Happy Tuesday and welcome back to On The Money. I’m Sylvan Lane, and here’s your nightly guide to everything affecting your bills, bank account and bottom line.
THE BIG DEAL— Senate releases spending bills, setting up negotiations for December deal: The Senate Appropriations Committee on Tuesday released drafts of all 12 annual spending bills for 2021, setting up negotiations for a deal ahead of the Dec. 11 deadline to keep the government running.
- Bogged down in controversies over issues such as police reform and COVID-19 spending, the panel failed to release a single bill through regular order ahead of the start of the new fiscal year on Oct. 1.
- To avoid a shutdown, Congress passed a stopgap funding measure through Dec. 11.
- Following last week's election, both Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnell'Justice for J6' rally puts GOP in awkward spot Republicans keep distance from 'Justice for J6' rally House to act on debt ceiling next week MORE (R-Ky.) and Speaker Nancy PelosiNancy PelosiRepublicans caught in California's recall trap Raise the debt limit while starting to fix the budget 'Justice for J6' organizer calls on demonstrators to respect law enforcement MORE (D-Calif.) said they wanted to reach agreement on all 12 bills and pass them in one fell swoop as an omnibus spending bill by year's end.
"By and large, these bills are the product of bipartisan cooperation among members of the committee," Senate Appropriations Committee Chairman Richard ShelbyRichard Craig ShelbyCrypto debate set to return in force Press: Why is Mo Brooks still in the House? Eshoo urges Pelosi to amend infrastructure bill's 'problematic' crypto regulation language MORE (R-Ala.) said on Tuesday.
"Time after time, we have demonstrated our willingness to work together and get the job done. We have before us the opportunity to deliver for the American people once again."
The Hill’s Niv Elis explains here.
LEADING THE DAY
McConnell pushing for 'highly targeted' COVID-19 relief deal: Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) said Tuesday he believes Congress needs to pass a "highly targeted" coronavirus relief deal, similar to the roughly $500 billion GOP bill that was blocked earlier this year.
McConnell's comments underscore that the price tag remains the biggest hurdle for any potential deal, with a dispute over the size of a package looming over any hopes of clinching a deal before the end of the year.
"I don't think the current situation demands a multitrillion-dollar package. So I think it should be highly targeted, very similar to what I put on the floor both in October and September," McConnell told reporters.
McConnell added in reference to differences on the price tag that "it seems to be that snag that hung us up for months is still there."
The Hill’s Jordain Carney fills us in here.
The state of play:
- House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) and Treasury Secretary Steven MnuchinSteven MnuchinMenendez, Rubio ask Yellen to probe meatpacker JBS The Hill's Morning Report - Presented by Goldman Sachs - Biden rallies Senate Dems behind mammoth spending plan Mnuchin dodges CNBC questions on whether Trump lying over election MORE have largely taken the lead in the months-long talks over a fifth coronavirus deal, though they have not been able to reach an agreement.
- After letting the administration take the lead in negotiations, GOP senators say McConnell is expected to have a more direct role in the next stretch of talks.
Prospects for a breakthrough: Though leadership in both parties say they want to get a fifth deal, there are deep differences that are already raising doubts about the feasibility of striking an agreement
- Democratic leadership, so far, has not indicated that they are open to doing a bill closer to the price tag advocated by Republicans.
- House Democrats initially passed a $3.4 trillion bill before dropping their price tag to $2.2 trillion.
- Senate Republicans, meanwhile, initially offered a $1.1 trillion package before going down to roughly $500 billion amid steep pushback from conservatives.
Senate Minority Leader Charles SchumerChuck SchumerBiden discusses agenda with Schumer, Pelosi ahead of pivotal week CEOs urge Congress to raise debt limit or risk 'avoidable crisis' If .5 trillion 'infrastructure' bill fails, it's bye-bye for an increasingly unpopular Biden MORE (D-N.Y.) added on Tuesday that "McConnell and Senate Republicans must come to the table in good faith and work with us on a bipartisan bill that meets the needs of all our country."
Consumer bureau vet who battled Trump will lead Biden plans to overhaul agency: The former deputy director of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB), who lost a legal battle for control of the agency to the Trump administration, will lead President-elect Joe BidenJoe BidenSunday shows preview: Coronavirus dominates as country struggles with delta variant Did President Biden institute a vaccine mandate for only half the nation's teachers? Democrats lean into vaccine mandates ahead of midterms MORE’s preparations to overhaul the powerful financial watchdog.
Leandra English was named Tuesday as the leader of the Biden transition’s review team for the agency, a move likely to please progressives and advocates for tougher financial rules.
- English served as the CFPB’s No. 2 from November 2017 through July 2018 after an unsuccessful bid to serve as the agency’s acting director.
- Her legal battle with the Trump administration became a proxy war between Democrats in favor of strict financial sector regulation and Republicans that sought to rein in the agency.
- The move was intended to leave the CFPB in the hands of a leader who would carry on Cordray’s legacy of tough financial regulations and grueling oversight of banks and lenders. But Trump successfully overrode the CFPB’s line of succession by appointing Mick MulvaneyMick MulvaneyHeadhunters having hard time finding jobs for former Trump officials: report Trump holdovers are denying Social Security benefits to the hardest working Americans Mulvaney calls Trump's comments on Capitol riot 'manifestly false' MORE, then the White House budget director, as acting CFPB chief.
I have more on what it means for the CFPB here.
GOOD TO KNOW
- Nearly 2.2 million women have exited the workforce since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic.
- The Republican-led Senate is proposing modest spending increases for environmental agencies compared to last year’s budget, diverging from proposed cuts that the Trump White House put forward earlier this year.
- Walmart on Tuesday announced that it is teaming up with a new autonomous car company to test deliveries in Scottsdale, Ariz.
- The Treasury Department and IRS on Monday gave their blessing to a type of state workaround to the $10,000 cap on the state and local tax (SALT) deduction in President TrumpDonald TrumpKinzinger says Trump 'winning' because so many Republicans 'have remained silent' Our remote warfare counterterrorism strategy is more risk than reward Far-right rally draws small crowd, large police presence at Capitol MORE’s 2017 tax law.
ODDS AND ENDS
- United Airlines will return service to John F. Kennedy Airport (JFK) in New York in February for the first time in five years, the airline announced on Tuesday.
- Op-Ed: Robert E. Scott, senior economist at the Economic Policy Institute (EPI), argues why “Biden's trade policy must focus on creating good jobs.”