Leak of billionaires' tax data draws GOP outcry over privacy
Republicans in Congress are alarmed by the leak of confidential IRS data to ProPublica that has enabled the investigative news organization to reveal that famous billionaires including Warren Buffett, Bill Gates and Mark Zuckerberg paid little in U.S. income tax at times.
Powell defends Fed's consideration of climate change risks
Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell on Wednesday defended the central bank’s increasing scrutiny of the impact climate change could have on banks, in the wake of criticism by Republican members of Congress that by doing so the Fed is overstepping its mandate.
Lawmakers: Require nursing homes to disclose vaccine data
Nursing homes have to publicly disclose their vaccination rates for flu and pneumonia, but theres no similar mandate for COVID-19 shots. Nursing homes have been required since last May to regularly report cases and deaths among residents and staff to the government. Nursing homes are again allowing loved ones to visit, and hugs are included. The main nursing home industry trade group, the American Health Care Association, says it supports disclosure of vaccination data. Wyden and Crapo said current government policy that encourages nursing homes to voluntarily report vaccination data to the government has only led to “limited participation by the industry.”The government should require nursing homes to break down vaccination data by race and ethnicity, given disparities in vaccine acceptance.
Biden getting 1st shot at making mark on federal judiciary
FILE - In this Nov. 2, 2020, file photo the Supreme Court is seen at sundown in Washington. Barring an improbable expansion of the Supreme Court, Biden won’t be able to do anything about the high court’s entrenched conservative majority any time soon. That’s because Republicans who controlled the Senate in the final two years of the Obama White House confirmed relatively few judges. Biden already has pledged to name a Black woman to the Supreme Court if a seat opens up. But some Republicans and conservative groups are wary about what Democrats might try to do now that they control Congress and the White House.
Yellen's encore: Lending economic heft to Biden's virus plan
“Yellen is uniquely poised," said Brian Deese, director of Biden’s National Economic Council. "She has as much experience and expertise of addressing the challenges of our time as any living economic policymaker today. AdYellen juggled parenting with her work as a professor at the University of California, Berkeley, in the 1980s, helping to build her son’s pinewood derby car as a colleague fed economic data into a computer. It’s an argument cultivated from years of research that fully blossomed during Yellen’s time as Fed chair. She said Yellen values differences of opinion and diversity because that helps her get a fuller sense of the economy.
Mnuchin denies trying to hinder incoming administration
Mnuchin on Friday, Nov. 20 denied that he is trying to limit the choices President-elect Joe Biden will have to promote an economic recovery by ending several emergency loan programs being run by the Federal Reserve. Mnuchin said his decision was based on the fact that the programs were not being heavily utilized. “We're not trying to hinder anything,” Mnuchin said in a CNBC interview. Private economists argued that Mnuchin's decision to end five of the emergency loan facilities represents an economic risk. In his letter to Powell, Mnuchin said that he is requesting that the Fed return to Treasury the unused funds appropriated by Congress.
Virus spreads on panel handling Supreme Court nomination
Lee, who did not wear a mask at the White House event, said he had “symptoms consistent with longtime allergies." "We now have two members of the Senate Judiciary Committee who have tested positive for COVID, and there may be more," tweeted Senate Democratic leader Chuck Schumer. Blackburn said she tested negative after the event. Graham was not at the White House on Saturday but sees Trump frequently. He feels healthy, hasn’t exhibited any COVID-19 symptoms, and has tested negative.
Too risky? Fed pressed to expand aid to some businesses
Lawmakers are pressing the central bank to deliver more aid to struggling small and mid-sized businesses. And now many lawmakers are asking the Fed to expand its lending to small and medium-sized businesses, by allowing companies to offer assets such as commercial properties as collateral. The decision is on the doorstep of Fed Chairman Jay Powell and Steven Mnuchin, the Trump administrations treasury secretary. Its risky because it can be hard for the Fed to accurately appraise assets right now, he told The Associated Press. If it makes riskier loans, the Fed may be seen as propping up teetering zombie businesses that could default on payments.
Senate panel now likely to back questionable Trump Fed pick
The committee's support would move Shelton's nomination to the full Senate, which would have until the end of the year to confirm or reject it. Late Monday, Sen. John Kennedy, Republican of Louisiana, said he would support Shelton's nomination, essentially guaranteeing that she would win the votes of all 13 GOP senators on the committee. Toomey said he would support Shelton after she had reassured him that she would not seek to lower the value of the dollar. Since Shelton's hearing in February, the coronavirus pandemic has plunged the U.S. economy into its worst downturn since the Depression. In addition to Shelton, Trump has nominated Christopher Waller, research director at the St. Louis Federal Reserve Bank, for a second vacancy on the seven-member Fed board.
House passes cannabis banking bill
The Secure and Fair Enforcement Banking Act, known as the SAFE Banking Act, passed the House Wednesday by a vote of 321 to 103. Banks providing services to state-approved cannabis businesses could face criminal and civil liability under some banking statutes, so cannabis companies resort to operating on cash. "The passage of the SAFE Banking Act improves the likelihood that other cannabis legislation will advance at the federal level," Hawkins said in a statement Wednesday. While Democrats supported the SAFE Banking Act, several reiterated their calls for the legalization of the drug. Ahead of the vote, House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer said in a statement that he's "proud" to bring the SAFE Banking Act to the House floor, "but I believe it does not go far enough."
House to vote on bipartisan cannabis banking bill this month
Drew Angerer/Getty ImagesWASHINGTON (CNN) - The House will vote later this month on a bipartisan bill that will allow cannabis businesses access to the federal banking system. House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer intends to bring the SAFE Banking Act to the House floor for a vote this month, his office confirmed to CNN. A companion bill in the Senate, introduced by Democratic Sen. Jeff Merkley of Oregon and Republican Sen. Cory Gardner of Colorado, has yet to be voted out of the Senate Banking Committee. The committee, however, held a hearing in late July on the challenges faced by the cannabis industry in banking, and considered the SAFE Banking Act. Committee Chair Mike Crapo, who does not support the federal legalization of marijuana, told Politico he would hold a vote on cannabis banking legislation, but he left open whether he would work off the SAFE Banking Act.
Bitcoin falls over 11%, tumbling below $10,000 after Libra hearing
Copyright 2019 CNN(CNN) - Bitcoin investors are concerned that lawmakers' pressure on Facebook's Libra could ripple throughout the cryptocurrency market. The price of Bitcoin had fallen more than 11%, to around $9,590, by the end of a Senate Banking Committee hearing on Libra Tuesday morning. Now, lawmakers in the United States are calling for increased or clarified regulations for the cryptocurrency market as a whole. "That's going to help the United States compete in the blockchain sector." Bitcoin's price may continue to falter this week as Libra faces another hearing before the House Financial Services Committee on Wednesday.