Michael D Crapo

Lawmakers Push Broad Review of Equifax Security
Democrats cite precedence of reaction to OPM data breach

Ohio Sen. Sherrod Brown wants Equifax to offer 10 years of free credit monitoring to those affected by the breach. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Lawmakers are responding to credit-reporting company Equifax’s loss of data on up to 143 million customers with a flurry of proposed legislation, demands for explanations, hearings and calls for regulators to investigate.

Democrats are leading the charge on legislation and investigations while Republicans join in with demands for an explanation from the company and with plans to hold hearings. Members of both parties are seeking details of Equifax’s work for government agencies. Democrats are also trying to pressure Republicans to be at least as tough on Equifax as they were with a government agency that suffered its own breach.

Crapo Not Committed to Banking Hearing on Equifax Breach
Chairman says staff is studying topic

Senate Banking Chairman Michael D. Crapo, left, seen here with ranking member Sherrod Brown, says he is undecided about holding a hearing on the Equifax data breach. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Senate Banking Chairman Michael D. Crapo said Tuesday his staff was studying the data breach at Equifax, but he hasn’t decided whether to hold a hearing on the issue and he wasn’t sure if the breach would affect the Republican effort to repeal the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau’s arbitration rule.

The Idaho Republican led a committee hearing Tuesday on a separate issue — the promise and the dangers of the burgeoning financial technology industries, like blockchain and mobile lending — but the event was overshadowed by the breach that Equifax has said may have resulted in the theft of personal information of up to 143 million Americans.

Floods May Focus Lawmakers on Insurance Program Deep in the Red
Program’s current funds probably not enough to cover claims

Residents are evacuated from their homes after severe flooding following Hurricane Harvey in north Houston August 29, 2017 in Houston, Texas. Parts of southeast Texas have received more than 40 inches of rain since Harvey made landfall on Friday, with more torrential rain expected the next several days. (Win McNamee/Getty Images)

Hurricane Harvey, on track to cause some of  the worst flooding in U.S. history, stands to complicate efforts by Congress to reauthorize next month a federal flood insurance program that’s already about $24.6 billion in debt.

The Gulf Coast floods from Harvey, which the Federal Emergency Management Agency calls “one of the worst disasters in Texas history,” threatens to deepen the debt of the National Flood Insurance Program before the Sept. 30 reauthorization deadline. The program administered by FEMA provides flood coverage to more than 4.9 million policyholders, including 593,115 in Texas.

Analysis: Health Care Failure to Haunt Republicans Over Recess
Lawmakers call relationship with White House a ‘work in progress’

Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders leaves the Capitol on Thursday after the last votes in the Senate before the August recess. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Senate Republicans departed on Thursday for a 32-day recess with key victories overshadowed by a momentous defeat on their effort to overhaul the 2010 health care law.

Lawmakers left Capitol Hill for the extended break after several months of tumult, much of which stemmed from a nascent Trump administration fraught with self-inflicted scandals and lacking in traditional political experience.

Senate GOP: Knowing Health Care Plan Is ‘Luxury We Don’t Have’
Uncertainty surrounds floor strategy for Republicans’ health care effort

Many members in Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell’s conference do not know what they would be considering days before a key vote . (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

By JOE WILLIAMS and LAUREN CLASON

Republican senators left Washington no closer to a deal on their health care effort, with no idea what measure might be brought up for a vote early next week or whether the chamber could even clear a key procedural hurdle needed to begin consideration of any legislation.

Bipartisan Ayes for Judge David Nye
Senate set to confirm former Obama nominee

Judge David Nye looks set to be confirmed by the Senate on Wednesday, having already received bipartisan support. (iStock)

The Supreme Court gets all the attention, but President Donald Trump could make lasting changes to the judicial branch in trying to fill the more than 100 U.S. District Court vacancies. The next judicial nomination up for consideration on the Senate floor would fill a spot in Idaho that has been open for some time, and the nominee has some bipartisan support as he has also been previously nominated by a Democratic president.

Before the recess, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell lined up consideration of David Nye to be U.S. district judge for the District of Idaho. This isn’t his first trip through the nomination machine, as he was put forward last year by President Barack Obama for the same position.

Senate Health Care Discussions Continue as Agenda Stalls
Numerous revisions to the GOP health bill under consideration

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell is seeing his legislative plate pile up, while health care discussions continue. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Senate Republicans, in the aftermath of a major setback Tuesday, are weighing a swath of changes to legislation to overhaul the U.S. health insurance system, as the rest of their agenda piles up and deadlines near. 

The current plan, according to GOP lawmakers, aides and health care lobbyists, is for the conference to try to come to an agreement by Friday on a new draft of the bill to repeal and replace portions of the 2010 health care law. That would give the Congressional Budget Office time to analyze the revisions and let the GOP conference start preparing to vote on the measure when lawmakers return from the July Fourth recess.

House Republicans Vote to Strip Away Post-Financial Crisis Safeguards
Bill isn’t expected to be taken up in the Senate

Texas Rep. Jeb Hensarling says that “all of the promises of Dodd-Frank were broken.” (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

House Republicans voted 233-186 Thursday to repeal large parts of the 2010 Dodd-Frank financial overhaul, just one month short of the seventh anniversary of the landmark law’s enactment.

The measure would unwind much of the financial structure put in place in the wake of the financial crisis. One of the biggest pieces of legislation enacted during the two terms of President Barack Obama, Dodd-Frank was designed to prevent the type of practices that led to the 2008 financial crisis and the recession it caused. Republicans have long complained that the law stifled the economy because it put too large a regulatory burden on business.

GOP Leaders on Flood Insurance Bill See Bipartisan Measure
Lawmakers working to beat Sept. 30 reauthorization deadline

Wisconsin Rep. Sean P. Duffy hopes to get bipartisan support for a reauthorization of the flood insurance program.  (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Both Democrats and Republicans cited concern about hurting low-income homeowners in legislation that would reauthorize the National Flood Insurance Program, but they also agreed that the program, with a current debt of $24.6 billion, needs to be on sounder financial ground.

Lawmakers are working to beat the expiration of the current authorization on Sept. 30. Without new authorization in place, housing markets in coastal and flood-prone areas could be disrupted.

Dodd-Frank Repeal Set Up for House Passage
Rules Committee allows only five amendments

Rep. Jim McGovern, D-Mass., is not a big fan of the Dodd-Frank repeal bill. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

A massive bill to repeal the Dodd-Frank financial law and allow better-capitalized banks to opt out of much of government regulation is heading to the House floor for a final vote on passage that is expected Thursday.

Over Democratic objections, the House Rules Committee on Tuesday allowed only five amendments that appeared to be uncontroversial plus a manager’s amendment to be considered, and it declined to allow a hearing for a proposal to reinstate the Depression-era Glass-Steagall Act.