Happy Wednesday and welcome to On The Money, your nightly guide to everything related to your bills, bank account, and bottom line. Subscribe here: thehill.com/newsletter-signup.
Today’s big deal: The bipartisan push to ban lawmakers from trading stocks has more momentum than ever. We’ll also look at the Democrats’ acknowledgment that they’ll have to scale back the Build Back Better Act and the stock market correction fueled by concerns about rising interest rates.
But first, the Missouri State Highway Patrol are big Batman fans.
Momentum builds to block stock trades
The push to ban lawmakers from trading stocks is growing as lawmakers and congressional candidates from both parties seek to capitalize on the proposal’s huge popularity.
Last week, Sens. Jon OssoffJon OssoffThe Hill’s Morning Report – Presented by Facebook – Schumer Launches Vote on Doomed Electoral Reform Momentum Builds to Ban Lawmakers From Trading Stocks On The Money – U.S. Regulators Tackle illegal mergers MORE (D-Ga.) and Mark KellyMark KellyThe Hill’s 12:30 Report – Presented by Connected Commerce Council – Biden faces reporters as his agenda falters Mark Kelly says he will support change to filibuster rule for voting rights MORE (D-Arizona) introduced a bill requiring lawmakers to place their shares in a blind trust. Sen. Josh HaleyJoshua (Josh) David HawleyThe Hill’s Morning Report – Presented by Facebook – Schumer Launches Vote on Doomed Electoral Reform Momentum Builds to Ban Lawmakers From Trading Stocks On The Money – US Regulators tackle illegal mergers MORE (R-Mo.) unveiled its own stock trading ban on the same day. These follow similar bills introduced last year, including a proposal from the Representatives. Abigail SpanbergerAbigail Davis SpanbergerJoining Pelosi, Hoyer says lawmakers should be free to trade stocks Momentum built to ban lawmakers from trading stocks Former Virginia House candidate becomes latest Republican to challenge Spanberger MORE (D-Va.) and Chipie RoyCharles (Chip) Eugene RoyJoining Pelosi, Hoyer says lawmakers should be free to trade stocks Momentum built to ban lawmakers from trading stocks GOP reps Greene and Clyde rack up nearly 0,000 combined fines for mask MORE (R-Texas).
Influx of laws follows explosive insider trading allegations against prominent lawmakers, president says Nancy PelosiNancy PelosiJoining Pelosi, Hoyer says lawmakers should be free to trade stocks‘s (D-Calif.) defense of congressional stock trading and polls showing that most Americans want to clamp down on the practice.
- Penalties vary wildly between the different proposals, with the Ossoff-Kelly bill requiring violators to forfeit their salaries to Congress and the Hawley bill requiring them to confiscate their investment earnings to the Treasury.
- All of the bills allow lawmakers to place their assets in a blind trust rather than divest themselves of their shares.
- Ethics experts see blind trust as the best way to effectively end stock trading without forcing lawmakers to sell their assets, but warn that without strong enforcement it could lead to the “worst-case scenario where the public does not know what the investments are but the member does.
Lawmakers will have to decide which bill is most effective in solving the problem and convincing congressional leaders to commit.
Pelosi recently led Rep. Zoe LofgrenZoe Ellen LofgrenDACA highlights pitfalls of legalization programs Momentum builds to ban lawmakers from stock trading Democrats skeptical of McConnell’s offer to talk election law MORE (D-California), chair of the House Administration Committee, to explore tougher penalties for lawmakers who violate existing stock trading rules, but supporters say Congress can’t resolve the problem without new legislation.
Karl has more on the push here.
Read more: Joining Pelosi, Hoyer says lawmakers should be free to trade stocks
Desperate Dems signal support for lowering Biden’s bill
House Democratic leaders rush to save President BidenJoe BidenBiden says he didn’t ‘overpromise’ Finnish PM to promise ‘extremely tough’ sanctions if Russia invades UkraineThe company’s massive health, climate and education program faces plenty of internal disputes over the best strategy in the coming weeks, with one big exception.
Doing nothing, all parties agree, is not an option.
Vulnerable Democrats facing tough re-elections are desperate for a big win to bring back to their constituencies ahead of the midterm elections. Liberal lawmakers battling to install historic benefits see this year as their last and best chance to do so, given the tough odds Democrats face in this election. Environmentally-conscious Democrats warn of the urgency of tackling climate change.
