Financial Services

Rep. Rashida Tlaib renews calls for impeachment, but Democratic leadership hesitates
The Democratic Caucus will have a conference call on Monday to discuss next steps

Rep. Rashida Tlaib, D-Mich., attends a House Financial Services Committee organizational meeting in Rayburn Building on January 30, 2019. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Rep. Rashida Tlaib renewed her calls to impeach President Donald Trump on Thursday in light of new revelations about the president’s potentially criminal efforts to impede the special counsel’s investigation into his campaign.

“It’s not only up to Congress to hold Trump accountable, it’s our job to do so,” the progressive first-term congresswoman said in a tweet. 

House Democrats press on with investigations after Mueller report release
They’re dissatisfied with how much information was redacted from special counsel’s report

Rep. Adam B. Schiff, chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, still wants “comprehensive testimony from Special Counsel Robert S. Mueller’s Russia investigation. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

President Donald Trump might be claiming vindication with the release of special counsel Robert S. Mueller III’s Russia report, but House Democrats are moving forward with their investigations of him and people in his orbit.

Democrats quickly expressed their dissatisfaction with how much information Attorney General William Barr redacted from the report released Thursday.

Trump-Russia collusion: What the Mueller report says — and doesn’t say
Mueller found ‘evidence of numerous links’ between campaign and Russians but not enough to support conspiracy

Pages of special counsel Robert Mueller's report on Russian interference in the 2016 election, which was printed out by staff in the House Judiciary Committee's hearing room on Thursday. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Special Counsel Robert S. Mueller III uncovered “evidence of numerous links” between Donald Trump campaign officials and individuals with or claiming ties to the Russian government, according to a redacted version of his final report released by the Justice Department on Thursday.

But Mueller declined to charge any of those campaign officials under conspiracy, coordination, or campaign finance laws for their contacts with Russians, because the evidence didn’t reach a prosecutable threshold.

Barr says he has no problem with Mueller testifying before Congress
Pelosi and Schumer call for special counsel to appear before House and Senate

Attorney General William Barr testifies before a House Appropriations subcommittee on the Justice Department’s fiscal 2020 budget request on April 9. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Attorney General William Barr said Thursday he had no problem with special counsel Robert S. Mueller III testifying before Congress about his investigation into Russian meddling in the 2016 election or possible collusion with the Trump campaign.

“I have no objection to Bob Mueller personally testifying,” the attorney said at a news conference before the release of Mueller’s 400-page report.

CFPB to focus on protecting consumers, not enforcing laws on financial institutions
New agency Director Kathy Kraninger gave her first public speech as director at the Bipartisan Policy Center

Kathy Kraninger, director of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, prepares to testify at a House Financial Services Committee hearing on March 7, 2019. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

In her first public speech as director of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, Kathy Kraninger said the agency would focus on supervising and working with financial institutions on protecting consumers, rather than enforcing laws against them.

Kraninger announced Wednesday that the CFPB would soon propose rules to update one of the nation’s older consumer protection statutes, which prohibits abusive practices from debt collectors. One proposal would be a clear limit on the number of phone calls per week debt collectors could make.

A blockchain bill, backed by industry, may tie SEC’s hands
The bill would provide a safe harbor from federal securities regulations for digital currencies and other blockchain-based products

Rep. Warren Davidson, R-Ohio, leaves the House Republican Conference meeting at the Capitol Hill Club in Washington on Wednesday morning, June 13, 2018. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Even as the nation’s infant blockchain industry lines up in support of a new bipartisan bill to exempt digital tokens from Securities and Exchange Commission oversight, others warn about the dangers of Congress making the situation worse.

The bill from Reps. Warren Davidson, an Ohio Republican, and Darren Soto, a Florida Democrat, would provide a safe harbor from federal securities regulations for digital currencies and other blockchain-based products. But outside of the young sector’s backers, some worry that the bill goes too far in its current form.

Ky. Rep. says Ocasio-Cortez tweet is uncivil and puts coal mine tour in doubt
Rep. Andy Barr asked her to educate coal miners about the Green New Deal

Rep. Andy Barr, R-Ky., addressed a letter to the office of Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez about civility this week. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

The Kentucky congressman who invited Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez to tour a coal mine in his district appeared to rescind the invitation this week after she tweeted a critique of fellow Republican Rep. Dan Crenshaw.

Ocasio-Cortez acted uncivilly when she criticized Crenshaw, Rep. Andy Barr said Monday.

Congress might finally help the IRS trade in its old clunkers for newer computers
Updates to the agency’s systems could provide new features and web-based solutions to taxpayers

IRS Commissioner Charles P. Rettig testifies during a House Appropriations Subcommittee on Financial Services and General Government hearing in Rayburn Building on the IRS’s budget request for Fiscal Year 2020 on Tuesday, April 9, 2019. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

IRS Commissioner Charles P. Rettig likes to compare the IRS’ past-their-prime computer systems to an aging car. In the case of this clunker, he puts the repair bill at somewhere between $2.3 billion and $2.7 billion.

That’s the cost of the IRS’ six-year modernization plan, intended to make dealing with the agency more like banking online, a goal it has attempted, and missed, in the past.

Photos of the Week: Hot dishes, tulips and high fives
The week of April 12 as captured by Roll Call’s photographers

Tulips bloom on the West Front of the Capitol on Monday. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Congress is heading out of town for its two-week April recess, but members had an eventful week before they hit the road. 

Spring entered full bloom as Minnesota members enjoyed delicious hotdishes during their annual cooking competition, and Democrats pow-wowed in Leesburg, Virginia, for their retreat — with some celebrity guests.

Ocasio-Cortez still popular in district despite being unfavorable nationally
New York Dem’s favorability ratings in own district track with party leaders Schumer, Pelosi

Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, D-N.Y., attends a House Financial Services Committee hearing titled "Putting Consumers First? A Semi-Annual Review of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau," in Rayburn Building on Thursday, March 7, 2019. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Most people in this country either don’t like her or just don’t know enough about her, but Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez remains popular among her home constituency in New York’s 14th District.

Fifty-two percent of the freshman congresswoman’s registered constituents in The Bronx and the north-central portion of Queens view her favorably, compared to 33 percent who view her unfavorably, according to a new poll from the Sienna College Research Institute released Wednesday.