The Hill’s 12:30 Report — Dow, S&P, Nasdaq all down amid banking turmoil

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–> A midday take on what’s happening in politics and how to have a sense of humor about it.* 

*Ha. Haha. Hahah. Sniff. Haha. Sniff. Ha–breaks down crying hysterically.


Dow, S&P, Nasdaq all down amid banking turmoil  

The global banking scare set off by the collapse of two major banking systems in the United States — Silicon Valley Bank and Signature Bank — is still roiling financial markets, with the latest fallout hitting the stock market on Wednesday. 

The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell almost 500 points, down about 1.5 percent, after today’s opening bell. The S&P 500 Index fell 1.4 percent, and the Nasdaq composite opened down 1.1 percent. 

Credit Suisse, Europe’s second largest bank, has further stoked fears of a broader banking crisis after the Saudi National Bank chairman told Reuters that the bank would not boost its investment in troubled Credit Suisse, Europe’s second largest bank. 

Meanwhile, the FDIC has taken over Silicon Valley Bank and Signature Bank amid the turmoil and assured customers will have full access to their deposits. 

It’s Wednesday, March 15. I’m Liz Crisp, filling in for Cate today, with a quick recap of the morning and what’s coming up. Did someone forward this newsletter to you? Sign up here.  

In Congress 

Continued SVB, Signature Bank fallout looms

Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) and Rep. Katie Porter (D-Calif.) are teaming up on legislation that would repeal part of a Trump-era bank regulation rollback, following the shocking collapse of Silicon Valley Bank last week and Signature Bank over the weekend.  (More from The Hill’s Sylvan Lane on their proposal here

The Secure Viable Banking Act would put banks with at least $50 billion in assets back under strict Federal Reserve oversight and Dodd-Frank Actstress tests. The threshold was pushed back to $250 billion in 2018, protecting SVB and several other banks from stricter oversight. 

Democrats and Republicans have pointed fingers and traded barbs over what led to the SVB collapse, with Democrats like Porter and Warren pointing to deregulation efforts during the previous administration, and Republicans pointing to the Biden administration and various culture wars, vaguely calling SVB “woke” over social stances. 

What’s next: The House is on recess this week, so lawmakers won’t be around to take up the issue unless called back early, which seems unlikely at this point because of scheduling. 


While hearings will undoubtedly be held on the issue in the coming weeks, the split nature of Congress — Republicans in control of the House and Democrats in control of the Senate — could prove a major hurdle for any meaningful reform. 

Previewing the line of thinking on the GOP side, Sen. Tim Scott (R-S.C.) said in a statement this week: “Building a culture of government intervention does nothing to stop future institutions from relying on the government to swoop in after taking excessive risks.” 

💊 In the White House 

Biden builds health care message, Medicare backing 

President Biden is continuing a West Coast swing today to highlight his efforts to lower health care costs for seniors and new ideas he’s proposed in his spending plan for the coming year to shore up Medicare. 

Biden will give his latest remarks on efforts to lower prescription drug costs during an event at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas’s Harrah College of Hospitality. 

The Biden administration released information this week highlighting the impact of the Inflation Reduction Act, which has allowed Medicare to negotiate lower prescription drug prices for seniors and cap insulin at $35, among other provisions. (Fact sheet with numbers available here

The White House is expected to further unveil new guidance for Medicare’s continued negotiations for lower prices for prescription drugs. 

“We’re taking on powerful interests to bring down healthcare costs so Americans can sleep better at night,” Health Secretary Xavier Becerra told reporters on a call this week previewing Biden’s trip. 

Keep in mind: Nevada is an important swing state as Biden prepares to launch his 2024 campaign and Democrats gear up for the looming battle for control of the House and Senate. Biden narrowly won the state in 2020, besting former President Trump by fewer than 34,000 votes. 

The Hill’s Nick Robertson and Caroline Vakil recently examined the civil war brewing in the Silver State over the Democratic Party’s future there. A visit from the president is seen as a chance to bring party leaders together. 

🏃 2024 

VP Harris heads to Iowa  

Vice President Harris will be in Iowa this week for the first time since taking office, as the 2024 election battle continues to heat up. CNN reports Harris’s impromptu trip is so she can take part in an abortion rights discussion with local leaders in Des Moines.

