By Bill Flook
One Republican and one Democrat on the Senate Banking Committee have lost their reelection bids, leaving two open spots on an influential panel that oversees the financial services industry and its regulators. Sen. Doug Jones, a Democrat from Alabama, lost to retired football coach Tommy Tuberville, while in Arizona, Republican Sen. Martha McSally lost to astronaut Mark Kelly.
Jones, a moderate who defeated Republican Roy Moore in a 2017 special election, was widely seen as an underdog going into the November 3, 2020, election.
Bills he sponsored during his time on the committee include 2019’s S. 566, the Expanding Access to Capital for Rural Job Creators Act, requiring the SEC’s Office of the Advocate for Small Business Capital Formation to broaden its focus to rural small businesses, and S. 2765 the RBIC Advisers Relief Act of 2018, which freed advisers who solely work with rural business investment companies (RBICs) from registering as investment advisers, allowing them to avoid the SEC’s reporting, recordkeeping, and examination regime. Trump signed the latter bill into law in January 2019.
McSally, a former U.S. Air Force pilot, was appointed in early 2019 to fill a Senate seat left open by the departure of interim Sen. John Kyl, who served a several-month stint in the seat following the death of Sen. John McCain. Her appointment followed an unsuccessful run for Arizona’s other Senate seat against Democrat Kyrsten Sinema, who bested McSally in the November 2018 election.
On the Senate Banking Committee, McSally most recently sent a letter to BlackRock, Inc., accusing the asset management firm of perpetuating a “double standard” in which it pressures management at its American investments for additional climate disclosures while ignoring Chinese companies’ evasion of U.S. audit requirements. She signed the June letter alongside Sen. Kevin Cramer, a North Dakota Republican.
This article originally appeared in the November 6, 2020 edition of Accounting & Compliance Alert, available on Checkpoint.
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