More sanctions for deadly fentanyl if bill becomes law
Over the course of a year, the U.S. Treasury Department has used the hammer of its sanctions powers to impose wide-ranging financial restrictions on Russia in response to its invasion of Ukraine, turning Russia into the most sanctioned country in the world.
Ohio senators introduce rail safety bill after fiery crash
A bipartisan group of U.S. senators has proposed legislation that would make railroads, like the one involved in last month’s fiery crash and toxic chemical release in Ohio, subject to a series of new federal safety regulations and financial consequences.
Bank CEOs questioned on consumer protections, social issues
The CEOs of the nation’s biggest banks returned to Capitol Hill for a second day Thursday, and Senate Democrats strongly urged them to do more to help and protect their customers, while Republicans questioned whether banks should weigh in on hot-button social issues.
Climate change a rising Fed concern as nominees face hearing
How far the Federal Reserve can go to compel banks to consider the consequences of climate change in their lending policies could take center stage at a Senate hearing Thursday on the nominations of Sarah Bloom Raskin and two economists to the Fed’s influential Board of Governors.
A potential Powell renomination for Fed faces some dissent
Resistance to the potential renomination of Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell intensified this week, with Sen. Elizabeth Warren becoming the first senator to publicly oppose Powell and many progressive groups pushing for some alternative leader at the Fed.
Groups worry about tapping COVID relief for infrastructure
Organizations representing long-term care facilities are urging lawmakers working on a bipartisan infrastructure plan to avoid dipping into COVID-relief funds to help pay for the roughly $600 billion in new spending sought for the public works buildout.
As prices rise at rapid pace, Fed chief seeks patience
For anyone worried about surging prices for everything from food and gas to airplane tickets and clothes, Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell’s message in two days of congressional hearings this week was straightforward: Just give it more time, and those price gains should slow, or even reverse.
Senators to Biden: Waive vaccine intellectual property rules
Ten liberal senators are urging President Joe Biden to back India and South Africa’s appeal to the World Trade Organization to temporarily relax intellectual property rules so coronavirus vaccines can be manufactured by nations that are struggling to inoculate their populations.
Fed to end relaxed capital requirements for large banks
The Federal Reserve says it will restore capital requirements for large banks that were relaxed as part of the Feds efforts to shore up the financial system during the early days of the pandemic. (AP Photo/Susan Walsh, Pool)WASHINGTON – The Federal Reserve says it will restore capital requirements for large banks that were relaxed as part of the Fed’s efforts to shore up the financial system during the early days of the pandemic. But the SLR, unlike other bank capital requirements, doesn't take risk into account. Bank lobbyists argue that without an extension of the exemption, large banks will be less likely to hold Treasury securities. “We are also confident that the thousands of community banks that are not subject to the SLR requirements would be happy to accept deposits that large banks may reject,” they said.
'We can do big things,' Schumer says as Senate approves aid
Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., leaves the chamber just after the Senate narrowly approved a $1.9 trillion COVID-19 relief bill, at the Capitol in Washington, Saturday, March 6, 2021. Senate passage sets up final congressional approval by the House next week so lawmakers can send it to President Joe Biden for his signature. Ad“Lessons learned: If we have unity, we can do big things,” Schumer told The Associated Press in an interview after the vote. The outcome “gives us optimism about doing more big things in the future — because it worked,” he said. He and Schumer spoke often as the Senate leader steered the pandemic aid to approval.
GOP's Josh Mandel joins race for open Senate seat in Ohio
FILEIn this file photo from Oct. 6, 2020, Jane Timken, the Chairwoman of the Ohio Republican Party, speaks at the Hamilton County Board of Elections during early voting in Norwood, Ohio. (AP Photo/Aaron Doster, File)COLUMBUS, Ohio – Republican Josh Mandel, a Marine veteran and former state treasurer, says he will make a third run for the U.S. Senate in Ohio, taking a pro-Trump message in a bid for the seat being vacated by the GOP’s Rob Portman. AdMandel abruptly abandoned his last Senate campaign in January 2018, citing unspecified health issues being experienced by his then-wife, Ilana. He personally backed her takeover of the state party four years ago from a state chair allied with then-Gov. He has about $4.3 million remaining in his Senate campaign account, and about $500,000 in a leadership PAC.
In Ohio, open Senate seat sparks debate on gender, diversity
An open Senate seat in Ohio has set off a round of jockeying among ambitious Democrats and a spirited debate over who is best poised to lead a party comeback in a one-time battleground that has been trending Republican. While Acton and Ryan are believed to be the furthest along in their deliberations, several politicians who are Black are also eyeing the seat. The group is working to recruit a Black candidate for the Senate seat, he said. AdStill, Ryan got a boost Saturday when Hillary Clinton, the party’s 2016 presidential nominee, declared on Twitter that she was “all in” for a Ryan Senate candidacy. For some Ohio Democrats the cautionary tale is 2018, when a group of female gubernatorial candidates all ceded their ambitions to former Obama administration consumer chief Richard Cordray, who lost the race.
