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The prospect of that much cash has sparked a scramble among states to pitch themselves as the best place to spark a semiconductor boom. In anticipation of the federal funds, semiconductor companies have already been making billions of dollars in commitments. President Joe Biden arrives for a ceremony at the groundbreaking of the new Intel semiconductor manufacturing facility near New Albany, Ohio, on Sept. 9, 2022. The Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co. facility under construction in Phoenix, on Dec. 6, 2022. But scaling up a U.S. semiconductor industry in a matter of years rather than decades is rife with challenges, said industry leaders.
WASHINGTON — Corporate America’s warnings of a financial catastrophe if Congress fails to raise the debt ceiling are falling on deaf ears among key congressional Republicans who find themselves increasingly at odds with the party's longtime allies. Republicans, who for decades closely aligned with the business community, have largely downplayed the alarm bells sounded by business groups, corporate CEOs and Wall Street investors over the economic consequences of missing an early June deadline for action on Capitol Hill. Instead, many GOP lawmakers vow to seek spending cuts in exchange for passing legislation that would let the U.S. government keep paying its bills. “The business groups and the major economic agents in this country are still going to be very influential by once again reminding Congress about the severe consequences the U.S. will face if the debt ceiling is not raised,” said the political consultant with corporate clients involved in the debt ceiling debate. “I think a lot of Republicans in the House, in the Senate, will understand that.
WASHINGTON — Renters are on track to get some relief in 2023 as a growing number of indicators suggest the red-hot rental market has started to cool, a shift that could also help bring down decades-high inflation that has been pushing interest rates higher. That shift is good news not only for renters, but for the economy as a whole. “The balance of power in the rental market has really shifted very rapidly to renters,” said Jay Parsons, chief economist for real estate technology firm RealPage. The market has really changed materially.”In the last several months of 2022, online real estate firms Zillow, Redfin and Apartment List recorded significant drops in rental asking prices. “We saw the year-over-year growth in our rent index peak last February, and it’s been decelerating ever since then,” Tucker said.
“We’re looking a lot for potential early warning signs in the medical supply chain for any kinds of disruptions,” said an administration official. “One major concern throughout the entire pandemic has been that because of China’s zero Covid policy, shutdowns greatly reduced manufacturing capacity in China. Despite efforts over the past two years by the Biden administration to bolster the country’s domestic medical supply chain, the complexity, costs and regulations involved in health care manufacturing has limited companies’ ability to shift production. I think that would be a natural response,” said Douglas Kent, executive vice president of corporate and strategic alliances at the Association for Supply Chain Management. Health care officials say they hope that the U.S. is in a better place to withstand any shocks from China.
But economists and CEOs warn the economy will remain on shaky ground in 2023, which could mean another turbulent year for consumers. After months of strict lockdowns that caused rolling disruptions to supply chains and greatly stifled demand from Chinese consumers, China began lifting its Covid restrictions in recent weeks. “The most important thing for 2023 is by far China’s Covid policy,” Dan Klein, the head of energy pathways at S&P Global Commodity Insights. Covid infections have continued to shut down factories around the world, aggravated by China’s loosening of Covid restrictions. In the meantime, with demand outstripping supply, car prices are up by nearly 24% over the past two years.
The Postal Service expects all priority mail packages shipped by Dec. 19 and express packages shipped by Dec. 23 to arrive at their destinations by Christmas. “The Postal Service has shown an inclination to do whatever it takes to avoid the nightmare that they had in 2020. “I am deeply concerned about the severe delays and interruptions in postal service experienced by Montanans,” Daines said in a statement. Earlier this year, Congress appropriated $107 million to the Postal Service to fund a systemwide overhaul to modernize equipment and facilities. “We expect a very successful 2022 peak holiday season,” said Albert Ruiz, a Postal Service spokesperson.
WASHINGTON — A growing number of consumers are falling behind on their car payments, a trend financial analysts fear will continue, in a sign of the strain soaring car prices and prolonged inflation are having on household budgets. The percentage of auto loans that were 30 days delinquent was at 2.2% in the third quarter compared with 2.35% delinquent over the same period in 2019, according to data from Experian. By contrast, just over 4% of auto loans went into default in 2009. Another risk to car buyers’ finances is the growing length of auto loans, many of which now exceed seven years. It can also mean higher interest costs over the life of the loan on top of already inflated vehicle prices.
WASHINGTON — White House officials on Thursday announced steps to provide more Covid testing, vaccinations and supplies as case numbers tick up in another winter wave of coronavirus infections. The Biden administration says it will offer more free at-home Covid tests, boost efforts to vaccinate nursing home residents and prepare supplies that can be sent to states in need. Starting Thursday, the White House will make another round of free Covid tests available by allowing households to order up to four at-home tests from The administration official said the White House expects infections to continue to rise as more people gather indoors for holiday celebrations in the coming weeks. The senior administration official said the administration has distributed 6 million courses of Paxlovid to local communities and indicated that it is confident there will be enough supply to meet demand.
