On The Money — Bipartisan infrastructure bill vote up in the air

On The Money — Bipartisan infrastructure bill vote up in the air
© 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 may need to delay a vote on a major piece of their economic agenda. We’ll also look at Joe ManchinJoe ManchinIRS data proves Trump tax cuts benefited middle, working-class Americans most Overnight Energy & Environment — Presented by ExxonMobil — Dems press drillers over methane leaks Overnight Health Care — Presented by March of Dimes — Abortion access for 65M women at stake MORE opening the door to progress on the bigger bill and the country inching closer to a default on the national debt.

But first, Woody Harrelson.

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For The Hill, we’re Sylvan Lane and Aris Folley. Write to us at slane@thehill.com or @SylvanLane and Aris Folley at afolley@thehill.com or @ArisFolley. You can reach our colleague on the Finance team Naomi Jagoda at njagoda@thehill.com or @NJagoda and 

Let’s get to it.

House poised to pull infrastructure vote amid stubborn stalemate

Speaker House <span class=Nancy PelosiNancy PelosiPhotos of the Week: Schumer, ASU protest and sea turtles Hospitals in underserved communities face huge cuts in reckless 'Build Back Better' plan GOP infighting takes stupid to a whole new level MORE (D-Calif.) talks with reporters after departing a House Democratic whip meeting in the basement of the U.S. Capitol on September 29, 2021" width="645" height="363" data-delta="5" />

House Democrats appear likely to miss a second vote on a bipartisan infrastructure bill this week, highlighting the stubborn stalemate over the larger social benefits package at the core of President BidenJoe BidenMarcus Garvey's descendants call for Biden to pardon civil rights leader posthumously GOP grapples with chaotic Senate primary in Pennsylvania ​​Trump social media startup receives commitment of billion from unidentified 'diverse group' of investors MORE's agenda. 

  • Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) has scheduled the infrastructure vote for Thursday, reflecting a promise she’s made to centrist Democrats eager to notch a bipartisan win. 
  • An initial infrastructure vote, scheduled for Monday, had been postponed, and moderates in the House are threatening to revolt if it happens twice. 
  • Yet liberals are lining up to sink the infrastructure proposal, demanding that Democrats in the House, Senate and White House first reach an agreement on the broader “family” benefits package Biden is pushing as part of his two-pronged domestic agenda. Only then, they say, will they back the Senate-passed public works bill. 

The liberal threat has left Pelosi and Democratic leaders confronting two unpleasant scenarios heading into Thursday’s vote: either stick with the plan to bring the infrastructure bill to the floor, where liberals are likely to kill it, or delay it again, and infuriate the moderates.

“If she brings it up, it won’t pass,” said one liberal Democrat, who is supporting the infrastructure bill.

The Hill’s Mike Lillis, Cristina Marcos and Scott Wong tell us why.

Manchin fires back at progressives: Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) fired back at his progressive critics amid the jockeying on Wednesday, warning that he views trillions in spending to be “fiscal insanity.”

  • Manchin issued a lengthy statement on Wednesday that reiterated his concerns about the sweeping size of the spending bill being pushed for by progressives, but with few new specifics on what he would support.

“What I have made clear to the President and Democratic leaders is that spending trillions more on new and expanded government programs, when we can’t even pay for the essential social programs, like Social Security and Medicare, is the definition of fiscal insanity,” Manchin said in the statement.

Manchin added that the social spending bill at the heart of Biden’s agenda should be driven by “what we need and can afford” and not to “reengineer the social and economic fabric of this nation or vengefully tax for the sake of wishful spending.”

Jordain Carney has more.

Biden springs into action: With his agenda on the ropes, President Biden is stepping up his engagement with Capitol Hill in a bid to save his economic agenda after criticism from some Democrats who say he needs to get more involved in a battle between liberals and centrists in his party.

It’s unclear whether the increased activity will lead to progress, but some Democrats expressed happiness that Biden is becoming more engaged.

“Canceling his trip to Chicago isn’t just window dressing — I think it’s a genuine and responsible move to stay here and have these critical discussions with members of Congress and senators,” said Rep. Debbie DingellDeborah (Debbie) Ann DingellThe Hill's Morning Report - Presented by Facebook - The omicron threat and Biden's plan to beat it Dearborn office of Rep. Debbie Dingell vandalized With Build Back Better, Dems aim to correct messaging missteps MORE (D-Mich.), an ally who earlier this week voiced criticism of Biden’s congressional outreach.

Brett Samuels and Alex Gangitano tell us more here.

LEADING THE DAY

Pelosi, Schumer rule out raising debt limit through reconciliation

Pelosi told reporters Wednesday that Democrats will not use budget reconciliation to raise the federal debt ceiling, raising doubts over whether Congress will find a way to avert potential economic disaster.

When asked Wednesday evening if Pelosi had ruled out using budget reconciliation to raise or suspend the debt ceiling, the speaker replied “Yes.”  Her Senate counterpart, Majority Leader Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.) also shot down using that process to prevent the U.S. from defaulting on its debt.

  • Pelosi spoke to reporters shortly after the House passed a bill to suspend the debt ceiling until December 2022 largely along party lines, with two Democrats opposed to the measure and one Republican voting in favor. 
  • While Pelosi called the House passage of the debt ceiling suspension “a great victory,” the bill is almost certain to fail in the Senate, where Republicans have vowed to block any bill to keep the country solvent.

The upshot: We're three weeks from the US defaulting and there is no negotiation between Democrats and Republicans to keep that from happening. No ask. No viable alternative discussed. No obvious path to a deal. Just pure brinkmanship.

THE BIG MONEY

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SEC plan would require hedge funds, endowments to report votes on executive salaries

The Securities and Exchange Commission voted today to propose several amendments to financial firms’ voting transparency rules, including one that would require managers of hedge funds and pensions to disclose voting procedures and outcomes on executive salaries.

If approved, the rule would require hedge funds and pensions to report the process through which shareholders of the firm vote on top executives’ compensation.

However, the plan has already been met with pushback, including from commissioner Hester Peirce, a Republican, who said the rule could politicize voting and sway it for the sake of public appearance rather than maximizing a firm’s returns.

Read more


PHONE HOME

Pending home sales rise to 7-month high

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Pending home sales data across the U.S. jumped in August, with new contracts on home purchases rising by 8.1 percent, a rebound following two consecutive months of declines.

New data released Wednesday by the National Association of Realtors showcase a rise in home sales based on contract signings, an indicator that offers a picture into the health of the U.S. housing market and broader economy.

Year-over-year trends still indicate an overall decline in home sales, despite low interest rates aimed at keeping the economy moving amid the COVID-19 pandemic and subsequent recession.

Read more

Good to Know 

 

Here’s what else have our eye on:

  • Airline carrier JetBlue Airways announced that it's buying $1 billion worth of sustainable aviation fuel from bioenergy firm SG Preston for flights from New York City.
  • Rolls-Royce announced earlier today that it will only produce electric cars by 2030.

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.