On The Money: GOP digs in on defending Trump tax cuts | Democrats bullish on raising minimum wage | Financial sector braces for Biden’s consumer bureau pick

On The Money: GOP digs in on defending Trump tax cuts | Democrats bullish on raising minimum wage | Financial sector braces for Biden’s consumer bureau pick

Happy Tuesday and welcome back to On The Money. I’m Sylvan Lane, and here’s your nightly guide to everything affecting your bills, bank account and bottom line.

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THE BIG DEAL—GOP digs in on preserving Trump tax cuts: Republicans are signaling a determination to protect their 2017 tax-cut law and prevent President Biden from making good on campaign pledges to partially undo the measure.

The tax law, enacted after GOP lawmakers sought for years to slash rates for individuals and businesses, was one of former President TrumpDonald TrumpSchumer: Impeachment trial will be quick, doesn’t need a lot of witnesses Nurse to be tapped by Biden as acting surgeon general: report Schumer calls for Biden to declare climate emergency MORE’s biggest legislative accomplishments. But with Democratic control of Congress, Biden has new avenues for delivering on his 2020 promises.

  • Biden has called for rolling back the Trump tax cuts on people making above $400,000 a year and to partially reverse the reduction in the corporate tax rate. 
  • And even though he has indicated tax increases are not his most immediate priority, Biden has noted they could be a way to finance his spending priorities down the line.

GOP lawmakers are now starting their campaign to keep the tax cuts intact, arguing that it would be particularly harmful to reverse them during the coronavirus-related downturn. The Hill’s Naomi Jagoda has more here.

 

LEADING THE DAY: Durbin says wage hike can happen with simple majority vote: Senate Majority Whip Dick DurbinDick DurbinJustice watchdog to probe whether officials sought to interfere with election Moderates vow to ‘be a force’ under Biden Skepticism reigns as Biden, McConnell begin new era MORE (Ill.), the No. 2 Senate Democrat, said that Democrats can use a special process known as budget reconciliation to increase the minimum wage to President Biden’s proposed target of $15 an hour without any Republican votes.

  • Durbin, who has served in the Senate since 1997 and is a veteran of many budget and procedural battles, said a minimum wage increase falls within the parameters of budget reconciliation.
  • That means Democrats would be able to pass it in the Senate with a simple majority vote, instead of the 60 normally needed to advance legislation.

“It’s being discussed. I don’t know that a final decision has been reached,” Durbin said of the possibility of increasing the minimum wage through the budget reconciliation process.

The Hill’s Alexander Bolton and Niv Elis walk us through the process.

The background: 

 

Financial firms brace for Biden’s consumer agency chief: President Biden’s pick to lead the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) is expected to embolden the powerful agency with a more aggressive approach to how banks, lenders and debt collectors treat their customers.

The shift comes after progressives and Wall Street critics raged for years as Trump-appointed CFPB leaders weakened regulations, upended the agency’s structure and took a less combative approach to oversight and enforcement.

The ideological pendulum is now set to swing sharply to the left if Biden’s top choice, Rohit ChopraRohit ChopraBiden expands on Obama ethics pledge Biden names acting chairs to lead FCC, FTC Biden selects Allison Herren Lee for SEC acting chair MORE, takes over the agency. I explain why here.

 

ON TAP TOMORROW:

Wednesday 1/27 at 11:30 AM ET | Relief to Recovery: What’s Next for Small Business?

Leaving 2020 behind, small businesses still face an uphill climb. Many business owners have learned to innovate, embracing new technologies and new business models in order to stay afloat, showing their resilience and begging the question – what will “normal” even look like for business owners?  What support do they still urgently need? Sen. Ben CardinBenjamin (Ben) Louis CardinThe Hill’s Morning Report – Biden: Focus on vaccine, virus, travel Senators introduce bill to award Officer Goodman the Congressional Gold Medal Democrats float 14th Amendment to bar Trump from office MORE (D-MD), Rep. Blaine LuetkemeyerWilliam (Blaine) Blaine LuetkemeyerThe Hill’s Morning Report – Biden: Focus on vaccine, virus, travel Commerce Bank joins companies halting support for officials who opposed Biden transition READ: The Republicans who voted to challenge election results MORE (R-MO), U.S. Black Chambers’ Ron Busby and small business owners  from across the country discuss how we move from COVID relief to a full recovery. RSVP today.

 

GOOD TO KNOW

 

ODDS AND ENDS

  • President Biden pledged to replace vehicles owned by the federal government with U.S.-made electric vehicles, doubling down on a similar campaign pledge. 
  • Target announced on Monday that it will give all of its hourly workers a $500 bonus as a thank-you for their efforts amid the coronavirus pandemic.