What ‘Backwardation’ Has to Do With US Diesel Squeeze
A crisis is once again brewing in the US for the diesel fuel that powers trucks and heats homes. Global shortages and a market phenomenon known as backwardation are frustrating Biden administration efforts to bolster dangerously low domestic inventories and keep prices from soaring as winter approaches. Officials are now considering steps like export restrictions that would be unprecedented -- and that critics say could well backfire.washingtonpost.com
Why you're seeing so much coverage of empty American grocery shelves
A recurring thread of press coverage suggests that American grocery stores are starting to have so many empty shelves that they resemble the despondent Soviet-era world of scarce food.Yes, but: It's not so simple. Overall, product availability is consistent with its levels over the entirety of the pandemic — though there are reasons people may be feeling shortage more acutely.Get market news worthy of your time with Axios Markets. Subscribe for free.Why it matters: People want to buy the grocerinews.yahoo.com
Kevin Spacey accuser must reveal his identity in sex abuse suit: judge
NEW YORK – A man who said he was abused by Kevin Spacey as a teen must reveal his identity if he wants to proceed with a lawsuit, a judge ruled Monday. Manhattan Federal Judge Lewis Kaplan wrote that the man, who is in his 50s and identified in court papers as C.D., could not proceed anonymously because he’d spoken to people about Spacey’s alleged abuse since the 1990s. “The evidence suggests ...news.yahoo.com
President Biden unveils $2 trillon plan to reengineer US infrastructure
WASHINGTON – President Joe Biden outlined a huge $2.3 trillion plan Wednesday to reengineer the nation’s infrastructure in what he billed as “a once-in-a-generation investment in America” that would undo his predecessor’s signature legislative achievement — giant tax cuts for corporations — in the process. Biden hopes to pass an infrastructure plan by summer, which could mean relying solely on the slim Democratic majorities in the House and the Senate. “Ninety-one Fortune 500 Companies, including Amazon, pay not a single solitary penny in income tax,” Biden said. “Wall Street didn’t build this country," Biden said. But we have to get it done.”AdDemocratic leaders embraced Biden’s plan Wednesday.
Biden's top aides unlikely to qualify for relief payments
WASHINGTON – At least one group in America is unlikely to get any money from President Joe Biden’s $1.9 trillion economic rescue plan — his own top aides. Most of Biden’s senior West Wing advisers made far more than the threshold that would qualify them for direct payments from the president’s COVID-19 relief bill, according to White House financial disclosure forms released Saturday. Others in the West Wing — whose positions don't require Senate confirmation — have had deep ties to the business world. He was listed as having a salary of $1.8 million, according to his disclosure form. Brian Deese, head of the national economic council, was previously global head of sustainable investing at BlackRock, according to his disclosure.
Biden’s closest advisors have ties to big business and Wall Street with some making millions
President Joe Biden's closest advisors have ties to big business and Wall Street, with some making millions of dollars in their careers leading up to entering the White House, new financial disclosures show. These disclosures were provided by the White House to CNBC early Saturday morning after requesting the documents a day earlier. A White House spokesperson did not return a follow up request for comment. His new financial disclosure form shows that Sullivan, from 2017 until last year, was a member of the Microsoft advisory council. The report says Sullivan was on the "policy advisory council advising the president of Microsoft on key policy developments."cnbc.com
Republicans call the COVID-19 relief bill a ‘liberal wish list.’ Democrats are owning that
Republicans call the massive COVID-19 relief package making its way through Congress a “liberal wish list.” Increasingly, Democratic lawmakers and the Biden administration have chosen to own that. Republicans hope the size and sprawling nature of the measure will, over time, boomerang on Democrats. The fact that even many of the less-debated provisions in the bill are consequential bolsters their case, Democrats say. The economy had a growth spurt in 2018, but by 2019, growth returned to roughly the same level as before the tax bill. As employment declined and many companies went out of business, their unionized workers’ pension plans started heading for insolvency.latimes.com
Yellen's encore: Lending economic heft to Biden's virus plan
“Yellen is uniquely poised," said Brian Deese, director of Biden’s National Economic Council. "She has as much experience and expertise of addressing the challenges of our time as any living economic policymaker today. AdYellen juggled parenting with her work as a professor at the University of California, Berkeley, in the 1980s, helping to build her son’s pinewood derby car as a colleague fed economic data into a computer. It’s an argument cultivated from years of research that fully blossomed during Yellen’s time as Fed chair. She said Yellen values differences of opinion and diversity because that helps her get a fuller sense of the economy.
