Financial Services

Proposed foreign investment scrutiny adds to fintech deal risk
New rules would expand the types of transactions that come under CFIUS jurisdiction

New foreign investment rules proposed by the Treasury Department are compounding regulatory risks for mergers and acquisitions in the global fintech market. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

New foreign investment rules proposed by the U.S. Treasury Department are compounding regulatory risks for mergers and acquisitions in the global financial technology market, analysts say.

The proposed rules, which are expected to be finalized and in force by early 2020, expand the types of transactions that come under the jurisdiction of the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States, a Treasury-led interagency panel that probes national security issues in cross-border deals.

Road ahead: Public impeachment hearings begin
Senate set to confirm new Homeland Security secretary

The first open impeachment hearings in over 20 years begin on Wednesday. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

The public phase of the House impeachment inquiry begins this week, with three witnesses set to air concerns Wednesday and Friday that President Donald Trump attempted to tie Ukrainian military aid to an investigation of former Vice President Joe Biden, a potential Democratic rival in 2020.

Much of the attention on Capitol Hill will be focused on the House Intelligence Committee as it opens up to televised questioning and testimony an investigation that so far had been conducted in a secure closed-door facility in the basement of the Capitol.

Fintech Beat explains how open banking is poised to revolutionize financial services
Open Banking 101, Ep. 28

Open banking is shaking up financial experiences for customers across the globe (iStock).

Open banking is set to shake up financial experiences for customers across the globe, enabling customers to allow third parties to access financial information needed to develop new apps and services. Fintech Beat sits down with the head of policy at Plaid, a unicorn fintech sitting in the middle of the revolution, to discuss the process of information sharing and how regulation shapes it.

Facebook, other social media sites pressured to protect census
Members of Congress are pushing social media companies like Facebook to protect the census from disinformation

Mark Zuckerberg, CEO of Facebook, arrives to testify during the House Financial Services hearing on Oct. 23, 2019. Members of Congress are pushing social media companies like Facebook to protect the census from disinformation. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Members of Congress are increasing pressure on social media companies to protect next year’s census from disinformation online, concerned that foreign governments and internet trolls could disrupt the 2020 enumeration.

The latest push comes in a letter the Congressional Asian-Pacific American Caucus sent Thursday to Facebook Chief Operating Officer Sheryl Sandberg, asking her to speak with group members about steps to both promote the census and “combat interference and disinformation on its platform.” Russia or another country may try to push the census off course, they say, and Facebook and other companies should be prepared.

Libra’s regulatory hurdles appear taller after House hearing
Still to be decided: How the cryptocurrency would be regulated

Libra, known as a stablecoin, would be backed by a basket of dollars, euros and other traditional currencies called the Libra Reserve. (iStock)

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg provided only a few additional details about the company’s proposed cryptocurrency to a House Financial Services Committee on Oct. 23 that generally didn’t like what it heard. 

Zuckerberg said Facebook wouldn’t proceed with the proposed Libra until it had satisfied regulators’ concerns. That pledge and the harsh criticism from lawmakers on both sides the aisle appears to narrow, if not eliminate, the company’s path to approval, at least for a project as sweepingly ambitious as Libra is.

Parker Poling’s job: Help win back the House for Republicans
As NRCC executive director she’s tasked with helping GOP pick up 19 seats needed to take back speaker’s gavel

NRCC executive director Parker Poling has tried to increase the committee’s outreach to House Republicans who don’t usually need help from the party’s campaign arm. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

It was 2015 and Parker Poling was going all out to persuade fellow Republicans to support a top priority of President Barack Obama, a Democrat.

That sounds improbable, but at the time she was chief of staff to North Carolina Rep. Patrick T. McHenry, who was the chief deputy whip for the GOP majority. Republican leaders were trying to persuade skeptical lawmakers to give Obama fast-track authority to negotiate trade deals.

House Democrats adopt rules for public impeachment proceedings
Procedures set up public hearings in Intelligence panel, deliberations on articles in Judiciary

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi announces the results of the vote on a resolution outlining rules for the next phase of the impeachment inquiry into President Donald Trump on Thursday. (Erin Schaff/The New York Times/Pool)

House Democrats adopted a resolution Thursday adopting procedures that will govern the public portion of their impeachment inquiry into President Donald Trump, but no Republicans joined them in supporting the measure despite requesting the probe be conducted transparently. 

In a rare move for the speaker showing the seriousness of the vote, Nancy Pelosi presided over the chamber as the House adopted the resolution, 232-196. 

Nunes to move from supporting to leading role in Trump impeachment defense
Top Republican on Intelligence panel will be in spotlight during public hearings after taking back seat in closed depositions

House Intelligence ranking member Devin Nunes leaves a closed-door deposition related to the House’s impeachment inquiry on Oct. 16. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

House Intelligence ranking member Devin Nunes will soon shift from the passenger to the driver’s seat in the Republican defense of President Donald Trump as the House enters the public hearing portion of its impeachment inquiry next month.

Nunes, a nine-term California Republican who’s developed a distaste for the media in recent years as he’s become a staunch defender of the president, has taken a low-key role in the impeachment inquiry compared to House Oversight ranking member Jim Jordan, a Trump ally who is more friendly with the press.

Maxine Waters said Freeman was on her side. Andy Barr said so too
CQ Roll Call called the CEO of the Kentucky business

Barr prevailed as he and Financial Services Chairwoman Maxine Waters sparred over the views of a business in his district. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

The House Financial Services Committee has been mired in debate for two days over China and reauthorization of the Export-Import Bank, an agency that supports U.S. exporters by helping finance deals with foreign buyers.

This past summer, Republicans said they had a deal with Chairwoman Maxine Waters, D-Calif., to include provisions in the reauthorization bill that would restrict its ability to finance transactions with Chinese state-owned enterprises. But labor-backed Democrats, led by Rep. Denny Heck of Washington, balked, saying it would unduly restrict big exporters like Boeing Co.

Democrats seize advantages in proposed impeachment rules
House Republicans raising complaints ahead of vote

House Intelligence Chairman Adam Schiff, D-Calf., left, and Judiciary Chairman Jerrold Nadler, D-N.Y., would get significant power over public impeachment hearings under the Democrats’ proposed rules. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

House Democrats dealt themselves several advantages inside the rules for the public portion of the impeachment inquiry, which could have big implications for the speed and perceived fairness of the proceedings.

Under those rules, President Donald Trump’s lawyers couldn’t participate in the high-profile House Intelligence Committee hearings about the president’s dealings with Ukraine that are now central to the inquiry — and aren’t guaranteed a chance to later ask those witnesses questions or object to their testimony.