Elizabeth Warren says the government should fire student loan servicer Navient, which should fire its CEO

Elizabeth Warren
Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA).

  • Sen. Elizabeth Warren said Navient CEO John Remondi should be fired at a hearing on Tuesday.
  • Navient, one of the largest student loan servicers, has been accused of misleading borrowers.
  • Remondi said the allegations are untrue and “not necessarily based on facts.”
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Navient CEO John Remondi was at Sen. Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts’ first hearing on student debt relief. Warren told Remondi that he should be fired for misleading student loan borrowers, but that wasn’t all.

“The federal government should absolutely fire Navient, and because this happened under your leadership, Navient should fire you,” Warren told Remondi during the hearing.

Warren, as the chair of the Senate Subcommittee on Economic Policy, called 11 witnesses to testify at the hearing to discuss the impact of student debt on borrowers, racial justice, and the economy.

Warren said in her letter to Remondi inviting him to testify at the hearing that while Navient currently services federal loans to 5.6 million borrowers and holds over $58 billion annually in federally guaranteed Federal Family Education Loan Program (FFELP) loans, it also has “been a contributor to the problem, with a decade-long history of allegations of abusive and misleading practices aimed at student loan borrowers.”

She added that between 2009 and 2019, Navient has been accused or fined for “actions that ripped off borrowers,” including the improper marketing of loans and failing to notify borrowers of their rights.

And an ongoing Consumer Financial Protection Bureau investigation found evidence that Navient “systematically steered thousands of borrowers who were having difficulty paying their loans into plans that were worse for the borrowers – but more profitable for Navient.”

In February, three student loan borrowers filed a legal action against Navient, arguing that Navient owed them over $45,000 in overpayments that the company had wrongfully collected after their student loans had been discharged. This followed an Education Department ruling that Navient must repay the government $22 million in overcharged student loan subsidies.

In response to Warren’s questioning on investigations into Navient, Remondi said his job is “obviously to comply with the rules and laws, and we work hard to make sure all borrowers successfully manage their loans.”

“These allegations are not true,” Remondi said. “They’re accusations and not necessarily based on facts,” he added.

Also testifying at the hearing were Rep. Ayanna Pressley of Massachusetts, Maura Healey, the attorney general of Massachusetts, and James Steeley, president and CEO of the Pennsylvania Higher Education Assistance Agency.

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Over 3 dozen Democrats lawmakers urge Biden to commute the sentences of all remaining federal death row inmates

Joe Biden White House
President Joe Biden speaks at the White House on January 22, 2021.

  • Thirty-seven lawmakers asked President Joe Biden to commute the sentences of all remaining federal death row inmates.
  • The effort was led by Reps. Ayanna Pressley of Massachusetts and Cori Bush of Missouri.
  • Biden is opposed to the death penalty and campaigned on ending the practice.
  • Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.

Over three dozen lawmakers, led by Democratic Reps. Ayanna Pressley of Massachusetts and Cori Bush of Missouri, sent a letter to President Joe Biden on Friday asking him to commute the sentences of all remaining federal death row inmates and “recommit to the tradition of due process, mercy, and judicial clemency when it comes to matters related to the criminal legal system.”

The letter included co-signers like Reps. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez of New York, Karen Bass of California, Rashida Tlaib of Michigan, and Jamaal Bowman of New York, where they expressed “grave concerns regarding the death penalty” and criticized the pace of executions under President Donald Trump.

“Night after night in the final days of the Trump administration, the American people bore witness to the cruel and heinous practice of executions,” they wrote. “Americans from all walks of life appealed to the moral conscience of judges and the President to save the lives of those on death row. To no avail.”

Under the Trump administration, there were 13 federal executions. Before federal executions resumed in 2020, the last federal execution was carried out in 2003.

Read more: Trump tested the Constitution and shredded traditions. Biden and the Democrats have big plans of their own about what to do next.

The signatories urged Biden “to take swift, decisive action” in commuting the sentences of death row inmates and accused Trump of enabling “carnage and unrestrained violence that must be rectified immediately.”

“This moment demands a series of meaningful actions to ensure that no President can authorize the killing of Americans through the death penalty,” they wrote.

