The Senate Banking Committee has added five new members – two Democrats and three Republicans – as Sen. Sherrod Brown, an Ohio Democrat, steps into his new role as chairman. The new members include two freshmen Georgia Democrats – Sens. John Ossoff and Raphael Warnock – who swept their state’s runoff elections last month and handed control of the Senate to Democrats.
Also joining the banking panel are Republican Sens. Cynthia Lummis of Wyoming, Bill Hagerty of Tennessee, and Steve Daines of Montana.
Departing the panel are Sens. Brian Schatz, a Hawaii Democrat, Sen. Tom Cotton, an Arkansas Republican, and Sen. Ben Sasse, an Arkansas Republican.
Schatz, who has been named to the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, was one of the banking panel’s most vocal climate hawks, pushing the SEC to implement more extensive climate risk disclosure requirements for public companies.
Brown welcomed the new members and thanked the departing ones on February 4, 2021, during an executive session in which the panel advanced the nominations of Rep. Martha Fudge as Secretary of Housing and Urban Development and Cecilia Rouse as chair of the Council of Economic Advisers.
Brown then signaled a shift in priorities for the Banking Committee.
“I want to be clear: the days of this committee doing the bidding of Wall Street are over,” he said.
He vowed to cease referring to the committee solely with the common shorthand of “banking committee,” which he argued reflected the committee’s past of looking out for “Wall Street and the nation’s largest banks – too often at a cost to consumers, and almost always to the detriment of workers.” Instead, Brown said he would also refer to the panel as the “Banking Housing Committee,” “Housing Banking,” or the “Public Transit Committee.”
“Americans have had enough of the nation’s largest banks setting the agenda for this committee, and drowning out the voices of workers and their families,” he said. “We will work for everyone.”
This article originally appeared in the February 8, 2021 edition of Accounting & Compliance Alert, available on Checkpoint.
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