BY JENNIFER SCHOLTES, CAITLIN EMMA
*This article was originally made available to POLITICO Pro subscribers on 06/21/2021 at 04:09 PM EDT
Attention earmark watchers — House Appropriations subcommittees launch markups for fiscal 2022 spending bills this week. First up: the Legislative Branch and Financial Services measures on Thursday, followed by the Agriculture-FDA and Military Construction-VA bills on Friday. Legislative text will debut about 24 hours before a subcommittee markup, while funded earmark requests are expected to be made available the day of subcommittee action. Appropriators hope to wrap their breakneck schedule by July 16.
Appropriations as an afterthought — The new fiscal year will hit in about three months, but funding the government is definitely not the foremost policy concern on Capitol Hill or at the White House right now. “There's certainly a lot more emphasis on all of this money that we're going to find no way to pay for — or some unacceptable way to pay for — than there is actually submitted a budget that would run the government,” Sen. Roy Blunt (R-Mo.) told us.
More White House meetings — Time is running short for an infrastructure deal while Democrats weigh a $6 trillion reconciliation package if it all falls apart. While the Senate’s bipartisan group is hoping to clinch an accord totaling $579 billion in new spending as soon as this week, White House press secretary Jen Psaki told reporters today that President Joe Biden will host lawmakers for additional meetings and isn’t quite ready to back the one-party approach. Psaki said the president "certainly would like to see" the reconciliation process "move forward," though.
The House Budget Committee is out with an explainer on the fiscal 2022 budget resolution and its role in the annual appropriations process.
Corporate tax revenue as a percentage of GDP has fallen from 3.9 percent in 1965 to about 1 percent today, the Congressional Research Service notes.
A FLEET DREAM WITHOUT FUNDING DETAILS: The shipbuilding plan the Navy sent lawmakers is short on specifics, leaving out dates or cost ranges for achieving a fleet of 398 to 512 ships, Connor O’Brien writes.
NO ‘REGRESSIVE’ REVENUE RAISERS: The head of the Senate Budget Committee says he won’t support a bipartisan infrastructure package if it taps either of these two pay-fors: a gas tax hike or a fee on electric vehicles. "One of the concerns that I do have about the bipartisan bill is how they are going to pay for their proposals, and they're not clear yet,” Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) said on "Meet the Press,” snubbing those so-called regressive revenue raisers.
PIE-IN-THE-SKY PAY-FORS: The latest infrastructure offer to land on Biden’s desk proposes $579 billion in new money, but virtually all of the proposed pay-fors are unrealistic, Tanya Snyder explains.
A TRILLION-DOLLAR DEAL ‘THERE FOR THE TAKING’: The Senate Budget Committee’s ranking Republican says POTUS needs to decide whether he’s going partisan or fully embracing the prospect of a cross-party deal on infrastructure policy. "President Biden, if you want an infrastructure deal of a trillion dollars, it's there for the taking, you just need to get involved and lead," Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) said on "Fox News Sunday."
ENERGY AND ENVIRONMENT
CLIMATE PAIN POINTS: Anthony Adragna unpacks the four biggest climate issues Democrats will have to confront in mounting a massive reconciliation package, including reaching a decision on how much to provide for electric vehicles, finding consensus on carbon pricing and settling on an extension of certain clean energy tax incentives.
Manchin's must-haves: Senate Energy Chair Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) quietly released a 423-page discussion draft today that essentially enumerates his energy infrastructure imperatives, Anthony notes.
LOBBYING FOR MORE PANDEMIC AID: Restaurants, hotels and other industries the pandemic tanked are pleading with lawmakers to kick in tens of billions of dollars in additional federal aid to help them recover from the Covid crunch, even after Congress has provided more than $1 trillion to that end, Zach Warmbrodt reports.
CORPORATE TECH SPLURGE: Victoria Guida looks at how companies are beefing up their tech investments to meet consumer demand as they grow more hopeful about Biden’s plans to spend trillions of dollars on U.S. infrastructure and shore up the economy. Investing in automation, however, runs the risk of slowing job and wage growth, disproportionately affecting Black and Hispanic workers who are among the most vulnerable to mass displacement.
WHAT FOREIGN POLICY MEANS FOR AMERICAN WORKERS: It’s unclear how a global agreement to establish a 15 percent minimum corporate tax rate will affect U.S. jobs or wages, Ryan Health and Chris Cadelago write in a new analysis of what the president’s foreign policy ambitions mean for America’s middle class. Some of Biden’s allies are convinced that agreement doesn’t go far enough, arguing that a higher rate would do more to reduce inequality the pandemic has exacerbated. “A 15 percent rate could raise $150 billion globally each year,” said Cathy Feingold, who runs the AFL-CIO’s international department. “But with a 20 percent rate you raise $300 billion annually, and with a 25 percent rate it’s $580 billion.”
WHAT WE'RE READING
— Two Fed officials say they are ready to weigh stimulus pullback. The Wall Street Journal.
— Medicaid enrollment swells during the pandemic, reaching a new high. The Washington Post.
— Bipartisan infrastructure talks collide with Democrats’ goal to tax the rich. The New York Times.
— Opinion: How long can America keep borrowing? The Wall Street Journal.
Government funding runs out in 101 days.
ON THE CALENDAR
— Tuesday at 10 a.m.: The Senate Appropriations Defense Subcommittee holds a hearing on fiscal 2022 funding for the Army.
— Tuesday at 2 p.m.: The House Oversight and Reform Subcommittee on the Coronavirus Crisis holds a hearing on lessons learned from the Federal Reserve's response to the pandemic.
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