Biden, who opposes the death penalty, instead favors inmates serving life sentences without the possibility of parole or probation.

When asked about Biden’s commitment to ending the federal death penalty during a Wednesday press briefing, White House press secretary Jen Psaki didn’t have updates on any immediate plans of action.

“The President, as you know, has stated his opposition to the death penalty in the past,” she said. “He remains – that remains his view. I don’t have anything more for you in terms of future actions or mechanisms, though.”

In the letter, the signatories remained hopeful that they could partner with Biden in halting future executions.

“We look forward to working with your administration to enact just and restorative policies that will meaningfully transform our criminal legal system for the better,” they wrote. “By exercising your clemency power, you can ensure that there would be no one left on death row to kill.”

They added: “Given the historic nature of your administration, this would be an unprecedented but necessary –  action to reverse systemic injustices and restore America’s moral standing.

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Rep. Ayanna Pressley dubs Georgia GOP Sens. Loeffler and Perdue ‘the Bonnie and Clyde of corruption’

ayanna pressley
Rep. Ayanna Pressley speaks at a program voicing support for those protesting against police brutality against Black Americans in Boston on June 2, 2020.

  • Rep. Ayanna Pressley on Friday called Georgia Sens. Kelly Loeffler and David Perdue “the Bonnie and Clyde of corruption.”
  • The Massachusetts Democrat made the comments during an interview with MSNBC’s Joy Reid about turning out voters for the January 2021 runoff elections in the Peach State.
  • “Georgia, do your thing,” she said. “I know we’re asking a lot of Georgia … Do what you do. All eyes are on Georgia.”
  • Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.

Rep. Ayanna Pressley on Friday slammed Georgia Sens. Kelly Loeffler and David Perdue, calling them “the Bonnie and Clyde of corruption.”

During an appearance on MSNBC’s “The ReidOut” with host Joy Reid, the Massachusetts Democrat spoke about turning out voters for the January 2021 runoff elections in the state, which will determine control of the US Senate.

“Georgia, do your thing,” she said. “I know we’re asking a lot of Georgia. But do your thing, Georgia. Do what you do. All eyes are on Georgia. [Senate Majority Leader] Mitch McConnell [of Kentucky]…Loeffler, Perdue – they are the Bonnie and Clyde of corruption.”

She added: “They are all the same. We need to regain control of the Senate. Georgia, do what you do.”

An analysis by The New York Times showed that Perdue sometimes made more than 20 stock transactions in one day, and he made nearly 2,600 trades during his first term in office. His financial transactions came under scrutiny this past year, with the Times reporting that “the Justice Department had investigated the senator for possible insider trading in his sale of more than $1 million worth of stock in a financial-analysis firm, Cardlytics.”

Though prosecutors ultimately did not file charges, questions lingered about stock trading among all senators and potential conflicts of interest.

Earlier this year, the Justice Department began an investigation into Loeffler after she sold millions of dollars’ worth of stock in January after a briefing about the coronavirus. No charges were filed in her case, and she has denied any wrongdoing, calling attacks against her “a political witch hunt by the fake news media.”

On December 15, President-elect Joe Biden visited Georgia to stump for the challengers to Loeffler and Perdue, Democrats Raphael Warnock and Jon Ossoff, respectively.

Loeffler, who is running in a special election to fill the remaining term of GOP Sen. Johnny Isakson, and Perdue, who is running for reelection to a second term, both fell below the 50% threshold to win their races outright, which necessitated runoff elections.

The 2020 elections produced a 50-48 advantage for the Republicans, with the outstanding Georgia Senate races making the difference in McConnell keeping control of the chamber or Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer of New York becoming the new majority leader. If Democrats can win both seats, Vice President-elect Kamala Harris would be able to break tie votes, giving the party control of the Senate for the first time since 2015.

As of Friday morning, over 1.1 million voters had already cast ballots for the runoff elections, according to Reuters.

