April 8, 2021

Congress

Pressure Builds on Congress to Help People Afford Pricey Flood Insurance

Congress is under pressure to subsidize flood insurance costs for low-income households after the federal government announced last week that it would increase flood insurance premiums for millions of homeowners.

Of the 5 million properties insured by the National Flood Insurance Program, about 3.9 million soon will see a hike in premiums—and 200,000 substantially so. The new rates will go into effect in October for new policyholders and April 2022 for homeowners renewing policies (Climatewire, April 2).

“An affordability plan is still needed,” said David Maurstad, the Federal Emergency Management Agency official in charge of the program. FEMA

Read More

‘False hopes’: Small business rescue faces crunch just days after Congress extended it

Now, some advocacy groups are warning that the funding lapse could leave thousands of small businesses on the sidelines and that Congress must spend billions more, particularly to help those that Biden promised to support with more generous loan terms implemented last month.

“This is unfair for the smallest businesses to be shut out in the final hours,” said Erik Asgeirsson, an executive with the American Institute of CPAs, which is calling for more PPP funding. “A lot of false hopes were raised.”

The sudden lurch into a new PPP funding discussion just after a debate on extending the application

Read More

Intern pay was meant to boost Congress’ diversity. Most of the money went to white kids

While paying interns is a start, the report argues they need to be paid more. The average intern pay was $1,986.75 in the Senate and $1,612.53 in the House, for stints that normally run five and seven weeks, respectively. Monthly rent for a barebones studio apartment in D.C. alone can run $1,600, leaving no money for other costs.

While the House has already increased the intern pay allotments to $25,000 per office and loosened some of the rules around how the money can be spent — allowing some of it to go to district office interns — Vera said more

Read More

Under fire, Robinhood CEO apologizes to Congress for restricting trading

Wall Street, Silicon Valley, rogue internet chatrooms and Congress collided Thursday in a hearing to dissect what went down during the recent skyrocketing rally of GameStop and other stocks.

The virtual hearing of the House Financial Services Committee was called after shares of GameStop, AMC and other stocks favored by online traders surged late last month on the back of a “short squeeze” strategy that made early investors millions of dollars on paper, while hedge funds that bet against them lost billions.

Many of the retail investors used the zero-commission trading app Robinhood to execute their trades — but they

Read More

Roaring Kitty Will Tell Congress He Was a True Believer in GameStop

Credit…via Youtube

Keith Gill, the former MassMutual wellness education director who advocated for shares of GameStop in his free time, is prepared to tell a House committee on Thursday that he never provided investment advice for a fee and did not “solicit anyone to buy or sell the stock for my own profit.”

The statement made no mention of the fact

Read More