Michael D Crapo

Fate of Wall Street Watchdog Devolves Into a Squabble Over Acronyms
To many, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau is the CFPB. Conservatives say that doesn’t even exist

Progressives are already upset with CFPB Acting Director Mick Mulvaney. Now they have something else to be angry about: semantics. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Only in Washington would an argument erupt over a federal agency’s acronym.

To progressives, the agency is the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, or the CFPB, which took on Wall Street and won compensation for more than 27 million consumers during its startup years under former Director Richard Cordray.

Campaign Committee Chairmen Collaborating on Election Security
Concern about Russian interference makes allies out of traditional foes

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., issued a warning to Russian interests seeking to influence the election. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

The chairmen of the Senate Republican and Democratic campaign committees have spoken at length about election security and the potential for Russian active measures against the 2018 midterms.

“In terms of meddling with the election ... I’ve had long conversations with Chris Van Hollen about this. This is an unacceptable activity by the Russians — or anyone, for that matter — but we certainly want to do everything we can to protect the elections of integrity coming up in 2018,” National Republican Senatorial Committee Chairman Cory Gardner of Colorado said. “This is not a partisan issue.”

Senators Plot New Russia Sanctions as Committee Leaders Plan Hearings
Russian election interference efforts could find time on August agenda

Sen. Lindsey Graham is among the lawmakers crafting new Russia sanctions. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Two of the Senate’s many Russia hawks outlined plans to draft new sanctions against the country, just as leaders of the committees of jurisdictions unveiled plans for hearings.

“Just as Vladimir Putin has made clear his intention to challenge American power, influence, and security interests at home and abroad, the United States must make it abundantly clear that we will defend our nation and not waver in our rejection of his effort to erode western democracy as a strategic imperative for Russia’s future,” said Republican Sen. Lindsey Graham of South Carolina and Democratic Sen. Robert Menendez of New Jersey.

Consumer Financial Protection Bureau Brings Banking Panel to Boiling Point
Nomination of Kathy Kraninger strains previously buddy-buddy relationship

Senate Banking Chairman Michael D. Crapo, R-Idaho, left, and ranking member Sherrod Brown, D-Ohio, normally have a smooth working relationship that could be strained by debate over the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Kathy Kraninger’s confirmation hearing was as politically contentious as it’s gotten in the last year and a half on what has otherwise been a very senatorial Senate Banking Committee.

The partisan fight even appeared to consume the always amiable relations between Chairman Michael D. Crapo of Idaho and ranking member Sherrod Brown of Ohio, both of whom expressed regrets at the dust-up over Kraninger’s nomination to head the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau.

Curtailed Recess Puts Summer Fundraising, Lobbying in Flux
Senators may seek new campaign events in D.C. if they will be here anyway

Kansas Sen. Jerry Moran’s summer retreat fundraiser is slated for Aug. 12-14. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

The official Senate calendar isn’t the only agenda in flux after Majority Leader Mitch McConnell announced he would cancel much of the chamber’s cherished summer recess.

The change may also disrupt plans for fundraising events outside Washington — as well as the dockets of lobbyists, who typically take their annual respite along with the congressional recess.

Bipartisan Breakout Gives Vulnerable Senators Wins Ahead of Recess
VA and banking bills headline measures heading to President Donald Trump

Sen. Jon Tester is the ranking Democrat on the Senate Veterans Affairs Committee. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Some of the Senate’s most vulnerable incumbents will be scoring big legislative victories just in time for the Memorial Day parades.

The most timely outbreak of bipartisanship will come with passage, expected Wednesday afternoon, of a bill designed to improve health care access and options for veterans, known as the VA MISSION Act.

Senate Panel Sends Message By Advancing Mueller Bill
A warning to Trump even if special counsel protections don’t become law

The Senate Judiciary Committee approved a bill to provide job protection for special counsel Robert S. Mueller III, but it faces major obstacles. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

The Senate Judiciary Committee approved a bill Thursday to give protections to Special Counsel Robert S. Mueller III, which senators said sent a message to President Donald Trump even if it has major hurdles to ever becoming law.

Although the 14-7 vote on the measure split Republicans, the message from the committee to Trump was clear.

Senate Passes Bank Deregulation Bill, House May Seek Additions
More than a dozen Democratic senators joined all Republicans

Senate Banking Chairman Michael D. Crapo sponsored the measure that would ease regulations on all but the biggest banks. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

The Senate voted Wednesday to pass a bill that would be the biggest bank deregulation since 1999 and would roll back parts of the 2010 Dodd-Frank financial overhaul.

More than a dozen Democrats joined the Republicans to pass the bill, sending it to the House, where conservative Republicans may seek to attach further provisions to roll back the 2010 law. Republicans will be trying to straddle the line between the extensive reversal of bank regulation that they seek and keeping on board the Senate Democrats who will be needed to clear the measure.

Senators Will Vote on Pulling Troops Out of Yemen, But When
Resolution could reach the floor this week, if there’s time

Sen. Mike Lee is said to be eager to get a vote on the Yemen resolution this week. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

A resolution that would direct the withdrawal of U.S. forces from ongoing hostilities in Yemen is ripe for Senate action, but the clogged calendar means supporters might not immediately get it to the floor.

The question may be how to shoehorn the measure on to the schedule before the next recess.

Congress, Waiting for an Omnibus to Arrive
Senate staying on banking legislation, House looks at votes on guns

Lawmakers could get their first look at an omnibus spending bill this week.. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Keep an eye out for the release of a $1.3 trillion omnibus spending bill this week. Negotiators are aiming to complete work on the sprawling bill and pass it before March 23, when the fifth stopgap funding measure of the fiscal year expires.

The bipartisan budget deal enacted last month freed up an additional $143 billion for discretionary programs in fiscal 2018 — $80 billion for defense and $63 billion for nondefense accounts.