Business & Economy

On The Money — Winter is coming for Joe Biden

AP/Carolyn Kaster

Happy Tuesday and welcome to On The Money, your nightly guide to everything affecting your bills, bank account and bottom line. Subscribe here:

Today’s Big Deal: The Biden administration is facing a daunting winter. We’ll also look at the president’s efforts to clear up supply chains and new producer price data.

But first, congrats to the newly married Malala Yousafzai.

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

Let’s get to it.

White House faces new challenges

President Biden is facing a challenging winter.

  • Businesses are facing labor shortages, which are likely to lead to inconveniences for Americans traveling during the holiday season
  • Rising gas prices will add to those headaches, and now administration officials are warning that heating homes also will cost more this year
  • And as it gets colder, inside gatherings could lead to more coronavirus cases, which have started to flatline after weeks in which they have fallen
It all adds up to a difficult winter and potentially troublesome holiday season for Biden, who has already seen his approval numbers drop in recent months. Fears that Biden’s party could lose the House and Senate in next year’s midterms have also ticked up after a disappointing showing in last week’s elections in Virginia and New Jersey.

“It’s pretty bleak,” one Democratic strategist who spoke to The Hill said. “I don’t think people realize where we are as a party right now.”

Amie Parnes and Morgan Chalfant break it down here.



Biden speaks to CEOs about efforts to ease supply chain problems

President Biden on Tuesday spoke with the chief executives of four major retailers and shipping companies about efforts by the administration and private sector to ease supply chain disruptions.

Biden spoke with Walmart President and CEO Doug McMillon, UPS CEO Carol Tomé, FedEx Chairman and CEO Frederick Smith, and Target board Chairman and CEO Brian Cornell, according to a White House official.

“During the conversations, President Biden received updates from these private sector leaders on the efforts they’re taking to speed up throughput in our entire goods movement supply chain and discussed how shelves will be well-stocked this holiday season thanks to the tireless efforts of their companies, as well as the ports and workers stretching from longshoremen to truck drivers, rail and warehouse workers, store clerks, and everyone in between,” the White House official said. 

Biden also discussed the administration’s newly announced “action plan” to ease bottlenecks at U.S. ports and funding included in the bipartisan infrastructure bill passed last week to improve transportation components of the domestic supply chain.

Morgan has more here

Read more: The producer price index (PPI) for final demand, which tracks prices charged for goods and services that aren’t parts of other products, rose 0.6 percent in October and 0.4 percent without food and energy goods and services, largely in line with expectations. Prices for final demand goods and services have jumped 8.6 percent in the year leading into October, staying even with a record high set in September.



CBO indicates lawmakers will have to wait for full score on social spending

An official from the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) signaled Tuesday that lawmakers would have to wait for a full score on House Democrats’ social spending bill, noting that the estimates on parts of the legislation may come out piecemeal. 

CBO Director Phillip Swagel said that the office will start releasing estimates of portions of the social spending bill this week, and that a cost estimate of the full bill will come out “as soon as practicable.”

“The analysis of the bill’s many provisions is complicated, and CBO will provide a cost estimate for the entire bill as soon as practicable,” Swagel said in a blog post on CBO’s website.

The upshot: Moderates and progressives struck a deal on Friday that allowed the House to take a procedural vote on the spending bill as well as to pass a Senate-approved bipartisan infrastructure bill.

As part of the deal, five House moderates released a statement saying that they are committed to voting for the spending bill “as expeditiously as we receive fiscal information from the Congressional Budget Office – but in no event later than the week of November 15th.”

Naomi has more here.

Good to Know 

The $1.2 trillion bipartisan infrastructure bill is getting a lukewarm reception from climate advocates, some of whom say passage of the measure has cost Democrats some leverage when it comes to further advancing a social spending package expected to deliver major climate benefits.

Here’s what else have our eye on:

  • General Electric (GE) will be splitting into three different companies focused on aviation, power and health care, the company announced Tuesday.
  • Vaccine maker BioNTech reported boosted earnings in the third quarter, attributing the rise “mainly” to its COVID-19 shots developed with Pfizer, which have  been given to a majority of fully vaccinated Americans.


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 Wednesday.


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