|FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:||CONTACT: JESSE JACOBS|
|Thursday, May 24, 2001||202-224-4524|
Senator Paul S. Sarbanes (D-MD), the incoming Democratic Chairman of the Senate Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs Committee, today discussed 4 broad areas for the Committee to pursue in the coming months. These include oversight of the condition of the financial system and all the agencies under the jurisdiction of the Committee; the state of urban and metropolitan America; consumer and investor protections; and economic policy – both domestic and international.
In reviewing the condition of the financial system and all agencies under the jurisdiction of the Committee, Sarbanes said, "I plan to invite the heads of the agencies under the Committee’s jurisdiction to testify and tell us what their needs are and the condition of the industries they regulate. After the examination, the Committee will consider any appropriate legislative response."
According to Sarbanes "the ‘Urban Affairs’ component of the Committee’s jurisdiction should be given more attention." There have been enormous changes in the economic and social make-up of metropolitan areas, and what were solely considered "urban" problems – affordable housing, adequate transportation, growth and congestion – are now impacting our suburbs, with consequences even for rural America.
With the completion of the 2000 census, understanding the changes that have occurred in the economic and social make-up of these areas and what role federal policy has played in this process and could play in the future will be examined by the Committee.
Sarbanes also indicated that he would conduct hearings looking at consumer and investor protections, including predatory lending, privacy protections, access to capital and credit for all Americans, as well as credit card abuses and household debt. Sarbanes noted that he would promote greater Financial Education and Literacy opportunities for all Americans recommended by Federal Reserve Board Chairman Alan Greenspan in a speech given April 6, 2001 and by former Treasury Secretary Larry Summers.
Relating to domestic and international economic policy, Sarbanes said he would hold hearings on the Federal Reserve’s Semiannual Monetary Policy Report, The Treasury Report on International Economic and Exchange Rate Policy, the Annual Report of the Trade Promotion Coordinating Committee and the challenges facing global financial regulation.
Sarbanes said he also plans to consider ways to combat money laundering and to work with the Administration to reauthorize the Export-Import Bank and the Defense Production Act and to move on nominations as they are received by the Committee.