Senator Levin's Record - Investigations
- April 13, 2012 – Sen. Levin fights oil speculation, high gas prices
Sen. Levin is one of 19 U.S. senators who file an amicus brief in federal court to support commodities regulators in establishing trading limits on speculators who contribute to the volatility in oil and gas prices.
- March 26, 2012 – Sen. Levin speaks out against oil speculation
In a Senate floor speech based on information developed by the Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations, Sen. Levin cites evidence that speculators are overwhelming the market for oil, gas and other commodities, calls for the establishment of trading limits on speculators as required in the Dodd-Frank Wall Street reform legislation, and calls for stronger actions to protect consumers and businesses from the impact of speculation on oil prices.
- March 26, 2012 – Levin, McCain release GAO report on fake parts from China
Sen. Levin and Sen. John McCain, the chairman and ranking member of the Senate Armed Services Committee, release a report from the Government Accountability Office showing that China is refusing to shut down the flow of counterfeit electronic parts that endangers U.S. national security, the safety of troops and U.S. jobs.
- March 22, 2012 – Sen. Levin opposes misnamed 'jobs' bill
Sen. Levin speaks out against legislation that has been sold as a job-creation bill, but that eliminates important protections for investors and threatens to reduce, rather than grow, investment in job creation. Earlier, Sen. Levin had joined with Sens. Mary Landrieu and Jack Reed to offer an alternative that would boost investment in job creation while maintaining investor protections.
- March 8, 2012 – Levin-Conrad amendment cracks down on offshore tax loopholes
The Senate adopts an amendment offered by Sen. Levin, Sen. Kent Conrad and Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse that adds important new tools to the fight against offshore tax abuses that increase the budget deficit and disadvantage middle-class taxpayers.
- Feb. 29, 2012 – Levin speaks out against ‘Facebook loophole’
In a speech on the Senate floor, Sen. Levin outlines how Facebook will avoid billions of dollars in corporate taxes using a loophole related to the granting of stock options to employees. Levin has long sought the closing of this stock-option loophole to reduce the budget deficit.
- Jan. 26, 2012 – Levin criticizes IRS role in boosting commodities speculators
At a Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations hearing, Sen. Levin outlines how the IRS, through a series of private rulings, has allowed mutual funds to skirt legal limits on commodities trading and contributed to the market speculation that increases prices for oil and other commodities.
- Jan. 23, 2012 -- Levin introduces bill to close tax loophole
Sen. Levin introduces the Closing the Derivatives Blended Rate Loophole Act, which would end a tax loophole that adds to the deficit and subsidizes short-term trading in complex financial derivatives.
- Dec. 14, 2011 – Levin report shows ‘offshore’ corporate funds are in U.S.
Sen. Levin releases a Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations report showing that large multinational corporations who say they have funds “trapped” overseas because of U.S. tax laws already have large amounts in U.S. bank accounts and other U.S. investments. The report undercuts a major rationale of those lobbying for a “repatriation holiday” that would give corporations a huge tax break if they repatriate offshore funds.
- Dec. 13, 2011 – Levin calls for tougher action against failed bank’s executives
Sen. Levin calls for tougher action, including possible civil monetary penalties, against the executives of Washington Mutual Bank after an announcement of a settlement of FDIC claims against the bank’s executives. Leaders at Washington Mutual, the largest bank failure in U.S. history and a subject of scrutiny by Levin’s Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations for its role in helping spark the financial crisis, escaped with light penalties by the FDIC.
- Nov. 8, 2011 -- Levin cosponsors bill to strengthen credit card protections
Sen. Levin joins Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse of Rhode Island and six others to introduce legislation that would restore the ability of states to protect consumers from exorbitant interest rates.
- Nov. 8, 2011 -- Hearing exposes counterfeit parts in defense supply system
Sen. Levin holds a hearing on the Armed Services Committee’s bipartisan investigation into counterfeit electronic parts in the defense supply chain. The investigation finds 1,800 cases of such counterfeits, tracks 100 of those cases to the source, and finds China is the source of more than 70 cases. Levin and Sen. John McCain of Arizona, the committee’s ranking member, call for legislation to strengthen military and contractor efforts to stop counterfeits and to combat the trade of counterfeit parts from China.
