The Hill's Morning Report - Ins and outs: Powell renominated at Fed, Parnell drops Senate bid

 

President Joe Biden, center, speaks as he announces that he is nominating Jerome Powell, left, for a second four-year term as Federal Reserve chair and Lael Brainard, right, as vice chair

 

 

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Total U.S. coronavirus deaths each morning this week: Monday, 771,118; Tuesday, 772,344.   

 

NOTE to readers: Morning Report will take a holiday hiatus and return Monday, and the Morning Report Quiz will return next week and help us glide into December. Happy Thanksgiving!



President BidenJoe BidenHouse passes 8B defense policy bill House approves bill to ease passage of debt limit hike Senate rejects attempt to block Biden's Saudi arms sale MORE signaled on Monday he prefers continuity in Federal Reserve leadership while also promoting as central bank vice chairwoman an experienced economist lauded by some Senate Democrats who oppose another term for Chairman Jerome Powell, a Republican and appointee of former President TrumpDonald TrumpSenate rejects attempt to block Biden's Saudi arms sale Crenshaw slams House Freedom Caucus members as 'grifters,' 'performance artists' Senate confirms Biden's nominee to lead Customs and Border Protection MORE.

 

Biden announced he is nominating Fed Governor Lael Brainard to the No. 2 position, in effect elevating her perspective about a tougher regulatory role for the Fed (The Hill). Brainard is well known to many current senior Biden advisers; she launched her West Wing career working with many of them during the Clinton years.

 

The Wall Street Journal: Powell’s renomination draws bipartisan Senate support.

 

The New York Times: Biden bets big on known quantities at the Fed.

 

MarketWatch: Stocks on Monday opened higher after Biden said he would renominate Powell.

 

CNBC: What to know about Brainard: She is the only Democrat on the Fed’s board and her dissents about Fed policy — 12 last year — stood apart.

 

The president in December plans to announce a nominee to be the central bank’s vice chairman for supervision, a role focused on regulating banks, according to the White House. The position has been vacant since October.

 

Biden’s Fed selections have been speculated about and anticipated for months and were announced at a time of high anxiety about inflation, the U.S. economy and the nation’s political future beyond 2022.

 

“I know, for a lot of Americans, things are still very hard — very hard,” Biden said at the White House on Monday. “We know it’s tough for families to keep up with the rising costs of gasoline, food, housing, and other essentials … but if we look at the facts — all the facts — you can only come to one conclusion: We have made enormous progress in this country.”

 

Biden’s lengthy deliberations about putting his stamp on the Fed stirred debate among progressives such as Sen. Elizabeth WarrenElizabeth WarrenHillicon Valley — Presented by Connected Commerce Council — Incident reporting language left out of package Exporting gas means higher monthly energy bills for American families Senators turn up the heat on Amazon, data brokers during hearing MORE (D-Mass.), who on Monday repeated her vow to vote against Powell’s renomination. Democratic Sens. Sheldon WhitehouseSheldon WhitehouseDemocrats see Christmas goal slipping away What's that you smell in the Supreme Court? The Hill's Morning Report - Ins and outs: Powell renominated at Fed, Parnell drops Senate bid MORE of Rhode Island and Jeff MerkleyJeff MerkleyDemocrats seek to avoid internal disputes over Russia and China Senate GOP blocks defense bill, throwing it into limbo Lawmakers call on Olympic committee to press China on human rights abuses MORE of Oregon also have serious misgivings. Sen. Ed MarkeyEd MarkeySenators seek to curb counterfeit toys and goods sold online Senate GOP blocks defense bill, throwing it into limbo Equilibrium/Sustainability — Presented by Southern Company — Pledged money not going to Indigenous causes MORE (D-Mass.) is another who could oppose a second term for the chairman, reports The Hill’s Alexander Bolton. Democrats want the Fed to factor climate change into economic decision-making, and Biden said Powell agrees.

 

Inflation, as The Hill’s Niall Stanage writes, will be debated center stage with Powell continuing to steer the central bank. The former investment banker has repeatedly said the current record-setting inflation surge is “transitory” and that ending the COVID-19 pandemic is key to almost every hurdle in the current U.S. economy. 

 

Many investment analysts and economists argue whether “transitory” inflation is shorthand for years of elevated prices that erode consumers’ purchasing power, savings, wage growth and retirement expectations.

 

It’s a political problem. Eighty-two percent of Americans say items they buy regularly are more expensive, according to a Sunday CBS News poll. Americans disapprove of Biden's handling of inflation and 70 percent think the economy is in bad shape, according to other recent surveys. Many are not sure who is to blame but complain the president is not making things better.

 

Greg Ip, The Wall Street Journal: Powell will face a very different economy in a second term.

