On The Money: Senate releases spending bills, setting up talks for December deal | McConnell pushing for ‘highly targeted’ COVID deal | CFPB vet who battled Trump will lead Biden plans to overhaul agency

On The Money: Senate releases spending bills, setting up talks for December deal | McConnell pushing for ‘highly targeted’ COVID deal | CFPB vet who battled Trump will lead Biden plans to overhaul agency

Happy Tuesday and welcome back to On The Money. I’m Sylvan Lane, and here’s your nightly guide to everything affecting your bills, bank account and bottom line.

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THE BIG DEAL— Senate releases spending bills, setting up negotiations for December deal: The Senate Appropriations Committee on Tuesday released drafts of all 12 annual spending bills for 2021, setting up negotiations for a deal ahead of the Dec. 11 deadline to keep the government running.

“By and large, these bills are the product of bipartisan cooperation among members of the committee,” Senate Appropriations Committee Chairman Richard ShelbyRichard Craig ShelbyHow a tied Senate could lead a divided America Uncertainty, Trump loom over packed year-end agenda  Collins wins Maine race, narrowing Democratic chances for Senate majority MORE (R-Ala.) said on Tuesday.

“Time after time, we have demonstrated our willingness to work together and get the job done. We have before us the opportunity to deliver for the American people once again.”

The Hill’s Niv Elis explains here.

LEADING THE DAY

McConnell pushing for ‘highly targeted’ COVID-19 relief deal: Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) said Tuesday he believes Congress needs to pass a “highly targeted” coronavirus relief deal, similar to the roughly $500 billion GOP bill that was blocked earlier this year.

McConnell’s comments underscore that the price tag remains the biggest hurdle for any potential deal, with a dispute over the size of a package looming over any hopes of clinching a deal before the end of the year.

“I don’t think the current situation demands a multitrillion-dollar package. So I think it should be highly targeted, very similar to what I put on the floor both in October and September,” McConnell told reporters.

McConnell added in reference to differences on the price tag that “it seems to be that snag that hung us up for months is still there.”

The Hill’s Jordain Carney fills us in here.

The state of play: 

Prospects for a breakthrough: Though leadership in both parties say they want to get a fifth deal, there are deep differences that are already raising doubts about the feasibility of striking an agreement

  • Democratic leadership, so far, has not indicated that they are open to doing a bill closer to the price tag advocated by Republicans.
  • House Democrats initially passed a $3.4 trillion bill before dropping their price tag to $2.2 trillion. 
  • Senate Republicans, meanwhile, initially offered a $1.1 trillion package before going down to roughly $500 billion amid steep pushback from conservatives.

Senate Minority Leader Charles SchumerChuck SchumerFive takeaways from the battle for the Senate Pelosi, Schumer call to congratulate Biden Democrats erupt in jubilation over Biden-Harris victory MORE (D-N.Y.) added on Tuesday that “McConnell and Senate Republicans must come to the table in good faith and work with us on a bipartisan bill that meets the needs of all our country.”

Consumer bureau vet who battled Trump will lead Biden plans to overhaul agency: The former deputy director of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB), who lost a legal battle for control of the agency to the Trump administration, will lead President-elect Joe BidenJoe BidenPence to attend Senate GOP lunch on Tuesday Biden transition team to mull legal action over agency’s transition delays: reports Manchin shoots down chance that Senate Democrats nix filibuster, expand court MORE’s preparations to overhaul the powerful financial watchdog. 

Leandra English was named Tuesday as the leader of the Biden transition’s review team for the agency, a move likely to please progressives and advocates for tougher financial rules.

I have more on what it means for the CFPB here.

GOOD TO KNOW

ODDS AND ENDS

  • United Airlines will return service to John F. Kennedy Airport (JFK) in New York in February for the first time in five years, the airline announced on Tuesday.
  • Op-Ed: Robert E. Scott, senior economist at the Economic Policy Institute (EPI), argues why “Biden’s trade policy must focus on creating good jobs.”