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Feds delay funding on $650M grant for San Francisco rail project

2/20/2017

Caltrain applied for $650 million in funding from the Federal Transit Administration to electrify a train system in San Francisco, but the FTA has delayed its decision after the project faced opposition from congressional Republicans. The agency said it will wait to decide on the grant until after President Donald Trump issues his budget.

SEC nominee sees need for easing capital rules

2/20/2017

President Donald Trump's nominee to chair the Securities and Exchange Commission, Jay Clayton, is committed to the administration's goals of easing restrictions on raising capital. Having an SEC chair who understands the need for raising capital would be "a welcome change from having somebody with an enforcement bent running the commission," says Robert Evans III, a partner at Shearman & Sterling.

SEC nominee sees need for easing some rules

2/20/2017

President Donald Trump's nominee to chair the Securities and Exchange Commission, Jay Clayton, is committed to the administration's goals of easing restrictions on raising capital. Having an SEC chair who understands the need for easing regulations would be "a welcome change from having somebody with an enforcement bent running the commission," says Robert Evans III, a partner at Shearman & Sterling.

Drug industry groups warn against big changes at FDA

2/20/2017

Pharmaceutical firms are worried that President Donald Trump's pledges to reduce regulations will weaken the FDA and make it more difficult and expensive to get insurance coverage for new drugs. BIO and other industry groups pressed the administration to avoid choosing a new FDA head who will radically accelerate drug approvals by the agency.

Most Asian-Pacific markets up as traders await Trump tax plan

2/20/2017

Asian-Pacific markets except Sydney rose Monday as investors waited to learn more about US President Donald Trump's tax proposal. Japan's Nikkei 225 edged up 0.1%; Hong Kong's Hang Seng Index rose 0.5%; Australia's S&P/ASX 200 declined 0.2%; China's Shanghai Composite gained 1.2%; South Korea's Kospi added 0.2%; and India's Sensex gained 0.7%.

Commentary: Trump order takes balanced approach to rule changes

2/17/2017

President Donald Trump's executive order to review the Dodd-Frank Act demonstrates a balanced approach to evaluating post-crisis regulation, writes Peter Dugas of the FIS Center of Regulatory Intelligence. The directive empowers the treasury secretary and the Financial Stability Oversight Council to review the law based on seven principles.

Acosta is new pick for Labor

2/17/2017

President Donald Trump on Thursday announced the selection of Alexander Acosta, dean of the law school at Florida International University, as his new nominee for secretary of labor. The selection was forced by Wednesday's sudden withdrawal of Andrew Puzder, due to lack of support in the Senate.

Failure to report health coverage will not cause tax return rejection

2/17/2017

In response to President Donald Trump's Jan. 20 executive order requiring the federal government to reduce the burden of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, the Internal Revenue Service issued guidance on how it will treat individual income tax returns that do not indicate whether the taxpayers had health insurance coverage.

Data contradict Trump's view of economy

2/17/2017

The strong US job market, recent stock market performance and lengthy period of GDP growth do not support President Donald Trump's claim that he walked into an economy that's "a mess," writes John Schoen. However, the US does face a challenge in the form of a skills shortage that has led to fewer employment opportunities for less-educated workers, Schoen writes.

GAO: Hiring freeze could exacerbate existing shortage

2/17/2017

President Donald Trump's federal hiring freeze could increase the risk to federal programs already threatened by employee shortages, said Comptroller General Gene Dodaro of the Government Accountability Office. He recommends "a budget or workforce plan" rather than a long-term hiring freeze, citing skills gaps combined with a high number of federal employees reaching retirement age.