Mike & Co.,
The busiest week of the session so far was John Boehner’s last as Speaker. Amid the speakership transition, several big-ticket fiscal and financial items moved. What happened and where they stand, ex. the budget, in brief roundup below. As always, contact me for clarification, elaboration, etc.
Great weekends all and let’s go Mets…
Highway Bill Reauthorization was extended through November 20 by voice vote in the Senate. Next week, the House will consider a six-year bill cleared by the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee this week. Staffers are still putting together final provisions.
NB: Expect the House bill to include the Fed dividend offset. Per a former staffer following transportation: “There aren’t a whole lot of options out there and right now transportation is very popular and banks aren’t. It remains unlikely to come out of the bill because it would be hard to replace it on such short notice.”
Ex-Im will be resuscitated, joining on the highway bill ride. A majority of GOP House l members voted (313-118 overall) this week to reauthorize the Bank. It might added to the highway bill when that train pulls into Conference station.
- FRB Rate Policy was left unchanged on Wednesday. The explicit reference added to the next meeting effectively meant the Fed’s decisions about rates are now being made on a meeting-to-meeting basis, though Fed officials stopped short of committing to an immediate move.
Officials struck from the statement a sentence introduced in September that pointed to market turbulence and global developments as potential restraints on U.S. economic activity. That reduces an impediment officials had stressed in September as standing in their way.
- . 3Q15 GDP 1.5%— a significant slowing from 3.9 percent growth in the second quarter. But the details of the report were much better than the headline. Inventories subtracted 1.4 percent from growth, the biggest drag. Waning international appetite for American-made goods held back economic growth during the third quarter — the poor performance of exports throughout the year has forced businesses to slash their inventories.
- . Tax extenders have been off the radar for a while but look intact this year. They are likely ro ride the highway bill or December’s omnibus appropriations bill.
There’s strong bipartisan support in both houses for the largest ones — R&D, Section 179 depreciation, S&L sales tax deduction, bonus depreciation, Subpart F exemption for active financing, CFC look-through, depreciation for retail and restaurant improvements, and the deduction for teacher expenses. The rest will probably make it in the end, as in the Senate Finance Committee passed two-year $96 billion bill extending 52 provisions.