GOP's Rep. Jim Jordan won't seek Portman's US Senate seat
Rob Portman, R-Ohio, speaks to members of the media outside a Senate Finance Committee hearing on Capitol Hill in Washington. Portman said Monday, Jan. 25 that he won't seek reelection and plans to end a career in federal government spanning more than three decades. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik, File)CINCINNATI – Republican U.S. Rep. Jim Jordan, a fiery Donald Trump supporter, won't run to succeed Ohio Sen. The former star college wrestler's style doesn't reflect that of Portman, a career establishment Republican with a reputation for bipartisanship. AdTrump rewarded Jordan, 56, for his steady support by giving him the Presidential Medal of Freedom before leaving office this month.
HUD nominee pledges action to prevent home loss in pandemic
(AP Photo/Susan Walsh, File)WASHINGTON – Housing secretary nominee Marcia Fudge told senators Thursday that she would take “extraordinary actions” to prevent people from losing their homes due to the coronavirus pandemic. Fudge championed homeownership as a classically American “ticket to the middle class” and endorsed federal financial assistance to expand the ranks of minority homeowners. And we are in extraordinary times,” said Fudge, speaking remotely from Cuyahoga Community College in Cleveland. Fudge also endorsed direct federal financial assistance to help prospective minority homeowners with the down payment on a mortgage. When Kennedy asked her directly whether she believed Republicans cared about Black Americans, Fudge tersely answered, “I do, some, yes.”Sen. Sherrod Brown, D-Ohio, defended Fudge.
GOP Ohio Sen. Portman not seeking reelection, cites gridlock
(AP Photo/Andrew Harnik, File)CINCINNATI – Ohio Sen. “Our country is very polarized,” Portman said, adding that former President Donald Trump did not help with the polarization. “Both in his words before the attack on the Capitol and in his actions afterward, President Trump bears some responsibility for what happened,” Portman said. “And right now the kind of candidate that’s going to come out of a Ohio Republican primary is not going to be that kind of candidate. “Yeah, sure, some people are mad at him,” said Ohio Republican strategist Ryan Stubenrauch.
Democrats ask ethics panel to investigate Sens. Cruz, Hawley
Thousands had gathered that day as Congress voted to formally certify President Joe Biden’s victory over Trump in November. Hawley and Cruz led objections in the Senate to Biden’s victory, despite the widespread recognition that the effort would fail. And both senators used their objections for political fundraising,” the Democratic senators said in their letter. Cruz helped force a vote on Biden's victory in Arizona, while Hawley helped force one on Biden's victory in Pennsylvania. “This latest effort is a flagrant abuse of the Senate ethics process and a flagrant attempt to exact partisan revenge."
Biden hails transportation nominee Buttigieg as 'new voice'
Mayor Pete Buttigieg, President-elect Joe Biden's nominee to be transportation secretary reacts to his nomination as Biden looks on during a news conference at The Queen theater in Wilmington, Del., Wednesday, Dec. 16, 2020. – President-elect Joe Biden has introduced his one-time Democratic primary rival Pete Buttigieg as his nominee for transportation secretary, saying the 38-year-old can be “a new voice" in the fight against economic inequality, institutional racism and climate change. Buttigieg, the former mayor of South Bend, Indiana, would be the first openly gay person confirmed by the Senate to a Cabinet position. Emanuel was mentioned as a potential candidate for several Biden Cabinet posts but drew strong backlash from progressives. Biden’s selection of Buttigieg for transportation secretary drew praise from LGBTQ rights groups.
Biden calls transportation nominee Buttigieg 'a new voice'
Mayor Pete Buttigieg, President-elect Joe Biden's nominee to be transportation secretary, speaks after Biden announced his nomination during a news conference at The Queen theater in Wilmington, Del., Wednesday, Dec. 16, 2020. – President-elect Joe Biden introduced onetime Democratic primary rival Pete Buttigieg on Wednesday as his nominee for transportation secretary, saying the 38-year-old can be “a new voice" in the fight against economic inequality, institutional racism and climate change. Buttigieg, the former mayor of South Bend, Indiana, would be the first openly gay person confirmed by the Senate to a Cabinet position. Emanuel was mentioned as a potential candidate for several Biden Cabinet posts but drew strong backlash from progressives. Biden’s selection of Buttigieg for transportation secretary drew praise from LGBTQ rights groups.
