Watt Scheduled to Testify Before House Financial Services Committee on Tuesday

first_img Watt Scheduled to Testify Before House Financial Services Committee on Tuesday Servicers Navigate the Post-Pandemic World 2 days ago January 26, 2015 1,303 Views Home / Daily Dose / Watt Scheduled to Testify Before House Financial Services Committee on Tuesday  Print This Post Share Save Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) Director Mel Watt is scheduled to testify before the House Financial Services Committee on Tuesday in a hearing entitled “Sustainable Housing Finance: An Update from the Director of the Federal Housing Finance Agency.”In his testimony, Watt is expected to defend last month’s decision to lift the suspension of the allocation of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac funds into the Housing Trust Fund and the Capital Magnet Fund. The suspension was enacted in November 2008, two months after the government seized control of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac – which required a combined $188 billion government bailout at the time to continue operations. They have since returned to profitability.The decision to lift the suspension of the allocation of GSE funds to the housing groups was widely praised by progressives as a path for Americans to achieve homeownership.”Affordable housing is about opportunity,” HUD Secretary Julián Castro said when the decision was announced last month. “That’s why today represents important progress for the American people.  The Federal Housing Finance Agency’s decision to release resources for the Housing Trust Fund will help people across the nation secure a decent place to call home.  This effort will assist individuals from all backgrounds—including low-income families and those experiencing homelessness—in building better lives.”However, the decision was just as widely criticized by members of the GOP,  including HFS Committee Chairman Jeb Hensarling (R-Texas) and Representative Ed Royce (R-California), a senior member of the HFS Committee. Critics of the decision say it puts taxpayers at risk. Hensarling and Royce wrote a letter to Watt in April 2014 urging him to continue suspension of the allocation of the GSE funds to the housing groups.”Contrary to what Fannie and Freddie apologists claim, the GSEs have yet to repay any of the taxpayer-funded bailout funds they received, which makes today’s announcement by the FHFA outrageous,” Royce said. “Money coming in from the GSEs should go to the taxpayers instead of a slush fund for ideological housing groups to play around with.”Watt will also likely address such topics as the recent  lowering of the FHA mortgage insurance premiums—another move that Hensarling and other Republicans have criticized—and Watt’s proposed amending of the Federal Home Loan Bank membership rules.The hearing is scheduled to begin at 10 a.m. Eastern Standard Time on Tuesday morning. This will be the second time that Watt, who has been FHFA director for exactly one year, has testified before Congress. He went before the Senate Committee on Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs on November 19. Previous: Freddie Mac Chief Economist Departs for CoreLogic Next: Existing-Home Sales Expected to Inch Upward in January Subscribe The Best Markets For Residential Property Investors 2 days ago Demand Propels Home Prices Upward 2 days ago Data Provider Black Knight to Acquire Top of Mind 2 days ago Demand Propels Home Prices Upward 2 days ago About Author: Brian Honeacenter_img Governmental Measures Target Expanded Access to Affordable Housing 2 days ago Related Articles Data Provider Black Knight to Acquire Top of Mind 2 days ago Brian Honea’s writing and editing career spans nearly two decades across many forms of media. He served as sports editor for two suburban newspaper chains in the DFW area and has freelanced for such publications as the Yahoo! Contributor Network, Dallas Home Improvement magazine, and the Dallas Morning News. He has written four non-fiction sports books, the latest of which, The Life of Coach Chuck Curtis, was published by the TCU Press in December 2014. A lifelong Texan, Brian received his master’s degree from Amberton University in Garland. The Week Ahead: Nearing the Forbearance Exit 2 days ago The Best Markets For Residential Property Investors 2 days ago Federal Housing Finance Agency House Financial Services Committee Mel Watt 2015-01-26 Brian Honea Governmental Measures Target Expanded Access to Affordable Housing 2 days ago Servicers Navigate the Post-Pandemic World 2 days ago in Daily Dose, Featured, Government, News Tagged with: Federal Housing Finance Agency House Financial Services Committee Mel Watt Sign up for DS News Daily last_img read more

