Senate armed services panel chair to ask Pentagon today to drop funds bid for rebuilding of police stations. (more…)
Senate Floor Remarks on Security in Afghanistan
Opening Statement of Senator Carl Levin, Senate Armed Services Committee Hearing on the Situation in Iraq with Ambassador Crocker and General Petraeus: 04/08/08
Welcome General Petraeus and Ambassador Crocker. Thank you for joining us today, and thank you for your service to our nation. Please express our deep gratitude to the brave men and women serving in Iraq both in our armed forces and in the civilian agencies of our government. (more…)
Americans are struggling with a very rocky economy while they are also holding almost $1 trillion in credit card debt. In most cases, those cards provide a little flexibility with the monthly bills. But an increasing number of people are defaulting because of the “tricks and traps” — soaring interest rates and hidden fees — in the credit card business. (more…)
By Senator Carl Levin and DNC Member Debbie Dingell
POLITICAL leaders in Michigan and elsewhere have long questioned the stranglehold Iowa and New Hampshire have on the presidential nominating process. In most election years, the candidates seem to spend more time in those two states than in all the others put together. The early states usually pick the party nominees, leaving the large majority of states with little influence in this critical national decision. (more…)
Senate Armed Services Committee Chairman Carl Levin, D-Mich., and senior Committee Member John Warner, R-Va., today asked the Government Accountability Office (GAO) to review Iraqi oil revenues and determine how much money the Iraqi government has contributed to security and reconstruction efforts in the country. The senators voice concern that the Iraqi government has tremendous resources sitting in banks around the world while not doing nearly enough to improve the quality of life of Iraqi citizens. (more…)
By Barrie Barber, The Saginaw News, February 20, 2008
In the midst of the worst foreclosure crisis since the Great Depression, U.S. Sen. Carl Levin says federal lawmakers are looking for answers.
Senate Floor Statement on the Army Field Manual Provision in the Intelligence Authorization Conference Report: 02/13/08
I urge my colleagues to support the Intelligence Authorization conference report which includes a requirement that all government agencies, including the CIA, comply with the Army Field Manual on Interrogations in the treatment and interrogation of detainees. (more…)
Mr. President, last year Congress passed a temporary bill with a six month time limit that would give us the opportunity to carry out a thorough, thoughtful examination of how to utilize complicated new technologies in the surveillance of suspected terrorists without invading the privacy of innocent Americans. In the months since we passed that temporary act, we have worked in a bipartisan manner to consider the best course forward for permanent changes to the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act. Despite the enormous complexity of these issues, we reached a bipartisan consensus on the key provisions contained in Title I of the bill we are considering today. (more…)
By John Poirier, Reuters, 02/08/2008
Congress is likely to move toward final legislation this year to reform often-criticized marketing and billing practices by credit card companies, a senior U.S. lawmaker said on Friday.
By Kevin Drawbaugh, Reuters, 02/08/2008
Wealthy Americans dodge more than $100 billion a year in taxes by hiding assets in the Cayman Islands and other offshore tax havens, said a senior lawmaker on Friday who is trying to put a stop to it. (more…)
Credit issuers jack up rates, even if you pay on time
USA Today Editorial, Dec. 11, 2007
Retroactive ‘risk-based’ pricing is unfair; Congress should outlaw it.
Bonnie Rushing, a paralegal in Naples, Fla., sounds like just the sort of customer any bank would want to cultivate. She told Congress last week that she has never missed or even been late on her credit card payments, despite a financial setback last year. (more…)
Credit card companies must end deceptive practices or face tighter regulation
Detroit Free Press, December 9, 2007
It was not easy for Janet Hard to air her family’s financial laundry in the very public setting of a U.S. Senate hearing last week. But the Freeland, Mich., woman helped expose one of the more onerous and underpublicized practices of credit card companies.
The Detroit News, Tuesday, December 11, 2007Editorial
U.S. Sen. Carl Levin has doggedly uncovered a slew of unfair and suspect practices in the credit card industry. The Michigan Democrat wants satisfactory responses from banks but is also ready with tougher consumer protection laws if needed.
12.04.07, 6:00 AM ET
Ho ho ho. Just in time for the holiday spending season, members of Congress are skewering credit card companies for pushing allegedly abusive business practices on unwitting customers.
Tuesday, a panel led by Sen. Carl Levin, D-Mich., and Sen. Norm Coleman, R-Minn., will haul in executives from Discover, Bank of America and Capital One Financial . The lawmakers want to know why they raise customers’ interest rates when those customers have a solid payment history.
Read the entire bill below: (more…)
Attorney General: Levin Floor Speech in Opposition to the Nomination of Judge Michael Mukasey: 11/09/07
Tonight the Senate will vote on the nomination of Judge Michael Mukasey to be Attorney General. His nomination comes at a critical time. At this moment in history, America is faced with serious challenges both at home and abroad. We are at war in Iraq and Afghanistan and are engaged in a long-term struggle against al Qa’ida and other extremists. Military might alone will not be enough for us to win these fights. Strengthening America’s security requires us to harness the power of our ideals and values and lead a global effort to confront these threats. When we project moral hypocrisy or suggest that our commitment to our fundamental values depends on the circumstances, we lose the support of the world in our common efforts against common enemies, thereby compromising our own security.
The most striking feature of any visit to Iraq is the bravery and professionalism of American troops. And their courage, combined with the increased Iraqi army capability and willingness to fight, has resulted in some reduced violence in some places in Iraq.
Despite that, there’s a continuing — as a matter of fact, I’d say a deepening — consensus that there is no military solution to the sectarian strife in Iraq, and that the only hope of ending that violence is political compromise between the leaders of the feuding groups.
But the political leaders continue to ignore the desperate situation that their people find themselves in, and recent discussions among top political leaders have apparently produced little or nothing.
That failure has reinforced the widely held view that the Maliki government is nonfunctional and cannot produce a political settlement because it is too beholden to religious and sectarian leaders.
Iraqi leaders have not met their own political benchmarks to share power and resources and to modify the de-Baathification laws and to schedule provincial elections and to amend their constitution.
So I hope that the Iraqi assembly, when it reconvenes in a few weeks, will vote the Maliki government out of office and will have the wisdom to replace it with a less sectarian and a more unifying prime minister and government.
In an editorial published this week, The New York Times highlighted the predatory and deceitful practices that have become commonplace in the banking and credit card industries.
The editorial specifically commended and endorsed Senator Levin’s legislation to end these unfair practices.
Click the play button to hear Sen. Levin
deliver the weekly Democratic Radio Address
(Download 4.0 MB MP3)
Text of the Address, as delivered:
Good morning, this is Senator Carl Levin of Michigan.
This week, the Senate had the opportunity to do what most Americans want us to do: change course in Iraq. Although a bipartisan majority of the Senators supported an amendment to do just that, we were blocked by the Republican leadership from voting on it.
Now in its fifth year, the Iraq war has cost more than 3,600 American lives, seven times that many wounded and over a half a trillion dollars.
President Bush claims that we must keep paying this terrible price to protect America from terrorism. But even the Administration’s own intelligence experts are saying that during the war in Iraq there has been an increase in the threat of terrorism and that Al Qaeda has regained its strength.
Last week, Senator Jack Reed and I offered an amendment to begin reducing U.S. troops in Iraq and to change their mission to get us out from the middle of a civil war.
The Republican leadership chose to filibuster our amendment to deny the majority the opportunity to vote on it.