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Treasury chief says U.S. again perilously close to breaching the debt ceiling

Treasury Secretary Jacob Lew urged Congress on Thursday to raise the US borrowing ceiling, warning that not doing so could jeopardize Washington’s creditworthiness and raise fears of a default. With the US closing on the point where spending will surpass available funds, Lew said it was crucial for Congress to…

Judge: Merchants owed millions in credit card fees ‘inappropriately’ inflated by Fed

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – A U.S. judge ruled on Wednesday that the Federal Reserve ignored the intent of Congress regarding a controversial cap on debit card “swipe fees” that are part of a dispute between banks and retailers. The 2010 Dodd-Frank law called for the Fed to cap such fees, which…

Federal Reserve chief Ben Bernanke tells Congress: You’re making weak economy worse

Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke said Wednesday that the US economy needs more help from the fiscal policies that Congress controls, not just from the Fed’s own stimulus efforts. He said that the economy faces “strong headwinds created by federal…  …

Everything you need to know about how Congress is debating patent reform

The tech industry has been vocal in the immigration debate, which took a major step forward when the Senate passed a comprehensive bill that, if signed into law, would provide a path to citizenship for undocumented…  …

Brazilian leader asks for referendum after worst unrest in 20 years

Brazil’s Congress has received a request from President Dilma Rousseff to hold a referendum on political reform in response to the worst social unrest in 20 years. The move, widely supported by the public, came after three weeks of protests over corruption and public spending which marred the Confederations Cup,…

Congressional tax panel heads: IRS needs ‘significant restructuring’

IRS shakeup needed after scandal, chairmen of Congress' tax-writing panels say (via The Christian Science Monitor) The Internal Revenue Service may need to be restructured after the agency was found improperly targeting conservative groups seeking non-profit status, the chairmen of the two congressional tax-writing committees say. “There does need to…

Translating Michele Bachmann’s Resignation Speech

As earlier reported, Michele Bachmann abruptly announced today that she won’t be running for re-election for a seat that used to be assuredly hers by virtue of her party, but could be under threat from a Democratic challenger as her national profile-seeking has revealed to the country exactly how much…

Michele Bachmann to leave Congress, insisting departure has nothing to do with ongoing ethics investigation

Accompanied by odd digitized theme music, Minnesota Congresswoman Michele Bachmann announced early Wednesday morning via YouTube that she would not seek a fifth term in Congress. At this writing, comments for the ‘Team Bachmann‘ video have been disabled. During her video presentation, Bachmann (R-Minn.) insisted that her announcement was not…

Do-nothing Congress gives inertia a bad name

If you want to see why the public approval rating of Congress is down in the sub-arctic range — an icy 15 percent by last count — all you have to do is take a quick look at how the House and Senate pay worship at the altar of corporations,…

House overwhelmingly votes to block cuts that would have caused air travel delays

Republicans hail victory over Democrats but White House spokesman suggests Congress should help the needy The House of Representatives passed on Friday a draft bill to ease the disruption to air travel across the country that has been created by the sequester budget cuts. The House vote was quick, with…

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