It’s unclear whether lawmakers will find the time or the will to craft a bill banning congressional stock trading until the November midterms. Today we also take a look at the most recent jobless claims numbers and the Congressional vote to cut Russian trade.
But first, see why Pink Floyd is releasing a new song in 2022.
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House panel questions proposed stock trading bans
Members of the House Administration Committee raised questions Thursday about proposals to ban lawmakers from trading in stocks.
The lukewarm response to the idea indicates a potential struggle to craft legislation, even if a congressional stock trading ban enjoys broad public support.
A few of the Democrats on the panel expressed support or a desire to pursue the proposal further. Some of the Republicans on the committee attacked the proposal, arguing that it would jeopardize the finances of less wealthy lawmakers.
- Chair Nancy Pelosi (D-California) tasked the committee with reviewing potential revisions to existing stock trading rules amid public outcry.
- Rep. Rodney Davis (R-Ill.), a ranking member of the committee, lamented that many of the proposals would require lawmakers to divest their shares or place them in a qualified blind trust. He said blind trusts are expensive to set up and maintain, and selling an entire portfolio would result in a substantial drop in taxes.
- representing Zoe Lofgren (D-California), the committee chair, said she didn’t know what kind of bill would emerge from the hearing, where most witnesses called on Congress to pass an outright ban on trading. of shares.
After the hearing, the Democratic co-sponsors of the stock trading ban bills held a press conference urging lawmakers to quickly resolve the differences between the various proposals and craft a final bill. before the November midterm, noting that time is running out quickly.
The background: Several polls released this year have shown that more than two-thirds of Americans, including a majority of Republicans and Democrats, support a ban on stock trading. But the two most popular securities bills in the House each have fewer than 60 co-sponsors.
Karl has the details here.
Read more: Democrats make last-ditch push to ban lawmakers from stock trading
TERMINATION OF TERMINATIONS
Unemployment insurance claims fall to 166,000
Weekly new jobless claims fell in late March to their lowest level since 1968, according to data released Thursday by the Labor Department.
In the week ending April 2, the seasonally adjusted total of new jobless claims fell to 166,000, down 5,000 from the previous week.
Lowest in decades: Seasonally adjusted weekly jobless claims fell to their lowest level since the week ending Nov. 30, 1968, when 162,000 Americans filed claims to start a new round of unemployment insurance.
A grain of salt: Unemployment claims have declined steadily through 2022 as companies seek to hire and retain as many workers as possible amid historic labor demand.
Companies have avoided laying off workers, even those initially hired for seasonal positions, as job vacancies outnumber job seekers nearly 2 to 1.
While companies are still hiring from a smaller pool of workers than before the pandemic, the United States created nearly 1.8 million jobs in the first three months of March and pushed the unemployment rate to 3 .6%, or 0.1 percentage point more than in February 2020.
Sylvan breaks it down here.
Senate votes 100 to 0 to limit trade with Russia and ban oil imports
The Senate on Thursday unanimously passed a package aimed at ending normal trade relations with Russia and Belarus and codifying the administration’s ban on Russian oil imports, capping weeks of negotiations that had stalled the legislation.
- Senators voted 100-0 on two bills. The first permanently ends normal trade relations with Russia and Belarus. The second bill, which also passed 100-0, codifies the Biden administration’s ban on Russian oil imports.
- The House followed through and passed the bills on Thursday, sending them to President Biden for signature.
The senators were under pressure to reach an agreement before leaving town on Thursday for a two-week break and as Russia continues its bloody weeks-long invasion of Ukraine.
That pressure has only increased this week after photos emerged over the weekend of destruction in Bucha, a town northwest of the Ukrainian capital, including images of people lying in the streets and in mass graves, triggering widespread condemnation.
Learn more about The Hill’s Jordan Carney here.
INVITATION TO A VIRTUAL EVENT
Hill’s Future of Jobs Summit — Tuesday, April 12 at 1 p.m. ET
The COVID-19 pandemic has sparked a revolution in work. Two years later, workers and employers are still looking for answers to questions surrounding the future of jobs. How can companies stay ahead of the game and what does this mean for upskilling and transitioning workers into new, in-demand jobs? Join us for The Hill’s The future of jobs summit as we discuss the evolution of tomorrow’s workforce. RSVP today.
House passes bill to provide relief to restaurants affected by pandemic
The House on Thursday passed legislation that would provide $42 billion to replenish a fund created during the COVID-19 pandemic to help restaurants recover from the hit to their businesses.
Lawmakers passed the bill mostly along party lines, 223-203. Four Democrats opposed the bill, while six Republicans voted in favor.
The bill would replenish the Restaurant Revitalization Fund, which provided $28.6 billion in assistance to more than 100,000 restaurants but was not enough to cover 278,000 claims requesting a total of more than 72, $2 billion.
The measure would also provide $13 billion for a new Hard Hit Industries awards program for small businesses that were ineligible for other pandemic relief programs.
Cristina Marcos from The Hill has more here.
Good to know
The General Counsel of the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) will seek to have compulsory anti-union meetings banned during working hours.
Jennifer Abruzzo, a President Biden appointee, said in a memo released Thursday that the meetings violate national labor relations law.
Here’s what else we’ve got our eyes on:
- Senate Finance Committee Chairman Ron Wyden (D-Ore.) and committee member Rob Portman (R-Ohio) on Thursday introduced a bill banning foreign tax credits for businesses that pay income taxes to Russia and Belarus.
- The Biden administration on Thursday finalized a decision to dramatically limit Medicare coverage for a controversial new drug for Alzheimer’s disease amid fierce debate over its effectiveness.
- Walmart truckers could see their salaries soar to as much as $110,000 a year as the retail giant announced new investments in the company’s Private Fleet program.
- The Democratic senators said a deal had been reached to prevent Senate cafeteria workers from losing their jobs, just days after they said they had received notices from their employer that they were being laid off.
That’s all for today. Thanks for reading and check out The Hill’s Finances page for the latest news and coverage. Well see you tomorrow.
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