 

Biden today will deliver an economic speech about “lowering prices for the American people,” according to the White House. He has weighed a series of possible options under his control to try to curb rising gasoline prices without disrupting his climate change bona fides by promoting fossil fuels. The president has spoken about steep food and automobile prices, supply chain disruptions, and international trade and competitiveness.

 

On Wednesday, the Commerce Department will release a “core personal consumption” price index, which is expected to confirm soaring inflation in October. It’s one of the Federal Reserve’s preferred inflation gauges, and before Biden flies today to Nantucket for a holiday break through the weekend, he may be trying to get ahead of those numbers.

 

 

Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., talks to Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell before a Senate Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs Committee hearing

 



LEADING THE DAY

POLITICS: Sean Parnell, the leading candidate for the GOP nomination in Pennsylvania’s Senate contest, suspended his campaign on Monday after a judge handed his estranged wife sole legal custody of their children, tossing the race on its head in the process.

 

A judge’s order gave Laurie Snell sole legal custody and primary physical custody of their three children, saying that he found Snell to be the more credible witness. Parnell was granted partial physical custody on some weekends each month. During a recent hearing, Snell alleged that Parnell attempted to choke her and hit their children. 

 

In a statement, Parnell said that he vehemently disagreed with the order, adding that he can’t move ahead with the campaign given the situation (Pittsburgh Post-Gazette).

 

“I strongly disagree with the ruling today and I'm devastated by the decision,” Parnell said, adding that he plans to appeal the decision, noting that his Senate bid played a major role in the judge’s order. “There is nothing more important to me than my children, and while I plan to ask the court to reconsider, I can't continue with a Senate campaign. My focus right now is 100% on my children, and I want them to know I do not have any other priorities and will never stop fighting for them.”

 

Parnell was considered the front-runner after winning Trump’s highly-coveted endorsement. Donald Trump Jr. was among Parnell’s most prominent supporters.

 

The Philadelphia Inquirer: Parnell has suspended his campaign after losing custody battle amid abuse claims.

 

 

Pennsylvania Republican congressional candidate Sean Parnell speaks ahead of a campaign rally

 

 

With Parnell out of the way, the primary to replace the retiring Sen. Pat ToomeyPatrick (Pat) Joseph ToomeyBlack women look to build upon gains in coming elections Watch live: GOP senators present new infrastructure proposal Sasse rebuked by Nebraska Republican Party over impeachment vote MORE (R-Pa.) has been showered in fresh uncertainty, with strategists expecting the entrants of two potential top tier candidates to shake up the race once again. 

 

David McCormick, a wealthy businessman, is likely to enter the race by the end of the year and is planning to plow between $20 million and $40 million into a potential bid, two sources tell the Morning Report. McCormick, a Pittsburgh-area native, is the head of Bridgewater Associates, the world’s biggest hedge fund, with more than $140 billion in assets, and he served as a top Treasury Department official during former President George W. Bush’s administration

 

Also expected to mount a bid is Mehmet Oz, the television personality. According to sources, the TV doctor has begun hiring staff and consultants ahead of a likely campaign, but the GOP strategist indicates that he has not gained much traction with the state’s politicos yet.

 

“Not many people are taking Dr. Oz seriously,” the operative said. 

 

Questions also persist about his residential status and effect that would have on a possible candidacy. The Washington Free Beacon reported that Oz does not own property in the state under his name and that his closest association to the state is his graduate degree from the University of Pennsylvania. The publication noted that Oz has a non-permanent voter registration in the Keystone State in connection with a property that belongs to his mother-in-law in Montgomery County. 

 

“We don't need someone to parachute in from another state,” Rob Gleason, the former Pennsylvania GOP chairman, told the Morning Report in an interview. 

 

The current field is headlined by two candidates: Carla Sands, the former ambassador to Denmark under Trump, and Jeff Bartos, a businessman and the party’s lieutenant governor candidate in 2018. According to multiple sources, Sands is set to spend $12 million in the primary and is considered among the top candidates for the now at-large Trump endorsement, along with McCormick.

 

The Washington Post:  Rep. Peter WelchPeter Francis WelchVermont Lt. Gov. launches bid for US House The Hill's Morning Report - Ins and outs: Powell renominated at Fed, Parnell drops Senate bid Welch to seek Senate seat in Vermont MORE (D-Vt.) on Monday announced a bid to succeed Sen. Patrick LeahyPatrick Joseph LeahyVermont Lt. Gov. launches bid for US House Lawmakers remember Bob Dole: 'Bona fide American hero' Biden signs four bills aimed at helping veterans MORE (D-Vt.), who is not seeking a ninth term next year. Welch is Vermont’s sole House member.  

 

The Hill: Jan. 6 Committee tells court it urgently needs Trump records. 

