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WH press secretary replies to question about stock market concerns: ‘We have the first female treasury secretary’

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When asked on Wednesday about fears regarding the stock market in light of recent developments with GameStop’s shares, White House press secretary Jen Psaki responded by saying: “We have the first female treasury secretary.”

In the course of more than a week—in an incredibly complex situation—the stock price of the declining video game vendor GameStop soared by as much as 770%. In short, after some influential users in a Reddit community dedicated to the stock market called r/WallStreetBets encouraged many other users into purchasing GameStop stock through equity and calls, which dramatically drove up its stock price, as explained by TIME.

“Is the White House concerned about the stock market activity we’re seeing around GameStop and now with some other stocks as well?” a reporter asked Psaki. “Have there been any conversations with the [Securities and Exchange Commission] about how to proceed?”

“Well, I’m also happy to repeat that we have the first female treasury secretary and a team that’s surrounding her and often questions about markets,” Psaki responded. “We’ll send [you] to them. But our team is, of course, our economic team, including Secretary [Janet] Yellen and others, are monitoring the situation.”

On Monday, the U.S. Senate confirmed Janet Yellen to the role of treasury secretary.

Psaki went on to say that the GameStop situation is “a good reminder, though, that the stock market isn’t the only measure of the health of our economy. It doesn’t reflect how working- and middle-class families are doing.”

In response to the situation, TD Ameritrade on Wednesday restricted trading for the company and has sent fears down the spines of some on Wall Street.

“In the interest of mitigating risk for our company and clients, we have put in place several restrictions on some transactions in $GME, $AMC and other securities,” a spokeswoman for TD Ameritrade told the website Market Watch. “We made these decisions out of an abundance of caution amid unprecedented market conditions and other factors.”

You can follow Douglas Braff on Twitter @Douglas_P_Braff.

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Biden spends $1.65 trillion taxpayer dollars while vacationing in St. Croix

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Joe Biden

While vacationing in the island of St. Croix for the holidays, President Joe Biden on Thursday signed into law the massive $1.65 omnibus spending package.

The whopping 4,155 pages was supported by only nine House Republicans and 13 Senate Republicans. Majority of criticism from the GOP includes concerns that the bill was rushed and crammed with wasteful spending by a lame-duck Democratic-dominated Congress. The recourse will punish American families by adding to the national debt and exacerbate inflation.

“Today, I signed the bipartisan omnibus bill, ending a year of historic progress. It’ll invest in medical research, safety, veteran health care, disaster recovery, VAWA funding — and gets crucial assistance to Ukraine,” Biden tweeted. “Looking forward to more in 2023.”

Senate minority leader Mitch McConnell “praised the bill on the grounds that it represents a real decrease in discretionary spending. He presented it as a positive that nondefense spending jumped by only 5.5 percent, from $730 billion to $772.5 billion, amid an inflation rate of 7.1 percent” writes National Review.

“The bipartisan government-funding bill that Senators Shelby and Leahy have finished negotiating does exactly the opposite of what the Biden administration first proposed,” he said. “This bill provides a substantial real-dollar increase to the defense baseline . . . and a substantial real-dollar cut to the non-defense, non-veterans baseline,” McConnell insisted as negotiations were wrapping up.

House minority leader Kevin McCarthy, however, stated his strong disapproval of the bill before it even advanced. Affirming a letter from 13 House Republicans, McCarthy demanded the bill is reckless, irresponsible, and a “purposeful refusal to secure and defend our borders.”

For example, it failed to incorporate protections for Title 42, the pandemic policy that allows illegal immigrants to be expelled on a public-health basis, which currently hangs in the balance at the Supreme Court.

National Review adds, “The funding in the bill, which averted a federal government shutdown before the new year, includes an allocation of $45 billion in defense assistance to Ukraine. Some Republican priorities, such as Electoral Count Act reform and a bigger military budget, were nested in with Democratic appropriations, such as increased funding for Medicaid and food stamps.”

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