Facebook currency chief faces withering questioning from Democrats in Congress

Joshua Roberts | ReutersFacebook’s crypto chief David Marcus faced skepticism Wednesday from lawmakers at a House Financial Services Committee hearing on the company’s plans for the digital currency Libra. He asked Marcus if he considers Libra a security, commodity or an exchange-traded fund. GovernanceSome representatives asked Marcus about how the 27 organizations that make up Libra’s governing body alongside Facebook were chosen. Rep. Anthony Gonzalez, R-O.H., also asked Marcus how many of th


Joshua Roberts | ReutersFacebook’s crypto chief David Marcus faced skepticism Wednesday from lawmakers at a House Financial Services Committee hearing on the company’s plans for the digital currency Libra. He asked Marcus if he considers Libra a security, commodity or an exchange-traded fund. GovernanceSome representatives asked Marcus about how the 27 organizations that make up Libra’s governing body alongside Facebook were chosen. Rep. Anthony Gonzalez, R-O.H., also asked Marcus how many of th
Facebook currency chief faces withering questioning from Democrats in Congress Cached Page below :
Company: cnbc, Activity: cnbc, Date: 2019-07-17  Authors: lauren feiner
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Facebook currency chief faces withering questioning from Democrats in Congress

David Marcus, CEO of Facebook’s Calibra, testifies to the House Financial Services Committee hearing on “Examining Facebook’s Proposed Cryptocurrency and Its Impact on Consumers, Investors, and the American Financial System” on Capitol Hill in Washington, July 17, 2019. Joshua Roberts | Reuters

Facebook’s crypto chief David Marcus faced skepticism Wednesday from lawmakers at a House Financial Services Committee hearing on the company’s plans for the digital currency Libra. The hearing’s tone was far more harsh than the one Marcus testified at Tuesday before the Senate Committee on Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs. Several members of congress on the House committee expressed skepticism over Facebook’s decision to delve into a digital currency and financial services before it has tackled other problems around privacy and election meddling. Rep. Brad Sherman, D-Calif., had the harshest and most absurd critique of Libra, comparing its potential consequences to the terrorist attacks on 9/11. “We’re told by some that innovation is always good,” Sherman said. “The most innovative thing that’s happened this century is when Osama bin Laden came up with the innovative idea of flying two airplanes into towers. That’s the most consequential innovation, although this may do more to endanger America than even that.” Sherman called for Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg to face congress and said the executive, “needs to be an advocate for privacy and so he is creating a device which will provide privacy to drug dealers, human traffickers, terrorists, tax evaders and sanctions evaders.” Other members of the committee were less dire, but they were still critical of Facebook’s plans for Libra. “This is not Silicon Valley,” Rep. Nydia Velasquez, D-N.Y., told Marcus. “You cannot work out problems as you go.” Velasquez, Chairwoman Maxine Waters, D-Calif., and Rep. Carolyn Maloney, D-N.Y., asked Marcus if he would commit to refraining from moving forward with Libra until policymakers put appropriate regulations in place. Clarifying his response, Marcus told Waters, “I committed to waiting for us to have all the appropriate regulatory approvals and have addressed all concerns before moving forward.” “That’s not a commitment,” Waters responded. Maloney asked if Marcus would commit to a pilot program to launch Libra to 1 million users with regulatory oversight. Marcus said that Facebook came out with this plan and a white paper prior to Libra’s full release in order to go through regulators. “I don’t think you should launch Libra at all because the creation of a new currency is a core government function,” Maloney said. “But at the very least you should agree to do this small pilot program first.”

‘What is a Libra?’

Lawmakers asked Marcus to clarify how to qualify Libra and the system around it. “What is a Libra?” asked ranking member Patrick McHenry, R-N.C. He asked Marcus if he considers Libra a security, commodity or an exchange-traded fund. Marcus said he does not consider Libra a security or ETF, and said it could possibly be considered a commodity. McHenry asked if Libra will be more like PayPal, of which Marcus previously served as president, or Western Union. Marcus said it would depend on the transaction, but it would usually be more akin to PayPal. Rep. Ed Perlmutter, D-Colo., also drilled down on whether Libra is more like a bank or an app like Venmo. He highlighted the tension lawmakers feel over the new currency. “We all have this same question for you and that’s the resistance you’re feeling because we think you’re a bank, but you’re not quite like a bank,” Perlmutter said. “And if you’re a bank, we regulate the heck out of you because we’ve seen a lot of people lose money where there hasn’t been regulation. So that’s the resistance that I feel, I want to support your innovation I want to support the efficiency that you people believe you’re bringing to the table. But I also don’t want anybody getting hurt here.” In response to a question from Rep. Scott Tipton, R-C.O., Marcus said the project is not planning to offer banking services, but acknowledged that banking regulation would be in order if it were. Throughout the hearing, Marcus stressed the focus of Libra is “payments” rather than banking.

Impact on the U.S. Dollar

Lawmakers also expressed concern about the impact of Libra on the strength of the U.S. dollar. “Tell me how Libra will not undermine sovereign currencies and the power of central banks. Or is the point, is the very point, to undermine central bakers and to provide greater freedom away from central banking?” Rep. Andy Barr, R-K.Y. asked. “I want to be very clear, we do not want to compete with the dollar or with sovereign currencies,” Marcus said. “This is why they make the reserve. And even in our wildest dreams, never will we come anywhere close from the size of any of the currencies that you mentioned.” Marcus did not directly answer a question from Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, D-N.Y., asking whether currency or Libra should be a public good. The Libra white paper does claim global currency “should be designed and governed as a public good.” Rep. Michael San Nicolas, D-Guam, said he didn’t believe that Facebook had not made projections about the average value users will hold in Libra. He said the potentially vast reach could disproportionately impact the U.S. because it holds a large portion of the global gross domestic product in dollars compared to its relative population size. “That’s money that’s being sucked out of the U.S. financial system and being put into whatever this cabal is putting together in terms of Libra and Calibra,” San Nicolas said. “Once we impact disproportionately U.S. dollar demand by sucking dollars into Libras, interest rates will have to rise to attract dollar denominated investors, higher interest rates will injure the U.S. economy and U.S. jobs, higher interest rates, perhaps more importantly, will raise the financing cost of funding U.S. military operations and national security.”

