Financial Services

Comedian Hasan Minhaj rankles, entertains at student debt hearing
Congressional hearings can be dry but not today

Things got a little testy between Rep. Sean Duffy, seen here, and Hasan Minhaj at Tuesday's hearing. (CQ Roll Call Screenshot)

You may not think a hearing on solving the $1.6 trillion student loan debt crisis would provide many laughs, but comedian Hasan Minhaj racked up a few, to the annoyance of some Republicans, while testifying before the House Financial Services Committee.

Tuesday’s hearing wasn’t short on tense exchanges, either, even from the jump.

Hasan Minhaj testifies at student loans hearing

Hasan Minhaj testified at a House hearing Tuesday on student loans.(Graham MacGillivray via House Financial Services Committee/CQ-Roll Call)

Comedian and host of the Netflix show “Patriot Act” Hasan Minhaj testified at a House Financial Services Committee hearing Tuesday. He was part of a five-person panel to brief lawmakers on issues with the federal student loan program. In February, Minhaj dedicated a 27-minute episode of the show to the issue.

Opening Statement: 

Term limit rules targeted by Trump aren’t tipping scale on House GOP retirements
POTUS wants to discourage retirements, but life in the minority is also a factor

President Trump blamed the wave of retirements on a GOP conference rule that term limits committee chairmen. Rep. Mike Conaway, R-Texas, is one member who said losing his top committee spot impacted his choice to not seek reelection. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

President Donald Trump has an idea he thinks would quell the growing list of House Republicans who say they won’t run for another term, but the president’s proposal might not get to the root of the GOP retirements.

In a tweet early Monday, Trump urged House GOP leaders to alter conference rules to allow committee chairs (and ranking members if in the minority) to hold their posts for more than six years.

Retiring lawmakers will face tough market on K Street
‘K Street is not hungering for former members,’ senator-turned-lobbyist Norm Coleman says

In most cases, it’s congressional staff members who K Street really clamors for. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

K Street recruiters are poring over the list of 21, and counting, lawmakers planning to exit Congress, but the lobbying sector may offer a shrinking supply of big-money gigs heading into the 2020 elections. 

As more House members and senators consider making their escape from Capitol Hill, the realities of the K Street economy and the well-worn revolving door will be among their considerations, say insiders at lobbying firms and downtown headhunters.

The Comptroller of the Currency
Fintech Beat, Episode 17

Joseph Otting, Comptroller of the Currency, prepares to testify during a House Financial Services Committee hearing in Rayburn Building titled "Financial Industry Regulation: the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency," on June 13, 2018. (Photo By Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Fintech Beat explores the relationship between hip-hop and crypto
Fintech Beat podcast, Ep. 16

Grammy award winning hip hop star T.I. (a.k.a. Clifford Joseph Harris Jr.) talks to the media as he arrives on the "green carpet' at the 9:30 Club to participate in the Hip Hop Caucus' event to launch their get out the vote campaign on Monday, July 28, 2008.

Former Rep. Gary Ackerman faces sexual assault allegation from the 1960s
Plaintiff sued under state’s new Child Victims Act, which lifted statute of limitations for sexual abuse cases

Former Rep. Gary Ackerman, D-N.Y., faces an allegation of sexual assault in a new lawsuit. (CQ Roll Call file photo)

A man identified in court records as “John Doe” alleges in a new lawsuit that former New York Rep. Gary Ackerman sexually abused him when he was a teenager. 

The plaintiff says Ackerman exploited him in 1966 when the former Democratic congressman was a director at Ten Mile River Scout Camp, a 12,000-acre Boy Scout reserve, according to the complaint filed in the Supreme Court of the State of New York. The suit also names the camp and the Greater New York Council of the Boy Scouts of America as defendants. 

Democrats seek info on CFPB official’s ties to Christian group
Paul Watkins spent three years at the conservative Alliance Defending Freedom

Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren and other Democrats want documents from the CFPB on the hiring of Paul Watkins as director of the Office of Innovation. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Updated | A group of Democrats, including presidential hopeful Sen. Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts, are continuing to pressure the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau over a senior official’s ties to a conservative Christian group.

In a letter sent Wednesday to CFPB Director Kathleen Kraninger, Warren — along with Reps. Raja Krishnamoorthi of Illinois, Ayanna S. Pressley of Massachusetts and Katie Porter of California — demanded documents related to hiring Paul Watkins as director of the Office of Innovation, which has the power to grant fintech firms limited immunity from consumer protection laws.

Roy Blunt pitches Negro League coin idea
Congress has authorized more than 150 commemorative coins since 1892. Will this be the next?

Sen. Roy Blunt pushed for a new commemorative coin as he visited the Negro Leagues Baseball Museum in his home state of Missouri this week. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Sen. Roy Blunt wants a commemorative coin to honor Negro League Baseball when it celebrates its 100 year anniversary in 2020.

The Missouri Republican talked about his coin push during a tour of the Negro Leagues Baseball Museum in Kansas City, Missouri, this week.

Senate Banking members take skeptical look at cryptocurrencies
Blockchain firms have tried selling lawmakers on the potential for dramatically reduced transaction costs.

Senate Banking Chairman Mike Crapo, R-Idaho, sees data privacy as one of the primary risks. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Concerns over data privacy and skepticism about just how unique and beneficial cryptocurrencies and other blockchain-based digital assets could be dominated Tuesday’s Senate Banking Committee hearing on regulating the new technology.

“This new digital currency and blockchain technology is a very real — and potentially helpful — innovation,” said Chairman Michael D. Crapo, R-Idaho. “It’s also potentially harmful as there can be some serious risk involved in it.”