Airline CEOs, Biden officials consider green-fuel breaks
Airline officials are talking to the Biden administration about support for incentives to use cleaner fuels for airplanes. United Airlines said CEO Scott Kirby asked administration officials to support incentives for sustainable aviation fuel and technology to remove carbon from the atmosphere. A United Nations aviation group has concluded that biofuels will remain a tiny source of aviation fuel for several years. Some environmentalists would prefer the Biden administration to impose tougher emissions standards on aircraft rather than create breaks for biofuels. “We stand ready to work in partnership with the Biden administration.”
The $15 minimum wage is in trouble. Here's what you need to know
Lucy Nicholson | ReutersSenate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., also said that the push for a raised federal minimum wage will continue. "We are not going to give up the fight to raise the minimum wage to $15 to help millions of struggling American workers and their families. It's also possible that Vice President Kamala Harris could overrule the parliamentarian's decision, as the president of the Senate. "The president and vice president both respect the parliamentarian's decision and the process," he said on CNBC's "Squawk Box." Working people shouldn't have to cross their fingers that their employers will do the right thing by raising their minimum wage.cnbc.com
White House builds business coalition to support Biden's Covid relief plan
The White House has been reaching out to executives in several industries to rally support for the Biden administration's $1.9 trillion Covid-19 relief plan, according to people familiar with the matter. Saul Loeb | AFP | Getty ImagesWith these calls, Biden officials are looking to create a coalition to back the president's relief plan, said the people familiar with the matter. The administration is also consulting with business leaders, along with lawmakers and other stakeholders, to find ways to potentially improve the legislation, the White House official said. Some of the leaders with whom the White House has engaged are opposed to certain aspects of Biden's plan. The raising of the minimum wage is part of Biden's Covid relief plan.cnbc.com
Biden meets Republicans on virus aid, but no quick deal
President Joe Biden speaks during a meeting with Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen in the Oval Office of the White House, Friday, Jan. 29, 2021, in Washington. AdRepublicans are tapping into bipartisan urgency to improve the nation's vaccine distribution and vastly expand virus testing with $160 billion in aid. Psaki said earlier Monday there is “obviously a big gap” between the $1.9 trillion package Biden has proposed and the $618 billion counteroffer. It also includes $20 billion to reopen schools compared to $170 billion in Biden's plan. Biden himself has been on the phone to some of the Republicans, the official said.
Biden to meet with GOP lawmakers to discuss virus relief
The meeting to be hosted by Biden would amount to the most public involvement for the president in the negotiations for the next round of virus relief. Though Biden is wanting “a full exchange of views," Psaki reiterated that the president remains in favor of moving forward with a far-reaching relief package. But Cedric Richmond, a senior Biden adviser, said the president “is very willing to meet with anyone to advance the agenda." Under the Biden plan, families with incomes up to $300,000 could receive some stimulus money. “I support passing COVID relief with support from Republicans if we can get it.
EXPLAINER: Executive orders can be swift but fleeting
A new president may overturn a predecessor's order by issuing another executive order effectively canceling it. BOTH SIDES DO IT; BOTH SIDES COMPLAINTo be sure, modern presidents from both parties have been heavy users of executive orders — and have been criticized by the opposition party. Not surprisingly, some Republicans have complained about Biden’s early reliance on executive orders. As his presidency plays out, an overreliance on executive orders could undercut that argument. HERE TODAY, GONE TOMORROWThe experiences of both Trump and Obama underscore the fleeting nature of executive orders.
