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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Hamburg Is Destroyed, Nixon’s “Kitchen Debate”, And Congress Kicks Out Jim Traficant

Here’s what happened today in American political history.

Click here for: Thursday, July 24

● EPA plan for Four Corners haze survives review

● Regulators blitz foreclosure relief scammers

● FOIA suit seeks clemency program documents

● GOP plan raids low-income families

● Human smugglers caught in ICE net

● Birds threatened by football stadium

UN: Rockets Found In Gaza School ‘Have Gone Missing’

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The U.N.’s Palestine relief agency said it followed protocol in notifying local Palestinian authorities of the discovered weapons.

Hagel Offers To House Additional Undocumented Children, Extend Base Leases

The Pentagon currently houses 2,500 undocumented children, on three military bases, who have fled Central America where crime is on the rise.

Pentagon: Russia Continues To Supply Weapons To Separatists

Pentagon Spokesman Col. Steve Warren said that Russia continues to supply the Ukrainian separatists with weapons and “includes training on air defense systems.”

IRS Stopped Internal Lerner Email Investigation

“We have gone out of our way not to talk to anyone that they might potentially want to interview about what happened three years ago when the hard drives crashed,” said Koskinen.