banking-and-finance

Lawmakers Introduce Bills to Ease Tax Burdens, Criminal Penalties on Pot
Proposal comes amid continued confusion about Trump administration stance

Two of Congress’ biggest proponents of marijuana legalization redoubled their efforts Thursday with a package of bills to “pave the way” for federal regulation of the burgeoning pot industry. 

Hensarling’s Offensive on Dodd-Frank Seen as Negotiating Move
Texas Republican’s new bill strips much more of CFPB’s authority

Texas Rep. Jeb Hensarling was considered by President Donald Trump for the Treasury secretary position. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

House Financial Services Chairman Jeb Hensarling appears to be doubling down on his Dodd-Frank repeal legislation, adding more features objectionable to Democrats in the wake of a White House announcement of a four-month review of the nation’s financial laws and regulations. 

In a staff memo circulated last week, Hensarling filled five single-spaced pages with changes to a bill approved by his committee in September 2016 over the opposition of every Democrat and one Republican. Among other things, the Texas Republican’s new bill would strip much more of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau’s authority than last year’s version.

House Democrats Go to the Mat for Dodd-Frank
Minority party questions whether Trump would benefit from gutting law

Maxine Waters is helping lead the defense of Dodd-Frank. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

With their Senate colleagues on the front lines of opposing President Donald Trump’s Cabinet nominations, House Democrats are digging in for an extended fight over the president’s executive actions, in particular his targeting of the Dodd-Frank financial regulation law.

Starting over the weekend and continuing into Monday, House Democrats are defending a statute they say is key to protecting Main Street from Wall Street excesses.

For 20, a New Year’s Boost in House Legislative Sway
How the winners of top committee assignments made their own luck

Keep an eye peeled for these House members with plum new committee assignments, from left to right, first row: Pete Aguilar, Earl L. “Buddy” Carter, Katherine M. Clark, Ryan A. Costello, Carlos Curbelo; second row: Suzan DelBene, Debbie Dingell, Brian Higgins, John Moolenaar, Grace Meng; third row: Dan Newhouse, Scott Peters, Mark Pocan, Raul Ruiz, David Schweikert; fourth row: Terri A. Sewell, Scott Taylor, Tim Walberg, Jackie Walorski and Mimi Walters. (Bill Clark, Meredith Dake-O’Connor and Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photos. Scott Taylor courtesy Scott Taylor for U.S. Congress)

Specialization seasoned with seniority is the surest recipe for a meaningful legislative career in the House, which is more than big enough to swallow all the dilettantes and short-timers without a trace. It’s finding a substantive niche, then fitting in over the long haul, that proves perennially frustrating for many members. 

But the goal of becoming a successful and substantive lawmaker just got a whole lot easier for a score of them.

Battle Lines Form Over Popular Mortgage Interest Deduction
Homebuilders, lenders concerned by parts of Trump’s tax plan

House Ways and Means Chairman Kevin Brady of Texas, seen holding a “Make America Great Again” hat after a GOP conference meeting in November, says there is no need to cap popular deductions to offset the cost of tax rate cuts. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Homebuilders and lenders are preparing to defend the mortgage interest deduction as the incoming Trump administration and Congress weigh potential adjustments to one of the most popular tax sweeteners.

Treasury Secretary-designee Steven Mnuchin last week raised eyebrows on Capitol Hill and drew scrutiny from business advocates by pointing to potential curbs on the mortgage interest deduction in a CNBC interview.

Hensarling Seen to Vie With Mnuchin for Trump Treasury Pick
An architect of legislation with GOP ties or an emissary to Wall Street?

Texas Rep. Jeb Hensarling has an important ally in Vice President-elect Mike Pence, chairman of the Trump transition team. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

President-elect Donald Trump could face a classic choice between a Wall Street insider and a GOP strategist — investor Steve Mnuchin and House Financial Services Chairman, Texas Republican Jeb Hensarling — as he moves to replace outgoing Treasury Secretary Jacob J. Lew.

Trump advisers such as investor Carl Icahn and Stephen Moore, a visiting fellow at the Heritage Foundation, describe Mnuchin, Trump’s campaign finance director, as the front-runner for the Treasury post. But GOP allies of Hensarling — including Senate Majority Whip John Cornyn, Sen. Ted Cruz and former Sen. Phil Gramm, all fellow Texans — say they believe Hensarling has emerged as a strong challenger after meeting with Trump on Thursday.