Politicians - Economic Reporting
This section covers various politicians and their influence on the economy as a whole. It also covers the ethics and the end results of their decisions.
Wikipedia: Frank became the chairman of the House Financial Services Committee in 2007 after the Democratic Party won a majority in the House. The committee oversees the entire financial services industry, which includes the securities, insurance, banking, and housing industries. Click here to see the Barney Frank page...
Wikipedia: Charles Bernard "Charlie" Rangel (born June 11, 1930) is an American politician. He has been a Democratic member of the United States House of Representatives since 1971, representing the Fifteenth Congressional District of New York. Rangel's district, the smallest in the country in geographic size, encompasses Upper Manhattan and includes such neighborhoods as Harlem, Spanish Harlem, Washington Heights, Inwood, Morningside Heights, and part of the Upper West Side, as well as a small portion of Queens in the neighborhood of Astoria. In January 2007, he became chairman of the powerful House Ways and Means Committee. Rangel is the most senior member of New York's congressional delegation. He is the first African-American to chair the committee. Rangel earned a Purple Heart and a Bronze Star for his service in the Korean War.
On September 24, 2008, the House Ethics Committee announced an investigation into Rangel's alleged failure to report hundreds of thousands of dollars in rental income or pay taxes on a beach rental property in the Dominican Republic, allegedly living in multiple rent-subsidized apartments in New York City while claiming his Washington, D.C. home as his primary residence for tax purposes, alleged use of congressional stationery to solicit donors for a public policy institute in his name at City College, and other alleged questionable activities.
On June 26, 2009, Bloomberg News reported on Chairman Rangel's role in the Diageo Rum Bailout.
On September 1, 2009, the Chicago Tribune reported on Chairman Rangel's lack of action on pending legislation that would prevent $2.9 billion of U.S. Tax dollars from going to British concern Diageo. On September 2, 2009, the L.A. Times reported on Chairman Rangel's association with a deal to give $2.8 billion of U.S. Tax dollars to Diageo to make rum in the U.S. Virgin Islands. On September 20, 2009, the Associated Press reported on Chairman Rangel's ethics problems. On October 6, 2009, the Washington Times reported on the campaign contributions Chairman Rangel received related to the $2.8 billion rum deal he supports. Click here to see the Charlie Rangel - Economic Reporting page...
Wikipedia: Christopher John "Chris" Dodd (born May 27, 1944) is an American lawyer and Democratic politician currently serving as the senior U.S. Senator from Connecticut.
Dodd is a Connecticut native and a graduate of Georgetown Preparatory School in Bethesda, Maryland, and Providence College. His father, Thomas J. Dodd, was one of Connecticut's United States Senators from 1959-1971. Chris Dodd served in the Peace Corps for two years prior to entering law school at the University of Louisville, and during law school concurrently served in the United States Army Reserve.
Dodd returned to Connecticut, winning election in 1974 to the United States House of Representatives from Connecticut's 2nd congressional district and was reelected in 1976 and 1978. He was elected United States Senator in the elections of 1980, and is now the longest-serving Senator in Connecticut's history, the 9th most senior of current Senators and one of three from the 1980 freshman class who are still serving.
Dodd served as general chairman of the Democratic National Committee from 1995 to 1997. He currently serves as Chairman of the Senate Banking Committee. In 2006, Dodd decided to run for the Democratic nomination for President of the United States, but eventually withdrew after running behind several other competitors. Click here to see the Chris Dodd - Economic Reporting page...
Wikipedia: Charles Ellis "Chuck" Schumer (born November 23, 1950) is the senior U.S. Senator from the State of New York, serving since 1999. A Democrat, in 2005 he became chairman of the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee. In November 2006, he was elected to the new post of Vice Chairman of the Senate Democratic Caucus. In this position, he is the third-ranking Democrat in the Senate, behind Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid and Senate Majority Whip Dick Durbin. Click here to see the Chuck Schumer - Economic Reporting page...
Wikipedia: Harry Mason Reid (born December 2, 1939) is the senior United States Senator from Nevada and a member of the Democratic Party. He has been the Senate's Majority Leader since January 2007.
Reid has been leader of the Senate Democrats since 2005, serving as Minority Leader from 2005 until the Democrats won control of the Senate in the 2006 congressional elections. Click here to see the Harry Reid - Economic Reporting page...
Wikipedia: Nancy Patricia D'Alesandro Pelosi (born March 26, 1940) is the Speaker of the United States House of Representatives. She is a member of the Democratic Party. Before being elected Speaker in the 110th Congress, she was the House Minority Leader from 2003 to 2007, holding the post during the 108th and 109th Congresses.
Since 1987, she has represented the 8th Congressional District of California, which consists of four-fifths of the City and County of San Francisco. The district was numbered as the 5th during Pelosi's first three terms in the House.
