Just eighteen days after Inauguration Day and President Trump is embroiled in controversy. His immigration directive banning refugees and travelers from seven predominantly Muslim countries sparked protests and was temporarily upended.
Here's a quick, distilled look at related issues all investors should keep an eye on from Hedgeye's JT Taylor and our team of Washington Policy analysts in D.C.
GIVE US THE TOOLS AND WE’LL FINISH THE JOB
Less than one week after the Congressional Review Act (CRA) was revived for this first time in over a decade, Republicans on the Hill trotted it back out again. An SEC rule that required American companies that extract natural resources to file public reports detailing payments to foreign governments was overturned along party lines.
Expect to see this tool used more and more in the early stages of this Congress to eliminate Obama-era rules enacted in the past 60 legislative days - which takes us back to June 2016. According to some on the Hill, the potential exists for the CRA to extend back even further...
OUTSIDE THE BELTWAY
#Trump #Gorsuch #SupremeCourt
Now that we’ve witnessed the pace President Trump has set in his first few weeks in office, expect him to go on the offensive and on the road throughout the legislative season to see his agenda through. Whether it’s money for the wall, votes for tax reform or an infrastructure package, Trump will go after Republicans on the Hill to ensure they aren’t going wobbly on him.
We’ve already seen him single out Senators Lindsey Graham and John McCain on immigration and there’s no reason to believe he’ll rein it in. As the year progresses (particularly if the Gorsuch nomination lingers) expect Trump to hit the road and go to places where he won big like WV, ND, MT, and IN to drum up support and ratchet up the heat on Democratic Senators from those states who oppose him.
THE HAWK CIRCLES
President Trump was in full defense hawk mode at U.S. Central Command and he directed Defense Secretary James Mattis to conduct a readiness review to guide the military’s budget requests and plans to give them new planes and new equipment. While Trump will need congressional approval for any defense appropriations and he will certainly have allies in some of his biggest critics - like the aforementioned Graham and McCain.
FUELING THE FILIBUSTER
President Trump’s immigration ban has given him his first taste of the system of checks and balances our Founders established. Trump’s handling of the judiciary may cause him to be his own worst enemy if he wants to get Neil Gorsuch through the Senate. By using the phrase “so-called judge” over the weekend to refer to the Appeals Court judge who overturned the rule, he has given Democrats fuel to resist Trump’s nomination at all costs. All eyes will be on the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals this evening at 6 pm.
ITCHING FOR A FIGHT
Republicans have long had their eye on CFPB Director Richard Cordray. Now President Trump and his allies are starting to make moves against him. Firing him though could ignite yet another fire under the Democrats as well as use up the president's precious political capital particularly since he campaigned against Wall Street - and some think it may just be better to sit out this fight and wait for Cordray’s term to expire next summer. We don’t think Trump is one of them.
DATA FREE WIRELESS GETS FCC OKAY
Our Senior Telecom & Media Policy Analyst Paul Glenchur writes that reversing the net neutrality policy of Obama's FCC, new Chairman Pai signals "all clear" for the zero-rating plans of T, VZ and TMUS. You can read the full piece here.
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