Governance

Some representatives asked Marcus about how the 27 organizations that make up Libra’s governing body alongside Facebook were chosen. “Who picked the founding members of this governance over the currency?” Ocasio-Cortez asked after Marcus responded that the members were not democratically elected. “The membership is open based on certain criteria,” Marcus said. “The first 27 other companies that have joined are the companies that have shared the desire to come and build this network and solve problems.” Rep. Anthony Gonzalez, R-O.H., also asked Marcus how many of the member groups Facebook recruited to the association. Marcus only said the company approached “a wide range of companies.” Rep. Katie Porter, D-Calif., asked which agency would be in charge of regulating the 1:1 backing of the Libra’s reserve. “What’s to stop the association from changing the contents of the basket to say 100% Venezuelan bolivars at the stated exchange rate?” Porter asked. “And that would again have the effect of making the Libra currency worthless.” “That is why we believe we need the right oversight for the reserve,” Marcus said, adding that the group is working with the G7 working group to determine who will be in charge of regulation.

Other Concerns


Company: cnbc, Activity: cnbc, Date: 2019-07-17  Authors: lauren feiner
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House Democrats vote to hold Attorney General William Barr and Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross in contempt over census fight

U.S. Attorney General William Barr delivers opening remarks at a summit on “Combating Anti-Semitism” at the Justice Department in Washington, July 15, 2019. House Democrats on Wednesday voted to hold Attorney General William Barr and Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross in criminal contempt of Congress for defying subpoenas related to President Donald Trump’s push to add a citizenship question to the 2020 census. The House Oversight and Government Reform Committee last month voted to recommend that th


U.S. Attorney General William Barr delivers opening remarks at a summit on “Combating Anti-Semitism” at the Justice Department in Washington, July 15, 2019. House Democrats on Wednesday voted to hold Attorney General William Barr and Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross in criminal contempt of Congress for defying subpoenas related to President Donald Trump’s push to add a citizenship question to the 2020 census. The House Oversight and Government Reform Committee last month voted to recommend that th
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House Democrats vote to hold Attorney General William Barr and Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross in contempt over census fight

U.S. Attorney General William Barr delivers opening remarks at a summit on “Combating Anti-Semitism” at the Justice Department in Washington, July 15, 2019.

House Democrats on Wednesday voted to hold Attorney General William Barr and Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross in criminal contempt of Congress for defying subpoenas related to President Donald Trump’s push to add a citizenship question to the 2020 census.

The resolution passed by a vote of 230-198. It marks the latest escalation in the fight between Democrats, who say their oversight duties require launching a slew of subpoenas and requests for information from the Trump administration, and Trump, who has vowed to fight “all the subpoenas” from the House.

The House Oversight and Government Reform Committee last month voted to recommend that the entire House hold Barr and Ross in contempt for “refusing to comply” with their subpoenas for information about the census controversy.

“It begs the question: What else is being hidden from the American people?” Oversight Chairman Elijah Cummings, D-Md., said in a press release at the time.

Ross responded in a statement Wednesday, saying, “House Democrats never sought to have a productive relationship with the Trump Administration, and today’s PR stunt further demonstrates their unending quest to generate headlines instead of operating in good faith with our Department.”

“It is an unfortunate fact that there are some who would like nothing more than to see this Administration fail whatever the cost to the country may be,” Ross said. “Preferring to play political games rather than help lead the country, they have made every attempt to ascribe evil motivations to everyday functions of government.”

The White House also responded after the decision, calling it a “ridiculous and yet another lawless attempt to harass the President and his Administration.”

Trump had asserted executive privilege over the documents requested by the committee. A Commerce Department official told Cummings in a letter at the time that Trump’s hand was forced because Oversight had set an “unnecessary” and “premature” contempt vote “rather than allowing the Department to complete its document production.”

Trump abandoned his bid to add the citizenship question to the 2020 census last Thursday, just a few weeks after the Supreme Court blocked the question. Chief Justice John Roberts said Ross’ reasoning for adding the citizenship question was “contrived” and not “genuine.” Trump himself said the reasoning for the question on the census was for redistricting purposes.

Instead of gathering the data through the census, Trump said he would order federal agencies to give the Commerce Department all records related to information regarding how many citizens and noncitizens live in the United States.

The census question would have led to fewer responses, especially in households with noncitizens, according to Census Bureau research. Democrats say adding the question would result in an undercount in areas with a large Hispanic population and other minority communities, which would reduce Democratic representation in such areas.


Company: cnbc, Activity: cnbc, Date: 2019-07-17  Authors: sunny kim kevin breuninger, sunny kim, kevin breuninger
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House Democrats vote to condemn Trump’s attacks on congresswomen as racist

The House voted Tuesday night to condemn as racist President Donald Trump’s recent tweets telling a group of progressive Democratic congresswomen to “go back and help fix the totally broken and crime infested places from which they came. ” The resolution, which passed 240-187 in the Democrat-led House just before 7 p.m. in New York, says, “Trump’s racist comments have legitimized fear and hatred of new Americans and people of color.” Later on the House floor, Pelosi called Trump’s tweets “racist


The House voted Tuesday night to condemn as racist President Donald Trump’s recent tweets telling a group of progressive Democratic congresswomen to “go back and help fix the totally broken and crime infested places from which they came. ” The resolution, which passed 240-187 in the Democrat-led House just before 7 p.m. in New York, says, “Trump’s racist comments have legitimized fear and hatred of new Americans and people of color.” Later on the House floor, Pelosi called Trump’s tweets “racist
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House Democrats vote to condemn Trump's attacks on congresswomen as racist

U.S. Reps Ayanna Pressley (D-MA), Ilhan Omar (D-MN), Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) and Rashida Tlaib (D-MI) hold a news conference after Democrats in the U.S. Congress moved to formally condemn President Donald Trump’s attacks on the four minority congresswomen on Capitol Hill in Washington, July 15, 2019.

