Sunday, December 21, 2008

Carolyn Maloney works her ass off for New Yorkers

While Caroline Kennedy was garnering 'news' coverage for lunching with Al Sharpton, US House Rep Carolyn Maloney was working her ass for New Yorkers.

Carolyn Maloney

As with Andrew Cuomo, Carolyn Maloney's hard work didn't result in front page coverage of The New York Times. Do you have to date a publisher for the paper to cover you?

Apparently hard work doesn't cut it. But Maloney, who holds elected office, worked hard all last week.

New York State Unemployment Spikes to 6.1 Percent
Maloney: “We need an economic recovery package that puts people back to work and gets our economy back on track.”
Washington, D.C. – Rep. Carolyn B. Maloney (D-NY), Vice Chair of the Joint Economic Committee, issued the following statement regarding the New York State Labor Department’s November 2008 state employment data. The data show that the New York State unemployment rate rose to 6.1 percent in November and that private sector employers shed 23,500 jobs last month, the largest one-month decline since October 2001.
“Across the Empire State, workers are having a tough time holding onto and finding jobs,” said Congresswoman Maloney. “The recession will only exacerbate New York’s unemployment problem in the months to come. Estimates show that New York stands to lose nearly 150,000 jobs in a year if the Detroit Three automakers are allowed to fail. We cannot afford to lose these good middle-class jobs, so President Bush must act quickly to use Troubled Asset Relief Program funds to rescue these companies. We also need an economic recovery package that puts people back to work and gets our economy back on track, so Congress will have one ready early next year for our new President. By providing aid to the states, we can preserve health care for families, maintain vital services such as education, and create jobs by investing in our crumbling infrastructure and developing new energy sources.”


Highlights from the November 2008 state and metropolitan area employment release:

Unemployment is on the rise. In November, New York State’s unemployment rate rose 0.4 percentage points in November to 6.1 percent, up from 4.6 percent a year ago. Compared to a year ago, there are 145,300 more people unemployed in New York State, an increase of 34.4 percent.

Job losses are mounting. Over the past year, New York State employers have shed a total of 32,300 jobs. Leaving aside the 9,400 jobs created in government, job losses in the private sector totaled 41,700 over the past year, with most of the losses occurring in the past 2 months.

Financial activities and manufacturing continue to shed jobs. The largest losses in this recession have been in the financial activities and manufacturing industries. Over the past twelve months, New York employers have cut 15,800 jobs in financial activities and 17,600 jobs in manufacturing. Other sectors with major job losses include retail trade and professional and business services. However, employers in industries related to education and health services and government continue to add jobs.

Nearly 115,000 New Yorkers applied for unemployment insurance in November. Over one million New Yorkers have filed for unemployment insurance so far this year, and more than 215,000 have filed for extended benefits made available in the Emergency Unemployment Compensation Act of 2008.

Unemployment in New York City grew especially rapidly, possibly fueled by job losses in the financial services sector. The unemployment rate in New York City jumped from 5.7 percent in October to 6.3 percent in November. This was a faster rate of growth than in areas of the state outside New York City, where unemployment went from 5.7 percent in October to 5.9 percent in November.

Caroline Kennedy knows what about unemployment? The economy is in the toilet and a spoiled princess wants to be gifted with a Senate seat?

Rep. Maloney: New report shows auto shutdowns could cause largest one-year job loss in NYS in last 17 years
The "Big Three" Automakers Directly Employ Almost 3,000 Production Workers in New York State, but "Ripple Effect" of Shutdowns Could Cause 144,600 Job Losses in One Year, Estimates Show
Washington, D.C. – Rep. Carolyn B. Maloney, Vice Chair of the Joint Economic Committee (JEC), released a report today entitled "The Ripple Effect: The Impact of a Big 3 Failure on New York State." Collapse of the big three U.S. automakers would lead to nearly 150,000 jobs lost both directly and indirectly, taking into account the serious negative spillover effects in industries in the auto production supply chain.
"The news that Chrysler and Ford are closing plants for at least a month should be an indication that President Bush needs to act quickly to get aid to the automakers so they can reopen these plants as quickly as possible," said Congresswoman Maloney.

