U.S. Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen will testify before the Senate Finance Committee Tuesday, just days after she admitted she was wrong about inflation earlier in President Joe Biden’s term.
The hearing, which is on “the president’s fiscal year 2023 budget” will only feature testimony from Yellen, according to the committee’s website.
Biden’s budget likely will be under extra scrutiny as gas prices continue to hit record highs and inflation rises at the fastest level in decades.
Inflation is running rampant, federal spending is out of control, gas prices are at an all-time high and Americans are pessimistic on the future outlook of the economy. So what is President Joe Biden’s solution?
He has released a budget proposal that includes 36 tax increases on families and businesses totaling $2.5 trillion over the next decade. Alarmingly, this includes 11 tax increases on the oil and gas industry, taxes that will put a burden on households.
The budget doesn’t even include all the tax increases being pushed by Democrats because the budget omits the cost of tax increases within their stalled multi-trillion dollar Build Back Better Act. Instead of detailing these tax increases, the Biden budget includes a placeholder asserting that any new spending will be fully offset.
The Democrats’ reconciliation package will likely include more than $500 billion worth of climate provisions, more than the entire Department of Energy budget, the White House said, according to The Hill.
The budget represents an opportunity for “historic investment in climate change,” White House Chief of Staff Ron Klain said during an event hosted by The Hill on Tuesday evening. The likely price tag for climate programs included in the bill is likely to fall somewhere between $500 billion and $555 billion, Axios previously reported.
On Monday, Joe Biden uncorked the largest lie of a 50-year political career overstuffed with them.
“My Build Back Better Agenda costs zero dollars,” he tweeted. “Instead of wasting money on tax breaks, loopholes, and tax evasion for big corporations and the wealthy, we can make a once-in-a-generation investment in working America. And it adds zero dollars to the national debt.”
Democratic West Virginia Sen. Joe Manchin reportedly said in private that the “strategic pause” he has pushed for regarding his party’s budget should last through the end of the year.
Manchin’s remarks, first reported by Axios, would mean a sharp departure from Democrats’ long-stated goals, which include passing both the budget and the bipartisan infrastructure bills before the end of September.
His remarks align both with a Wall Street Journal op-ed he wrote earlier this month and recent comments he made calling for a “pause” on the budget as Congress addressed other priorities ranging from a messy Afghanistan withdrawal to multiple natural disasters.
House Democrats will consider nearly $3 trillion in tax hikes over the next decade in an attempt to pay for their $3.5 trillion budget that includes most of President Joe Biden’s domestic agenda and would overhaul the nation’s social safety net.
The hikes are predominantly focused on wealthy Americans and large corporations. Among the increases is a top income tax bracket of 39.6%, up from 37%, which Democrats say would raise $170 billion in revenue over the next decade.
A summary of the proposals leaked Sunday, and was first reported by The Washington Post.
Washington Democrats’ efforts to pass their signature, $3.5 trillion spending package is in jeopardy of falling apart, as House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, leader of the Democrat-controlled chamber, does not appear to have the votes this week to advance the measure awaiting in the Senate.
The votes are set to be cast Monday and Tuesday, with House members returning for two days during their August recess to try to move forward the pending package.
Pelosi can afford to lose only three votes in the narrowly divided chamber. However, nine moderate Democrats have vowed to oppose the two voting measures until the House passes a roughly $1 trillion, bipartisan infrastructure spend package passed in the Senate before the recess.
As tens of millions of American families across the country began to see the second round of monthly cash payments appear in their bank accounts Friday, Republicans in Congress remained oddly quiet.
The checks were the result of an expansion of the Child Tax Credit (CTC), which was part of the $1.9 trillion coronavirus relief package President Joe Biden signed into law in March. While every Republican in Congress voted against the bill, the credit itself is overwhelmingly popular among registered Republicans and Americans overall, creating a rift between reliable conservative voters and the GOP lawmakers who represent them.
The unadjusted consumer price index as measured by the Bureau of Labor Statistics was 5.28 percent for the month of July, slightly lower than June at 5.32 percent, but still measuring the highest inflation on record since July 2008, when it hit nearly 5.5 percent.
