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Sen. Mike Crapo

Senate GOP has issues with tax deal

The top Republican on the Senate Finance Committee is looking for changes to a bipartisan tax deal before throwing his support behind the measure.

Sen. Mike Crapo (R-Idaho) said after briefing panel members Tuesday night that he backs reviving business tax benefits and is open to “an appropriate child tax credit set of provisions,” but has issues with the package as-is. He did not detail the changes he wanted.

“As is always the case, the devil is in the details,” Crapo said. “And we’ve got to get the details.”

Senate Finance Committee Chair Ron Wyden (D-Ore.) and House Ways and Means Chair Jason Smith (R-Mo.) announced their agreement earlier Tuesday on a long-sought tax package. Ways and Means is moving toward a markup Friday, as we reported.

Republican support will be critical to passage in the Senate.

Sen. Todd Young (R-Ind.) told reporters there was an openness to “something approximating” this deal. He said some senators want child tax credit provisions changed, but others may want different tweaks.

Before the meeting, Senate Minority Whip John Thune said there are things in the deal that the GOP wants but also things “that shouldn’t be in there” — pointing to concerns about keeping child tax credit eligibility tied to work.

More news: The National Association of Manufacturers is launching ads today in multiple Kentucky papers and the Shreveport Times in Louisiana. They’re targeting (you guessed it) Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell and Speaker Mike Johnson as part of a push to get the Wyden-Smith deal over the finish line.

They urge readers to thank each chamber’s top Republican for “standing up for manufacturers” and say that their companies need the revival of three business tax benefits.

Meanwhile in banking: The Biden administration has a new proposal aimed at changing how U.S. banks make money by restricting their use of overdraft fees.

Banks have been bracing for this proposal for a while. While some large lenders have changed or eliminated overdraft programs, the practice of charging customers for overdrawing their bank accounts remains widespread.

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau’s proposal argues the existing rules around overdraft fees have allowed for a “loophole” within the Truth in Lending Act. The agency, led by Director Rohit Chopra, says account overdrafts are actually loans and must be treated as such, which means stronger disclosures and consumer protections.

The distinction between “loan” and “fee” is huge. Chopra told reporters that the industry’s average fee of $35 per overdraft amounts to 16,000% APR, assuming most consumers’ overdrafts are less than about $26 a pop.

The proposal announced today would apply to banks with more than $10 billion of assets. But even smaller banks may eventually begrudgingly fall in line, whether through regulatory fear or market pressure.

Remember Basel? Senate Banking Republicans led by Sen. Tim Scott (S.C.) sent another letter to bank regulators Tuesday night blasting Basel III Endgame, per a letter we obtained.

Every GOP member of the panel criticized regulators for failure to show “any sufficient economic analysis or proof that the banking system is currently under capitalized.” Officials like Fed Vice Chair for Supervision Michael Barr have disputed this charge for months.

— Laura Weiss and Brendan Pedersen

Presented by AARP

AARP knows older voters. 

We’ve made it our business to know what matters to people 50 and over—like we know that protecting Social Security and supporting family caregivers are among their top priorities. Learn more from our polling in Pennsylvania.

Editorial photos provided by Getty Images. Political ads courtesy of AdImpact.