And with Biden’s approval rating underwater, party leaders are racing to turn the tide – and cheer up discouraged grassroots voters – if they are to stand a chance of preserving the chamber in November.
Mike Lillis and Scott Wong of The Hill get details here.
Read more: Biden on spending plan: ‘We’re probably going to have to break it’
The hill Virtually Live’s Future of Cities Summit — Thursday, January 20 at 1 p.m. ET
America’s cities are diverse, dynamic and constantly changing. With the added challenges come increased opportunities to reshape our existing structures and build more sustainable urban landscapes, enhancing economic stability and improving the lives of all residents. Join The Hill for a conversation with mayors from across the country at Future of Cities Summit. RSVP today.
The Nasdaq in corrective territory
Shares fell on Wednesday as concerns over rising interest rates and the economic impact of the omicron variant pushed the Nasdaq composite into correction territory.
- The tech-heavy Nasdaq fell nearly 1.2% to fall 10% below a record set in November. Investors view a stock or index as undergoing a correction after falling 10% from its most recent 52-week high.
- The Dow Jones Industrial Average and the S&P 500 index fell 1%.
Stocks have fallen throughout January as Wall Street braces for a series of interest rate hikes from the Federal Reserve. The Fed is expected to start raising interest rates from the near-zero benchmark set in March 2020 after several months of rising inflation.
- Rising interest rates tend to sap momentum in stock prices as companies face tighter profit margins and risk cutting back on hiring or investment.
- Tech stocks are particularly sensitive to higher interest rates, as tech companies tend to borrow more than companies in other sectors.
Sylvester explain here.
CRUZ CHALLENGE GOT A COURT HEARING
Judges seem divided on Cruz’s campaign finance challenge
A divided Supreme Court on Wednesday grapples with the senator. Ted CruzRafael (Ted) Edward CruzSupreme Court appears divided on Cruz’s campaign finance challenge Democrats set for filibuster defeat, pick up on old wounds(R-Texas) challenges limits on the amount of money candidates can raise from donors to pay off personal debt after an election.
The questions posed during an hour-long oral argument did not clearly telegraph an outcome. But the justices appeared to be split along familiar ideological lines in the most high-profile campaign finance dispute to reach the 6-3 Tory-majority court, with at least four of the court’s most conservative members appearing receptive to the challenge of Cruz.
At issue is whether a section of the Bipartisan Campaign Reform Act of 2002 violates the First Amendment by setting a $250,000 cap on the amount of post-election funds a candidate can be repaid for loans. personal contributions he made to his campaign.
Karl and our colleague John Kruzel break it down here.
NY’S TRUMP PROBE: FIVE THINGS TO KNOW
New York Attorney General Letitia James (D) made waves on Tuesday night, detailing preliminary evidence from her office’s investigation into the former President TrumpDonald TrumpKinzinger Welcomes Baby Boy Tennessee Legislator Introduces Self-Defense Bill In ‘Honor’ Of Kyle Rittenhouse Five Things To Know About New York AG’s Lawsuit Against Trump MOREof the family business and accusing the company of repeatedly misrepresenting its assets over the years.
The revelations came in court filings asking a judge to order Trump, his son Donald Trump Jr. and his daughter Ivanka TrumpIvanka TrumpFive things to know about Trump’s New York AG lawsuit: Investigation found evidence suggesting Trump business fraud The Hill’s Morning Report – Presented by Altria – Winter is here for Democrats MORE to comply with the Attorney General’s subpoenas for their testimony in the inquest.
Right here are five things for the Attorney General’s development and ongoing investigation – including its unusual focus and implications for Trump – from The Hill’s John Kruzel.
Good to know
Procter & Gamble raises prices on Tide and other personal health care products amid rising inflation.
The company said in an earnings call on Wednesday that it would raise prices for tissue care, baby care, feminine care, adult incontinence, family care, home care, hair care , toiletries, oral care and skincare products, CNBC reported.
Here’s what else we’ve got our eyes on:
That’s all for today. Thanks for reading and check out The Hill’s Finance page for the latest news and coverage. We’ll see you on Thursday.