•   
  •   
  •   

Politics On The Money: Schumer pressured from all sides on spending strategy | GOP hammers HUD chief over sluggish rental aid | Democrat proposes taxes on commercial space flights

02:55  21 july  2021
02:55  21 july  2021 Source:   thehill.com

What Virgin Galactic's milestone flight means for the future of tourists in space

  What Virgin Galactic's milestone flight means for the future of tourists in space Carrying a crew that included company founder Richard Branson, the successful trip marks a significant step toward rocketing paying customers into new heights.More than 46,000 feet above the stark New Mexico desert, a white and silver space plane rocketed toward the edge of Earth’s atmosphere, riding on a fiery plume of burning laughing gas and solid rubber fuel. A few minutes later, the craft’s two pilots and four passengers, including billionaire Richard Branson, floated more than 53 miles above our planet’s surface: high enough to see Earth’s curvature and to slip the bonds of gravity, for a few minutes at least.

Happy Tuesday and welcome back to On The Money, the first financial newsletter composed in space. I'm Sylvan Lane, and here's your nightly guide to everything affecting your bills, bank account and bottom line.

Chuck Schumer wearing a suit and tie: Majority Leader Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.) addresses reporters after the weekly policy luncheon on Tuesday, July 20, 2021. © Greg Nash Majority Leader Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.) addresses reporters after the weekly policy luncheon on Tuesday, July 20, 2021.

See something I missed? Let me know at slane@thehill.com or tweet me @SylvanLane. And if you like your newsletter, you can subscribe to it here: http://bit.ly/1NxxW2N.

Richard Branson's space flight changes the way we look at space

  Richard Branson's space flight changes the way we look at space SpaceShip Two's launch of a privately financed human spaceflight was the first of its kind. Get ready for the Virgin Galactic jingle.Richard Branson is betting that we'll think of Virgin Galactic when we hear Khalid's "New Normal" the next time we find ourselves with a couple hundred thousand dollars to take a 90-minute joy ride to just beyond the edge of space for a few moments of weightlessness and a unique look at the curvature of the Earth from about 50 miles off the terra firma. That's now possible for a very few, but that's how such markets get started to the benefit of all of us eventually.

Write us with tips, suggestions and news: slane@thehill.com and njagoda@thehill.com. Follow us on Twitter: @SylvanLane and @NJagoda.

The Best ‘Space Jam: A New Legacy’ Merch for Cheering On the Tune Squad

  The Best ‘Space Jam: A New Legacy’ Merch for Cheering On the Tune Squad Whether you're a superfan of LeBron James or Looney Tunes, there's plenty to shop ahead of the film's July 16 release.If you purchase an independently reviewed product or service through a link on our website, we may receive an affiliate commission.

THE BIG DEAL-Schumer feels pressure from all sides on spending strategy: Senate Majority Leader Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.) is nearing a decision point on how to move President Biden's sweeping infrastructure package as he faces competing pressure points.

The inflection point comes as senators have been working behind the scenes for weeks to try to advance a two-track infrastructure strategy - a bipartisan bill and Democrats' go-it-alone $3.5 trillion plan - before they leave for a lengthy summer break that's scheduled to start in a matter of weeks.

The snag:

  • Facing a time crunch, Schumer has scheduled a vote for Wednesday to tee up debate on the bipartisan group's $1.2 trillion plan and get the process moving.
  • But with Republicans vowing to block the Senate from moving forward as negotiators still try to finalize their agreement, Schumer will need to make a decision about what to do after the failed vote.

"We have a lot we need to do this month, so we can't continue to delay and delay. ... We've got to keep to a schedule. ... Sen. Schumer has to be able to control the schedule," Sen. Chris Murphy (D-Conn.) told reporters after a closed-door caucus lunch. The Hill's Jordain Carney has the latest here.

