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What Will the New Congress Mean for Financial Services and Fintech?

By February 23, 2023October 23rd, 2023No Comments

After some fireworks at the beginning of the year surrounding Republican Kevin McCarthy securing the votes to become Speaker of the House, the new Congress is off and running.

On January 12, Patrick McHenry (R-N.C.)—the new Chairman of the House Financial Services Committee—announced his long-awaited subcommittee chairs as well as each subcommittee’s jurisdiction. Rep. Maxine Waters (D-Calif.), who chaired the committee when Democrats held the majority, will remain its Democratic Leader as the full committee’s Ranking Member.

Notably for LEND360 attendees, Chairman McHenry is creating a new subcommittee, the Subcommittee on Digital Assets, Financial Technology, and Inclusion, which will be chaired by Rep. French Hill (R-Ark.) with Rep. Stephen Lynch (D-Mass.) as its Ranking Member. Among other things, this subcommittee’s jurisdiction will include providing clear rules of the road among federal regulators for the digital asset ecosystem, developing policies that promote financial technology to reach underserved communities, and identifying best practices and policies that continue to strengthen diversity and inclusion in the digital asset ecosystem.

Rep. Andy Barr (R-Ky.) will lead the Subcommittee on Financial Institutions and Monetary Policy, which we expect will be the primary subcommittee that will be active on many of the industry’s CFPB and lending issues. Rep. Bill Foster (D-Ill.) will be that committee’s Ranking Member. Rep. Bill Huizenga (R-Mich.) is charged with leading the Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations, which has jurisdiction over all agencies, departments, programs, and matters within the Financial Services Committee’s jurisdiction. On that committee, Rep. Al Green (D-Texas) will be the Ranking Member.

On the Senate side of the Capitol, there are a few changes of note. First, with Democrats now holding a majority (as opposed to last Congress’ 50-50 split resulting in a power sharing agreement), Democrats will also be able to have a clear majority on Committees. This will give Committee chairs some added powers and abilities they didn’t enjoy in the last Congress. Second, the Senate Banking Committee will have a new Ranking Member in Senator Tim Scott from South Carolina, who replaces retiring Senator Patrick Toomey of Pennsylvania. Pennsylvania’s interests will still be represented on Senate Banking, however, as Democratic Senator John Fetterman, who replaced Toomey in the only Senate seat to flip parties, has been named to the committee. Additionally, Sens. Katie Britt (R-Ala.) and J.D. Vance (R-Ohio) will be new to the committee on the Republican side.