Vizag Gas Tragedy: A Reflection Of Bhopal’s Interminable Misery

first_imgColumnsVizag Gas Tragedy: A Reflection Of Bhopal’s Interminable Misery Nabeela Siddiqui7 May 2020 10:23 PMShare This – xOpening our eyes to the horrific images of unconscious people and people with breathing difficulties brought the big media houses to divert from the ideological debates taking place since a long while. The gas leak incident took place at the LG Polymer plant (the South Korean company LG Polymers makes polystyrene and expandable polystyrene, a versatile plastic used to make a wide variety…Your free access to Live Law has expiredTo read the article, get a premium account.Your Subscription Supports Independent JournalismSubscription starts from ₹ 599+GST (For 6 Months)View PlansPremium account gives you:Unlimited access to Live Law Archives, Weekly/Monthly Digest, Exclusive Notifications, Comments.Reading experience of Ad Free Version, Petition Copies, Judgement/Order Copies.Subscribe NowAlready a subscriber?LoginOpening our eyes to the horrific images of unconscious people and people with breathing difficulties brought the big media houses to divert from the ideological debates taking place since a long while. The gas leak incident took place at the LG Polymer plant (the South Korean company LG Polymers makes polystyrene and expandable polystyrene, a versatile plastic used to make a wide variety of consumer products like toys and appliances and has been in operation since 1961) at Gopalapatnam on the outskirts of Vishakhapatnam in the early hours of Thursday, i.e. the 7th of May 2020. The gas reportedly started leaking around 2:30 am when the workers were preparing to reopen the plant. This incident takes us back to the night of December 2, 1984, when Bhopal recorded over a million deaths. The chemical, methyl isocyanate (MIC), that spilled out from Union Carbide India Ltd’s (UCIL’s) pesticide factory turned the city into a vast gas chamber. It was India’s first major industrial disaster keeping the government almost clueless as to how they should respond to the same. The researches have pointed out to the grave health crises but since there is no epidemiological study, it is easy to dismiss these as conditions caused by poverty and lack of hygiene. The Supreme Court had set up two committees—one to monitor the functioning of the medical system and the other to advise on what needs to be done for the best care of the victims. The state government has a separate department for gas relief. The institutional gridlock is such that there is no one institution that can be held responsible and accountable for decontaminating the site. The US-based multinational company, Union Carbide Corporation, which owned the plant through its subsidiary UCIL used trade secrecy as a prerogative to withhold information on the exact composition of the leaked gases. The worst part is cleaning and decontamination of the site got entangled in legal altercations. The sliding onus as to who should pay for it— state governments, the Centre, successor buyer of the factory, waste disposal and incineration companies, research institutes or non-profits etc. still remains a slippery slope. The first major legislation that came post-Bhopal was the Environment (Protection) Act (EPA) of 1986. EPA is India’s first legislation that gave authority to the Centre to issue direct orders to close, prohibit or regulate any industry. It is also an enabling law, which delegates wide powers to the executive, allowing it to make rules to manage different issues. By 1989, the country got the Hazardous Waste (Management and Handling) Rules for management, storage and import of hazardous chemicals. In 1987, amendments were made in the Factories Act, 1948, which empowers states to appoint site appraisal committees to advise on the location of factories using hazardous processes. In 1991, the Public Liability Insurance Act was enacted to provide for immediate relief to persons affected by accidents while handling hazardous substances. Under the Act, an environment relief fund was set up to compensate affected people. Despite this legislation in place, India is fast losing the battle of environmental protection and management of hazardous waste. In the post-Bhopal age, all technologies must pay the real cost of their proximate and future dangers. Many countries have adopted the principle of absolute liability when it comes to the introduction of genetically modified organisms. The involvement of a transnational corporation that has presence in innumerable countries across the globe has chances of attracting responses of support from different parts of the country and the world. The Cartagena Protocol on Biosafety is one such attempt to hold operators responsible for damage both from forthcoming and real threats from the use of new technology. More importantly, the issue of corporate liability is crucial, for only then will powerful companies worry about the repercussions of their actions on tomorrow’s generations. With the imposition of a New World Order, due the pandemic, the need for collective action across national boundaries is being increasingly felt, particularly on issues of industrial hazards and the involvement of transnational corporations. The National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) has issued notice to Andhra Pradesh Government and Centre over gas tragedy in Vizag. Bhopal should have provided the impetus and basis for such counter globalization yet it is about our collective shame and Vizag a ‘shame in making’, if we fail to learn our lessons from Bhopal’s interminable misery.Views Are Personal Only(Nabeela Siddiqui, Research – cum – Teaching Assistant, Dharamshastra National Law University, Jabalpur.) Next Storylast_img read more

Governor Wolf Remarks on Rejecting Republican Cut to Education; Releasing Emergency Funding

