U.S. banks see several allies returned to key congressional seats

In this news, we discuss the U.S. banks see several allies returned to key congressional seats.

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Many favorite Wall Street bank lawmakers were fired in Congress overnight, which bodes well for the industry as it tries to rebuild a broad base of bipartisan support a decade after the crisis financial has tarnished its image in Washington.

While the outcome of the presidential election and numerous congressional races remained uncertain on Wednesday morning, the composition of the main banking committees of the House of Representatives and the Senate is expected to remain largely intact, ensuring some continuity for the next one. Industry Congress.

These committees take the lead in financial services legislation, oversee the country’s main financial regulators, and can conduct investigations into the sector. Their members range from allies of industry to fierce and outspoken adversaries.

All members of the Democratic-led House financial services committee were re-elected. Committee chairman Maxine Waters won easily, as did Rep. Patrick McHenry, who is expected to reprise his role as the panel’s main Republican.

Although often a banking critic, Waters is viewed by the industry as a pragmatist who is willing to work across the aisle.

Other House panel members who were returned to their seats in Congress with the help of industry support include Republicans Andy Barr, French Hill, Ted Budd and moderate New Jersey Democrat Josh Gottheimer.

It was not clear which party will control the Senate on Wednesday morning, but Republicans had succeeded in fending off Democratic challengers in several close competitions. If the Republicans retain control of the Senate, the leadership of the influential banking group could fall to Pennsylvania Senator Pat Toomey, a major supporter of free markets.

Four Democrats and six Republicans on the panel were vying for re-election, four of whom ran tough races. Thom Tillis, an industry ally and the biggest recipient of banking sector liquidity among Senate Republicans, held a slight lead in a race too close to be called in the early hours of Wednesday, as did Sen. David Perdue, another ally of the Republican bank.

Democratic Senator Mark Warner, a senior moderate who supported legislation relaxing the rules for small banks in 2018, won his race.

RECONSTRUCTION OF THE CENTER

The banking industry has attempted over the past two years to rebuild the bipartisan support it enjoyed in Congress before the 2008 bailout turned many Democrats against it. This strategy involved the support of moderates on both sides.

The American Bankers Association (ABA), the country’s largest banking group, for example, began running independent ads supporting lawmakers for the first time in mid-term 2018 and supported 14 candidates over the course of the 2020 campaign.

Among them were Gottheimer, Hill, Tillis, Budd and Barr, as well as Republican Senator Cory Gardner, who has supported an industry campaign to allow banks to serve cannabis-related businesses in states where the drug is legal. Gardner lost his Colorado reelection bid to Democrat John Hickenlooper.

The ABA also ran ads supporting Representative Greg Stanton, an Arizona Democrat seen by Washington insiders as another pro-business lawmaker. Stanton has also been endorsed by the United States Chamber of Commerce, the nation’s largest trade lobby. Stanton won his race.

“During this election year, we continued to expand our political engagement on behalf of candidates from both parties who understand and appreciate the critical role that banks of all sizes play in the economy and in their communities,” said Rob Engstrom, Group Chief Political Strategist. .

The industry’s campaign giving has also become more bipartisan, according to data from the Center for Responsive Politics.

In the 2020 election cycle, campaign contributions by commercial banks and their workers to Republicans and Democrats running for congressional elections are split almost evenly, at $ 14 million and $ 13.6 million respectively.

That’s a significant change from four years ago, when Republicans withdrew $ 18.9 million from the industry, almost double that of Democrats.

See FACTBOX for more details. [L1N2HH1T1]

Report by Pete Schroeder

Original © Thomson Reuters

Originally posted 2020-11-04 08:06:12.

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