via a special arrangement with Informa Economics, Inc.
TOPICS: Economic stimulus plan warning from
GOP * Mexico meat trade * U.S. population * Oil price
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Republicans warn against bloated stimulus
package. With news reports that the coming economic stimulus
package could reach $1 trillion, Republicans are warning against an excessive
spending measure. The Associated Press reported congressional Republicans
said "they would work with Democrats to craft a plan to stimulate
the economy, but only if GOP ideas are considered." Senate Minority
Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) said, "We need the right mix of tax
relief and other measures to grow the economy." The Hill reported
McConnell "said any stimulus should meet a simple test: 'Will the
yet-unwritten, reportedly trillion-dollar spending bill really create
jobs and grow the economy -- or will it simply create more government
spending, more bureaucrats and deeper deficits?'" However, The Hill
added, "It could be difficult for McConnell to slow down a stimulus
bill in the Senate."
Emanuel sets date for departing House.
Rep. Rahm Emanuel (D-Ill.) will officially step down from
his congressional seat on Friday; he will be President-elect Barack Obama's
chief of staff. The Chicago Tribune's James Oliphant reported Emanuel
"will formally resign his House seat Friday" and on Monday "sent
a letter to embattled" Gov. Rod Blagojevich "saying he would
leave his congressional seat at the end of the week. Blagojevich held
the seat before he was elected governor in 2002."
Census Bureau projects U.S. population of
305.5 million on New Year's Day. The U.S. Census Bureau
projected the Jan. 1, 2009, total U.S. population will be 305,529,237 --
up 2,743,429, or 0.9 percent, from New Year's Day 2008. In January 2009,
one birth is expected to occur every eight seconds in the U.S. States and
one death every 12 seconds.
Other facts and figures. Net international migration
is expected to add one person every 36 seconds to the U.S. population
in January 2009, resulting in an increase in the total U.S. population
of one person every 14 seconds.
Mexico lifts meat-import ban on some U.S.
plants. As expected on Monday, Mexico has lifted meat-import
restrictions on at least 19 U.S. slaughterhouses, after earlier banning
their shipments, according to USDA via an e-mail to Bloomberg News. Five
other plants will probably be recertified after the USDA sends plans to
Mexico for resuming imports, according to the statement from Laura Reiser,
a spokeswoman from USDA's Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS). (Reuters
reported the ban had been lifted on 21 of the 30 plants in question.)
Background: Last week, Mexico banned purchases of
pork, beef and poultry from about 30 U.S. plants because of failure to
meet import standards. “The issues triggering the action by Mexico
were not of food-safety concern, but regarding quality or technical
issues,” Reiser said in the statement. She declined to comment
to Bloomberg News on which plants had been recertified or when meat
shipments would resume. Mexico is the biggest importer of U.S. beef this
year and the third-largest buyer of U.S. pork, according to USDA data
(second if Hong Kong and China imports are separated).
Oil predicted to rebound as record drop
spurs OPEC cuts. Oil futures may rebound from their worst
year to average $60 per barrel next year as OPEC makes record production
cuts to counter the deepest economic slump since World War II. The forecast
is the median of 33 analysts compiled by Bloomberg. Analysts expect oil
prices to rise through the year to $70 per barrel in the fourth quarter
as demand improves and OPEC production curbs announced this month take
hold. The U.S. economy may return to growth in the second half of 2009,
reviving consumption in the world’s largest energy user.
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