Crypto News 

Support for regulation of cryptocurrencies is growing in Congress, with members on both sides, including some free-market Republicans, calling for action

“Digital assets currently fall into a jurisdictional gray area between the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC), the Treasury Department, the Federal Reserve and individual states” writes Min Read for reuters.com. The SEC is already cracking down on transactions known as initial coin offerings (ICOs), while the CFTC has identified digital assets as a commodity subject to its anti-fraud rules.In a time of volatile markets, hackers are also active in the sector, stealing $530 million of digital currency from Japanese exchange Coincheck last month.While some…

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Congress considers legislation to make accessing international data easier for prosecutors

“New legislation is before Congress that would make it easier to access data that could have bearing on cases relating to terrorism and other major crimes” reports slashgear.com. Sometimes the tech companies that are storing the data want to give access to law enforcement, but they must withhold that data due to other rules and policies.Lawmakers say that this sort of legislation is critical to empowering investigators to bring terrorists and perpetrators of serious crime to justice.The legislation is called the Cloud Act and before any data would be released…

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Good news for Washington lawmakers: State revenue forecast jumps by $1.3B

“The projections for the next two-year budget that ends in mid-2021 also increase, by nearly $660 million, pushing the state budget up to $49.1 billion” writes Rachel La Corte for seattletimes.com. OLYMPIA — As lawmakers prepare to unveil their supplemental budget proposals next week they received good news Thursday about state revenue projections that look to increase by about $1.3 billion more than expected through 2021.Dan Kristiansen, the House minority leader, said that while the revenue forecast was good news, lawmakers should be cautious in how they spend the money.…

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Trump is open to more-than doubling the gas tax to pay for his giant infrastructure plan

“The federal gas tax has not been increased since 1993 and currently sits at 18.4 cents per gallon for unleaded and 24.4 cents for diesel” writes Bob Bryan for businessinsider.com. Carlos Barria/Reuters President Donald told lawmakers he would be open to an increase in the gas tax in order to help pay for his infrastructure plan during a meeting with members of both parties at the White House.Tom Carper and first reported by Axios, Trump said he would consider raising the gas tax 25 cents per gallon to help pay…

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Trump considering ‘all options’ on steel, aluminum cases

“Trump says the administration is “considering all options” but he’s considering issuing “tariffs and/or quotas.”” reports foxbusiness.com. The president says he wants to “keep prices down but I also want to make sure that we have a steel industry and an aluminum industry.”. President Donald Trump is looking for advice from a range of lawmakers as he considers whether to impose trade sanctions on aluminum and steel imports.The administration has been weighing whether to slap tariffs on aluminum and steel imports by arguing they pose a threat to national security.The…

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State Department, USAID Face Drastic Budget Cut

“The funding shortfall for the State Department and USAID affects operations for the current fiscal year, and for 2019” writes Benn Steil for foreignpolicy.com. The State Department spent 17 percent of its “Diplomatic and Consular Programs” budget on security in 2008, according to data from the American Foreign Service Association (AFSA).In the meantime, the Trump administration will present its federal budget request for 2019 on Monday, and it remains unclear if White House officials will address the cuts to State Department funding.The budget squeeze coincides with declining morale at the…

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Lawmakers in Dark About ‘Phase Two’ of the Nunes Investigation

“Senior members say they learned of the investigation when Nunes announced it on Fox News” reports thehill.com. Democrats on the committee say Nunes has refused to brief them on the probe, which he described as “phase two” of his investigation into alleged surveillance abuse at the Department of Justice.Democrats repeatedly pressed Nunes on the scope of his investigation into State in a bitter closed-door Monday meeting, the transcript of which was released on Friday.The incident further inflamed partisan tensions on a panel that has struggled to maintain any semblance of…

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Lawmakers press to reopen government, pass huge budget deal

“Lawmakers are striving in the pre-dawn hours to reopen the federal government, shuttered since midnight after a rogue Senate Republican blocked a speedy vote on a massive, bipartisan, budget-busting spending deal” reports foxbusiness.com. Rand Paul blocked a vote on the $400 billion spending measure, which is married to a six-week temporary funding bill need to prevent the shutdown and provide time to implement the budget pact.Paul was protesting the return of trillion-dollar deficits on the watch of Republicans controlling Washington. Source: foxbusiness.com Share This:

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What’s a tax break for car racing doing in the budget deal?

“All low-income communities on the island would be treated as opportunity zones, eligible for tax benefits” writes The Associated Press for seattletimes.com. Wedged into the new mammoth Senate spending deal is a pack of tax breaks for homeowners and electric car owners — as well as goodies for motor speedways.Among the proposed extensions of tax benefits for homeowners: the deduction for mortgage insurance premiums and the exclusion from income of some forgiven debts on mortgages.The new tax benefits didn’t make it into the Republican-backed tax overhaul enacted in December, which…

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