CBO Score Takes Center Stage In Build Back Better Debate
Representative Josh Gottheimer said he’s optimistic that lawmakers will have the Congressional Budget Office cost analysis of the Build Back Better Act when Congress reconvenes the week of Nov. 15. Waiting for the data has stalled the advance of Biden’s agenda in the House where Gottheimer, along with several other centrists, have said they want assurances the bill is fully offset before voting.
Outside estimates, however, indicate that Democrats could come up about $300 billion short. The Penn Wharton Budget Model released estimates last week that said the legislation would increase spending by $1.87 trillion over the 10-year budget window while increasing revenues by only $1.56 trillion.
Hochul Signals Opposition to Raising Taxes
Increasing taxes on upper income earners and the wealthy in New York could hinder the state’s economic rebound from the COVID-19 pandemic, Gov. Kathy Hochul said last week. “I’m not interested in driving people out of state. I believe that we have a right balance right now, I’m not interested in pushing anybody over because those individuals high net worth individuals, allow us to have the revenue generated as well as their many philanthropic contributions, that I need to be able to support the progressive programs I want to have funded,”
Hochul, who took office Aug. 24, is preparing for her first budget proposal in the coming months. Her comments come after state lawmakers and former Gov. Andrew Cuomo earlier this year agreed to a budget that raised tax rates on upper income New Yorkers in order to fund an increase in school aid and other programs in the spending plan. New York has seen its coffers swell with more revenue in recent weeks and higher above the projected estimates.
Vaccine Mandates Face First Test with Federal Workers
President Joe Biden is pushing forward with a massive plan to require millions of private sector employees to get vaccinated by early next year. But first, he has to make sure workers in his own federal government get the shot.
About 4 million federal workers are to be vaccinated by Nov. 22 under the president’s executive order. Some employees, like those at the White House, are nearly all vaccinated. But the rates are lower at other federal agencies, particularly those related to law enforcement and intelligence, according to the agencies and union leaders. And some resistant workers are digging in, filing lawsuits and protesting what they say is unfair overreach by the White House.
White House: Move Forward with Mandate Despite Court Freeze
The White House on Monday urged businesses to move forward with implementing rules for coronavirus vaccines after a federal court stayed President Biden’s vaccine-or-test mandate for private companies. The Biden administration maintains that it is on firm legal footing after a federal appeals court in New Orleans temporarily blocked the rule, which was developed by the Labor Department’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), on Saturday.
It’s unclear how long it will take for legal disputes around the vaccine rule to be resolved. More than two dozen state attorneys general as well as other organizations are challenging the rule in court.
U.S. COVID Update – The Rules on Face Masks at the Office Are Changing
Some big U.S. employers have dropped workplace mask requirements as Covid-19 cases fall and vaccination rates rise. Staffers at other companies are wondering whether they can ditch masks, too. Face masks have been shown to significantly reduce transmission of Covid-19. But as companies require vaccinations—both to comply with federal rules and to ease employees’ safety concerns as they return to workplaces—the license to shed masks is a relief, some workers say.
With Apple announcing plans Friday to drop masking requirements at many U.S. stores and major employers like Amazon.com Inc. and JPMorgan Chase & Co. recently relaxing certain employee mask guidelines, some workers are questioning the need for a pandemic measure long framed as a necessary inconvenience.
NYS Vaccine and COVID Update
Vaccine Stats as of Monday November 8th:
One Vaccine Dose
- 75.0 of all New Yorkers – 14,454,021 (plus 11,441 from a day earlier).
- In the Hudson Valley 1,511,625 (plus 1,314).
- 67.2% of all New Yorkers – 13,050,9368 (plus 9,068).
- In the Hudson Valley – 1,343,133 (plus 545).
The Governor updated COVID data through Sunday November 7th. There were 30 COVID related deaths for a total of 58,306.
- Patients Currently in Hospital statewide: 1,794.
Seven Day Average Positivity Rate:
- Statewide 2.59%
- Mid-Hudson: 1.94%
Pfizer Expected to Seek Authorization for Vaccine Booster for People Age 18 and Older
Pfizer is expected to seek US Food and Drug Administration emergency use authorization for a coronavirus vaccine booster shot for people 18 and older, a Biden administration official said Monday. The request could come as soon as this week, although the date could shift.
The FDA has already authorized Covid-19 vaccine boosters for the majority of adults once they’re far enough past their initial doses. People who got the Pfizer/BioNTech or Moderna Covid-19 vaccines six months ago or longer may get a booster if they are 65 or older; at risk of severe Covid-19 from a breakthrough infection because of a medical condition such as diabetes, kidney disease or pregnancy; or at risk because of living conditions or work.
