On The Money — Raskin bows out after bipartisan blowback
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’s pick to serve as the Federal Reserve’s top regulatory official withdrew from consideration. We’ll also look at rising producer prices, a groundbreaking Senate confirmation and the government funding bill.
Let’s get to it.
Raskin withdraws Fed vice chair nomination
Sarah Bloom Raskin, who President Biden nominated to serve as Federal Reserve vice chair of supervision, withdrew from consideration Tuesday after three moderate senators effectively blocked her path to confirmation.
Raskin sent a letter to Biden on Tuesday asking him to withdraw her nomination amid “relentless attacks by special interests,” The New Yorker first reported. Her withdrawal comes one day after Sens. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.), Susan Collins (R-Maine) and Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska) announced their opposition to her nomination.
What went down: While Raskin had broad support from former Fed officials and little resistance from the banking industry, advocates for oil and gas companies rallied against her nomination over her views on climate-related financial risks.
- Raskin’s views on climate drew immediate opposition from Senate Republicans. GOP lawmakers have fiercely criticized the Fed and other financial regulators for paying special attention to the ways climate change poses financial stability risks, and claimed Raskin would use the Fed to defund the industry.
- Raskin would have needed unanimous support from all 50 Democratic senators to be confirmed without any Republican crossover votes. But her path to confirmation closed when Manchin announced Monday morning he could not vote for Raskin because of her views on climate.
Sylvan has the fallout here.
Biden signs $1.5 trillion government funding bill with Ukraine aid
President Biden has signed into law a sweeping $1.5 trillion bill that funds the government through September and provides billions in assistance for Ukraine amid the Russian invasion.
In prepared remarks, Biden highlighted the Ukraine assistance as well as other domestic programs funded by the massive legislation and said the bill demonstrated that Republicans and Democrats can work together.
“Today we are again showing the American people that as a country we can come together,” he said. “That our democracy can deliver, can deliver and outperform autocracies.”
- The signing averts a government shutdown and guarantees that lawmakers will not need to worry about passing another government funding bill until much later this year.
- The bill notably includes $13.6 billion in humanitarian and security assistance to address Russia’s ongoing invasion of Ukraine.
- However, the bill does not include billions in COVID-19 funding that the White House had asked for after Republicans insisted on removing it.
The Hill’s Morgan Chalfant has the details here.
Prices of goods jumped a record 2.4 percent in February
Supplier prices for goods rose 2.4 percent in February, the biggest jump since data for the metric was first calculated more than a decade ago.
Most of the increase was due to a spike in energy prices, according to the Labor Department, which noted a 14.8 percent rise in the index for gasoline. Disregarding food and energy, supplier prices for goods rose 0.7 percent.
The overall producer-price index, which includes both goods and services, was up 0.8 percent in February, leveling off slightly from a 1.2 percent increase in January. The index has risen 10 percent over the past year.
- Those increases are sure to have trickle-down effects as they are passed down to consumers.
- The advances come as commodity markets continue to react to the Russian invasion of Ukraine, as well as new coronavirus lockdowns announced in China.
The Hill’s Tobias Burns has more here.
Ukraine conflict a boon for defense industry
The Russia-Ukraine conflict is a boon for American defense contractors, which are in line to profit from increased Western military spending to bolster Kyiv’s forces and adapt to instability in the region.
In the weeks following Russia’s invasion, Congress approved its largest-ever defense spending bill, while U.S. allies in Europe pledged to dramatically ramp up their defense spending to counter the Russian threat, measures that will bring lucrative new contracts to the arms industry.
“There’s an old saying: ‘A high tide raises all ships.’ So I think when you start putting that kind of money into the pipeline, certainly we want our companies to compete for that,” said Arnold Punaro, a retired three-star general and former staff director on the Senate Armed Services Committee who now works as a defense industry consultant.
- President Biden on Tuesday signed a $1.5 trillion government funding bill that allocates $782 billion toward defense, roughly $30 billion above his initial request and nearly 6 percent larger than last year’s package.
- Citing Russian aggression, Germany said Monday that it would purchase up to 35 Lockheed Martin-built F-35 fighter jets, a major reversal from its previous plan and a huge win for the American defense contractor.
Karl and Ellen Mitchell explore the developments here.
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Good to Know
The Senate on Tuesday voted to confirm Shalanda Young as director of the Office of Management and Budget in a historic first, almost a year after the senior adviser and longtime congressional aide was first installed as acting director.
The upper chamber voted 61-36 to confirm Young to the position on Tuesday afternoon, making her the first Black woman in history to be confirmed to head the key office, which oversees execution of the government’s budget.
Here’s what else we have our eye on:
- Saudi and Chinese officials are reportedly in talks to price some of the Gulf nation’s oil sales in yuan rather than dollars or euros.
- Two years after the onset of the coronavirus pandemic caused a round of mass layoffs not seen since the Great Depression, 10 states have now set new record low unemployment rates as businesses scramble to hire new workers.
- The Russian Foreign Ministry announced on Tuesday that it is imposing sanctions on President Biden, Secretary of State Antony Blinken, Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin and others as tensions escalate between Russia and the West over Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.
- As airlines have increased their prices amid rising fuel costs, the demand for flights remains higher than ever.
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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