The House voted Tuesday night to condemn as racist President Donald Trump’s recent tweets telling a group of progressive Democratic congresswomen to “go back and help fix the totally broken and crime infested places from which they came. ”

The resolution, which passed 240-187 in the Democrat-led House just before 7 p.m. in New York, says, “Trump’s racist comments have legitimized fear and hatred of new Americans and people of color.”

All Democrats and four Republicans, as well as newly independent Rep. Justin Amash of Michigan voted for the resolution.

Trump has disputed accusations that the comments were racist. His attacks were aimed at Reps. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez of New York, Rashida Tlaib of Michigan, Ilhan Omar of Minnesota and Ayanna Pressley of Massachusetts. The four lawmakers are all women of color, and all but one were born in the United States — Omar was born in Somalia and became an American citizen at age 17.

Trump tweeted Sunday morning saying it is “so interesting to see ‘Progressive’ Democrat Congresswomen, who originally came from countries whose governments are a complete and total catastrophe, the worst, most corrupt and inept anywhere in the world (if they even have a functioning government at all), now loudly and viciously telling the people of the United States, the greatest and most powerful Nation on earth, how our government is to be run.”

“Why don’t they go back and help fix the totally broken and crime infested places from which they came. Then come back and show us how it is done. These places need your help badly, you can’t leave fast enough,” Trump added in the series of tweets.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi responded later Sunday morning: “When @realDonaldTrump tells four American Congresswomen to go back to their countries, he reaffirms his plan to ‘Make America Great Again’ has always been about making America white again.”

Later on the House floor, Pelosi called Trump’s tweets “racist” — prompting Rep. Doug Collins, R-Ga., to move to strike the speaker’s words from the record, citing House rules about disparaging the president. The brouhaha caused about an hour-long delay in proceedings on the floor, NBC News reported.

Trump’s attacks on the progressive Democrats, which continued for days after his initial salvo, spurred most Democrats to react with similar harshness — not the least of whom being the “squad” of freshman Democrats themselves.

But Republicans on the Hill were more circumspect. Some, such as House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy of California, said that Trump’s tweets were not racist, while Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., called on “all of us” to temper the “incendiary rhetoric.” McConnell denied that Trump is a racist when asked by a reporter.

The resolution up for a vote Tuesday evening was sponsored by Rep. Tom Malinowski, D-N.J., himself a Polish immigrant. It says that Trump’s comments stoke fear and hatred “by saying that our fellow Americans who are immigrants, and those who may look to the President like immigrants, should ‘go back’ to other countries.”

The document also affirms that immigrant citizens are no less American than those born in the U.S. and compares Trump’s words with past presidents, including Ronald Reagan and Franklin Delano Roosevelt.

While the vote served as a show of solidarity for Democrats, it recommended no substantive penalty against Trump.

Rep. Al Green, the Texas Democrat who has long beat the drum for impeaching Trump, announced that he would introduce articles of impeachment Tuesday night.

“What do you do when the leader of the free world is a racist? What do you do? Well, here’s what you do. You file a resolution condemning the president for racist comments directed at Members of Congress. What do you do? You file Articles of Impeachment,” he said.

Trump continued to tweet and talk about the freshman lawmakers well into Tuesday. “IF YOU ARE NOT HAPPY HERE, YOU CAN LEAVE! It is your choice, and your choice alone. This is about love for America. Certain people HATE our Country,” the president tweeted Monday.

WATCH: Democratic Reps. respond to Trump’s comments


Company: cnbc, Activity: cnbc, Date: 2019-07-16  Authors: kevin breuninger
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Democrats’ student debt forgiveness proposals likely to resonate more in blue states

Democratic presidential hopeful Bernie Sanders has proposed wiping out all $1.6 trillion of outstanding student loan debt in the U.S., while rival Elizabeth Warren has called for canceling $640 billion of the debt. Voters in blue states stand to have more debt forgiven under these plans than those in red states, according to an analysis by CNBC. For example, the average student loan borrower in Maryland owes close to $40,000, compared with around $26,000 in North Dakota. College affordability is


Democratic presidential hopeful Bernie Sanders has proposed wiping out all $1.6 trillion of outstanding student loan debt in the U.S., while rival Elizabeth Warren has called for canceling $640 billion of the debt. Voters in blue states stand to have more debt forgiven under these plans than those in red states, according to an analysis by CNBC. For example, the average student loan borrower in Maryland owes close to $40,000, compared with around $26,000 in North Dakota. College affordability is
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Democrats' student debt forgiveness proposals likely to resonate more in blue states

Democratic presidential candidates New York City Mayor Bill De Blasio (L-R), Rep. Tim Ryan (D-OH), former housing secretary Julian Castro, Sen. Cory Booker (D-NJ), Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA), former Texas congressman Beto O’Rourke and Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-MN) take part in the first night of the Democratic presidential debate on June 26, 2019 in Miami, Florida.

Democratic presidential hopeful Bernie Sanders has proposed wiping out all $1.6 trillion of outstanding student loan debt in the U.S., while rival Elizabeth Warren has called for canceling $640 billion of the debt.

Voters in blue states stand to have more debt forgiven under these plans than those in red states, according to an analysis by CNBC.

For example, the average student loan borrower in Maryland owes close to $40,000, compared with around $26,000 in North Dakota.

The data make sense considering blue states have “expensive colleges and workforces that are high skilled and highly credentialed,” said Andrew Ross, director of American Studies at New York University and an expert on debt.

Still, Ross said, it can be people with smaller balances that are more negatively impacted overall by outstanding debt. For example, if a student never graduated college, s/he may have less debt than others but more repayment difficulties because the lack of a degree makes it a challenge to find a decent paying job.

College affordability is an issue everywhere in the country, said Mark Kantrowitz, a student loan expert. “All members of Congress are feeling pressure to do something about the student loan problem.”