Biden's pick to head OMB brings experience, Twitter enemies
Some progressives, meanwhile, see Tanden's nomination as a test of whether the left will challenge Biden, who ran as a moderate, over funding for social programs. Sanders has not commented publicly on Tanden's nomination, but other liberal senators including Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts and Sherrod Brown of Ohio have expressed their support. Friends and allies say that the fuss over her online persona is a distraction from her credentials and deep experience with large-scale policy making. Tanden, 50, has said her values reflect personal experience with the government programs she would play a key role in supporting. The first wave of Republican criticism of Tanden mentioned none of her professional or personal experience, instead focusing on her aggressive Twitter hand.
Political fight brewing over Biden's WH budget chief nominee
– President-elect Joe Biden's pick to lead the Office of Management and Budget is quickly emerging as a political battle that could disrupt his efforts to swiftly fill out his administration. He called her “maybe (Biden's) worst nominee so far" and “radioactive.”Potential Budget Committee Chair Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., was less hostile, telling reporters, “Let's see what happens." But like all of Biden's nominees, Tanden has little margin for error as she faces confirmation in a closely divided Senate. At OMB, Tanden would be responsible for preparing Biden’s budget submission and would command several hundred budget analysts, economists and policy advisers with deep knowledge of the inner workings of the government. That would allow them to pass special budget legislation that could roll back Trump’s tax cuts, boost the Affordable Care Act and pursue other spending goals.
Many GOP lawmakers shrug off Statehouse mask-wearing rules
Twelve Arkansas lawmakers have tested positive for the virus over the past month, the second largest known outbreak in a state legislature. After at least four dozen Mississippi lawmakers tested positive in the largest outbreak in a legislature, where masks were encouraged but not required for lawmakers. Twelve Arkansas lawmakers have tested positive for the virus over the past month, the second largest known outbreak in a state legislature. But legislative leaders acknowledged that individual legislators couldn't be forced to wear masks. House Republicans in Ohio have also rejected efforts to require that lawmakers wear masks at the Statehouse, and a statewide mask mandate issued by GOP Gov.
Mnuchin denies trying to hinder incoming administration
Mnuchin on Friday, Nov. 20 denied that he is trying to limit the choices President-elect Joe Biden will have to promote an economic recovery by ending several emergency loan programs being run by the Federal Reserve. “We're not trying to hinder anything,” Mnuchin said in a CNBC interview. “For months, they have refused to take the steps necessary to support workers, small businesses and restaurants. Private economists argued that Mnuchin's decision to end five of the emergency loan facilities represents an economic risk. In public remarks Tuesday, Powell made clear that he hoped that the loan programs would remain in effect for the foreseeable future.
Sen. Grassley, 87, says he tested positive for coronavirus
(Kevin Dietsch/Pool via AP)WASHINGTON – Iowa Sen. Chuck Grassley, the longest-serving Republican senator and third in the line of presidential succession, said he has tested positive for the coronavirus. Grassley, 87, had announced earlier Tuesday that he was quarantining after being exposed to the virus and was waiting for test results. At least three members of the House have tested positive in the last week, and several more are quarantining. Republican Sen. Rick Scott of Florida was also absent as he is in quarantine after an exposure. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and Senate Democratic leader Chuck Schumer also took their masks off when speaking on the Senate floor Monday.
Hardening partisan map steepens Democrats' climb in Senate
Yet as states increasingly sort themselves along hardening partisan lines, it's complicating Democrats' drive to win the majority and keep it. Thanks to this month's elections, Democrats will own all four Senate seats from purple Arizona and increasingly blue Colorado next year. In addition, three current Senate Democrats are from states that President Donald Trump carried easily this month despite losing to Democrat Joe Biden. “The problem is a Democratic Senate majority runs through red states, and that is an inherent structural difficulty." In the 2022 elections, Democrats will defend Senate 13 seats — all from states Biden won.
The Latest: Trump predicts he'll 'so easily' win Michigan
Beaver County is home to the kind of blue-collar voters who have abandoned the Democratic Party in recent years and helped deliver Republican Donald Trump a win in 2016. President Donald Trump won all five states in 2016. The region was once a major hub of anthracite coal mining, and the county backed Republican Donald Trump in 2016 after previously supporting Democrat Barack Obama. Special counsel Robert Mueller found multiple links between the Russian government and the Trump campaign, but ultimately did not establish that the Trump campaign conspired with Russia to interfere in the election. ___9:05 a.m.Joe Biden is defending Dr. Anthony Fauci after President Donald Trump suggested he’d dismiss the nation’s top infectious disease expert after Election Day.