first_imgLike Governor Tom Wolf on Facebook: Facebook.com/GovernorWolfRead the press release on rejecting the Republican plan to cut education.Check out the Twitter Collection of the announcement.BUDGET ANNOUNCEMENT 12/29 Governor Wolf Remarks on Rejecting Republican Cut to Education; Releasing Emergency Funding December 29, 2015 Budget News,  Remarks,  Videos Governor’s Reception RoomHarrisburg, PATRANSCRIPT:I am going to exercise my constitutional right to line item veto this ridiculous exercise in budget futility. I’m calling on our legislators to get back to Harrisburg – back to the work they left unfinished last week. In the meantime I’m vetoing their $95 million cut to education. I’m also vetoing other items that they don’t pay for.At the same time, I’m allowing emergency funding for our schools to get out. I’m also letting funding go out to our human service agencies and to our counties. But this is on an emergency basis only.In doing this, I’m expressing the outrage that all of us should feel about the garbage the Republican legislative leaders have tried to dump on us. This budget is wrong for Pennsylvania. And our legislators – the folks we elected to serve us – need to own up to this. They need to do their jobs. This budget is wrong for so many reasons.First, it doesn’t balance. Even with the numbers presented to me by the Republicans before they ran out of town just before the Christmas holiday. This budget doesn’t add up. In fact it leaves a half a billion dollar hole for this year (2015-16). And a $2 billion hole for next year.There’s a reason why the outside rating agencies have downgraded our debt. They’re telling the world what our legislators want to ignore. Our fiscal house is a mess.Second, this pretend budget doesn’t make the investments a prudent state government should make, in things like education.This exercise in stupidity actually cuts education funding by $95 million compared to the draconian Corbett budgets. It does add a modest amount in basic education funding, but then it takes out over $300 million to be used for school construction.By the way, before they left town, our legislators also neglected to provide any funding for Penn State, University of Pittsburgh, Lincoln University, Temple, Penn School of Veterinary Science. The budget they concocted doesn’t have enough revenue to leave any room for doing anything to increase funding for our state universities over 2014-15 levels.This budget is doubly frustrating because we were so close to a reasonable one. I had worked patiently and persistently with Republican leaders over the past many months to agree on a compromise budget.That compromise budget was in balance. That compromise budget invested in our kids and our schools. That compromise budget also included historic pension reform and historic liquor reform. That compromise budget actually passed the Republican dominated Senate by a vote of 43-7. And it passed the House on a number of preliminary votes.Then, before the final vote, the Republican House leaders told their members to go home. I get it that everyone is tired of this stalemate But we were almost there. And this makes what they did all that much more unconscionable. They simply left town before finishing their jobs.They can deny what they did. They can try to justify what they did. They can throw around all the political nonsense they want, but the fact remains. They ran off – pretty quickly at that – before they finished their job. And they left us with a real holiday mess. Let’s not kid ourselves; we still need a budget.We need one that actually adds up, this year and next. We need one that fully funds the needs of our schools. We need one that really covers the cost of our state. We need to pass the budget that the Senate and House passed – Senate Bill 1073. And that I’m ready to sign.If we don’t get this right, we will face massive cuts to education and human services next year. And we’ll see huge increases in local taxes and massive additional cuts to our local schools. Remember 2011? We need to get this right.So, to the legislators elected to do the people’s business: let’s get back to work. Let’s get back to the work the people of Pennsylvania sent you here to do. Let’s get back to work to finish the job you almost finished last week. SHARE Email Facebook Twitterlast_img read more

Swimming: New head coach takes over potent roster at MDI

first_img Latest posts by Mike Mandell (see all) Mike MandellMike Mandell is the sports editor at The Ellsworth American and Mount Desert Islander. He began working for The American in August 2016. You can reach him via email at [email protected] Ellsworth runners compete in virtual Boston Marathon – September 16, 2020 Latest Posts MPA approves golf, XC, field hockey, soccer; football, volleyball moved to spring – September 10, 2020center_img Hospice volunteers help families navigate grief and find hope – September 12, 2020 Bio BAR HARBOR — Coaching transitions are never easy to make, but when the outgoing coach is a program icon, they become even more challenging.On Oct. 8, the Mount Desert Island swim team bid farewell to its head coach of 19 years, Tony DeMuro. DeMuro, whose 11 state championships at MDI include the past two Class B boys’ titles, left the post to accept the same position at Maine Maritime Academy in Castine.Yet DeMuro’s departure from MDI doesn’t mean the Trojans won’t have a familiar coach at the helm in 2019-20. That’s because one of MDI’s longtime assistant coaches, David Blaney, has taken the reins following his predecessor’s departure.“Understanding the change is hard, but I think the transition has been easier for the kids because it’s me moving into Tony’s spot,” Blaney said. “With any change, you’re going to have to rip the Band-Aid off and then settle in, but the transition would be a lot tougher on them if it were someone from out of state who didn’t know the program.”This is placeholder textThis is placeholder textBlaney, a 1997 MDI graduate, competed on the school’s swim, football and tennis teams. He went on to attend Bates College, where he was an All-New England Small College Athletic Conference selection during each of his four years on the swim team.Between his success as an MDI swimmer and his 12 years as an assistant coach under DeMuro, Blaney knows the ins and outs of program he’s inheriting. He’ll also have a remarkably talented roster at his disposal this season with the Trojans having graduated just four boys’ swimmers and one girls’ swimmer from last year’s roster.“We have 48 athletes, three of which are just divers, and I think that’s the most we’ve ever had,” Blaney said. “With the kids we have and the expectations we have, we’re hoping to do very well.”On the boys’ side, MDI returns a strong group of swimmers that includes Tyler Willis, last year’s state runner-up in the 100-yard butterfly, Tyler Woodworth, who took third in the 50- and 100-yard freestyles, and Amos Price, the fourth-place finisher in the 200-yard freestyle. The Trojans also bring back Sam Mitchell, who was the Penobscot Valley Conference champion and state runner-up last year in the 1-meter dive.For the MDI girls, only Anna Naggert has graduated from the squad that placed third of 21 teams at last year’s state championships. The Trojans’ returnees include Adria Horton, the reigning PVC champion in the 500-yard freestyle, and Ruby Brown, Maria Saltysiak and Addy Smith, strong individual and relay swimmers.“We have a lot of depth in our girls’ program,” Blaney said. “We have a lot of our experienced swimmers back, and we also have a lot of freshmen. It’ll be exciting to see where they go.”Promoting from within the program was also appealing to MDI’s athletic director, Bunky Dow. Dow cited the prospect of a “smooth transition” as well as Blaney’s strong understanding of the Trojans’ swimming traditions upon appointing him as the next head coach Oct. 23.“Coach Blaney brings a wealth of swimming knowledge and experience to our swimming program,” Dow said. “[His] passion and enthusiasm for the sport of swimming is contagious. Our student-athletes are fortunate to have him as their head coach.”MDI divers will begin their season at 6 p.m. Friday, Dec. 6, against John Bapst at the Bangor YMCA, and swimmers will take on Bangor, Ellsworth and Hampden Academy in the Ram Invitational at 11:30 a.m. Saturday, Dec. 7, at Husson University. With such a potent team under his mentorship, the early meets will provide Blaney’s group with a chance to hit their stride early.“My job is to make sure we see developments on all levels,” Blaney said. “You want to see that growth and development from the new swimmers in Lane 6 to the kids who’ve been doing this since they were 6 or 7 years old, and my goal is to get that out of them.”last_img read more

