Election 2020: Who’s at risk on the House and Senate committees overseeing mortgage finance?
A lot hangs in the balance of the 2020 election, including the leadership and makeup of Congress. On election day, FiveThirtyEight’s model showed the Democrats were “clear favorites” to maintain control of the House but gave their chances to flip the Senate as just “favored.” No one will know for sure until all the votes are counted, but the makeup of several key congressional committees that provide oversight of banks and other financial services are at stake.
All but four members of the current U.S. House of Representatives Committee on Financial Services are on the Nov. 3 general ballot for re-election, including chair Maxine Waters, D-Calif., ranking member Patrick McHenry, R-N.C., and vice-chair Michael San Nicolas, D-Guam.
Denver Riggleman, R-Va., Scott Tipton, R-Colo., Tulsi Gabbard, D-Hawaii, and William Lacy Clay, D-Mo., are not seeking re-election.
That means 57 of the 61 members are on tonight’s ballot for re-election: 31 Democrats and 25 Republicans.
Waters has been outspoken in securing housing and mortgage rights for citizens, calling on the Trump administration in October to rescind a rule making it harder to prove discrimination in housing and criticizing the administration for its decision to terminate to Affirmatively Furthering Fair Housing rule.
“The Trump Administration has been relentless in its attacks on the Fair Housing Act, a law that prohibits discrimination in housing based on race, color, religion, national origin, disability, sex, and familial status,” Waters said. “In the Trump Administration’s latest shameful move, Secretary Ben Carson has finalized a rule to weaken the disparate impact standard under the Fair Housing Act. The disparate impact standard allows victims of housing discrimination to seek justice in the courts by putting a stop to practices that appear neutral on their face, but that have the impact of discriminating against protected classes of people.”
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McHenry, the incumbent Republican leader of the Committee, has sponsored such bills as H.R. 8695, which imposed a limitation on taxation and fees on transactions by certain securities-industry participants. He has also advocated for innovative solutions that increase access to banking services and credit for American families and small businesses.
Toss-up races include those between incumbents Ann Wagner, R-Mo., and Van Taylor, R-Texas, and respective challengers Jill Schupp and Lulu Seikaly. Schupp is endorsed by the Democratic Campaign Committee, and Seikaly is taking her first steps into politics in 2020. Wagner is a four-term incumbent, and Taylor won in 2018 with 54% of the vote.
Six majority members of the Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs Committee are on tonight’s ballot: Ben Sasse, R-Neb., Tom Cotton, R-Ark., Mike Rounds, R-S.D., David Perdue, R-Ga., Thom Tillis, R-N.C., and Martha McSally, R-Ariz. Four minority members are on the ballot: Jack Reed, D-R.I., Mark Warner, D-Va., Doug Jones, D-Ala., and Tina Smith, D-Minn.
Besides their duties in the housing sector, the passing of a second stimulus package to offset the economic hardships brought on by COVID-19 will be a point of emphasis for all new and re-elected officials as we head into 2021.
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