More from Personal Finance:

The motherhood penalty is alive and well

Teens don’t think they’ll be financially independent by 30

Democrats push to roll back “anti-consumer” measures

Indeed, a Politico/Morning Consult poll found that more than half of Americans say student debt is “a major problem” for the country.

Yet while Republicans and Democrats are in agreement that student debt has to be addressed, “Democrats have been far more willing to invest in college affordability and to offer students relief from existing debt burdens,” said James Kvaal, president of the Institute for College Access & Success.

While the prospect of a debt jubilee is nowhere to be found in the Republican agenda, Ross said, “that’s not to say it wouldn’t appeal to GOP voters.”


Company: cnbc, Activity: cnbc, Date: 2019-06-28  Authors: annie nova john w schoen, annie nova, john w schoen
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Here are the Democrats who gained and lost the most in the first 2020 presidential primary debate

Twenty Democratic presidential candidates had their first chance to square off on the same stage this week. Winner: Kamala HarrisSen. Kamala Harris (D-CA) speaks during the second night of the first Democratic presidential debate on June 27, 2019 in Miami, Florida. In a tweet, Democratic presidential candidate John Delaney called Harris’ criticism of Biden an “incredible moment.” At one point during the debate, Harris was the top trending topic on Google across the U.S. Biden, for his part, said


Twenty Democratic presidential candidates had their first chance to square off on the same stage this week. Winner: Kamala HarrisSen. Kamala Harris (D-CA) speaks during the second night of the first Democratic presidential debate on June 27, 2019 in Miami, Florida. In a tweet, Democratic presidential candidate John Delaney called Harris’ criticism of Biden an “incredible moment.” At one point during the debate, Harris was the top trending topic on Google across the U.S. Biden, for his part, said
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Company: cnbc, Activity: cnbc, Date: 2019-06-27  Authors: jacob pramuk, cnbccom with reuters
Keywords: news, cnbc, companies, primary, democratic, harris, democrats, candidates, lost, miami, debate, orourke, gained, according, presidential, night, moment, 2020


Here are the Democrats who gained and lost the most in the first 2020 presidential primary debate

Twenty Democratic presidential candidates had their first chance to square off on the same stage this week. A handful of them took steps that could help them stand out in the jammed field — while others struggled or gained little ground on a crowded debate stage. Some of the race’s early leaders met expectations as contenders. Candidates such as Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., and South Bend, Indiana, Mayor Pete Buttigieg earned plaudits in surveys and from pundits. Others also had performances during the Wednesday and Thursday night debates that made them stand out — for better or worse. A strong debate performance can help to propel a candidate with donors and media coverage, but it hardly guarantees a surge or sustained success in a primary. On the other hand, one poor performance does not necessarily deter a candidate’s campaign — especially if they come into the debate with strong support. Here are five of the candidates that both post-debate polls and pundits identified as the winners and losers of the two nights of debate in Miami.

Winner: Kamala Harris

Sen. Kamala Harris (D-CA) speaks during the second night of the first Democratic presidential debate on June 27, 2019 in Miami, Florida. Drew Angerer | Getty Images

Harris took swings at President Donald Trump early in Thursday night’s debate. She criticized the Republican tax plan and his immigration policy. But she created the most memorable moment of either night when she targeted a Democratic rival. The senator from California criticized former Vice President Joe Biden — the primary’s early frontrunner — over his record on race and the desegregation of school busing in personal terms. “There was a little girl in California who was part of the second class to integrate her public schools, and she was bused to school every day, and that little girl was me,” Harris said. She called his comments about working with segregationist senators “hurtful.” In a tweet, Democratic presidential candidate John Delaney called Harris’ criticism of Biden an “incredible moment.” Lynn Vavreck, a professor of American politics and public policy at UCLA, called the moment “among the more amazing things I have seen in a political debate.” She added that Harris “had an amazing night.” It’s too early to tell how the moment will affect Harris in scientific polls. Still, searches on Google for “busing” spiked more than 3,000% after the senator brought up the issue, according to Google Trends. At one point during the debate, Harris was the top trending topic on Google across the U.S. Biden, for his part, said Harris mischaracterized his record on race. He said he worked as a public defender instead of a prosecutor, which Harris was as district attorney in San Francisco and attorney general in California.

Winner: Julian Castro

Democratic presidential hopeful former US Secretary of Housing and Urban Development Julian Castro speaks during the first Democratic primary debate of the 2020 presidential campaign season hosted by NBC News at the Adrienne Arsht Center for the Performing Arts in Miami, Florida, June 26, 2019. Jim Watson | AFP | Getty Images

“I think that you should do your homework on this issue,” Castro said to fellow Texan and former Rep. Beto O’Rourke after a heated exchange on whether the U.S. should decriminalize immigration. The Obama administration’s Housing and Urban Development secretary started the night’s discussion on immigration by saying a photo of a drowned father and 23-month-old daughter trying to gain asylum in the U.S. should “piss us all off.” He ended the night with the fourth-most speaking time out of the 10 participants, according to The Washington Post.

Castro entered the night as a relative unknown: Only about 39% of likely Democratic voters had an opinion of him entering the night, according to Morning Consult polling done for FiveThirtyEight. But after the debate, 47.4% of respondents had a favorable view of him, versus only 12.9% who had an unfavorable opinion. His net favorability rating — the difference between positive and negative views — increased 14.5 percentage points, more than that of any other candidate in Wednesday’s debate. In addition, 2.1% of likely Democratic voters said they would vote for him following the event, versus only 0.3% before it.

Winner: Cory Booker

Democratic presidential hopeful US Senator from New Jersey Cory Booker participates in the first Democratic primary debate of the 2020 presidential campaign season hosted by NBC News at the Adrienne Arsht Center for the Performing Arts in Miami, Florida, June 26, 2019. JIM WATSON | AFP | Getty Images

Booker has found himself outside the top tier of contenders in most early primary polling. He made his presence known on Wednesday night. The senator from New Jersey talked about how “this economy is not working for average Americans.” He tried to fight off accusations that he is too friendly to drug companies by promising to hold opioid makers criminally liable for their role in an addiction and overdose crisis. By the end of the night, Booker talked more than any other candidate. His net favorability rating jumped by 7.7 percentage points, third most among Wednesday’s participants, according to Morning Consult.

