Oversight

• SENATE FINANCE COMMITTEE/HOUSE WAYS AND MEANS COMMITTEE (09/10/08): — Senate Finance Committee Chairman Max BaucusMax BaucusOPINION | On Trump-Russia probe, don’t underestimate Sen. Chuck Grassley Lawmakers: Leave advertising tax break alone GOP: FBI firing won't slow agenda MORE (D-Mont.) and ranking member Chuck GrassleyChuck GrassleyTrump turns up heat on AG Sessions over recusal Overnight Cybersecurity: Senate Judiciary reportedly drops Manafort subpoena | Kushner meets with House Intel | House passes Russia sanctions deal | What to watch at 'hacker summer camp' Manafort agrees to speak with investigators after subpoena 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 KerrySenators who have felt McCain's wrath talk of their respect for him Dems see huge field emerging to take on Trump Budowsky: Dems need council of war MORE (D-Mass.), Barbara BoxerBarbara BoxerTime is now to address infrastructure needs Tom Steyer testing waters for Calif. gubernatorial bid Another day, another dollar for retirement advice rip-offs MORE (D-Calif.), Chris Dodd (D-Conn.), Sheldon WhitehouseSheldon WhitehouseOvernight Energy: House passes Russia sanctions deal with oil, gas fix The Hill's 12:30 Report Senate Dems launch talkathon ahead of ObamaCare repeal vote MORE (D-R.I.), Hillary Rodham Clinton (D-N.Y.), Bernie SandersBernie SandersOvernight Healthcare: Senate votes to begin ObamaCare repeal debate | McCain returns to vote | GOP floats scaled-down healthcare bill OPINION | Healthcare vote a political death wish for GOP in 2018 Senate parliamentarian: More parts of ObamaCare repeal will need 60 votes 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.