Senate Democrats Firming Up Committee Assignments
Although some of the names are still unofficial, party choices for Senate committees that affect credit unions are starting to emerge.
Tim Johnson (D-S.D.) will remain chairman of the Banking Committee, and both NAFCU and CUNA are reporting that Sen. Mike Crapo (R-Idaho) is the unofficial choice of the GOP for ranking member.
Crapo voted along party lines Thursday when he cast a nay vote on the budget point of order that killed S. 3637, the Transaction Account Guarantee favored by bankers. Johnson not only voted yes to advance the TAG bill, he took to the Senate floor Wednesday to urge his fellow senators to vote for the bill.
Neither senator is a co-sponsor of S. 2231, which would raise the member business lending cap on credit unions to 27.5% of assets.
According to the official Senate Democrats webpage, new members assigned named to the 2013 banking committee include Senator-elect Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts, Senator-elect Heidi Heitkamp of North Dakota and Joe Manchin of West Virginia. Manchin voted along party lines Thursday to waive the budget point of order on TAG.
Other Democratic members of next year’s Senate Banking committee include Jack Reed of Rhode Island, Chuck Schumer of New York, Robert Menendez of New Jersey, Sherrod Brown of Ohio, Jon Tester of Montana, Mark Warner of Virginia, Jeff Merkley of Oregon and Kay Hagan of North Carolina.
Tester could be a strong ally of credit unions after CUNA supported him with partisan campaign communications in his successful re-election this year. Tester was not a co-sponsor of member business lending legislation, but Reed, Schumer and Brown were.
NAFCU’s Jillian Pevo, senior associate director of legislative affairs, said the Banking Committee could provide oversight over new regulations coming out of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau during hearings next year, and the trade looks forward to providing input during those hearings.
Democrats Mike Bennett of Colorado and Brown of Ohio will be members of the next Senate Finance Committee. They will join Chairman Max Baucus of Montana, Schumer, Menendez, Jay Rockefeller of West Virginia, John Kerry of Massachusetts, Ron Wyden of Oregon, Debbie Stabenow of Michigan, Maria Cantwell of Washington, Bill Nelson of Florida, Tom Carper of Delaware and Ben Cardin of Maryland. Wyden, Stabenow and Nelson were co-sponsors of S. 2231.
The anticipated committee assignments are subject to approval by the full Democratic caucus and approval of an organizing resolution by the full Senate when the 113th Congress convenes in January.