David Schweikert

Congress looks at taxes, oversight, crime in fintech bills
Lawmakers focus on fostering innovation while ensuring technology isn’t abused

Companies that facilitate bitcoin payments, called merchant services providers, received $158 billion in bitcoin last year, which was just about 1 percent of the economic activity on bitcoin’s blockchain, according to Chainalysis, which analyses such transactions. (Avishek Das/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images photo illustration)

Corrected 4:25 p.m. | Cryptocurrencies involve cutting-edge technology, but Congress is aiming at age-old problems when it comes to financial technology legislation: taxation, crime and jurisdiction to set the rules.

A review of the latest fintech-related bills by CQ Roll Call shows lawmakers’ latest efforts are focused on fostering innovation by some and making sure the technology isn’t abused by others.

Dollar dominance: Average vulnerable House Democrat starts 2020 with $1.8 million
Eye-popping numbers and other takeaways from fourth quarter

New York Rep. Max Rose, left, and Michigan Rep. Elissa Slotkin raised the most among vulnerable House Democrats in the latest fundraising quarter. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Nine months out from Election Day, the latest fundraising reports provide new clues about both parties’ prospects in the battles for the House and Senate. 

In the fight for the House, vulnerable Democrats continued to raise eye-popping numbers as their party tries to hold on to its majority. Republican leaders last week sounded the alarm about their candidates’ fundraising, and the latest reports show why.

Puerto Rico disaster bill would revive older tax breaks
House Democrats eye bigger refunds for low-income residents and tax relief for distilleries

California Rep. Mike Thompson pushed back on GOP criticism, saying it was common practice to combine relief provisions for disaster-stricken areas into one bill. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

House Democrats have tucked tax relief for rum distilleries and more generous refunds for lower-income island residents into a disaster aid package intended to help Puerto Rico recover from an unusually destructive spate of recent earthquakes.

Backers say the add-ons are part of an ongoing effort to help Puerto Rico and other territories such as the U.S. Virgin Islands, also hit hard by hurricanes in recent years. But Republicans call the effort a typical congressional maneuver of piling on to a must-pass bill.

Businesses hit by mistaken tax penalty seek help from Congress
Drafting error in 2017 GOP tax overhaul hurt retail industry particularly hard

Arizona Sen. Martha McSally is the lead sponsor of a bill that would address an unintentional mistake in the 2017 Republican tax code overhaul over deducting net operating losses. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

A one-word drafting error in the 2017 tax code overhaul has sent companies ranging from specialty retailer PetSmart Inc. to Nissan Motor Co. scrambling to Capitol Hill for relief.

As part of the effort to offset a dramatic reduction in the corporate tax rate in the 2017 law, Republicans limited the ability of firms to claim tax breaks on net operating losses, or when deductions exceed income.

House ratings changes: A dozen races shift toward Democrats
Combination of self-inflicted wounds, slow recruiting and suburbs continuing to shift against Trump diminish GOP chances

Minnesota Rep. Angie Craig is among the Democrats whose reelection chances have improved, according to the latest ratings by Inside Elections. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Most Republicans believe their party has weathered the 2018 storm and brighter days are ahead in 2020. But that perspective doesn’t mean the GOP’s chances of retaking the House are particularly good.

Even if the national political environment isn’t as bad for the GOP as the midterms when they suffered a net loss of 40 House seats, there’s little evidence that President Donald Trump will dramatically improve his 2016 performance in key competitive districts next year.

House Democrats feeling the heat on ‘SALT’ cap rollback
Democrats still haven’t touched the cap on state and local tax deductions

Rep. Donald S. Beyer Jr., D-Va., says Democrats “have to have a SALT vote.” (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

It’s been almost a year since Democrats assumed control of the House, and they still haven’t touched the cap on state and local tax deductions imposed by the GOP Congress and President Donald Trump that disproportionately affect blue state districts.

That’s starting to become a problem for the dozen or so freshman Democrats who flipped GOP seats after campaigning in part on getting rid of that $10,000 “SALT” limit, which was included as an offset for the 2017 tax code overhaul.

Ethics Committee releases more details on allegations against David Schweikert
Arizona Republican is already facing inquiry by House panel

The House Ethics Committee has released more information about its investigation of Arizona Rep. David Schweikert. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

The House Ethics Committee has released information on an expanded list of allegations against Rep. David Schweikert. The Arizona Republican is under investigation by the panel, which made public a second referral from the Office of Congressional Ethics. 

Under House Ethics rules, the committee is required to release OCE referrals one year after they are sent to the House.

Democrats use Trump’s tariffs against House Republicans in new ads
DCCC launches back-to-school themed ads against 11 GOP lawmakers

Minnesota Rep. Jim Hagedorn is among 11 House Republican targets of new digital ads by the DCCC. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

In a sign that Democrats are broadening their 2020 messaging, the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee on Thursday is rolling out digital ads attacking House Republicans over President Donald Trump’s trade policies. 

The ads, obtained first by CQ Roll Call, are timed to back-to-school shopping. The animated ads running on Facebook highlight products whose rising costs could affect consumers in 11 districts across the country, all but one of which Trump carried in 2016. 

Facebook’s currency plan makes fintech a tough sell in Congress
Some members are conflating disdain for Facebook with other, more vital fintech innovation, Schweikert says

House Financial Services Chairwoman Maxine Waters has criticized Facebook’s new cryptocurrency offering, Libra, calling it an “unchecked expansion” into the lives of the company’s users. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Members of Congress who support the development of new financial technologies say their job might have gotten tougher after Facebook announced its plan to issue a cryptocurrency.

Lawmakers used hearings in both chambers this month to roundly censure Facebook’s proposed Libra, which the social media company says could provide financial services to people who can’t rely on banks.

Blockchain Caucus co-chair: Ease up on Facebook's Libra

Rep. David Schweikert, R-Ariz., conducts a House Small Business Subcommittee on Investigations, Oversight and Regulations hearing in Rayburn. Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call