"We cannot allow any of the Big Three automakers to fail because we cannot afford to lose the millions of jobs at risk, including the nearly 150,000 we stand to lose right here in New York State. The tremors from their collapse would be felt far and wide. We need to preserve our domestic manufacturing base for the future prosperity of our nation and because it is an important source of good paying middle class jobs. I think it's in the best interest of American families to use funds from the Troubled Assets Relief Program to rescue these companies in order to avoid an economic earthquake."

Highlights from the report include:
• The "Detroit Three" automakers directly employ almost 3,000 production workers in New York State. The plants are the Tonawanda engine plant owned by General Motors, which employs 1,447 workers, the Massena powertrain plant also owned by General Motors, employing 348 workers, and Ford's Buffalo stamping plant, which employs 1,116 workers.
• Estimates by the Economic Policy Institute (EPI) show that New York State could lose 144,600 jobs in one year due to a "Detroit Three" shutdown. This estimate includes direct job losses in auto manufacturing, losses of supply chain jobs at firms that provide necessary goods and services, losses of jobs at dealers, and also the indirect job losses created by spending declines among workers who lose their jobs.
• The effect of the auto shutdowns alone would be sufficient to cause the largest one-year job loss in New York State in the last 17 years, according to EPI. Unfortunately, in 2009 the state can expect numerous additional job losses from the current national recession, even beyond any job losses from automaker shutdowns. The addition of the major job losses from the automaker shutdowns could easily propel New York State to the worst one-year job loss in its history.

The full report can be found
here .

Carolyn Maloney was working on the economy, she was addressing it, all last week. Where was the press? Teasing out a luncheon Al Sharpton hosted for Caroline Kennedy? How very society pages.

Maloney: Fed’s Bank Overdraft Rule Still Lacking
Today, the Federal Reserve issued a new proposed rule governing overdraft fees and programs, and withdrew an earlier proposed rule issued jointly with the Office of Thrift Supervision (OTS) and the National Credit Union Administration (NCUA) that had been criticized by many observers as too weak. Congresswoman Carolyn Maloney, Chair of the Financial Institutions and Consumer Credit Subcommittee of the House Financial Services Committee and author of the Consumer Overdraft Protection Fair Practices Act ( H.R. 946), noted that the new rule represented an improvement but was still not as strong as her bill.
“This new rule is certainly better, but still not good enough,” Maloney said. “It’s the customers’ money – they should get to decide whether they want to pay for overdraft coverage or not. Banks shouldn’t be allowed to stick customers in overdraft programs, or charge for covering an overdraft transaction, without the customer’s say-so. This proposed rule does not protect bank customers from those abuses, but my bill would.”

Maloney’s bill, the Consumer Overdraft Protection Fair Practices Act (H.R. 946 in the 110th Congress), would require notice to customers when an ATM or point-of-sale debit card transaction was about to trigger an overdraft and would give consumers a choice to accept the overdraft service, and the associated fee, or not. This legislation also requires full disclosure of the terms and charges associated with an overdraft program and an opportunity for account holders to opt in-- that is, to choose to have an overdraft plan or not. Also, it prohibits manipulation of the order of posting deposits and withdrawals so as to maximize overdraft fees.

In the proposed rule, the Fed asks for public comment on whether banks should be required to offer customers opt-in to overdraft programs or whether an opt–out mechanism is sufficient. The proposed rule deals solely with electronic fund transfers [ATM withdrawals and point-of sale (POS) transactions]. It does not address deposit manipulation or pre-transaction disclosure of potential overdrafts at ATMs and stores.


Background: The need for reform of overdraft fees is becoming more urgent, as several government and independent reports and actions this year confirmed. In November, the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation released a study of bank overdraft programs showing, among other things, that over 75% of surveyed banks automatically enroll their customers in an overdraft program and some do not allow customers to opt out.

Last August, the nonpartisan Government Accountability Office (GAO) released a report showing that consumers are not told about, and can’t avoid, many overdraft fees. In 2007, the nonpartisan Center for Responsible Lending released a report showing that customers are paying $17.5 billion annually in fees for overdrawing their bank accounts, up 70% from the $10.3 billion they paid in 2004.

