banking-and-finance

Ex-Equifax CEO Gets Trolled at Senate Banking Hearing
Monopoly character in top hat and mustache sat behind Richard Smith on second day of hearings

A protester dressed as Monopoly character Rich Uncle Pennybags sat behind former Equifax CEO Richard Smith. (banking.senate.gov)

The Monopoly logo character known as Rich Uncle Pennybags attended a hearing Wednesday to sit behind Richard Smith, the former chairman and chief executive officer of Equifax.

A protester with the advocacy organization Public Citizen trolled Smith while dressed in a fake mustache and top hat.

Poll: Just 12 Percent of Americans Think Tax Code Update is Top Priority
Four in 10 said a Trump-led proposal would raise taxes on the middle class

House Speaker Paul Ryan, R-Wisc., holds his weekly news conference in the Capitol on Thursday, May 18, 2017. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

As efforts in the Senate to repeal and replace the 2010 health care law flounder, Congressional Republicans have now turned their attention toward overhauling the federal tax code. They are set to publicly release their framework for drafting a bill Wednesday afternoon.

House Speaker Paul D. Ryan of Wisconsin and other GOP leaders long maintained they hoped to pass new tax legislation by Thanksgiving, but now some have pushed that target back to Christmas.

Why It Looks Like the Senate’s Debating the Defense Bill Again
Democrats anticipate GOP effort to reverse CFPB rule

Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren expects the real floor business to be about overturning a consumer protection rule. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Reading the Senate schedule Tuesday might give off a serious sense of deja vu. But there is a reason for that. 

Officially, senators are getting set to debate proceeding to the Senate version of the annual defense authorization bill. But wait, one might ask: Wasn’t Armed Services Chairman John McCain just on the floor for days overseeing that bill? Yes.

House Schedules Dodd-Frank Repeal for Floor Vote
Legislation failed to get floor vote in previous congress

Speaker Paul D. Ryan and his GOP caucus are ready to go on repealing the Dodd-Frank law. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

A Republican plan to roll back the most expansive financial regulatory overhaul since the Depression is headed to a full vote in the House this week.

House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy said Friday that he has scheduled debate and a floor vote on a bill that would repeal large parts of the 2010 Dodd-Frank financial overhaul. The law was enacted in the wake of the financial crisis and the recession and was meant to prevent the practices that led to the crisis.

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.