 

The Associated Press: Alex Jones, Roger StoneRoger Jason StoneCheney warns of consequences for Trump in dealings with Jan. 6 committee Trump, Jan. 6 panel are set for Tuesday faceoff Countering the ongoing Republican delusion MORE subpoenaed by the House Jan. 6 committee.

 

The Washington Post: Republican National Committee agrees to pay some of Trump’s legal bills in New York criminal investigation.

 

The Hill: Michael CohenMichael Dean CohenMichael Cohen to sell prison badge as NFT Sunday shows - Spotlight shifts to omicron variant Cohen says Weisselberg not 'key' to Trump case MORE officially released from prison sentence.



IN FOCUS/SHARP TAKES

CORONAVIRUS: The White House said on Monday that more than 90 percent of the federal workforce has received at least one shot of a COVID-19 vaccine, meeting the deadline for Biden’s federal employee mandate. 

 

In total, 95 percent of federal workers are in compliance after being granted a valid exception or an extension request, meaning that only a few thousand of the 3.5 million in the federal workforce are not. According to an administration official, “agencies are beginning an education and counseling process, followed by additional enforcement steps over time if needed” (The Hill).

 

Pfizer revealed that its COVID-19 vaccine is 100 percent effective in 12- to 15-year-olds, according to new data from a phase 3 trial conducted with 2,228 participants.

 

“These are the first and only disclosed longer-term data demonstrating the safety and efficacy of a COVID-19 vaccine in individuals 12 to 15 years of age,” BioNTech CEO and co-founder Ugur Sahin said in a statement. “The growing body of data we have compiled from clinical trials and real-world surveillance to date strengthen the base of evidence supporting the strong efficacy and favorable safety profile of our Covid-19 vaccine across adolescent and adult populations” (STAT News).

 

However, the positive news ends there as cases and hospitalizations pile up ahead of Thanksgiving and as families are set to gather. According to The New York Times, hospitalizations have nearly doubled in Michigan over the past two weeks, making it the state with the second-highest spike in hospitalizations.

 

The Washington Post: America isn’t headed toward lockdowns, say White House officials.

 

The New York Times: Pediatricians say COVID-19 infections among children are on the rise. 

 

The Hill: House COVID-19 panel seeks interview with former Trump FDA leader Stephen HahnStephen HahnThe Hill's Morning Report - Ins and outs: Powell renominated at Fed, Parnell drops Senate bid Overnight Health Care — White House touts vaccine rate for feds House COVID-19 panel seeks interview with former Trump FDA leader Hahn MORE.

 

Across the Atlantic, Europe is in serious trouble with its fourth wave of COVID-19 infections, having racked up more than 2 million new cases of the virus per week. Austria went into lockdown on Monday. Germany is calling for more stringent measures (The New York Times).

 

“Probably by the end of this winter, as is sometimes cynically said, pretty much everyone in Germany will be vaccinated, recovered or dead,” German Health Minister Jens Spahn said.

 

Reuters: U.S. advises against travel to Germany and Denmark.

 

Der Spiegel: Study finds regional link between far right party and high COVID-19 rates of infection in Germany.

 

 

A man takes photographs in a deserted square at the St. Stephen's Cathedral in Vienna, Austria

 

 

*****

 

ADMINISTRATION: Biden will announce a plan as soon as today to release oil from the U.S. Strategic Petroleum Reserve in coordination with other nations’ reserves. Officials with the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries on Monday warned they’re likely to respond to such plans, setting the stage for a potential fight for control of the global energy market. Biden wants to unveil the move for reserve releases in agreement with China, India, Japan and South Korea, according to Al Jazeera and CNN. The plan, weeks in development, is designed to ease this year’s rising fuel prices for drivers and businesses.

 

Economists argue that reserves of petroleum are intended to respond to short-term supply shocks, not unwelcome price increases in times of ample energy supplies. The U.S. reserve oil is stored in underground salt caverns in Texas and Louisiana. The stockpile can amount to about 600 million barrels of oil, which is slightly less than one month's worth of oil at current levels of U.S. consumption. 

 

> The Justice Department agreed to a litigation settlement of $130 million after conceding FBI negligence in not investigating two tips the bureau received before Nikolas Cruz, then 19, shot and killed 17 students and injured 17 others at Parkland High School in Florida in 2018. The money will be paid to 40 survivors and family members of victims. Cruz is scheduled to go on trial next year after pleading guilty last month to 17 counts of murder and 17 counts of attempted murder (The New York Times). 



The Morning Report is created by journalists Alexis Simendinger and Al Weaver. We want to hear from you! Email: asimendinger@thehill.com and aweaver@thehill.com. We invite you to share The Hill’s reporting and newsletters, and encourage others to SUBSCRIBE! 



