House lawmakers today are scheduled to vote on a Senate-passed resolution (S.J. Res. 57) that would nullify guidance on auto lending issued by the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) per the provisions of the Congressional Review Act (CRA). The most consequential element of the measure is that it will repeal agency guidance, as opposed to a rule, which sets a new precedent for congressional oversight of regulations. This specific guidance was targeted by Republicans due to their concerns that it was based upon faulty analysis and inaccurate assumptions of discrimination during the “dealer markup” phase of an auto loan. Only one Democrat, Sen. Joe Manchin (D-WV), voted in favor of the resolution in the upper chamber and it is expected to be considered on partisan lines in the House as well.
The Senate will continue its consideration of high-level judicial nominees, with Kurt Engelhardt’s nomination to the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals being debated post-cloture. The cloture vote yesterday passed 64-31. Michael Brennan’s nomination to join the 7th Circuit is next in the Senate queue.
The White House is also expected to make a major announcement this afternoon as President Trump has reached a decision on whether to pull the U.S. out of the nuclear agreement reached with Iran and world powers in 2015. Republicans have long criticized the deal — a key Obama Administration foreign policy initiative — as being too conciliatory towards Iran, and it is widely expected that President Trump will announce that he intends to withdraw the U.S. from the terms of the agreement today. International reactions have been mixed as European allies have strongly urged the President to stay in the deal, while another important ally, Israel, has pushed for the U.S. to leave.
Finally, voters in Indiana, North Carolina, Ohio and West Virginia will head to the polls today as the heart of political primary season begins. The headline races are the GOP Senate primaries in Indiana and West Virginia, as Republican candidates jockey to face incumbent Sens. Joe Donnelly (D-IN) and Joe Manchin (D-WV), who are both perceived as vulnerable as they run for re-election in states President Trump carried by large margins in 2016. In West Virginia, Republican leaders have tried to reject the candidacy of former Massey Energy Chief Executive Don Blankenship, but the controversial figure has seen a late resurgence in his bid for the GOP nomination for Senate. National Republicans and President Trump are opposing him over concerns that the former convict would be unelectable in November.