3 stories in politics this week

Yahoo Finance contributor Kevin Cirilli joins the live show to discuss the latest political news from Washington, DC this week.

Video transcript

JULIE HYMAN: It’s time to take a look at what’s happening in Washington, DC. DC headlines today include US National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan. He is due to meet with Israeli officials this week as the country frets over the United States’ re-entry into a nuclear deal with Iran.

Yahoo Finance contributor Kevin Cirilli is here with the latest news. I’m not talking about elections– at least not for today, Kevin– but tell us about what’s going on with this story.

KEVIN CIRCILLI: Yes, so White House National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan is meeting Julie with his Israeli counterparts this week. And this comes as Tehran has been talking with the US and the EU about re-entering and restarting that 2015 Iranian nuclear disarmament deal. from the United States on the Republican side, as well as even from some Democrats, on how the Obama administration negotiated this deal with Iran.

And in particular, what this means for the United States – the United States has an incredibly important relationship with Israel, so the United States is trying to assuage some of the Israelis’ concerns this week, even as the United States continue these negotiations with Iran. But there is something incredibly new coloring the discussions this time around. And that, of course, is Russia’s war with Ukraine.

The EU is looking at crude, for example, and worried about the supply of crude to Europe, especially as fall and winter are fast approaching, and if they hope, potentially, that Iran might be able to supply some crude to make up for some of the loss of what happened with Russia’s war with Ukraine – so a lot of geopolitical changes in regards to the war of Russia with Ukraine. And it really kickstarted and added a new sense of urgency to the talks with Iran. So we’re watching that carefully.

Kevin, the Biden administration is set to announce a decision on student loan repayment soon. I know a lot of people who may have been in the same graduating class as me, and even before that, and even after that, pay close attention to it. So what’s the latest we know here?

KEVIN CIRCILLI: Well, a lot of people are. And even baby boomers are too, especially since many people under the age of 40 have to rely to some degree on their parents for that financial help. So what we do know is that by August 31, that’s when the deadline for student loan forgiveness ends. And so if there is no decision announced by the Secretary of Education by August 31, millions of Americans will have to start repaying those student loans.

Now they were frozen in March 2020 as a result of the pandemic to provide relief to millions of Americans struggling with student loan debt. But take a look at what Education Secretary Miguel Cardona said on NBC’s “Meet the Press” yesterday.

He said, in quotes, “We talk about it daily, and I can tell the American people we’ll be hearing from within the next week.” But, again, we don’t know precisely what the administration will announce. And that’s where politics and politics are on a collision course because, again, this was enacted by a Republican administration. But progressives have been pushing for the Biden administration to provide massive student loan debt forgiveness, blanket by some measures, then up to $50,000 by other progressive measures.

Now, the Biden administration has signaled it may be willing to provide student debt forgiveness of up to $10,000 for eligible Americans. But, without a doubt, this is an extremely important issue for Democrats, especially as we enter the midterm cycle.

BRIAN SOZZI: And, Kevin, you’re also looking at other economic events this week.

KEVIN CIRCILLI: Yeah, so later this week, mid-week, we’ll have the Bureau of Labor stats revising their second quarter GDP. Note that in the second quarter, GDP fell by 0.9%. It sparked a debate in Washington over whether or not the administration or the economy is in a recession. The administration says no. Two consecutive quarters of GDP contraction usually signal a recession.

And then, of course, we’ll have Fed Chairman Jay Powell. He speaks in Jackson Hole on Friday. Fed watchers will be watching closely to see whether or not we get any further signs on the rate hike and its pace.

But there’s a new NBC News poll just over the weekend that has Biden struggling in terms of approval rating with the economy. Just 40% approve of President Biden’s handling of the economy, and 39% of voters overall give him an approval rating — so a lot of pressure on this administration heading into midterms regarding his handling economy.

JULIE HYMAN: You brought it back to the election at the end, Kevin.

KEVIN CIRCILLI: When we want we can.

JULIE HYMAN: Kevin Cirilli, Yahoo Finance contributor, thank you very much.

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