Overnight Finance

On The Money: Business, labor groups endorse bipartisan infrastructure deal | Conservatives oppose IRS funding | Jobless claims rise, stocks fall

Getty Images

Happy Thursday and welcome back to On The Money, where we’d like to congratulate New York City on its new underwater canal system. 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.

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

 

THE BIG DEAL—Business, labor groups endorse bipartisan infrastructure deal: The U.S. Chamber of Commerce, the AFL-CIO and a group of other prominent business groups on Thursday endorsed a $1.2 trillion, eight-year bipartisan infrastructure framework endorsed by President Biden and a group of Senate moderates.

“Enacting significant infrastructure legislation, including investments in our roads, bridges, ports, airports, transit, rail, water and energy infrastructure, access to broadband, and more, is critical to our nation and will create middle-class family sustaining jobs,” they urged. “Don’t let partisan differences get in the way of action — pass significant, meaningful infrastructure legislation now.”

Why it matters: The joint endorsement by business and labor groups that are often opponents in the political arena is a major boost for Sens. Rob Portman (R-Ohio) and Kyrsten Sinema (D-Ariz.), the leaders of the bipartisan group of 21 senators now backing the proposal.

  • The statement was signed by several of the nation’s biggest business groups, including the Business Roundtable, the National Association of Manufacturers, and the National Retail Federation, in addition to the U.S. Chamber.
  • Labor groups joining the AFL-CIO in backing the proposal include the Laborer’s International Union of North America, North America’s Building Trades Union and the Transportation Trades Department of the AFL-CIO.

The Hill’s Alexander Bolton has more here.

 

Conservatives say bipartisan infrastructure deal shouldn’t include IRS funding: Of course it can’t get too easy to get anything big and bipartisan done in D.C. Now, leaders of conservative organizations are urging GOP lawmakers to “push the reset button” on a bipartisan infrastructure deal and not include any additional IRS funding in such a package.

  • The framework proposes to pay for the spending in several ways, including through repurposing unspent COVID-19 relief funds and increasing enforcement of tax laws. 
  • The proposal calls for giving the IRS an additional $40 billion in order to raise $100 billion in net revenue.
  • But the conservative leaders argued that the bipartisan deal is a “betrayal of basic conservative values of fiscal responsibility.” They also criticized Biden and congressional Democrats for wanting to pass a Democratic-only spending bill in addition to a measure based on the bipartisan framework.

The Hill’s Naomi Jagoda has more here.

 

LEADING THE DAY

Weekly jobless claims tick up to 373,000: New weekly applications for jobless benefits rose unexpectedly last week, according to data released Thursday by the Labor Department.

  • In the week ending July 3, the seasonally adjusted number of initial claims for unemployment insurance totaled 373,000, rising 2,000 above the previous week’s revised total of 371,000.
  • Another 99,001 people applied for Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA), a program created in March 2020 to expand jobless aid to gig workers, contractors and others who don’t qualify for traditional unemployment benefits. Twenty-six states have pulled out of the program, which expires in September.

As of June 19, the most recent week for which data is available, there were more than 14.2 million Americans on some form of jobless aid. That number has declined drastically from 33.2 million a year ago, but has fallen at a much slower rate in recent weeks.

“These figures are proving extremely stubborn and are only falling very slowly. The high number of initial claims is puzzling, given that layoffs are at a record low. And the very stable number of total beneficiaries suggests that once people are on benefits, they don’t leave,” said Julia Pollack, labor economist at ZipRecruiter, in an analysis posted to Twitter. I break it down here.

 

Bipartisan think tank: Key debt limit deadline will be hard to predict: The Bipartisan Policy Center (BPC) on Thursday said that it will be challenging to predict the date by which Congress needs to act on the debt ceiling in order to prevent a default.

The “X date” on which the federal government would default on its obligations once the debt limit is reinstated in August will be harder than usual to forecast because of pandemic-related uncertainties about Treasury Department cash flows, the think tank said.

Why that is a problem: Putting off raising the debt limit after it has already expired is basically playing a game of chicken with the global financial system. The Treasury Department can take “extraordinary measures”—shuffling around certain federal expenditures—to extend the distance until the collision point in this game of chicken, and BPC also does an excellent job of tracking when that might be.

The problem here is that the pandemic has effectively made it incredibly difficult to determine until it may be almost too late. Essentially, this game of chicken is being played mainly in a sensory deprivation tank.

“The challenges of accurately forecasting the pandemic’s lingering effects on the economy and the ongoing federal response mean we may not have a clear picture until September, at which point Congress could have just weeks to act,” BPC Economic Policy Director Shai Akabas said in a news release. “Policymakers seeking to mitigate risks to the full faith and credit of the United States should act sooner rather than later.” Naomi has more here.

 

ON TAP:

  • Tuesday, July 13: “Small Business Recovery: Minneapolis” — The Hill makes its next virtual stop on our Small Business Recovery road trip in Minneapolis. What support do minority-owned firms in the city still urgently need, and what opportunities at the federal and local levels are being created to help these businesses recover and thrive long-term? Feat. Rep. Angie Craig (D-MN), Minneapolis Mayor Jacob Frey, and more. RSVP here.
  • Thursday, July 15: “Revitalizing America’s Cities” — As cities look to rebuild in a more inclusive and resilient manner, what role can microbusinesses play? On Thursday, July 15 at 1 PM, Miami-Dade County Mayor Daniella Levine Cava, Montgomery Mayor Steven Reed, Baltimore Mayor Brandon Scott, Dayton Mayor Nan Whaley, and more will join for a virtual conversation on how microbusinesses could re-energize our cities. RSVP here.

 

GOOD TO KNOW

  • Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) is asking the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) to assess the effect of cryptocurrency exchanges on U.S. financial markets and the risks they could pose to consumers.
  • Wells Fargo has begun informing customers that it will no longer be offering personal credit lines, with all existing lines being shut down in the coming weeks. 
  • Left-wing groups are urging the Biden administration to reconsider the president’s nominee to be the Treasury Department’s top lawyer over his ties to the fossil fuel industry, Wall Street and Big Tech. 
  • Stocks fell Thursday amid growing concern on Wall Street about the strength of the recovery from the coronavirus recession.

 

ODDS AND ENDS

  • Toyota is reversing its decision to continue donating to lawmakers who voted to object to certifying the 2020 election results.
  • The European Commission on Thursday fined German automakers Volkswagen and BMW over collusion to curb the use of emission cleaning technology, Reuters reported.
Tags Elizabeth Warren Jacob Frey Joe Biden Kyrsten Sinema Rob Portman
See all Hill.TV See all Video

Most Popular

Load more

Video

See all Video