This time, what happened in Vegas isn’t staying there.
OK, well some of it, anyway …
I just got back from a conference in Sin City and was able to meet up with old friends from the Hill. I got some insight into pending legislation, cyber security and taxes, all of which we’ll be discussing over the coming days.
And there is a lot going on – we had secret meetings yesterday in the White House, gas price escalations, a win for drug makers, Australia getting nuclear subs, and climate games being played in Congress.
It’s the sort of Deep Information that powers my Capitol Gains program — membership in which closes tonight.
And here is an interesting fact – the recent market downturn started the day after Biden issued his vaccine mandate. Could it be that the market, which is already concerned about slow business growth and unfilled jobs, took note of the poll that showed that 70% of unvaccinated workers said they would quit before getting the jab?
Here are the highlights …
White House Meetings
Two critical meetings took place at the White House yesterday between Joe Biden and Krysten Sinema and Biden and Joe Manchin.
Sinema and Manchin are two critical Senate votes to get Biden’s $3.5 trillion spending bill passed, and they’ve not been cooperating to his liking.
He’s holding separate meetings with each of them … a good divide-and-conquer tactic.
Senate leadership voiced appreciation that Biden is stepping up his involvement in the effort to unify congressional Democrats behind the $3.5 trillion boondoggle.
The prospects of passing the entire human infrastructure package suffered several setbacks in recent weeks, largely because of Manchin and Sinema.
The two senators are not happy with the price tag, and Manchin, who hails from coal country, is concerned that the Clean Electricity Performance Program in the bill — which would steer $150 billion away from coal to renewable energy sources — will kill jobs in his state.
Gas prices are again on the rise. Europe in particular is getting squeezed.
A lot of the spike is stemming from production issues caused by Hurricane Ida, which shut down more than 90% of production in the Gulf of Mexico.
That’s huge since Louisiana’s 17 oil refineries account for more than 20% of US capacity.
The industry sentiment is that a wider vaccine rollout will increase oil demand even further as people feel more comfortable traveling.
Bad combo of decreased supply and increased demand will cause prices to continue to rise.
Not too bad for the bottom lines of the BP (Ticker: BP), Exxon (Ticker: XOM) or Chevron (Ticker: CVX) crowd.
A signature piece of the Democrats’ spending bill is to lower drug prices, which will also help pay the bar tab on this bill, but that measure was defeated in a House committee yesterday.
Three moderate Democrats, Reps. Kurt Schrader, Scott Peters and Kathleen Rice, went against their party and voted against the measure to allow the secretary of Health and Human Services to negotiate lower drug prices.
While the drug price issue was intended to be a key way to pay for the $3.5 trillion package, the three were concerned the provision would harm innovation from drug companies.
Voting the measure down in the House Energy and Commerce Committee was a shot at leadership.
However, the provisions did advance in the House Ways and Means Committee, which will allow it to be raised at a later date.
Speaker Pelosi was not happy, with an aid saying that Democrats were not giving up on including drug pricing measures. He stated that, “Polling consistently shows immense bipartisan support for Democrats’ drug price negotiation legislation, … [and that] delivering lower drug costs is a top priority of the American people and will remain a cornerstone of the Build Back Better Act as work continues between the House, Senate and White House on the final bill.”
The Biden administration announced a new partnership between the US, UK and Australia to provide the Aussies with nuclear subs.
That could bode well for US sub builders like General Dynamics (Ticker: GD).
While they did not say the move is directed at China, Biden knows that he needs to shore up that part of the world and coordinate on cyber issues, advanced technologies and defense. The new partnership is called AUKUS, pronounced “aw-kiss."
Providing Aussies with nuclear submarine capability will significantly advance their military since nuclear submarines are able to maneuver with greater speeds, more stealthily and with greater endurance than conventional subs.
The Biden administration announced on Wednesday that the president will reconvene the Major Economies Forum on Energy and Climate (MEF) — an Obama-era forum meant to enhance dialogue between major economies on climate.
But back home, six Democrats criticized the Department of Energy’s plan to enhance the US uranium reserve, which could feed US nuclear fuel and boost American mining.
The Biden administration believes the uranium reserve will advance its clean energy goals since nuclear energy is emission-free.
The six lawmakers are worried about the potential adverse impacts on communities located near mines, particularly “tribal and environmental justice communities, as well as to the overall environment.”
They want to see the cleanup and remediation of existing sites before a uranium reserve is established.
The DOE has argued that “revitalizing the U.S. nuclear fuel supply infrastructure would support the Administration’s goals described in the American Jobs Plan, including addressing the climate crisis, creating American jobs, positioning the U.S. to compete with economic rivals, and supporting national security.”
This could impact uranium players in the U.S., so we’ll be watching closely.
Later this week I’m going to dig more deeply into the tax and send bills before congress.
Regardless of what’s happening in DC or elsewhere, trading guru Andrew Giovinazzi has been making #PowerMoves in the Capitol Gains portfolio.
Remember, membership in the program closes tonight. Act now to get in before the door shuts.
Cutting Through the Noise for You.