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Mar 26, 2015

U.S. consumer watchdog unveils plans to regulate payday loans

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The U.S. consumer financial watchdog
on Thursday outlined its plans for cracking down on the payday
lending industry and ensuring that borrowers can repay their
loans.

The framework unveiled by the U.S. Consumer Financial
Protection Bureau was a key step toward new rules for various
types of loans that regulators say trap borrowers in debt.

Feb 27, 2015

U.S. investigators recover 32,744 emails in IRS targeting probe

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The discovery of a trove of thousands of emails reinvigorated a long-running inquiry by U.S. House of Representatives Republicans into the Internal Revenue Service’s handling of tax-exempt conservative political groups.

U.S. officials told lawmakers late on Thursday that investigators had found 32,774 emails linked to former IRS official Lois Lerner, a key figure in a scandal that broke in 2013. But the emails’ importance was still unclear.

Feb 24, 2015

White House defends Veterans Affairs head after false statement

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The White House on Tuesday defended U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs Secretary Robert McDonald after he apologized for falsely saying he served in the U.S. special forces, but a top Republican said the incident could hurt trust in the department.

McDonald said he recently met a homeless man in Los Angeles who said he served in the special forces. McDonald said he incorrectly responded that he had also served there. The exchange aired on the CBS Evening News.

Feb 23, 2015

U.S. Justice Department asks for stay to allow immigration action

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The U.S. Justice Department on Monday
argued that halting President Barack Obama’s executive actions
on immigration from taking effect threatens national security,
in a request for an emergency stay to put on hold a Texas
judge’s decision that temporarily blocked the actions.

The Department of Homeland Security would sustain
“irreparable harm” if a stay is not granted, the Justice
Department argued in its request.

Feb 17, 2015

U.S. establishes policy for exports of armed drones

WASHINGTON, Feb 17 (Reuters) – The U.S. government on
Tuesday established a policy for exports of military and
commercial drones, including armed ones, and plans to work with
other countries to shape global standards for the use of the
controversial weapons systems.

The State Department said it would allow exports of lethal
U.S. military drones under strict conditions, including that
sales must be made through government programs and that
recipient nations must agree to certain “end-use assurances.”

Feb 10, 2015

Republicans eye bill to limit U.S. rescues of failing banks

WASHINGTON, Feb 10 (Reuters) – Republican lawmakers in the
U.S. House of Representatives and Senate are discussing a joint
effort to repeal a key section of the landmark Wall Street
reform law, seeking to limit the U.S. government’s role in
supporting financial institutions on the brink of collapse,
according to people familiar with the matter.

Efforts by Republicans to revamp the 2010 Dodd-Frank Act,
including its handling of failing banks, went nowhere in the
past because the Democrat-controlled Senate defended the law.

Feb 6, 2015

Sen. Feinstein working to reinstate U.S. swaps ‘push-out’ rule -aide

WASHINGTON, Feb 6 (Reuters) – Senator Dianne Feinstein of
California hopes to reinstate a hotly contested requirement for
big banks’ swaps trading after U.S. lawmakers voted in late 2014
to loosen the rules for Wall Street.

The so-called swaps “push-out” provision of the 2010
Dodd-Frank financial law required banks to conduct risky
derivatives trading in units separate from their deposit-taking
activities.

Feb 3, 2015

U.S. House leaders back inoculations as safety debate rages

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Two leaders in the U.S. House of Representatives said on Tuesday all children should be vaccinated, joining a debate that has become a national political flashpoint, as a measles outbreak rekindles a discussion on safety and the right of parents to forgo inoculation of their children.

“I don’t know that we need another law, but I do believe that all children ought to be vaccinated,” House Speaker John Boehner, a Republican, told reporters.

Jan 29, 2015

U.S. bank regulator changes policy criticized by House Republicans

WASHINGTON, Jan 28 (Reuters) – U.S. regulators who want
banks to sever ties to risky customers must inform the banks in
writing, the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp said on Wednesday, a
change sought by Republican lawmakers scrutinizing a probe known
as “Operation Choke Point.”

The investigation by the U.S. Justice Department is aimed at
cracking down on fraud by looking into banks and payment
processors that work with businesses suspected of money
laundering and other illegal activities.

Jan 20, 2015

Supreme Court rejects challenge to debit card ‘swipe fees’ rules

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The U.S. Supreme Court on Tuesday declined to hear a challenge to controversial debit card “swipe fee” rules, dealing a blow to retailers, grocers and restaurant owners who argued the charges were unfairly high.

Businesses pay the fees to banks when customers use debit cards to purchase goods or services. The fees reimburse banks for costs involved in offering debit cards.