By LeAnne Rogers
OBSERVER STAFF WRITER
Not surprisingly, Sen. Carl Levin is working full time on issues relating to the biggest problem facing Michigan.
“The thing that is going on 24/7 is the auto industry. Everyone in the Michigan, Ohio and Indiana delegations — the auto states, we call them — is so involved, I can’t say,” said the Michigan Democrat, who spoke at a luncheon hosted by the Garden City Kiwanis Club.
The most important accomplishment of the delegation has been giving President Barack Obama and his administration a better understanding on the importance of the auto industry and manufacturing overall, Levin said.
“My brother and I worked in auto plants. We take it personally when colleagues have a negative stereotype about the auto industry,” said Levin. “No other country in the world would allow its auto industry to go down. In Japan, auto workers are literally on the government payroll — they won’t let the industry go with this worldwide economic slump.”
By Eugene Mulero
May 4, 2009
Ask most lawmakers and they will tell you that the political elements are aligned this Congress for military acquisition reform.
This year, both chambers rolled out legislation to overhaul how the Pentagon buys major weapons, and that is due in large part to Sen. Carl Levin (D-Mich.), who has emerged as a key ally to President Barack Obama on military matters.
By JENNY STRASBURG
A bill proposed last week to regulate hedge funds in the U.S. could require them to start talking more — including about their investors.
The Hedge Fund Transparency Act was introduced by Sen. Carl Levin, a Michigan Democrat, and Sen. Charles Grassley, an Iowa Republican. One part of the bill that caused a buzz among hedge-fund managers and lawyers over the weekend is a new requirement that hedge-fund investors’ names be routinely and publicly disclosed.
By STEPHEN LABATON
Two senior senators introduced legislation on Thursday to impose government oversight of hedge funds.
The legislation by Senator Carl Levin, Democrat of Michigan, and Senator Charles E. Grassley, Republican of Iowa, was filed as the Obama administration was preparing a broader legislative overhaul of the regulatory system, including an effort to more tightly regulate hedge funds.
Senate armed services panel chair to ask Pentagon today to drop funds bid for rebuilding of police stations. (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…)
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.
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.
A bill introduced by Senator Levin would limit “penalty” interest rates to an additional 7 percent above the previous rate. It would also prohibit retroactive penalties and double cycle billing, and it would limit the amount of fees companies could charge customers who exceed their credit limit.
Passing the Levin bill would be a good start. But Congress needs a comprehensive approach to this problem. Lawmakers need to ban deceptive card offers outright, strengthen federal oversight and toughen truth-in-lending laws.
Meanwhile, American consumers should think long and hard before they accept credit card offers that are too good to be true.
Click here to read the full editorial.
Mr. President, I am introducing today, along with Senator McCaskill, the Stop Unfair Practices in Credit Cards Act.
Credit cards are a fixture of American family life today. People use them to buy groceries, rent a car, shop on the Internet, pay college tuition, even pay their taxes. In 2005, the average family had 5 credit cards, and American households used nearly 700 million credit cards to buy goods and services worth $1.8 trillion.
Credit cards fuel commerce, facilitate financial planning, and help families deal with emergencies. But credit cards have also contributed to record amounts of household debt. Some credit card issuers have socked families with sky-high interest rates of 25%, 30%, and higher, and have hit consumers with hefty fees for late payments, for exceeding a credit limit, and other transactions. In too many cases, credit card issuers have made it all but impossible for working families to climb out of debt.
By U.S. Sen. Carl Levin
Los Angeles Times
TO PARAPHRASE President Reagan, there he goes again.
On Rush Limbaugh’s radio program last week, Vice President Dick Cheney spoke about Jordanian terrorist Abu Musab Zarqawi and stated: “He went to Baghdad. He took up residence there before we ever launched into Iraq, organized the Al Qaeda operations inside Iraq…. This is Al Qaeda operating in Iraq and, as I say, they were present before we invaded Iraq.”
It is incredible that more than four years after the invasion, the vice president is still trying to convince the public that Saddam Hussein’s regime was connected to Al Qaeda and that Zarqawi’s presence in Iraq was evidence of a connection.
Detroit Free Press
While he gets most of his attention as one of the chief critics of the conduct of the war in Iraq, U.S. Sen. Carl Levin plunges today into a domestic issue of enormous impact for Americans: abusive practices by credit card companies.
By Hope Yen
WASHINGTON - Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice urged the Democratic-controlled Congress not to interfere in the conduct of the Iraq war and suggested President Bush would defy troop withdrawal legislation.
But Sen. Carl Levin, chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee, said lawmakers would step up efforts to force Bush to change course. “The president needs a check and a balance,” said Levin, D-Mich. (more…)
WASHINGTON — Senator Carl Levin said today that the nation needs “a surge of concern” for wounded Iraq veterans, after media reports found decrepit conditions and bureaucratic red tape interfering with the care of wounded soldiers at Walter Reed Army Medical Center. (more…)