Nancy Pelosi is the first female Speaker of the United States House of Representatives. She is also the first Italian-American and first Californian to serve as Speaker. She is the second Speaker from a state west of the Rocky Mountains, with the first being Washington's Tom Foley, who was the last Democrat to hold the post before Pelosi. As Speaker of the House, Pelosi is second in the line of presidential succession, following Vice President Joe Biden, which makes her the highest-ranking female politician in American history. Click here to see the Nancy Pelosi - Economic Reporting page...
Wikipedia: On February 17, 2009, Barack Obama signed into law the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009, a $787 billion economic stimulus package aimed at helping the economy recover from the deepening worldwide recession. Obama made a high-profile visit to Capitol Hill to engage with Congressional Republicans, but the bill ultimately passed with the support of only three Republican senators. The act includes increased federal spending for health care, infrastructure, education, various tax breaks and incentives, and direct assistance to individuals, which is being distributed over the course of several years, with about 25% due by the end of 2009. In June, Obama, unsatisfied with the pace of the investment, called on his cabinet to accelerate the spending over the next weeks. In September, Obama argued that the stimulus package helped stop the economic downturn.
In March, Obama's Treasury Secretary, Timothy Geithner, took further steps to manage the financial crisis, including introducing the Public-Private Investment Program which contains provisions for buying up to $2 trillion in depreciated real estate assets that were deemed to be weighing down stock valuations, freezing the credit market and delaying economic recovery. On March 23, The New York Times noted that "(i)nvestors reacted ecstatically, with all of the major stock indexes soaring as soon as the markets opened." Along with spending and loan guarantees from the Federal Reserve and the Treasury Department, about $11.5 trillion had been authorized by the Bush and Obama administrations, with $2.7 trillion actually spent by the end of June 2009.
Obama intervened in the troubled automotive industry in March, renewing loans for General Motors and Chrysler Corporation to continue operations while reorganizing. Over the following months the White House set terms for both firms' bankruptcies, including the sale of Chrysler to Italian automaker Fiat and a reorganization of GM giving the U.S. government a temporary 60% equity stake in the company, with the Canadian government shouldering a 12% stake. Click here to see the Obama - Economic Reporting page...
Wikipedia: On April 27, 2009, in an interview with WJJG talk radio host Ray Hanania, Durbin accused banks of creating the financial crisis of 2007–2009. Durbin expressed a belief that many of the banks responsible for creating the crisis "own the place," referring to the power wielded by the banking lobby on Capitol Hill.
On September 18, 2008, Senator Durbin attended a closed meeting with congressional leaders, then-Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson and Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke, and was urged to craft legislation to help financially troubled banks. That same day (trade effective the next day), Senator Durbin sold mutual-fund shares worth $42,696.
Durbin is currently sponsoring a bill (Senate Bill 500) that calls for a maximum annual interest rate cap of 36%, including all interest and fees. This bill will purportedly put an end to predatory lending activities. However, if passed, it will have a far-reaching impact on many industries - including pawn shop lending, auto title lending, and payday lending - and the customers who rely on their short-term, small-dollar loans. Click here to see the Richard Durbin - Economic Reporting page...
Senator Bob Corker - Economic Reporting
Wikipedia: Corker has voted against a cap-and-trade measure, but said he might accept a "rational" version of the legislation. Criticizing as “political stimulus” for electoral campaigns, Corker became one of the only sixteen Senators who opposed the tax rebate stimulus plan. Later, he had described the stimulus package that passed Congress as "silly".
Corker was one of the original members of the Gang of 10, now consisting of twenty members, which is a bipartisan coalition seeking comprehensive energy reform. The group is pushing for a bill that would encourage state-by-state decisions on offshore drilling and authorize billions of dollars for conservation and alternative energy.
On December 2008, Corker opposed a Democratic proposed federal bailout for the failing US automakers, and expressed doubt that the companies would be salvaged. Corker proposed that federal funds be provided for automakers only if accompanied by cuts in labor costs and other concessions from unions. Negotiations regarding Corker's proposal broke down on the evening of December 11, 2008. The United Auto Workers, which had previously accepted a series of cuts in its current contract, sought to put off any further cuts until 2011, while Corker requested that cuts go into effect in 2009. Republicans blamed the UAW for failure to reach an agreement, while the UAW claimed that Corker's proposal singled out "workers and retirees for different treatment and make[s] them shoulder the entire burden of restructuring." On December 13, 2008, Businessweek reported that Corker was "one of those responsible for winning the new Volkswagen (VOWG) factory at a cost of $577 million in tax incentives" during his tenure as mayor of Chattanooga, raising questions about Corker's motivations during the bailout negotiations. Economist Paul Krugman referred to him as “the Senator from Nissan.” Nissan already has two plants and its North American headquarter near Nashville.
Corker skeptical on financial reform this year The Politico, May 8, 2009
Wikipedia: Steny Hamilton Hoyer (born June 14, 1939) is a Democratic member of the United States House of Representatives, representing Maryland's 5th congressional district since 1981. On November 16, 2006, Hoyer was elected as House Majority Leader over John Murtha of Pennsylvania. He is the first Marylander to become Majority Leader. Click here to see the Steny Hoyer page...
House gets unusual raise Hot Air, May 7, 2009