Lawmakers want to know why interest rates on savings accounts aren’t rising as fast as the Federal Reserve’s baseline interest rate range. We’ll also look at GOP resistance to a key priority for Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.V.) and up to $45 billion in pandemic relief fraud.
But first, find out why falling home prices aren’t much help to young Americans.
Congressional lawmakers slammed U.S. bankers this week for not raising interest rates on savings accounts held by everyday consumers despite a series of major increases in the federal funds rate by the Federal Reserve.
“One of the only silver linings in a rising interest rate environment is that savers are supposed to be rewarded for their savings,” Del. Michael San Nicolas (D-Guam) said during a hearing of the House Financial Services Committee Wednesday.
The committee heard testimony from the heads of JP Morgan Chase, Wells Fargo and Bank of America, among other big U.S. banks.
The Hill’s Tobias Burns has more here.
LEADING THE DAY
Republicans lining up against Manchin’s permitting reform bill
Senate Republicans are lining up against the permitting reform bill that centrist Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) unveiled Wednesday evening, shortly before it is to be added to a must-pass government funding bill scheduled for the floor next week.
As a result, key Republicans say a stopgap funding bill with Manchin’s language reforming the permitting process for energy projects will not have enough support to pass.
The Hill’s Alex Bolton has the rundown here.
Labor Department watchdog identifies $45 billion of potential pandemic unemployment fraud
The Labor Department inspector general on Thursday identified $45.6 billion in potential unemployment insurance fraud during the pandemic, a figure that far exceeds past estimates.
A sweeping federal relief package signed by former President Trump in March 2020 expanded the ability for individuals to receive unemployment benefits, leading more than 57 million people to apply in a matter of months.
“Hundreds of billions in pandemic funds attracted fraudsters seeking to exploit the UI program — resulting in historic levels of fraud and other improper payments,” Labor Department Inspector General Larry Turner said in a statement. “I am extremely proud of how our team has responded to this unprecedented crisis, despite significant resource constraints and data access issues.”
The Hill’s Zach Schonfeld breaks it down here.
Republicans block bill requiring dark money groups to reveal donors
Senate Republicans voted Thursday to block the consideration of a bill to promptly require organizations that spend money on elections to promptly disclose the identities of donors who give $10,000 or more during an election cycle.
The body failed to invoke cloture on the measure, in a 49-49 vote. Every Republican present voted against the measure, while every Democrat voted for it.
The legislation, sponsored by Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse (D-R.I.), has been a top Democratic priority since the Supreme Court ruling in Citizens United in 2010 that enabled corporations and other outside special interest groups to spend unlimited amounts of money on federal elections.
The Hill’s Alexander Bolton brings us up to speed here.
Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) on Thursday signaled again her support for an effort by Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) to expedite energy infrastructure projects as part of a government spending package, even as dozens of House Democrats have opposed such a move.
The Speaker emphasized Thursday that House lawmakers are waiting to see the details of whatever package the Senate is able to pass, and she left open the possibility that the House could alter a Senate-passed bill.
Here’s what else we have our eye on:
That’s it for today. Thanks for reading and check out The Hill’s Finance page for the latest news and coverage. We’ll see you tomorrow.