As CNN notes: “The last-minute, high-profile trip comes after flurry of activity from Republicans presidential hopefuls who’ve descended on the early caucus state, like former President and current candidate Donald Trump and potential 2024 GOP candidate Ron DeSantis.

Why it matters: President Biden is expected to formally launch his anticipated 2024 reelection bid in the coming weeks with Harris again on the ticket. But neither Biden nor Harris has been to Iowa since making the controversial decision to push the Democratic National Committee to change its primary schedule for 2024 — taking away Iowa’s first-in-the-nation caucus status in exchange for moving up South Carolina, a state that was key to Biden securing the party nomination in 2020 and that has a majority-Black Democratic voter base. 

The Veep’s role in 2024: Harris has struggled to gain her footing in the Biden administration –— being tasked with tricky roles on migration from Central America, voting rights and the continued COVID-19 response, among other less-than-desirable tasks. Since the fall of the Supreme Court’s landmark Roe v. Wade ruling — and the wave of abortion-restricting state laws that have followed — Harris has staked out a new path highlighting the issue, which generally polls well for Democrats.

“Since the Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade, extremist so-called leaders in states around the country have proposed and passed new extreme laws to ban abortion and criminalized healthcare providers, or have moved to enforce old laws on the book, many including no exception even for rape or incest,” Harris, the first woman to serve as Vice President, told reporters in a recent press call on her efforts to promote reproductive rights.

Trump team plots against DeSantis with series of bombshells 

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis is still tiptoeing into the 2024 waters, without a formal announcement to seek the GOP nomination. But that hasn’t stopped former President Trump and his allies from preparing a damning opposition research plan against the would-be candidate who is emerging as Trump’s biggest campaign foe.

POLITICO reports that Trump’s team is “poring over DeSantis’ record as a prosecutor, member of Congress and Florida governor.”  

“Among the items a Trump-allied group has drilled into is DeSantis’ record while serving as an assistant U.S. Attorney before running for congressional office, with plans to accuse him of being an ‘extremely lenient prosecutor’ in cases involving, among other things, child pornography,” the outlet reports. 

DeSantis’ team didn’t respond to POLITICO’s request for comment. 

Trump further acknowledge the friction between the two when talking to reporters en route to Iowa earlier this week. 

“I’m a very loyal person so I don’t understand disloyalty, but you do see it in politics,” he said. 

🐥 Notable tweets 

‘We have parks’ 

The National Park Service (quickly emerging as one of the most entertaining/informative accounts on Twitter) has the answer to all your questions about parks and where to find certain features, as demonstrated in the lengthy back-and-forth following its simple “We have parks” tweet this weekCatch up here and shoot your shot, asking NPS your own pressing parks questions. 

On tap 

The House is out this week, and the Senate is in today. President Biden is in Nevada, and Vice President Harris will be in New Jersey and New York before heading back to D.C. this evening.

  • 11:30 a.m.: The President received his Daily Briefing.  
  • 2:30 p.m.: Biden addresses his prescription drug pricing plan during an event at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas. 
  • 3:30 p.m.: Biden prepares to leave Las Vegas to return to Washington, D.C. 
  • 7:30-7:50 p.m.: Biden returns to D.C.

All times Eastern. 

📺 What to watch 

10 a.m.: Senate session started with several of President Biden’s political appointees on the schedule, including former Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti‘s nomination to become the next U.S. Ambassador to India. (Watch here

10:30 a.m.: The Federal Aviation Administration is holding a safety summit after a rash of near collisions and other close calls in recent weeks. (Watch here

2:30 p.m.: President Biden speaks at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas. (Watch here

3:00 p.m.: Senate Appropriations meets at 3 p.m. to talk about the coming year’s spending plan. (Watch here)

11:35 p.m.: Vice President Harris will appear on “The Late Show with Stephen Colbert” on CBS and Paramount+. 

🍐  In lighter news 

Today is National Pears Hélène Day!

Not familiar with the operetta-inspired French dessert? It’s super simple (and delicious!): It’s just warm poached pears topped with vanilla ice cream and a silky-smooth chocolate sauce. 🧑‍🍳👌 Santé! 🥂 

And because you made it this far, check out this video of a Russian diver waltzing (!) with a shark at a St. Petersburg aquarium. 🦈 

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