TPM News

by Marian Wang, ProPublica

A provision in the financial reform law forced the Federal Reserve to disclose the details of the trillions it lent out at the height of the recent financial crisis.

You can see the data from some of the Fed's emergency lending programs in our interactive. In all, there were 11 programs -- a mess of confusing acronyms like AMLF, TALF, PDCF, CPFF and so on -- but generally speaking, they were designed to stabilize the economy by enabling financial firms to keep many forms of lending going at a time when credit was hard to come by. Here's a rundown of what's come to light from this data so far.

Read More →

Rep. Maxine Waters (D-CA) announced on the House floor today that she will not push for a vote on her proposal to create a bipartisan task force to investigate the House ethics committee.

"Upon the advice of my colleagues whom I trust and admire, I am not pushing for a vote on this resolution today," she said this afternoon, according to her prepared remarks. "In doing so, however, I am requesting that the Committee set the record straight, on its own accord, in a bipartisan manner, with a joint statement signed by the Chair and Ranking Member, ... [the] circumstances of the events that led to the discipline of the two attorneys leading the case against me."

Read More →

House Democrats will not silently accept the White House's edict that Congress pass the Obama-GOP tax cut compromise unchanged, touching off a brinksmanship that could kill the plan.

At a private meeting of the Democratic caucus this morning, members overwhelmingly rejected the idea that the plan is inviolable by passing a resolution agreeing not to bring up the tax package without changing it first. However, the White House and Republicans insist that the plan is in stone -- and any changes would likely prompt a GOP backlash.

The Senate could adopt the proposal as early as tonight, leaving House Democrats a choice between swallowing it, modifying it, or rejecting it and starting from scratch.

Read More →

It's no secret that Fox News' political coverage isn't always quite "fair and balanced." But emails obtained by Media Matters show that Fox News' Washington managing editor Bill Sammon urged his staff to actually echo Republican talking points on the health care debate.

According to the emails, Sammon directed his staff to use specific wording when describing the health care debate, preferring the term "government option" over "public option."

Read More →

In a new display of progressive opposition to the tax-cut deal, a group of 54 House Democrats have released a letter opposing the package -- and predicting that Republicans will double-cross the Dems later on when it comes to the resulting huge increase in the national debt.

The letter, headed up by Rep. Peter Welch (D-VT), declares:

Adding more than $900 billion to our national debt, as this proposal would do, handcuffs our ability to offer a balanced plan to achieve fiscal stability without a punishing effect on our current commitments, including Social Security and Medicare.


Without a doubt, the very same people who support this addition to our debt will oppose raising the debt ceiling to pay for it.

We support extending tax cuts in full to 98 percent of American taxpayers, as the President initially proposed. He should not back down. Nor should we.

Read More →

Facing a booing crowd in Europe, a PayPal executive tried to explain why his company blocked donations to Wikileaks. He cited a letter from the State Department calling the secrets-sharing site illegal. Sadly for him, no such letter exists.

Read More →

Yesterday, it seemed like a vote on repealing the military's ban on openly gay servicemembers was just a procedural wrangle or two away from happening. Today, that may still be the case, but it looks like Democrats are running out of time to get repeal done in the structure laid down by Republicans.

Earlier today on the Senate floor, Majority Leader Harry Reid said he will "likely sometime today" attempt to move a cloture vote of the defense spending bill that includes DADT repeal -- though those close to final negotiations on the bill are telling reporters that such a move will doom any chance for a vote on DADT (for the time being).

Here's why. Republican Susan Collins (ME) said last night that she would only vote for cloture if Republicans are allow amendments and four days to debate them-- and only then if that debate comes after a vote on extending the Bush tax cuts. Greg Sargent reported that Reid had not responded to Collin's offer as of this morning.

And, in the tight lame duck calendar, that timing may be actually be impossible. "A source close to Reid" told CNN's Dana Bash "there is doubt they can ever give Collins the terms she wants to secure her vote," meaning that the vote will go ahead without her.

Read More →

House Democrats voted in a private meeting this morning to reject the tax cut plan President Obama negotiated with the GOP.

By voice vote, Democrats agreed to a non-binding resolution, introduced by Reps. Peter DeFazio (D-OR) and Lloyd Doggett (D-TX), not to bring up the Obama plan in its current form.

A House Democratic aide characterized the rebuke as a "vote of no-confidence" in the package -- a ratification of the anger Dems expressed to Vice President Joe Biden at a meeting yesterday evening about the details of the plan and the fact that House Democrats were closed out of the negotiations.

Read More →

Stephen Colbert last night gave a "tip of his hat" to incoming House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-VA) for threatening to defund the Smithsonian National Portrait Museum over a video installation titled "Fire in My Belly."

The Smithsonian eventually removed the piece, which briefly shows ants crawling over a crucifix, and the decision drew criticism from some art critics. But Colbert thinks the critics "just don't get" Cantor's work.

Read More →

In a possible further blow to Republican National Committee Chairman Michael Steele's hopes for re-election, the RNC has revealed to the Federal Election Commission in amended filings that its debts are $4 million higher than had previously been reported.

ABC News reports:

In a letter to the FEC Wednesday, RNC official Boyd Rutherford said the unreported money woes "were discovered during a self-initiated internal review process, which was undertaken in connection with the arrival of a new Chief of Staff and Finance Director."

The additional debt numbers only add to earlier reports that the RNC was not fully disclosing its unmet financial obligations. In July, ABC News and others reported that the RNC had failed to report more than $7 million in debt to the FEC in what some alleged was an attempt to make the party appear to be in better shape than it was.

Read More →