White House signals it could agree to more narrowly targeted stimulus checks
"The president put forward a plan, we're now engaging with members of Congress from both parties to consult with them." White House officials including Deese held a call Sunday with several moderate Democratic and Republican senators to discuss possible changes to Biden's original plan. It also calls for $1,400 stimulus checks, which compromise about $1 trillion of the total $1.9 trillion proposed. He later clarified that he wants to ensure that any new round of stimulus is directed only to those who need it. The debate over another round of stimulus checks comes as millions of Americans remain unemployed thanks to the Covid-19 pandemic and the recession it sparked last year.cnbc.com
White House begins talks with lawmakers on COVID-19 relief
At least a dozen senators met for an hour and 15 minutes in a virtual call with White House National Economic Council director Brian Deese and other senior White House officials. Many hope to approve a relief package before former President Donald Trump's trial, which is set to begin in two weeks, overtakes Washington’s attention. Senators also wanted more data on how the White House reached the $1.9 trillion figure. “It was about how can we work together to help the people of this country.”White House coronavirus response coordinator Jeff Zients and White House legislative affairs director Louisa Terrell also joined the call. “We’re going to continue to push because we can’t wait,” said White House principal deputy press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre.
White House economic adviser says "decisive action" needed for recovery
White House economic adviser says "decisive action" needed for recovery At a White House briefing Friday, National Economic Council director Brian Deese said "decisive action" is needed to avoid "falling into a very serious economic hole" amid the coronavirus pandemic. Watch a portion of his remarks.cbsnews.com
White House warns of "even more serious" economic hole without "decisive action"
The U.S. will have to dig itself out of a much deeper economic hole if more economic relief doesn't happen and soon, warned National Economic Council Director Brian Deese on Friday. Outlining new executive actions by President Joe Biden, Deese said more relief is needed from Congress. Without decisive action, we risk falling into a very serious economic hole, even more serious than the crisis we find ourselves in," Deese said. White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki said the White House is keen on a big package, which is certain to meet opposition from Republicans on the Hill. It's meant to "address the core issues of the crisis," Psaki said, adding, "right now, we are having a discussion about the big package."cbsnews.com
National Economic Council director says "decisive action" necessary to prevent further financial fallout
White House press secretary Jen Psaki and National Economic Council director Brian Deese held a press briefing on President Joe Biden's second full day in office to discuss economic relief plans. Deese said "decisive action" is needed to prevent further financial fallout from the pandemic. Deese addressed criticism from some Republicans that the federal government has already provided sufficient relief through its previous $900 billion COVID-19 economic relief package. Psaki said during her first press briefing on Wednesday that Mr. Biden's "clear preference is to move forward with a bipartisan bill." The press secretary answered questions on Friday about the Senate's undertaking of an impeachment trial while COVID relief package negotiations are ongoing.cbsnews.com
President Biden ordering stopgap help as talks start on big aid plan
President Joe Biden pauses as he speaks about the coronavirus, accompanied by Vice President Kamala Harris, in the State Dinning Room of the White House, Thursday, Jan. 21, 2021, in Washington. “This can help tens of millions of families — especially those who cannot provide meals for their kids,” Biden said. White House press secretary Jen Psaki said at a Thursday briefing that the proposal has support ranging from democratic socialist Sen. Bernie Sanders to the U.S. Chamber of Commerce. Psaki stressed that Biden wants any deal to be bipartisan and that the process of meeting with lawmakers to talk through the plan is just beginning. Biden must balance the need for immediate aid against the risk of prolonged negotiations.
Biden ordering stopgap help as talks start on big aid plan
President Joe Biden delivers remarks on the economy in the State Dining Room of the White House, Friday, Jan. 22, 2021, in Washington. “This can help tens of millions of families — especially those who cannot provide meals for their kids,” Biden said. White House press secretary Jen Psaki said at a Thursday briefing that the proposal has support ranging from democratic socialist Sen. Bernie Sanders to the U.S. Chamber of Commerce. Psaki stressed that Biden wants any deal to be bipartisan and that the process of meeting with lawmakers to talk through the plan is just beginning. Biden must balance the need for immediate aid against the risk of prolonged negotiations.
