Senate Committee on Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs

Chair: Mike Crapo

F

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]

1 Investigative Oversight Hearings

24 Policy/Legislative Hearings

47 Total Hearings

Last updated: June 29, 2020, 6:02 p.m.

The committee has jurisdiction over the banking industry and other financial institutions, mortgage policy, the Federal Reserve, and economic policy. It also handles legislation on urban policy and mass transit. Its moves to deregulate or re-regulate the financial industry can impact some of the most powerful companies in the country, as well as the hundreds of millions of Americans who have bank accounts, credit cards or home mortgages. Over the years the committee has passed major legislation in response to financial crises. These include the Financial Institutions Reform, Recovery and Enforcement Act after the $160 billion savings and loan collapse in the 1980s; the Sarbanes-Oxley act in response to the Enron scandal; and the Dodd-Frank financial reform legislation following the Great Recession of 2007-09. It also passed the 2001 PATRIOT act to counter terrorist financing and international money laundering. Twice annually the chairman of the Federal Reserve testifies before the committee on monetary policy. The committee has five subcommittees: economic policy; financial institutions and consumer protection; housing, transportation and community development; national security and international trade and finance; and securities, insurance and investment.

Over the 10-year period, the committee’s hearing activity has ranged widely, from 113 in the 112th Congress (2011-12) under Chair Tim Johnson (D, S.D.) to 50 in the 114th Congress (2015-16) under Chair Richard Shelby (R, Ala.). In the 115th Congress (2017-18), the committee held 66 hearings under Sen. Mike Crapo (R, Ida.). That was well below the rate under Democratic chairs Johnson and Sen. Chris Dodd (D, Conn.), and a bit below the average for other Senate committees without large nomination responsibilities.

The number of legislative and policy oversight hearings dropped under Sen. Crapo and the previous Republican chair, Sen. Shelby, in the 114th and 115th Congresses, compared to their Democratic predecessors. In the 115th Congress, the committee held 39 policy and legislative oversight hearings, an increase from 30 in the previous Congress. That was still fewer than most Senate committees with broad legislative authority.

Under Republican leadership the committee held three investigative oversight hearings over the past two Congresses. In the 115th, the committee examined malfeasance and misfeasance in the private sector. The first, in October, 2017, looked into Wells Fargo bank, which had been caught setting up millions of fake credit card and bank accounts to artificially boost sales and saddling up to 800,00 customers with auto insurance policies they didn’t request or need, resulting in some having their vehicles wrongfully repossessed. The second, the following day, looked into a cybersecurity breach at Equifax, the giant credit reporting company, which potentially affected as many as 145 million Americans.


Chairs

111th Congress: Chris Dodd (D-CT)

112th Congress: Tim Johnson (D-SD)

113th Congress: Tim Johnson (D-SD)

114th Congress: Richard Shelby (R-AL)

115th Congress: Richard Shelby (R-AL)

116th Congress: Mike Crapo (R-ID)


Current Congress

We are 82% of the way through the 116th Congress

Senate Committee on Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs

1 Investigative Oversight Hearings; 23% historical maximum
24 Policy/Legislative Hearings; 44% historical maximum
47 Total Hearings; 48% historical maximum

Committee History

Number of Hearings
Committee Hearing Performance
Investigative/Oversight Policy/Legislative Total Hearings Score Grade
111th Congress 5 55 96 93% A
112th Congress 3 63 113 100% A
113th Congress 1 46 91 73% C
114th Congress 1 30 50 45% F
115th Congress 2 39 66 61% D-
116th Congress* 1 24 47 55% F
Historical average 2.2 42.8 77.2

* 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
Senate Committee on Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs

Date Hearing Title Committee Category