National Security Adviser Tom Donilon collected more than $148,000 in pension payments from bailed out mortgage giant Fannie Mae in 2011, on top of his White House salary of $172,200, according to a Free Beacon analysis of White House personal financial disclosure forms.
Donilon netted more than $320,000 in income in 2011 between the two taxpayer-funded sources, including monthly payments totaling $12,391 as part of Fannie Mae’s “Executive Pension” and “Qualified Benefit” plans, the documents show.
“Most taxpayers are struggling to make ends meet. Yet, Mr. Donilon is still profiting from his work during the Fannie Mae buildup of the housing bubble that led to a recession and massive taxpayer bailouts,” said Sen. Jim DeMint (R., S.C.) in a statement to the Washington Free Beacon.
Between Sunday and Wednesday, Newt Gingrich went from leading Mitt Romney by 8 points to trailing Mitt Romney by 8 points in the Florida GOP primary polls. Thursday night's debate in Jacksonville was Gingrich's best opportunity--and most likely his only--ahead of Tuesday's primary to reverse Romney's momentum. But far from landing a knockout blow, it was Gingrich who was thrown back on his heels.
Cocoa, Fla. Newt Gingrich is promising voters the moon—or a moon base, at least.
During what his campaign dubbed its “Space Coast Town Hall Meeting,” Gingrich told a packed Holiday Inn Express conference room on Wednesday evening that one of his goals at the end of two terms in the White House is to have the “first permanent base on the moon.” He also invoked John F. Kennedy just miles from the former president’s eponymous space center about the challenges and the potential of a reinvigorated space program.
In response to charges from Mitt Romney that the former House speaker 'lobbied' for Freddie Mac, Newt Gingrich campaign surrogate J.C. Watts, a former congressman from Oklahoma, argued that his work as a 'consultant' to the mortgage giant actually makes Gingrich a better candidate for president.
Dueling Republican front-runners Newt Gingrich and Mitt Romney have been trading barbs on money and wealth the last few days. After Romney said Gingrich should return the $1.6 million he received from Freddie Mac, Gingrich shot back by saying Romney should return the money he made at Bain Capital by "bankrupting companies and laying off employees over the years."
Urbandale, Iowa Newt Gingrich responded to a report from Bloomberg News today that he earned upward of $1.8 million in consulting fees from Freddie Mac, the quasi-public home mortgage firm. Speaking with reporters outside a restaurant in this Des Moines suburb, Gingrich said he offered the firm, which has been in conservatorship since the 2008 financial crisis, "strategic advice" over a period of eight years through his private consulting firm the Gingrich Group.
The capital markets subcommittee of the House Financial Services Committee held a markup on Tuesday for eight small bills related to reforms of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. At the markup, congressional Democrats on the committee employed several parliamentary tactics to stall the votes. Democrats frequently demanded for a quorum call, according to a Republican staffer with the committee, and then each Democratic member would leave to deny the committee a quorum. The hearing lasted over 12 hours.
The video below shows a half-empty committee room during one such quorum call:
Andrew Ross Sorkin has a very interesting column this week examining the signal sent by GM’s purchase of AmeriCredit. The short answer: GM looks like it’s trying to revive the old patterns of demand before the recession. It’s doing so by following some of the same business practices that led to its bankruptcy filing last summer.