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Georgia Senate runoff, defense bill, Biden’s chip plant visit: 3 things to watch in politics

Yahoo Finance Contributor Kevin Cirilli discusses top stories in Washington, D.C., this week, including the Georgia Senate runoff race, negotiations over the Defense Authorization Act, and President Biden's visit to a chip factory.

Video Transcript

- All right. Let's turn over to Yahoo Finance contributor Kevin Cirilli see what DC is looking forward to start this week. Kevin.

KEVIN CIRILLI: As we've got the runoff election in the Senate between Raphael Warnock and Herschel. And look, I think the biggest question right now is if Democrats are able to win this seat, it would be, essentially, that Georgia is trending much more Democratic, similarly to what happened in Virginia back in 2008. It was always perceived as a battleground. But if Democrats are able to hold on to this, clearly a sign that this is moving to the left.

In contrast to that, if Republicans squeak this out, that's going to be some much needed good news for the far right movement, the MAGA movement of the Republican Party. So a lot of potential gleaning from the information on what happens down there in Georgia.

- And turning to the National Defense Authorization Act, GOP lawmakers, they're looking to play hardball. What can you tell us there?

KEVIN CIRILLI: Well, the NDAA is worth about $850 billion, even a little bit more when you tack in some energy pieces of components to it. And Republicans are suggesting that they want to have no more mandates for vaccinations for the military. Now, likely new Speaker of the House Kevin McCarthy spoke about this directly with President Biden reportedly. In contrast to that, Democrats want to include some diversity and inclusion language into this piece of legislation. It's ultimately going to get passed. But it is the last major piece of legislation that needs to get done ahead of the December 16 deadline to pass a government funding bill.

But there's another component of this-- just quickly-- which is they could tack on bipartisan legislation, the Safe Banking Act it's called, which would allow for cannabis banking financial services. Remember, marijuana is still listed by the Department of Justice as a classified as a drug up there with LSD. And so while 20 states plus the District of Columbia have legalized recreational marijuana use, the banking for that has not caught up. So the regulatory structure for this industry could take a giant step forward even ahead of DOJ in this lame duck session.

- Yeah. And we've seen some of the cannabis stocks moving on anticipation of that potentially. And finally, Kevin, President Biden paying a visit to TSMC, Taiwan Semiconductors' Arizona chip plant that's currently under construction. So there's some focus there.

KEVIN CIRILLI: There is a lot of focus and high tech innovation and manufacturing. He'll be accompanied by Secretary of Commerce Gina Raimondo. Remember, she was instrumental in pushing that bipartisanship CHIPS Act over the finish line, which allows for there to be significant investment here domestically in the United States, retraining the workforce to provide high-tech innovation jobs for semiconductor chip manufacturing. TSMC breaking ground on that plant that dates back to the previous administration. Remember, TSMC controls something like half of the global supply of those semiconductor chips. Obviously, headquartered in Taiwan. A lot of geopolitics.

Separately from that, what's happening this week is that EU and US trade officials are talking about technology. And we saw this with French President Emmanuel Macron over the weekend and his interview on "60 Minutes," where he said that he's talked about subsidies for electric vehicles, the tech and EVs really at the forefront of the conversation for the EU and US tech trade officials. So a lot happening on the tech diplomacy front this week. And mind you, while all of this is happening in the West, with NATO allies and obviously strengthening supply chains with TSMC, guess where Xi Jinping is. He's meeting with Saudi officials.

- Yahoo Finance contributor Kevin Cirilli, thank so much.