Not All COVID Waves Look the Same. Here’s a Snapshot of the Delta Surge
Not all spikes are created equal. The Delta-caused wave that now seems to be sloping downward has different demographics than previous waves, and provides a snapshot of the current state of the pandemic in the United States. While racial and ethnic disparities in COVID cases and deaths persist, some appear to have narrowed to a certain extent.
Meanwhile, other divides in who’s getting seriously ill — rooted in geography, in vaccination status — seem to have grown, and epidemiologists don’t think those two trends are unrelated.
Now Comes the Hard Part – The Post, Post COVID Recovery
The global economy’s comeback from last year’s deep contraction is approaching a delicate juncture, as policy makers and executives grapple with the bumpy transition from the post-pandemic reopening to a more normalized pace of growth. Central banks in the U.S. and elsewhere are trying to chart a path that will curb inflation but not choke off growth as they navigate the process of weaning economies off the extraordinary measures—including rock-bottom interest rates and enormous bond-buying programs—deployed to support their economies.
Meanwhile, China is in the midst of an ambitious effort to reform its economy, including reining in household and corporate debt. As a result, the global recovery—while still robust—is at a precarious point, with the risk of missteps.
Supply Chain Disruptions Will Take ‘Quite a Long Time’ to Resolve, Says Shipping Firm CEO
Global trade bounced back strongly after a slump caused by the Covid-19 pandemic. But that has contributed to problems ranging from a shortage of shipping containers and warehouse capacity, to congestion at ports and a lack of truck drivers to move goods. “This is going to take quite a long time to sort out,” Tim Huxley, chief executive of Hong Kong-based Mandarin Shipping, told CNBC’s “Street Signs Asia” on Tuesday. “And each sector that is involved in this particular combination of black swan events has really got to try and address its particular issues,” said Huxley.
For one, the shipping industry is building more container fleet, he said. However, most of that new capacity won’t be ready until 2023 at the earliest — until then, a shortage of ships persists, Huxley added. In addition, more investments in infrastructure like ports, roads and bridges are needed — but that, too, could take years to materialize, he said.
British Airways, Virgin Atlantic Celebrate US Reopening With Synchronized Takeoffs
British Airways and Virgin Atlantic celebrated the U.S. reopening its borders to international travelers on Monday with synchronized takeoffs from Heathrow airport. The first flights en-route to the U.S. from the rival airlines took off at 8:30 a.m. local time from parallel runways at London’s Heathrow airport, according to Virgin Atlantic.
The dual takeoff was the first of its kind, the airline noted. Both flights were headed to New York’s John F. Kennedy International Airport.
China’s October Trade Surplus with the United States at $40.75 Bln
China’s trade surplus with the United States was $40.75 billion in October, Reuters calculations based on customs data showed on Sunday, down from $42 billion in September. For the first ten months of the year, the surplus was $320.67 billion.
Earlier in October, U.S. Trade Representative Katherine Tai pledged to exclude some Chinese imports from tariffs while pressing Beijing over its failure to keep some promises made in a “Phase 1” trade deal made under the Trump administration.`
Copper Rallies on China Export News
Copper prices, often used as a gauge of global economic health, edged higher on Monday as strong China exports data, an improving U.S. jobs market and low inventories of the metal lent support.
Three-month copper on the London Metal Exchange was up 0.03% at $9,520.50 a tonne, as of 0728 GMT, while the most-traded December copper contract on the Shanghai Futures Exchange closed up 0.7% at 70,000 yuan ($10,940.92) a tonne.
Still on Strike – Kellogg Co. Urges Striking Employees to Demand a Vote on Latest Proposal
Battle Creek-based Kellogg Co. is urging its 1,400 workers currently on picket lines to demand the Bakery, Confectionary, Tobacco Workers and Grain Millers union put the company’s latest contract offer up for a vote. Union and Kellogg Co. leaders met in Virginia on Nov. 2 and 3, but came away from the bargaining table without reaching an agreement on a new four-year master contract after the company presented its “last best final offer.”
Workers at four cereal plants in Battle Creek; Omaha, Nebraska; Lancaster, Pennsylvania; and Memphis, Tennessee, have been on strike since Oct. 5, walking off the job following the expiration of the one-year extension of its master contract. The BCTGM represents the workers and says it is seeking better wages, benefits and working conditions.