| July 25, 2013, 5 a.m.
Much discussion in Washington recently has centered around the doubling of interest rates for student loans from 3.4 to 6.8 percent APR and the fact that Congress has been unable (at least for now) to implement a rate freeze. Yet, doesn’t this debate simply mask the wider problem of higher education — namely that as the cost of tuition continues to rise, the employment value of graduation simultaneously declines?
| July 24, 2013, 6:45 p.m.
The student loan interest rate legislation approved Wednesday by the Senate appears to face a clear path in the House, where Republicans wasted no time pointing out that the proposal closely mirrors their original plan.
| June 26, 2013, 5 a.m.
With immigration center stage and a bipartisan agreement to stave off the student loan interest rate hike nowhere in sight, principal negotiators on both sides conceded Tuesday that rates will likely double on July 1 and will need to be fixed retroactively.
| June 14, 2013, 1:14 p.m.
Banking industry lobbyists have become increasingly vocal in their attacks on credit unions. Banks have been demanding a repeal of the credit unions tax status, railing against credit unions for filling a void in the market for member business lending, and opposing regulatory reform measures that would grant qualified credit unions access to supplemental capital and improve the safety and soundness of the credit union system.
| June 6, 2013, 5:01 p.m.
Washington Post veteran Robert Kaiser’s latest book, “Act of Congress: How America’s Essential Institution Works, and How It Doesn’t,” provides an insider’s view of the making of Congress’ response to the 2008 market crash, the Dodd-Frank Act.
| June 2, 2013, 8 p.m.
With federal student loan interest rates set to double on July 1, Congress returns from recess facing a familiar partisan brawl with no quick resolution in sight.
| May 29, 2013, 5 a.m.
The value of a higher education is undeniable — but its sticker price is undeniably too high. Over the past decade, college costs have risen nearly 51 percent. For a family, figuring out how to pay can be quite taxing. Many families rely on financial aid to combat costs, assuming that assistance will come in the form of scholarships and grants that do not have to be repaid. In practice, however, more than half of federal financial aid comes in the form of loans that not only must be repaid but also incur interest.
| May 28, 2013, 3:45 p.m.
Sen. Rob Portman has been conferring with Richard Cordray, head of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, as part of an effort to clear the way for his Senate confirmation and avert a Democratic threat to use the “nuclear option” to curb filibusters.
| May 20, 2013, 8 a.m.
Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid of Nevada plans to press for a vote the week of May 20 on the nomination of Richard Cordray as permanent director of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, in a move that is sure to divide the parties.
| May 13, 2013, 3:55 p.m.
After a temporary lull, Congress is gearing up to try to pass new Iran sanctions legislation in the coming months that could severely restrict whole segments of Iranian commerce, including oil. The aim is to have votes in both chambers as early as June, with a consensus bill moving to the president’s desk before the August recess.
| May 7, 2013, 1:46 p.m.
A suspicious stock spike might boost legislation that seeks to bring a clandestine class of Wall Street representatives into the daylight.
| May 3, 2013, 5 a.m.
The Senate Banking Committee held a hearing recently to discuss the Independent Foreclosure Review, the goal of which is to identify borrowers who suffered financial harm because of errors in their foreclosure processing. Congress could have done better by helping families avoid foreclosure in the first place, but how?
| May 2, 2013, 5 a.m.
The House Financial Services Subcommittee on Housing and Insurance recently held a hearing to discuss the fiscal health of the Federal Housing Administration. The same day, President Barack Obama released his fiscal year 2014 budget, reflecting the FHA’s growing success these past few years, yet also noting the likely need for it to draw more than $940 million from Treasury to cover losses from high-risk loans they insured during the housing crisis.
| May 1, 2013, 6:08 p.m.
President Barack Obama said Wednesday that he would nominate Rep. Melvin Watt to lead the Federal Housing Finance Agency, the regulator that oversees Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, but the initial response from some lawmakers and industry representatives suggests a sharp political fight over his confirmation.
| April 23, 2013, 5:01 p.m.
Republicans on the Senate Banking Committee questioned Richard Cordray, the director of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, on Tuesday about the agency’s data collection and offered other criticisms about the agency’s structure. But the bigger story may be in who wasn’t there for the hearing.
| March 12, 2013, 7:19 p.m.
Financial service firms are mounting an aggressive campaign to kill a proposal aimed at protecting customer funds in the event that a brokerage misuses its clients’ money to cover losses.
| March 5, 2013, 5:49 p.m.
Small businesses are critical to our economy. In fact, they generate, on average, 6 in 10 net new jobs. Fortunately for our leading job creators, Congress took an important step at the beginning of the year to protect them and their core customer base by extending income tax cuts for the middle class, as part of the fiscal-cliff deal. But lawmakers now have another economic obstacle in their path: the sequester — a host of automatic spending cuts that began March 1 because lawmakers couldn’t agree on a deal to reduce the deficit. These across-the-board cuts could have dire consequences for the economy and small employers. But all is not lost. There are still some areas in the budget where Congress can quickly pick up revenue to avoid the bulk of the cuts.
| March 1, 2013, 6:03 p.m.
When Congress overhauled the federal crop insurance system 13 years ago, lawmakers hoped it would reduce the need for rescuing farmers through multibillion-dollar bailouts.
| March 1, 2013, 6:02 p.m.
Not many agricultural economists get asked to be on a TV comedy show, and not many would probably dare go on, if asked. But Iowa State University’s Bruce Babcock, one of the crop insurance system’s most prominent critics, showed up on “The Colbert Report” last year in the middle of the drought that devastated the Midwest corn crop.
| Feb. 26, 2013, 6:43 p.m.
Senate Republicans are on track to confirm several of President Barack Obama’s key Cabinet officials, despite weeks of protests and grandstanding from the GOP.