The public may submit comments, identified by Docket No. R-1343, by any of the following methods:

• Agency Web Site: Follow the instructions for submitting comments at
• Federal eRulemaking Portal: Follow the instructions for submitting comments.
• E-mail: email address is being protected from spam bots, you need Javascript enabled to view it Include the docket number in the subject line of the message.
• FAX: (202) 452-3819 or (202) 452-3102.
• Mail: Jennifer J. Johnson, Secretary, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System, 20th Street and Constitution Avenue, N.W., Washington, DC 20551

For more information, please visit Rep. Maloney’s overdraft reform web page
Carolyn Maloney has clear plans for addressing the economy.

Author of “Credit Cardholders’ Bill of Rights” Hails New Credit Card Rules
Rep. Carolyn Maloney: “This is a good first step, but consumers can’t wait.”
Washington – In response to today’s release of a final rule by the Federal Reserve (Fed), Office of Thrift Supervision (OTS) and the National Credit Union Administration (NCUA) to ban certain unfair or deceptive acts and practices related to credit cards, Congresswoman Carolyn Maloney (D-NY), author of the Credit Cardholders’ Bill of Rights (H.R. 5244) and Chair of the House Financial Services Subcommittee on Financial Institutions and Consumer Credit released the following statement:

“As one who’s been working for years to bring consumers the protections they need, I’m delighted to see the regulators take substantive action. Finally, these practices have been declared what they are: ‘unfair’ and ‘deceptive.' But while these new rules are a strong first step, I’ll be working with my Subcommittee and Chairman Frank to fill any gaps in protections for cardholders. These new rules aren’t scheduled to take effect until 2010; Congress should act sooner to protect American consumers by giving credit card protections the permanence and force of law,” Maloney said.
“Credit cards are an important financial tool and are a vital part of our economy, but we must allow consumers to make informed decisions regarding interest rates and fees related to their credit cards, and allow competition to drive the credit card markets,” Maloney continued.

“I agree with President-elect Obama, who repeatedly campaigned on this issue by saying ‘…Americans aren't falling into debt because they made an irresponsible decision; they're falling into debt because credit card companies are pushing them over the edge. For too long, credit card companies have been using unfair and deceptive practices to trick Americans into signing agreements they can't afford.’,” Maloney said.

“I’ll be introducing a new Credit Cardholders’ Bill of Rights in the House in the first days of the 111th Congress, along with Sen. Mark Udall (D-CO) in the Senate, who was a vigorous advocate of my bill in the House this session. With the regulators finally acting, and the new Administration’s support, Washington should do more for Main Street,” Maloney concluded.


Background: H.R. 5244, written by Rep. Carolyn Maloney after a series of roundtables with industry and consumer stakeholders and six public hearings, had 155 bipartisan cosponsors. It passed the House Financial Services Committee with all Democrats supporting. It passed the House on September 23, 2008 on a vote of 312-112; the majority coalition included the support of 81 Republicans. It was not brought to a vote in the Senate. The Credit Cardholders’ Bill of Rights goes further than the new rules promulgated by the Fed, OTS and NCUA by:

• Empowering cardholders to set their own limits on their credit
• Prohibiting the marketing of cards to minors
• Allowing consumers to reject a card before activation without harming their FICO score
• Requiring issuers to provide more data to allow better regulatory oversight of the industry

Sen. Barack Obama, June 11, 2008:

"...Part of why our debt crisis is so bad is that some folks are making reckless decisions -- racking up big credit card bills by purchasing flat-screen TVs and other luxury goods that they know they can't afford. And they should have to face the consequences of those decisions.
But many more Americans aren't falling into debt because they made an irresponsible decision; they're falling into debt because credit card companies are pushing them over the edge. For too long, credit card companies have been using unfair and deceptive practices to trick Americans into signing agreements they can't afford. The contracts you sign when you get a card have gone from being one page-long a few decades ago to more than thirty pages-long today. And they're often filled with traps and fine print that only a credit card executive could understand. These companies have been crossing the line to boost their bottom line.
But rather than stop this outrage, Washington has let them get away with it…"

For more information please visit Rep. Maloney’s
Credit Cardholders’ Bill of Rights web page
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