Congress Out; Biden Wants to Meet with McConnell Re: Covid Aid Package

Posted on 11/22/2020 6:59 PM

Biden to announce some Cabinet picks Tuesday

 


Washington Focus


 

Congress is out for the Thanksgiving recess.

 

     The House will return on Dec. 1.
 

     The Senate will return on Nov. 30.

 

President Trump has canceled plans to travel to Mar-a-Lago for Thanksgiving this year.
 

     Joe Biden will spend the holiday with his family in Delaware.

 

Biden would “absolutely” meet with Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) on a Covid-19 relief package, a top adviser said. When asked by Fox News Sunday host Chris Wallace on whether Biden would pursue a meeting with McConnell, transition team spokeswoman Kate Bedingfield said, "Absolutely, yes… It is important that Sen. McConnell comes to the table, and we are very hopeful that we will be able to see progress soon on this bill because people all across the country desperately needed," Bedingfield told Wallace.

 

     Biden wants to get a package passed by the lame-duck Congress within the next couple of weeks, fitting the time period after the election but before lawmakers adjourn for the year. Biden met with House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) and Senate Democratic Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) last week, and apparently has begun working on a Covid-19 relief package with them, according to transition team aide Jen Psaki.

 

     Biden's past experience working with McConnell might help him in his efforts to get a bipartisan agreement on a relief package, Bedingfield added. "He and Senator McConnell have had a productive working relationship in the past, and he looks forward to meeting with Sen. McConnell when that moment arrives," Bedingfield said, adding, "He believes that we need to get a relief bill done in the lame duck. People are hurting all over the country."

 

     McConnell on Friday backed Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin’s proposal to use $580 billion that was allocated for Federal Reserve loan guarantees, small business aid and other virus relief programs that is unspent. “Congress should repurpose this money toward the kinds of urgent, important, and targeted relief measures that Republicans have been trying to pass for months, but which Democrats have repeatedly blocked with all-or-nothing demands,” McConnell said in a statement. More on this and any updates on the aid package developments in Monday’s Policy Updates.

 

Biden will announce his first Cabinet picks on Tuesday, Biden’s Chief of Staff Ron Klain told ABC’s This Week. One of them is expected to be Treasury secretary. Speculation has swirled around potential picks, including former Federal Reserve chief Janet Yellen, TIAA CEO Roger Ferguson, and Lael Brainard, who serves on the Federal Reserve Board of Governors. Meanwhile, reports have surfaced that Biden intends to name his longtime adviser Antony Blinken as secretary of State and

Jake Sullivan, formerly one of Hillary Clinton’s closest aides, is likely to be named Biden’s national security adviser.


     Klain noted the picks will beat the pace of Presidents Barack Obama and Donald Trump’s transitions.

 

     The FBI isn't background checking any Cabinet nominations, because the GSA hasn't started cooperating in the transition.

 


Hearings and Events This Week


 

Monday, Nov. 23

     • Trade issues. Washington International Trade Association virtual discussion with Rep. Jimmy Panetta (D-Calif.), member of the House Ways and Means Committee Trade Subcommittee.
     • White House Christmas Tree. First Lady Melania Trump hosts the arrival of the 2020 White House Christmas Tree, an 18-feet-5-inch Fraser fir, delivered in a horse-drawn carriage.
     • Thanksgiving turkeys. National Turkey Federation media availability to welcome to the nation's capital two Iowa birds as the national Thanksgiving turkeys, announce their names, and launch the White House's social media poll to pick which one will serve as the National Thanksgiving Turkey to visit the Rose Garden, and the other as alternate.
     • Covid vaccines. Center for Global Development virtual discussion, on "Covid-19 Vaccine Predictions Part 2: Estimating the Time Before We Approve Efficacious Covid-19 Vaccines."
     • Fed and the global economy. Peterson Institute for International Economics webinar on "Rebuilding the Global Economy: Role of the Federal Reserve System."
    • Covid-19. Health and Human Services Department, National Institutes of Health meeting by teleconference to cover committee business items related to Covid-19, pain research initiatives and member updates.
     • Russia. Atlantic Council webinar on a new report, "Russia in the World and How the West Should Deal with It."
     • U.S. Senate. Harvard University Program on Education Policy and Governance (PEPG online discussion with Erica Suares, policy adviser in the Office of Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, on "What Next for the U.S. Senate?"
     • Combatting Covid-19. Washington Post Live webinar on "Combating Covid-19," including how to slow the spread of infection and the challenges of distributing the vaccine once it's approved.
     • Mideast issues. George Washington University Elliott School of International webinar on U.S. diplomacy in the Middle East with former Deputy Secretary of State William Burns.


