This week, House Financial Services Committee Chair Maxine Waters (D-CA) announced the leadership positions for the powerful subcommittees charged with oversight of the important issues under the Committee’s purview. Additionally, the according to various news sources, the CEOs of six major financial institutions will be called to testify in front of the committee in April or May as part of Chair Waters's pledge to review the banking sector - the first hearing of its kind since the 2008 financial crisis. According to the report, the hearing will be a bit of a "free for all" where the CEOs will field questions on whatever the committee members would like to ask. According to senior committee member Emmanuel Cleaver (D-MO), “It’s probably not going to be a real syrupy sweet committee hearing,” Waters is also reportedly going to bring in the CEOs of high profile scandal companies, like Equifax, to testify in front of the committee. The hearings are a notable shift from the tenor and subject matter of the Committee under Republican control.
The changes are also apparent with the Subcommittee makeup, including leadership choices:
- Democrats form Diversity and Inclusion Subcommittee: Making good on an immediate pledge to examine the diversity of corporate leadership and boards, House Democrats combined two subcommittees and formed the Diversity and Inclusion Subcommittee which will be chaired by Congresswoman Joyce Beatty of Ohio. “Diversity and inclusion can no longer be buzzwords, rather they need to become part of the overall fabric of the companies and industries that are the engines and lifeblood of our economy,” said Ms. Beatty upon her appointment to Subcommittee Chair.
- Maloney to Chair Capital Markets Subcommittee: Veteran Financial Services Committee member Carolyn Maloney (D-NY) will chair the Capital Markets Subcommittee which will have oversight responsibilities of executive compensation and governance issues like pay ratio, proxy advisory firms and corporate disclosures. In the past, Maloney has focused on disclosures of corporate diversity and has provided a reasoned perspective on many securities law issues.
- Republican Subcommittee Leaders Not Yet Announced: Although the Republican members to the Financial Services Committee have been announced, Republican leaders have yet to announce their subcommittee leaders. Interestingly, Committee Ranking Republican Rep. Patrick McHenry (R-NC) has already been active in working with Chairwoman Waters on bipartisan bills.