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Congress returns, Biden in Ohio, student loans: Top political stories this week

Yahoo Finance’s Kevin Cirilli joins the Live show to discuss the top political stories coming out of Washington, D.C., this week.

Video Transcript


BRIAN SOZZI: Several major issues still need to be tending to as the Senate returns from August recess. And here with all that and more on the latest shaking ups or what is happening in DC, Yahoo Finance contributor Kevin Cirilli. Kevin, what's on-- what's on your radar screen?

KEVIN CIRILLI: Well, by the end of the month, the Senate has to pass a continuing resolution in order to keep the government open. The Senate returns from their August recess this week. And that is really top of mind for what they have to get done.

But wrapped into the CR, likely is going to be more funding for Ukraine, which President Biden has asked for, especially as funds are going to potentially be running out as a result of the winter approaching and Ukraine really trying to, again, continue to defend itself against Russia.

But then there's another issue that's brewing and that's marriage equality because if you think back to what happened after Roe v Wade, what happened was there were a lot of Democrats and Progressives who were incredibly concerned about the Roe v Wade ruling and what it might mean for marriage equality.

And so codifying marriage equality is something that Democrats also are looking to have a vote on before the midterm elections, just nine weeks away. It could actually be lumped into the CR. That might be able to provide some cover for Republicans who are looking to come out in favor of same-sex marriage. And I'm thinking of Senator Joni Ernst, a Republican from Iowa, who might be someone who is really caught in the middle of that particular issue.

And then let's not forget about the FBI's investigation into Mar-a-Lago, because that, as lawmakers return from their recess, likely will also be something that Republicans and Democrats are going to be talking about. And whether or not it that, what the FBI yielded, is pertinent information for, oh, I don't know, the January 6 Committee.

JULIE HYMAN: And I'm just curious as a quick follow up to that, are any of the developments in the Trump case being used as leverage at all? Is there any bearing on anything from that in, what you were just discussing, in terms of negotiations on the continuing resolution?

KEVIN CIRILLI: Well, you could have a situation where there could be a bipartisan group of lawmakers who come together in order to look into specifically the documents that were retrieved from the Mar-a-Lago investigation by the FBI. But from a broader standpoint, it's just a continuation of bad headlines for former President Trump.

Now, some in the Republican circles feel that those bad headlines are only gonna embolden his movement and get out the vote for far-right Republicans heading into the midterms. But others say that it will have a reverse effect for more moderate-leaning voters.

JULIE HYMAN: Well, speaking of getting out the vote, right? President Biden is in Ohio. He's gonna be talking about the CHIPS Act. But of course, there is also some perhaps campaigning tinges that will be to his commentary.

KEVIN CIRILLI: You know, this is really interesting because it was just a couple of weeks ago when nobody wanted to be caught with President Biden. And now, you've got Tim Ryan, who's running for Senate in Ohio, against JD Vance, a Conservative who will be appearing with President Biden when he goes to Ohio to talk about semiconductor chip manufacturing at an Intel plant. Of course, Intel CEO Pat Gelsinger, really one of the top CEOs who had pushed for this high tech manufacturing to onshore US innovation, to onshore US jobs to compete against China.

But when President Biden is in Ohio, it also is gonna be his opportunity to respond to former President Trump, who over the weekend referred to Biden in a speech in Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania, just outside of Biden's hometown of Scranton, Pennsylvania, as a quote, "enemy of the people," end quote.

Now, this fits with what former President Trump has said about the media which he's referred to as an enemy of the state. But in that same speech in Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania, Julie, I don't know if you caught this, he actually was complimentary for the new CNN CEO.

And as they've been having a, you know, shake up over there. And he said, you know, look, he would offer to help should CNN try to neutralize. So it was a two-hour speech. You know, I've covered a lot of Trump speeches, Julie. Never once did I ever think I would hear Trump praise CNN.

BRIAN SOZZI: [LAUGHS] You and me both there, Kevin. But switching gears a little bit, you're also watching student loans, I hear.

KEVIN CIRILLI: Yes, which Republican will come out first and and file a suit against President Biden's plan to provide student debt relief to for nearly 40 million Americans between $10,000 and $20,000.

But this has drawn criticism from center-left-leaning Democrats, who-- including former Obama era economist Jason Furman, who actually tweeted out some pretty staunch criticism of this. Saying, quote, "Pouring roughly half trillion dollars of gasoline on the inflationary fire that is already burning is reckless. Doing it while well beyond one campaign promise and breaking another, all proposals being paid for, is even worse," end quote.

Now, we should note Chuck Schumer is standing behind President Biden on this. And look, I think that as this continues into the lead up to the midterms, look to see how Republicans-- forget about the policy wonk war that's brewing.

Look to see how they target Americans who have not received a college education, who I would expect their messaging will be that they're going to say, you're having to pay for debt relief for Americans who have gone to college and you made the decision not to go. So a lot of "fair is not always equal" debate brewing in American electorates.

JULIE HYMAN: Yes, you can say that again. Thank you so much, Kevin. Appreciate it. Kevin Cirilli there.