On The Money: Democrats get to the hard part

On The Money: Democrats get to the hard part
© Greg Nash

Happy Monday and welcome to On The Money, your nightly guide to everything affecting your bills, bank account and bottom line. Subscribe here: thehill.com/newsletter-signup.

Today’s Big Deal: House Democrats are now hitting the most challenging stretch of their infrastructure push. We’ll also look at an ethics review at the Federal Reserve and how much of President BidenJoe BidenGrant Woods, longtime friend of McCain and former Arizona AG, dies at 67 Sanders on Medicare expansion in spending package: 'Its not coming out' Glasgow summit raises stakes for Biden deal MORE’s relief bill actually made it to American families.

But first, a wholesome Giannis moment.


For The Hill, I’m Sylvan Lane. Write me at slane@thehill.com or @SylvanLane. You can reach my colleagues on the Finance team Naomi Jagoda at njagoda@thehill.com or @NJagoda and Aris Folley at afolley@thehill.com or @ArisFolley.

Let’s get to it.

Democrats brace for toughest stretch yet with Biden agenda

Speaker <span class=Nancy PelosiNancy PelosiSunday shows preview: CDC signs off on 'mix and match' vaccine boosters Buttigieg aims to use Tucker Carlson flap to spotlight paternity leave Judge to hear Trump's case against Jan. 6 committee in November MORE (D-Calif.) addresses reporters during her weekly press conference on Thursday, June 24, 2021. Pelosi announced that a select committee on the January 6th attack will be formed." width="645" height="363" data-delta="8" />

House Democrats this week wrapped up the bulk of committee work on a $3.5 trillion package of social benefits and climate programs — a massive undertaking that advances what would be a legacy-defining domestic agenda for President Biden.

Now the harder part begins.

While 13 separate committees succeeded in drafting, massaging and ultimately approving the portions of the package under their jurisdiction, the process featured plenty of infighting between disparate factions over various provisions — differences that have created headaches for Democratic leaders and will need resolving before the legislation hits the floor.

  • Those clashes have threatened to sink a major cost-slashing drug benefit, risking liberal defections and potentially alienating moderates if deficit estimates swell as a result. 
  • A separate battle over tax benefits risks an erosion of support from a handful of Democrats in high-income regions — enough to bring the legislation to a halt.

The combination is raising new questions about whether House leaders have the votes to pass the package on the floor with a minuscule majority. And that’s all before the looming fight in the evenly split Senate, where Democrats can afford zero defections.

The Hill’s Mike Lillis and Scott Wong break it down here.


D.C. small businesses receive $10M from Wells Fargo

Eddie Lofton of JC Lofton Tailors on U Street is rebuilding his business with a grant from nonprofit LISC D.C.

Wells Fargo’s Open for Business Fund, a small business recovery effort has donated $10M to nonprofits that support District businesses to date.


Over $450B in COVID-19 relief funds delivered to families: Treasury

The Treasury Department said in a new report on Thursday that it has delivered over $450 billion to families directly under the $1.9 trillion coronavirus rescue package President Biden signed earlier this year.

  • The agency said it had disbursed over 170 million stimulus checks by the end of August, amounting to more than $400 billion. 
  • It also said it had doled out more than 106 million payments to families since it started sending out monthly child tax credit payments to families in July, tacking on another $46 billion. 

Overall, the agency said it has distributed roughly $700 billion out of the $1 trillion it was tasked with managing in programs and tax credits under the president’s American Rescue Plan that was approved by Congress shortly before spring. Aris has more details here.


Federal Reserve officials' stock trading sparks ethics review

Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell has directed officials at the central bank to take a “comprehensive look” into the ethics rules surrounding permissible financial holdings and activities by senior staff.

A spokesperson confirmed to The Hill on Thursday that Powell issued the directive last week after reports emerged of stock trades made by leaders at the Fed's banks in Dallas and Boston last year.

  • Last week, the heads of two regional Federal Reserve banks — Dallas President Robert Kaplan and Boston President Eric Rosengren — came under scrutiny following a report from The Wall Street Journal detailing some of their 2020 investments.
  • The newspaper found that Kaplan had traded stocks in companies like Apple Inc., Alibaba Group Holding Ltd. and Amazon.com Inc. 
  • The report also detailed multiple real estate investments made by Rosengren.

While both bank presidents said they complied with ethics rules, they later said they would divest their assets to avoid the appearance of any conflict of interest. Here’s the full story from Aris.



Biden goes after top 1 percent in defending tax hikes

President Biden on Thursday went after big corporations and wealthy Americans while promoting his economic agenda that congressional Democrats are working to get across the finish line.

“Let me ask you this, where is it written in that all the tax breaks in the American tax code go to corporations and the very top? I think it’s enough, I’m tired of it,” he said in remarks at the White House on the economy. 

The president reiterated his calls for big corporations and the wealthy to pay their fair share in taxes, saying it's “long overdue.” 

“I’m not out to punish anyone, I’m a capitalist. If you can make a million or a billion dollars, that’s great. God bless you. All I’m asking is you pay your fair share, pay your fair share, just like middle class folks do,” he said. 

The Hill’s Alex Gangitano takes us there. 



D.C. diner rebuilds with help from nonprofit & Wells Fargo

Flip-It LJ Diner owner Sandra Foote didn’t think her Columbia Heights restaurant could survive COVID-19.

Wells Fargo’s Open for Business Fundprovided a grant to the nonprofit District Bridges, which then helped Sandra cover bills. .

Good to Know 

Retail sales rose slightly in August despite soaring cases of COVID-19 and supply chain snags, reversing from a decline in July and beating expectations of another decrease.

Here’s what else have our eye on:

  • New claims for unemployment insurance rose last week due largely to Hurricane Ida, according to data released Thursday by the Labor Department.
  • The U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation on Wednesday launched a coalition to connect Afghan refugees with jobs when they resettle in the U.S. 

That’s it for today. Thanks for reading and check out The Hill’s Finance page for the latest news and coverage. We’ll see you tomorrow.