Agreement on Funding Levels Ups Odds of End-of-Year Omnibus Measure

Posted on 11/30/2020 4:31 AM

Targeted aid package has chance if Pelosi gives from prior stance

 


Washington Focus


 

Like Thanksgiving leftovers, Congress has some leftover items, including dealing with a stopgap spending measure that runs through Dec. 11, and perhaps coming to an agreement on the illusive next Covid-relief package. Congressional leaders last week confirmed the two chambers reached an agreement on spending caps on the 12 individual measures that will very likely be combined into a $1.4 trillion omnibus spending package. The differences between the House and Senate proposed spending levels were relatively small, but the House's bills had also included about $233 billion in emergency spending related to the pandemic. It is murky regarding if any coronavirus relief funding was included outside of the subcommittee allocations.

 

     Regarding the next aid package, the New York Times reported that Joe Biden wants a deal in the lame duck even if it is smaller than the topline figure backed by House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.). However, Biden spokesman Andrew Bates said it was “incorrect” that the president-elect is pushing for them to pass a pared-down bill. Biden has said he wants a deal this year but hasn’t said what he believes should be the price tag.

 

Both chambers are returning Monday with just 10 working days before the House is set to leave town again, with no plans to return until early January for the new Congress. That could always be revised.

 

     The House will vote on a Senate-passed bill to reauthorize the federal grain inspection program for the next five years. The bill was placed on the House suspension bill and needs a two-thirds majority to pass. Votes are no longer expected until Wednesday evening, Majority Leader Steny Hoyer (D-Md.) announced Nov. 27.

 

     House Democrats continue to fill out their leadership positions this week. There’s competition for the Agriculture Committee gavel. Rep. David Scott (D-Ga.) has racked up endorsements from his colleagues, including outgoing Chairman Collin Peterson (D-Minn.), who lost his re-election bid in Minnesota. Meanwhile, Rep. Jim Costa (D-Calif.) is supported by dozens of farm groups. Rep. Marcia Fudge (D-Ohio) was considered a likely contender to lead the House Agriculture Committee. But she didn’t step into the race, instead eyeing Agriculture secretary. Unions, anti-hunger groups and advocacy groups are backing Fudge for the role in a letter-writing campaign.

 

On Tuesday, Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin and Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell will testify before Senate Banking; they'll do the same Wednesday before House Financial Services with an update on the pandemic response.

 

Arizona is set to certify Sen.-elect Mark Kelly’s (D-Ariz.) win as soon as Monday, which will allow him to be seated in the Senate as soon this week. That would narrow the Senate GOP majority to 52-48, likely eliminating any chance of Republicans confirming Judy Shelton, Trump’s controversial Federal Reserve nominee before the 117th Congress is sworn in.

 

Election dates ahead:

 

     • Dec. 8: State finalize elector appointments

     • Dec. 14: Electors cast votes in each state

     • Dec. 23: Vice President receives electoral votes

     • Jan. 6: House & Senate count electoral votes
     • Jan. 20: Presidential Inauguration Day

 

As for Georgia’s two Jan. 5 runoff faces for Senate, Georgia’s election officials could take a few days, or even up to two weeks, to declare winners, given how close the presidential contest and the two initial Senate ballots were. That means Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) and Minority Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) will have to wait for clarity about which side will hold the majority.

 

Joe Biden was examined by a doctor Sunday for an ankle injury suffered on Saturday while playing with one of his dogs. The incident occurred while Biden was spending Thanksgiving weekend with family in Rehoboth Beach, Delaware, where they have a vacation home. Biden’s transition team issued a statement saying he would see an orthopedist “out of an abundance of caution.”

