Maxine Waters

Banks seek Congress’ help to block fintech path to ‘industrial’ charters
Industry group expects efforts to have bipartisan support on Hill

A bank industry group accuses financial technology firms like payment processor Square Inc. of trying to exploit a banking law loophole. (Courtesy Shutterstock)

A bank industry group is lobbying Congress to block financial technology firms, such as online lender Social Finance Inc. and payment processor Square Inc., from obtaining an obscure form of a state bank charter that would let them operate nationally with little federal supervision.

The Independent Community Bankers of America last week distributed a policy paper around Washington calling for an immediate moratorium on providing federal deposit insurance to industrial loan companies, or ILCs, which are chartered by only a few states — most notably Utah.

New York man faces trial for threat against Rep. Maxine Waters
Date of threatening call to her district office coincides with heightened criticism of Waters among the far-right

A central New York man is accused of calling the district office of California Democratic Rep. Maxine Waters and making racist and threatening remarks last summer. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

A man is expected to go to trial this week for calling the district office of Rep. Maxine Waters, D-Calif., and making racist and violent threats, according to local reports and court documents. 

In July 2018, Stephen Taubert, who lives in central New York, allegedly threatened to kill Waters using offensive language and racial slurs, including the n-word, Syracuse.com reported.

Fintech industry pursues clarity on ‘token’ regulation
Advocates are finding a sympathetic ear in Congress

Rep. Warren Davidson, R-Ohio, is planning to reintroduce with Rep. Darren Soto, D-Fla., legislation that would further define the term “digital token.” (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Financial technology advocates are seeking an answer from regulators on when things like digital tokens should be deemed to be securities, and they’re gaining a sympathetic ear in Congress.

Further clarity from regulators would encourage more U.S. growth in digital assets, the advocates say.

Democrats hammer CFPB head for being soft on lenders
Democrats grilled Director Kathy Kraninger and GOP lawmakers for supporting recent agency changes

Kathy Kraninger, director of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, is seen before testifying at a House Financial Services Committee hearing in the Rayburn Building on March 7. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

House Democrats sharply criticized on Thursday the head of America’s consumer finance watchdog for decisions Republicans say are entirely under her purview.

In the first Consumer Financial Protection Bureau oversight hearing, Financial Services Democrats repeatedly hammered Director Kathy Kraninger and GOP lawmakers for supporting recent changes at the agency.

Unpacking the Democrats’ jam-packed primary
The party begins its presidential primary season with less than ideal atmospherics

Former Vice President Joe Biden may be pulling ahead of the pack, but the Democratic field for president has a very, very long tail, Winston writes. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

OPINION — Congressional infighting. Internal clashes over policy. Primary threats. A candidate field the size of a small village and a set of party rules that may or may not yield a fair process. The Democrats’ 2020 presidential primary season has officially begun.

It may end up a three-ring circus of unhappy losers and their equally unhappy supporters or an equitable winnowing of one the biggest fields of presidential candidates in modern history. Whether the process works and is seen as fair to all will be crucial to ensuring a party unified behind its eventual nominee. That’s where it gets complicated for the Democrats.

‘Domestic terrorist’ planned to target Democrats, prosecutors say
Pelosi, Schumer among several lawmakers on U.S. Coast Guard lieutenant’s list

Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Minority Leader Charles E. Schumer were among several Democrats targeted for attack by a U.S. Coast Guard lieutenant, federal prosecutors said Wednesday. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

A U.S. Coast Guard lieutenant assigned to the headquarters in Washington “is a domestic terrorist” whose potential victims included numerous Democratic members of Congress, federal prosecutors said in a court filing.

A federal search of Christopher Hasson’s basement apartment in Silver Spring, Maryland, found 15 firearms and more than 1,000 rounds of ammunition, as well as drugs he illegally possessed, prosecutors told a judge Tuesday in a bid to keep him in custody pending a trial.

Not OkCupid: Staffers urged to tell sweethearts to skip the Capitol Hill deliveries
Otherwise, Capitol Police will be peeking at notes from your sweetie ... and they will probably be late

Security procedures might squash Valentine’s Day treats for staffers. (Photo By Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

It’s a well-known fact of life on Capitol Hill: It’s nearly impossible to get packages delivered in a timely manner. That includes Valentine’s Day.

Senate staffers are being urged to tell their sweethearts to skip romantic gestures that include deliveries to congressional office buildings this week.

The lobbyists: Roll Call’s people to watch in 2019
Are they worried the new Congress will make war on K Street? Do they look worried?

Michael Williams, a longtime banking and finance policy lobbyist, aims to bridge the divide between progressives and his clients. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

President Donald Trump looms large on almost every important issue, but it won’t be all about him for some individuals on Roll Call’s list of People to Watch in 2019. 

The financial sector will be learning to survive a less business-friendly environment in the House, and a longtime Democratic lobbyist is well-positioned to lend a hand.

Housing finance agency confirmation hearing could involve dueling mortgage plans
The Senate Banking hearing could show the likely direction of efforts to overhaul agencies that are huge players in the national mortgage market

Ranking member Sen. Sherrod Brown, D-Ohio, left, and Sen. Jack Reed, D-R.I., attend a Senate Banking Committee hearing in Dirksen Building titled “Oversight of the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission,” on December 11, 2018. Jay Clayton, chairman of the Securities and Exchange Commission, testified. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

The Trump administration’s still undisclosed plans to end the federal conservatorship of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac will be a focus of upcoming confirmation hearings for the nominee of the federal agency overseeing the two government sponsored enterprises.

Democrats such as Senate Banking ranking member Sherrod Brown, D-Ohio, have said they’re concerned about the suitability of Mark Calabria, the nominee to run the Federal Housing Finance Agency. The committee hasn’t said when it will hold a hearing on Calabria’s nomination.

Dr. Jekyll, Mr. State of the Union
Trump will speak of unity and togetherness. So nice, right?

At last year’s State of the Union, the president spoke of “one American family.” It wasn’t long before that heartwarming message went up in a puff of Twitter smoke, Murphy writes. (Win McNamee/Getty Images file photo)

OPINION — I love a tradition more than anybody, but the modern State of the Union address, which President Trump will deliver again Tuesday night, has descended into the most ridiculous annual hour and a half of nonsense that the country has to endure other than the Super Bowl. Can somebody please put America out of this misery?

The idea of an American president briefing Congress was originally such a practical necessity that it was codified in the Constitution. Without modern communications and with travel into and out of the capital difficult, the Founding Fathers correctly decided that the president should communicate regularly with the representatives of the states about the government they were all a part of.