May 28, 2019

Second Republican blocks $19.1 billion natural disaster aid package

Rep. Thomas Massie. Photo: Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call via Getty Images

Rep. Thomas Massie (R-Ky.) objected Tuesday to the $19.1 billion aid package for areas affected by natural disasters over the last two years, becoming the second Republican to use unanimous consent to singlehandedly object to the bill's passage.

Why it matters: The package — negotiated over the past few months between congressional Democrats and Republicans — aims to provide about $900 million for Puerto Rico and reduce the risk of future floods and hurricanes in the U.S. Historic flooding and extreme weather have slammed the central U.S. over that period.

What to watch: House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer said Democrats will try to pass the aid package during the next pro forma session on Thursday, though it could once again be blocked by a single Republican vote at that time. The full House will not be in session again until June 3.

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Scoop: Top NSC official reassigned to Energy Department amid "Anonymous" fallout

Photo: Mark Wilson/Getty Images

Deputy national security adviser Victoria Coates will be reassigned as a senior adviser to Energy Secretary Dan Brouillette, the National Security Council said Thursday — and a senior White House official said that the administration "rejects" the rumors that she is "Anonymous."

Why it matters: Coates has battled claims that she is the still-unknown Trump administration official that penned a New York Times op-ed and book critical of President Trump.

The Fed may be setting the table for 2020 rate cuts

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

The Fed looks to be laying the groundwork to lower U.S. interest rates this year, just as they did in April 2019 before cutting rates in July, September and October.

Why it matters: A Fed rate cut makes taking on debt more attractive for U.S. consumers and businesses, helping to juice the economy, but also puts the central bank in a weaker position to fight off a potential recession.

Morgan Stanley to buy E*Trade in a $13 billion deal

Photo: Rafael Henrique/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images

Morgan Stanley is planning to buy E*Trade Financial Corp. in a $13 billion all-stock deal, the Wall Street Journal reports, with plans to acquire the company known for helping everyday Americans manage their money.

Why it matters: The deal, which would be the largest by a major American bank since the financial crisis, signals Morgan Stanley‘s desire to bulk up in wealth management.