Loser: Beto O’Rourke

Former U.S. Rep. Beto O’Rourke speaks at the first U.S. 2020 presidential election Democratic candidates debate in Miami, Florida, U.S., June 26, 2019. Mike Segar | Reuters

Many experts considered the immigration spat with O’Rourke as Castro’s signature moment Wednesday. On a night where few candidates faced personal attacks, O’Rourke also found himself targeted for his health-care stance. When the former congressman argued against eliminating private insurance, New York Mayor Bill de Blasio jumped in to say the system “is not working for tens of millions of Americans.” Only Booker talked more than O’Rourke on Wednesday, according to the Post. But O’Rourke’s net favorability dropped 3.4 percentage points, the most among all the candidates on stage Wednesday, according to Morning Consult. After the debate, 2.8% of respondents said they would vote for O’Rourke, down from 3.8% before. During a conference call with O’Rourke on Thursday, his donors discussed how he could improve in the next debate.

Loser: Joe Biden

Democratic presidential candidate former Vice President Joe Biden speaks during the second night of the first Democratic presidential debate on Thursday, June 27, 2019, at the Arsht Center for the Performing Arts in Miami. Al Diaz | Miami Herald | Tribune News Service | Getty Images


Company: cnbc, Activity: cnbc, Date: 2019-06-27  Authors: jacob pramuk, cnbccom with reuters
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House passes Senate’s $4.6 billion emergency border aid bill amid Democratic divisions

Cracks in the House Democratic caucus showed Tuesday as the chamber passed the Senate’s version of an emergency border aid bill. The House approved the $4.6 billion Senate legislation Thursday following pressure from centrist members to take up the plan. “The children come first,” Pelosi wrote in a letter to Democratic members Thursday. Earlier, the 46-member caucus asked for “immediate consideration” of the Senate bill “given the humanitarian crisis at the border.” The plan Pelosi will take up


Cracks in the House Democratic caucus showed Tuesday as the chamber passed the Senate’s version of an emergency border aid bill. The House approved the $4.6 billion Senate legislation Thursday following pressure from centrist members to take up the plan. “The children come first,” Pelosi wrote in a letter to Democratic members Thursday. Earlier, the 46-member caucus asked for “immediate consideration” of the Senate bill “given the humanitarian crisis at the border.” The plan Pelosi will take up
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House passes Senate's $4.6 billion emergency border aid bill amid Democratic divisions

Cracks in the House Democratic caucus showed Tuesday as the chamber passed the Senate’s version of an emergency border aid bill.

The House approved the $4.6 billion Senate legislation Thursday following pressure from centrist members to take up the plan. It got through the House by a 305-102 margin and will head to President Donald Trump’s desk. Among Democrats, 129 members voted for the legislation, while 95 opposed it.

The Democratic Party’s liberal House members had insisted on including conditions for how the Trump administration treats children at detention centers as part of a separate bill it passed to fund the U.S. response to an influx of migrants at the southern border.

Congress is rushing to send money to the border before it leaves for its July 4 recess. The congressional spat over funding comes as Democrats criticize Trump for reports of dismal conditions for children detained at a U.S. facility in Texas. Pelosi said earlier that the House would “reluctantly pass” the Senate-approved bill.

“The children come first,” Pelosi wrote in a letter to Democratic members Thursday. “Therefore, we will not engage in the same disrespectful behavior that the Senate did in ignoring our priorities. In order to get resources to the children fastest, we will reluctantly pass the Senate bill.”

Democrats have nearly uniformly slammed Trump’s treatment of migrant children. Leaders have tried to stave off his threats to start mass deportations two weeks from Sunday if Congress does not pass changes to asylum laws.

In a tweet Thursday, Trump said Congress did a “great job” in passing the legislation. He wrote that Washington now “must work to get rid of the Loopholes and fix Asylum” laws.

But some fissures have emerged among Democrats over how much to constrict how Trump can spend money sent to border operations.

In a tweet Thursday, Congressional Progressive Caucus co-Chairman Rep. Mark Pocan, D-Wis., eviscerated the Problem Solvers Caucus, the centrist group that pushed for Pelosi to adopt the Senate plan. Earlier, the 46-member caucus asked for “immediate consideration” of the Senate bill “given the humanitarian crisis at the border.”

“Since when did the Problem Solvers Caucus become the Child Abuse Caucus?” Pocan asked. “Wouldn’t they want to at least fight against contractors who run deplorable facilities? Kids are the only ones who could lose today.”

Will Reinert, a spokesman for Problem Solvers Caucus co-chairman Rep. Tom Reed, R-N.Y., responded by saying Congress would have gone into next week without passing humanitarian aid without the group’s effort. He also pointed to reports about the White House making efforts to address Democratic concerns.

In a meeting with Pelosi earlier Thursday, Vice President Mike Pence agreed to notify Congress within 24 hours when a child dies in U.S. custody, according to multiple reports. He also agreed that children would not spend more than 90 days in migrant influx facilities. It is unclear what mechanisms the lawmakers would put in place to enforce the agreements.

The plan Pelosi will take up Thursday caused less tension in the Senate when it passed Wednesday. Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., voted for it as the chamber approved it by an 84-8 margin. Six Democrats voted against it.

The plan gives money to the Departments of Homeland Security and Health and Human Services to care for migrants at the southern border.

Furor over Trump administration policy grew after an Associated Press report depicted malnutrition and poor sanitary conditions for children at a detention facility in Texas.

Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, a New York Democrat and one of four Democrats who opposed the House-passed plan, tweeted Thursday that “they will keep hurting kids” if the House passes the Senate bill.

Subscribe to CNBC on YouTube.


