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    Steven Mnuchin Tag

    President Donald Trump's administration has officially restored sanctions on Iran that went away with the 2015 Iranian nuclear deal. At the same time, SWIFT, a financial messaging service based in Belgium, announced it will suspend "some unspecified Iranian banks’ access to its messaging system in the interest of the stability and integrity of the global financial system," but did not mention the US sanctions.

    President Donald Trump's administration has announced that it will reimpose sanctions on Iran that were terminated under the 2015 nuclear deal. A few countries received exemptions. From Fox News:
    Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin announced the sanctions on Iran’s shipping, financial and energy sectors. Particularly, the sanctions will target Iran’s crude oil exports and will penalize countries that don’t stop importing oil and foreign companies that do business with certain Iranian entities.

    I've said it before and I'll say it again. The way to pressure Russian Vladimir Putin is to hit those closest to him so they can't enjoy the luxuries of the West they claim to hate so much. President Donald Trump's administration did just that with a new round of sanctions on several oligarchs and government officials. This includes Putin's son-in-law and also Alexey Miller, the main man at Russia's Gazprom.

    Congress has returned to work and have started to ponder two important tasks at hand: Hurricane Harvey relief bill and the debt ceiling. One option leaders have leaned towards is attaching the two into one bill, thus killing two birds with one stone. The House could pass the Harvey relief bill on Wednesday and send it to the Senate, who could attach the debt ceiling bill to it. Then the Senate would send it back to the House for another vote.

    With Congress's recess about to end, eyes have turned to tax reform. But in a surprise twist, the White House has decided not to write its own tax reform plan, according to President Donald Trump's head economic aide. From The Financial Times:
    “The ‘big six’ have been meeting and have come up with an outline . . . and we have a good skeleton that we have agreed,” Mr Cohn said in a reference to the lawmakers, himself and Mr Mnuchin. “Now it is Chairman Brady’s time to get the [House] ways and means committee together to put flesh and bone on it, and they will do it next week when the House comes back into session.”

    While everyone is talking about statues or President Donald Trump taking a glance at the eclipse, America has some serious issues to address once Congress returns from its recess. This includes the debt ceiling. Last month, Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin urged Congress to raise the debt ceiling to prevent the government from running out of money to pay its bills. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) provided some comfort to Mnuchin by assuring him there's a "zero chance" Congress will not raise the debt ceiling.

    After failing to do anything with Obamacare, Congress has gone on recess without addressing the debt ceiling. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin has warned Congress to address the debt ceiling for the past seven months and do something before recess. Mnuchin said the government needs to raise the debt ceiling before September 29 or it will run out of money to pay the bills.

    Congressional Republicans and President Donald Trump's administration decided to abandon the controversial border adjustment tax (BAT) and concentrate more on corporate tax in their tax reform approach. The joint statement read:
    While we have debated the pro-growth benefits of border adjustability, we appreciate that there are many unknowns associated with it and have decided to set this policy aside in order to advance tax reform.

    Healthcare reform has taken center stage once again, but tax reform still lurks in the background. It's yet another issue that Congressional Republicans cannot agree on, mainly on the border adjustment tax. But there's a tax deduction the Republicans may eliminate that could cause problems and possible resistance among lawmakers, including within the party: interest deduction. The Wall Street Journal has pointed out that taking away "the deduction that companies get for interest they pay on debt" affects everyone from those on Wall Street "to wheat farmers in the Midwest looking to make ends meet before harvest."

    THEY DO EXIST! Yes, Congress still has Blue Dog Democrats within its walls. The group consists of only 18 members, but it could be enough to push tax reform through this year. These Democrats view themselves as ones who can help "broker a bipartisan deal." The Hill reported:
    “If it’s constructive, if they’re genuinely interested in ideas and making it a bipartisan effort, then the Blue Dogs are certainly willing to participate,” said Rep. Sanford Bishop (D-Ga.), a member of the group.

    In May, Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin asked Congress to raise the debt ceiling before members take their summer recess in order for America to pay its debts. The ability to borrow money expired on March 16. Now Mnuchin has said that he and the department have started to formulate plans to fund the government until September if Congress does not raise the debt ceiling. From The Wall Street Journal:

    The House of Representatives will vote on the Financial CHOICE Act this week, which will repeal a lot of the Dodd-Frank Reform Act. The Hill reported:
    The CHOICE Act is an effort to undo much of Dodd-Frank, a law long panned by Republicans as a burden on the U.S. economy and businesses. The bill, sponsored by House Financial Services Committee Chairman Jeb Hensarling (R-Texas), passed that panel earlier this month with unanimous Republican support and unified Democratic opposition.
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