Infrastructure push on rocky ground as key Senate test vote looms

  Infrastructure push on rocky ground as key Senate test vote looms It could all come together, or it could all fall apart. © Alex Wong/Getty Images Senate Majority Leader Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-NY) listens during a news briefing after a Senate Democratic Policy Luncheon at the U.S. Capitol July 13, 2021 in Washington, DC. Those are the stakes for President Joe Biden's infrastructure agenda as it faces a critical week in the Senate that could prove to be a make-or-break moment for both a bipartisan deal and a broader package to expand the social safety net that Democrats intend to move on a party-line vote.

The bigger picture: Democrats have been pursuing a two-track infrastructure strategy, trying to reach an agreement on a smaller bipartisan deal and Democratic unity on a second, larger bill that will include a host of other priorities for the party and Biden.

The balancing act is tough because support for the bipartisan bill is tied up with Democrats' plans for the second $3.5 trillion plan, and Schumer is facing pressure from both sides.

  • Republicans are urging him to cancel Wednesday's vote, something he's suggested that he won't do.
  • But Schumer is also facing pressure from the House to ditch the bipartisan track after Wednesday's vote, where progressives are ready to move to the budget resolution.

The Hill's Mike Lillis has more here on the frustration among House Democrats here.

The huge Democratic bet on 'bricks and butter'

  The huge Democratic bet on 'bricks and butter' The spending proposals that Senate Democrats plan to begin advancing this week amount to a massive gamble that the party can simultaneously advance two of its longest-standing economic goals without generating a political backlash or overheating the economy. © Saul Loeb/AFP/Getty Images President Joe Biden speaks with Heather Zaccagnini, right, Applied Technology Department co-chair, and college president Dr. Clint Gabbard during a tour of a manufacturing lab at McHenry County College in Crystal Lake, Illinois, on July 7, 2021, part of a trip to tout his infrastructure proposals.


Video: Senate Democrats unveil $3.5 trillion budget proposal (CNBC)

LEADING THE DAY

OVERNIGHT ENERGY: Democrats lay out vision for Civilian Climate Corps | Manchin to back controversial public lands nominee | White House details environmental justice plan

  OVERNIGHT ENERGY: Democrats lay out vision for Civilian Climate Corps | Manchin to back controversial public lands nominee | White House details environmental justice plan IT'S TUESDAY!!! Welcome to Overnight Energy, your source for the day's energy and environment news. Please send tips and comments to Rachel Frazin at rfrazin@thehill.com . Follow her on Twitter: @RachelFrazin . Reach Zack Budryk at zbudryk@thehill.com or follow him at @BudrykZack . Today we're looking at a Democratic push for the Civilian Climate Corps, a key senator's support for a contentious public lands nominee and some details on how the White House will implement its goal of giving environmental benefits to disadvantaged communities.

Republicans hammer HUD chief over sluggish rental aid: Housing and Urban Development Secretary Marcia Fudge took heat Tuesday from Republicans over the meager portion of rental aid distributed to tenants and landlords with less than two weeks until a federal eviction ban expires.

Democrats and Republicans on the House Financial Services Committee spent most of a Tuesday hearing sparring over Fudge's role in the dismal pace of rental aid distribution and why Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen had not joined her before the committee.

The background: Congress approved a total of $46 billion in rental aid between two coronavirus relief bills passed under former President Trump and President Biden.

  • Administered by both the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) and the Treasury Department, the program is intended to ensure millions of tenants have enough funds to cover rent and utilities accrued while they were protected from eviction.
  • While the program has distributed all of that money to state and local grantees, only $1.5 billion made it to tenants, landlords and utility companies as of May, according to data released by the Treasury Department last week.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is also unlikely to extend its eviction ban past July 31, leaving millions facing eviction and deep debt without sorely needed federal aid.

