Friday, October 4

● Payment processor penalized

● Debt ceiling brinksmanship

● Wasting in environmental corruption

● Wall Street undermines reform

Payment processor penalized
The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau asked a federal judge to impose a $1.38 million civil penalty against Meracord LLC and its owner, Linda Remsberg, for helping debt-settlement companies to collect illegal fees from consumers. Meracord, one of the country’s largest debt-settlement companies, violated the Telemarketing Sales Rule which forbids the collection of upfront fees before settling a customer’s debts, the CFPB said.

Debt ceiling brinksmanship
The Department of Treasury concluded in a report that a failure by Congress to approve an increase to the debt ceiling would be unprecedented and potentially catastrophic. Among other outcomes: credit markets could freeze, the value of the dollar could plummet, and U.S. interest rates could skyrocket, potentially resulting in a financial crisis and recession that could echo the events of 2008 or worse.

Wasting in environmental corruption
The National Center for Policy Analysis, a conservative think tank, claimed in a report that $1.24 billion spent by the U.S. over the past 12 years to support the Global Environmental Facility has not achieved any measurable environmental benefit. The GEF, led by the United Nations and the World Bank, “has merely served as a mechanism to spread funds between wealthy countries while doing little to help the poorest nations,” NCPA said.

Wall Street undermines reform
The banking and finance industry has spent $3.2 billion on federal lobbying and campaign contributions since 2009 when the Troubled Asset Relief Program paid out $700 billion to save Wall Street from collapse, Public Citizen said in a report. Public Citizen said the industry’s lobbyists and campaign donors oppose reforms that are intended to prevent a similar future collapse.

For Immediate Release is a daily compilation of press releases found on more than 1,000 websites that are maintained by the federal government and national advocacy organizations. Press releases selected for this feature are, in the opinion of the editor, exceptionally newsworthy, interesting or just plain curious.

Click for access to an archive of past For Immediate Release reports.

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Unemployment At 6.2% As U.S. Adds 209,000 Jobs

July marks the first time since 1997 that more than 200,000 jobs have been added to the economy for six straight months.

TRNS News Notes- 8/1

Clusterf*#k: Congress meltdown
Last day of school: Members boo
GOP leaders stumble on Day One
“Speaker” Cruz to blame?
Gaza: 72-hour truce – violations?

Colorado Becomes A State, Limbaugh Starts Broadcasting, And Al D’Amato Turns 77

Denver, CO

Here’s what happened today in American political history.

Click here for: Friday, August 1

● Consumers should beware overdraft protection

● USDA unveils poultry inspection system

● Oil and gas industry burdens taxpayers

● Rebellion smolders after Bundy standoff

● Sales tax holiday is not a vacation

● Religion and politics: A taxable mixture

Senate Rejects Emergency Border Bill

A CBP Border Patrol agent scans the area into Mexico with binoculars looking for illegal immigrants potentially staging to enter the U.S.

Two Democrats joined Senate Republicans in blocking the bill, which would have provided $2.7 billion in emergency funding for the southern U.S. border.

Senate Approves VA Reform Bill

Erie VA Medical Center Erie, PA. Photo/Dept. of Veterans Affairs.

In a rare glimpse of bipartisanship, the Senate approved the bill to overhaul the VA on the cusp of the August recess.