Company: cnbc, Activity: cnbc, Date: 2019-06-27  Authors: jacob pramuk
Keywords: news, cnbc, companies, senates, trump, divisions, amid, plan, billion, caucus, members, democratic, border, bill, children, senate, emergency, pelosi, democrats, house, passes


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What Democratic debates have historically revealed about the candidates’ skills and character

Presidential candidates Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders debate at the CNN Brooklyn Navy Yard Democratic Debate, New York, April 14, 2016. The stakes and unpredictability of presidential debates make compelling television. This week’s Democratic debates, staged by NBC, MSNBC and Telemundo, feature more candidates than the party has ever fielded. But recent history shows the debates can reveal the candidates’ skills and character – even if the two stand at odds. “STRONG ON DEFENSE”The 2004 Demo


Presidential candidates Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders debate at the CNN Brooklyn Navy Yard Democratic Debate, New York, April 14, 2016. The stakes and unpredictability of presidential debates make compelling television. This week’s Democratic debates, staged by NBC, MSNBC and Telemundo, feature more candidates than the party has ever fielded. But recent history shows the debates can reveal the candidates’ skills and character – even if the two stand at odds. “STRONG ON DEFENSE”The 2004 Demo
What Democratic debates have historically revealed about the candidates’ skills and character Cached Page below :
Company: cnbc, Activity: cnbc, Date: 2019-06-25  Authors: john harwood
Keywords: news, cnbc, companies, clinton, obama, presidential, historically, president, debate, democratic, character, won, debates, revealed, skills, democrats, candidates


What Democratic debates have historically revealed about the candidates' skills and character

Presidential candidates Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders debate at the CNN Brooklyn Navy Yard Democratic Debate, New York, April 14, 2016.

The stakes and unpredictability of presidential debates make compelling television. The more candidates, the more unpredictable they become.

This week’s Democratic debates, staged by NBC, MSNBC and Telemundo, feature more candidates than the party has ever fielded. That might leave all 20 delivering brief, introductory versions of their stump speeches, or provoke long shots to seek attention by assailing better-known rivals such as Joe Biden or Elizabeth Warren.

But recent history shows the debates can reveal the candidates’ skills and character – even if the two stand at odds.

Here are five examples over the last 3 decades of what Democratic primary debates can show.

“PROFILES IN COURAGE”

In Dec. 1987, former Arizona Gov. Bruce Babbitt played Elizabeth Warren’s present-day role as as the Democrat most willing to spell out a detailed presidential agenda.

When NBC anchor Tom Brokaw challenged six Democrats to stand up if they supported tax increases, Babbitt rose to his feet alone.

“Not a lot of profiles in courage here,” Babbitt chided his cautious rivals.

Babbitt never took off as Massachusetts Gov. Michael Dukakis captured the Democratic nomination. GOP candidate George H.W. Bush, telling voters to “read my lips – no new taxes,” won the presidency.

But events vindicated Babbitt’s candor. Two years later, President Bush raised taxes.

“ELECTABILITY PROBLEM”

By 1992, Democrats had lost five of the previous six presidential elections. That March, ex-Gov. Jerry Brown of California seized on fears that front-runner Bill Clinton couldn’t win.

“I think he’s got a big electability problem,” Brown said. He cited news reports signaling conflicts of interest between Hillary Clinton’s Arkansas law firm and her husband’s gubernatorial administration.

Clinton flashed the focused, finger-pointing anger that would characterize his response to a later scandal. (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=K5kUITklALQ)

“You ought to be ashamed of yourself for jumping on my wife,” Clinton said. While rivals attacked him personally, he vowed to prevail as “an agent of change” on behalf of voters.

With political prowess like that, he did. But his subsequent affair with Monica Lewinsky belied his professed devotion to his wife, and in 2000 crippled the electability of his Vice President Al Gore.

“STRONG ON DEFENSE”

The 2004 Democratic debates began on May 3, 2003 – two days after President George W. Bush’s “mission accomplished” speech early in the Iraq War.

Connecticut Sen. Joe Lieberman, Gore’s 2000 running mate, derided rivals Howard Dean for opposing the war and John Kerry for expressing ambivalence.

“No Democrat will be elected in 2004 who is not strong on defense,” Lieberman declared.

Kerry’s middle-ground position prevailed; he won the nomination before losing to Bush in Nov. 2004. But Dean’s stance ultimately triumphed.

In 2006, Connecticut Democrats denied Lieberman their Senate nomination and drove him from the party. In 2008, Illinois Sen. Barack Obama made opposition to the Iraq War a foundation of his presidential bid.

“I WOULD”

In an early 2007 debate, a YouTube questioner asked Democrats if they would meet without preconditions with the leaders of American adversaries Cuba, Iran, North Korea, Syria and Venezuela.

“I would,” Obama immediately replied (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=x1dSPrb5w_k). He called it “ridiculous” to refuse diplomatic conversations in the belief that it punished those countries.

Eager to cast her less-experienced rival as unprepared on national security, Clinton insisted she would not: “I don’t want to be used for propaganda purposes.”

The Republican National Committee subsequently mocked Obama for displaying weakness. Eventual GOP nominee John McCain did the same.

In the end Obama won, and made Clinton his Secretary of State. Before ending his term, Obama restored diplomatic relations with Cuba and struck a nuclear deal with Iran.

Today, a Republican president’s approach has exceeded anything Clinton envisioned in calling Obama naïve. President Trump has held two fruitless summits with North Korea’s leader; he says the two “fell in love.”

“ENOUGH OF THE EMAILS”

By the first Democratic debate in October 2015, Hillary Clinton had struggled for months with controversy over her email practices as Secretary of State. But her leading rival declined to go there.

“Enough of the emails – let’s talk about the real issues facing the American people,” Bernie Sanders said. The in-person audience, like Clinton, roared its approval. (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BrBXcKcviuc)

The issue wouldn’t have helped Sanders in Democratic primaries anyway. His discretion, however, did not make it go away over the following 13 months.


