Senators Discuss NSA Reform, Budget
October 24, 2017
Bipartisan group of senators to announce bill for NSA reform; House to vote on Senate Budget Thursday; Oil gains on exit plan news, shrinking stockpiles.
- Bipartisan group of senators to announce bill for NSA reform. A group of Senators from both sides of the aisle are announcing a piece of legislation that will renew the NSA’s authority to collect large amounts of data, but will subject the incidental eavesdropping on American citizens to the same warrant proceedings as law enforcement would have to use normally. The law is called the USA Rights Act, and is co-authored by Senators Ron Wyden and Rand Paul, both of whom have been critical of the sweeping permissions of Section 702 of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act. The law is due to expire at the end of the year, and the process to renew it will likely sow divisions between parts of the GOP which have taken issue with what they perceive as a violation of civil liberties and an invasion of privacy. [Reuters]
- House to vote on Senate Budget Thursday. The House of Representatives is slated to vote on the Senate budget Thursday, which is expected to clear by a wide margin. The new budget will fast track GOP efforts toward tax reform. The Rules Committee will meet Tuesday to set up parameters the eventual vote on Thursday. It appears the party is preferring expediency over fiscal conservatism, accepting the less conservative budget handed down by the Senate rather than hammering out a compromise through conference committee, a process that typically takes weeks. The original house budget stipulated deficit neutrality, while the Senate’s budget has a $1.5 tn tax deficit. [Politico]
Economic Indicators & News
- Oil gains on exit plan news, shrinking stockpiles. After US crude stockpiles fell for a fifth week, OPEC announced its efforts to end production cuts without flooding the market, raising prices to $52/barrel. The price is still hovering above $50, as speculation that OPEC will extend its cuts into next year builds. US inventories are already at their lowest levels since January 2016, falling by approximately 3mm barrels this past week. In other oil news, the head of the Saudi sovereign fund indicated that the Aramco IPO is on track for next year, which will likely be of record breaking size and scale. [Bloomberg]