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Midterms, Taiwan, Twitter hearing: 3 things to watch in D.C. this week

Yahoo Finance’s Kevin Cirilli joins the Live show to discuss the latest political events happening out of Washington D.C., this week.

Video Transcript

- Welcome back. It is a quiet period for the Fed ahead of this month's rate decision so markets can laser focus on a raft of data set to hit the tape this week and tomorrow's inflation report is the standout. No doubt something President Biden is monitoring closely ahead of the midterms. Now, let's get to DC, Washington DC and Yahoo Finance contributor Kevin Cirilli. Kevin, what is the latest from the Beltway there?

KEVIN CIRILLI: Well, look, as it relates to inflation, most economists are anticipating that inflation will be 8.1% year over year from last year. Now, that would mark somewhat of a decline from the 8.5% last month, and of course, the record high of 9.1%. So that would point to some good data for the administration, especially when you look at the polls suggesting that amongst independent swing voters, inflation remains one of the top issues that voters are paying attention to.

So should inflation continue to decline and kind of move past the peak inflation of this summer, then that would be optimistic news for the Democrats.

JULIE HYMAN: Let's also talk about what's going on with Taiwan.

KEVIN CIRILLI: Yeah.

JULIE HYMAN: Of course, we had a flurry of activity when Nancy Pelosi visited. There's also a Taiwan Policy Act that's up for consideration. Is there any movement expected on that?

KEVIN CIRILLI: There's going to be a markup this week, Julie, in the Senate Foreign Relations Committee. Now, this had been delayed from earlier this summer. And as you just alluded to, we've had some significant developments in the US-Taiwan relationship. Of course, Speaker Pelosi traveling there in a high profile visit. And then, of course, China deploying military exercises as a result of that visit.

But what this specific piece of legislation, bipartisan legislation would do is provide the most significant restructuring of and updating, rather, of the US-Taiwan relationship since decades. And specifically, it would potentially designate Taiwan as a quote "major NATO ally" end quote. And that would open up Taiwan to being able to receive arms deals at an easier pace. And of course, all of that significantly matters given that China has continued to threaten Taiwan with its military exercises.

So again, this is a very bipartisan issue. But when it gets marked up out of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, then it would head to the Senate floor. And again, it's just another key step in updating the US-Taiwan Relations Act.

- And then lastly, while we have here, Kevin, let's connect capital markets in the US Capitol here. Twitter's former head of security is set to testify in a Senate hearing. What do we know about this?

Well, this is the most high profile tech hearing likely that we are going to see between now and the midterm elections. Now, "Mudge," as he is known, the whistleblower, is going to be testifying this week. And he's going to be talking about a host of different data and privacy related issues to Twitter.

But where the private sector gets involved, and it's really interesting, is that Elon Musk, of course, who was trying to call off that $40 billion acquisition that he had put forth-- his legal team has now cited this whistleblower complaint and Twitter's $7 million payment to this whistleblower as a reason to call off the deal. So it presents an opportunity both for lawmakers and the private sector to glean new information about the way Twitter conducts itself behind closed doors, most notably in terms of disinformation.

Again, as we lead up to the midterms, expect lawmakers on Capitol Hill to really be pressing for information about how the platform tries to stop disinformation, especially political disinformation, as we head into a new election cycle.

JULIE HYMAN: Thanks so much, Kevin. Appreciate it. Yahoo Finance contributor Kevin Cirilli there with the latest from DC.