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DC Report

Congress close to reversing Trump-era lending loophole that allowed 'rogue banks' to bleed Americans

Finally, there's something 52 senators can agree on: If a legal money lender is charging you Tony Soprano-level interest rates, you're at least entitled to know who they are.


The Senate voted 52 to 47 to repeal the so-called "true lender rule" that consumer advocates and plaintiff lawyers threatened consumers. It was a last-minute banking rule under the Trump administration that covers up who's really behind triple-digit interest rate loans.

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Meet a 200-year-old corporate criminal

Boston-based State Street Corp. traces its history back to 1792 and now manages more than $3 trillion in assets, yet it has always maintained a lower profile than the goliaths of Wall Street. Recently, the company was in the spotlight, though not in a good way.

The U.S. Attorney's Office for Massachusetts announced that State Street would pay a $115 million criminal penalty to resolve charges that it engaged in a scheme to defraud a number of its clients by secretly overcharging for expenses related to the bank's custody of client assets.

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The Supreme Court just gave a boost to crooked corporations

The U.S. Supreme Court has given a boost to crooked corporations in a ruling that restricts the powers of one of the federal government's oldest regulatory agencies, the Federal Trade Commission.

The FTC has been operating since 1914.

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What Biden is doing to secure the 2022 and 2024 elections from Russian interference

In the wake of the recent Colonial Pipeline and SolarWinds hacks, President Biden on Wednesday signed an executive order to improve our nation's cybersecurity and protect federal government networks. A senior Biden administration official said that the order "reflects a fundamental shift in our mindset from incident response to prevention, from talking about security to doing security."

This is a necessary response in the face of increasingly sophisticated malicious cyber activity from both nation-state actors and cybercriminals, but it's only a first step.

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Inflation is on the rise for one very important reason -- and it's not a big deal

Lots of luck right now trying to find a bicycle for under a thousand dollars. And if you insist on building a new house right now the price of lumber will be dear, adding perhaps $4,000 to construction costs for a typical home.

But don't assume that ruinous inflation is on the way. It's not. These are just temporary bumps and those who just wait a bit will see prices fall back.

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All roads for Biden's infrastructure plan lead through West Virginia -- and not just to court Joe Manchin

Moderate Republicans announced yesterday, Earth Day, a counter-offer to the Biden administration's $2 trillion-plus infrastructure proposal.

Led by Sen. Shelley Moore Capito (R-W.Va.), the moderates put out a two-page glossy marketing blurb that significantly scales down Biden's package. It cuts critical infrastructure investment and has a price tag of $568 billion.

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Biden could deliver a serious blow to Trump and McConnell's legacy of a gridlocked FEC

Trump stuffed the Federal Election Commission with anti-regulation attorneys before he left office, but President Joe Biden could nominate at least two commissioners to the FEC, which spent much of the Presidential election year of 2020 not even able to meet because it didn't have enough commissioners.

The terms of Sean Cooksey, previously the general counsel for Sen. Josh Hawley (R-Mo.), and Steven Walther, an independent appointed by President George W. Bush, expire April 30. Presidents typically nominate commissioners in pairs, one Democrat and one Republican.

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There are hidden parts of Biden's infrastructure plan that will affect everyone

Republicans are having limited success turning the public against the Biden administration's $2 trillion infrastructure plan by claiming the proposal is too wide-ranging.

A new NPR poll shows solid support not only for the provisions relating to roads and bridges but also for spending on modernizing the electric grid, achieving universal broadband coverage and even expanding long-term health care.

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Biden moves to strengthen the EPA after agency suffered 'brain drain' under Trump

The Biden administration has asked Congress for more than $110 million to hire scientists and other staff at the Environmental Protection Agency, which was decimated during the Trump era.

The EPA lost almost 1,000 scientists and other employees under Team Trump administrators Andrew Wheeler and Scott Pruitt. The EPA budget, which has declined or been stagnant for decades. In inflation-adjusted dollars, EPA's budget was more than 50% higher under President Ronald Reagan than it is today.

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Georgia Dems are trying to reverse a radical Republican health care policy

Democrats in Georgia's congressional delegation are asking the Biden administration to undo a Team Trump move to make it more difficult for Georgians to buy health insurance during the Covid pandemic.

Senators Jon Ossoff and Raphael Warnock and six of the state's 14 House members asked health Secretary Xavier Becerra to cancel the federal approval of a plan pushed by Radical Republican Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp to cut off access in 2023 to HealthCare.gov. The Georgia plan also imposes work or other requirements to get Medicaid coverage.

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Republicans across the country are helping Dominion make its case against the defendants’ lies

Baseless Republican attacks on Dominion Voting Systems may come back to bite major Donald Trump supporters in the wallet. That's because the company appears to be losing significant business in jurisdictions where Republicans control decisions about which vendors will supply voting equipment.

To collect damages the company must show that it suffered financial harm. In that regard, various elected Republicans around the country are helping Dominion make its case as the defendants' lies about Dominion machines are causing it to lose millions of dollars of business.

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Republicans are playing hardball -- and are striking out

Republicans aren't trying to squash voting rights for people of color, explains Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp. Apparently, Baseball is, "caving to fears and lies."

And his Republican teammates in the U.S. Senate are backing the play, now finding time once again for an irrelevant threat to withdraw anti-trust protections for Major League Baseball in retaliation for pulling its annual All-Star Game from Atlanta in protest of the new voting changes in Georgia that, well, tend to squash voting rights for people of color.

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How Elaine Chao used her Trump cabinet post to help her family make millions

In January 2017, upon her confirmation as secretary of the Department of Transportation, Elaine Chao committed to separating herself from her family's shipping interests. Looking back on the last four years, it's clear she didn't.

In an administration awash with emoluments and ethics concerns, it has mostly flown under the radar just how much Chao, who is married to Senate Republican leader Mitch McConnell, stood to gain financially from her position as secretary of transportation and how government watchdogs failed to challenge her repeated wrongdoings.

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