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Category Archives: Congress

Legal experts say Supreme Court ruling on Trump financial records will have far-reaching effect

SCOTUS Blog – Opinion analysis – Disputes over Trump financial records to continue: “This morning [July 9, 2020] the Supreme Court issued its long-awaited rulings in the battle over efforts to obtain financial records belonging to President Donald Trump. By a vote of 7-2, the justices sent a pair of cases challenging congressional subpoenas for the records back to the lower courts for another look, holding that subpoenas involving the president must be subject to a tougher standard than the courts had applied. In a third case, in which the president challenged a subpoena by a Manhattan district attorney, the justices – again by a vote of 7-2 – rejected the president’s claim that he is always immune from state grand jury proceedings while he is in office. But the decision in that case does not mean that the financial records that the grand jury seeks will be turned over: The court sent the case back to the trial court and agreed that the president could still argue that complying with this subpoena would interfere with his ability to do his job. The upshot of today’s decisions is that the disputes are likely to continue in the lower courts for some time; even if the House of Representatives and the New York prosecutor ultimately prevail, neither Congress nor the New York grand jury will have access to the documents anytime soon.

The dispute at the heart of Trump v. Mazars began in April 2019, when three different committees of the House of Representatives issued subpoenas for the president’s financial records. Explaining that it wanted the records as part of an investigation into the adequacy of current government ethics laws, the House Committee on Oversight and Reform sought documents from Mazars, the president’s longtime accountant. The second case, Trump v. Deutsche Bank (argued and decided together with Mazars), arose after the House Committee on Financial Services and the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence issued subpoenas to Deutsche Bank and Capitol One seeking records relating to the president, his family and the Trump Organization as part of an investigation into possible foreign influence in U.S. elections…”

Federal workers are returning to the office

Washington Post – Some members of Congress say they shouldn’t be. “With the number of coronavirus cases increasing across much of the country, leading members of Congress on civil service issues are challenging orders by federal agencies for teleworking federal employees to return to their regular worksites. “I think we have to press the pause… Continue Reading

Audit Finds Facebook’s Decisions Were ‘Setbacks for Civil Rights

The New York Times – “An independent audit faulted the social network for allowing hate speech and disinformation to thrive — potentially posing a threat to the November elections. Auditors handpicked by Facebook to examine its policies said that the company had not done enough to protect people on the platform from discriminatory posts and… Continue Reading

Programs to Collect Data on Law Enforcement Activities: Overview and Issues

CRS report via LC – Programs to Collect Data on Law Enforcement Activities: Overview and Issues, July 6, 2020: “The death of George Floyd in Minneapolis, MN,while he was in the custody of law enforcement, and several other recent high-profile deaths of African Americans at the hands of police,have generated interest in legislation to reform… Continue Reading

SBA Paycheck Protection Program Loan Level Data

Department of the Treasury SBA Paycheck Protection Program Loan Level Data To download all Paycheck Protection Program data, click here. Paycheck Protection Program Loans of $150,000 and above by State Click here to download Paycheck Protection Program loan data by state for loans of $150,000 and above. The data for all 56 states and territories is available… Continue Reading

Coronavirus will undermine trust in government, ‘scarring body and mind’ for decades, research finds

Washington Post – “Two new working papers present complementary data showing that the coronavirus pandemic will leave a deep psychological scar on the nation for years to come. The first, led by Julian Kozlowski of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis, finds that the experience of the coronavirus and ensuing recession could make people… Continue Reading

House Democrats release the most detailed climate plan in US political history

“Plan Would Put Americans Back To Work, Save Lives, And Help the United States Reach Net Zero By 2050 – On Tuesday, led by Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Chair Kathy Castor (D-FL), members of the House Select Committee on the Climate Crisis unveiled a comprehensive plan titled “Solving the Climate Crisis: The Congressional Action Plan for a Clean Energy… Continue Reading

Many Americans See Exaggeration, Conspiracy Theories and Partisanship in COVID-19 News

“As Americans continue to process a steady flow of information about the coronavirus outbreak – from changing infection and death rates to new testing protocols and evolving social distancing guidelines – they give the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and other public health organizations the highest rating when it comes to getting the facts… Continue Reading

Public’s Mood Turns Grim; Trump Trails Biden on Most Personal Traits, Major Issues

New National Survey by Pew Research Center – Just 17% say they are ‘proud’ when thinking about state of the U.S. – “With less than five months until the 2020 elections, Americans are deeply unhappy with the state of the nation. As the United States simultaneously struggles with a pandemic, an economic recession and protests… Continue Reading

Stimulus check update, status, amount, eligibility

CNET – Everything to know about the IRS payment – “Answers to all your stimulus payment questions are here. Find out how much of the $1,200 you could receive, see if the IRS has scheduled your 2020 check yet, learn when your money will arrive and more…We’ll help you understand: If you’re eligible to receive… Continue Reading

Republicans, Democrats Move Even Further Apart in Coronavirus Concerns

“As the number of coronavirus cases surges in many states across the United States, Republicans and Democrats increasingly view the disease in starkly different ways, from the personal health risks arising from the coronavirus outbreak to their comfort in engaging in everyday activities. These differences extend to opinions about whether a new stimulus package will… Continue Reading

Demographic report on protests shows how much info our phones give away

Buzzfeed: “On the weekend of May 29, thousands of people marched, sang, grieved, and chanted, demanding an end to police brutality and the defunding of police departments in the aftermath of the police killings of George Floyd and Breonna Taylor. They marched en masse in cities like Minneapolis, New York, Los Angeles, and Atlanta, empowered… Continue Reading