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Sens. Elizabeth Warren and Bernie Sanders. Photos: Sarah Rice/Scott Olson/Getty Images

Tuesday's House of Representatives hearing on private equity landed with a whimper, after more than a week of escalating rhetoric from progressive Democrats.

Reality check: Even if Sen. Elizabeth Warren wins the presidency, she would have a tough time getting her "Stop Wall Street Looting Act" through Congress, with or without Democratic Party control of both chambers.

Republicans almost unanimously defended private equity, citing examples of successful PE-backed companies in their districts.

  • They were emboldened by the presence of Wayne Moore, a trustee from the Los Angeles County Employees' Retirement Association, who testified that private equity was his system's top-performing asset class for the past decade.
  • Few did more than glancingly acknowledge the presence of Giovanna De La Rosa, a 20-year Toys 'R' Us employee who lost her livelihood when the company went under.
  • The few GOP questions about Toys were directed at PE industry lobbyists, asking if it wasn't really Amazon that killed it, without any interest in the role of debt or extracted fees.

Democrats were more balanced between pro and con. Some proffered leading questions about troublesome PE deals in retail and healthcare services, but several lauded private equity, again with in-district examples. A few even credited private equity with their own private-sector career successes — and it's hard to see that cohort becoming sympathetic to Warren's cause.

  • One possible area of bipartisan agreement, or at least intra-Democrat agreement, was on the need for greater transparency between private equity firms and their investors. In the words of witness Eileen Applebaum, "Limited partners need a union."
  • Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez was the final questioner, but did not ask a question of either private equity lobbyist, or of the pension fund trustee. Opportunity forfeited.

What to watch: If either Warren or Sen. Bernie Sanders share their private equity criticisms during Wednesday's presidential debate, thus elevating it in voter minds, despite yesterday's deflated trial balloon.

Go deeper:

Go deeper

Updated 2 hours ago - Health

WHO: Delta health measures help fight Omicron

Photo: Mario Tama/Getty Images

Health measures taken to combat COVID-19 before the emergence of Omicron would also help against the new variant of concern, World Health Organization officials said Friday.

What they're saying: Takeshi Kasai, WHO regional director for the Western Pacific, said during a virtual briefing broadcast from Manila, Philippines, that border controls imposed by the U.S. and other nations can "buy time" to deal with the variant, but warned "every country and every community must prepare for new surges in cases."

3 hours ago - Health

Nevada to impose insurance surcharge on unvaccinated state workers

Nevada Gov. Steve Sisolak. Photo: Ethan Miller/Getty Images

Nevada's Public Employees' Benefit Program Board voted Thursday to charge workers enrolled in public employee health insurance plans a surcharge of up to $55 a month if they're not vaccinated against COVID-19, the Las Vegas Review-Journal reports.

Why it matters: Nevada is the first state to announce such a move, per AP.

Oklahoma sues Biden administration over Pentagon vaccine mandate

Secretary of Defense Lloyd J. Austin testifies before a House Armed Services Committee hearing on Sept. 29 in Washington, D.C. Photo: Olivier Douliery/Pool via Getty Images

The state of Oklahoma filed a lawsuit against the Biden administration on Thursday in an attempt to block the enforcement of its vaccine mandate for federal employees.

Why it matters: The move comes one day after Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin denied Oklahoma Gov. Kevin Stitt's (R) request to exempt the state's National Guard from the mandate.