Financial Services

Road ahead: Pressure rising for debt limit deal
Lawmakers face deadline on debt even as other priorities come to floor

Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., and other congressional leaders and the administration only have a few legislative days to strike a deal  on raising the debt limit. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Congress is set to consider several high-profile measures this week, including holding two Cabinet officials in contempt, raising the minimum wage and ratifying tax treaties, but lawmakers will be unable to avoid the contentious issue of raising the federal debt ceiling. 

Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin have been speaking by phone, trying to reach agreement on avoiding a potentially calamitous debt default.

Trump endorses Hagerty in Tennessee Senate race
President’s early involvement could keep other Republicans out

President Donald Trump on Friday endorsed Bill Hagerty, his ambassador to Japan, for an open Senate seat in Tennessee. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

President Donald Trump on Friday tweeted his endorsement of Bill Hagerty, the U.S. ambassador to Japan, for the open Senate seat in Tennessee, likely limiting what could have been a crowded GOP field for the seat.  

Republican Sen. Lamar Alexander is not running for fourth term.

House Oversight Dems call on Trump to pay D.C. for Independence Day, inauguration
Cummings, Norton lead charge seeking to replenish D.C. security fund

Chairman Elijah Cummings, D-Md., holds the gavel during a House Oversight and Reform Committee hearing. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Democrats on the House Oversight Committee are calling on President Donald Trump to commit to paying the District of Columbia back for providing public safety support for federal events in the city after Mayor Muriel Bowser said that Trump’s “Salute to America” drained it.

The House Committee on Oversight and Reform Chairman Elijah E. Cummings, of Maryland, and D.C. Democratic Del. Eleanor Holmes Norton wrote to the White House Friday asking Trump to reimburse the district’s Emergency Planning and Security Fund for his inauguration and Fourth of July celebration. Bowser has said the account is expected to not only be empty before the end of the year, but will incur overages of $6 million.

Facebook cryptocurrency stirs worry and support in both parties
Top Democrat urges Fed and regulators to protect consumers and economy from Facebook’s ‘monopoly money’

Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell, right, was peppered with questions about how the Fed would deal with Libra, Facebook’s new cryptocurrency. (Caroline Brehman/CQ Roll Call)

Facebook Inc. got a preview Wednesday of what to expect next week when executives come to testify about plans to launch Libra, a digital currency and online payment system.

At a hearing Wednesday morning, Democrats and Republicans on the House Financial Services Committee peppered Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell with questions about how the central bank would respond to Libra.

Fed’s Powell says Trump couldn’t push him to resign
The Fed chairman also said he shared concerns among lawmakers about Facebook Inc.’s proposal to launch a cryptocurrency

Jerome Powell, chairman of the U.S. Federal Reserve, testifies during a House Financial Services Committee hearing on Capitol Hill on Wednesday July 10, 2019. (Caroline Brehman/CQ Roll Call)

Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell told a House panel Wednesday that he would not resign if President Donald Trump ordered him to step down.

Powell, who has been excoriated by Trump on Twitter for his management of the Fed and the nation’s monetary policy, told House Financial Services members he would serve out his term. He made his comments during his semi-annual testimony to the committee.

In wake of July Fourth, D.C. emergency fund depleted
Mayor Muriel Bowser asks Trump to reimburse DC for Independence Day

President Donald Trump speaks during his 'Salute to America' event as an Independence Day celebration in front of the Lincoln Memorial on Thursday July 4, 2019. (Caroline Brehman/CQ Roll Call)

President Donald Trump’s Fourth of July celebration has contributed to the depletion of Washington, D.C.’s fund that covers the impact of the federal government’s presence on the District’s public safety needs, according to Mayor Muriel Bowser.

In Bowser’s July 9 letter to Trump, obtained by the Washington Post, she writes that the accrued amount for this year’s Independence Day festivities totals approximately $1.7 million and that she expects the Emergency Planning and Security Fund will be barren before the end of the fiscal year, leaving overages of $6 million. Bowser says that this is attributed to declining reserves, increased demand for heightened security and a $7.3 million expenditure to cover Trump’s 2017 inauguration that, in a departure from tradition, has not been reimbursed by the executive. 

Rep. Katie Porter’s $1 million second quarter paces vulnerable Democrats so far
More than 17,000 unique donors have contributed to the California Democrat’s campaign since January

Rep. Katie Porter, D-Calif., questions Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell during a House Financial Services Committee hearing in February. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Rep. Katie Porter raised more than $1 million in the second fundraising quarter of 2019, the most reported so far of nearly three dozen House Democrats in districts leadership has deemed vulnerable.

The California freshman Democrat’s grassroots efforts in the 45th District have paid off, with twice as many small donors — those who gave $100 or less — giving money to her campaign in the second quarter than in the first quarter, according to a news release Wednesday from her campaign.

Hearings on Facebook’s Libra could dim cryptocurrencies’ sheen
Lawmakers have already made up their minds about fintech, some in the industry fear

Two congressional committees are preparing for hearings on Facebook’s new cryptocurrency, Libra.(Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

The financial technology industry is anticipating a windfall of attention and possible scrutiny following upcoming House and Senate hearings on Libra, the new cryptocurrency announced by Facebook last month.

Advocates for the growth of blockchain technology and digital currencies say Facebook’s entry into fintech is an exciting development for an industry that still exists in relative obscurity because of public misconceptions about the technology and lack of clear regulations governing their use.

Road ahead: War powers debate shifts to House
Senate turns back to nominations after brief period of legislating

California Rep. Ro Khanna is leading an amendment to the House version of the National Defense Authorization Act that would block the Trump administration from using military force in Iran without congressional approval. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Updated 5:02 p.m. | Congress could get a second opportunity this week to try and block President Donald Trump from going to war with Iran without congressional approval as the House debates its fiscal 2020 National Defense Authorization Act.

The Senate rejected an amendment seeking to add such language to its version of the measure before it left for the July Fourth recess. The overall measure passed 86-8.

The biggest question marks ahead of July Fourth ‘Salute to America’
Protests, transit closures, reimbursements, red meat and the weather loom over festivities

President Donald Trump has touted his “Salute to America” as one of the biggest gatherings in Washington, D.C. history. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

As the nation prepares for the July Fourth “Salute to America” on the National Mall, with a contentious appearance scheduled by President Donald Trump, there are several unanswered questions that will go a long way to determining how the whole thing unfolds.

From how extensive protests will be, to the tenor of Trump’s remarks, to how much of a damper the weather might put on things, here is a short list of what to keep an eye on.