Several Alabama legislators are proposing bills to place restrictions on payday and title loans, including capping the interest rates.
Legislators say their bills would limit annual interest rates at 36 percent. The loans can now have annualized rates of 456 percent on payday loans and 300 percent on title loans.
Democrat Ron Scott of Fairfield says he's optimistic about passage because the bills have a broad range of support, including the Southern Poverty Law Center, NAACP, AARP and Arise Citizens' Policy Project.
With President Obama nominating Ernest Moniz to be the nation's next energy secretary, he continued a relatively recent trend of putting scientists atop a part of the federal bureaucracy once overseen by political types.
If confirmed by the Senate, Moniz, an MIT physicist, will follow Nobel laureate Steven Chu, a University of California physicist who served as Obama's first-term energy secretary.
From NPR News, this is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Audie Cornish.
An MIT physicist and Washington insider is the president's choice to run the Department of Energy. Ernest Moniz served as an undersecretary of energy for President Clinton. He now works at MIT, where his research institute publishes studies on energy that are considered required reading on Capitol Hill.
As NPR's Christopher Joyce reports, Moniz is a booster of solar and wind power but also some types of fossil fuel.
Sally Jewell was tapped last month for Interior Secretary but one of Alaska's senators, Republican Lisa Murkowski, announced she might block the nomination. At issue is a proposed gravel road in King Cove, Alaska. The town is so remote that the residents have no way to get in and out. The road would connect King Cove to a larger town nearby, but it would have to cut through a national wildlife refuge. Washington Post environment reporter Juliet Eilperin explains to Audie Cornish why the town of less than a thousand has an impact on a nomination for a national position
President Obama rounds out his Cabinet for his second term, nominating three new leaders Monday: Walmart Foundation's Sylvia Mathews Burwell for budget chief, MIT scientist Ernest Moniz to head the Energy Department and veteran regulator Gina McCarthy to run the EPA — a post that's likely be a lightning rod during Senate confirmations.
Lawmakers failed to avert across-the-board spending cuts to the federal government, and they officially kicked in last week. Host Michel Martin speaks with NPR senior business editor Marilyn Geewax, and The Wall Street Journal's Sudeep Reddy about what it all really means.
We'd like to talk now about new research on the wealth gap between white and black families in the U.S. According to a federal survey, the median black family has five cents for every dollar of wealth owned by their white counterparts. Now, that gap is obviously very large, but it is also growing. We wanted to talk more about this, so we've called Washington Post reporter Michael Fletcher, who wrote about this recently. And he's with us from The Washington Post's studios.
Calling them "three outstanding individuals" who will help him tackle some tough problems, President Obama on Monday morning nominated:
-- Gina McCarthy, currently an assistant administrator at the Environmental Protection Agency, to lead that agency. She would succeed the departed Lisa Jackson.
-- Ernest Moniz to be the next secretary of energy, replacing Steven Chu, who like Jackson decided not to stay for Obama's second term. Moniz is director of MIT's Energy Initiative and is a former undersecretary at the department.
For a city that thrives on huge controversies and breathtaking tremors, perhaps last week's mini-squabble over whether or not to invite Chris Christie to the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) later this month is not what you would call a big deal. But the decision — not to invite him — says something about the conservative movement ... and what defines a conservative.
President Obama plans to announce three Cabinet-level nominations Monday, including a new administrator for the Environmental Protection Agency, who could be on the hot seat in the looming battle over global warming.
Gina McCarthy, currently an assistant administrator in the wing of the EPA that regulates air pollution, is the president's pick to head the EPA.