it.
- A Senate subcommittee moved Tuesday to advance a $ 35.85 billion funding bill for the Interior Department and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), rejecting many of the proposed cuts that the Trump administration sought for both agencies.
- Rep. Keith EllisonKeith Maurice EllisonTrump to hold campaign rally in Minnesota next week The Hill’s Morning Report — Sponsored by PhRMA — Primary results give both parties hopes for November Keith Ellison files to run for Minnesota AG MORE (D-Minn.) on Tuesday offered a bill in the House to curb stock buybacks, as companies’ share repurchases have increased following passage of the GOP tax law in December.
- The Congressional Budget Office, which has become a political punching bag for Republicans in recent years because of its scores for tax and healthcare legislation, was more accurate than average in its projections on 2017 spending.
- After a long period where investors mostly shrugged them off, political risks are once again taking a front seat in moving markets, according to The Wall Street Journal.
- The U.S. District Court for the Western District of Texas today ruled against the request from Acting CFPB Director Mick MulvaneyJohn (Mick) Michael MulvaneyOn The Money: Trump, Trudeau fight takes rough turn | Lawmakers criticize attacks on Canada | New sanctions target Russians for cyberattacks | Feds bust massive wire fraud scheme Five ways Mulvaney is cracking down on his own agency Consumer bureau drops 9M fine against NJ lender accused of kickback scheme MORE and payday lenders to delay the compliance date for the CFPB’s rule on payday loans.
- Corn futures climbed by nearly 3 percent Tuesday and wheat futures marked their highest finish in two weeks, after data from the U.S. Department of Agriculture revealed expectations for tighter supplies of both grains, according to MarketWatch.
ODDS AND ENDS
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