WASHINGTON — Some of the largest business groups in Washington are making a last-ditch effort to get Congress to pass immigration legislation before the end of the year and are optimistic a bipartisan agreement could fall into place. Kyrsten Sinema, I-Ariz., and Thom Tillis, R-N.C., began circulating the contours of a possible deal. Businesses have been calling on Congress to change the immigration system and make it easier for them to hire foreign workers for years, but the situation has grown increasingly dire since the pandemic. We hope it can be successful.”Republicans who have been involved in past efforts to change immigration laws poured cold water on the Sinema-Tillis push. I appreciate them working on it — there’s a deal to be done down the road — but it’s not money, it’s policy.”
The 242-page report, written by Democrats on the panel, cited long-term weaknesses in the country’s public health infrastructure, from staffing shortages and inadequate disease surveillance to poor testing systems. But the report indicated that the pandemic shortcomings extended beyond the Trump administration. Similarly, a DHS report said 96% of pharmacy owners and managers were already reporting a shortage of surgical masks, according to the report. It issued a variety of recommendations, including increasing funding to improve public health surveillance, data systems, health care surge capacity, domestic manufacturing capabilities and stockpiles of critical supplies. "This is not the first public health crisis that our nation has faced, and sadly, it won't be the last," Peters said.
There are several steps Congress has the authority to take to prevent a rail strike, something it has done 18 times since the 1960s. It could extend the so-called cooling off period, giving the parties more time to try to reach a voluntary agreement before workers can strike. Pelosi said the House would vote this week on the legislation Biden is calling for, which wouldn’t make any changes to the current agreement. But it could also provide an opportunity for Democrats to step in and give additional benefits to the rail workers, like paid sick days, though that would likely make it more difficult to garner Republican support. "The president says he is going to ask Congress to act, and I would expect Congress to support that request,” he said.
Retailers are entering the holiday season amid a swirl of mixed economic signals. That leaves companies expecting another busy shopping season as they continue to grapple with a competitive job market. Before the holiday hiring rush, retailers were already looking to fill 800,000 open positions, according to the retail federation. There are some signs though that the labor market is starting to shift in employers' favor. "This speed is imperative during holiday hiring," John Patterson, Macy’s vice president of talent, said in an email.
But temperatures are already dropping and the number of households seeking assistance is already on the rise, according to interviews with more than a half dozen officials involved in programs that provide heating assistance. Kelly said the Salvation Army in Massachusetts has received twice as many applications as it did this time last year for its winter heating assistance program, which is aimed at those whose incomes are too high to qualify for federal assistance. The cost of heating oil has been a particular concern for the Biden administration, said the government official. Heating oil and diesel inventories are at their lowest levels on record for this time of year. The administration is also prepared to tap into the Northeast Home Heating Oil Reserve, which has about 1 million barrels of heating oil, if necessary, the administration officials said.
While Republicans sought to seize on that economic anxiety during the campaign, most candidates provided few specifics. “The GOP still doesn’t know what its economic policy is in a post-Trump world,” said Brian Riedl, who worked for six years as chief economist for Republican Sen. Biden said he has no plans to change his approach to the economy, despite voters’ sentiments, making a shift toward a compromise with Republicans on economic policy seemingly unlikely. “That means there will be a lot less economic policy. “Republicans are going to need to deliver on the economy, especially if the economy is worsening and inflation is worsening,” said Riedl.
MILWAUKEE — President Joe Biden appears to have pulled off something few of his recent predecessors managed — a midterm election that wasn’t a clear shellacking for his party, providing a sense of vindication for the White House. Biden's losses are likely to tally far fewer than President Barack Obama suffered in 2010 or President Donald Trump in 2018. The president spent election night at the White House watching returns with top advisers and family and making calls to Democrats who won their races. For many voters, Biden appeared to play little role in their decision. That compares to 2018 when only a third of voters said Trump was not a factor in their House vote.
Still, rents nationwide were up 9% in September, compared to a year earlier, and more than a dozen cities had double-digit rent increases, it said. In Phoenix, for example, rent increases have slowed in recent months, but in June were up 24% year over year, with a median asking rent of $2,261. In Maricopa County, which includes Phoenix, evictions are at their highest levels since at least 2016, with more than 45,000 filings this year. Zenovia Johnson is one of those Phoenix renters who’s been struggling to stay in her home because of rising rents. In Minneapolis, where rent increases have trended below the national average, evictions in September were 37% above their historical averages after shooting up in June, when the state lifted its eviction moratorium.
