On The Money: Senators push for changes as chamber nears vote on $1.9T relief bill | Warren offers bill to create wealth tax

On The Money: Senators push for changes as chamber nears vote on $1.9T relief bill | Warren offers bill to create wealth tax
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THE BIG DEAL—Senate to vote on $1.9 trillion coronavirus relief bill this week: The Senate will vote this week on a sweeping $1.9 trillion coronavirus relief bill as Democrats try to get the legislation signed into law before federal unemployment benefits expire.

"The Senate will take up the American Rescue Plan this week. I expect a hardy debate and some late nights, but the American people sent us here with a job to do, to help the country through this moment of extraordinary challenge," Senate Majority Leader Charles SchumerChuck SchumerThe Hill's Morning Report - Presented by Facebook - The omicron threat and Biden's plan to beat it Lawmakers take aim at 'Grinches' using bots to target consumers during holidays Democratic frustration growing over stagnating voting rights bills MORE (D-N.Y.) said from the Senate floor.

The state of play: 

  • The House passed the bill early Saturday morning, sending it to the Senate.
  • The Senate is expected to make changes to the bill, including stripping out language increasing the minimum wage to $15 per hour after the Senate parliamentarian’s ruling.
  • The Senate will also have to go through a marathon voting session known as vote-a-rama, where any senator who wants to force an amendment vote will be able to do so.

The Hill’s Jordain Carney brings us up to speed here.

Democrats are trying to pass the bill before expanded unemployment benefits expire on March 14, though a lapse in benefits will still probably happen if they wait that long. But the Senate is mulling changes, which could make that process longer.

What’s on the table: 

Read more: Biden calls for 'quick action' in Senate on coronavirus relief package


Warren bill would impose wealth tax on $50M households: Sen. Elizabeth WarrenElizabeth WarrenSenate GOP blocks defense bill, throwing it into limbo Restless progressives eye 2024 Poll: Harris, Michelle Obama lead for 2024 if Biden doesn't run MORE (D-Mass.) on Monday unveiled legislation to create a wealth tax for high-net-worth households, a proposal central to her 2020 presidential campaign.

  • The bill, called the Ultra-Millionaire Tax Act, would create an annual tax of 2 percent on the net worth of households and trusts between $50 million and $1 billion and a tax of 3 percent on net worth above $1 billion. 
  • The rate for net worth above $1 billion would increase to 6 percent if a "Medicare for All" health care plan is enacted.

"A two-cent wealth tax would just help level the playing field a little bit, and create the kind of revenue that would let us build back better, as Joe Biden says," Warren said during a Monday press conference.

The Hill’s Naomi Jagoda breaks it down here.

The prognosis: While popular among progressives, this bill probably isn’t hitting Biden’s desk, even in a filibuster-less Senate. Biden hasn’t called for a wealth tax, and Treasury Secretary Janet YellenJanet Louise YellenOn The Money — Powell pivots as inflation rises Schumer eyeing Build Back Better vote as soon as week of Dec. 13 Trump: McConnell must use debt limit to crush Biden agenda MORE said last week that such a tax would have "very difficult implementation problems."

But the release of legislative text to create a wealth tax is expected to further the debate among Democrats about how to best tax the rich and raise revenue to offset the cost of spending priorities.

Read more: The new wealth tax would result in the 100 richest Americans paying over $78 billion in taxes annually, according to an analysis by Bloomberg News.

More than 11 million households face homelessness without COVID-19 protections: More than 11 million families are at risk of losing housing when federal coronavirus eviction and foreclosure protections expire later this year, according to a report released Monday by the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB).

Analyzing private sector and federal data, the CFPB found that 2.1 million homeowners are at least 90 days behind on mortgage payments and 8.8 million households are behind on rent. 

The background: 

  • Some homeowners and renters who’ve been unable to cover housing payments due to coronavirus-related expenses have been able to avoid homelessness thanks to a patchwork of federal and state bans on evictions and foreclosures. 
  • Millions of homeowners have also opted into forbearance to delay mortgage payments for several months.

The CFPB warned that those families, while safe for now, will face housing insecurity when protections expire and the bill for missed rent or mortgage payments comes due. The report also found that housing insecurity — like countless other dangers of the pandemic — afflicted Black, Hispanic and low-income households at far greater rates.


“Put simply: we have very little time to prevent millions of families from losing their homes,” Acting CFPB Director Eric Uejio wrote in a blog post about the report.

I have more here.




  • The Dow Jones Industrial Average shot up 603 points Monday, nearly 2 percent, as markets had their best daily rally since June. 
  • Financial regulators are also putting their environmental agenda into action as the Biden administration expands the ways the federal government will fight climate change. 


  • The U.S. Chamber of Commerce requested President Biden immediately reinstate Peter Robb, the former National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) general counsel, who he fired on Inauguration Day.