On The Money — Biden’s plea: Don’t count out Build Back Better
Happy Tuesday 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 believes he can find a way to salvage some of his economic agenda. We’ll also look at the future of the child tax credit and the student loan freeze.
But first, find out what Christmas treat could be the next victim of supply chain snarls.
Let’s get to it.
Biden says there’s still a chance
President Biden on Tuesday said he thinks there is still a “possibility” that his Build Back Better agenda can get done, despite Sen. Joe Manchin’s (D-W.Va.) opposition to the climate and social spending bill.
“I want to get things done. I still think there’s a possibility of getting build Back Better done,” Biden told reporters on Tuesday following his remarks on COVID-19 at the White House.
- Biden said he doesn’t “hold a grudge” when asked if his relationship with Manchin can be saved following the senator’s bombshell Fox News interview on Sunday.
- Manchin didn’t criticize Biden during an interview Monday but said he was at his “wits’ end” after he suggested White House staff had leaked negative information about him.
Even so, Biden’s frustration broke through several times in his Tuesday remarks. The president angrily yelled at the podium about parents who work minimum-wage jobs and are in need of expensive prescription drugs for their children.
“Not only do you put the kid’s life at stake, you strip away all the dignity of a parent looking at their child. I’m not joking about this,” he said, raising his voice to reporters.
“Imagine being a parent. Looking at a child and you can’t afford. You have no house to borrow against. You have no savings. It’s wrong,” he said. “All the things in that bill are going to reduce prices and costs for middle-class and working-class people.”
Alex Gangitano takes us there.
LEADING THE DAY
Expanded child tax credit may be Manchin casualty
Advocates are growing increasingly concerned about the expected lapse of the expanded child tax credit, as the fate of the expansion has become even more uncertain after Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) said he opposes President Biden’s social spending plan.
- The failure to enact an extension of the expanded credit means that households that have received monthly advance payments of the credit from the IRS this year are not expected to similarly receive a payment on Jan. 15.
- It’s unclear if an extension of the monthly payments will be enacted, since Manchin has both criticized the design of the expanded child tax credit and the broader spending plan that included an extension.
Aris and Naomi explain here.
STUDENT LOAN FREEZE?
Biden mulling another student loan freeze extension
White House press secretary Jen Psaki on Tuesday suggested President Biden could extend a pandemic freeze on student loan payments and interest accrual.
During a Tuesday briefing at the White House, Psaki told reporters Biden has not yet decided whether he will allow millions of Americans to forgo student loan payments at no additional cost beyond Jan. 31.
Biden in August extended an order initially issued by former President Trump in March 2020 to pause due payments and interest on federally held student loans through the end of next month. The administration said it would likely be the last extension of the order, and Psaki all but ruled out another extension in a press conference two weeks ago.
Sylvan has more here.
Warren takes on supermarket chains
Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) said in a letter to leadership at Kroger, Albertson’s and Publix that the grocery store chains are profiting off of struggling American families during the pandemic.
“While many Americans faced the loss of jobs, homes, and loved ones during the COVID-19 pandemic, grocery companies like yours saw immense gains through record sales and profits,” Warren wrote.
“Your company, and the other major grocers who reaped the benefits of a turbulent 2020, appear to be passing costs onto consumers to preserve your pandemic gains, and even taking advantage of inflation to add greater burdens,” she said.
Read more from The Hill’s Monique Beals here.
Good to Know
Intel has announced that unvaccinated employees who fail to meet the company’s Jan. 4 vaccination deadline and do not receive a religious or medical exemption will soon be put on unpaid leave.
Here’s what else have our eye on:
- New York has broken its single daily record for positive coronavirus cases for the fourth straight day as the state grapples with the new omicron variant.
- The U.S. population grew by 0.1 percent in the past year, according to new data released by the Census Bureau, marking the lowest growth rate since the nation was founded.
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.
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