Welcome to The WonkLine, a daily 10 a.m. roundup of the latest news about health care, the economy, national security, immigration and climate policy. This is what we’re reading. Tell us what you found in the comments section below. You can also follow The Wonk Room on Twitter.
Federal prosecutors “are conducting a preliminary criminal probe into whether several major Wall Street banks misled investors about their roles in mortgage-bond deals,” while New York Attorney General Cuomo is investigating eight banks “to determine whether they misled ratings agencies about mortgage securities.”
The Senate rejected Sen. Chambliss’ (R-GA) derivatives amendment to the financial reform bill yesterday by a 39-59 vote, while approving amendments retaining Federal Reserve oversight of small banks and cracking down on deceptive lending.
Yesterday, the South Carolina state House overrode Gov. Sanford’s (R) veto of a bill raising the state’s cigarette tax, which is the lowest in the country, setting the stage for the increase to become law.
“The Obama administration has urged a court to reject an attempt to block” a lawsuit asking the court to issue an injunction against the new health care law. The Thomas More Law Center, a conservative public interest group, flied suit in March, arguing that the law “violated their constitutional rights.”
“The government says it recovered $2.5 billion in overpayments for the Medicare trust fund last year as the Obama administration focused attention on fraud enforcement efforts in the health care industry.” Investigators have “new tools” to combat fraud due to the Affordable Care Act.
Studies show that “one of the best ways to improve the quality of medical care is to give doctors a financial stake in their health of their patients.”
Yesterday, Sen. Charles Schumer (D-NY) joined a conference call of Christian religious leaders to ask evangelical groups to push Republican lawmakers back to the bargaining table on the stalled immigration overhaul effort.
For the first time in two years, polled voters believe immigration is one of the nation’s most important problems.
“Federal investigators are likely to file criminal charges” against the companies responsible for the Gulf oil disaster.
A second day of federal hearings investigating the oil disaster was “highlighted by a Coast Guard captain’s repeated expressions of disbelief over the lack of oversight” by the MMS of the oil industry.
The National Association of Manufacturers called the Kerry-Lieberman American Power Act a “work in progress,” while the American Petroleum Institute and the American Coalition for Clean Coal Electricity took the climate bill’s release to praise “the importance of domestic oil and natural gas development” and “coal’s importance to our nation’s present and future.”