This week in politics, Yahoo Finance will be watching whether the U.S. revives a 2015 nuclear deal with Iran and whether the Biden administration extends a payment pause for student loans.
We'll also be watching reactions to Fed Chair Jerome Powell's speech at Jackson Hole, and to revised GDP numbers for the second quarter. Here's more on three big stories in politics this week:
1. Iran deal talks: Axios is reporting that U.S. national security adviser Jake Sullivan will soon meet with his Israeli counterpart. The meeting comes as Israel raises concerns about the U.S. re-entering into a nuclear deal with Iran. Iran has been in talks with the European Union, which is hopeful that a deal could restore crude oil to the region as Russia's war with Ukraine pressures supply chains. But restoring the 2015 Iran deal would face staunch criticism on Capitol Hill, where Republicans and some Democrats have raised concerns about the deal's implications for Israel's alliance with the U.S.
2. Student Loans: Millions of Americans will have to start paying back their student loans on Sept. 1 unless the Biden administration extends the student loan payment pause. The Trump administration had frozen student loans in March 2020 to help provide some relief to Americans during the pandemic. Since then, some progressives have called for sweeping student loan forgiveness programs.
On Sunday, Education Secretary Miguel Cardona said on NBC's "Meet The Press" that an announcement would be made sometime in the coming week. “We know Aug. 31 is a date that many people are waiting to hear something from,” Cardona said on "Meet The Press." “We’ve been talking daily about this, and I can tell you the American people will hear within the next week or so.” But it's unclear whether the administration will extend the freeze. Democrats have suggested in recent months that there is support in the party for student loan debt forgiveness of anywhere between $10,000 to $50,000 for Americans.
3. Fed and GDP in focus: Economists will parse through revised second-quarter GDP growth once it's released on Thursday. And Fed Chairman Jay Powell will speak on Friday at the Fed's annual gathering in Jackson Hole, Wyoming. It comes as Powell and the central bank continues to weigh whether the U.S. economy is in a recession, despite the Biden administration's arguing that it is not. The Bureau of Labor Statistics initially found that the GDP shrank by .9% last quarter, marking the second consecutive quarter of GDP decline and fueling arguments that the U.S. is in a recession.
A larger percentage decline on the second read would stoke Republicans' contention that the economy is in recession. A new NBC News poll released Sunday found that Biden has a 40% approval rating on the economy — slightly below his overall 39% approval rating among Americans.
Kevin Cirilli is a Yahoo Finance contributor. He is a senior media fellow at both the Krach Institute for Tech Diplomacy at Purdue and the Atlantic Council in the Global China Hub. Follow him on LinkedIn.