ACA Repeal Attempts Continue as White House Rolls Out Tax Plan
July 27, 2017
Senate Republicans are continuing their efforts to repeal Obamacare this week. The next vote could be on Thursday evening or Friday morning but Senators are not yet sure what is in the bill. Tax policy guidelines are to be released by the White House, as well. Unemployment filings continue to be at a healthy level and capital spending is robust.
- Senate Republicans are planning to include a one-year defunding of Planned Parenthood in their scaled-down ObamaCare repeal bill. According to sources, the scaled-down repeal would cut ObamaCare’s prevention and public health fund and add money for community health centers. Also, it would include an expansion of ObamaCare waivers that allow states to waive certain rules. Many rank-and-files senators are unaware of the contents of the repeal bill, with Senate GOP leaders heading toward a vote late Thursday or early Friday. Dawn Laguens, executive vice president of Planned Parenthood, stated that the revised repeal could have disastrous effects, including increasing premiums by 20%, and removing 16 million people from coverage. [The Hill]
- Top Republicans and Trump administration officials plan to release their tax policy principles at the end of this week. The announcement comes after what is expected to be the final meeting of the Big Six officials on tax policy, prior to the summer recess. Sources say that the plan will include high-level principles, and while other conclusions are unclear, the main goals of lower tax rates in a deficit-neutral tax code revamp have been agreed on for months. What is still unclear is how the principles will address the House GOP’s plan for border-adjusting the corporate tax of taxing imports and exempting exports. It is uncertain if this provision will be included, as it has been criticized by senators and retailers. [WSJ]
Economic Indicators & News
- The number of Americans filing for unemployment benefits rebounded from a three-month low last week, despite remaining below a level consistent with a tightening labor market. According to the Labor Department, initial claims for state unemployment benefits increased 10,000 to a seasonally adjusted 244,000 for the week ended July 22. It was the 125th consecutive week that claims remained below 300,000, indicating a robust labor market. Claims have been volatile recently due to automakers shutting assembly plants for annual retooling. The four-week moving average claims remains unchanged from last week at 244,000. The strength of the market will likely keep the Fed on track for its third rate hike and bond portfolio reduction. [Reuters]
- For the fifth consecutive month, shipments of key U.S.-made capital goods increased, suggesting that business spending on equipment helped to boost economic growth in the second quarter. Other signs of this boost are supported by the sharp narrowing in the goods trade deficit in June and increases in both retail and wholesale inventories. The Commerce Department stated that shipments of non-defense capital goods orders excluding aircraft increased 0.2% after rising 0.4% in May. However, core capital goods orders slipped 0.1 percent last month, suggesting equipment spending could moderate in the next few months. June’s drop was the first decrease since December, which followed by a 0.7 percent jump in May, the largest since January. Prices for U.S. Treasuries were trading lower, while the dollar rose against a basket of currencies. U.S. stocks also rose to new record highs. [Reuters]