- Nov. 3, 2011 -- Levin calls for action to stop commodity speculators
Sen. Levin chairs a hearing of the Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations into how speculators in commodity markets can skew the prices for important commodities, harming consumers and damaging economic recovery. He calls on the Commodity Futures Trading Commission to aggressively implement limits on speculation that are included in the Dodd-Frank Wall Street reform legislation.
- Nov. 1, 2011 -- Levin opposes attempt to weaken Wall Street reform
Sen. Levin speaks in favor of a decision to withdraw legislation that would have slowed or stopped the Wall Street reforms included in the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act.
- Oct. 10, 2011 – Levin report finds repatriation tax holiday failed to create jobs
Sen. Levin releases a report by the Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations that raises serious questions about proposals to give multinational corporations a “repatriation tax holiday” that would cut taxes on revenue brought back to the United States from overseas. The report finds that a previous holiday, in 2004, did not succeed in creating jobs or boosting investment, and that companies that took advantage of the tax holiday increased stock repurchases and executive compensation despite legal prohibitions against using repatriated funds for such purposes.
- September 15, 2011 - Levin statement on 2011 IRS voluntary disclosure program
Sen. Levin said the IRS announcement that 30,000 offshore tax evaders voluntarily disclosed their status shows "How rampant offshore tax abuse is. Congress could do a lot more to stop offshore tax cheats who are costing this country an estimated $100 billion each year."
- July 14, 2011 - Levin-Brown bill seeks to close corporate tax loophole
Sen. Levin and Sen. Sherrod Brown of Ohio introduce a bill to end the federal tax break that gives special tax treatment to corporations that pay their executives with stock options. The Ending Excessive Corporate Deductions for Stock Options Act would reduce the budget deficit by $25 billion over 10 years by ending what amounts to a federal subsidy for executive pay.
- July 12, 2011 -- Levin bill would rein in offshore tax havens
Sen. Levin introduces his Stop Tax Haven Abuse Act, which includes powerful new tools to combat offshore and tax shelter abuses, raise revenues, and eliminate incentives to send U.S. profits and jobs offshore. The bill seeks to end an estimated $100 billion a year in tax revenue lost to abusive offshore tax shelters.
- April 13, 2011 -- Bipartisan report reveals abuses that led to financial crisis
Sen. Levin and Sen. Tom Coburn of Oklahoma release a bipartisan report on the causes of the financial crisis. The report, the product of more than two years of work by the Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations, reveals how heedless risk-taking and conflicts of interests in mortgage lending, federal regulation, credit-rating agencies and Wall Street investment banks created the crisis that sparked the worst recession since the Great Depression.
- March 8, 2011 - Bill includes Sen. Levin's ban on tax patents
The Senate passes patent reform legislation that includes a provision from Sen. Levin, Sen. Charles Grassley of Iowa and Sen. Max Baucus of Montana to ban patents on tax reduction strategies. Such patents can give the appearance of government approval for abusive tax shelters, and can penalize taxpayers who use legal and appropriate strategies to lower their tax bill.
- October 2010 - Report highlights problems with contractors
Senate Armed Services Committee releases its report on a Sen. Levin-led investigation into private security contractors in Afghanistan. The investigation finds evidence that a number of security contractors working under Department of Defense contracts and subcontracts funneled U.S. taxpayer dollars to Afghan warlords and strongmen linked to murder, kidnapping, and bribery, as well as to Taliban and anti-coalition activities.
- June 16, 2010 - Data shows tax reporting rules give corporations big windfall
The Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations, which Sen. Levin chairs, releases data showing that in 2008, corporations claimed $52 billion in tax deductions for executive stock options that they were not required to show in their financial reports. The data highlights how differing rules for taxes and financial reporting give corporate executives a massive windfall.
- April 13, 2010 - Sen. Levin chairs first of hearings on financial crisis
Sen. Levin chairs the first of four Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations hearings on the causes of the financial crisis. The first hearing, focused on a case study of reckless mortgage lending, is followed by hearings on weak federal regulation, poor performance at credit rating agencies and risk-taking and conflicts of interest in investment banking. The hearings help provide momentum for passage of Wall Street reform, the Dodd-Frank Act.
- Dec. 8, 2009 - Sen. Levin fights for rules to end deceptive credit report ads
Sen. Levin sends a letter to the Federal Trade Commission in support of strong implementation of legislation he helped author that would rein in deceptive advertising by credit report issuers. The measure, part of the Credit CARD Act of 2009, is designed to make clear to consumers, so they are not misled, that commercial credit report services are separate from the free annual credit report consumers are entitled to by federal law.
