Business & Economy

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: digital-stage.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@digital-stage.thehill.com or @SylvanLane. You can reach my colleagues on the Finance team Naomi Jagoda at njagoda@digital-stage.thehill.com or @NJagoda and Aris Folley at afolley@digital-stage.thehill.com or @ArisFolley.

Let’s get to it.

Biden signs $1 trillion infrastructure bill

President Biden 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.

LEADING THE DAY

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:

  • Five House moderates — Reps. Ed Case (D-Hawaii), Josh Gottheimer (D-N.J.), Stephanie Murphy (D-Fla.), Kathleen Rice (D-N.Y.) and Kurt Schrader (D-Ore.) — struck a deal with progressives earlier this month that allowed the House to pass the bipartisan infrastructure bill that President Biden is signing Monday. 
  • As part of the agreement, the moderates said they committed to voting for the social spending package once they receive information from the CBO, but no later than this week.

Naomi has more on the state of play here.

INFLATED EXPECTATIONS

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.

SPENDING TALKS HIT A WALL

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 Trump’s for which Democrats hope to rescind funding.

In a Monday letter, GOP Sens. Mike Braun (Ind.), Ted Cruz (Texas), Mike Lee (Utah), Cynthia Lummis (Wyo.) and Marco Rubio (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.

Tags Cynthia Lummis Donald Trump Ed Case Joe Biden Josh Gottheimer Kathleen Rice Kurt Schrader Marco Rubio Mike Braun Mike Lee Stephanie Murphy Ted Cruz

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File - A Chevrolet Bolt is displayed at the Philadelphia Auto Show, Jan. 27, 2023, in Philadelphia. Electric vehicles are far less reliable than gasoline-powered cars, trucks and SUVs, mainly because most automakers are still learning how to build a completely new power system, according to this year's auto reliability survey by Consumer Reports.(AP Photo/Matt Rourke, File)
File - A Chevrolet Bolt is displayed at the Philadelphia Auto Show, Jan. 27, 2023, in Philadelphia. Electric vehicles are far less reliable than gasoline-powered cars, trucks and SUVs, mainly because most automakers are still learning how to build a completely new power system, according to this year's auto reliability survey by Consumer Reports.(AP Photo/Matt Rourke, File)

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In this photo released by the Governor of Sevastopol, Mikhail Razvozhayev telegram channel, a rescuer gestures as he helps people during an evacuation after storm and flooding in Sevastopol, Crimea, Monday, Nov. 27, 2023. A storm in the Black Sea took down power grids and left almost half a million people without power after it flooded roads, ripped up trees and damaged buildings in Crimea, Russian state news agency Tass said. (Governor of Sevastopol Mikhail Razvozhayev's telegram channel via AP)
In this photo released by the Governor of Sevastopol, Mikhail Razvozhayev telegram channel, a rescuer gestures as he helps people during an evacuation after storm and flooding in Sevastopol, Crimea, Monday, Nov. 27, 2023. A storm in the Black Sea took down power grids and left almost half a million people without power after it flooded roads, ripped up trees and damaged buildings in Crimea, Russian state news agency Tass said. (Governor of Sevastopol Mikhail Razvozhayev's telegram channel via AP)

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