December 8, 2017

Trump officials betrayng their jobs

The Hill - For the past nine months, [EPA head Scott] Pruitt has crusaded against science. In late October, he banned independent scientists who receive EPA funding from serving on its science advisory committees. He went on to make appointments to key committees that increase industry and consulting firm representation while slashing the percentage of academic researchers.

This was more than politics as usual. It is the latest evidence that Pruitt is rejecting the EPA’s core mission of protecting public health. Agency expertise is key to effectively implementing many federal statutes. Members of Congress and their staffs simply do not have the necessary training or bandwidth to evaluate complex data and regularly update laws as new information becomes available. As evidence of Congress’s reliance on agency expertise, 62 members of the House warned Pruitt that his proposed changes to the advisory committees harmed the EPA’s scientific integrity.

Reuters -  The new acting head of the U.S. consumer finance watchdog is reviewing whether Wells Fargo & Co  should pay tens of millions of dollars over alleged mortgage lending abuse, according to three sources familiar with the dispute.

The San Francisco-based bank said in October that it would refund homebuyers who were wrongly charged fees to secure low mortgage rates - a black mark against a lender which has already been roiled by scandal over its treatment of customers.

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau had been investigating the mortgage issue since early this year, said one current and two former officials. The agency accepted an internal review from Wells Fargo and set settlement terms in early November, said the sources, who were not authorized to speak about internal discussions.

But that matter and roughly a dozen others are in question now that Mick Mulvaney, the agency chief tapped by President Donald Trump, has said he is reviewing the CFPB’s prior work.

No comments: