OVERNIGHT MONEY: UI bill goes another round in the Senate

TUESDAY'S BIG STORY:  

Jobless benefits on the move: Senate leaders will attempt another compromise and vote on Tuesday on a measure to renew emergency unemployment benefits. 

Leaders decided on Monday to delay a vote while they continue to work toward an agreement.

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Without a bipartisan deal, the bill is doomed in the Senate. 

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) said Monday that he had received a new proposal from Republican Sens. Susan Collins (Maine) and Dean Heller (Nev.) that would provide a renewal of federal benefits for three more months. 

Reid met during the day with them both. They are two of the six Republicans who helped push the legislation to the floor for debate.

"They've made a proposal, I have the outline of that proposal," Reid said. "However, I can't automatically agree to it, because it calls for a three-month [extension] rather than the 11 months or so that we had.

"I need to be able to meet with other senators ... before I can determine how I would suggest — how we would proceed on this matter."

Reid signaled he would discuss the Collins-Heller plan at their Democratic lunch on Tuesday.

At the end of last week, Reid angered Republicans when he offered up an 11-month, $18 billion plan that included a portion of one Republican idea to pay for it plus another year of the sequester.

He also shut the GOP out of the amendment process. 

Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) urged for Reid to allow an open amendment process. But, earlier in the day, Reid said he would only allow "relevant" GOP amendments and would not entertain non-germane proposals, including those meant to attack ObamaCare.

Republicans have been pressing for a three-month extension to provide some time to overhaul the program, which would include adding job-training initiatives. 

At the same time, Democrats decided to look for ways to pay for the program for as long as possible, fearing that passage of a short-term bill would make it even more difficult to extend the program any deeper into the year. 

Leaders of both parties had been meeting all day to find a way forward.

Earlier on Monday, Rep. Sandy Levin (D-Mich.), who had led the House charge on a bill, said time is short for Congress to forge an agreement before leaving Washington for an extended break for the Martin Luther King Jr. holiday, which is next Monday. 

There should be a better sense by Tuesday afternoon as to where the bill is headed. 

 

WHAT ELSE WE'RE WATCHING

QT with QM: A House Financial Services subcommittee will chat with mortgage industry experts about how a new qualified mortgage rule, which went into effect on Friday, could affect potential and current homeowners. 

Working on a deal: Top congressional negotiators were racing on Monday to ready a bipartisan $1.1 trillion spending bill that would keep the government running through October and put the kibosh on budget battles.

Leaders of the House and Senate Appropriations committees were trying to complete the final remain details of the massive omnibus sometime Monday night.

That would allow House consideration before a short-term spending bill expires at midnight Wednesday.

Still, the House plans to take up a stopgap spending bill as the final details are ironed out to avoid a government shutdown. That bill should pass, so there is enough time to wrap up the omnibus work and hold a vote by the middle of the week, with the Senate passing it and sending it to the White House before next week's holiday break. 

 

ECONOMIC INDICATORS

Retail Sales: The Commerce Department will release its December report measuring retail sales. Sales figures are widely followed as the most timely indicator of broad consumer spending patterns, which represent 70 of economic activity.

Export Prices-Import Prices: The Commerce Department releases its December report tracking trends in exports and imports, with the export data worth watching for indications of how the global economy is faring. Imports provide an indication of domestic demand, but given the severe lag of this report relative to other consumption indicators, it is not particularly valuable.

Business Inventories: The Commerce Department will release its November report on sales and inventory from all three stages of the manufacturing process: manufacturing, wholesale and retail.

 

WHAT YOU MIGHT HAVE MISSED

— US trade officials press China on steel tariff compliance

— Liberal group makes own case on tax reform

— Dairy farmers rejecting farm bill compromise

— Government ran $53B surplus in December

— PR firm Levick starts lobby practice

 

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