On The Money: CBO says $15 minimum wage would boost pay for 17M but threaten over 1M jobs | Study predicts US to hit debt limit in early September | Hopes dim for passage of Trump trade deal

On The Money: CBO says $15 minimum wage would boost pay for 17M but threaten over 1M jobs | Study predicts US to hit debt limit in early September | Hopes dim for passage of Trump trade deal
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THE BIG DEAL--CBO finds $15 minimum wage would help 17M, but cost over 1M jobs: Raising the minimum wage from its current $7.25 an hour to $15 by 2025 would give 17 million people a raise and lift 1.3 million out of poverty, according to a study released Monday by the non-partisan Congressional Budget Office.

But it could also eliminate jobs for 1.3 million workers in the same period.

"For most low-wage workers, earnings and family income would increase, which would lift some families out of poverty. But other low-wage workers would become jobless, and their family income would fall--in some cases, below the poverty threshold," the report said.


The politics: The study comes a week ahead of a planned House vote on a bill to increase the minimum wage to $15 by 2024, the first such increase in a decade.

The report's findings also track with partisan arguments. Democrats largely promote the view that a higher minimum will help reduce poverty and boost wages. Republicans generally highlight the findings that higher minimums kill jobs.

But lots of uncertainty: The CBO study noted that a range of outcomes were possible.

"There is considerable uncertainty about the responsiveness of employment to an increase in the minimum wage," the report noted.

The literature on how minimum wage affects employment varies widely, making it difficult to pinpoint the outcome.

"Many studies have found little or no effect of minimum wages on employment, but many others have found substantial reductions in employment," the report noted.

The Hill's Niv Elis breaks down the numbers and what the report means for lawmakers.



Debt ceiling deadline could hit in early September: The U.S. government could default on its debt in early September if Congress does not raise the debt ceiling before then, according to a new study from the Bipartisan Policy Center (BPC) set to be released Monday.

"We now see a significant risk that the 'X date' could arrive in the first half of September," said Shai Akabas, BPC's director of economic policy.

  • The U.S. officially hit its debt limit earlier this year, but the Treasury Department has been using what are known as "extraordinary measures" that allow it to borrow internally in ways that do not count toward the debt. 
  • When those measures run out, the government will no longer be able to pay all its bills and would default, a move that would almost certainly trigger chaos in global financial markets.

Though BPC still projects the deadlines is more likely to land in October, just the possibility of it hitting in September raises considerable political stakes. The Hill's Niv Elis explains here.  


NY governor signs bill allowing Congress to obtain Trump's state tax returns: New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D) on Monday signed legislation that would allow Congress to obtain President TrumpDonald John TrumpDem senator says Zelensky was 'feeling the pressure' to probe Bidens 2020 Dems slam Trump decision on West Bank settlements Trump calls latest impeachment hearings 'a great day for Republicans' MORE's state tax returns.

"This bill gives Congress the ability to fulfill its Constitutional responsibilities, strengthen our democratic system and ensure that no one is above the law," Cuomo said in a statement.

The bill signing comes after the House Ways and Means Committee, led by Rep. Richard NealRichard Edmund NealOn The Money: House passes monthlong stopgap | Broader spending talks stall | Judge orders Democrats to give notice if they request Trump's NY tax returns | Progressives ramp up attacks on private equity Overnight Energy: Mark Ruffalo pushes Congress on 'forever chemicals' | Lawmakers spar over actor's testimony | House Dems unveil renewable energy tax plan | Funding for conservation program passes Senate hurdle House Democrats release renewable energy tax proposal MORE (D-Mass.), filed a lawsuit last week in order to obtain Trump's federal tax returns from 2013 to 2018.

The catch: Neal has indicated that he may not seek Trump's New York state returns.

The chairman said he wants to examine Trump's federal tax returns because the House panel is interested in oversight and legislation related to how the IRS audits presidents.

"We don't have control over state taxes," he told reporters in May.

  • The state tax returns have to be requested in relation to a legitimate task of Congress, and lawmakers can only request them if they've requested related federal tax returns from the U.S. Treasury Department. 
  • Information in state tax returns that would violate federal or state law if disclosed, and certain personal information such as Social Security numbers would be redacted.


Hopes dim for passage of Trump trade deal: House Democrats say there's little to no chance that Congress will take up President Trump's replacement for the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) before the end of summer. 

With only three more weeks scheduled to be in session before the August recess, House Democrats from across the spectrum are demanding that the trade pact with Mexico and Canada be renegotiated, citing concerns with the implications for labor and environmental standards as well as drug prices. 

But House Democrats say that the idea of getting the trade deal done by the end of the summer session is all but out of reach.

"I don't see how that happens in three weeks," said Rep. Earl BlumenauerEarl BlumenauerHillicon Valley: Progressives oppose funding bill over surveillance authority | Senators call for 5G security coordinator | Facebook gets questions over location tracking | Louisiana hit by ransomware attack Progressives oppose spending stopgap measure over surveillance authority extension House to hold markup Wednesday on marijuana decriminalization bill MORE (D-Ore.), chairman of the House Ways and Means trade subcommittee. The Hill's Cristina Marco tells us why.

  • Passing the USMCA would be a major legislative accomplishment for Trump as he campaigns for reelection next year. Despite their eagerness to see Trump out of office, Democrats say they want to replace the existing North American trade agreement.
  • But the Trump administration, as well as the Canadian and Mexican governments, have been resistant to reopening the negotiations. Mexico became the first country to ratify the agreement last month, while Canada has yet to do so amid the uncertainty in the U.S.



  • Centrist Democrats on Monday warned the Trump administration against attempting to force a congressional vote on an updated version of the North American Free Trade Agreement.
  • Facebook may reap steady profits from its foray into cryptocurrency, but its ambitions may be curtailed by intense and costly scrutiny from bank and financial market lenders, according to a Fitch Ratings analysis.