     

    Biden this week is widely expected to nominate Janet Yellen, the former Federal Reserve Chair under former President Barack Obama, to be Treasury secretary. If confirmed as would be expected, Yellen would be the first woman in the role, and the first person to lead the Treasury Department, the Fed and the White House Council of Economic Advisers. Biden will also nominate Adewale Adeyemo to be deputy Treasury secretary as part of a slate of economic-team appointments he plans to make this week

 

     Biden will tap veteran Democratic policy staffer Neera Tanden to lead his Office of Management and Budget (OMB) and Cecilia Rouse to head the Council of Economic Advisers (CEA), according to reports. Tanden, the chief executive of the left-leaning Center for American Progress, would be the first woman of color to oversee the OMB. Rouse would chair the three-member CEA, with economists Jared Bernstein and Heather Boushey serving as the other members. Rouse would be the first woman of color to chair the council.

 

     The incoming Biden administration announced an all-woman communications team Sunday evening, including Kate Bedingfield as White House communications director and Jen Psaki as White House press secretary.

 


Hearings and Events This Week


 

The Federal Reserve, Covid-19, U.S./China relations and the incoming Biden administration are some of the key topics of hearings and events this week.

 

Monday, Nov. 30

 

     FCC focus. Columbia Law School Chapter of the Federalist Society for Law and Public Policy Studies webinar with FCC Chairman Ajit Pai.
     • White House Christmas holiday decor. Office of the First Lady media preview of the 2020 holiday decor at the White House.
     • Covid-19 issues. Primary Care Collaborative virtual 2020 conference with the theme "Reimagining Primary Care," including a focus on "Health Inequities Laid Bare by Covid-19: How Can Primary Care Respond?"
     • Carbon capture. Atlantic Council webinar on "The Future of 45Q: Carbon Capture Policy in the Biden-Harris Administration," focusing on tax legislation.
     • U.S./Taiwan relations. Atlantic Council webinar on "The Future of U.S./Taiwan Economic Relations."
     • China focus. Hudson virtual discussion on "The Origin and Future of the China Challenge."


Tuesday, Dec. 1

 

     Federal Reserve. Fed Chairman Jerome Powell testifies on the CARES Act; Fed Governor Lael Brainard, San Francisco Fed President Mary Daly and Chicago Fed President Charles Evans also scheduled to deliver remarks.
     • Digital agriculture. Center for Global Development (CGD) holds a webinar on "Digital Agriculture."
     • CARES Act report to Congress. Senate Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs Committee hearing on "The Quarterly CARES Act Report to Congress,” with Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin and Fed Chairman Jerome Powell.
     • U.S./China issues. Carnegie Endowment for International Peace virtual discussion on "U.S./China Relations Under Biden: A Lookahead."
     • North Korea post-pandemic. Center for Strategic and International Studies webcast on "The Outlook for North Korea's Economy Post-Pandemic."
     • Financial/banking issues. Financial Times virtual Global Banking Summit, including participation from Former Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation Chair Sheila Bair.
     • U.S. State Department and the global economy. Peterson Institute for International Economics webinar on "Rebuilding the Global Economy: Role of the U.S. Department of State."
     • 5G and communications issues. Federal Communications Commission meeting by teleconference of the Technological Advisory Council, including presentations from its four working groups, 5G/IOT/V-RAN; Future of Unlicensed Operations; Artificial Intelligence; and 5G Radio Access Network Technology.
     • U.S. geothermal. Atlantic Council webinar on "Unearthing Potential: The Future of U.S. Geothermal," focusing on lessons learned from Iceland.
     • Covid-19 solutions. Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee hearing on essential components of a solution to Covid-19.
     • U.S./Europe partnership. German Marshall Fund of the United States discussion on "Partners of First Resort: America, Europe and the Future of the West."
     • Tech antitrust. Brookings Institution webcast on "The Future of Tech Antitrust in the Biden Administration."
     • FCC remarks. Association of Public-Safety Communications Officials virtual Emerging Technology Forum, including remarks from FCC Commissioner Jessica Rosenworcel.
     • Covid and economic recovery. Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development's Washington Center webinar on "Impacts of Covid-19 and the Outlook for an Economic Recovery in 2021."
     • Medical supply chain security. National Academy of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine virtual workshop on "Security of America's Medical Product Supply Chain," Dec. 1-2.
     • Energy workforce. National Academy of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine webinar on "Pathways Toward the Future Just, Equitable, Diverse, and Inclusive Energy Workforce."
   • FEMA disaster assistance. Federal Emergency Management Agency teleconference of the National Advisory Council to hear from participants and discuss expediting disaster assistance.
     • Congressional reform. American Enterprise Institute for Public Policy Research virtual book discussion on "Congress Overwhelmed: The Decline in Congressional Capacity and Prospects for Reform."
     • U.S. fiscal policy. Brookings Institution's Center on Fiscal and Monetary Policy, and the Peterson Institute for International Economics webcast on "Fiscal Policy Advice for Joe Biden and Congress."
     • Covid-19 response. General Services Administration teleconference of The Sustainable Response to Covid-19 Task Group to analyze potential impacts on federal facility sustainability, including occupant health and wellness, related to the potential implementation of Covid-19 mitigation measures and operational practices.
    • Energy priorities. University of Texas at Austin Energy virtual discussion on "Congressional Priorities for U.S. Energy Policy," part of the "UT Energy Symposium."