Karachi’s first ODI in 10 years washed out

first_imgKARACHI’S first ODI in over 10 years didn’t even get as far as the toss. Heavy rain in the days leading up to this match was already proving a challenge, with doubts arising over whether the outfield would dry in time.Then, on yesterday, more rain was delivered by towering dark clouds, forming large puddles on the outfield, and making even umpire inspections a challenge, once the rain did eventually relent. The severity of the downpour has prompted changes in the tour as well with the second game being postponed by a day to September 30. The final ODI will take place as originally scheduled on October 2.The National Stadium was heavily waterlogged with the covers never moving through the course of a gloomy Friday afternoon, and just before 16:30hrs local time the officials had little choice but to abandon this game.Karachi will need bright sunshine over the weekend in order to assist the drying of the outfield, but unfortunately, more rain is forecast for tomorrow.Sri Lanka’s tour to Pakistan consists of three ODIs and three T20Is. (ESPN Cricinfo)last_img read more

Rishabh Pant opens up on comparisons with Dhoni and his inclusion in the Indian…

first_imgAdvertisement 51ylynNBA Finals | Brooklyn Vs965sbWingsuit rodeo📽Sindre E3gfb( IG: @_aubreyfisher @imraino ) lpWould you ever consider trying this?😱9lCan your students do this? 🌚3gx3uRoller skating! Powered by Firework Indian youngster Rishabh Pant has been compared with the legendary MS Dhoni ever since his arrival in the national team. But the wicketkeeper strongly disagrees, claiming that he is eager to learn from Dhoni, instead of competing with him. In an interview with Bombay Times, Pant spoke about his career and his relationship with the veteran keeper.Advertisement In answer to the comparison between him and MSD, Pant stated,Advertisement “I do think about the comparison with Dhoni sometimes, but it’s too difficult. If I am learning from him, I can’t possibly think that I can be in his league overnight. I am just trying to learn from him. I consider him my mentor. He has taught me so many things — be it how to work on my batting or mind-set before I go to bat, and most importantly, keeping calm in pressure situations. At 21, if I start thinking that I have to fill Dhoni’s shoes, it will get very difficult for me. I just try to keep it simple. I want to play the game to the best of my ability and learn from everyone around me, especially my seniors.”Since his test debut, the young wicketkeeper-batsman has become a regular face in the squad, performing at the top level frequently. His tons against England and Australia in difficult situations truly proved his class, despite the rumours that he got into the Indian team way too early. And Pant was very clear about his inclusion saying,Advertisement “It’s good for a player to get an early break. Besides, I am not getting anything for free. I have worked hard and earned my place in the Indian cricket team. Nobody has gifted that to me. Koi nahi bolta ke, ‘Bhai team mein aaja’. Aisa nahi hota hai. If you don’t perform well, you won’t be selected. It’s as simple as that. Everyone has to justify their spot in the team.” Advertisementlast_img read more