Jill Biden, Doug Emhoff team up in final campaign stretch
Jill Biden, left, wife of Democratic presidential candidate former vice president Joe Biden, and Doug Emhoff, center, husband of Democratic vice presidential candidate Sen. Kamala Harris, D-Calif., greet supporters in passing cars during a campaign stop, Wednesday, Sept. 16, 2020, in Manchester, N.H. (AP Photo/Steven Senne)CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa – Jill Biden and Doug Emhoff are both from New Jersey. And now they're building a team as the better halves of the Joe Biden campaign. “Don’t you think the American people love seeing people in government who respect one another and are friends with one another?” Jill Biden said as she campaigned in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, on Saturday. Jill Biden has become one of the campaign’s main surrogates for Latino outreach and, as a teacher herself, often holds events focused on teachers and education. Jill Biden has made sure to call and check in on him after a busy week.
US senators demand action after AP exposes palm oil abuses
“The federal government needs to enforce this law and investigate all instances of forced labor in supply chains and block imports made with forced labor from coming into the U.S.,” said Brown, an Ohio Democrat. Palm oil can be found in roughly half the products on supermarket shelves, from Dove soap and Oreo cookies to instant noodles and hand sanitizer. They described various forms of exploitation, with the most serious abuses including child labor, outright slavery and allegations of rape. “With all the technology and tracking capabilities we have now, companies can identify the sources of all the components that go into their products,” Brown said. Though labor abuses in the palm oil industry have been an open secret for years, most companies and financial institutions with links to it told The AP they do not tolerate human rights abuses and investigate allegations raised about companies that feed into their supply chains, taking appropriate action when warranted.
Trump lashes out at Goodyear about its policy on `MAGA' wear
Goodyear responded to Trump with a tweet of its own, saying that the company was the focus of a conversation that created some misconceptions about our policies and our company. Well see what happens," Trump said, when asked about Goodyear in a evening press briefing. White House press secretary Kayleigh McEnany said Goodyear should further clarify its policy, and she said support for Blue Lives Matter is an equity issue. If you can wear a Black Lives Matter hat, guess what, you should be able to wear a Blue Lives Matter one, too," she said. Theyre using their power over these people, and these people want to wear whatever it is that were talking about," Trump said of Goodyear's leadership.
Trump admin opposes extending enhanced unemployment benefit
The payments are set to expire July 31, and Democrats have pushed a plan that would extend the enhanced benefit through January. Unemployment benefits will still be needed in August and beyond, but the circumstances that originally called for the $600 plus-up will have changed,'' Scalia said. Democrats challenged that view, saying the unemployment rate is likely to remain at historically high levels through the summer at least. Grassley said he hears from Iowans every day who wonder why they are earning less than others they know who are getting unemployment benefits. With the unemployment rate expected to remain in the mid-teens through July, lawmakers will face pressure to compromise on some form of renewed benefits for the jobless.
Senate confirms special watchdog for pandemic recovery
The Senate confirmed Brian Miller, a lawyer in the White House counsels office, on a 51-40 vote Tuesday. Democrats voted against Miller after questioning his independence from President Donald Trump, who nominated him for the post. Responding to those concerns, Miller told the Senate Banking Committee during his confirmation hearing last month that independence is vital for the special inspector general for pandemic recovery. Miller has worked at the Justice Department and was inspector general for nearly a decade at the General Services Administration, which oversees thousands of federal contracts. The Pandemic Recovery Accountability Committee, a committee of inspectors general, still has no leader after Trump sidelined the original chairman, Glenn Fine, by demoting him.
Feds Powell says new lending programs to launch by June 1
Powell said that a highly anticipated lending program the Fed is creating for small businesses should be operating by the end of the month. And in a turnaround, Mnuchin said the Treasury is now prepared to absorb some losses in that program, which is funded by Treasury. They include the $660 billion small business lending facility, known as the Paycheck Protection Program, as well as $46 billion in grants to airlines and $454 billion to support the Feds lending. Yet the Fed's program will make it easier for governments to borrow in the municipal bond market. Mnuchin, pressed about those issues and about opening the loan program to more nonprofits, said his department was considering making changes.
Dayton mayor 'at a loss' over Trump grievances after visit
(CNN) - Nan Whaley, the mayor of tragedy-stricken Dayton, Ohio, expressed shock on Thursday morning after President Donald Trump lashed out against her and Ohio Sen. Sherrod Brown on Wednesday in response to a press conference they held following his Dayton hospital visit. "I'm at a loss for why all this vitriol came immediately after he had a good visit at the hospital." Trump tweeted Wednesday that after receiving "tremendous enthusiasm & even Love," Trump wrote, he "saw failed Presidential Candidate (0%) Sherrod Brown & Mayor Whaley totally misrepresenting what took place inside of the hospital." At their press conference, Brown and Whaley expressed primarily positive sentiments regarding the President's hospital visit, though they did criticize his past rhetoric. Asked at the press conference how Trump was received, Brown said, "He was received well by the patients, as you'd expect.