Hill Update – January 2023
This month marks the beginning of a new Congress, which means most Senators and Representatives are focused on administrative issues, such as determining what Committees they will serve on and organizing their priorities. While there haven’t been any hearings as Committees are still being formed, many Members of Congress have signaled issues that are important for them in the upcoming year.
Senators Tell Banking Regulators to Protect Taxpayers
Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-OH), Chairman of the Senate Banking Committee, and Sen. Chris Van Hollen (D-MD) sent letters to both the FDIC and the Fed to stress the importance of banks, and not taxpayers, to be responsible for their failures. The Senators called any action by the banks that would hold taxpayers responsible for their failure to be “irresponsible.” You can read the full letter to the regulators here.
Representatives Support the SEC Crypto Enforcement
Reps. Stephen Lynch (D-MA) and Chuy Garcia (D-IL) penned an op-ed in The Hill supporting the SEC’s work and regulation of crypto. This op-ed comes at an important time, as the SEC has been under attacks from some Members on Capitol Hill after FTX’s collapse at the end of last year. As Better Markets has pointed out, the SEC has an excellent track record reining in the crypto industry. Be sure to check out the full op-ed here.
Senators Pushback on Anti-ESG Talking Points
Senators Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI), Brian Schatz (D-HI), and Martin Heinrich (D-NV) wrote an op-ed in CNBCpushing back on common talking points against environmental, social, and governance (ESG) investing. The Senators note that efforts to limit ESG investing are ‘anti-capitalist’ and point out the dark money campaign from the oil and gas industry behind these efforts. ESG investments are likely to face increased scrutiny on Capitol Hill from a Republican controlled House of Representatives. You can read the full op-ed here
Chairman McHenry Eliminates Diversity & Inclusion Subcommittee
The new Chair of the House Financial Services Committee, Patrick McHenry (R-NC), eliminated the Diversity & Inclusion (D&I) subcommittee, renaming it to the new “Digital Assets, Financial Technology, and Inclusion Subcommittee.” Instead of a dedicated subcommittee, Chairman McHenry has promised to make diversity and inclusion issues the jurisdiction of all the subcommittees. Since its creation in 2019, the D&I Subcommittee held important hearings and issued reports to combat the inequalities within the financial industry. Members of Congress must continue to be held responsible to ensure that their pledge to bring these issues forward without a dedicated subcommittee holds true.