Rent relief efforts slowly ramp up as millions could soon face eviction

  Rent relief efforts slowly ramp up as millions could soon face eviction With just over a week left until the federal eviction ban expires, the race to get emergency rent relief to as many struggling tenants and landlords as possible is in its final stretch. © Brittany Murray/MediaNews Group/Long Beach Press-Telegram/Getty Images A new 95-unit affordable housing development in Long Beach, California. "It is a race against the clock," said Diane Yentel, president and CEO of the National Low Income Housing Coalition. After a slow start, the pace of distributing the $46 billion for rent relief that was allotted in the December stimulus package and the American Rescue Plan has improved.

"If we don't get those resources flowing, there's going to be a bunch of folks in a terrible jam come sunrise on Aug. 1," said Rep. Frank Lucas (R-Okla.). I'll take you to the hearing here.

Democrat proposes taxes on commercial space flights: Rep. Earl Blumenauer (D-Ore.) said Tuesday that he is planning to introduce legislation that would establish excise taxes on commercial space flights with human passengers that aren't focused on scientific research.

Blumenauer, a senior member of the tax-writing House Ways and Means Committee, announced his proposal on the same day that billionaire Jeff Bezos participated in a brief trip to the edge of space. Another billionaire, Richard Branson, made a similar trip earlier this month.

How it works:

  • The first part would create a per-passenger tax on the price of a flight to space.
  • The second part would create a two-tiered excise tax for each space launch, with one tier for flights between 50 and 80 miles above the Earth's surface and a second tier with a higher tax for flights that exceed 80 miles above the Earth's surface.

But don't worry, my fellow nerds: There would be exceptions to the taxes for NASA flights for scientific research purposes. The Hill's Naomi Jagoda has more here.

If You Think Flying Sucks, Try Renting a Car

  If You Think Flying Sucks, Try Renting a Car Customers are putting up with filthy interiors, petty surcharges (just to speak to someone!), and skyrocketing prices.So at the beginning of the year, Ford, 52, booked a car for four days from Newark Airport with the company. He and his family were flying up from Miami, where they live, to drop off their son at West Point at the end of June. The weekend rental cost $425 for a midsize car — “a little high, but reasonable,” he said.

ON TAP TOMORROW:

  • A House Financial Services subcommittee holds a hearing on expanding access to the banking system at 10 a.m.
  • A House Small Business subcommittee holds a hearing on the SBA's role in climate change solutions at 10 a.m.
  • A House Ways and Means subcommittee holds a hearing on forced labor in supply chains at 10 a.m.
  • The House Financial Services subcommittee holds a hearing on statistical rating organizations at 2 p.m.

GOOD TO KNOW

  • The Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC) on Tuesday announced it will scrap a May 2020 rewrite of anti-redlining regulations and work with the Federal Reserve and Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. (FDIC) on a replacement rule.
  • The House passed a bill Tuesday largely along party lines that aims to revive the Federal Trade Commission's (FTC) authority to return money to constituents harmed by companies found to engage in deceptive practices.
  • Senate Finance Committee Chairman Ron Wyden (D-Ore.) on Tuesday released a bill that would overhaul a deduction for noncorporate business income that was created by Republicans' 2017 tax law.
  • It's been six months since President Biden took office, and one Cabinet position remains vacant: director of the Office of Management and Budget (OMB).
  • The House passed a bill Tuesday largely along party lines that aims to revive the Federal Trade Commission's (FTC) authority to return money to constituents harmed by companies found to engage in deceptive practices.

ODDS AND ENDS

  • President Biden plans to appoint lawyer Jonathan Kanter as the head of the Department of Justice's (DOJ) antitrust division, the White House announced Tuesday, another sign of the administration's intention to take on Big Tech.

If You Think Flying Sucks, Try Renting a Car .
Customers are putting up with filthy interiors, petty surcharges (just to speak to someone!), and skyrocketing prices.So at the beginning of the year, Ford, 52, booked a car for four days from Newark Airport with the company. He and his family were flying up from Miami, where they live, to drop off their son at West Point at the end of June. The weekend rental cost $425 for a midsize car — “a little high, but reasonable,” he said.

usr: 1
This is interesting!