“Normal business” has returned to Congress this week after passing a plan to deal with the debt ceiling last week. President Joe Biden signed the bipartisan legislation over the weekend. There are still some concerns with the effort as some say the bill’s fine print waives the debt ceiling until 2025, thus allowing the administration to increase the debt limit more than the $4 trillion limit that was proposed in the bill. This is like getting an increased credit limit on your credit card while getting deferred payments for two years.
Now that the debt ceiling issue is cleared, lawmakers will begin work on appropriations bills. The CUNA-League system will work funding provisions that support credit unions and our priorities. Also happening this week:
In other news, the CUNA-League System submitted letters to Congress on a variety of credit union issues and concerns this past week, including a letter to the House Financial Services Committee highlighting the vital partnership credit unions provide in helping the Federal Housing Finance Agency achieve its housing mission and goals. And, a Senate bill (S. 539) to exempt loans made to veteran-owned business from the credit union member business lending cap was the focus of a letter CUNA wrote to the House Small Business Committee, urging House companion legislation.
The economy added 339,000 jobs in May, which was much higher than the consensus expectation, signaling a stronger labor market. The report also revised up job gains in the prior two months by 93,000, bringing the three-month average job growth to 283,000.
The average hourly earnings grew at an annualized rate of 3.7%, indicating moderating wage growth. The average workweek also declined slightly in May. This shows that the labor market is less tight compared to previous months, despite strong hiring.
The employment situation report is based on two different surveys conducted by the Bureau of Labor and Statistics. The household survey is used to calculate the unemployment rate, while the establishment survey portrays the number of jobs employers added. The unemployment rate increased from 3.4% to 3.7% in May as households reported an increase in the number of people unemployed.
The report supports the Federal Reserve's inclination to pause rate hikes in June. Although strong headline job numbers indicate continued hiring demand by employers, the increase in the unemployment rate, moderating wage growth, and decline in the average workweek all indicate moderating labor market conditions."
Interchange bill may drop soon.
With the National Grocers Association coming to Capitol Hill later this week (June 6-7), and the National Retail Federation coming in July 11-12, reintroduction of the Credit Card Competition Act is likely coming soon. In fact, there are strong signs the bill could be introduced when the grocers are in town. The National Restaurant Association is soliciting signatures on a support letter they plan to send to Congress upon bill introduction “in early June.”
Be on the lookout for ACTION ALERTS if this should happen, the CUNA-League System stands ready to respond about the impact this would have on our members.
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