House Committee on Financial Services

Chair: Maxine Waters

A

Projected Grade for the 116th Congress*

* Adjustments have been applied so that committees' grades are not lowered by the constraints on hearings caused by Covid-19 [oversight-index.thelugarcenter.org/covid-19-statement]

9 Investigative Oversight Hearings

68 Policy/Legislative Hearings

112 Total Hearings

Last updated: Sept. 26, 2020, 1:40 p.m.

Often known as the banking committee, House Financial Services has sway over the vast banking, credit card, securities and insurance industries, as well as federal housing policy and the Department of Housing and Urban Development. With a reputation for being a lucrative source of campaign contributions for its Wall Street-friendly members, it also attracts liberals and populists interested in consumer protection against predatory and deceptive practices and in curbing the power of the big banks. The post-Great Recession financial reform bill known as Dodd-Frank came through this committee. It monitors the Federal Reserve, the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund, as well as such housing and consumer protection laws as the Truth in Lending Act, the Fair Credit Reporting Act, and the Housing and Community Development Act. With some 60 members, it is one of the largest committees in the House. It has six subcommittees: consumer protection and financial institutions; diversity and exclusion; housing, community development and insurance; investor protection, entrepreneurship and capital markets; national security, international development and monetary policy; and oversight and investigations.

Its large membership and responsibilities for such a major swath of the American economy have not, however, led to particularly ambitious hearing schedule during the past few Congresses. From 2013 to 2018 under chair Jeb Hensarling (R, Tex.), the committee averaged about 119 hearings per Congress, fewer than many other broad-based House committees. During that same period, it averaged six investigative oversight hearings per Congress, a figure roughly on par with many other large committees that don’t have a special commitment to investigations.

During the 115th Congress (2017-18), the committee held seven investigative oversight hearings. In April, 2018, it held an oversight hearing on the Federal Housing Finance Agency, and in September, 2018, it held a hearing on Congress’s failure to enact meaningful reform of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, the two government-sponsored housing finance agencies that failed spectacularly during the 2008 financial crisis; earlier, in November of 2017, it looked into the role of Ginnie Mae (which did not require a government bailout) in the housing finance system; it held a June, 2018, hearing into the use by criminals of virtual currencies like Bitcoin; in September 2017 there was a hearing to examine internal reforms underway at the independent Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA); it also held two hearings in September, 2017, on the massive data breach at Equifax, the credit reporting company.


Chairs

111th Congress: Barney Frank (D-MA)

112th Congress: Spencer Bachus (R-AL)

113th Congress: Jeb Hensarling (R-TX)

114th Congress: Jeb Hensarling (R-TX)

115th Congress: Jeb Hensarling (R-TX)

116th Congress: Maxine Waters (D-CA)


Current Congress

We are 95% of the way through the 116th Congress

House Committee on Financial Services

9 Investigative Oversight Hearings; 100% historical maximum
68 Policy/Legislative Hearings; 95% historical maximum
112 Total Hearings; 86% historical maximum

Committee History

Number of Hearings
Committee Hearing Performance
Investigative/Oversight Policy/Legislative Total Hearings Score Grade
111th Congress 6 86 144 91% A-
112th Congress 10 84 156 100% A
113th Congress 4 69 103 68% D+
114th Congress 7 76 126 83% B
115th Congress 7 65 127 78% C+
116th Congress* 9 68 112 100% A
Historical average 7.2 74.7 128.0

* Adjustments have been applied so that committees' grades are not lowered by the constraints on hearings caused by Covid-19 [oversight-index.thelugarcenter.org/covid-19-statement]

Number of Hearings

--- Historical Average

Hearings held by the
House Committee on Financial Services

Date Hearing Title Committee Category