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Washington
This week in Congress: Yellen commentary, Operation Choke Point
WASHINGTON (7/15/14)--Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen will address both houses of the U.S. Congress this week. Today she will address the Senate Banking Committee in an open session to deliver the semiannual Monetary Policy Report to Congress.

The session will feature remarks by Yellen, who will then answer questions from the full committee. The report is scheduled to run from 10 a.m. to noon (ET) and will be streamed live on the committee's website.

Yellen will make her appearance before the House in Wednesday during a hearing titled "Monetary Policy and the State of the Economy." She will be the sole witness for the hearing, which is scheduled to begin at 10 a.m. (ET).

There will be two separate hearings this week about Operation Choke Point, the Department of Justice (DOJ) program that is meant to allow the DOJ's Financial Fraud Task Force to investigate financial institutions and payment processing companies looking for fraud.  Critics have claimed it separates consumers from access to financial services and has caused financial institutions to terminate relationships with lawfully operating businesses.

Today's hearing will be conducted by the House Financial Services oversight and investigations subcommittee and will feature the following witnesses: Stuart Delery, assistant attorney general with DOJ; Scott Alvarez, general counsel of the Federal Reserve Board; Richard Osterman, acting general counsel for the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp.; and Daniel Stipiano, deputy chief counsel of the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency.

The hearing will begin at 10 a.m. (ET) in Room 2128 of the Rayburn House Office Building.

On Thursday, the House Judiciary subcommittee on regulatory reform, commercial and antitrust law will host a hearing on Operation Choke Point, titled "Guilty Until Proven Innocent? A Study of the Propriety and Legal Authority for the Justice Department's Operation Choke Point."

The list of witnesses has not been published by the subcommittee. The hearing will be Thursday at 9:30 a.m.  (ET) in Room 2141 of the Rayburn House Office Building.

The Senate is also expected to consider legislation that would re-authorize the Terrorism Risk Insurance Act, which is set to expire after this year. The House is working on a similar bill. The Senate version would extend the act for seven years, while the House version would extend it by five years.

The Credit Union National Association will also testify on regulatory relief efforts regulatory relief matters today to the House Financial Services Committee. (See related story: CU CEO to tell of 'crisis of creeping complexity' during House hearing.)


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