The two principal House committees whose actions have a major impact on the real estate finance industry got infusions of new Democratic members last week whose campaign rhetoric generally reflected a commitment to economic growth.
The House Democratic Caucus added 10 new members, including one freshman, to the Ways and Means Committee and 13 freshmen to the Banking, Finance and Urban Affairs Committee. Three additional Democratic slots on the banking panel will be filled after the 103rd Congress begins work Jan. 5. House Republicans named five new members of the Ways and Means Committee and must fill six places on the Banking Committee. The Senate will act on committee posts after the new Congress starts its work.
As the brief biographies of the 13 Banking Committee freshmen at the end of the story demonstrate, there is a heavy commitment of the new members to economic development, particular in the inner cities. The profiles of the new Ways and Means members and interviews with several show a widespread belief in the use of the tax system to spur growth.
The Democratic Caucus re-elected Henry B. Gonzalez of Texas as chairman of the banking panel while the GOP approved Rep. Jim Leach of Iowa as ranking minority member of the banking committee to replace the retiring Chalmers P. Wylie of Ohio.
In addition, the Banking Committee Democrats agreed to reconstitute its current eight subcommittees into six. They also selected Stephen L. Neal of North Carolina as chairman of the key Financial Institutions, Supervision, Regulations and Insurance Subcommittee, to succeed Frank Annunzio of Illinois, who retired. They also picked Barney Frank of Massachusetts to head the International Development, Finance, Trade and Monetary Policy Committee, succeeding Mary Rose Oakar of Ohio, who was defeated for re-election. Paul E. Kanjorski of Pennsylvania was chosen to head the combined Subcommittee on Economic Growth and Credit Formation. Joseph P. Kennedy II of Massachusetts was tapped to be the new head of the Consumer Credit and Insurance Subcommittee and Floyd H. Flake was picked to take over the Subcommittee on General Oversight and Investigations. All these Democratic decisions must be voted on by the full committee, including Republicans, when Congress convenes next month.
Three Democrats and one Republican left the Banking Committee for Ways and Means. The Democrats are Gerald D. Kleczka of Wisconsin, Peter Hoagland of Nebraska and Richard E. Neal of Massachusetts. The Republican is Mel Hancock of Missouri.
Other Democrats named to Ways and Means are Michael R. McNulty of New York, Mike Kopetski of Oregon, William J. Jefferson of Louisiana, Bill F. Brewster of Oklahoma and freshman Mel Reynolds of Missouri. The other new GOP members on Ways and Means are Amo Houghton of New York, Wally Herger of California, Jim McCrery of Louisiana and Rick Santorum of Pennsylvania.
Following are thumbnail sketches of 13 freshmen Democrats picked for the House Banking Committee, based principally on the Nov. 7 election issue of the Congressional Quarterly Weekly Report. The new members are listed in order of seniority, which was determined by the number of votes each received in the House Democratic Caucus. Numbers in parentheses are the congressional districts of the members.
Herbert C. Klein, New Jersey (8th)--a lawyer, Klein, 62, served during the 1970s in the New Jersey assembly and has been a major party fund-raiser. He campaigned on a pledge to revive the economy by cutting $140 billion from foreign did and redirecting it to reducing the deficit and rebuilding roads and bridges.
Carolyn B. Maloney, New York (14th)--The New York City Council member, 44, wants to strengthen Congress' role as a financial watchdog to eliminate waste in the savings and loan bailout. She supports a constitutional balanced budget amendment, deeper defense cuts and new taxes on gasoline and the wealthy to reduce the budget deficit.
Peter Deutsch, Florida (20th)--The 35-year-old lawyer was serving in the Florida House, where his principal cause was health care reform.
Luis V. Gutierrez, Illinois (4th)--the Chicago City Council member, 39, is interested economic development for low-income urban areas like the one he represents. As an alderman, he helped pass an ordinance the permits the city to give away vacant lots to developers of low-income housing.
Bobby L. Rush, Illinois (1st)--Another Chicago alderman, the 46-year-old former Black Panther has been an activist on education, housing and community development. He has called for a halt in foreclosures on government-subsidized housing units until the economy improves.
Lucille Roybal-Allard, California (6th)--The 51-year-old member of the California Assembly succeeds her father, Edward R. Roybal, who retired after 30 years in Congress. She focused on environmental issues while serving in the Assembly. Her district's greatest problems are unemployment, crime and poor schools.
Thomas W. Barrett, Wisconsin (5th)--The 39-year-old Milwaukee lawyer had been serving in the Wisconsin Senate, where he concentrated on health issues. He also favors the creation of enterprise zones and tax credits for companies that create jobs.
Elizabeth Furse, Oregon (1st)--The Hilsboro vineyard owner, 56, is interested in environmental issues and represents a diverse constituency that includes loggers, environmentalists and high-tech entrepreneurs.
Nydia M. Velazquez, New York (12th)-The 49-year-old former New York City Council member becomes the first Puerto Rican woman to serve in Congress. She campaigned on educational issues important to her Brooklyn district.
Albert R. Wynn, Maryland (4th)--The 41-year-old former state senator sought a seat on the Banking Committee to push measures that will stimulate business investment.
Cleo Fields, Louisiana (4th)--The youngest state senator in Louisiana history at the age of 24, the 30-year-old Baton Rouge lawyer has been a strong proponent of inner-city economic development.
Melvin Watt, North Carolina (12th)--The Charlotte lawyer, 47, campaigned on proposals to aid the urban poor.
Maurice D. Hinchey, New York (26)--The 54-year-old state assemblyman from Saugerties has been an activist on consumer and environmental issues. He advocates the "reindustrialization" of United States and says he will work for partnerships between the public and private sectors and educational institutions of his district.