Good Morning from the Nation’s Capital… 

The White House is pushing for a vote in the House this week on the Reconciliation Bill and Bipartisan Infrastructure Framework. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi has aggressively been lobbying her own members to resolve their differences and move forward. Coming off the House Floor last Friday, she said she was “hopeful” for a vote this week, and that they’re “on a path” toward an agreement.  However, the Senate remains at a stalemate. As he tries to get to the 50 votes necessary, President Joe Biden said Friday, “…You have 50 Democrats, every one is a president. Every single one. So you got to work things out.”  (Above photo by J. Scott Applewhite/Associated Press) 

 In a possible sign that things may be perhaps getting worked out: Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer and Sen. Joe Manchin (D-WV) met with President Joe Biden at his home in Delaware yesterday.

 If there is any real progress from those meetings, expect President Biden to make another visit to the Hill this week.
 
What’s stalling a final deal?
 
  • Size—While the House is pushing to pass a bill this week, there remains disagreement on the size of the bill. Right now the number is likely somewhere between $1.5 and $1.9 Trillion, but that has been—and will continue to be—extremely fluid. 
  • Medicare Expansion—The other key holdout, Senator Joe Manchin (D-WV) continues to oppose an expansion of Medicare to cover dental, vision, and hearing programs. Biden floated an $800 voucher program instead (which would cut roughly one trillion dollars). However, intense conversations will continue on the topic between the White House and Manchin this week. 
  • What’s Out?The White House has made a number of concessions already: a proposal for free community college has fallen out of the bill. In negotiations, it is also looking like the paid leave proposal will drop from twelve weeks to four and that the expanded child tax credit and funds for affordable housing programs will be far smaller than first envisioned. In fact, rather than being permanent, the expanded child tax credit may only be for one year.
Back in New York…
Governor Kathy Hochul continues to staff up state government, adding Jeanette Moy as Commissioner of the Office of General Services, Lucy Lang as Inspector General, Jackie Bray as Commissioner of the Department of Homeland Security and Emergency Services (DHSES), and Maria Imperial as the Commissioner of the Division of Human Rights (read the full list of appointments from last week here) and has grown her campaign team, adding well-respected consultants Lupe Todd-Medina and Tyquana Henderson-Rivers.
 
Significantly, Tish James is also staffing up her campaign by signing pollster Celinda Lake, and Kimberly Peeler-Allen, a close ally and the co-founder of the group Higher Heights for America, as well as adding to her fundraising team. 
We are a week and a day away from Election Day and local races continue to heat up. Perhaps the biggest race in the state right now is for Mayor of Buffalo. Kathy Hochul continues to avoid the race while still offering support for embattled Chair of the New York State Democratic Party Jay Jacobs.  House Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez was in Buffalo rallying for challenger (and Democratic nominee) India Walton along with State Senate Deputy Leader Mike Gianaris and former Cuomo challenger Cynthia Nixon. The biggest news was United States Senate Majority Leader and Senior Senator Chuck Schumer endorsed Walton. Schumer has a long history of weighing in late but decisively in other races. United States Senator Kirsten Gillibrand joined Schumer in endorsing Walton later in the day on Friday.  The Buffalo News Editorial Board endorsed Mayor Byron Brown, while offering a blistering critique of Walton’s experience. Expect this race to get uglier over the next several days and, since Brown is waging a write-in campaign, the counting may drag on.
 
Stay tuned!

-Jack O’Donnell

Join our Jim Moore, Executive Director of The Data Privacy Alliance and a panel of experts, including OD&A’s Jack O’Donnell for this webinar on The New York Privacy Act of 2022, which is expected to deeply shift how companies handle data in New York State. Is your company prepared? Register here.

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