5 Things To Watch Right Now In Washington

5 Things To Watch Right Now In Washington - z dmm

Presiding over a fiery press conference... 

...his first formal news conference since his Nov. 8 election victory, President-elect Donald Trump on Wednesday went after CNN and Buzz Feed hard for publishing what he called "fake news," denounced the publishing of claims he had been caught in a compromising position in Russia, and attacked U.S. intelligence agencies over the information leak.

Trump also discussed his plans to bring U.S. manufacturing jobs back from overseas plants and denounced drug companies for "getting away with murder" on pricing. Healthcare stocks took a hit following Trump's comments.

At a bare minimum, it's going to be an interesting and entertaining four years.

Here's a quick look at other related key issues investors should keep an eye on.

ALL SMOKE, NO FIRE

#Trump #Cabinet #ConfirmationHearings

5 Things To Watch Right Now In Washington - z tillerson

As confirmation hearings began yesterday, three Trump nominees will face the most scrutiny in the Senate starting with Secretary of State-designate Rex Tillerson who will face tough questioning for his well-publicized ties to Russia, but now will see questions about Exxon’s business dealings in Iran.

Secretary of Treasury-designate Steve Mnuchin will be probed for his over questionable business practices between a bank he ran and a movie studio he chaired. The last pick that may face the toughest time is Secretary of Labor Nominee Andrew F. Puzder who is an outspoken critic of raising the minimum wage and Obamacare.  

Despite the fireworks we expect all of Trump’s nominees to sail through -  especially with coverage over the next 24 hours focusing on President Obama’s farewell and President-elect Trump’s first press avail in months.

TALKING TAXES

#TaxReform #Paul Ryan

5 Things To Watch Right Now In Washington - z paul ryan

In an effort to bring team Trump into the fold, senior advisors to the president-elect met with Speaker Paul Ryan regarding the House Republican plan for tax reform. Ryan, who is steeped in tax policy, is working from his “Better Way” tax proposal which will serve as the blueprint for the effort starting in the Ways and Means Committee.

While Congress is leading the charge, Ryan and incoming chief of staff Reince Preibus are looking to ensure that both sides are singing from the same hymnal - especially when it comes to border adjustability as well as territorial tax proposal ending taxation of overseas profits of U.S. multinational corporations.

RAMPING UP REGULATORY REVERSAL

#RegulationNation #RedTape

5 Things To Watch Right Now In Washington - z regulation

The little used and very powerful Congressional Review Act (CRA) will be dusted off in the early days of the Trump Administration. The law has only been used once in its 20-year history and will  make up for lost time the coming months. Trump and Congress both want to overturn many Obama era rules even though employing CRA will have a negative impact on executive power; once a rule is overturned by the CRA, a new rule that is substantially the same cannot be issued making it difficult for any future president to propose a rule that covers a similar area.

REPEAL, RINSE, REPEAT

#Obamacare 

5 Things To Watch Right Now In Washington - z obamacare

What was thought to  be a quick and easy repeal of Obamacare has run into a buzzsaw of sorts.  A diverse mix of Hill constituencies from Libertarian KY Senator Rand Paul to conservative AR Senator Tom Cotton to moderate TN Senator Bob Corker have all expressed varying levels of discontent to repealing the law without a plan for replacement. All of them are now pushing for immediate replacement of the ACA.  And, just in time - President-elect Donald Trump is now calling for a replacement plan within weeks of repeal.

DON’T DUST OFF THAT RESET BUTTON JUST YET

#Russia

5 Things To Watch Right Now In Washington - z reset

Senator Ben Cardin (D-MD), Ranking Member of Senate Foreign Relations Committee is preparing a bill that would provide congressional authorization for economic sanctions against Russia. The bill has bipartisan support - notably from Senators John McCain and Lindsey Graham. This could cause an early faceoff between the Senate and President-elect Trump over the direction of U.S. policy with Russia.