US Retail Sales Dip As Wages Rise
March 14, 2018
Right to Try bill fails in the House; Appeals court upholds Texas sanctuary city law; US Retail Sales Fall, despite rising wages.
- Right to Try bill fails in the House. The US House of Representatives voted Tuesday on a “Right to Try” bill aimed at allowing terminally ill patients access drugs that have yet to be approved by the Food and Drug administration. The bill, with a vote of 259-140, failed to get the 2/3 majority required in the House of Representatives, with no votes mostly cast by Democratic representatives who expressed concerns that the bill would undermine the Food and Drug Administration and create unnecessary safety risks. Under existing law, patients can request access to a drug through the FDA, which grants 99% of requests, while the new legislation would have allowed patients to request medicines from the manufacturers directly. [The Hill]
- Appeals court upholds Texas sanctuary city law. A federal appeals court ruled Tuesday that Texas state law undermining sanctuary cities can remain on the books. The court ruled that Senate Bill 4, which lets local law enforcement ask detained persons about their immigration status, could be enforced by the state. The court has yet to rule on provisions of the law which punish local officials for endorsing sanctuary city policies, which may violate the free speech rights of individual public officials. The ruling is mostly a victory for the GOP and Governor Abbott, both of whom were supportive of the state’s aggressive anti-sanctuary city legislation. [The Hill]
Economic Indicators & News
- US Retail Sales Fall, despite rising wages. US retail sales fell for the 3rd straight month in February by 0.1%, the first time since 2012 that sales fell three months in a row. Retail was dragged down by declines in spending on vehicles and other big ticket items. Slow consumer spending in the first quarter points to similarly slow economic growth, with economists forecasting an annualized quarterly growth rate of around 2 percent for the first quarter of 2018. Inflation, however, continues to rise, with the US Federal Reserve expected to announce a rate hike early next week. [Reuters]