Banking & Finance

Senate Narrowly Votes to Reject IRS Donor Disclosure Rule

Sen. Jon Tester, D-Mont., has been a proponent of disclosure requirements for nonprofits spending money on elections. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

The Senate voted 50-49 to repeal a rule that shields donors to many nonprofit groups from disclosure to IRS officials.

The dramatic vote was tied at 49-49 with 49 Democrats voting in favor and 49 Republicans against, when Sen. Susan Collins, R-Maine, cast the deciding vote to repeal the rule. Sen. Thom Tillis, R-N.C. was absent.

Baseball Legend Larry Doby Tapped for Congressional Gold Medal
Civil rights icon broke color barrier in the American League

Larry Doby in his days with the Chicago White Sox. (National Baseball Hall of Fame)

Baseball Hall of Famer Larry Doby is getting the Congressional Gold Medal.

The move drew praise from lawmakers not only from his home state of New Jersey, but also from Ohio, where Doby debuted and starred for the Cleveland Indians. After the Senate passed legislation last week to authorize the award, the next step is a signature from President Donald Trump.

Kudlow to Democrats: If You Win, Forget About Raising Taxes
Trump’s top economic adviser says projected robust growth will bring down deficit

President Donald Trump speaks while flanked by Director of the National Economic Council Larry Kudlow during an event for American workers in the State Dining Room of the White House on Wednesday. (Mark Wilson/Getty Images)

President Donald Trump’s top economic adviser warned Democrats Thursday that he would fight any tax increase to reduce the deficit if they take control of the House in the midterm elections next Tuesday.

Larry Kudlow, director of the National Economic Council, said tax increases won’t be needed to curb red ink because the administration is counting on robust economic growth of at least 3 percent a year.

Blumenauer Sends Blunt Marijuana Blueprint to Democratic Leadership
Goal is to have Congress pass legislation by the end of 2019

Rep. Earl Blumenauer, D-Ore., wants Democrats to legalize marijuana if they take back the House majority. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Oregon Rep. Earl Blumenauer, one of Congress’s most vocal marijuana proponents, sent Democratic leadership a memo Wednesday outlining steps Congress should take to legalize the Schedule I drug.

“Congress is out of step with the American people and the states on cannabis,” Blumenauer wrote in the memo, citing polling showing that 69 percent of registered voters support legalizing marijuana. “We have an opportunity to correct course if Democrats win big in November.”

K Street Turns Its Lonely Eyes to Grassley
Republican holds the key to cascading possibilities, from Judiciary to Finance to Banking

Will Judiciary Chairman Charles Grassley, R-Iowa, make the leap to head the Finance Committee next year? (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Fresh off a divisive Supreme Court battle, Senate Judiciary Chairman Charles E. Grassley has a complicated decision to make next month that has the business world watching with keen interest: whether to make the jump over to the Finance Committee chairmanship in the 116th Congress.

“Ask me Nov. 7,” was all the Iowa Republican would say earlier this week on the topic. But the allure of returning to the helm of perhaps the most powerful committee in Congress, with jurisdiction over taxes, trade and health care policy, can’t be lost on Grassley, who was Finance chairman for part of 2001 and again from 2003 through 2006.

Congress Has a ‘Lame Duck’ Shot at Fixing Retirement Security
Legislation to help Americans save more for retirement is already moving forward

The months after an election aren’t exactly prime time for legislating. But with a bill long championed by Senate Finance leaders Orrin G. Hatch, right, and Ron Wyden nearly through the chamber and a similar measure moving in the House, Congress could buck the trend and act on retirement security, Conrad and Lockhart write. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

OPINION — As the midterms approach, the American public’s expectations of any productive policy coming out of Washington are near rock bottom. The postelection “lame duck” session, particularly in the current partisan atmosphere, would normally be a lost cause.

Leadership by a group of lawmakers, however, has given Congress a rare opportunity: bipartisan legislation that would improve the retirement security for millions of Americans.

Senators Cheer Trump Order on Election Meddling, but Want More Action
Democrats, especially, are skeptical of president’s commitment

Banking Chairman Michael D. Crapo and ranking Democrat Sherrod Brown have been holding a series of hearings on Russia sanctions. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Senators are pleased to see the Trump administration doing something about election interference, but they don’t think Wednesday’s executive order will be enough.

Some of the concern comes from the fact that even if federal agencies report evidence of Russian evidence to interfere in the 2018 midterms, President Donald Trump could still waive the imposition of sanctions.

Candidates Say ‘I Approve This Message’ Because of John McCain
It took a political odd couple to overhaul campaign finance in the early 2000s

Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., and Sen. Russ Feingold, D-Wis., laugh in 2009. The political odd couple pushed through a key campaign finance overhaul in the early 2000s.

Sen. John McCain ribbed then-Rep. Chris Shays about a nickname for the landmark campaign finance overhaul they were skippering through Congress in the early 2000s.

If the Supreme Court upheld the measure banning “soft money” corporate contributions to the political parties, then they would christen it McCain-Feingold after its chief Senate sponsors. And if the justices ruled against them, Shays recalled, McCain wanted no part.

Trump’s Controversial Pick for Banking Watchdog Clears First Hurdle
All eyes may be on Kavanaugh, but Kathy Kraninger nomination is kicking up dust too

Kathy Kraninger is one step closer to a floor vote on her nomination to lead the CFPB. (Alex Wong/Getty Images file photo)

The Senate Banking Committee advanced Thursday the controversial nomination of Kathy Kraninger to be director of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. The vote split on party lines, 13-12. 

The panel’s chairman, Michael D. Crapo of Idaho, said Kraninger was “well prepared” to lead the bureau, and that it’s no surprise her nomination is contentious because the CFPB was the most disputed aspect of the 2010 Dodd-Frank Act financial overhaul. 

Paul Manafort Convicted on Eight of 18 Federal Counts
Trump’s former campaign manager a key figure in Robert S. Mueller III’s Russia investigation

Paul Manafort, President Donald Trump’s former campaign chairman, faced bank fraud and tax evasion charges. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Paul Manafort, President Donald Trump’s former campaign chairman, was found guilty on eight counts of tax evasion and bank fraud, a jury in Virginia declared Tuesday.

Manafort faces up to 80 years in prison pending a sentencing hearing with Judge T.S. Ellis III.