Election Brings Several Changes To Capitol Hill Power Line-Up

The 2012 election has concluded with the re-election of President Obama and the continuation of a Congress divided between a Republican-controlled House of Representatives and a Democrat-controlled Senate. However, some changes will take place in Washington in January.

The Boston Globe reports that Elizabeth Warren will be returning to Washington as a Democratic senator from Massachusetts. Warren, who is credited as the chief architect of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB), defeated incumbent Republican Sen. Scott Brown, who was elected in 2010 to fill a vacancy left by the death of Edward M. Kennedy. Ironically, Brown cast the deciding vote that enabled the passage of the Dodd-Frank Act, which included the creation of the CFPB as a new regulator for the financial services industry.

The Boston Globe also reports that another member of the Kennedy political dynasty, Joseph P. Kennedy III, defeated Republican businessman Sean Bielat for the seat that was held by retiring Rep. Barney Frank. Bielat ran unsuccessfully against Frank in the 2010 election.

Elsewhere, Rep. Jeb Hensarling, R-Texas, easily won re-election and is expected to become chairman of the House Financial Services Committee in 2013. The Hill.com reports that Hensarling will replace Rep. Spencer Bachus, R-Ala., who has reached his term limit in the position of committee chairman. Bachus also won re-election.

With Frank retiring, Rep. Maxine Waters, D.-Calif., is expected to serve as the new ranking Democrat on the committee. Waters was re-elected to her eleventh term in the House.

Following the election, Mortgage Bankers Association President and CEO David H. Stevens called for a renewed effort for the White House and Congress to work together on housing and economic issues.

‘We encourage the President and Congress to work in a bipartisan, cooperative manner so continued progress can be made on the critical issues our nation continues to face,’ said Stevens in a press statement. ‘We are at a very delicate time in a fragile housing recovery, and government and regulatory policies around housing need to be carefully thought out, in a comprehensive manner, ever-mindful of the way new programs, rules and regulations intersect with each other.’


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