Oversight

• SENATE FINANCE COMMITTEE/HOUSE WAYS AND MEANS COMMITTEE (09/10/08): — Senate Finance Committee Chairman Max BaucusMax Sieben BaucusTop Lobbyists 2017: Hired Guns GOP tries to keep spotlight on taxes amid Mueller charges Clinton-Sanders tensions linger for Democrats MORE (D-Mont.) and ranking member Chuck GrassleyCharles (Chuck) Ernest GrassleySenators push mandatory sexual harassment training for members, staff Senate panel to hold hearing on bump stocks, background checks Senate panel to hold hearing on bump stocks MORE (R-Iowa), House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Charles Rangel (D-N.Y.), and House Financial Services Committee members Paul Kanjorski (D-Pa.) and Michael Capuano (D-Mass.) called for oversight of pension investments in hedge funds and private equity.

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The lawmakers said that greater federal guidance could prevent risky investment of pension money. They referred to a recent Government Accountability Office (GAO) report that found increasing levels of investment by private pension plans in hedge funds and private equity funds.

“It is crucial that we take great care as pensions invest more in hedge funds and private equity,” said Baucus.

• HOUSE EDUCATION AND LABOR COMMITTEE: (8/28/08)
— Chairman George Miller (D-Calif.) said his panel is opening an inquiry into allegations of financial misconduct by local union officials of the Service Employees International Union.

According to media reports, the president of SEIU’s second largest local union may have misdirected union funds to the benefit of his family members and other business associates.

“Our committee takes these reported allegations seriously and we plan to thoroughly review this matter,” he said.

• SENATE ENVIRONMENT AND PUBLIC WORKS COMMITTEE: (8/26/08) — Sens. John KerryJohn Forbes KerryKerry: Trump's rhetoric gave North Korea a reason to say 'Hey, we need a bomb' Russian hackers targeted top US generals and statesmen: report Trump officials to offer clarity on UN relief funding next week MORE (D-Mass.), Barbara BoxerBarbara BoxerFour more lawmakers say they’ve been sexually harassed by colleagues in Congress California Hispanics are the vanguard for a new political paradigm Trump riles Dems with pick for powerful EPA job MORE (D-Calif.), Chris Dodd (D-Conn.), Sheldon WhitehouseSheldon WhitehouseTech companies grilled over Russian election interference Hitting GOP, Dems pitch raising 401(k) caps Democrats double down on calls for Congress to protect Mueller MORE (D-R.I.), Hillary Rodham Clinton (D-N.Y.), Bernie SandersBernard (Bernie) SandersWorld leaders reach agreement on trade deal without United States: report Sanders on Brazile revelations: DNC needs ‘far more transparency’ Sen. Warren sold out the DNC MORE (I-Vt.) and Frank Lautenberg (D-N.J.) sent a letter to Interior Department Secretary Dirk Kempthorne, urging him to withdraw the recent proposed changes to the Endangered Species Act (ESA) regulations.

“The proposed changes are inconsistent with the letter and spirit of the ESA, contradicted by federal judicial precedent, and would reduce rather than strengthen protections for imperiled fish and wildlife,” the senators wrote.

The letter calls for a withdrawal of proposed changes that would signal the largest overhaul of the Endangered Species Act rules since 1986 and could dramatically weaken current U.S. protections for endangered plants and animals.