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Senate Advances Bank Law Rewrite

Senate votes to advance changes to Dodd-Frank rollback. The Hill: “The Senate voted Monday to advance a set of updates to a bipartisan bill to loosen strict banking rules that are part of the Dodd–Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act. The Senate voted 66 to 30 to end debate on an amendment from the bill’s sponsors meant to mute liberal criticisms of the measure and earn support from skeptical House conservatives. Both the amendment and underlying bill are expected to pass the Senate with broad bipartisan support. Last week’s failed negotiations over other amendments to the bill delayed votes to Monday. The bill from Senate Banking Committee Chairman Mike Crapo (R-Idaho) includes the most sweeping changes to Dodd–Frank with bipartisan support. Thirteen Democratic senators support the bill, blocking a filibuster from liberal colleagues, despite fierce criticism from the left.”

Bank Bill Makes It Easier For Lenders To Discriminate

Senate is poised to roll back rules meant to root out discrimination by mortgage lenders. WaPo: “The Senate is poised to pass a bill this week that would weaken the government’s ability to enforce fair-lending requirements, making it easier for community banks to hide discrimination against minority mortgage applicants and harder for regulators to root out predatory lenders. The sweeping bill rolls back banking rules passed after the 2008 financial crisis, including a little-known part of the Dodd-Frank Act that required banks and credit unions to report more detailed lending data so abuses could be spotted. The bipartisan plan, which is expected to pass, would exempt 85 percent of banks and credit unions from the new requirement, according to a Consumer Financial Protection Bureau analysis of 2013 data. The mortgage industry says the expanded data requirements are onerous and costly, especially for small lenders. But civil rights and consumer advocates say the information is critical to identifying troubling patterns that warrant further investigation by regulators. ‘The data operates as a canary in the coal mine, functioning as a check on banks’ practices,’ said Catherine Lhamon, chair of the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights. ‘The loss of that sunlight allows discrimination to proliferate undetected.’ For decades, banks have been required under the 1975 Home Mortgage Disclosure Act to report borrowers’ race, ethnicity and Zip codeso officials could tell whether lenders were serving the communities in which they are located and identify racist lending practices such as redlining. But discriminatory practices continued, with the financial industry disproportionately targeting black and Hispanic borrowers with subprime mortgages loaded with high fees and adjustable interest rates that skyrocketed after the stock market crashed in 2008.”

DHS Wants To Send Armed Feds To Polling Places

DHS Reauthorization Bill would let Trump send Secret Service to polling places. Common Dreams: “Civil rights advocates and top election officials are expressing alarm over a section in the Department of Homeland Security reauthorization bill that would allow the president to send Secret Service agents to polling places… Kristen Clarke, president and executive director of the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law, said Monday that the plan ‘is both chilling and unprecedented,’ and pointed to the administration’s efforts to suppress the vote. ‘History has shown that the presence of law enforcement at the polls has the effect of chilling voter turnout, especially among minority communities. Any plans to send armed guards to polling places must be considered alongside President Trump’s recent issuance of an executive order disbanding his failed Commission on Election Integrity. It was clear from the start that President Trump launched the Commission to lay the groundwork to promote voter suppression efforts across the country,’ she said.”

ICE Spokesman Quits, Cites Lies By Agency

SF’s ICE spokesman quits, disputes agency’s claim that 800 eluded arrest. SF Chronicle: “The San Francisco spokesman for U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement resigned after the agency’s recent Northern California sweep, saying he couldn’t continue to do his job after Trump administration officials made false public statements about a key aspect of the operation. James Schwab told The Chronicle on Monday that he was frustrated by repeated statements by officials, including U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions, that roughly 800 undocumented immigrants escaped arrest because of Oakland Mayor Libby Schaaf’s Feb. 24 warning to the public about the four-day operation, issued the night before federal officers began staking out homes and knocking on doors. Schwab wanted the agency to correct the number, which he understood to be far lower, and didn’t want to deflect media questions about it, he said. ‘I quit because I didn’t want to perpetuate misleading facts,’ said Schwab, 38, who was hired in 2015 and resigned last week. ‘I asked them to change the information. I told them that the information was wrong, they asked me to deflect, and I didn’t agree with that. Then I took some time and I quit.'”

Trump Names CIA Chief To Head State Department

Trump ousts Tillerson, will replace him as secretary of state with CIA chief Pompeo. WaPo: “President Trump has ousted Secretary of State Rex Tillerson and plans to nominate CIA Director Mike Pompeo to replace him as the nation’s top diplomat, orchestrating a major change to his national security team amid delicate negotiations with North Korea, White House officials said Tuesday… The president — who has long clashed will Tillerson, who he believes is ‘too establishment’ in his thinking — felt it was important to make the change now, as he prepares for talks with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, as well as upcoming trade negotiations, three White House officials said.”

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