House Financial Services Committee

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Insider-Trading Probe Targets House Committee Chair

Rep. Spencer Bachus faces first-of-its-kind ethics investigation

(Newser) - Foxes have been found guarding hen houses on Capitol Hill in the past, but ethics investigators now believe they have identified a particularly greedy one. Rep. Spencer Bachus, chair of the House Financial Services Committee, is being probed for possible violations of insider-trading laws, reports the Washington Post . The investigation... More »

Barney Frank to Retire

Says he didn't want to go through tough reelection campaign

(Newser) - Barney Frank has decided not to run for reelection next year, he announced today at a typically feisty press conference in Newton, Mass. “It would have been a rough campaign,” he said, according to the Boston Globe . “I don’t like raising money.” Frank has $760,... More »

Congress Moves to Re-Legalize Online Gambling

Move could bring in $42 billion in taxes

(Newser) - Online gambling might soon be legal again, just four years after it was originally banned. The House Financial Services Committee approved a pair of bills to re-legalize and tax Internet casinos yesterday, the New York Times reports. The ban has just driven gamblers to overseas sites, supporters argue, while legalization... More »

Frank Bans Aide Who Joined Financial Industry

Staffer turned lobbyist after working on bank reform bill

(Newser) - Barney Frank has blacklisted a former aide who took a job as a lobbyist for the financial industry. Peter Roberson worked on the financial reform bill while on the House Financial Services Committee—then promptly took a job with Intercontinental Exchange, a derivatives trading firm. Roberson would already fall under... More »

Ron Paul Poised to Finally Pass Fed Audits

For first time in nine tries, amendment goes to House floor

(Newser) - For Ron Paul, it's got to be sweet. The financial regulatory reform bill that opened for debate in the House today contains Paul's amendment to subject the Fed to congressional audit—his ninth try in 11 years in office to get a Fed-curbing proposal into play. Until now, none of... More »

Suddenly, Ron Paul Feels the Love

Libertarian's anti-Fed campaign draws mainstream support

(Newser) - Ron Paul is suddenly the belle of the ball on Capitol Hill, with legislators from around the political spectrum backing his decades-old crusade against the Federal Reserve. Paul’s been pushing an amendment to audit the Fed since the early '80s, but this time it attracted a whopping 313 co-sponsors.... More »

Credit Cards Rates Jump Ahead of New Regulations

Companies add fees and cut limits in blind cash grab

(Newser) - If your credit card bill just exploded, it wasn’t an accident. Card issuers have been jacking up rates to historic highs—in excess of 30%—cutting limits, and adding new fees in an effort to squeeze money out of customers before new federal regulations kick in Feb. 22. The... More »

Frank, Geithner to Roll Out 'Too Big to Fail' Bill

New rules will impose 'living wills' for banks

(Newser) - After months of negotiations, Congress and the Obama administration are ready to introduce new rules on financial institutions deemed "too big to fail." Barney Frank, who heads the House Financial Services Committee, will present a bill as soon as this week that will let the government seize... More »

Feds Weigh New Bailouts for Smaller Banks

Congressional Dems on board with plan to help institutions hammered by real estate

(Newser) - With the residential and commercial real-estate markets continuing to hammer smaller US banks, the Treasury and other federal agencies are trying to diagram help for institutions considered too much of a gamble under original bailout terms. Congressional Democrats are “very, very supportive” of such a move, a source tells... More »

Frank Rewriting Wall Street Rules as Public Yawns

(Newser) - Barney Frank is working on the biggest legislation of his career, and no one seems to care. Frank, the chairman of the House Financial Services Committee, is preparing for markup sessions on a bill to revolutionize America’s financial regulatory structure. “It’s been eclipsed obviously in the public’... More »

Lawmakers Spent Taxpayer Money on $9.1M in Bonuses

Aides rewarded with surplus cash from lawmakers' expenses

(Newser) - The lawmakers blustering about corporate bonuses haven't shied away from using government funds to reward their own staffers, a Wall Street Journal look at the records reveals. More than 200 House lawmakers from both parties paid $9.1 million in bonuses to 2,000-plus staff members in 2008—one of... More »

Bank Execs to Congress: We Are Lending

CEOs defend compensation, call for new regulation

(Newser) - “We’re lending,” bank executives told Congress this morning, as CEOs including Jamie Dimon, Ken Lewis, and Vikram Pandit testified before the House Financial Services Committee. They also defended the outrage-inducing (but, they stressed, much reduced) bonuses they handed out, according to their prepared testimony. “Our employees... More »

'Humbled' Bank CEOs Will Deny Blowing Bailout

Top bankers face grilling today from furious Congress

(Newser) - Bank bosses being grilled by Congress today will defend their use of bailout cash, according to prepared testimony obtained by Reuters. Chief executives from the eight biggest US banks arrive in Washington this morning—by public transportation instead of private jet this time—and are expected to strike a note... More »

Automaker Bankruptcy Would Be 'a Disaster': Frank

Debate rages on auto bailout

(Newser) - The CEOs of the Big Three are back on Capital Hill this morning testifying before the House Financial Services Committee, and Barney Frank at least seems sympathetic. The chairman said bankruptcy “would be a disaster,” given the current credit markets and today’s dire job report, adding that... More »

Barney Frank: At the Center of the Storm

Mass. congressman "vilified," but sticks to his guns

(Newser) - At the center of Washington’s financial crisis, Barney Frank has been called a “left-wing zealot”—but the congressman, while he’s admitted mistakes, has long been canny and courageous in his positions, writes Maureen Tkacik in Boston magazine. Amid much talk of the “moral hazards” in... More »

House Panel To Investigate Spitzer Probe

Dems wonder if feds' prostitution sting was politically motivated

(Newser) - The House Financial Services Committee is poised to open an inquiry into the investigation that led to Eliot Spitzer’s resignation, the New York Times reports, with Democratic members wondering aloud if the federal probe could have been a politically motivated hit job. The former New York governor was not... More »

Paulson, Bernanke Defend Bailout Before House

Money for Detroit isn't the 'purpose' of the bailout: Paulson

(Newser) - Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson told Congress today he opposes tapping a $700 billion taxpayer-funded bailout pool to help struggling US automakers. Paulson and Federal Reserve Chair Ben Bernanke were on Capitol Hill defending their management of the bailout program, just a week after the Bush administration abandoned the original strategy... More »

Dems Set Their Own Terms for Bailout Plan

Congress wants oversight of treasury, homeowner assistance

(Newser) - As Hank Paulson did the Sunday talk shows, Democrats in the House and Senate set down their own terms for a plan to rescue the nation's financial institutions—one that would give Congress greater oversight over the treasury. Barney Frank, who chairs the House Financial Services Committee, put forward his... More »

Pols Pitch Federal Agency to Take On Bad Debt

Agency would formalize what feds are already doing in money crisis

(Newser) - The idea of creating a federal agency to dispose of the toxic debt at the heart of the credit crisis is gaining traction in Washington, the New York Times reports. The proposed agency would resemble one set up in 1989 to resolve the savings and loan crisis—but in a... More »

Housing Industry Funnels Cash to Lawmakers

Campaign contributions soar compared to 2006

(Newser) - The housing industry has given more campaign cash to lawmakers and political parties this election cycle than it gave through the entire 2006 cycle, the Wall Street Journal reports, as an emergency housing bill containing favorable provisions for the industry has been working its way through Congress. Cash has flowed... More »

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