Wednesday, Dec. 2

 

     Federal Reserve. Fed Chairman Jerome Powell testifies on the CARES Act; Fed Governor Randal Quarles and New York Fed President John Williams to deliver remarks.  
     • Ag research. Senate Agriculture, Nutrition and Forestry Committee hearing on "Agricultural Research and Securing the United States Food Supply,” including former USDA Secretary Dan Glickman.
     • Food system sustainability. Atlantic Council webinar on "Food System Sustainability in 2021 and Beyond," focusing on data and technology solutions.
     • CARES Act response. House Financial Services Committee hearing on "Oversight of the Treasury Department's and Federal Reserve's Pandemic Response,” including Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin and Fed Chairman Jerome Powell.
     • Capitol Christmas Tree lighting. Architect of the Capital (AOC) ceremony to light the U.S. Capitol Christmas Tree, harvested Nov. 6 from the Uncompahgre National Forest in Colorado and decorated with thousands of handcrafted ornaments from the children of Colorado.
     • IMF-World Bank report. Center for Global Development virtual discussion "IMF (International Monetary Fund) Collaboration with the World Bank on Macro-Structural Issues: Presentation of IEO (Independent Evaluation Office) Report."
     • Democrats and trade policy. Cato Institute virtual discussion on "Trade Policy Priorities through the Eyes of Congressional Democrats."
     • India trade policy. Peterson Institute for International Economics virtual discussion on "What trade policy strategy for India?"
     • Global banking issues. Financial Times virtual Global Banking Summit including remarks from Fed Vice Chair for Supervision Randal Quarles.
     • U.S./Korea issues. Atlantic Council virtual forum with current and former U.S. and Republic of Korea officials "on the most pressing issues facing the bilateral security alliance and economic partnership.
     • Venezuela. Organization of American States webinar on a new report "regarding the possible commission of crimes against humanity in Venezuela."
     • Republicans in the 117th Congress. American Enterprise Institute for Public Policy Research webinar on "The Republican Study Committee in the 117th Congress," focusing on advancing conservative principles in a Democratic Congress.
     • Covid vaccine distribution. Senate Homeland Security Investigations Subcommittee hearing on "Covid-19: Vaccine Safety and Distribution."
     • NASA, Commerce and FCC nominations. Senate Commerce, Science and Transportation Committee markup to vote on the nominations of Greg Autry to be chief financial officer of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration; Daniel Huff to be assistant Commerce secretary; and Nathan Simington to be a member of the Federal Communications Commission.
     • IMF and rebuilding the global economy. Peterson Institute for International Economics webinar on "Rebuilding the Global Economy: Role of the International Monetary Fund."
     • Biden presidency and Europe. German Marshall Fund of the United States webinar on "With a Biden Presidency, is European Sovereignty Still Needed?"
     • Immigration. Center for American Progress webinar on "We Are Essential," focusing on "the important role of immigrants in building a dynamic and resilient economy for all and the urgent need for a path to permanent legal status."
     • Medical supply chain security. National Academy of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine virtual workshop on "Security of America's Medical Product Supply Chain.”
     • Climate change and fuels. New America webinar on "Heat Map: A Climate of Change in America," focusing on the reduction of reliance on fossil fuels while stimulating economic growth.
     • Automated vehicles. Federal Communications Bar Association's Connected and Autonomous Vehicles Committee webinar on "Regulatory Issues Associated with Connected and Automated Vehicles."
     • Safe drinking water. Environmental Protection Agency teleconference of the National Drinking Water Advisory Council to allow EPA to present an overview of Safe Drinking Water Act programs for FY 2021 and to receive input from Council members.
     • Electrical grid. Alliance to Save Energy Active Efficiency Forum, including a focus on "Beneficial Electrification and Grid Opportunities."
     • EXIM financing. Export-Import Bank teleconference of the Advisory Committee to discuss EXIM policies and programs to provide competitive financing to expand United States exports.
     • Cyber threats and Covid-19. Senate Homeland Security Federal Spending Oversight and Emergency Management Subcommittee hearing on "State and Local Cybersecurity: Defending Our Communities from Cyber Threats amid Covid-19."
     • Energy efficiency. United States Energy Association and the Alliance to Save Energy hold the 30th Annual Energy Efficiency Forum.


