Economy & Budget

Give Americans what they deserve: fairness in the financial system (Rep. Marcia Fudge)

As we rebuild America, we must ensure that Wall Street won't gamble again with our futures. I support the Restoring American Financial Stability Act because it includes commonsense reforms to hold Wall Street and the big banks accountable. This bill will end bailouts by ensuring taxpayers are never again on the hook for Wall Street's risky decisions and will rein in big banks and their big bonuses. It protects families' retirement funds, college savings, homes and businesses financial futures from unnecessary risk by lenders. It also safeguards the American people from territory lending abuses which resulted in millions of foreclosures over the past few years.

The American people deserve and want these reforms. Let's give Americans what they deserve--fairness in the financial system. 

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Interchange ammendment enables government price fixing for debit cards

Today, debit cards are one of America’s favorite ways to pay. Even in the economic slowdown, more consumers are pulling out plastic and, literally, leaving cash and checks behind. And there’s a compelling reason for this shift.   Debit cards are fast, convenient, secure, and provide timely access to available funds and the ability to track spending virtually real time.  And most banks offer debit cards to their customers with checking accounts at low or no additional cost.


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Liberal CBPP attack against Thune Tax Extender Amendment is patently false

The liberal Center on Budget and Policy Priorities (CBPP) has launched an attack against Senator Thune’s GOP tax extender alternative amendment that is plainly untrue.

According to the non-partisan Congressional Budget Office (CBO), Senator Thune’s GOP tax extender amendment cuts taxes by $26 billion, cuts spending by over $100 billion, and reduces the deficit by $68 billion.

Senator Thune’s amendment is a step in the right direction toward reducing spending, reducing taxes and reducing the deficit. This approach is a stark contrast to the Democrats’ tax extender bill, which increases spending $126 billion, includes over $70 billion in new taxes, and increases the deficit $79 billion over the next 10 years.

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Fair wages, retirement security really are the “high road”

Good heavens.  In The Hill yesterday, the so-called ‘Workforce Fairness Institute’ seemed to need a lot of words to play the same old broken record the anti-worker lobby has been playing for years: "Big Labor bosses… forced unionization… punishing small business… Big Labor bosses…."
 
Round and round it goes, no matter the issue, over and over again.  This time it is "high road contracts." Next issue we'll hear the same song.

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Thune amendment would shut down much of the federal government for final months of fiscal year

Senator John Thune has proposed legislation with an obvious surface appeal to those concerned about federal spending and deficits — to cancel 5 percent of appropriated funds for fiscal year 2010, as well as tens of billions of dollars of unspent funds from last year’s Recovery Act and other legislation. But his legislation would essentially shut down much of the federal government for the last two and a half months of this fiscal year (which ends September 30), threatening such basic services as providing Social Security checks, ensuring food safety, and inspecting mines.

The Thune legislation, which he has offered as an amendment (SA 4333) to pending jobs legislation, proposes rescissions (that is, cancellations) of previously appropriated funding available for fiscal year 2010. Specifically, he proposes to:

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Support small businesses (Rep. Mike Quigley)

Today, Congressman Quigley delivered the following speech on the house floor:

Mr. Speaker, I rise in strong support of HR 5297, the Small Business Lending Fund Act. This legislation will help the small businesses in my district, such as Al and Joe’s Deli, a family owned business in Franklin Park (with sub sandwiches to die for) that is looking to expand.

It will also save businesses such as National Plumbing and Heating Supply Company in Illinois which had to shut down after 60 years because banks ended its line of credit.

To respond to these problems I will vote to create a new $30 billion loan program to boost lending to small businesses so they can expand and create jobs.

I also co-sponsored an amendment that will include commercial real estate lending as small business lending. This will compliment regular lending efforts and help businesses like Al and Joe’s capitalize on existing property to expand and create new jobs.

I urge my colleagues to pass this critical legislation.


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Obama's trade opportunity (Rep. Linda Sanchez and Rep. George Miller)

On June 14, U.S. trade negotiators will meet in San Francisco with their counterparts from seven countries to negotiate what could become President Obama's first trade agreement -- the Trans-Pacific Partnership, or TPP. These talks provide an excellent opportunity for the President to deliver on his campaign commitments and break from the failed trade policies of the past. The President can deliver a new trade model for the 21st century that creates jobs, protects the environment, and ensures import safety.

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What budget? (Rep. Paul Broun)

Congressional Republicans received a late-night surprise on Saturday.  In a three page letter addressed to Republican and Democrat leaders, President Barack Obama requested Congress to quickly approve an additional $50 billion in “emergency” stimulus funds to help bail out state and local governments.  President Obama spent two thirds of the letter explaining the need to pass this “critical legislation.”  However, on the last page he switched gears and mentioned three times the need to “establish a fiscally sustainable budget path,” “discipline the budget process,” and “ensure a sustainable and responsible long-term budget.” I have just one question, Mr. President: what budget?

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Budgeting is basic (Rep. Mac Thornberry)

Budgeting is basic.  It is the first – and necessary – step to controlling spending.  It sets realistic targets for how much money is coming in and how much is going out.  It also makes it easier to prioritize spending.
       
Apparently, the majority in the house doesn’t think passing a budget is important.  Or necessary.  Or politically helpful to them.

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Making rating agencies liable for all of Wall Street’s wrongs is not right

Like reversing the epigram in T.S. Eliot’s “Murder in the Cathedral,” Congress’s last temptation in financial reform is to “do the wrong deed for the right reason.” The credit rating agency liability concepts in both the House and Senate financial reform bills are “wrong deeds” in this sense.

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