With Republicans taking control of the U.S. Senate and increasing its majority in the House of Representatives on Tuesday, Congress will see significant changes next year. Alabama Republican Senator Richard Shelby is set to take over as chair of the Senate Banking Committee. Many believe that the Committee will focus on amending the Dodd-Frank Act and attempt to limit the authority of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. Republicans may also review how nonbank entities, and particularly insurers, are designated as systemically important financial institutions and try to increase the transparency of the Financial Stability Oversight Council.
Even before the new Congress convenes in January, the current Congress must address TRIA during its lame-duck session which is scheduled to begin later this month. Authorization for TRIA expires December 31 and Congress must decide how long to extend the program and whether to make modifications. The Senate passed a bipartisan bill in July that would extend TRIA for seven years and make only minimal changes. The full House has yet to vote on an extension and House Financial Services Chairman Jeb Hensarling (R-TX) is opposed to the Senate passed bill. The House Financial Services Committee passed its own bill which includes a five year extension and more significant changes to the program. However, many in the House support the Senate bill so there is substantial uncertainty over how Congress will proceed before the end of the year.