Thursday, Dec. 3

 

     U.S./Japan alliance. Center for American Progress virtual discussion on "The U.S./Japan Alliance: Priorities for 2021."

     • U.S./Korea issues. Atlantic Council virtual forum with current and former U.S. and Republic of Korea officials "on the most pressing issues facing the bilateral security alliance and economic partnership.”
     • China and Covid-19. Center for Strategic and International Studies virtual debate on "China Will Exploit the Covid-19 Pandemic to Shift the Geopolitical Balance of Power in its Favor," the third of a series of five debates as part of the China Power Project's fifth annual conference.
     • SEC panel. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) meeting by teleconference of the Investor Advisory Committee.
     • 2020 Census. House Oversight and Reform Committee hearing on "Ensuring the 2020 Census Count is Complete and Accurate."
     • IMO conference prep. State Department holds a meeting by teleconference to prepare for the 70th session of the International Maritime Organization's (IMO) Technical Cooperation Committee to be held remotely, December 7 to 11, 2020.   
     • Textiles and community empowerment in Southeast Asia.
George Washington University Elliott School of International Affairs virtual discussion on "Textiles as Community Empowerment in South Asia."
     • AIDS and Covid-19. Health and Human Services Department teleconference of the Presidential Advisory Council on HIV/AIDS to discuss the Ending the HIV Epidemic: A Plan for America (EHE) initiative, and the novel coronavirus (Covid-19).
     • 2020 hurricane season. Bipartisan Policy Center webinar on "Hurricane Season 2020 and Adaptation Lessons Learned."
     • Climate change. National Academy of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine webinar on "Responding to Climate Change Through Geotechnical Engineering Research."
     • U.S. alliances in the Indo-Pacific region. Brookings Institution webcast on "The Future of U.S. Alliances in the Indo-Pacific."
     • Energy storage. General Services Administration teleconference of the Energy Storage Task Group to explore the use of energy storage at federal facilities, and how it may be employed to reduce energy use and greenhouse gas emissions, including in conjunction with renewable energy and grid integration strategies.
     • Biden administration and the UN. American Enterprise Institute for Public Policy Research webinar on "What Challenges Will the UN Pose for the Joe Biden Administration?"


Friday, Dec. 4

 

     Federal Reserve. Fed Governor Michelle “Miki” Bowman, New York Fed President John Williams and Chicago Fed President Charles Evans to deliver remarks.
     • Community banking. Federal Reserve Board Governor Michelle Bowman delivers remarks on "Community Banking and FinTech," at the Independent Community Bankers of America ThinkTECH Policy Summit.
     • Covid, supply chains and trade. Center for Global Development virtual discussion on "Covid-19, Supply Chain Resilience and Global Trade."
     • US-India issues. The Carnegie Endowment for International Peace (CEIP) holds a webinar on "The U.S./India Partnership: Looking Forward."
     • Energy outlook. Center for Strategic and International Studies webcast on "Bloomberg NEF's New Energy Outlook 2020."
     • Broadband gaps. Washington Post Live  webinar on "Bridging the Broadband Gap," as part of the Path Forward series.
     • U.S./China. Woodrow Wilson Center's Kissinger Institute on China and the United States discussion on "Where Great Powers Meet," focusing on the rivalry between the United States and China in Southeast Asia.

