On The Money — House Democrats ready to Build Back Better

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: The House is hours away from a planned vote on President BidenJoe BidenChina eyes military base on Africa's Atlantic coast: report Biden orders flags be flown at half-staff through Dec. 9 to honor Dole Biden heading to Kansas City to promote infrastructure package MORE’s sweeping social services and climate bill. We’ll also look at Sen. Joe ManchinJoe ManchinTrump haunts Biden vaccine mandate in courts IRS data proves Trump tax cuts benefited middle, working-class Americans most Overnight Energy & Environment — Presented by ExxonMobil — Dems press drillers over methane leaks MORE’s opinion on the Federal Reserve chairmanship and a brutal confirmation hearing.

But first, a potential Olympic boycott. 

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.

Democrats plan Thursday vote on massive Biden bill 

House Democrats are planning to vote Thursday evening on the massive social benefits and climate package at the core of President Biden's domestic agenda, lending the embattled party a significant victory heading into the long Thanksgiving recess.

House Majority Leader Steny HoyerSteny Hamilton HoyerSenate leaders face pushback on tying debt fight to defense bill Overnight Defense & National Security — US tries to deter Russian invasion of Ukraine Senate eyes plan B amid defense bill standoff MORE (D-Md.), who formally sets the floor schedule, announced the plan Thursday afternoon, just hours after Speaker Nancy PelosiNancy PelosiUS expected to announce diplomatic boycott of Beijing Olympics soon: report Pressure grows to remove Boebert from committees Lawmakers remember Bob Dole: 'Bona fide American hero' MORE (D-Calif.) had signaled an intent to race the bill to the floor by day's end.

"It is my hope that we will complete this legislation today so that this would be the last legislative day prior to the Thanksgiving work period," Hoyer said on the House floor.

  • Standing in the way of the vote has been a cost analysis from the Congressional Budget Office (CBO), Congress's official scorekeeper, where officials have been racing around the clock to complete more than a dozen provisional estimates gauging the budgetary impacts of provisions under the various committees.
  • The nonpartisan budget scorekeeper said that the massive bill would increase the deficit by $367 billion over 10 years.
  • However, that number does not take into account $207 billion in revenue that CBO estimates would be raised by providing the IRS more money for enforcement.

Mike Lillis has the latest here.

LEADING THE DAY

Manchin: 'Looking very favorably' at Powell as Fed chair after meeting

Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) told The Hill that he was "looking very favorably," but hadn't made a final decision, on supporting Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell if he's renominated as chairman, after the two spoke on Wednesday. 

"Well we're looking very favorably towards that, because I needed that conversation with him. But I have not made up my mind yet. But I'm just saying that it helped an awful lot having him clear up a lot of the concerns I had," Manchin told The Hill.

  • The two spoke by phone on Wednesday, with Manchin telling reporters earlier this week that he was trying to set up a meeting to talk about his concerns with inflation and quantitative easing.
  • Manchin told The Hill that the two had a "very good conversation" and that Powell addressed some of his concerns and helped Manchin understand some of the thinking behind Federal Reserve strategy. 
  • Manchin’s positive readout is a good sign for Powell if Biden renominates him for the Fed’s top spot, and also a signal to the president that a reappointment would be greeted with support.

Jordain Carney has the scoop here.

DEBT CLIFF DETOUR

McConnell, Schumer hunt for debt ceiling off-ramp

Senate Majority Leader Charles SchumerChuck SchumerHospitals in underserved communities face huge cuts in reckless 'Build Back Better' plan GOP infighting takes stupid to a whole new level Progressive groups urge Schumer to prevent further cuts to T plan MORE (D-N.Y.) and Senate GOP Leader Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellLawmakers remember Bob Dole: 'Bona fide American hero' Senate leaders face pushback on tying debt fight to defense bill Former Sen. Bob Dole dies at 98 MORE (Ky.) met on Thursday as they look for an off-ramp from a looming fight over the debt ceiling.

“We had a good discussion about several different issues that are all extant as we move toward the end of the session,” McConnell told reporters. 

“We agreed to kind of keep talking, working together to try to get somewhere,” McConnell added.

Jordain has more here.

HAVE YOU NO DECENCY?

Dems erupt over GOP 'McCarthyism' as senators vet Biden bank watchdog pick

A Senate confirmation hearing for President Biden’s pick to lead the top banking regulator erupted Thursday into a fight over her youth in the former Soviet Union and its relevance to her nomination.

During a Thursday hearing on Saule Omarova’s nomination to lead the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC), Democrats on the Senate Banking Committee blasted Republicans for raising questions about her loyalties to the U.S. and capitalism.

The background: Omarova, a law professor at Cornell University, was born and raised in the former Soviet republic of Kazakhstan before emigrating to the U.S. While she has been a U.S. citizen since 2005 and served in the George W. Bush administration, Senate Republicans have pressured her to hand over a thesis on Karl Marx’s economic analysis she wrote as an undergraduate at Moscow State University nearly 40 years ago.

The pivotal moment: Sen. John KennedyJohn Neely KennedyMORE (R-La.) pressed Omarova if she ever resigned from a “Young Communists” group she was automatically enrolled in as a schoolchild. 

“I don’t know whether to call you ‘professor’ or ‘comrade,' ” Kennedy said.

Omarova explained that she had little academic freedom or choice in the Soviet Union, particularly as an ethnic minority whose family was nearly wiped out by Joseph Stalin.

“I grew up without knowing half of my family. My grandmother herself escaped death twice under the Stalin regime,” Omarova said. “This is what seared in my mind. That's who I am.”

I have more here.

Good to Know

White House press secretary <span class=Jen PsakiJen PsakiUS expected to announce diplomatic boycott of Beijing Olympics soon: report Joe Biden: The Brian Williams presidency Biden plan for free at-home tests faces hurdles MORE addresses reporters during the daily briefing at the White House on Monday, November 15, 2021." width="645" height="363" data-delta="6" />

For the second time in a month, the White House on Thursday urged large businesses to move forward with coronavirus vaccine mandates for their workforces despite court challenges to the Biden administration’s vaccine-or-test requirement for private companies.

Here’s what else have our eye on:

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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.