Tuesday, Nov. 24

     • Federal Reserve. New York Fed President delivers remarks; Fed Vice Chair Richard Clarida speaks at the International Monetary Fund (IMF) Conference on New Policy Frameworks for a "Lower-for-Longer" World (via webcast).
     • Covid-19 response. Atlantic Council webinar on "U.S. strategy in an era of great power competition," including U.S. foreign policy in China and the Middle East.
     • U.S./Japan relations. Henry L. Stimson Center webinar on "What Awaits the U.S./Japan Alliance Under New Leadership?" as part of the Voices from Japan National Security Speaker series.
     • U.S. policy. Atlantic Council webinar on "U.S. strategy in an era of great power competition," including U.S. foreign policy in China and the Middle East.
     • Tech companies and Chinese finance. Peterson Institute for International Economics (PIIE) webinar on "Big Tech Companies in Chinese Finance."
     • Corruption in Brazil. Woodrow Wilson Center's (WWC) Brazil Institute webcast on "The Lessons of Operation Car Wash: Six Years of Anti-Corruption Investigations and Judicial Cases in Brazil."
     • IMF confab. International Monetary Fund (IMF) virtual conference on "IMF Policy Dialogue: New Policy Frameworks for a 'Lower-for-Longer' World."
     • Financial system and cyber threats. Carnegie Endowment for International Peace virtual discussion on "Protecting the Financial System from Cyber Threats in the Asia-Pacific and Beyond."


Wednesday, Nov. 25

 

     • White House turkey pardon. White House ceremony to pardon the National Thanksgiving Turkey in celebration of the 73rd anniversary of the tradition.


Thursday, Nov. 26

     • Thanksgiving. U.S. holiday. Markets and U.S. government offices are closed.
     • Energy and climate change. 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.
     •

Friday, Nov. 27

     • Market hours. Many U.S. markets will observe a shortened trading day on the day after Thanksgiving.
     • Black Friday, the unofficial start of the holiday shopping season.
     • Palestine and US elections. Institute for Policy Studies webinar on "The Palestine Agenda and 2020 U.S. Elections."
 


Economic Reports for the Week


 

Release of FOMC minutes is expected to draw more attention than usual with Fed members entering unchartered territory with their pandemic plans. Wednesday will government data forecast to show that personal spending slowed somewhat in October and the third-quarter gross domestic product rebound was unrevised. Other reports include initial jobless claims, the goods trade balance, durable goods orders, new home sales and the final University of Michigan consumer sentiment index for November.

 

Monday, Nov. 23


     • IHS Markit releases its Manufacturing and Services Purchasing Managers’ Indices for November. Consensus estimates are for a 53 Manufacturing PMI and 56.5 for the Services PMI. Both estimates are slightly lower than the October data.
     • Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago releases its National Activity Index for October. Economists forecast a 0.23 reading, roughly even with the September figure. Since peaking at an all-time high of 5.93 in June, the index has steadily fallen, suggesting that the economy will continue to grow but at a slower pace.

Tuesday, Nov. 24


     • Federal Housing Finance Agency releases its House Price Index for September and the third quarter. In August, home prices rose 8% year over year, according to the FHFA. The strongest gains were out West in states like Arizona and Idaho.
     • Case-Shiller House Price Index
     • Conference Board releases its Consumer Confidence Index for November. Expectations are for a 98 reading, down from 100.9 in October.
     • Richmond Fed Manufacturing Index

Wednesday, Nov. 25


     • MBA Mortgage Applications
     • Bureau of Economic Analysis reports its second estimate for third-quarter GDP. Economists forecast a 33.1% seasonally adjusted annual growth rate, a record high.
     • Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) releases minutes for its early-November monetary-policy meeting.