Company: cnbc, Activity: cnbc, Date: 2019-06-25  Authors: john harwood
Keywords: news, cnbc, companies, clinton, obama, presidential, historically, president, debate, democratic, character, won, debates, revealed, skills, democrats, candidates


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Steve Bannon hires D.C. super lawyer and Mueller skeptic to represent his nonprofit

Former advisor to the US president and US publicist Steve Bannon poses during a photo session in Paris on May 27, 2019. Former chief White House chief strategist Steve Bannon quietly brought in Washington D.C. super lawyer Cleta Mitchell to represent his nonprofit, Citizens of the American Republic, CNBC has learned. Bannon, a China hawk himself, did not provide a single name of anyone who wrote checks for the organization. The Democrats on the committee wanted Mitchell to describe her work with


Former advisor to the US president and US publicist Steve Bannon poses during a photo session in Paris on May 27, 2019. Former chief White House chief strategist Steve Bannon quietly brought in Washington D.C. super lawyer Cleta Mitchell to represent his nonprofit, Citizens of the American Republic, CNBC has learned. Bannon, a China hawk himself, did not provide a single name of anyone who wrote checks for the organization. The Democrats on the committee wanted Mitchell to describe her work with
Steve Bannon hires D.C. super lawyer and Mueller skeptic to represent his nonprofit Cached Page below :
Company: cnbc, Activity: cnbc, Date: 2019-06-25  Authors: brian schwartz
Keywords: news, cnbc, companies, represent, skeptic, 2016, house, wrote, nonprofit, president, democrats, national, organization, hires, mueller, dc, lawyer, bannon, mitchell, steve, super, committee


Steve Bannon hires D.C. super lawyer and Mueller skeptic to represent his nonprofit

Former advisor to the US president and US publicist Steve Bannon poses during a photo session in Paris on May 27, 2019.

Former chief White House chief strategist Steve Bannon quietly brought in Washington D.C. super lawyer Cleta Mitchell to represent his nonprofit, Citizens of the American Republic, CNBC has learned.

Mitchell, a partner at Foley & Lardner LLP, confirmed in an email that she is the legal counsel for the organization after she was asked for its 990 tax return, which would show detailed financial information, including how much donors contributed to the group and revenue totals.

All nonprofits are required to submit these documents through their attorneys to the Internal Revenue Service and, according to Mitchell, Bannon’s organization has filed for an extension on its 501(c)(4). She did not recall the extension’s deadline, and declined to comment further on how she’s been helping Bannon’s team.

Bannon’s decision to draft Mitchell comes as he continues to protect the identity of his contributors and works to stay in the good graces of President Donald Trump. He departed the White House in 2017 under a cloud. Nonprofits are not legally required to disclose the names of their financial supporters.

Mitchell’s political views are similar to Bannon’s and these groups often look for legal representatives who can relate to their causes. Among other conservative groups, she represented the National Rifle Association.

Bannon, a nationalist firebrand, told CNBC in August when he first launched the group that his donors are the “savviest investors in the country.” He added that they were mainly business executives who have hawkish views on China. Bannon, a China hawk himself, did not provide a single name of anyone who wrote checks for the organization.

Citizens of the American Republic website features Bannon at a fundraising event for We Build the Wall Inc., a nonprofit that supports Trump’s plan to beef up security at the southern border. Bannon and former Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach are members of its board.

Other clips on the website feature takes on economic nationalism, fighting China and stopping illegal immigration.

Bannon did not return a request for comment.

In the past, Mitchell has been openly skeptical of former Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation into the Trump campaign’s potential collusion with Russian operatives during the 2016 election. In an op-ed published in the National Review the same month Bannon announced his new project, Mitchell questioned why Mueller wasn’t focusing on Hillary Clinton potentially breaking campaign finance laws.

“Maybe this means that Mueller might step out of his snipe hunt of an investigation of Russian ‘collusion’ in 2016 to take an actual interest in whether there was compliance with federal campaign-finance law by both 2016 presidential campaigns, not just President Trump’s,” she wrote at the time.

She was included on a list of witnesses Democrats wanted to interview when they were in the minority on the House Intelligence Committee. The Democrats on the committee wanted Mitchell to describe her work with the National Rifle Association when it was one of her clients.

Mitchell “may be able to clarify for the Committee any Russian-related approaches to and interaction with the organization [NRA] and persons of interest to the Committee during the 2016 election,” Democrats on the committee wrote in 2018.

A spokesman for the now Democratic majority of the House Intel Committee declined to comment.


Company: cnbc, Activity: cnbc, Date: 2019-06-25  Authors: brian schwartz
Keywords: news, cnbc, companies, represent, skeptic, 2016, house, wrote, nonprofit, president, democrats, national, organization, hires, mueller, dc, lawyer, bannon, mitchell, steve, super, committee


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Big Tech is in a ‘serious monopoly moment,’ says House antitrust subcommittee chairman

The House Judiciary investigation into Big Tech aims to look into how to prevent Silicon Valley giants from thwarting competition, David Cicilline, chairman of the antitrust subcommittee, told CNBC on Wednesday. Big tech companies nowadays are facing increasing scrutiny as politicians, both Democrats and Republicans, are beginning to look into their practices and potential hold on the markets. Many of the tech companies have been generally quiet as regulators saber rattle. “I can tell you they d


The House Judiciary investigation into Big Tech aims to look into how to prevent Silicon Valley giants from thwarting competition, David Cicilline, chairman of the antitrust subcommittee, told CNBC on Wednesday. Big tech companies nowadays are facing increasing scrutiny as politicians, both Democrats and Republicans, are beginning to look into their practices and potential hold on the markets. Many of the tech companies have been generally quiet as regulators saber rattle. “I can tell you they d
Big Tech is in a ‘serious monopoly moment,’ says House antitrust subcommittee chairman Cached Page below :
Company: cnbc, Activity: cnbc, Date: 2019-06-12  Authors: jessica bursztynsky
Keywords: news, cnbc, companies, antitrust, big, companies, tech, working, google, serious, monopoly, subcommittee, facebook, democrats, chairman, investigation, house, markets, moment


Big Tech is in a 'serious monopoly moment,' says House antitrust subcommittee chairman

The House Judiciary investigation into Big Tech aims to look into how to prevent Silicon Valley giants from thwarting competition, David Cicilline, chairman of the antitrust subcommittee, told CNBC on Wednesday.

