Senators Near the Passing of $1tn Infrastructure Bill
09 Aug 2021 · 3rd Party Analysis
- The bipartisan legislation has moved to procedural votes, nearing finalization
- US stocks hover at all-time highs, futures contracts subdued ahead of the bell
Lawmakers in Washington have reached the final stages of the passage of roughly $1tn aimed to improve the US economy by enhancing major infrastructure, including bridges, roads, and high-speed internet, among other priorities. The infrastructure bill would mark a historic bipartisan deal. Both the Democrats and the Republicans have previously said they believed this deal was possible and both sides negotiated for months before they finally moved forward with procedural votes on a bipartisan basis this weekend.
“The Bipartisan Infrastructure Deal is a historic, once-in-a-generation investment in our nation’s infrastructure,” said President Biden on Twitter. “It will create good-paying, union jobs repairing our roads and bridges, replacing lead pipes, and building energy transmission lines. We can’t afford to do it.”
Still, significant challenges oppose the bill’s path in the House of Representatives. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi has said she would only support the deal if its fate was tied to a separate Democratic anti-poverty and climate bill amounting to $3.5tn.
Among the amendments Senators were considering as ways to pay for the spending, an amendment called the Warner-Porter amendment has sparked a debate between lawmakers and discontent organizations and groups. The contentious amendment seeks to raise money through tougher tax enforcement of certain cryptocurrency transactions.
Stocks Fluctuate in the Green Zone
On that topic, the Blockchain Association, Coinbase CEO Brian Armstrong, and even Tesla CEO Elon Musk have strongly opposed the proposed provision as it would require software developers, proof of stake validators, and crypto exchanges to report gains to the Internal Revenue Service. On the other hand, the legislation will exclude from taxes only proof-of-work mining.
As talks on the controversial cryptocurrency provision continue, the Senate is expected to vote the measure on Tuesday.
Meanwhile, in-stock action, US equity indexes closed Friday’s session mostly in the green with the Nasdaq Composite the only laggard in negative territory. Both the Dow Jones Industrial Average and the S&P500 ticked higher to fresh records as investors cheered the better-than-expected jobs data. The US Labor Department on Friday said the jobs market grew by 943,000 new hirings in July, the highest figure in 11 months. The unemployment rate dropped further to 5.4%. The stellar jobs report fueled investors’ confidence that the economic rebound remains on an upward trajectory.
Futures contracts tied to the major averages in pre-market trading on Monday hover slightly in the red as US investors prepare to enter the market. European bourses already kicked off this week’s trading and gravitate mostly in the green with the region-wide Stoxx Europe 600 sitting above 470.00, a new intraday record for the index.
Gold experienced a major blow as soon as the market opened in Asia. The precious metal slipped more than 5%, while silver tumbled roughly 10%. The strong jobs, signaling the US economy is pressing full steam ahead are considered to be at least partly responsible for the steep drop in the metals’ prices during the low-liquidity period. Both gold and silver later erased the bigger part of their losses and returned near their weekly opening levels.
Digital assets on Monday trade rather muted after a strong weekend performance. Bitcoin is gyrating near $43,600, while ether is trading slightly under the $3,000-mark.