The Week Ahead: Senate Tax Reform Vote

Posted on 11/26/2017 10:14 AM

Tax reform | Yellen testifies | Confirmation hearing for new Fed leader | USDA long-term projections

Congress returns with the key focus on an expected Senate vote on its version of tax reform. On the economic front, outgoing Fed Chairwoman Janet Yellen testifies before the Joint Economic Committee and the confirmation for her successor, Jerome “Jay” Powell, begins.

The full Senate is slated to vote on its tax plan after a “vote-a-rama,” a series of votes on many amendments offered by Democrats and Republicans. If it passes, differences with the House bill will need to be reconciled before any final legislation can be sent to President Donald Trump’s desk. The House passed its version on Nov. 16.

The Senate Budget Committee meets Tuesday to vote on reconciliation recommendations for rewriting the tax code and selling oil and gas extraction rights in a protected portion of Alaska.

President Donald Trump plans to meet Tuesday with congressional leaders on keeping the government open after current funding expires Dec. 8. A short-term stopgap spending bill is widely expected.

The biofuels sector is looking for EPA's release of the biofuel usage mandates for 2018 (2019 for biodiesel) via the renewable volume obligations (RVOs).

Late last week, EPA formally rejected a proposal by refiners to shift the compliance requirements from refiners to fuel blenders.

Key economic reports are ahead on the U.S. economy, including initial trade figures, housing updates and the second reading on the U.S. economy for the third quarter.

Report schedule: Monday opens with New Home Sales and the Dallas Fed Manufacturing updates, followed by the busiest economic calendar Tuesday — International Trade in Goods, FHFA House Price Index, S&P Corelogic Case-Shiller HPI, Consumer Confidence, Richmond Fed Manufacturing and the Federal Reserve releases its final beige book for the year. Wednesday's releases include GDP and Pending Home Sales while Thursday releases will include Weekly Jobless Claims, Personal Income & Outlays and Chicago PMI readings. The week closes out with the PMI Manufacturing, ISM Manufacturing and Construction Spending reports. Particular attention will be on GDP since the initial reading on the first quarter came in above expectations as hurricane impacts were not as significant as expected.

Busy Fed schedule on tap, including Yellen testimony. The final week of November has a crowded Fed schedule with Fed Chairwoman Janet Yellen delivering what is likely her final testimony to Congress while lawmakers will hear from Fed Governor Jerome "Jay" Powell who has been nominated to succeed her atop the Fed.

The Fed speakers: Monday opens with Minneapolis Fed's Kashkari (current voter) and New York Fed's Dudley (always a voter) on tap with Dudley also on the schedule Tuesday which will be the day the Senate Banking Committee begins Powell's nomination hearing with his views on monetary policy, interest rates and the U.S. economy some of the key attention points. Dudley is on the calendar Wednesday along with San Francisco Fed's Williams (2018 voter) to speak. But the big focus is on Yellen delivering remarks on the economic outlook to the Joint Economic Committee. Thursday has Dallas Fed's Kaplan (current voter) will the week closing out with Kaplan again on the schedule along with St Louis Fed's Bullard (2019 voter).

USDA on Tuesday releases of some tables from USDA's long-term agricultural projections to 2027. Other USDA reports on tap this week include:


  • Export Inspections
  • Poultry Slaughter
  • Crop Progress


  • Farm Income Forecast
  • Livestock and Meat Domestic Data
  • Broiler Hatchery
  • Peanut Stocks and Processing


  • Weekly Export Sales
  • Outlook for U.S. Agricultural Trade
  • Agricultural Prices
  • Egg Products


  • Cotton System
  • Fats & Oils
  • Grain Crushings
  • Peanut Prices

Other reports and events on tap this week include:


  • Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development publishes its semi-annual global economic outlook.
  • Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin speaks at a conference on the evolving structure of the U.S. Treasury market held by the New York Fed.
  • Agricultural Retailers Association annual conference, through Thursday, in Phoenix.
  • Tax reform. House Ways and Means Chairman Kevin Brady (R-Texas) speaks on tax reform at the American Enterprise Institute.
  • Oil outlook. Securing America’s Future Energy forum, “Oil’s Coming Decade of Disorder.”


  • Ag disasters. House Agriculture Appropriations Subcommittee hearing, “USDA's Role in Disaster Recovery.”
  • Regulatory reform. House Oversight and Government Reform hearing on regulatory reform at the Interior and Energy departments and EPA.
  • FY 2018 budget: Forest Service. House Interior-Environment Appropriations hearing on the Forest Service.
  • NEPA. House Natural Resources Committee hearing, "Modernizing NEPA for the 21st Century.”
  • WOTUS. House Science, Space and Technology subcommittee hearing, “The Future of WOTUS: Examining the Role of States.”
  • Army Corps of Engineers. House Energy-Water Appropriations subcommittee hearing on the Army Corps of Engineers.
  • Trade policy. Cato Institute forum, “Trump, Trade, and the Asia Pacific.”


  • Oil ministers from OPEC and its partners, including Russia, meet in Vienna to discuss extending output curbs, scheduled to expire in March, that have helped buoy the market.
  • Undersecretary for International Affairs at the U.S. Treasury, David Malpass, discusses global economic growth and the Trump administration’s economic agenda at the Council on Foreign Relations.
  • FY 2018 budget: Interior. House Interior-Environment Appropriations hearing on the Interior Department.
  • Impact of tax cuts. Cato Institute forum, “Can Tax Cuts Spur Economic Growth?” with Kevin Hassett, chairman of the White House Council of Economic Advisers, and other economists.


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