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Inside Washington (09/12/2011)
*WASHINGTON (9/13/11)--The new congressional committee on deficit reduction is being pressured by President Barack Obama and the business community to set aside party differences and exceed its mandate of trimming $1.5 trillion from budget shortfall during the next decade. The president addressed the topic in his speech to a joint session of Congress on Thursday (The New York Times Sept. 12). He called for a deficit-reduction goal of at least $2 trillion. Much of the extra savings would offset his new $447 billion stimulus plan. A group of at least 57 prominent business executives and former government officials signed a petition, urging the committee to “go big” in achieving a greater deficit reduction. Among those who signed the petition, which was released on Monday, are former treasury secretaries, budget directors and economic advisers to eight presidents from Richard Nixon to Obama; former congressional leaders; and executives of top companies. The petition urges the committee to develop a large-scale debt-reduction package sufficient to stabilize the debt as a share of the economy. That level is estimated to be $4 trillion in deficit reductions over the next decade, savings that would increase in later years, according to the Times … * ALEXANDRIA, Va. (9/13/11)--Lara K. Rodríguez has been appointed as the National Credit Union Administration’s (NCUA) new deputy general counsel. Rodríguez succeeds Michael McKenna, who became general counsel last month. As deputy general counsel, Rodríguez manages the day-to-day operations of the office of general counsel. She oversees the three divisions within the office and also serves as the agency’s chief freedom of information officer. Rodríguez joins NCUA from the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. after serving as a counsel in the special issues unit … * WASHINGTON (9/13/11)—Rep. Barney Frank (D-Mass.) Monday called for changes to the makeup of the Federal Reserve’s Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) “for increased democratization” of that body. The FOMC oversees monetary policy by setting targets for interest rates. Currently, the voting membership of the committee is comprised of the seven members of the Federal Reserve Board of Governors, who are nominated by the president and subject to Senate confirmation, and five of the 12 presidents of the regional Federal Reserve Banks, who are chosen by regional Federal Reserve Bank directors. In a statement Frank claimed that this creates “a self-perpetuating group of private citizens who select each other and who are treated as equals in setting federal monetary policy with officials nominated by the president and confirmed by the Senate.” Earlier this year Frank introduced a bill that would remove the five members of the FOMC not subject to Senate confirmation. He announced Monday that in upcoming weeks, he intended to introduce new legislation, which would address also require the president to nominate four new FOMC members to represent the Federal Reserve Bank regions. Those four members would be “subject to Senate confirmation, but not otherwise employed by the Federal Reserve system” …


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