- The U.S. Debt Limit Details
- JOLTS Job Openings
Investors Expectations Ahead of JOLTs Job Openings
Are you ready for the latest JOLTS Job Openings report from the Bureau of Labor Statistics?
As one of the most important economic indicators, this metric measures the number of job openings in various industries excluding farming, and is released monthly.
Traders take note: A higher actual than forecast indicates a strong currency.
Stay on top of the latest job openings data and gain insights into the overall economic performance.
US Debt Limit May Be Suspended Until 2025 to Protect Against Federal Default and Fund Medical Care for Veterans
President Biden and House Speaker Kevin McCarthy have introduced a 99-page bill to suspend the US debt limit through 2025, preventing federal default while prioritizing medical care for veterans and limiting government spending.
The legislation has generated intense debate among lawmakers as it seeks to keep non-defense spending stable in 2024 and increase it by 1% in 2025.
The bill contains provisions that require Congress to approve 12 critical areas and modify work requirements for government aid recipients.
With the global economy at stake, both Democrat and Republican parties are under pressure to support the bill to avert a global economic crisis.
New Legislation Holds Debt Limit Suspensions and Sets Spending Limits
The newly proposed bill will ensure that nondefense spending will remain relatively unchanged during the 2024 fiscal year and increase by 1% the following year.
Moreover, the debt limit will be suspended up until January 2025, extending past the upcoming presidential election.
For the upcoming fiscal year, the bill will match President Biden’s defense budget of $886 billion while $704 billion will be allotted for nondefense spending.
This bill also mandates Congress to approve 12 annual spending bills, or they will face a snapback to previous year spending limits resulting in 1% budget cuts.
Although the legislation seeks to cap federal budget growth to 1% for the ensuing six years, it will become unenforceable starting in 2025.
In total, the Congressional Budget Office estimates that the new bill will decrease budget deficits by roughly $1.5 trillion over the next ten years.
Attention Veterans: Medical Care Fully Funded, Toxic Exposure Fund Included!
The new agreement fully funds medical care for veterans, including a dedicated fund for those exposed to toxic substances or environmental hazards.
President Biden’s proposed 2024 budget includes $20.3 billion for this purpose. Plus, pandemic funding for veterans’ medical care, housing assistance, and the Indian Health Service is protected!
Unspent COVID Money Recalled, IRS Funding Reduced
Congress is rescinding about $30 billion in unspent coronavirus relief money, including aid for rental assistance, small business loans, and broadband in rural areas.
Unfortunately, some IRS funding is also being reduced, meaning there may be less enforcement and thus less revenue coming in. However, the White House has agreed to use $20 billion from the IRS over the next two years for other non defense programs.
Revamped Agreement: Expanded Work Requirements for Food Stamp Program
The Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), previously known as food stamps, will now see expanded work requirements thanks to a new agreement.
Republicans have long pushed for this, but the final changes are more modest than what was proposed in the House’s debt ceiling bill.
Currently, able-bodied adults aged 18 to 49 must meet work requirements to receive benefits. Under the new bill, the age limit will gradually increase to 54 by 2025 and then dial back down to 49 by 2030. However, the new rules will also expire by 2030.
Democrats also secured some concessions, including expanded benefits for veterans, homeless individuals, and foster care alumni. Sadly, this too will expire in 2030.
The agreement also tightens the ability for states to waive work requirements for SNAP recipients. While current law allows for some exemptions for work rules, the number of waivers allowed each month will now be lowered.
Lastly, the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) program, which provides cash aid to families with children, will receive some adjustments.
Although not as extensive as what the House proposed, TANF credits will be updated to incentivize states to require more recipients to work instead of avoiding it.
Revitalizing Energy Projects: Streamlined Environmental Review Process
For the first time in over 40 years, the National Environmental Policy Act will undergo significant changes. A single lead agency will be designated to develop and schedule environmental reviews, and certain environmental review requirements will be simplified.
The goal is to speed up the review process, with agencies given one year to complete assessments and two years for projects with complex environmental impacts.
Additionally, the Mountain Valley Pipeline, a natural gas pipeline in West Virginia, will receive special approval through this deal.
Student Loan Relief: End of Repayment Pause and Uncertain Future
Student loan relief has been a source of contention between Republicans and the Biden administration, with GOP efforts to rescind the plan for a waiver on $10,000 to $20,000 in debt failing.
However, Biden will end the pause on student loan repayment in the final days of August. The fate of Biden’s broader student loan relief plan is uncertain, with its legality under scrutiny by the conservative-leaning Supreme Court. A decision is expected before the end of June.
House Republicans tried to impose new work requirements on certain Medicaid recipients, but it didn’t make the final cut.
Opponents argued that this would result in fewer people affording food or health care without raising the number of people in the workforce.
Meanwhile, the GOP’s proposal to repeal some clean energy tax credits got left out too. Republicans believed these credits “waste taxpayer money” and “distort the market,” but the White House stood by them, citing the significant investments and manufacturing jobs they’ve generated in the U.S.
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