Biden signs executive orders to boost food benefits, workers' rights as part of Covid relief push
President Joe Biden signed two executive orders Friday designed to reduce hunger and bolster workers' rights during the coronavirus pandemic, as his administration pushes Congress to pass another sweeping coronavirus relief package. One White House measure urges the federal government to offer any relief it can through "existing authority," National Economic Council Director Brian Deese told reporters Thursday night. The other calls for "empowering federal workers and contractors." The orders set out multiple tools to offer aid during the pandemic, while Biden tries to nudge his $1.9 trillion proposal through Congress. He called on agencies to review which federal workers make fewer than $15 per hour.cnbc.com
Bipartisan group of senators plans to meet with White House on COVID bill
Mr. Biden has proposed a COVID-19 relief package that includes funds to support vaccine distribution efforts, extend unemployment benefits and expand federal aid to families, small businesses and communities. The White House's plan, which Mr. Biden said he plans to Congress soon, includes additional $1,400 direct payments to most Americans, on top of the $600 payments approved in December under the previous Congress. The new group of senators overlaps with members of the so-called 908 Coalition, a group of lawmakers who crafted a bipartisan $908 billion relief proposal last December after months of stalemate in Congress. That proposal formed the basis for negotiations over the relief package that passed alongside an omnibus spending bill late last month. Senators in the group include:cbsnews.com
Joe Biden's business allies discuss ways to pay for infrastructure plan, including a carbon tax
President Joe Biden's allies in the business community have been meeting to craft a set of proposals, including a potential carbon tax, to help pay for an expected $2 trillion infrastructure plan. Some of the ideas are on course to be brought to Biden administration officials, along with congressional leaders. The people on the calls have discussed several ideas to pay for the plan, including a carbon tax, the person said. A carbon tax is a "fee imposed on the burning of carbon-based fuels (coal, oil, gas)," according to the Carbon Tax Center. Along with pushing for large-scale upgrades to bridges and roads, Biden's plan has a heavy focus on clean energy technologies.cnbc.com
Biden is already facing pressure to scale back his $1.9 trillion Covid relief plan
Dissent from either party carries weight for Biden, who entered the White House on Wednesday with a razor-thin majority in Congress. The party has not made final decisions on what parts of Biden's plan it will include in legislation, though funds for vaccine distribution are a priority. Deese cited the jobless claims data in pushing for Biden's relief plan on Thursday, saying the economy is "moving in the wrong direction." Biden's plan faces obstacles in the Senate. Sen. Bernie Sanders, the Vermont independent who will soon take over the Senate Budget Committee, has urged Democrats to use reconciliation to pass economic relief.cnbc.com
Fight over Fed powers stalls $900 billion aid plan
WASHINGTON – An arcane battle over emergency Federal Reserve powers foiled efforts on Saturday to lock down an agreement on an almost $1 trillion COVID-19 economic relief package. The deadlock was just the latest stumble in a partisan, months-long fight over pandemic relief and the lack of progress is backing lawmakers once again up against a government shutdown deadline Sunday night. Lawmakers on both sides said a provision by Sen. Pat Toomey, R-Pa., that would curb emergency Federal Reserve powers was the sticking point. At issue are Fed emergency programs, launched amid the pandemic this spring, that provided loans to small and mid-size businesses and bought state and local government bonds. Under the Dodd-Frank financial reform law passed after the Great Recession, the Fed can only set up emergency programs with the support of the treasury secretary.
Biden appoints Brian Deese, architect of auto industry bailout, to lead National Economic Council
Brian Deese, deputy director of the White House National Economic Council, speaks in the White House briefing room in Washington, D.C., U.S., on Tuesday, April 17, 2012. WASHINGTON – President-elect Joe Biden on Thursday announced that Brian Deese, currently the head of sustainable investing at BlackRock, will be the director of the National Economic Council. Deese is a former deputy director of the National Economic Council, deputy director of the Office of Management and Budget, and senior advisor to President Obama. After working on Obama's 2008 campaign, Deese joined the White House as a member of the National Economic Council and was later promoted to deputy director. Through Deese, Biden will likely seek to advance a climate-friendly agenda using economic policy as a vehicle.cnbc.com
The Latest: Biden: Trump inaugural presence important to US
WASHINGTON – The Latest on President-elect Joe Biden (all times local):9:55 p.m.President-elect Joe Biden says it is important that President Donald Trump attend his inauguration only in the sense that it would demonstrate the nation’s commitment to a peaceful transfer of power between political rivals. ___8:45 p.m.Members of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus have made a fresh push for President-elect Joe Biden to nominate New Mexico Gov. But $207.5 million came in after Election Day as Trump repeatedly – and falsely – claimed President-elect Joe Biden won due to voter fraud. Gina Raimondo has knocked down talk that she is in the running for President-elect Joe Biden’s secretary of health and human services. ___12:25 p.m.President-elect Joe Biden has tapped former Obama administration senior economic adviser Brian Deese to be director of the National Economic Council.