Overnight Finance

On The Money — House pushes toward infrastructure vote

Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) arrives for press a press conference on Friday, September 24, 2021 to discuss the Women's Health Protection Act prior to the vote.
Greg Nash

Happy Friday 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: Democrats are lining up another busy week for their agenda next week. We’ll also look at the narrowing window to raise the debt ceiling and President Biden’s support for a billionaire tax.

But first, a warning about your shoes.

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.

Pelosi sticks to Monday vote

House Democrats will honor their commitment to moderates and vote early next week on a $1.2 trillion bipartisan infrastructure bill, Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) said Friday.

“It will come up on Monday,” the Speaker told reporters just outside the Capitol.

Whether the bill will pass, however, remains an open question. And liberals are already predicting it won’t.

“It cannot pass,” Rep. Pramila Jayapal (D-Wash.), the head of the Congressional Progressive Caucus, said Friday. “I don’t bluff, I don’t grandstand. We just don’t have the votes for it.”

  • Behind Jayapal, liberal lawmakers have been lining up by the dozen to oppose the infrastructure bill because they want to vote first on a larger, $3.5 trillion social spending package that stands as the second piece of President Biden’s two-part domestic agenda.
  • Democrats in the House, Senate and White House have been busy negotiating the details of the larger “family” package, which party leaders intend to advance through a special budget process, known as reconciliation, that sidesteps the Senate filibuster.

The Hill’s Mike Lillis has the latest here.



US could default on debt as soon as Oct. 15: analysis

The U.S. is on track to default on the national debt sometime between Oct. 15 and Nov. 4 if Congress is unable to raise the federal debt ceiling, according to a forecast released Friday by the Bipartisan Policy Center (BPC).

BPC’s new projections narrowed their expected window in which the U.S. is likely to hit the “x-date,” the day when the Treasury Department runs out of cash to meet the country’s obligations.

The U.S. has never defaulted on its debt, and experts say doing so could cause catastrophic damage.

“What Treasury would do in that situation is uncertain. We’ve never been there before,” said Shai Akabas, BPC’s director of economic policy. “What we do know is that the risks would be significant and the costs potentially extremely high.”

We explain why here.


Biden says he supports taxing billionaires’ investment gains annually

President Biden on Friday said he supports an idea championed by a key Senate Democrat to tax billionaires’ unrealized investment gains annually.

Biden said the idea is one of a number of tax proposals he backs as ways to finance legislation that would advance his economic agenda. 

“I support a lot of these proposals. We don’t need all of the things I support to pay for this, but I do support that,” Biden said at the White House after giving a speech about COVID-19 vaccines.

The background: Biden’s comments come as congressional Democrats are working to determine how to pay for a $3.5 trillion social spending bill that includes many of the president’s priorities in areas such as climate change and child care.

  • Senate Finance Committee Chairman Ron Wyden (D-Ore.) has been pushing for several years to tax wealthy people’s investment gains annually, rather than when the investment gains are sold. He has recently been calling the idea a “billionaire’s income tax.”
  • It remains to be seen whether Wyden’s proposal will make it into a final piece of legislation agreed to by House and Senate Democrats and the White House. The proposal was not included in the legislation that the House Ways and Means Committee approved earlier this month.

Naomi explains here.

More relief for renters 


The Treasury Department on Friday announced that the pace of federal rental aid payments amid the coronavirus pandemic picked up last month, with more than $2.3 billion distributed to households to help prevent evictions. 

The federal agency said in a press release that in August, funds from the Emergency Rental Assistance Program (ERA) reached more than 420,000 households, an increase from 340,000 in July.

As of Aug. 31, state and local governments have distributed more than 1.4 million payments for a total of more than $7.7 billion in ERA funds. 

The data comes nearly a month after the Supreme Court blocked the Biden administration’s attempt to extend the eviction moratorium, fueling concerns that tenants will be forced out of their homes amid continued financial hardships spurred by the coronavirus pandemic.

Good to Know 

Department of Agriculture

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) has announced it will launch a commission to tackle “racial equity issues” within the agency and its programs.

Here’s what else have our eye on:

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 next week.

Tags Joe Biden Nancy Pelosi Pramila Jayapal Ron Wyden

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