     • Census Bureau reports new single-family home sales for October. Economists forecast a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 972,500 homes sold, up from 959,000 in September. New-home sales continue to hover near their post-financial-crisis peak.
     • Bureau of Economic Analysis reports personal income and spending for October. Expectations are for a 0.4% month-over-month gain in income; spending is seen rising 0.8%. This compares with increases of 0.9% and 1.4%, respectively, in September.
     • Census Bureau releases the Durable Goods report for October. Consensus estimate is for a 1.5% month-over-month jump to $240.7 billion in new orders for manufactured goods.
     • Consumer Sentiment
     • Jobless Claims
     • Wholesale Inventories
     • Retail Inventories
     • International Trade in Goods

Thursday, Nov. 26


     • Holiday: Thanksgiving  

Friday, Nov. 27


     • Fed Balance Sheet
     • Money Supply

 


Key USDA & international Ag & Energy Reports and Events 


 

The International Sugar Organization is hosting a two-day virtual conference with the impact of Covid-19 as one of its main focuses. Meanwhile, Deere & Co. publishes quarterly results on Wednesday, followed by a conference call with analysts. The company has been a historical barometer of the overall ag sector outlook so the presentation will be closely watched for any forecasts that could signal the coming battle between U.S. corn and soybean plantings in 2021. Higher crop prices and improving farmer sentiment are leading to stronger agricultural-equipment demand.

 

     Deere up
    
Source of chart: Bloomberg

 

Monday, Nov. 23
 

       Ag reports and events:

  • Export Inspections
  • Crop Progress
  • Food Price Outlook
  • Cotton and Wool
  • Agricultural Exchange Rate Data Set
  • Outlook for U.S. Agricultural Trade
  • Chickens and Eggs
  • Cold Storage
  • EU weekly grain, oilseed import and export data
  • China customs publishes trade data on corn, wheat, sugar, cotton imports
  • Monthly MARS bulletin on crop conditions in Europe
  • Holiday: Argentina, Japan

       Energy reports and events:

  • China second batch of October trade data, including oil products trade breakdown

Tuesday, Nov. 24
 

       Ag reports and events:

  • Cotton Ginnings
  • Sugar: World Markets and Trade
  • Poultry Slaughter
  • World palm oil virtual exhibition and conference, day 1
  • Itau webinar on Brazilian agribusiness outlook
  • International Sugar Organization seminar
  • Brazil Unica cane crush, sugar production (tentative)

       Energy reports and events:

  • API weekly U.S. oil inventory report

Wednesday, Nov. 25
 

       Ag reports and events:

  • Broiler Hatchery
  • Egg Products
  • Deere hosts conference call to discuss earnings
  • World palm oil virtual exhibition and conference, day 2
  • China Oct. trade data, including country breakdowns for soybeans and pork
  • Malaysia Nov. 1-25 palm oil export data

       Energy reports and events:

  • EIA weekly U.S. oil inventory report
  • U.S. weekly ethanol inventories
  • EIA natural gas storage change
  • China third batch of October trade data, including country breakdowns for energy and commodities
  • Baker Hughes weekly rig count report; moved to Wednesday instead of usual Friday release due to Thanksgiving holiday

Thursday, Nov. 26
 

       Ag reports and events:

  • Holiday: U.S.
  • World palm oil virtual exhibition and conference, day 3
  • Brazil grain exporters’ group meeting
  • International Grains Council monthly supply and demand report
  • Port of Rouen data on French grain exports

Friday, Nov. 27
 

       Ag reports and events:

  • USDA Weekly Export Sales
  • Note: CFTC weekly commitments of traders report usually released Fridays will be released Mon., Nov. 30
  • Peanut Prices
  • Livestock & Meat Domestic Data
  • Peanut Stocks and Processing
  • FranceAgriMer weekly update on crop conditions

 

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