Kennedy, Perdue, Tillis Added to Banking Panel Now Led by Crapo

Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) announced Tuesday that Sen. Mike Crapo (R-Idaho) will take the gavel of the Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs Committee, replacing outgoing Chairman Richard Shelby (R-Ala.) as the panel added three new GOP members.

Sens. John Kennedy (La.), David Perdue (Ga.) and Thom Tillis (N.C.) will join the committee, filling vacancies left by defeated Sen. Mark Kirk (Ill.), retired Sen. David Vitter (La.) and Sen. Jerry Moran (Kan.), who joined the Environment and Public Works Committee.

Shelby, who was required to step down from his post as chairman because of term limits, will remain a senior member of the banking panel.

The Senate Finance Committee also gained a new GOP member. Sen. Bill Cassidy (La.) joined the tax-writing panel after the retirement of Sen. Dan Coats (Ind.) left an empty seat. Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-Utah) will remain committee chairman.

The two panels are likely to have packed agendas this year as Republicans aim to flesh out a comprehensive tax overhaul and roll back Dodd-Frank regulations. Both committees will also wield influence over the confirmation process for some of President-elect Donald Trump’s nominees for top administration posts.

Briefings

Washington Brief: Week in Review & What’s Ahead

The Trump administration released its fiscal year 2018 budget proposal, which calls for $3.6 trillion in spending cuts over the next decade. The plan takes aim at popular farm programs and student aid, and relies on clearing two major legislative hurdles – savings from the repeal of the 2010 Affordable Care Act and projected economic growth from overhauling the U.S. tax code for the first time in more than 30 years.

Finance Brief: Pence’s Tax Lobbying on Hill Rankles Republican Study Committee Members

Vice President Mike Pence urged House Republican Study Committee Chairman Mark Walker (N.C.) to poll the group’s members on whether they’d support the White House tax outline over the House GOP blueprint, a move that spurred criticism from members. Some RSC members oppose the idea of breaking from the House leadership’s tax plan, which differs in key ways from President Donald Trump’s proposal.

Washington Brief: Montana GOP Candidate in Today’s Special Election Charged With Assaulting Journalist

Greg Gianforte, the GOP candidate in a special House election in Montana, was charged with a misdemeanor for allegedly assaulting a journalist who was asking him about the recent Congressional Budget Office estimate of the American Health Care Act. Gianforte faces Democrat Rob Quist in today’s election to fill the seat left vacant by Ryan Zinke, who now serves as head of the Interior Department.

Finance Brief: Intra-Party Debate Over Swipe Fees Intensifies

An intra-party dispute over a proposed repeal of debit card swipe-fee limits may delay a House vote on the the Dodd-Frank replacement bill sponsored by Financial Services Committee Chairman Jeb Hensarling (R-Texas), who urged colleagues to support the measure during a conference meeting Tuesday. GOP Reps. David Young (Iowa) and Dennis Ross (Fla.) want the repeal language removed from the bill.

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