Overnight Finance

On The Money: Pelosi says no vote on infrastructure this month | Senate Democrats approve budget resolution

Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) speaks prior to enrolling the VOCA Fix to Sustain the Crime Victims Fund Act on Wednesday, July 21, 2021.
Greg Nash

Happy Wednesday 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.

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—Pelosi breaks bad news to moderates: No vote on infrastructure this month: Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) made clear to rank-and-file Democrats on Wednesday that the House will not take up the Senate-passed bipartisan infrastructure package this month, rejecting calls from moderates in her caucus who are seeking a quick vote.

The announcement, in her first call with House Democrats since the measure passed the Senate on Tuesday, was largely expected:

  • Pelosi has insisted for months that the House will not turn to the $1 trillion infrastructure package until the Senate passes a much larger $3.5 trillion package chock full of Democratic social benefits programs and climate initiatives.
  • Progressive lawmakers in the House, who don’t quite trust some of the centrist Democrats in the Senate, want to use the bipartisan infrastructure bill as leverage to ensure the larger $3.5 trillion package clears the upper chamber.

While Pelosi praised both the Senate and President Biden for reaching a bipartisan agreement on infrastructure, she’s also been clear that it’s insufficient to tackle the challenges facing the country when it comes to economic inequality, health care disparities, workers rights and the warming planet.

The Hill’s Mike Lillis has more on the fallout of her announcement here.

Senate Democrats approve budget resolution, teeing up $3.5T spending plan: The House got marginally closer to a vote on the larger Democratic bill after the Senate approved early Thursday morning a budget resolution that will carry the eventual spending bill.

The Senate voted 50-49 to adopt the resolution, capping off a chaotic, hours-long debate on the floor during which senators voted on dozens of largely nonbinding amendments that offer a preview of the fight to come on the spending bill.

What comes next: 

  • Though the budget resolution doesn’t get signed into law, it’s the first step toward bypassing the 60-vote threshold required to pass most legislation in the Senate. Democrats will try to unify their entire 50-member caucus to pass the spending bill on their own as soon as late September. 
  • The package is expected to include top Democratic priorities such as immigration reform, combating climate change and universal pre-K.

The Hill’s Jordain Carney tells us what’s ahead here.

But the spending plan, like pretty much anything big these days, depends on what Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.V.) thinks about it. And he’s got some concerns.

“Given the current state of the economic recovery, it is simply irresponsible to continue spending at levels more suited to respond to a Great Depression or Great Recession — not an economy that is on the verge of overheating,” Manchin said in a statement

LEADING THE DAY

Consumer prices rise 5.4 percent from last July: Consumer prices rose 0.5 percent in July and 5.4 percent over the past 12 months, according to data released Wednesday by the Labor Department, but the monthly pace of price increases fell sharply.

  • The consumer price index (CPI), a closely watched gauge of inflation, rose at a much slower monthly pace than June’s torrid 0.9 percent increase. 
  • Even so, the 12-month increase in the CPI in July was even with June’s rise of 5.4 percent, the highest annual inflation rate since August 2008, as the reopening of U.S. economy ramped up demand for a wide range of products.

What’s driving the price increases? 

  • A sharp jump in travel, leisure and hospitality spending, dining out and other consumer activities recently made safer by COVID-19 vaccines drove another month of price growth, largely in line with economists’ expectations. 
  • Energy prices also rose 1.6 percent in July, with gasoline prices rising 0.6 percent after a sharp 2.9 percent spike in June, and are now 39.1 percent higher than the same point a year ago. 
  • Gas prices typically increase over the summer because of a sharp increase in travel for leisure, but are also rebounding from deep lows reached in 2020. I break it down here.

Toomey launches long shot bid to repeal eviction ban: The top Republican on the Senate Banking Committee on Wednesday launched an uphill battle to repeal the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) new eviction moratorium.

Sen. Pat Toomey (R-Pa.) has introduced a resolution to repeal the CDC measure under the Congressional Review Act (CRA) and asked the Government Accountability Office — the federal government’s internal watchdog — to determine whether the moratorium qualifies as a formal regulation.

The CRA allows Congress to repeal regulations recently issued by federal agencies with the approval of simple majorities in both chambers and ban the agency that issued it from writing similar regulations in the future. While senators could theoretically force a vote on a CRA resolution to repeal the eviction ban, House Democratic leaders are almost certain to ignore it, effectively killing the measure.

I explain here.

GOOD TO KNOW

  • Cryptocurrency leaders say that even though they failed to change language related to the regulation of their industry in the Senate’s bipartisan infrastructure bill, the heated floor fight over it underscores their growing power in Washington.
  • The New York Stock Exchange said Wednesday that it is requiring personnel to be fully vaccinated against the coronavirus to access the trading floor.
  • Wealthy political donors successfully pushed for a tax break in Republicans’ 2017 tax bill that saved them tens of millions of dollars in taxes, ProPublica reported Wednesday.  

ODDS AND ENDS

  • The White House on Wednesday called for a probe into gasoline prices, citing “divergences” between oil prices and what people are paying at the pump.
  • A group of 20 Democratic lawmakers is calling on their leadership to fully fund pandemic preparedness efforts in a coming $3.5 trillion package, amid concern about cutbacks. 
Tags Joe Biden Joe Manchin Nancy Pelosi Pat Toomey

The Hill has removed its comment section, as there are many other forums for readers to participate in the conversation. We invite you to join the discussion on Facebook and Twitter.

Most Popular

Load more

Video

See all Video