Sherrod Brown

FHFA head sees plan this year to change Fannie, Freddie status
Mark Calabria also wants Congress to act

Mortgage giants Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac have been under federal control since they accepted bailouts in 2008 during the housing market collapse. (Douglas Graham/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Federal Housing Finance Agency Director Mark Calabria said he hopes to have a roadmap for ending the federal conservatorship of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac by the end of the year.

Speaking at a National Association of Realtors event Tuesday, Calabria said it was his job as FHFA director to develop a plan for recapitalizing and releasing the government-sponsored entities, or GSEs. The two mortgage giants have been under federal control since they accepted bailouts in 2008 in the wake of the housing market collapse.

These Senate Democrats want to ban stock trading by members of Congress
Sens. Brown and Merkley introduce legislation last week to prohibit trading in most cases

Sens. Jeff Merkley, D-Ore., left, and Sherrod Brown, D-Ohio, want to ban stock trading by members of Congress in most cases. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Two Democratic senators want to prevent a recurrence of ethically dubious stock trades by members of Congress by banning them altogether.

Sens. Jeff Merkley of Oregon and Sherrod Brown of Ohio want to bar lawmakers and senior aides from buying and selling individual securities. The reality is that many members of the House and Senate do own and trade stock in publicly-traded companies.

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.

Has the longtime swing state of Ohio stopped swinging?
Democrats may struggle to reverse Buckeye State’s recent turn to the right

A woman holds her voting sticker in her hand after casting her ballot in Leetonia, Ohio, on Election Day 2016. President Donald Trump defeated Hillary Clinton by 8 points to pick up the state’s 18 electoral votes . (Ty Wright/Getty Images file photo)

When it comes to presidential elections, no one picks ’em like Ohio.

Going back to 1896, the Buckeye State has backed the winning candidate in all but two elections — the best record for any state in recent history. John F. Kennedy in 1960 was the last person to win the White House without winning Ohio.

More Chinese fentanyl may stay out of the US under a new bipartisan bill
Another bipartisan proposal would help physicians learn more about a patient’s substance abuse history.

Sen. Tom Cotton, R-Ark., arrives in the Capitol for the weekly Senate luncheons on Tuesday, March 5, 2019. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Calls to address the opioid crisis resumed Thursday as lawmakers released a bill that aims to curb the flow of illegal opioids into the United States and another to help physicians learn more about a patient’s substance abuse history.

The separate actions by a bipartisan group of senators and another of House members are drawing fresh attention to the overdose crisis, which is a concern for both parties even though Congress cleared an opioids law just last year. One of the bills, a Senate measure, stands a good chance of becoming law, said co-sponsor Senate Minority Leader Charles E. Schumer.

3 Takeaways: Experts say ‘Beto’ could beat Trump — if he can get that far
‘You pronounced it incorrectly: It’s Robert Francis,’ WH spox says dismissively of O’Rourke

Beto O’Rourke joins Willie Nelson on stage in Austin during his failed bid for Senate in 2018. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

President Donald Trump has mostly remained silent about the ever-growing list of candidates who have joined the Democratic race for the party’s 2020 nomination to face him. But that’s not the case with Beto O’Rourke, the former Texas congressman who threw his hat in the ring late Wednesday.

Unlike California Sen. Kamala Harris or former Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper or Washington Gov. Jay Inslee or Minnesota Sen. Amy Klobuchar, the politician known colloquially as “Beto” seems to have gotten under the president’s skin — or at least gotten Trump’s attention.

Trump shifts expectations on North Korea nuclear deal, again
‘We’ll let you know in about a year,’ POTUS says of reported missile test facility rebuild

President Donald Trump again expressed frustration with North Korea over alleged work on a missile test facility, violating a promise he says Kim Jong Un made during their first summit. (Win McNamee/Getty Images)

President Donald Trump on Thursday again downgraded expectations for a nuclear disarmament deal with North Korea, saying it could be a year before U.S. officials know if Kim Jong Un is serious about shutting down his weapons programs.

White House officials have been scrambling to respond to a media report that Kim is rebuilding a missile testing facility, a move that contradicts his pledge to hold off on nuclear and missile tests while engaged with the Trump administration about giving up that program and his nuclear weapons.

Sen. Sherrod Brown says he isn’t running for president
Ohio Democrat says he will continue ‘calling out Donald Trump and his phony populism’

Sen. Sherrod Brown, D-Ohio, speaks with reporters in the Capitol after the Senate vote to reopen the government on Monday, Jan. 22, 2018. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Ohio Sen. Sherrod Brown won’t be joining several of his Democratic Senate colleagues who are seeking the White House in 2020. 

“The best place for me to continue fighting for the people of Ohio and for the dignity of all workers across the country is in the U.S. Senate,” Brown said in a statement Thursday. “So, I will not run for President in 2020.”

A half-century after Selma, the ‘black friend’ defense is going strong
Too many Americans, like the Oscar-winning ‘Green Book,’ think racism can be solved by making an ‘exceptional’ black friend — as long as the family doesn’t move in next door

Rep. John Lewis stands on the Edmund Pettus Bridge in Selma, Ala. The specter of partisan rancor — fueled in part by Mark Meadows’ performance at the Cohen hearings — hangs over this year’s commemoration of Bloody Sunday, Curtis writes. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

OPINION — On a “Meet the Press” appearance a few weeks ago, Ohio Democrat and maybe presidential hopeful Sen. Sherrod Brown was commenting on that slam-bang start to Black History Month, Virginia officials in blackface, when he said, “This country hasn’t dealt well with issues of race. We have a president who’s a racist.” That led host Chuck Todd to ask Brown if he believed Donald Trump was a racist “in his heart,” to which Brown answered, “Well, I don’t know what ‘in his heart’ means.”

Exactly.

Democrats vow Judge Chad Readler will be 2020 issue
Murray and Schumer among Democrats blasting his role in targeting health care law

The Senate confirmed Chad A. Readler, President Trump’s nominee to be U.S. Circuit Judge for the 6th Circuit, on Wednesday. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Democrats say they will remember the Wednesday afternoon vote to confirm Chad A. Readler, one of President Donald Trump’s most contentious judicial nominees.

The 52-47 vote to install Readler on the 6th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Ohio could easily be lumped in with many other Trump choices pushed through the Senate by Majority Leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky.