Business & Economy

On The Money — Biden resorts to pushing scaled-back spending plan

The White House is continuing its calls for senators to pass a scaled-back reconciliation package that doesn’t include climate or tax overhauls.

We’ll also look at Yellen’s most recent comments, one key impact of the strong U.S. dollar and President Biden’s low approval on the economy.

But first, guess which part of the U.S. has the most monkeypox cases per capita. 

Welcome to On The Money, your nightly guide to everything affecting your bills, bank account and bottom line. For The Hill, we’re Sylvan LaneAris Folley and Karl Evers-HillstromSubscribe here.

White House pushes for health-only budget package

The White House on Monday called for senators to move forward with a slimmed-down, health care-only reconciliation package before their August recess, saying that Democrats are “on the cusp” of beating the pharmaceutical industry.  

“The president’s going to continue to work with Congress to make sure that we’re lowering costs for the American families like prescription drugs, for example. And if we are able to do that we are on the cusp… [to] really winning against one of the wealthiest, special interest groups, which is Big Pharma,” White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre said.  

  • Biden wants to move forward with a health care-only reconciliation package after Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) struck a blow to his agenda over its tax and climate provisions, which Biden said he will address through executive action.
  • Manchin would also support a two-year extension of expiring health insurance subsidies under the Affordable Care Act.
  • The plan also likely won’t include tax hikes on wealthy Americans sought by the White House. 

“You saw the President’s statement just recently, if the Senate doesn’t act on that, and doesn’t take action on climate, he has a contingency plan which is using his executive authority to make sure that we take on climate, climate change in a way that’s going to be effective,” Jean-Pierre said on Monday.

Alex Gangitano has more here.

EVENT INVITE

The Hill’s Future of Health Care 2022, Tuesday, July 19 at 8 a.m. ET — Washington, D.C., or On-Demand

The pandemic has highlighted the pitfalls and potential within our health care system. Join policymakers and health experts for a comprehensive discussion on advancing access, the pursuit of health equity and resetting the care paradigm across the U.S. Featuring: Dr. Anthony Fauci, CMS Administrator Chiquita Brooks-LaSure, AMA president Dr. Jack Resneck, Dr. Mark McClellan and more. RSVP today

CHAIN REACTION

Yellen calls for US, allies to fortify supply chains to combat China’s ‘unfair trade practices’

Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen called for the United States to leverage its allies to build more resilient supply chains during a speech in South Korea on Tuesday. 

Her remarks focused on the need to jointly develop stronger supply chains for key components, like semiconductors and electric vehicle batteries, with like-minded countries to combat China’s attempted dominance in those industries, according to excerpts released by the Treasury Department. 

“We cannot allow countries like China to use their market position in key raw materials, technologies or products to disrupt our economy or exercise unwanted geopolitical leverage,” Yellen said.

Yellen’s visit to South Korea comes as part of a trip to Asia that included the Group of Twenty meeting of finance ministers and central bankers in Indonesia.

Here’s more on the background. 

SEE YOU IN ITALY

US dollar’s power is a boon to Americans traveling abroad 

The surging value of the U.S. dollar in recent weeks is a boon to American travelers, who will get more bang for their buck overseas despite surging inflation at home.

But a strong American currency could limit international visitors to the U.S., where tourism firms are still licking their wounds from the height of the pandemic.   

  • The dollar recently hit parity with the euro for the first time in two decades, making trips to Europe 10 to 15 percent less expensive for Americans than at the same time last year.
  • The dollar is also soaring in destinations like Thailand, India and South Korea — countries with ample tourism interest from Americans and relatively weaker economic growth than the U.S.  

“With the rising cost of travel, the strong U.S. dollar is a net positive amidst all the disruption in the industry,” said Erika Richter, vice president of communications at the American Society of Travel Advisors.

Karl and Sylvan break it down here.

RECORD LOW 

Biden approval on economy hits new low: poll 

President Biden’s economic approval ratings have hit a record low for his presidency — and surpassed the lowest ratings of the previous two presidents, new polling shows.

CNBC All-America Economic survey put Biden’s economic approval rating at 30 percent, 5 points below a previous survey in April. Inflation was also the top concern, followed closely by abortion.

The lowest listed concern was the coronavirus, a change from recent years.

  • Over 60 percent of poll participants said they expect the country to fall into a recession in the next year, and 6 percent believe it’s already fallen. Just 22 percent of those surveyed reported believing the economy will improve in the next 12 months.
  • Six percent of Republicans said they approve of Biden’s economic record, and just over half — 58 percent — of Democrats back their party’s leader. Biden’s overall presidential approval in the poll was one point lower than Trump’s lowest rating, at 36 percent. 

The Hill’s Julia Mueller has more on this here.

Good to Know

Skyrocketing gas prices have led to pain at the pump for many Americans, but the national average has been ticking down in recent days.

After briefly surpassing $5 a gallon, the national average cost for a gallon of gas clocked in at $4.52 as of Monday, according to AAA.

But prices vary widely between states, with the average cost ranging between $4.02 and $5.90 depending on where you live.  

These are the states with the highest and lowest gas prices as of Monday

Here’s what else we have our eye on: 

  • House Democrats on Monday penned an open letter thanking the corporations that have pledged to cover employees’ travel expenses to obtain abortion services.
  • Netflix will share its earnings information and outlook going forward on Tuesday after a rocky year in which it faced falling subscription rates and increasing competition. 
  • Staffers at eight House offices began the process to unionize on Monday, becoming the first congressional employees to move forward in the unionization effort on Capitol Hill. 
  • Advocacy groups in Arizona are requesting that U.S. officials ban a Florida-based firm, hired to conduct a ballot review of the 2020 presidential election in Maricopa County, from working with the federal government.

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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Tags budget reconciliation gas prices inflation Janet Yellen Janet Yellen Joe Manchin Karine Jean-Pierre Reconciliation tourism travel

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