Turning Up The Debt Limit Heat

Schumer: Debt bill vote this week. The Senate Majority Leader says he’ll call for a vote this week on a stand-alone bill to suspend the debt limit. “Let me be clear…: we must get a bill to the president’s desk…by the end of the week. Period,” Schumer told senators. Schumer and President Biden hope scheduling a vote will convince some moderate Republicans to at least will allow the bill to come to the floor. Senate GOP leader Mitch McConnell insists none of his caucus members will support steps to raise the borrowing limit, which expires on Oct. 18. Schumer continues to refuse to use budget reconciliation to try to pass the bill.  

President Biden versus  McConnell. Biden blasted GOP lawmakers for blocking Senate consideration of a debt bill: “Not only are Republicans refusing to do their job, but threatening to use their power to prevent us from doing our job — saving the economy from a catastrophic event — I think, quite frankly, is hypocritical, dangerous, and disgraceful. Their obstruction and irresponsibility knows absolutely no bounds.” McConnell continued to insist that Democrats  raise the debt ceiling on their own.

The next target date for a social spending deal. Hill Democrats now say they want an agreement on a big social spending bill by Oct. 31. They first wanted agreement on a bill by Sept. 27, then tried to get consensus on at least a framework by the end of last week. Talks between the party’s moderate and progressive wings continue, with little sign of progress. 

SCOTUS will not review NY surcharge for opioid manufacturers. Tax Notes reports the high court refused to review a federal circuit court’s ruling that a New York surcharge on opioid manufacturers and distributors constituted a tax for purposes of the Tax Injunction Act (TIA). In Healthcare Distribution Alliance v. James, the Healthcare Distribution Alliance, the Association for Accessible Medicines, and SpecGx LLC, asked the justices to reverse the appeals court. The circuit court concluded the opioid stewardship payment was a tax within the meaning of the TIA and said the district court lacked jurisdiction to rule on challenges to the payment.

UK’s Finance Minister promises tax cuts only when affordable. Finance Minister Rishi Sinak said he will uphold his party’s reputation for “fiscal responsibility,” telling fellow Tories that tax cuts will come only when public finances are on a “sustainable footing.” He said it would be “un-Conservative” and economically irresponsible to “stack up bills for future generations to pay”.

And Japan’s new Prime Minister would raise the country’s investment income tax. Prime Minister Fumio Kishida said the government might pursue policies that result in “a new type of capitalism” to distribute more wealth to households and address Japan’s widening income gap. Japan’s investment income tax is currently set at 20 percent. 


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