The latest numbers come as Congress has easily passed another gargantuan $1.2 trillion infrastructure spending plan that included $550 billion of new spending. Interest rates have already reacted as 10-year treasuries came off a near-term low of 1.17 percent on Aug. 2 to 1.36 percent as of Aug. 12, slightly increasing inflation expectations.
The $1.2 trillion spendathon was just the latest in a long line of spending that has added $5.25 trillion to the national debt since Jan. 2020 in response to the Covid pandemic all the way to the current $28.5 trillion: the $2.2 trillion CARES Act and the $900 billion phase four under former President Donald Trump, and then the $1.9 trillion stimulus under President Joe Biden. It’s been a bipartisan affair.
Senate Democrats have publicly released their $3.5 trillion, filibuster-proof budget reconciliation resolution.
The draft of the legislation released on Monday includes new spending programs that the White House has labeled “human infrastructure,” such as universal pre-K, childcare support and tuition free community college.
The spending total is estimated over a 10-year period. Using budget reconciliation allows the Democrats to pass the measure without votes from Republicans in the 50-50 Senate. Democrats used the same process in March to pass President Biden’s $1.9 trillion pandemic stimulus package called the American Rescue Plan Act.
The Congressional Budget Office estimated Thursday that the bipartisan Senate infrastructure bill will add $256 billion to the deficit over the next decade, undercutting its backers’ claims the spending had been offset.
In FY2020, the deficit hit a record $3.1 trillion. So far in FY2021, the deficit is $2.2 trillion. The national debt is climbing to $29 trillion for the first time in U.S. history.
Senate Democrats are attempting to add funding for “Dreamers” and border security to their budget bill, Axios reported Friday.
The Democrats are looking at adding $10 billion to their $3.5 trillion budget reconciliation package towards border security infrastructure at legal points of entry, according to Axios. The Democrats previously planned to allocate around $120 billion for citizenship for undocumented essential workers, immigrants with Temporary Protected Status and Dreamers.
Congressional Republicans grabbed headlines this week after releasing an aggressive budget they say would cut taxes and spending, but key measures in the plan also would address one of the country’s most serious economic problems.
The House’s Republican Study Committee released a budget that lays out several measures to deal with inflation, a growing concern among economists after the latest federal data showed a spike in consumer prices. Notably, the index for used cars and trucks rose 10%, the largest one-month increase since BLS began recording the data in 1953. Food and energy costs rose 0.9% in the month of April, prescription drugs rose 0.5%, and gasoline rose 1.4% during the same month. The energy cost index rose 25% in the previous 12 months.
Republicans on the committee say their plan would address concerns over inflation by balancing the budget within five years, thereby eliminating the need to monetize debt, a process where the federal government prints money to make payments on what it owes. The national debt has soared to more than $28 trillion and is expected to continue climbing under President Joe Biden’s new spending plans.
2020 and 2021 are two sides of the same coin: Price instability brought about by the dollar being either relatively too strong or too weak, which can lead to or exacerbate economic slowdowns, creating higher unemployment and worse if the conditions persist for too long.
In 2020, at the height of the Covid pandemic, the problems included the global economy being shut down plus local lockdowns resulting in a massive recession and a flight to safety into U.S. treasuries as interest rates collapsed, making the dollar too strong. With the onset of deflation, consumer prices plummeted in March and April 2020, with oil even dropping briefly below zero dollars for the first time in history, and a concurrent rise of unemployment as 25 million Americans lost their jobs.
Friday marked the last day of the legislative session, and the state legislature agreed upon a record-setting budget bill.
“State lawmakers on Friday signed off on a record $101.5 billion on the state budget that has left both Republicans and Democrats happy — mostly,” The Tampa Bay Times reported.
The Georgia General Assembly has approved a $27.2 billion spending plan for the 2022 fiscal year, which starts July 1.
The Senate and House agreed to spend more money on health care, education, transportation, state positions, internet access and economic initiatives.
The House approved the measure, 148-21, late Wednesday night after it cleared the Senate unanimously, 52-0. Lawmakers now must send the proposal for state spending through June 30, 2022, to Gov. Brian Kemp for consideration.