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Today's News

June 28, 2013 | The Wall Street Journal

Today, nearly every useful U.S. economic indicator—from GDP growth to employment to housing data—is incorrect when it is initially released. Better data do become available, and revised estimates are made public as time passes. But economic policy and business decisions are made with initial data that are plainly inaccurate—and this can lead to mistakes, including hasty changes in direction.

June 28, 2013 | The Hill

An internal split in the Republican Party emerged Thursday when a half-dozen GOP senators voted for a transportation appropriations bill that would spend $2.4 billion more than what President Obama requested. The funding level approved in the committee vote would be $10 billion more than what the GOP-held House allocated.

June 28, 2013 | CQ

Senators introduced new proposals at dueling press conferences Thursday to prevent federal student loan interest rates from doubling July 1, a largely symbolic effort since party leaders already acknowledged that Congress will break for the July Fourth recess without passing any kind of fix. One last gasp was made on the Senate floor to address the issue, but Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., objected to Rhode Island Democratic Sen.

June 28, 2013 | The Washington Post

Tea party groups were more likely than self-identified “progressives” to be given extra scrutiny by the Internal Revenue Service from 2010 through 2012, according to the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration. The IRS paid special attention to 30 percent of groups with “progress” or “progressive” in their names that filed applications for tax-exempt status between May 2010 and May 2012.

June 28, 2013 | Politico

The Senate on Thursday passed the most monumental overhaul of U.S. immigration laws in a generation, which would clear the way for millions of undocumented residents to have a chance at citizenship, attract workers from all over the world and devote unprecedented resources for security along the U.S.-Mexico border. The vote was 68-32. Fourteen Republicans crossed the aisle to vote with all Democrats in favor.

June 28, 2013 | Bloomberg

Federal Reserve officials stepped up their campaign to stem an increase in long-term borrowing costs that threatens to blunt the U.S. expansion and sought to clarify comments by Chairman Ben S. Bernanke that sparked turmoil in global financial markets. William C.

June 28, 2013 | The Wall Street Journal

A top U.S. central bank official warned financial markets Thursday they’re reading the Federal Reserve wrong if they think a tightening in monetary policy has gotten closer. “A rise in short-term rates is very likely to be a long way off” even as it’s possible that the central bank may slow the pace of its bond-buying program later this year, Federal Reserve Bank of New YorkPresident William Dudley said in a press briefing.

June 28, 2013 | Econbrowser

The third release of 2013Q1 GDP suggests even more tepid growth than originally thought. Government spending at all levels, state/local, and both Federal defense and nondefense, is deducting from growth (in contrast to the previous two recoveries).

June 28, 2013 | Calculated Risk Blog

From Freddie Mac today: Mortgage Rates Roiling From Taper Talk: “Freddie Mac today released the results of its Primary Mortgage Market Survey® (PMMS®), showing average fixed mortgage rates jumping along with bond yields amid recent Fed remarks that it could begin tapering its bond purchases later this year. The average 30-year fixed-rate mortgage rose from 3.93 percent last week to 4.46 percent this week; the highest it has been since the week of July 28, 2011.

June 27, 2013 | Politico

The House farm bill’s collapse spilled over Wednesday to the Agriculture Department’s annual budget, threatening additional cuts that would lower 2014 appropriations to levels well below the already-reduced funding set by the March sequester. On a 235-187 vote, Republicans cleared the way for consideration of the $19.45 billion spending bill after the July 4th recess.

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