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‘These are survival checks’: Democratic Rep. Ayanna Pressley slammed $600 coronavirus stimulus checks as insufficient

ayanna pressley
Representative Ayanna Pressley (D-MA), questions U.S. Postal Service Postmaster General Louis DeJoy as he testifies during a hearing before the House Oversight and Reform Committee on August 24, 2020 on Capitol Hill in Washington, DC.

Rep. Ayanna Pressley did not mince words when criticizing the $600 dollar stimulus checks which are reportedly included in Congress’s latest proposal for a coronavirus stimulus package.

“At this point, these are not even stimulus checks. These are survival checks,” the Massachusetts congresswoman said in an interview on MSNBC’s “The ReidOut” on Friday. 

“My constituents need these moneys to remain safely housed,” Pressley said, adding that “600 dollars does not even cover one month’s rent.”

As Business Insider’s Joseph Zeballos-Roig reported, following a prolonged contention over a stimulus package, Republican and Democratic lawmakers are in talks of a $900 billion coronavirus relief package as of Wednesday morning, and the proposal reportedly includes direct payments of around $600 per individual –  roughly half of the $1,200 stimulus in March.

Pressley criticized that the GOP-led Senate is “completely disconnected and removed from the hardship that American people are experiencing every day.”

Read more: EXCLUSIVE: Jared Kushner helped create a Trump campaign shell company that secretly paid the president’s family members and spent $617 million in reelection cash, a source tells Insider

Progressive Democrats have urged that congress includes $2,000 stimulus checks in the coronavirus relief package, noting that “this type of direct assistance has proven to be critical to lifting people out of poverty and have been among the most effective programs to address the economic fallout of the COVID-19 pandemic,” Zeballos-Roig reported.  Earlier this month, Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and Sen. Bernie Sanders have both pushed for a second round of $1,200 stimulus checks.

Ocasio-Cortez, also a member of “the squad” of progressive lawmakers alongside Pressley, criticized Senate Republicans that they “just [don’t] care” and slammed the $600 checks as an “insultingly low amount,” Business Insider’s Sophia Ankel reported.

 

 

 

 

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A week after Brandon Bernard’s execution and multiple attempts to persuade Trump to stop others, dozens of members of Congress are asking Biden to end the federal death penalty

Joe Biden
President-elect Joe Biden speaks at The Queen theater in Wilmington, Del., Wednesday, Dec. 9, 2020.

  • Dozens of members of Congress have called on President-elect Joe Biden to abolish the death penalty in all jurisdictions on his first day in office, CNN reported. 
  • The call comes after the execution of Brandon Bernard during a presidential lame-duck period. 
  • Activists had previously called on President Donald Trump to halt Bernard’s execution, as well as other scheduled during the presidential transition period. 
  • Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.

Forty members of Congress and three recently elected members are urging President-elect Joe Biden to abolish the death penalty in all jurisdictions on his first day in office, CNN reported. 

The call was voiced in a letter written by Rep. Ayanna Pressley and sent to Biden’s transition team. In the letter, Pressley slams President Donald Trump’s administration for executing “more people in six months than the total number executed over the previous six decades.”

“With a stroke of your pen, you can stop all federal executions, prohibit United States Attorneys from seeking the death penalty, dismantle death row at FCC Terre Haute, and call for the resentencing of people who are currently sentenced to death,” Pressley wrote in the letter obtained by CNN. “Each of these elements are critical to help prevent greater harm and further loss of life.”

The call comes after the execution of Brandon Bernard and after multiple pleas to President Donald Trump to stop executions that were scheduled during the presidential transition period. 

Last week, Bernard became the ninth inmate to be executed this year by the Bureau of Prisons after a 17-year hiatus. So far, ten people have been executed this year. Bernard’s execution was the first of five scheduled before January 20, when Biden is sworn in, the BBC reported.

Bernard’s lawyers, as well as activists, pleaded for his sentence to be commuted to life in prison. His death was also the first time an execution has been carried out during a presidential lame-duck period in 130 years. 

“The current administration has weaponized capital punishment with callous disregard for human life,” Pressley wrote.

Additionally, the Death Row Information Center has reported that there 52 people on federal death row and 18 pending state executions. 

Biden has pledged to abolish the federal death penalty and to work to incentivize states to abolish theirs. 

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