Senate Shakeup Could Influence GSE Regulation and Moreby Tim Manni
Key Republican lawmakers lost their seat on Capital Hill last night, an absence that could change next year’s plan to regulate GSEs Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. John Sununu (N.H.), Elizabeth Dole (N.C.), and GOP member Chuck Hagel (Neb.), who didn’t seek re-election, supported various bills while in office that encouraged a strict regulation of Fannie and Freddie:
Sen. Elizabeth Dole (R., N.C.) has been an active member of the Senate Banking Committee and one of the panel’s few Republicans to vote against the housing rescue package this summer that set up a new regulator for Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. Sen. John Sununu (R., N.H.), another fierce critic of the giant mortgage companies, also lost his re-election bid Tuesday night, removing an outspoken congressional voice on financial market issues.
Next year, the Banking Committee may consider legislation to restructure the two GSEs, which were taken over by the government on Sept. 7 and placed into separate conservatorships. Meanwhile, committee chairman Christopher Dodd (D-Conn.) could have an opportunity to chair the Senate Foreign Relations Committee with the election of Sen. Joe Biden (D-Del.) as vice president. The second ranking Democrat on the Banking Committee is Sen. Tim Johnson (S.D.) who just won re-election.
This has been a preliminary indication of how last night’s elections could shake up future policy — and this could only be the tip of the iceberg. It’s an absolute fact the strong Democratic influence will be felt on Capital Hill.
Give us your opinion: will the Democratic presence be for the better or for the worse?