Lawmakers want to know why interest rates on savings accounts aren’t rising as fast as the Federal Reserve base rate range. We’ll also address the Rep.’s opposition to one of Senator Joe Manchin’s (D-W.V.) key priorities and up to $45 billion in pandemic relief fraud.
But first, you should find out why falling home prices aren’t much help to young Americans.
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Lawmakers beat up CEOs of big banks over savings rates
Congressional lawmakers beat up US bankers this week for failing to raise interest rates on everyday consumers’ savings accounts despite a series of sharp increases in the Federal Fund Rate by the Federal Reserve.
- Fed interest rate hikes make it more expensive for banks and other financial institutions to borrow money from each other, which in theory expands the dollar’s purchasing power and lowers inflation.
- However, higher interest rates also make it more lucrative for banks to borrow money, an increase in turnover that they could pass on to consumers in the form of higher interest rates on basic savings and money market accounts.
“One of the few silver linings in an environment of rising interest rates is that savers should be rewarded for their savings,” said Del. Michael San Nicolas (D-Guam) said on Wednesday during a House Financial Services Committee hearing.
The committee heard statements from heads of JP Morgan Chase, Wells Fargo and Bank of America, as well as other major US banks.
Tobias Burns from CNNBreakingNews has more here.
LEAD THE DAY
Republicans oppose Manchin’s bill on approval reform
Republicans in the Senate are opposing the approval reform bill presented by centrist Senator Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) on Wednesday evening, shortly before it is due to be included in an indispensable government funding bill to be presented next week.
As a result, key Republicans say that an emergency resolution bill using Manchin’s language, which reforms the approval process for energy projects, will not have enough support to pass.
- Manchin’s home state colleague Senator Shelley Moore Capito (R) announced Thursday morning that she supported his approval reform bill, but most Republicans are opposed to the proposal.
- According to reop senators, Capito supports Manchin’s proposal because he would approve the completion of the Mountain Valley Pipeline, a natural gas pipeline that would span more than 300 miles through West Virginia. Republicans in the Senate who are not benefiting from this project, however, are much more skeptical.
- Manchin’s bill also faces opposition from his own caucus. Senator Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) is calling on his Democratic colleagues to vote against, and Senator Tim Kaine (D-Va.) announced on Wednesday that he would not support the bill due to the language that approves the completion of the Mountain Valley pipeline, which would cover 100 miles of his home state.
Alex Bolton from CNNBreakingNews has an overview here.
Department of Labor Watchdog Identifies $45 Billion Potential Pandemic Unemployment Scam
The Department of Labor Inspector General on Thursday identified $45.6 billion in potential unemployment insurance fraud during the pandemic, a figure that far exceeds previous estimates.
A comprehensive federal relief package signed by former President Trump in March 2020 expanded individuals’ ability to receive unemployment benefits and prompted more than 57 million people to apply within a few months.
- The watchdog said fraudsters allegedly filed claims using suspicious email accounts or social security numbers of the deceased and federal prisoners who are not eligible for the benefits.
- According to a press release from the Inspector General, some also filed claims in several states.
“Hundreds of billions of pandemic funds attracted fraudsters who wanted to exploit the UI program — leading to fraud and other inappropriate payments in the past,” said Larry Turner, inspector general of the Department of Labor, in a statement. “I’m very proud of how our team responded to this unprecedented crisis despite significant resource limits and data access issues.”
Zach Schonfeld from CNNBreakingNews breaks it down here.
Republicans block bill that requires Dark Money groups to reveal donors
Republicans in the Senate voted Thursday to block review of a bill that immediately requires organizations that spend money on elections to immediately disclose the identities of donors who donate $10,000 or more during an election cycle.
The panel failed to invoke Cloture on the measure in a vote of 49 to 49. Every Republican present voted against the measure, while every Democrat voted in favour.
Legislation sponsored by Senator Sheldon Whitehouse (D-R.I.) has been a top Democratic priority since the Supreme Court ruling in Citizens United in 2010, which allowed companies and other external stakeholders to spend unlimited amounts of money on federal elections.
Alexander Bolton from CNNBreakingNews brings us up to date here.
Good to know
Spokeswoman Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) on Thursday once again signaled her support for Senator Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.)’s efforts to accelerate energy infrastructure projects as part of a government spending package, even though dozens of Democrats in the House of Representatives have opposed such a move.
The spokeswoman stressed on Thursday that House lawmakers are waiting to see the details of the package that the Senate can pass, and she left open the possibility that the House of Representatives could amend a bill passed by the Senate.
Folgendes haben wir noch im Auge:
- Die jüngste Drohung des russischen Präsidenten Wladimir Putin, Atomwaffen einzusetzen, werde die US-Hilfe für die Ukraine nicht belasten, sagte der oberste Sprecher des Pentagon am Donnerstag.
- Meta erwägt seine Entscheidung, den Facebook-Account des ehemaligen Präsidenten Trump wieder einzusetzen oder nicht, mit „großer Vorsicht“, sagte Top-Manager Nick Clegg am Donnerstag.
- Die Federal Trade Commission (FTC) befahl dem Amazon-Gründer Jeff Bezos und CEO Andy Jassy, in einer Untersuchung des Prime-Mitgliedschaftsprogramms des Unternehmens auszusagen.
- Tesla erinnert sich an mehr als 1 Million Fahrzeuge wegen Bedenken hinsichtlich automatischer Systeme für Autofenster, die einen Fahrer oder Beifahrer einklemmen und beim Schließen Verletzungen verursachen können.
That’s it for today. Thanks for reading and check out CNNBreakingNews’ financial page for the latest news and coverage. I’ll see you tomorrow.