 


Economic Reports for the Week


 

The week ahead will feature testimony by Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin before the Senate Banking Committee. Earlier this month Mnuchin said he would allow several emergency Fed lending programs to expire, opening a divide with the central bank, which had pressed for an extension. The $455 billion in unspent CARES Act funding that Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin recalled from the Federal Reserve's emergency lending facilities will be put into the Treasury Department's General Fund, according to an agency spokesperson. The move means that the next Treasury secretary will need Congress' approval to restore the funds.

     On Friday comes the Employment report, which is expected to show non-farm payrolls likely increased by 500,000 jobs in November after rising by 638,000 jobs in October. The unemployment rate for November will probably slip down to 6.7% from 6.9% in the previous month.

     Other Fed officials will be speaking this week, with the focus remaining on their outlook for the U.S. economy and they are also likely to echo the call for additional fiscal stimulus to help maintain the U.S. economy. But they are also likely to couch their economic expectations on how the pandemic unfolds ahead. And we get the Beige Book report from the Fed, the anecdotal recap of the U.S. economic situation that is delivered two weeks before the next Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) meeting. Prior reports have focused on the level of uncertainty among businesses and how various economic sectors are weathering the pandemic thus far. Trade policy issues have faded from being a prominent attention point.

 

Monday, Nov. 30


     • Institute for Supply Management Chicago Purchasing Manager Index for November. Consensus estimate is for a 58.9 reading, slightly less than the October figure.
     • National Association of Realtors Pending Home Sales Index for October. Economists forecast a 1% month-over-month dip, after a 2.2% fall in September. Despite the pandemic, the NAR expects more homes to be sold this year than in 2019.
     • Dallas Fed Manufacturing Survey

Tuesday, Dec. 1


     • Census Bureau construction spending data for October. Expectations are for a 0.7% monthly gain, to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of $1.42 trillion on construction spending.
     • ISM Manufacturing Purchasing Managers’ Index for November. Consensus estimate is for a 57.3 reading. The 59.3 figure from October was the highest reading for the index in more than two years.
     • PMI Manufacturing final
     • Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell testifies before the Senate Banking Committee in Congress about the Cares Act. It will be the third quarterly update on the $2.2 trillion Cares Act, passed in late March. Federal Reserve. Fed Governor Lael Brainard, San Francisco Fed President Mary Daly and Chicago Fed President Charles Evans are also scheduled to deliver remarks.

     • Digital agriculture. Center for Global Development (CGD

Wednesday, Dec. 2


     • MBA Mortgage Applications
     • ADP National Employment Report for November. Economists forecast an increase of 500,000 jobs in private-sector employment, after 365,000 jobs added in October.
     • Motor Vehicle Sales: U.S. auto retail sales for November are expected to be up 2.9% from a year ago when adjusted for the same number of selling days, according to a forecast from TrueCar. Fleet sales are expected to be down 21% during the month. Average transaction prices are projected to be up 4.7% from a year ago. Total SAAR is expected to decrease 4% from a year ago to 16.3M units from 17M units.
     • Fed Beige Book summarizing current economic conditions in the 12 Fed districts. This will be the eighth and final release for the year.
     • Federal Reserve. Fed Chairman Jerome Powell testifies on the CARES Act; Fed Governor Randal Quarles and New York Fed President John Williams to deliver remarks. 

Thursday, Dec. 3


     • Jobless Claims
     • Challenger Job-Cut Report
     • PMI Composite final
     • ISM Services Purchasing Managers’ Index for November. Expectations are for a 56.2 reading, about even with the October data.
     • Fed Balance Sheet
     • Money Supply

Friday, Dec. 4


     • Bureau of Labor Statistics jobs report for November. Economists forecast an increase of 700,000 in nonfarm payroll employment, slightly more than the 638,000 added in October. 
     • International Trade in Goods and Services is expected to show the deficit widened in October as Americans stepped up the pace of imports.
     • Factory Orders
      • Federal Reserve. Fed Governor Michelle “Miki” Bowman, New York Fed President John Williams and Chicago Fed President Charles Evans to deliver remarks.