- December 2009 - Sen. Levin cosponsors PROTECT Act
Sen. Levin is a cosponsor of the Preserving Records of Terrorist and Criminal Transactions (PROTECT) Act (S.2820), which would help the FBI prevent guns from getting into the hands of dangerous individuals by increasing the amount of time gun background check records are kept.
- Oct. 19, 2009 - Sen. Levin seeks end to abusive overdraft fees
Sen. Levin joins other senators in introducing the Fairness and Accountability in Receiving (FAIR) Overdraft Coverage Act of 2009, which would end excessive and abusive overdraft fees that consumers incur in debit card and ATM transactions.
- April 21, 2009 - Sen. Levin leads probe of detainee policies
Senate Armed Services Committee releases the report [PDF] from its inquiry into the treatment of detainees in U.S. custody, which found that “authorization of aggressive interrogation techniques and subsequent interrogation policies and plans approved by senior military and civilian officials conveyed the message that physical pressures and degradation were appropriate treatment for detainees in U.S. military custody.”
- May 22, 2008 - Legislation ends 'Enron loophole'
Congress approves legislation that includes a provision for which Sen. Levin has long fought to abolish the "Enron loophole," which allowed speculation and price manipulation in energy markets, driving up prices for consumers.
- Dec. 4, 2007 - Hearing sheds light on credit card rates
Sen. Levin chairs a Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations hearing on unfair credit card interest rate increases.
- May 15, 2007 - Levin bill seeks end to credit card abuses
Sen. Levin and Sen. Claire McCaskill of Missouri introduce the Stop Unfair Practices in Credit Cards Act, which would end a number of abusive credit card practices. The main provisions of their bill become law in 2009 with passage of the Credit CARD Act.
- May 3, 2007 -- Bill would recover unpaid taxes from Medicare doctors
Sen. Levin and Sen. Norm Coleman of Minnesota introduce legislation that seeks to recover unpaid taxes from the estimated 21,000 health care providers receiving Medicaid payments who have failed to pay taxes. A Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations probe led by Levin and Coleman found an estimated $1.3 billion in unpaid taxes from providers receiving Medicare payments.
- March 7, 2007 - Hearing reveals unfair credit card fees
Sen. Levin chairs Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations hearing on unfair fee and penalty policies of credit card issuers.
- Feb. 17, 2007 - Bipartisan bill seeks to end tax haven abuses
Sen. Levin, Sen. Norm Coleman of Minnesota and Sen. Barack Obama of Illinous introduce the Stop Tax Haven Abuse Act, a bill to end abusive off-shore tax havens that deprive the U.S. Treasury billions of dollars a year, a loss that increases the tax burden on honest taxpayers.
- Oct. 11, 2006 - Levin releases GAO report on credit card abuses
The Government Accountability Office issues a report, requested by Sen. Levin, detailing high and hidden fees, excessive penalties and other consumer abuses by credit card issuers.
- June 27, 2006 - Report shows speculation raises oil, gas prices
Sen. Levin and Sen. Norm Coleman of Minnesota release a report on a Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations probe that details how excessive speculation has increased the price of oil and gas for consumers.
- March 2006 - Hearing shows homeland security gaps
Hearing before the Senate Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations, with Sen. Levin as ranking member, reveals serious gaps in U.S. port security.
- April 13, 2005 Report reveals credit counseling abuses
Sen. Levin and Sen. Norm Coleman of Minnesota release a report on a Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations probe into abusive practices in the credit counseling industry.
- Sept. 16, 2004 - Bill seeks to slow revolving door for bank regulators
Sen. Levin and Sen. Norm Coleman of Minnesota introduce legislation that would require a one-year cooling-off period before former federal bank regulators can take jobs at institutions they once monitored.
- 1999-2001 - Sen. Levin works to strengthen anti-money laundering laws
Sen. Levin works to strengthen anti-money laundering laws and procedures to prevent terrorists and other criminals from using our financial systems against us. From 1999 until 2001, through his role on the Senate Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations, Senator Levin held a series of hearings on money laundering activities in the U.S. financial services sector, including in-depth examinations of money laundering activities in private banking, correspondent banking, and the securities industry. This investigative work provided the foundation of many of the anti-money laundering provisions in Title III of the Patriot Act.