By Bill Flook
Sen. Pat Toomey on October 5, 2020, told reporters he is “cautiously optimistic” Republicans will keep control of the Senate after the November elections, setting him up to serve as the next chairman of the Senate Banking Committee. As chairman, the Pennsylvania Republican said he would focus on fintech, digital currency reforms, and expanding investment opportunities for middle-income Americans.
Toomey, who doesn’t plan to seek reelection in 2022, would have two years to serve at the helm of the banking panel, or as its ranking member should Republicans lose the majority after the elections. The committee’s current chairman, Sen. Mike Crapo of Idaho, is next in line to take over as chair of the Senate Finance Committee.
“It is my hope that I’ll be the chairman of the Senate Banking Committee, because I am hopeful and cautiously optimistic that my Republican colleagues will prevail in a number of tough races and we will be in the majority, and I hope to be serving these last two years with president Donald Trump having been reelected,” Toomey said during the news conference.
He said he would prioritize ending the conservatorship status of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. He also said he would, as chair, “like us to be able to expand opportunities for middle income Americans to be investors at lower costs with more opportunities to benefit from a generally growing economy.”
“There’s very exciting things happening in technology, fintech, payment systems, the possibility of a digital currency, all of these things are really important and exciting changes, and they are going to require some new legislation, some new regulation, and all of those are things I look forward to working on these next two years,” Toomey said.
Sen. Sherrod Brown of Ohio is the current ranking member of the Senate Banking Committee, and is expected to take over as chairman should Democrats take the Senate. Brown on October 7 told reporters that, as chairman, he would first focus on emergency rental assistance in an effort to prevent widespread evictions during the COVID-19 pandemic, according to cleveland.com.
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