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Friday, May 22nd

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Senate Plan Would Expand Regulation of Risky Lending

The chairman of the Senate banking committee on Tuesday proposed to dramatically overhaul the regulatory system by consolidating bank agencies, creating a consumer financial protection agency and imposing new restraints on exotic financial instruments and credit rating agencies.

The 1,136-page plan by Senator Christopher J. Dodd, a Connecticut Democrat, differs in major respects from both the White House and House plans. Even before it was made public, it had encountered sharp resistance from Republicans and powerful business interests in Washington.

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On sick list: Elderly and the ill pay more under GOP health care reform bill

Republican leaders are pleased their health reform plan would lower premiums on average up to 10% - and shave $68 billion from the federal deficit.

But the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office found an odd feature in the 230-page bill: Coverage would be more expensive for older people and folks who are sick.

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Democrats’ healthcare bill would pay for ‘prayer’ treatment

The three senators have quietly inserted a provision into the Democrats' healthcare overhaul that would allow the Christian Science church to receive remuneration from the federal government for prayer treatments as medical expenses.

Why are liberal Democrats teaming up with a conservative senator for a provision that would normally be the bane of the Senate's liberal elite? Because the headquarters of the Christian Science church is in Boston.

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Dems say CIA may have misled Congress 5 times

Intelligence subcommittee Chairwomen Jan Schakowsky (D-Ill.) and Anna Eshoo (D-Calif.) are leading an investigation into what they described as a practice of incomplete and often misleading intelligence briefings, which arose in the wake of CIA Director Leon Panetta’s June 24 admission that intelligence officials failed to notify Congress about a top-secret program to assassinate al Qaeda leaders.

TVNL Comment: The word is "lied."

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Justice officials won’t take oath before briefing

A House intelligence committee meeting was abruptly terminated when Justice Department officials refused to be sworn in before briefing the lawmakers.

The officials had been expected to brief the committee Wednesday on the department's review of an internal CIA report on the 2001 shootdown of a plane over Peru that was carrying American missionaries. Two of the passengers were killed.

TVNL Comment: They reserve the right to lie.

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CBO Says Senate Health Bill Would Expand Coverage, Reduce Deficit

The assessment by Congress's nonpartisan auditors has been awaited by committee members as they prepare to vote on the bill, perhaps as soon as Thursday. And the CBO report lends a huge political boost to the Finance Committee's work: distinguishing it as the only one of five bills drafted by various congressional committees that meets every important test established by President Obama and key Democratic leaders.

-- It would cost less than $900 billion over the next decade;

-- It would vastly expand coverage; and

-- It would keep Obama's pledge that health reform will not increase budget deficits by "one dime" now or in the future.

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GOP Senators Pull Out of Inquiry Into CIA Program

Republicans on the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence said Friday that they will no longer participate in an investigation into the Bush administration's interrogation policies, arguing that Attorney General Eric H. Holder Jr.'s decision to reexamine allegations of detainee abuse by the CIA would hobble any inquiry.

The intelligence committee launched a review in March of CIA interrogations of high-value detainees such as Khalid Sheik Mohammed, who describes himself as the mastermind of the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks.

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