Bill To Allow Students To Refinance Private And Federal Loans Dies After Senate Debate

Bill To Allow Students To Refinance Private And Federal Loans Dies After Senate Debate

A bill to allow consumers to refinance their student loans to the rate currently being issued on new federal and private student loans succumbed to a painful death on the Senate floor Wednesday despite being championed by consumer advocates. [More]

Proposed For-Profit College Watchdog Group Would Call Out Which Problem Schools To Avoid

Proposed For-Profit College Watchdog Group Would Call Out Which Problem Schools To Avoid

For-profit colleges have been dominating the news cycle lately; from a newly proposed “gainful employment” rule to federal agencies suing schools for deceptive marketing tactics. The fight to rein in these sometimes predatory higher-education institutions doesn’t appear to be losing steam. Legislation proposed last week aims to improve the coordination between federal agencies that oversee the industry, while providing student with a list of unsavory schools. [More]

Senate Report: Target Missed Multiple Warning Signs Leading Up To Data Breach

Senate Report: Target Missed Multiple Warning Signs Leading Up To Data Breach

A new Senate staff report from the Commerce, Science and Transportation Committee released last night charges Target with missing multiple warning signs before hackers stole the personal information of up to 110 million customers late last year. [More]

Online State Sales Tax Solution Remains Elusive After Congress Declares ‘Fundamental Defects’ In Senate Bill

Online State Sales Tax Solution Remains Elusive After Congress Declares ‘Fundamental Defects’ In Senate Bill

After years of attempts to craft a federal law that would affirm states’ rights to tax online purchases, the issue may still be far from being resolved. The House Judiciary Committee has put the brakes on the Marketplace Fairness Act passed by the Senate in May. [More]

A Simple Guide For Contacting Your Local Lawmakers (And What To Say To Them)

A Simple Guide For Contacting Your Local Lawmakers (And What To Say To Them)

There are a lot of proposed laws out there, making their way through–or stalling out in–the House and Senate. And a common refrain from concerned parties is for everyone to “Call your representatives about this issue!” But to some people, that’s a daunting task. [More]

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Congress Gives The Go-Ahead To Student Loan Plan

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]

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Sen. Elizabeth Warren: It’s Obscene That The Govt. Profits Off Student Loans

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]

Senate Passes Food Safety Bill That Would Increase FDA Authority

Senate Passes Food Safety Bill That Would Increase FDA Authority

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]

Financial Reform Bill Passes Senate, 60-39

Financial Reform Bill Passes Senate, 60-39

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]

Financial Reform Bill Blocked Again

Financial Reform Bill Blocked Again

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]

Financial Reform Bill Stalls In Senate

Financial Reform Bill Stalls In Senate

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]

Consumer Financial Protection Agency On The Chopping Block

Consumer Financial Protection Agency On The Chopping Block

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]

Senate Passes Health Care Reform Bill

Senate Passes Health Care Reform Bill

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.

Senate Concerned About Buy.com's Aggressive Webloyalty Checkout Hardsell

Senate Concerned About Buy.com's Aggressive Webloyalty Checkout Hardsell

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]

Senate Introduces Bill To Rein In Early Termination Fees

Senate Introduces Bill To Rein In Early Termination Fees

Yesterday, four senators introduced legislation to make cell phone early termination fees be actually related to the cost of the phone. [More]

Senate Trying To Give FDA More Power

Senate Trying To Give FDA More Power

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]

Lexapro's Marketing Plan Shows How Drug Maker Pushes New Drugs

Lexapro's Marketing Plan Shows How Drug Maker Pushes New Drugs

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.

Senate $2 Billion Approves Cash For Clunkers Extension

Senate $2 Billion Approves Cash For Clunkers Extension

The Senate has approved $2 billion in additional funding for the CARS or Cash for Clunkers program. Of course, the perennial buzzkills at Consumer Reports Cars had to find a downside to the program’s continuation.