Overnight Finance

On The Money — Why Democrats are breaking with rail workers

Congress is set to take action to prevent a rail strike from upending the economy, but some workers object. We’ll also look at the increasing likelihood of a stopgap funding bill and a tepid economic prediction from a big bank chief. 

🤒 But first, a warning about the brewing flu season

Welcome to On The Money, your nightly guide to everything affecting your bills, bank account and bottom line. For The Hill, we’re Sylvan LaneAris Folley and Karl Evers-Hillstrom.

Congress look to avoid rail strike, workers enraged

Congress is poised to end the threat of a rail strike after President Biden called on lawmakers to force through a tentative contract agreement that some railroad workers rejected.   

The move would avert a national rail shutdown that would cripple the nation’s economy in the middle of the holiday shopping season. But it would also enrage rail workers, who feel they were never given a fair shot at the bargaining table.  

  • Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) aims to pass legislation Wednesday to implement a tentative deal struck with the help of President Biden in September. 
  • Train workers at one of the largest rail unions narrowly voted down the deal this month, citing a lack of paid sick days.  
  • While Democratic lawmakers have criticized railroads for not making more concessions, they’re prepared to go against those workers’ wishes to avoid a severely damaging strike that is set to begin Dec. 9.  

Lawmakers must act quickly: If a deal is not in place by the end of the week, railroads will begin to shut down some of their services far ahead of the early December deadline. That would cause commuter rail lines to shut down and delay untold numbers of shipments. 

Karl has the details here.

LEADING THE DAY

Congress on track to blow past Dec. 16 funding deadline

Hopes are dimming of Congress meeting a critical government funding deadline next month, as congressional negotiators struggle to cinch a bipartisan deal on spending during the tight lame-duck session.  

Just more than two weeks separate Congress and a Dec. 16 deadline to finalize new funding levels for fiscal 2023, which began in October. But appropriators are signaling more time is needed for talks as key disagreements over how to fund the government remain unresolved. 

  • Speculation is rising in Washington over how long Congress plans to punt its funding deadline if it opts for another continuing resolution (CR) for the current fiscal year, and reports have surfaced that the White House is preparing for a one-year stopgap funding bill. 
  • Negotiators on both sides of the aisle have pushed back on the idea, but say Congress is likely to have to pass a short-term funding bill. 
  • GOP leaders have expressed uncertainty about the chances of such an agreement in recent weeks, as a chunk of Republicans in both chambers have called for a delay of new government funding until next year to allow the new Congress more say in how spending levels should be set. 

Aris has the details here.

NOT TOO BAD?

Bank of America chief predicts ‘mild recession’ in 2023

Bank of America CEO Brian Moynihan said Tuesday he’s expecting a “mild recession” in 2023, sounding a more positive note about the state of the economy than many in the financial world have been broadcasting amid 40-year-high inflation. 

  • JP Morgan Chase & Co. CEO Jamie Dimon said he saw a “hurricane” gathering on the economic horizon over the summer as the Federal Reserve began a program of quantitative tightening, sending equity markets into a freefall. 
  • But economists cautioned that a strong job market and healthy levels of consumption were pushing in the opposite direction of a general downturn in the economy. 

“Hurricane season is now closed,” Moynihan quipped on CNN Tuesday morning. 

“At the end of the day, the consumer has held on well,” he said. “The consumer has stayed reasonably strong because they’re employed.” 

The Hill’s Tobias Burns has more here

POWERING THROUGH INFLATION

Consumers spent more than $11B on Cyber Monday, break one-day online sales record 

Consumers spent more than $11.3 billion through online shopping on Cyber Monday, breaking the one-day record for online sales, according to data from Adobe.  

The Adobe Analytics figures top the previous one-day record of $9.12 billion from Black Friday and represent 5.8 percent growth year over year.  

  • Toys drove the online sales the most, with sales for the category growing 684 percent compared to an average day last month.  
  • Electronics, computers, sporting goods and appliances also significantly contributed to the surge in sales.  
  • The top-selling toys included Pokémon cards and Legos, while other top sellers included Apple AirPods, tablets and smart watches.  

The Hill’s Jared Gans breaks it down here.

Good to Know

A bipartisan group of more than 100 U.S. lawmakers has pledged support for an affordable housing bill that could lead to the development of 500,000 starter homes in struggling communities over the next decade. 

The Neighborhood Homes Investment Act, introduced in both the House and Senate, would offer a tax incentive to developers to minimize their risk when building or rehabilitating existing housing.  

Other items we’re keeping an eye on: 

  • record number of consumers shopped over Thanksgiving weekend despite lingering high levels of inflation as the holiday season continues to get underway.  
  • U.S. home prices slowed again in September as high mortgage rates further weakened demand, according to data released on Tuesday.

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 tomorrow.

Tags Affordable housing Bank of America Biden Brian Moynihan inflation Nancy Pelosi Nancy Pelosi rail strike
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