Business & Economy

On The Money: Headaches mount for Biden in spending fight | McConnell to Schumer: Don’t hold bipartisan bill ‘hostage’ | Court dismisses FTC, state antitrust cases against Facebook

Nancy Pelosi and Joe Biden
Julia Nikhinson/Getty Images

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THE BIG DEAL—Headaches mount for Biden in spending fight: Democrats are facing growing headaches to get their mammoth two-step infrastructure package to President Biden’s desk, with ramped-up partisan pressure and a tense, summer slog of legislating ahead.

  • A bipartisan framework that gave a jolt to Biden’s dealmaking abilities is already in trouble amid fierce GOP backlash.
  • Meanwhile, Democrats aren’t yet unified on what a second, larger package would look like or how big it would be. 
  • And those discussions, still in the early phases, are rife with potential flashpoints, as progressives worry their more centrist colleagues are going to roll them.

The pressure points from both sides put Biden’s biggest legislative priority on shaky ground, as Democratic leaders and the White House try to get a sweeping package through an increasingly acrimonious Congress while holding the slimmest of majorities in both chambers. 

Senate Majority Leader Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.) bluntly laid out the risk: If Democrats can’t navigate the policy and political minefields, they could end up with nothing.

“If we don’t have an agreement on both, we’re not going to have the votes for either. Plain and simple,” Schumer said.The Hill’s Jordain Carney has the latest here.

Shifting tides: The good will and good vibes from the bipartisan breakthrough fell apart in Republican fury after Biden vowed that the bipartisan bill and a second Democratic-only bill had to move together. 

The strategy — which Biden tried to walk back on Saturday, saying that it was not his “intent” to suggest he would veto the bipartisan deal— infuriated Republicans within the negotiating group, though they later said they accepted Biden’s walk-back and remained on board.

Democratic divides: Democrats also aren’t yet unified on the second piece of the infrastructure plan: a sweeping multitrillion-dollar bill that they will need to pass without GOP support.

  • Senate Budget Committee Chairman Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) has indicated that he wants to go up to $6 trillion and pay for roughly half of the spending.
  • But several Senate Democrats have also indicated that Sanders’s top line is too big, and Rep. Kurt Schrader (D-Ore.) is already a “no” and predicting others will join him.

Read more on the infrastructure push: 

  • McConnell to Schumer, Pelosi: Don’t hold bipartisan bill ‘hostage’
  • The White House on Monday pushed back against critics who say a bipartisan infrastructure deal endorsed by President Biden leaves out bold provisions to address climate change.


Court dismisses FTC, state antitrust cases against Facebook: A D.C. federal court on Monday dismissed two antitrust cases brought against Facebook last year in a major setback for federal and state regulators.

The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) will have an opportunity to file an amended complaint, but the challenge from a coalition of state attorneys general led by New York’s Letitia James (D) has been dismissed entirely.

  • The regulatory agency had argued that Facebook stifled competition by acquiring nascent competitors. The case called for the unwinding of WhatsApp and Instagram.
  • Judge James E. Boasberg, an Obama nominee, dismissed the FTC’s complaint as presented, but not the argument that Facebook may have a monopoly on “personal social networking.”
  • He said the regulatory agency provided insufficient evidence to prove that Facebook controls over 60 percent of the market — as the case alleges — but that conceivably it could do so.

The Hill’s Chris Mills Rodrigo explains here.

Majority of young adults in US hold negative view of capitalism: poll: A growing majority of young adults in the U.S. have a more negative view of capitalism, according to a new survey from Axios and Momentive. 

  • Fifty-four percent of Gen Z adults said they had a negative view of capitalism, while 42 reported having a positive view, according to the poll.
  • The number of 18- to 34-year-olds who have a positive view of capitalism also appears to be shrinking.Forty-nine percent said they had a positive view of capitalism and 46 percent said they viewed it negatively, according to the poll. 
  • But two years ago, 58 percent said they viewed it positively, while 38 percent said they viewed it negatively.

The Hill’s Julia Manchester has more here.


  • The House Financial Services Committee holds a hearing on overhauling the credit reporting system at 10 a.m.
  • The House Small Business Committee holds a hearing on legislative proposals from panel members at 10 a.m.
  • A House Financial Services subcommittee holds a hearing entitled “The Legacy of George Floyd: An Examination of Financial Services Industry Commitments to Economic and Racial Justice” at 3 p.m.


  • President Biden is coming under increasing pressure to fire the inspector general at a housing finance agency more than two months after a government report determined she had created a toxic work environment and even retaliated against colleagues.
  • More than 285,000 Tesla vehicles were recalled by the Chinese government over the weekend due to safety issues.
  • The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) screened the highest number of travelers since the beginning of the pandemic this weekend, tracking more than 2.1 million air passengers.
  • Yahoo Finance: “Top Federal Reserve official ‘skeptical’ about need for US digital dollar”


  • The National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) on Monday announced that the NCAA Division I Council had recommended the organization temporarily “suspend amateurism rules,” allowing athletes to profit off their name, image and likeness.
  • Op-Ed: “Regulators must get ahead of the coming wave of loan defaults”
Tags Bernie Sanders Chuck Schumer Joe Biden Kurt Schrader

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