Elizabeth Warren to Join Senate Banking Committee (Dec. 6, 2012)
Dec. 6, 2012
Fresh off her election to the U.S. Senate, Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) is set to join the Senate Banking Committee when the new Congress convenes in January, according to reports citing congressional aides. By joining the committee, Warren, known as a strong advocate for regulation of Wall Street, would gain significant power to oversee the financial industry that in 2011 successfully lobbied the Senate to block her nomination to lead the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, despite being widely credited as the main architect of the agency.
Warren and Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) are reportedly in line to replace the Senate Banking Committee’s two retiring members, Herb Kohl (D-Wis.) and Daniel Akaka (D-Hawaii). In November, Warren snatched one of Massachusetts’ Senate seats from incumbent Republican Scott Brown, becoming the state’s first female senator. As a member of the banking committee, Warren is expected to play a lead role in pushing for tighter regulation of banking and financial services, as well as blocking any amendments to the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act aimed at limiting the reforms and regulations called for in the bill. Warren’s appointment to the banking committee also is likely to diminish the possibility of significant changes to the makeup or activity of the CFPB, according to Alan Kaplinsky, a partner with the law firm Ballard Spahr LLP, including current proposals to establish a five-person commission to lead the agency and to subject the CFPB to the appropriations process.
Democratic Senate leadership’s selection of Warren for the committee comes against more strenuous opposition from the financial and banking industries, which are reported to have begun lobbying lawmakers to deny her a seat on the committee soon after her victory in the election. Warren’s appointment would need to be approved by the Democratic caucus, but that approval is likely to be a formality.
Meanwhile, the House of Representatives’ House Financial Services Committee recently added Jeb Hansarling (R-Texas) as its new chairman, replacing Spencer Bachus (R-Ala.), who reached the position’s term limit. On the Democratic side, Maxine Waters (D-Calif.) was elected ranking member of the committee, succeeding Barney Frank (D-Mass.), who is retiring from Congress. Reps. Mick Mulvaney (R-S.C.), Marlin Stutzman (R-Ind.), Dennis Ross (R-Fla.) and Randy Hultgren (R-Ill.) also will join the committee, in addition to freshman members Robert Pittenger (R-N.C.) and Andy Barr (R-Ky.). Reps. David Schweikert (R-Ariz.) and Walter Jones (R-N.C.) are leaving the committee.