Senate Vote on Fed Chair Expected This Week

The Senate is expected to hold a vote on the confirmation of Ms. Janet Yellen to be Chair of the Federal Reserve Board of Governors this week. In addition to pushing for a vote on Ms. Yellen’s confirmation, Senate Democrats have already confirmed two judges for the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit, which is the primary venue for disputes over Federal regulation, as well as Rep. Mel Watt (R-NC) as Director of the Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) since the Senate voted to implement the “nuclear option,” ending  filibusters.

This Week’s Hearings:

  • Tuesday, December 17: The Senate Committee on Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs will hold a hearing on the nomination of Mr. Arun M. Kumar to be Assistant Secretary and Director General of the United States and Foreign Commercial Service at the Department of Commerce.


Work on Housing Reform to Continue Into 2014

Senate Banking Committee Chairman Tim Johnson (D-SD) recognized, at a recent Bipartisan Policy Center event, that it would be unlikely for the Committee to produce a government-sponsored enterprise (GSE) reform bill before the year’s end.  However, he noted he was still “bullish” on a timeline to reach a bipartisan agreement with Ranking Member Mike Crapo (R-ID) on GSE reform legislation by early January.

FIO Report Arrives After Long Delay

On December 12, the Department of Treasury’s Federal Insurance Office (FIO) released a long-awaited report on “How to Modernize and Improve the System of Insurance Regulation in the United States.”  The FIO report was released nearly two years after its mandated deadline, as established under the Dodd-Frank Act. Director of the FIO, Mr. Michael McRaith commented on the report, “this Report concludes that the proper formulation of the debate at present is not whether insurance regulation should be state or federal, but whether there are areas in which federal involvement in regulation under the state-based system is warranted.”