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On The Money: McConnell previews GOP coronavirus bill | Senate panel advances Trump Fed nominee who recently supported gold standard | Economists warn about scaled-back unemployment benefits

On The Money: McConnell previews GOP coronavirus bill | Senate panel advances Trump Fed nominee who recently supported gold standard | Economists warn about scaled-back unemployment benefits
© Greg Nash

Happy Tuesday and welcome back to On The Money, where we’re studiously learning about good vs. bad viruses. I’m Sylvan Lane, and here’s your nightly guide to everything affecting your bills, bank account and bottom line.

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Write us with tips, suggestions and news: slane@thehill.com, njagoda@thehill.com and nelis@thehill.com. Follow us on Twitter: @SylvanLane, @NJagoda and @NivElis.

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THE BIG DEAL—McConnell previews GOP coronavirus relief bill: Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellAs Biden administration ramps up, Trump legal effort drags on Harris says she has 'not yet' spoken to Pence Kamala Harris, Stacey Abrams among nominees for Time magazine's 2020 Person of the Year MORE (R-Ky.) on Tuesday provided a broad outline for what to expect in the forthcoming Republican coronavirus relief proposal, including help for schools, small businesses and testing.

McConnell, speaking from the Senate floor, indicated that he would soon be unveiling the Republican proposal after swapping ideas with the administration in recent weeks.

What’s inside:

  • McConnell, as he did during the recent two-week July 4 break, outlined the major pillars of the forthcoming Republican bill as jobs, health care, kids in school and liability protections.
  • But he also provided new details including that Republicans would include $105 billion in help for schools, as well as provide more help for businesses, who have been hit hard as the spread of the coronavirus forced many to close or scale back.
  • In addition to another round of Paycheck Protection Program loans, McConnell said the Republican proposal will reimburse businesses for expenses tied to protective equipment, testing and structural changes that need to be made to protect workers and customers.

The Hill’s Jordain Carney has more here.

GOP divisions linger: 

"They're all in disarray — you hear different Republicans say different things — and we can't negotiate on a vague concept, that's not how it's going to work," Senate Minority Leader Charles SchumerChuck SchumerUS national security policy in the 117th Congress and a new administration Voters say Biden should make coronavirus vaccine a priority: poll New York City subway service could be slashed 40 percent, officials warn MORE (D-N.Y.) told reporters. "We need a specific bill."

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LEADING THE DAY

Senate panel advances Trump Fed nominee who recently supported gold standard: President Trump’s controversial nomination of Judy Shelton to the Federal Reserve won the support of a Senate panel Tuesday, paving the way for a final confirmation vote on her appointment to the central bank’s board of governors.

The Senate Banking Committee voted along party lines to recommend Shelton’s confirmation as a Fed governor, the last hurdle she faced before a full vote in the GOP-controlled Senate on her nomination.

All 13 Republicans on the Banking Committee voted in favor of Shelton, who has drawn criticism for her past support of linking the U.S. dollar to the gold standard, while all 12 Democrats voted in opposition.

What it means: Shelton’s embattled road to the Fed board appears to be clearing despite early doubts about her viability, including pushback from some GOP senators and the opposition of economists and former Fed officials across the political spectrum. 

  • The committee chairman's decision to hold a vote on Shelton’s nomination indicates a degree of confidence in her chances before the full Senate. 
  • It is rare for any of Trump’s high-profile nominees to be approved by a Senate committee without subsequently being confirmed by the GOP-controlled Senate.
  • Even so, Shelton has a narrow path toward confirmation if all members of the Senate Democratic caucus oppose her. If no Democrat supports her, the opposition of four Senate Republicans would derail her nomination.

I explain why here.

The background: Trump tapped Shelton for the Fed board in January after initially announcing his intent to nominate her in July 2019. 

Shelton’s nomination has faced fierce resistance over her ties to the president and an unorthodox approach to monetary policy.

 

Economists warn scaled-back unemployment benefits would knee-cap recovery: Economists are warning Congress that scrapping or substantially reducing unemployment benefits will pull the rug out from the economic recovery.

Expanded unemployment is front and center as the Democratic-controlled House and Republican-controlled Senate embark on negotiations for the next COVID-19 relief package.

  • Republicans argue the $600 in additional weekly unemployment benefits has created warped incentives by paying many people more than they previously earned at work. 
  • Democrats counter that the benefits, set to expire on July 31, are crucial at a time of historic unemployment.

“Already we’re worried that the economy is starting to weaken, and that’s before thinking about the government pulling back stimulus,” said Beth Ann Bovino, U.S. chief economist at S&P Global. “If the government starts to pull back some of the measures that were in place, those positive numbers that we saw, say goodbye to them.” The Hill’s Niv Elis has more here.

 

GOOD TO KNOW

 

ODDS AND ENDS

  • Microsoft, Starbucks and Nike joined the heads of six other companies in an initiative launched Tuesday that has a goal of transitioning to net zero emissions by 2050. 
  • Op-Ed: Douglas Holtz Eakin, president of the American Action Forum, argues why ten years of the Dodd-Frank Act “paints a bleak picture of the success of the law to date.”