Archive for February 2011
Tim Johnson of South Dakota recently held his first hearing as Chairman of the U.S. Senate Banking Committee. Click the image below of Federal Reserve Chair Ben Bernanke to watch the video of the hearing or visit the Senate Banking Committee website.
Thursday, February 17, 2011 10:00 AM – 01:00 PM 538 Dirksen Senate Office Building
The witnesses will be: The Honorable Ben S. Bernanke, Chairman, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System; The Honorable Sheila Bair, Chairman, Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation; The Honorable Mary Schapiro, Chairman, U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission; The Honorable Gary Gensler, Chairman, Commodity Futures Trading Commission; and Mr. John Walsh, Acting Comptroller of the Currency, Office of the Comptroller of the Currency.All hearings are webcasted live and Individuals with disabilities who require an auxiliary aid or service, including closed captioning service for webcast hearings, should contact the committee clerk at 202-224-7391 at least three business days in advance of the hearing date.
Add To My Calendar (vCal)Witnesses Panel 1
- The Honorable Ben S. Bernanke Chairman Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System
- Honorable Sheila Bair Chairman Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation
- Honorable Mary Schapiro Chairman U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission
- Honorable Gary Gensler Chairman U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission
- Mr. John Walsh Acting Comptroller of the Currency Office of the Comptroller of the Currency
Sen. Tim Johnson, D-S.D., chairman of the Senate Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs Committee, says that among his Committee’s top oversight issues for the 112th Congress will be: the Dodd-Frank Act; the Securities and Exchange Commission’s (SEC) funding, the SEC’s “effectiveness”, and the agency’s whistleblower program; housing finance reform—including restructuring the GSEs; the state of the municipal securities market; credit ratings agencies; the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau; and the new Federal Insurance Office.
Those issues and more–including derivatives and the Volcker rule–were listed in the Senate Banking Committee’s agenda for the new Congress, which Johnson distributed to his staff in early February.
In his Committee agenda, Johnson says that he’ll ensure “effective and timely implementation of the Dodd-Frank Act” while also making sure “the letter and spirit of the law” are being implemented by regulators; that public comment on rules is being appropriately solicited and considered; the new law is being enforced; “legitimate concerns” regarding the Act are considered; and that regulators have “adequate resources to perform their work and are using the resources efficiently.”
As for housing finance reform, Johnson said that the Committee will start the process of examining the “numerous questions arising from the need to restructure the housing finance system, including the government-sponsored enterprises (GSEs).” The statutory and regulatory requirements of the Dodd-Frank Act “will begin and inform discussions regarding securitization, risk retention, the definition of a Qualified Residential Mortgage (QRM) and restrictions on mortgage lending,” he said. The Obama Administration is due to release on Friday its white paper on Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.
The CFPB’s “set-up and administration” will also be on Johnson’s radar. Elizabeth Warren, chief architect for the CFPB recently sent a response letter to Rep. Randy Neugebauer, R-Texas, Chairman of the House Financial Services Committee’s Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations, in response to a series of questions he posed to her regarding the CFPB. Warren told Neugebauer that as currently envisioned, the CFPB will have six divisions: Consumer engagement and education; supervision and enforcement; research, markets and regulation; Office of General Counsel; the external affairs office; and the Chief Operating Officer division.
Johnson also said that as the Committee conducts oversight of the Dodd-Frank Act, issues affecting insurance regulations “will remain a priority.” As the new Federal Insurance Office (FIO) is “stood up,” he said, “the Committee will monitor its work.” In particular, he noted, the first report from the FIO on the insurance industry is due this year, “which will provide the Committee useful information as it considers any legislation at the federal level.”
Post authored by Melanie Waddell, AdvisorOne
As we continue to come out of the worst recession since the Great Depression, I am committed to an agenda to restore our economy, make our financial regulations world class, and ensure that consumers and investors are meaningfully protected. From the perspective of the Banking Committee, this will include overseeing the implementation of the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and beginning housing finance reform.
I am committed to working with my colleagues on both sides of the aisle, the White House, regulators, consumer groups, industry and international regulators on oversight of reform. I will work to ensure our regulators have the right tools; that consumers have access, information, choice and protection; and that industry participants have certainty and rules that allow them to compete both at home and abroad.
The Administration’s recommendations on housing finance reform are expected to be released in the near future and that will generate discussion and help move the debate along. I look forward to an open dialogue to build consensus around a viable path forward. I do not want to further destabilize housing markets or make homeownership unaffordable for the majority of Americans.
As I have demonstrated throughout my career in Congress, I want to keep politics on the back burner and focus on good policy.
Most importantly, I look forward to working with the extremely talented and committed members of this Committee and hearing their voices as we restore our nation’s vibrant economy.
During my career, I have always tried to maintain a fair-minded, results-oriented approach to my work. It is true that I have never been the first to run toward the cameras, but I have never backed away from making tough decisions.
All the members of this Committee have a shared responsibility to find pragmatic solutions to the challenges before us. Congress must not shrink from its oversight responsibilities.
I am thankful and humbled at this new opportunity. I look forward to working with Ranking Member Shelby and all of my colleagues on the Committee to make this a productive session of Congress.
I would also like thank Chairman Dodd, who was an outstanding leader of the Committee in very difficult times. He shepherded the most significant financial legislation since the Great Depression through Congress. Chris is already missed in these hallways.
Originally posted in the Senate Banking Committee newsroom