Before the 2008 financial crisis, BAC Community Bank in Stockton made about 100 mortgage loans a year. Now, after new regulations mandated in the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act, the figure is down to about two dozen.
“We were never a big mortgage lender, but we did quite a bit more before Dodd-Frank,” said Bill Trezza, the bank’s chief executive. “It basically pushed us out of that to the point where we will do mortgages only for our customers if they request it.”
He and other small bankers hope that’s about to change. And a political shift is making that possible.
President Trump threw a wrench Monday into long-stalled regional trade talks, saying that Mexico and Canada could avoid planned new tariffs on aluminum and steel if they agreed to make concessions to Washington in negotiations over the North American Free Trade Agreement.
Sen. Thad Cochran of Mississippi announced Monday that he will resign effective April 1.
Cochran, who has appeared increasingly feeble in recent years, said in a statement released by his office that his health “has become an ongoing challenge.”
“I intend to fulfill my responsibilities and commitments to the people of Mississippi and the Senate through the completion of the 2018 appropriations cycle, after which I will formally retire from the U.S. Senate,” said Cochran, who is 80.
House Speaker Paul D. Ryan publicly broke with President Trump on Monday, the latest Republican to call on the president to reverse his planned imposition of tariffs on steel and aluminum imports that many fear could set off a trade war.
“We are extremely worried about the consequences of a trade war and are urging the White House to not advance with this plan,” said AshLee Strong, Ryan’s spokeswoman. “The new tax reform law has boosted the economy and we certainly don't want to jeopardize those gains.”
Trump stunned Congress last week when, without apparent consultation with members of his staff, Republican leaders or trading partners, he announced that he would impose 25% tariffs on steel imports and 10% penalties on aluminum imports.
For years, lobbyists treated the Foreign Agent Registration Act the same way some drivers treat speed limits — not something to worry about if there isn’t a speed trap around the corner.
Most people registering as advocates for foreign governments or political parties didn’t bother to file their paperwork on time, according to the Department of Justice’s inspector general. Some didn’t register at all.
But that’s changing now that special counsel Robert S. Mueller III is prosecuting violations. Paul Manafort, President Trump’s former campaign manager, is facing charges of undisclosed lobbying on behalf of Ukraine’s pro-Kremlin government.
As President Trump appears to lurch from crisis to crisis on the world stage, Defense Secretary James N. Mattis and Secretary of State Rex Tillerson have quietly maneuvered to constrain an impulsive commander in chief, the latest sign of a national security team that is increasingly challenging the president.
It may be hard to remember, but there was a time when the National Rifle Assn. was a bipartisan organization.
During the 1992 election cycle, the NRA contributed 37% of its congressional campaign donations to Democrats. Republicans got the lion's share — 63% of the $1.8 million the group gave that year — but it was not as if the NRA was a pseudo-wing of the party.
White House Chief of Staff John Kelly sought again Friday to defend his role in handling the ouster of Rob Porter, who remained in President Trump’s inner circle at the White House for months after notifications from the FBI that Porter’s two ex-wives had accused him of spousal abuse.
“We didn’t cover ourselves in glory in terms of how we handled that,” Kelly told reporters Friday, referring to days of conflicting statements from the White House after Porter resigned on Feb. 6. “It was confusing.”
But Kelly insisted that his overall conduct was appropriate, and that he never considered resigning over the episode, as some media reports had suggested.