OPINION

Biden’s choice for Fed chair is a smart and overdue break with the left of his party, by David Ignatius, columnist, The Washington Post. https://wapo.st/3xkWJ3B 

 

On Peng Shuai, and what courage looks like, by Jason Gay, sports columnist, The Wall Street Journal. https://on.wsj.com/3xd9UDE 

 

Yes, you should get a COVID-19 booster, by Marc Siegel, opinion contributor, The Wall Street Journal. https://on.wsj.com/3HOVMWi 



WHERE AND WHEN

The House meets at 11 a.m. for a pro forma session. Following recess for the Thanksgiving holiday, lawmakers are scheduled to resume work in Washington on Nov. 30.

 

The Senate convenes at 8:15 a.m. for a pro forma session. Following the chamber’s Thanksgiving recess, senators will return to the nation’s capital on Monday. 

 

The president and Vice President Harris will receive the President’s Daily Brief at 10 a.m. Biden will speak about the economy at 2 p.m. in South Court Auditorium in the Eisenhower Executive Office Building. The president, first lady Jill BidenJill BidenBidens visit WWII memorial to mark 80th anniversary of Pearl Harbor attack China warns of 'firm countermeasures' if US stages diplomatic boycott of Beijing Olympics Biden returns restores tradition, returning to Kennedy Center Honors MORE, Harris and second gentleman Doug EmhoffDoug EmhoffChina warns of 'firm countermeasures' if US stages diplomatic boycott of Beijing Olympics Biden returns restores tradition, returning to Kennedy Center Honors The Hill's Morning Report - Presented by Uber - Omicron tests vaccines; Bob Dole dies at 98 MORE will participate in a service project at DC Central Kitchen in Washington, D.C., at 4 p.m. The president and first lady will depart this evening for Nantucket, Mass., where they will remain for the Thanksgiving holiday.

 

The White House daily press briefing is scheduled at 3:15 p.m. 

 

Hill.TV’s “Rising” program features news and interviews at http://thehill.com/hilltv or on YouTube at 10:30 a.m. ET at Rising on YouTube.



ELSEWHERE

CRIME: Biden said he and his family prayed for the victims and their families who died and remain hospitalized in Waukesha, Wis., after a lone driver in an SUV on Sunday plowed into a crowd at a Christmas parade, killing five people and injuring 48 others. The president on Monday said he mourned the victims of the “horrific act of violence” (The Hill). Authorities on Monday arrested Darrell Brooks, 39, as the suspect behind the wheel. Brooks will make his first appearance in court today. Separately on Nov. 11, Brooks posted $1,000 bail in relation to charges that included domestic abuse. That incident also involved Brooks being accused of using a car to cause an injury (CNN).  

 

INTERNATIONAL: A Saudi-led coalition launched air attacks on Tuesday on Houthi military targets in Yemen’s capital city of Sana’a, claiming to destroy a ballistic missile launch site. Saudi state television reported that civilians were asked to avoid gathering or nearing the “legitimate” Houthi targets as explosions rattled the city, according to Reuters. The Houthis, who have clashed with Yemen's U.S.-supported and Saudi-backed government for more than seven years, claimed on Saturday to have fired 14 drones at Saudi Arabian cities.

 

CITY WATCH: DoorDash will pay $5.3 million to San Francisco-based couriers in a settlement is a dispute over health care benefits. As part of the agreement, DoorDash drivers will receive most of the money from the settlement, with most receiving up to $500 to $1,000, though awards can be as high as $17,000. The deal covers former employees who worked for the delivery service in the area from 2016 to 2020 (The Hill). … Washington, D.C.’s latest Metro transit system service disruptions, which began in October after discovery of serious safety problems affecting some rail cars, will continue through 2021. There is no firm timetable for repairs to be completed and regular timetables for commuters to be restored. “This is a monumental undertaking,” Metro General Manager Paul Wiedefeld said in a statement. “We are intentionally not setting deadlines so that safety and good data drive our decisions” (Washingtonian). 



THE CLOSER

And finally … It’s the perfect week to try Mamie Eisenhower’s recipe for pumpkin chiffon pie, circa 1954. Her dessert, included in a cookbook of favorite family recipes printed at a U.S. naval base, boasts a baked crust and light, whipped filling that contemporary cooks have enthused online that they recall from family holiday feasts over many decades. 

 

The Washington Post published the former first lady’s recipe in 2012, featuring a baked pie shell; pasteurized eggs (unbaked), milk, water and unflavored gelatin; brown and white sugars; canned pumpkin puree; salt, cinnamon and nutmeg; and sweetened whipped cream for topping. The light, sweet dessert is said to outdo the baked pumpkin version available at most bakeries and grocery stores.

 

 

First lady Mamie Eisenhower is amused by the gobbling of a 40-pound tom turkey presented to her at the White House