Overnight Finance

On The Money — Dem leaders draw heat after stock trading ban stalls

Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.)
Greg Nash
Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) addresses reporters during her weekly press conference on Friday, September 30, 2022.

Democratic leaders are facing heat as legislation aimed at banning lawmakers from trading stocks hits a snag in Congress. We’ll also look at the funding bill Congress just sent to President Biden ahead of a looming shutdown deadline, the recent uptick in consumer spending, and more.   

📷 But first, from sinkholes to Hurricane Ian and fall foliage — check out our photos of the week

Welcome to On The Money, your nightly guide to everything affecting your bills, bank account and bottom line. For The Hill, we’re Sylvan Lane, Aris Folley and Karl Evers-Hillstrom. Someone forward you this newsletter? Subscribe here.

Lawmakers furious after stock trading ban slows 

Anger is boiling over at House Democratic leadership for failing to deliver on a bill to ban members of Congress from trading stocks — a key priority for voters on both sides of the aisle — ahead of the midterm elections.  

Democratic leaders unveiled draft legislation to tackle the issue Tuesday, just days before Congress was set to leave for an extended recess. That left lawmakers little time to review the bill or offer changes, such as closing loopholes that critics say make the bill toothless, dooming its chances of a floor vote.  

  • Rep. Abigail Spanberger (D-Va.), a supporter of stock trading reforms, accused Democratic leadership of intentionally slow-walking the process and introducing a bill that was doomed to fail.  
  • Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) told reporters Friday that the bill didn’t come to the floor because it didn’t have the votes to pass. 

The background: Congress could finish a stock trading bill in a lame duck session after the election. But it will compete for airspace with numerous other priorities, including a government spending package. 

Karl and Tobias Burns have the details here


Congress sends funding bill to Biden, narrowly avoiding shutdown  

The House on Friday passed a short-term funding bill to keep the government running for the next few months, narrowly avoiding a shutdown just hours until the midnight deadline. 

The Democratic-led House voted 230-201, largely along party lines, to advance the legislation as GOP leadership urged their members to reject the bill over disagreements about the timing and policy areas like border funds.  

  • The measure will allow the government to remain funded at the current spending levels through Dec. 16. Negotiators say it will give them more time to work out a larger agreement over how to fund the government for fiscal 2023, which begins on Saturday. 
  • The legislation includes more than $12 billion in security and financial assistance for Ukraine to defend itself from Russia’s ongoing invasion, as well as funding for disaster relief. The White House requested emergency funding in both areas earlier this month. 
  • More than 200 Republicans voted against the bill as GOP leaders accuse Democrats of not doing more to address border security, supply chains and inflation. Republicans in both chambers have also taken issue with the length of the continuing resolution, with many pushing to put off working out spending levels for the coming fiscal year until January, when the next Congress begins. 

Aris breaks it down here.  

More from The Hill:


Stocks dive on last day of September in worst closing since 2020 

Equity markets fell back off a cliff on Friday after a rally on Thursday as investors continued to process ongoing interest rate hikes from the Federal Reserve. 

The Dow Jones Industrial Average of stocks dropped more than 500 points to close at 28,725, falling below 29,000 for the first time since November 2020.   

  • Both the S&P 500 index and the technology-heavy Nasdaq Composite lost
    1.5 percent of their value, with the S&P finishing at 3,585 and the Nasdaq at 10,575. 
  • All three major indices are now squarely in bear market territory, marking a
    20 percent decline off recent highs. The Dow is now down 22 percent since January, the S&P 500 down 25 percent, and the Nasdaq down more than
    33 percent. 

The Hill’s Tobias Burns has more here.


Shaky US economy faces new threats from Europe 

As the U.S. fights stubbornly high inflation and braces for the aftereffects of interest rate hikes, American consumers are also facing headwinds from Europe and the United Kingdom.  

Months of soaring energy prices driven in part by the war in Ukraine have wreaked havoc on the Eurozone, and experts are predicting a grueling, brutal winter across the Atlantic Ocean.  

A looming recession in Europe could sap even more energy from the U.S. economy through a dismal stock market, falling exports, less business from abroad and a decline in tourism.  

“We often say that when the U.S. sneezes the rest of the world catches a cold. Well, the reverse is true as well,” Gregory Daco, chief economist at EY-Parthenon, said in an interview this week. 

Sylvan digs into this here

Good to Know

Russia is the prime suspect in the apparent sabotage of pipelines transporting natural gas to Europe, which has left foul methane gas spewing into the Baltic Sea. 

Experts say damage to the Nord Stream 1 and 2 gas pipelines is a cynical use of a “gray zone” aggression that leaves few good options for retribution.  

Here’s what else we have our eye on: 

  • Consumer spending rose slightly in August while the prices for basic goods and services rose at a faster rate, according to data released Friday by the Commerce Department.  
  • Hurricane Ian made landfall near Georgetown, S.C., on Friday afternoon, according to the National Hurricane Center. 
  • Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky says his country will file an expedited application to join NATO after Russian President Vladimir Putin signed treaties to annex parts of eastern Ukraine.

That’s it for today. Thanks for reading and check out The Hill’s Finance page for the latest news and coverage. We’ll see you Monday. 

Tags Abigail Spanberger Biden Nancy Pelosi
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