WASHINGTON — President Joe Biden is set to deliver remarks Wednesday night on the importance of protecting democracy and the threat posed by election deniers as part of his final pitch to voters heading into midterms next week. Biden has repeatedly accused Republican supporters of former President Donald Trump of promoting "extremism." “He’ll be making the speech from Capitol Hill, and why will he be making the speech on Capitol Hill? In his remarks, Biden will also emphasize that it may take several days for all the votes to be counted in some key swing states, said O’Malley Dillon. In 2020, election deniers used that lagging in time needed to hand count absentee ballots to make false accusations against election officials.
“What is our message about why inflation is going to be worse if Republicans win?” Rep. Ro Khanna, D-Calif., told NBC News in an interview. Even as President Joe Biden and some candidates sharpen their focus on inflation, many Democrats are worried it may be coming too late. “Ads for both parties discussed inflation during the early summer, but since then, pro-Democratic ads have avoided mentions of inflation while pro-Republican ads have increased their discussion of inflation,” the researchers wrote. Economic issues are hitting voters particularly hard in states where Democrats’ control of the Senate hangs in the balance, including Arizona, Georgia and Nevada. In campaign appearances and ads, she’s frequently attempted to explain to voters that the Inflation Reduction Act will lower costs for voters.
“They don’t have a platform other than to tear down what I’ve been able to do, we’ve been able to do. “These last several weeks all I’m doing is saying here’s what we’re for, here’s what they’re for and make a choice and vote,” Biden said in the interview. “I have not made that formal decision, but it’s my intention, my intention to run again, and we have time to make that decision,” Biden said. Biden indicated first lady Jill Biden is supportive of a potential second term, as NBC News reported Friday. And they’ve been straightforward and to the point and it seems to me they would make sense,” Biden said.
They also note that adjustable rate mortgages and other atypical home loans make up a much smaller percentage of total mortgages than what was seen during the 2008 crash. But consumer advocates and others close to the real estate industry warn that homebuyers could still find themselves in a precarious financial position when their mortgage interest rates reset and they find their monthly payments going up. “We are watching anxiously as we see more interest in these alternative mortgage products that often seem to involve some sort of initial teaser interest rate and the interest rate is going to go up,” said Sarah Mancini, a staff attorney with the National Consumer Law Center. “Now, they are feeling like, 'Oh, God, higher interest rates are coming, we want to jump on it, we don’t want to miss it again,'" said Holeman. In marketing material, mortgage brokers often suggest that buyers can refinance after the two-year period, suggesting rates will go down in the near future.
The Department of Education launched a beta test of its website Friday allowing federal student loan borrowers to begin submitting applications for some debt relief. Applications won't be processed until the site officially launches later this month, but borrowers who submit an application during the beta testing period will not need to reapply, an Education Department spokesperson said. Biden announced his student debt relief plan in August. NBC News has reached out to the Education Department for comment. The Education Department previously said that applications would available in early October.
The White House has indicated Biden will be increasingly active on the campaign trail, where he aims to give fellow Democrats a boost and contrast his policies with those of Republicans. After Colorado, Biden will travel to California before he ends the trip with two days in Oregon. In Colorado, Sen. Michael Bennet leads his Republican rival by more than 7 percentage points, according to the RealClearPolitics polling average. The White House has not publicly detailed Biden's schedule for Oregon and California, a fundraising hot spot for Democrats. Biden’s last trip out West was in June, when he was in California for the Summit of the Americas.
Loans from private banks have gone up even faster, with some charging more than 13% for student loans this fall, people familiar with the industry said. Borrowers with existing loans that have variable rates have started seeing their monthly payments go up from the higher rates, they said. Increased costs mean many students have to borrow more money at higher rates, further exacerbating the student debt problem the Biden administration set out to address. The problem is the cost of higher education,” said Betsy Mayotte, president of The Institute of Student Loan Advisors. “We commend this administration for responding to the call of addressing of the student loan debt crisis,” said Derrick Johnson, president of the NAACP.
Some of the biggest players in the real estate industry, including RE/MAX, Redfin and Wells Fargo, have announced layoffs in recent months totaling thousands of jobs. Over that period, 200,000 people became real estate agents, according to data from the National Association of Realtors. Workers in the mortgage industry have been among the hardest hit as demand for refinancing and home sales tumble. Real estate brokers have also been affected, said Ken H. Johnson, a former real estate broker who is now an associate dean at Florida Atlantic University, where he studies the real estate industry. Even in the best of times, it can be a struggle for new brokers to be able to make a full-time living selling real estate.
WASHINGTON — President Joe Biden will use his remarks at the United Nations General Assembly Wednesday to rally the world in support of Ukraine as part of a broader call for countries to protect the established international order. Russia’s war in Ukraine has upended global food supplies and threatens to tip Europe into a recession this winter as the continent braces for a surge in energy costs. Biden is also facing heightened tensions with China, which has shown signs of increasing aggression towards Taiwan. Biden will reaffirm the U.S. commitment to help Ukraine defend itself for as long as necessary and call on others to do the same, Sullivan said. While in New York, Biden will meet Wednesday with United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres and U.K. Prime Minister Liz Truss.
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