“These are huge monopolies and we want to make sure we’re doing everything we can to make markets work,” the Rhode Island Democrat said on “Squawk Box.” “These are markets that are not working properly. We’re in this very serious monopoly moment.”

The House antitrust subcommittee held a hearing Tuesday on anti-competitive practices in technology, looking at ways that companies such as Facebook and Alphabet’s Google have changed the news media landscape. “This is the first significant antitrust investigation undertaken by Congress in decades,” Cicilline said at Tuesday’s hearing.

Cicilline and Republican Rep. Doug Collins from Georgia co-sponsored legislation that would allow local news organizations to negotiate with internet platforms.

There’s a “number of big challenges” that are harming consumers, Cicilline said Wednesday on CNBC, including “serious breaches of privacy” and “loss of control of data.”

Facebook has been working to regain user trust after last year’s Cambridge Analytica data misuse scandal, which hit on the heels of the disclosure that Russian operatives used the social network to try to influence the 2016 presidential election.

Referring to Facebook and Google, an Alphabet analyst at CFRA Research, told CNBC earlier Wednesday, “Both of those companies, directly impact the outcomes of elections and things politicians take very personally.” CFRA’s John Freeman said that’s the difference between today’s tech outcry and Microsoft’s clash with the government over its internet browser in the 1990s and early 2000s.

Big tech companies nowadays are facing increasing scrutiny as politicians, both Democrats and Republicans, are beginning to look into their practices and potential hold on the markets. Federal investigations are reportedly underway or being considered by the Justice Department and the Federal Trade Commission.

Meanwhile, state attorneys general on Wednesday plan to meet with FTC officials in Omaha, Nebraska, to talk about consumer protection issues and competition matters as they consider probes. Many of the tech companies have been generally quiet as regulators saber rattle.

Cicilline said his panel’s investigation is not looking into single companies, but it wants to “make sure we’re understanding how markets are working to develop solutions.”

On the Republican side, House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy said Wednesday on “Squawk Box” that Democrats are trying to “create another utility company” rather than focus on privacy and innovation.

In a CNBC interview Monday, President Donald Trump accused Facebook and Google of colluding with Democrats against him. “I can tell you they discriminate against me,” he added, reiterating a view among conservatives that tech companies are biased against Republicans.

Many of the candidates seeking the Democratic presidential nomination in 2020, including Sens. Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren, are pushing for breaking up major tech companies.

WATCH: House GOP Leader Kevin McCarthy on Big Tech


Company: cnbc, Activity: cnbc, Date: 2019-06-12  Authors: jessica bursztynsky
Keywords: news, cnbc, companies, antitrust, big, companies, tech, working, google, serious, monopoly, subcommittee, facebook, democrats, chairman, investigation, house, markets, moment


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Everyone is chasing Joe Biden: Here’s how 2020 Democrats are stacking up in early nominating states

Former vice president and 2020 Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden taks a selfie attendees during a campaign event on June 11, 2019 in Davenport, Iowa. Two dozen Democratic presidential candidates have swarmed early 2020 primary nominating states to build support, but one candidate has consistently found himself ahead of the pack. The result largely reflects other polls in the four early nominating states. Biden and Sanders have enjoyed a cushion over their competitors in an average of s


Former vice president and 2020 Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden taks a selfie attendees during a campaign event on June 11, 2019 in Davenport, Iowa. Two dozen Democratic presidential candidates have swarmed early 2020 primary nominating states to build support, but one candidate has consistently found himself ahead of the pack. The result largely reflects other polls in the four early nominating states. Biden and Sanders have enjoyed a cushion over their competitors in an average of s
Everyone is chasing Joe Biden: Here’s how 2020 Democrats are stacking up in early nominating states Cached Page below :
Company: cnbc, Activity: cnbc, Date: 2019-06-12  Authors: jacob pramuk
Keywords: news, cnbc, companies, university, support, states, early, joe, 2020, vice, stacking, democratic, chasing, heres, biden, south, democrats, sen, nevada, nominating, candidates


Everyone is chasing Joe Biden: Here's how 2020 Democrats are stacking up in early nominating states

Former vice president and 2020 Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden taks a selfie attendees during a campaign event on June 11, 2019 in Davenport, Iowa.

Two dozen Democratic presidential candidates have swarmed early 2020 primary nominating states to build support, but one candidate has consistently found himself ahead of the pack.

Former Vice President Joe Biden has led or tied for the top spot in every major poll of Iowa, New Hampshire, South Carolina and Nevada so far, according to surveys tracked by RealClearPolitics.

The latest poll came Wednesday: Biden garners support from 36% of likely Nevada Democratic caucusgoers, followed by 19% for Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., 13% for Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., 7% for South Bend, Indiana, Mayor Pete Buttigieg and 6% for Sen. Kamala Harris, D-Calif., a Monmouth University survey found.

The result largely reflects other polls in the four early nominating states. Biden and Sanders have enjoyed a cushion over their competitors in an average of surveys in Iowa, New Hampshire and South Carolina. But Warren’s 19% of support in Nevada stands out, because it ranks as easily her best performance in an early-state poll.

Strong showings in the four states can not only start the process of racking up delegates but also help candidates unlock donations and media coverage that propel them to later success. Factors from campaign strategy to demographics or even a candidate’s home state can lead to drastically different results across the first four voting states.

Warren’s already-sprawling policy platform — which broadly relates to reining in big corporations and boosting workers — “may be a good fit” for Nevada’s “highly unionized service sector workforce,” Patrick Murray, director of the Monmouth University Polling Institute, said in a statement. But the senator is “nowhere near the top tier” among Latino and black voters, who make up a “significant part” of the Democratic base in the state, Murray added.


Company: cnbc, Activity: cnbc, Date: 2019-06-12  Authors: jacob pramuk
Keywords: news, cnbc, companies, university, support, states, early, joe, 2020, vice, stacking, democratic, chasing, heres, biden, south, democrats, sen, nevada, nominating, candidates


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