On The Money — Biden caps off infrastructure week

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: Biden finally signs the bipartisan infrastructure bill. We’ll also look at how inflation is shaping the Federal Reserve nomination speculation and an update on CBO score for the reconciliation bill.

But first, LL Cool J is coming to the Capitol.


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.

Biden signs $1 trillion infrastructure bill

President BidenJoe BidenCourt nixes offshore drilling leases auctioned by Biden administration Laquan McDonald's family pushes for federal charges against officer ahead of early release Biden speaks with Ukrainian president amid Russian threat MORE on Monday signed into law a $1.2 trillion bipartisan infrastructure bill at a boisterous ceremony outside the White House, sealing a major accomplishment of his first term.

  • Weeks of talks and two trips to the Capitol by Biden culminated earlier this month in a bipartisan vote, with the House passing the bill 228-206. 
  • Thirteen Republicans crossed the aisle to support the measure, and six progressive Democrats bucked Biden and party leaders to oppose it.

Biden welcomed lawmakers from both parties, from Congress and state and local governments, to celebrate the passage of the bill and tout what he said were the transformational ways it would improve day-to-day life for many Americans.

“My message to the American people is this: America is moving again and your life is going to change for the better,” Biden said in prepared remarks, highlighting provisions for replacing lead pipes, implementing broadband and improving public transit.


Morgan Chalfant and Brett Samuels take us to the chilly White House ceremony here.


CBO to release Build Back Better score by Friday

The Congressional Budget Office (CBO) said Monday that it expects to release a full cost estimate of House Democrats' social spending and climate package by the end of the day Friday.

The announcement comes as House Democrats are aiming to vote on the Build Back Better spending bill this week. 

The background:

Naomi has more on the state of play here.


Inflation raises focus on Biden Fed pick

President Biden faces a major decision on if he should renominate Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell for another term.

With inflation soaring and the administration working to bring the economy back from its coronavirus pandemic doldrums, Biden's choice to lead the central bank could prove particularly consequential as Republicans go on the attack ahead of next year's midterms.

  • Fed-watchers consider Powell likely to win another term after his current one is up in February thanks to his broad support among both parties, the bank’s successful response to the pandemic-driven market meltdown and his own overlap with Biden’s views on the job market.
  • As a Republican chosen by both former Presidents Obama and Trump for Fed positions, Powell also occupies a rare bipartisan lane in a bitterly divided Congress.
  • But Biden is getting pushed from the left to replace Powell with a Democrat more closely aligned with his support for tighter financial regulation and a more aggressive response to climate change, two areas where Powell falls well short of liberals' demands.

“The fact that it’s still so quiet indicates one of three things. Either that they’ve been extremely good at keeping things quiet, two, that they haven’t reached a decision and probably aren’t on a decision for a while, or three, they’re trying to gauge the politics of the decision. All those things can obviously delay any kind of movement on anything,” one Biden ally told The Hill.


Alex Gangitano and I have more here.


Senate Republicans call on colleagues to reject government spending bills without border wall funding

A group of Senate Republicans is pushing their colleagues to withhold support for bipartisan annual spending legislation if it does not include funding for the border wall, a signature project of former President TrumpDonald TrumpMark Walker to stay in North Carolina Senate race Judge lays out schedule for Eastman to speed up records processing for Jan. 6 panel Michael Avenatti cross-examines Stormy Daniels in his own fraud trial MORE's for which Democrats hope to rescind funding.

In a Monday letter, GOP Sens. Mike BraunMichael BraunBiden administration withdraws its vaccine-or-test mandate for businesses Former Sen. Donnelly confirmed as Vatican ambassador The Memo: Supreme Court, Sinema deliver twin blows to Biden MORE (Ind.), Ted CruzRafael (Ted) Edward CruzProgressive millionaire group backs Cisneros, McBath in first public endorsements Manchin and Sinema must help Biden make the Supreme Court look more like America Flake meets with Erdoğan in first official duties as US ambassador MORE (Texas), Mike LeeMichael (Mike) Shumway LeeSenate Republicans press federal authorities for information on Texas synagogue hostage-taker Put partisan politics aside — The Child Tax Credit must be renewed immediately These Senate seats are up for election in 2022 MORE (Utah), Cynthia LummisCynthia Marie LummisCheney challenger wins Wyoming Republican activists' straw poll Overnight Energy & Environment — Lummis holds up Biden EPA picks GOP senator blocks Biden EPA nominees over coal plant decision MORE (Wyo.) and Marco RubioMarco Antonio RubioPut partisan politics aside — The Child Tax Credit must be renewed immediately These Senate seats are up for election in 2022 Lawmakers press Biden admin to send more military aid to Ukraine MORE (Fla.) vowed not to back the appropriations legislation if dollars are not set aside for the wall.

  • Last month, Senate Democrats unveiled legislation seeking to rescind $1.9 billion in border wall funding from previous years. Democrats say the funding would be directed toward bolstering border security technology, among other measures.
  • They also said the funding would also be used for repair damage to the environment due to construction of the barrier.

Aris breaks it down here.


Good to Know

The Treasury Department and IRS said Monday they sent out the fifth batch of monthly child tax credit payments, disbursing more than $15 billion in payments to families that include about 61 million children.

Here’s what else have our eye on:

  • The sharp increase in inflation could pose a challenge for progressives as they push to enact a robust social spending and climate package.
  • Film and TV production crew workers narrowly voted to ratify a new contract with Hollywood and streaming giants over the weekend, ending a labor dispute that nearly led to an unprecedented strike. 

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.