Overnight Finance

On The Money — Progressives firm as Biden rushes for deal

President Biden arrives with Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) for a House Democratic Caucus meeting to discuss the Build Back Better agenda and the bipartisan infrastructure deal on Thursday, October 28, 2021.
Julia Nikhinson

Happy Thursday 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: President Biden and Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s (D-Calif.) push to quickly finish off the infrastructure package didn’t hold up. We’ll also look at the new framework for the Democrats’ sweeping climate and social services bill.

But first, Olivia Rodrigo’s weird gift from Joe Biden.

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.


Leadership punts on infrastructure vote 

Rep. Pramila Jayapal (D-Wash.) speaks to reporters outside the House Chamber during a vote on the Further Surface Transportation Act on Thursday, October 28, 2021.

House Democratic leaders on Thursday abandoned a second attempt to clear the Senate-passed bipartisan infrastructure bill as progressives held firm to their refusal to back it without a concrete agreement on a separate social spending package.

  • Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) and her leadership team wanted to clear the bipartisan infrastructure bill to give Biden a legislative victory as he departs for Europe for a Group of 20 meeting and climate change summit, as well as boost Democratic gubernatorial candidates in Virginia and New Jersey.
  • But progressives insisted that they at least needed legislative text to feel confident enough in backing the bipartisan infrastructure bill.

“There is too much at stake for working families and our communities to settle for something that can be later misunderstood, amended, or abandoned altogether. That is why dozens of our members insist on keeping both bills linked and cannot vote only for one until they can be voted on together,” Rep. Pramila Jayapal (D-Wash.), the Congressional Progressive Caucus leader, said in a statement early Wednesday evening.

It’s the second time House Democratic leadership has punted the bill and it came after President Biden made a rare visit to the Capitol to beseech House Democrats to help him advance his agenda as a matter of demonstrating that American democracy can still function.

The Hill’s Cristina Marcos, Scott Wong and Mike Lillis have more here.

Read more on the infrastructure push: 



‘Inexcusable’: Democrats draw heat from paid leave advocates

President Biden and Democrats in Congress are catching heat from advocacy groups for dropping paid family and medical leave from a proposed framework for the party’s massive social spending plan. 

Paid leave was among the most notable cuts in the revised proposal Biden unveiled on Thursday, a day after sources said the measure would be axed amid opposition from Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.).

“The omission of paid family and medical leave from a package aiming to Build Back Better from a global pandemic and care crisis would be a devastating outcome for the millions of workers who are being asked to choose between their health, paychecks and caregiving every day,” Paid Leave for All said in a statement.

Aris has more here.



Biden framework includes $150B for affordable housing

President Biden’s proposed climate change and social services bill is expected to include $150 billion for affordable housing creation and financial assistance, elating supporters who feared it would be cut from Democrats’ package.

  • The new framework for Biden’s “Build Back Better Act,” a roughly $1.75 trillion budget reconciliation package, included billions of dollars meant to put 1 million affordable homes on the market and help thousands of Americans find stable housing.
  • The housing component was cut down significantly from the $327 billion Democrats initially sought. Even so, the bill would still spend more than three times the current budget of the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) in what housing advocates call an unprecedented step toward tackling an affordability crisis.

While future cuts are possible, the framework’s inclusion of a major housing investment marked a significant win for housing advocates and Democrats who fought to preserve it.

“I can’t recall such an all-encompassing package at such high numbers,” said Lisa Peto, principal at lobbying firm Mindset and former chief counsel to House Financial Services Committee Chairwoman Maxine Waters (D-Calif.)

I break it down here.



Richard Burr under insider trading investigation by SEC

The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) is investigating whether Sen. Richard Burr (R-N.C.) violated federal insider trading laws by selling more than $1.6 million in stocks before the market crashed last year.

  • In a court filing last week first reported by ProPublica, the SEC revealed that it was probing Burr’s decision to liquidate almost all of his stock holdings on Feb. 13, 2020 after receiving classified briefings about the emerging coronavirus pandemic. 
  • The agency is also investigating whether Gerald Fauth, Burr’s brother-in-law, made similar stock sales based on information he received from Burr in a phone call the same day.

“Among other things, the Commission is investigating whether [Burr] sold stocks on the basis of material nonpublic information,” the agency revealed in a declaration filed in the District Court for the Southern District of New York, where it is attempting to force Fauth to comply with a subpoena.

The SEC said it “appears” that Burr had nonpublic information gained through his position as chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee, his membership on the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions (HELP) Committee, and his former staffers involved in pandemic response when he decided to sell almost all of his stock holdings.

I explain here.

Good to Know

Economic growth slowed sharply between July and September as the emergence of the COVID-19 delta variant derailed the recovery from the coronavirus recession, according to data released Thursday by the Commerce Department.

Here’s what else have our eye on:

  • The United States sanctioned three Lebanese individuals over corruption allegations on Thursday.
  • A majority of small business owners support COVID-19 vaccine mandates for their employees, a poll from the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and MetLife found, as debates over the controversial issue heat up across the country.


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.

Tags Joe Biden Joe Manchin Maxine Waters Nancy Pelosi Pramila Jayapal Richard Burr Steny Hoyer
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