 


Key USDA & international Ag & Energy Reports and Events 


 

On Wednesday, USDA should finally get more realistic about U.S. farm income for 2020, reflecting a more inclusive forecast of CFAP 2 payouts and perhaps including the recent uptick in commodity prices amid surprising (especially for USDA) export strength for corn exports to China and other destinations. The first look at the 2021 picture will not come until February.

     While International Trade data arrives Friday, USDA does not release their more-detailed recap of the situation until Monday, Dec. 7, but will offer up the “headline” numbers of exports, imports and the trade balance.

     Meanwhile, OPEC is expected to agree on relaxing the current production quotas at a meeting on Nov. 30-Dec. 1. Most analysts expect that the group will extend the current agreement for a period of three months in 2021.

 

Monday, Nov. 30
 

       Ag reports and events:

 

     • Export Inspections

     • Crop Progress

     • Agricultural Prices

     • CFTC Commitments of Traders report, delayed from previous week due to U.S. Thanksgiving holiday; regular release schedule resumes Friday

     • EU weekly grain, oilseed import and export data

     • Malaysia’s Nov. 1-30 palm oil export data

     • Holiday: India
 

       Energy reports and events:

 

     • OPEC conference; OPEC ministers to meet virtually

     • EIA Petroleum Supply Monthly, with September production data

     • Atlantic hurricane season officially ends, though more storms could still emerge
 

Tuesday, Dec. 1
 

       Ag reports and events:

 

     • Cotton System

     • Fats & Oils

     • Grain Crushings

     • U.S. Purdue Agriculture Sentiment

     • International Coffee Conference, Vietnam, day 1

     • Virtual summit: Resetting the Food System from Farm to Fork

     • CNA Outlook for Brazil’s Agriculture in 2020, Sao Paulo
 

        Energy reports and events:

 

     • API weekly U.S. oil inventory report

     • OPEC and non-OPEC ministerial meeting; attendees to meet virtually and take policy decisions for the full OPEC+ alliance, including by how much — and when — they will taper supply cuts already in place

     • Holiday: UAE (lasting through Thursday)
 

Wednesday, Dec. 2
 

        Ag reports and events:

 

     • Broiler Hatchery

     • Highlights from December 2020 Farm Income Forecast ERS

     • North American Potatoes

     • Virtual Indonesian palm oil conference, day 1

     • International Coffee Conference, day 2
 

       Energy reports and events:

 

     • EIA weekly U.S. oil inventory report

     • U.S. weekly ethanol inventories

     • Genscape weekly ARA crude inventory report

     • Russian monthly oil production data for November published by the energy ministry

     • Holiday: UAE
 

Thursday, Dec. 3
 

        Ag reports and events:

 

     • Weekly Export Sales

     • Dairy Products

     • FAO World Food Price Index

     • Port of Rouen data on French grain exports

     • Indonesian palm oil conference, day 2

     • International Coffee Conference, day 3

     • StatsCan wheat, durum, canola, barley and soybean production
 

        Energy reports and events:

 

     • EIA natural gas storage change

     • Singapore onshore oil-product stockpile weekly data

     • Russian weekly refinery outage data from ministry

     • Insights Global weekly report on European product inventories in ARA region

     • Holiday: UAE
 

Friday, Dec. 4
 

        Ag reports and events:

 

     • CFTC weekly commitments of traders report

     • Peanut Prices

     • Latest U.S. Agricultural Trade Data

     • China’s CNGOIC to publish monthly soy and corn reports

     • FranceAgriMer weekly update on crop conditions
 

        Energy reports and events:

 

     • Baker Hughes weekly U.S. oil/gas rig counts

     • U.S. Census crude export data

 


 

Add new comment