elizabeth-warren-2

Elizabeth Warren Releases Report Showing How Corporate Criminals Get Off Easy

Warren released "Rigged Justice" Friday. (Al Drago/CQ Roll Call File Photo

As Congress considers overhauling the criminal justice system, Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., is working to show that law enforcement is "shockingly weak" when it comes to corporate crimes.  

Warren's office released a 13-page report on Friday, titled "Rigged Justice: 2016; How Weak Enforcement Lets Corporate Offenders Off Easy ," which argues that the justice system is rigged in favor of corporations and executives who commit crimes. The report highlights 20 cases that, in Warren's staff's view, demonstrate how the federal government failed to hold corporations and executives accountable for breaking the law.  

Democrats Vow to Push GOP to Address Student Debt

Murray, left, and Schumer, right, said they will push the GOP to address student debt. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Senate Democrats pledged Thursday to prod the Republicans who control Congress to combat student loan debt this year, whether through legislation or floor amendments.  

"I want to make sure that we get this done," said Sen. Patty Murray, D-Wash., one of several Democrats unveiling a legislative package to relieve spiraling debt levels. According to the Federal Reserve, student loan debt topped $1.3 trillion in Sept. 2015. "We’re willing to look at any way to get that done.” That could include a tactic that Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., floated on Wednesday , which involved trading Democratic support for bringing legislation to the floor in exchange for votes on amendments related to Democratic priorities.  

Why Mike Lee Won't Do Hallway Interviews

Lee says he won't be doing hallway interviews anymore. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Sen. Mike Lee is no longer taking hallway interviews. While any senator might decline to answer a particular question (sometimes it's the wrong question, the wrong reporter or the wrong time), the Utah Republican, around September, joined a small group of senators who will not take questions from reporters in between points A and B, where most members of the press buttonhole lawmakers on any topic that comes to mind.  

Lee told CQ Roll Call — as part of a wide-ranging interview in his Senate office Thursday — that most questions thrown at him are generally not of the "yes" or "no" variety, and he said he felt he was often giving them short shrift.  

Senate Democrats Cheer Donald Trump for Bashing Tax Loopholes

Warren praised Trump's support for changing the tax treatment of carried interest. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Elizabeth Warren is praising Donald Trump.  

The senator from Massachusetts was among a quartet from the Democratic Policy and Communications Center lauding the Republican presidential candidate Thursday for his support of changes to tax policies that work to the advantage of hedge funds and companies that reincorporate overseas.  

Senators Call for More From Feds on Medical Marijuana Research

(Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

It's high time to look closer at medical marijuana research, eight Democratic senators wrote in a letter sent Monday to several departments in the federal government.  

Acknowledging that 23 states and the District of Columbia allow medical marijuana use and an additional 15 states allow cannabadiol  all without federal involvement  the senators argue that the federal government has an "opportunity and a responsibility to craft a sensible research and public health strategy that allows us to generate meaningful data and conclusions." The letter, sent to heads of the Department of Health and Human Services, the Office of National Drug Control Policy, and the Drug Enforcement Administration, also applauds a recent decision by the Obama administration to streamline the medical marijuana research approval process.  

Elizabeth Warren Blasts SEC's Mary Jo White (Updated)

Warren sent the letter to White House on Tuesday. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Updated 11:47 a.m. | In the aftermath of a meeting last month between Sen. Elizabeth Warren and Securities and Exchange Commission Chairwoman Mary Jo White, the Massachusetts Democrat is detailing her disappointment with the top securities regulator, including about campaign finance.  

"I am disappointed by the significant gap between the promises you made during and shortly after your confirmation and your performance as SEC Chair. We have continued to talk, and you and I met personally on Wednesday, May 21, 2015, to discuss these issues," Warren wrote in a Tuesday missive to White. "At that meeting, however, you said little that indicated you would be changing your practices at the SEC."  

Democrats Call on GOP to Keep CBO's Elmendorf

Schumer warned Republicans against "any effort to politicize" the Congressional Budget Office. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Sen. Charles E. Schumer and five other Senate Democrats raised concerns in a letter Friday that Republican leaders will replace the current Congressional Budget Office director as part of an effort to repeal the Affordable Care Act.  

“We strongly object to any effort to politicize this important office,” the letter said. “Appointing a new CBO Director on the basis of ideology would fundamentally compromise the integrity of an institution that has served as a trusted scorekeeper.” The Democrats also called for current director Doug Elmendorf to be allowed to stay on.  

Tax Extenders Vote a Bipartisan Affair

Wyden was one of a bipartisan group opposing the tax extenders package. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

The final vote on the $41.6 billion tax extenders package was, like the cromnibus last week, a very bipartisan affair.  

Handing out mostly corporate tax breaks and adding to the debt to do it has proven to be a popular thing for Congress. Democrats including President Barack Obama spent the better part of 2013 trying to get Republicans to agree to more revenue as part of a budget deal, but are now signing on to deficit expansion for the sake of tax breaks that will expire, again, in two weeks.