Is it breezy in here or is the combined sighs of relief we’re feeling from college students and parents now that the Congress has reached a compromise on student loan rates? After weeks of the Senate trying to wangle a way to retroactively keep those rates down, the House voted yesterday to approve a compromise from the Senate, which will tie interest rates to the dips and dives of the financial markets. [More]
There were several sticking points that bogged down the U.S. Senate from quickly passing legislation that would provide a long-term solution to the problem of interest rates on federal Stafford student loans. Among these was whether the government should be able to charge a rate that would allow it to make a profit. [More]
Earlier today, the Senate passed its version of a new food safety bill that would increase the authority of the Food & Drug Administration in making recalls and inspecting food processing facilities. The intent behind the bill is to proactively prevent outbreaks of tainted food instead of just dealing with the negative health and economic after effects. [More]
Two weeks after finally getting through the House of Representatives in a heavily edited form, the financial reform bill was passed by the Senate earlier today by a vote of 60-39. [More]
It’s deja vu all over again: For the second day in a row, Republicans blocked debate on the financial reform bill. Once more, the vote was 57-41. And, once more, Democrat Ben Nelson of Nebraska broke ranks and voted with Republicans against the bill. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid plans to bring the bill up for a vote again tomorrow. [More]
With a 57-41 vote, Senate Republicans blocked debate over the White House-supported financial reform bill. The Democrats needed a 60-vote “supermajority” to avoid a Republican filibuster threat. Democrats plan to reintroduce the bill as early as tomorrow. [More]
According to the Wall Street Journal, Senator Chris Dodd, a Democrat from Connecticut, has offered to abandon the Consumer Financial Protection Agency (CFPA) proposal in exchange for Republican support on other legislation. Nobody is saying anything official right now, but the WSJ reports that “the offer is conditional on the creation of a stronger consumer protection division within another federal agency.” [More]
In case you missed it, Senate Democrats managed to succeed at their goal of pushing through some sort of health care reform bill before Christmas Day–the chamber voted this morning 60-39 along party lines and passed the bill. Up next: the Senate and House have to get together and negotiate some final version. If you want to compare what’s in the House and Senate versions, the New York Times has put together an excellent side-by-side comparison tool.
Before you can finish your purchase at Buy.com, you have to go through an entire page trying to upsell you to the much-maligned Webloyalty program and click the tiny “no thanks” button at the bottom. You can find it located under the large YES! button. [More]
Yesterday, four senators introduced legislation to make cell phone early termination fees be actually related to the cost of the phone. [More]
Last week the Senate cooked up a Scooby Snack for the FDA. The Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee unanimously approved a bill that will make the FDA run around all hyper and bestow it with super strength and ghost-catching ability, the LA. Times reports, though not in those words. [More]
The Senate just released 88 pages of a confidential 270+ page marketing plan by Forest Laboratories, created in 2004 and focused on how to get doctors to prescribe the antidepressant Lexapro over similar but cheaper alternatives such as Celexa. The New York Times notes that the line between marketing and education seems to be heavily blurred, which may not surprise you. There are, however, two interesting notes for consumers who may be taking Lexapro.
Tomorrow, a Senate committee will hold a hearing on legislation that grants passengers the right to deplane if their plane is delayed on the runway for more than 3 hours. The legislation will also require that airlines provide water, food, and bathroom facilities during delays. If passed, it will be ignored by Delta.
Radio Shack is charging New York City consumers an extra half-percent of sales tax, even though the State hasn’t approved a new tax rate. Before descending into a chaotic mess of embarrassing inaction, the New York State Senate was widely expected to hike the sales tax New York City’s local sales from 8.375% to 8.875%. That never happened, a minor detail that isn’t stopping Radio Shack from collecting more tax, as reader Jeff discovered…