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On The Money: Pelosi wants infrastructure done by August | Powell warns US is reopening to a 'different economy' | McConnell vs. Big Business

On The Money: Pelosi wants infrastructure done by August | Powell warns US is reopening to a 'different economy' | McConnell vs. Big Business
© Greg Nash

Happy Thursday and welcome back to On The Money, where we never want to end up on Megan Rapinoe’s bad side. I’m Sylvan Lane, and here’s your nightly guide to everything affecting your bills, bank account and bottom line.

See something I missed? Let me know at slane@thehill.com or tweet me @SylvanLane. And if you like your newsletter, you can subscribe to it here: http://bit.ly/1NxxW2N.

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THE BIG DEAL—Pelosi wants Biden infrastructure bill done by August: Speaker Nancy PelosiNancy PelosiDemocrats make full-court press on expanded child tax credit Maria Bartiromo defends reporting: 'Keep trashing me, I'll keep telling the truth' Democratic clamor grows for select committee on Jan. 6 attack MORE (D-Calif.) said Thursday that the Democrats' summer push for infrastructure and jobs legislation will likely be split into two separate bills, with a goal of wrapping up both before Congress's August recess.

“If we have to go to reconciliation, that's a lever, but I hope it's not something that we'll need to do,” Pelosi said.

The Hill’s Mike Lillis explains why here.

  • Democrats—at least for now—are still trying to get Republicans on board with Biden’s $2.5 trillion infrastructure plan, even though GOP lawmakers have come out unanimously opposed to its tax hikes and its expansive scope. 
  • It would take 10 GOP senators to pass an infrastructure bill over a filibuster attempt, but Democrats can still use budget reconciliation to pass a measure with only 51 votes in the Senate.

Even so, Sen. Joe ManchinJoe ManchinSinema defends filibuster ahead of Senate voting rights showdown The Hill's Equilibrium — Presented by NextEra Energy — Tasmanian devil wipes out penguin population Democrats go down to the wire with Manchin MORE (D-W.Va.)—a pivotal swing vote—criticized the use of the budget reconciliation process to pass legislation in a Wednesday op-ed, raising questions about how far he would go to support a partisan proposal.

“We should all be alarmed at how the budget reconciliation process is being used by both parties to stifle debate around the major issues facing our country today,” Manchin wrote in an op-ed for The Washington Post. “Senate Democrats must avoid the temptation to abandon our Republican colleagues on important national issues. Republicans, however, have a responsibility to stop saying no, and participate in finding real compromise with Democrats.”

 

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LEADING THE DAY

Powell cautions that US is reopening to a 'different economy'

Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell said Thursday that the U.S. is reopening to a different economy after being devastated by the coronavirus for the past year.

“It’s important to remember we’re not going back to the same economy,” Powell said during a panel. “This will be a different economy.”

  • When businesses across the country were forced to shut down last year due to the coronavirus outbreak, millions lost their jobs. 
  • Although some have recovered since the economy has started to reopen, many will not be able to resume the jobs they had before the pandemic began.

The Hill’s Lexi Lonas has more here.

 

S&P 500 breaks record with new gains: The S&P 500 closed at a new record high Thursday, closing at 4,097, a 17-point or 0.4 percent gain, just a week after it cracked 4,000 for the first time.

The index was pushed up by growth in tech stocks, though the tech-heavy Nasdaq and the narrower Dow Jones Industrial Average remained shy of their recent records.

  • The continued winning streak comes despite a worse-than-expected unemployment reading, which found 744,000 new jobless claims, an increase over the past two weeks and higher than economists expected. 
  • Still, the combination of increased vaccination rates, a gargantuan dose of fiscal stimulus and expectations of a swift economic recovery continued pushing markets up.

The Hill’s Niv Elis explains here.

 

McConnell in tricky spot with GOP, big biz: Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellDemocrats go down to the wire with Manchin Schumer unloads on GOP over elections bill: 'How despicable of a man is Donald Trump?' This week: Senate set for voting rights fight MORE (R-Ky.), a longtime ally of the business community, now finds himself in a tricky position of having to manage the GOP’s increasingly awkward relationship with corporate America. 

  • McConnell, in a major break from character, earlier this week slammed companies such as Major League Baseball, Delta Air Lines and Coca-Cola for criticizing Georgia’s new election law, which President Biden called “Jim Crow in the 21st century.” 
  • He went further by warning that companies “will invite serious consequences if they become a vehicle for far-left mobs to hijack our country from outside the constitutional order” and said it was “stupid” for corporations to wade into politically divisive battles because “Republicans drink Coca-Cola too, and we fly and we like baseball.”

Republican strategists say McConnell’s uncharacteristically sharp tone is a reflection of a party that has become more populist and one where corporate behavior that some Republicans see as catering to what they call “wokeness” or “cancel culture” doesn’t play well with the conservative base.

The Hill’s Alexander Bolton tells us more here.

 

GOOD TO KNOW

 

ODDS AND ENDS

  • The Commerce Department on Thursday blacklisted seven Chinese supercomputing groups, adding the companies to its "entity list” as potential national security threats. 
  • The Biden administration is slated to decide Friday whether to temporarily shut down the Dakota Access Pipeline.
  • General Motors said Thursday that it will halt production or extend a pause at several plants in North America due to a chip shortage.