In a widely anticipated move, U.S. Senator Richard Shelby (R-Alabama) was elected Chairman of the U.S. Senate Committee on Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs for the 114th Congress, according to an announcement from Shelby's website Thursday.
Republican members of the committee elected Shelby on Wednesday and the Senate Republican Conference confirmed his appointment on Thursday. Shelby previously held the position of chairman of the Senate Banking Committee from 2003 to 2006.
Shelby, 80, is replacing retiring Senator Tim Johnson (D-South Dakota) as chairman of the committee.
"It is an honor to lead the Senate Banking Committee in the 114th Congress," Shelby said. “I look forward to working with my colleagues in the House and Senate to implement policies that will foster economic growth."
The standing rules of the Senate say that the committee has jurisdiction over legislation concerning such subjects as public and private housing, including veterans' housing; federal monetary policy, including the Federal Reserve System; banks, banking, and financial institutions; deposit insurance; economic stabilization and defense production; and many others.
Shelby will have just two years to lead the committee under GOP party rules. Despite working against the clock, many analysts and observers believe that his experience and longtime involvement with the committee will allow him to speed up the committee's activity.
Analysts believe that one of Shelby's top priorities as Senate Banking Committee chairman will be taking on issues with the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform Act in 2010 and in particular concerns over the activities of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB), which formed a year after the Dodd-Frank Act was passed. There are reported to be several proposed bills regarding financial regulation reform in the House that have yet to make their way to the Senate due to outgoing chair Tim Johnson's opposition to such reform.