Judy Shelton’s Fed nomination grows shakier. President Trump’s controversial pick for the central bank faced new opposition, as Senator Lamar Alexander, Republican of Tennessee, said he would vote against Ms. Shelton’s nomination. A confirmation vote may come down to a tiebreaker decided by Vice President Mike Pence.
Tesla will join the S&P 500. S&P Dow Jones Indices said that the electric-car maker would be included in the index starting Dec. 21. That could give Tesla’s runaway stock price a bigger boost, as tracking funds add its stock to their holdings. (Elon Musk’s net worth rose $15 billion in after-hours trading.)
Biden flags the fight to come on stimulus
One of the most pressing issues facing President-elect Joe Biden, even before he takes office, is brokering a compromise on an economic rescue bill that has stalled for months among infighting between Democrats and Republicans. He was widely expected to seek a middle ground, in keeping with his reputation as a moderate. But that was not his message yesterday, in his first major policy speech as president-elect.
Mr. Biden threw his support behind House Democrats’ $3.4 trillion stimulus plan, which Senate Republicans have balked at since it passed in May. Within hours of Mr. Biden’s speech, Senator Richard Shelby, the Alabama Republican who is chairman of the Appropriations Committee, dismissed the chances of a vote on such a large bill. But Mr. Biden’s goal may have been making a point: He’s not shying away from a fight with Republicans, who back a narrower, $500 billion stimulus proposal, nor is he afraid to embrace progressive causes, like canceling some student debt.
He got backup from President Barack Obama. Mr. Biden’s former boss, who was criticized by progressives for not passing a larger stimulus bill when faced with a financial crisis, gave an interview to The Atlantic in which he didn’t sound optimistic about negotiations with the Senate majority leader, Mitch McConnell:
I’m enjoying reading now about how Joe Biden and Mitch have been friends for a long time. They’ve known each other for a long time. I have quotes from Biden about his interactions with Mitch McConnell. The issue with Republicans is not that I didn’t court them enough. We would invite them to everything: movie nights, state dinners, Camp David, you name it. The issue was not a lack of schmoozing. The issue was that they found it politically advantageous to demonize me and the Democratic Party.
Trade groups are still pushing for a deal. The U.S. Chamber of Commerce, which last week called on Congress to pass a lame-duck stimulus, has lent its support to the Problem Solvers Caucus, a bipartisan group of lawmakers pushing for a compromise. Two members, Representatives Tom Reed, Republican of New York, and Josh Gottheimer, Democrat of New Jersey, spoke to the Chamber’s board last week.