On September 9, Congress will reconvene for a busy fall session with a focus on funding the government and processing nominations.
Although Congress lifted the debt ceiling and set budget caps prior to adjourning for the August break, it still must appropriate funding before September 30. The appropriations process, however, will not be complete by the funding deadline and Congress is likely to pass a “clean continuing resolution” to fund the government well into the fall calendar.
The Senate will continue to approve nominations. Before it adjourned it cleared 66 nominations, but returns to more than 90 pending nominees including a 14-year term for Federal Reserve Board Governor Michelle Bowman on whom cloture was filed before the August recess. President Donald Trump has announced his intent to nominate Christopher Waller and Judy Shelton to the Federal Reserve Board but the White House has not formally made the nominations, so timing and process will be later in the year. As the political season heats up, the split chambers will have their fair share of legislation to sharpen the contract of their competing policy agendas.
In the House Financial Services Committee, Chairwoman Maxine Waters (D-CA) has outlined her fall agenda. In addition to continued oversight of the agencies and industry, the Committee will convene hearings to assess the state of minority depository institutions, review stock buybacks, and examine innovative loan instruments. Under her leadership, the Committee will analyze diversity in the workplace. The Chairwoman has also signaled a strong focus on technology, in examining the implications of products such as Facebook’s Libra, as well as exploring data privacy, the implications of artificial intelligence, and innovations in the payment system. The Committee has some pending deadline items, such as reauthorizing the Terrorism Risk Insurance Program (TRIA) and resolving issues around the Export-Import Bank.
Senate Banking Chairman Mike Crapo (R-ID) has not yet publicly signaled his plans for the Committee, but it is expected that Senate Banking will convene hearings with regulators in the early fall, which will provide opportunities to examine actions on regulatory recalibration and supervisory guidance. Senate Banking will likely consider nominations under its jurisdiction, including those to the Federal Reserve Board. The Senate has similar pressures on deadline items for flood insurance, TRIA, and the Export-Import Bank. Outside of hearings and oversight, Senate Banking will likely continue to focus on regulatory recalibration as well as advancing reforms to the Bank Secrecy Act and ending anonymous shell companies.
Bank Policy Institute
Senior Vice President
Head of Government Affairs