WASHINGTON - Tuesday's congressional elections produced no major upheavals in any of the House or Senate committees that handle legislation and regulation affecting tax-exempt bonds.
Leaders of the House committees that deal with taxes, budget, banking, and securities all easily won another term, while the senators on those committees who were up for re-election also won.
Even so, the House Ways and Means Committee and the House Banking Committee will look very different next year because an unusually large number of members of both panels either did not seek re-election, ran for higher office, or were defeated in primaries earlier in the year.
The tightest race among tax committee members was that of Sen. Bob Packwood, R-Ore., the ranking Republican on the Senate Finance Committee. In a race that was not decided until the early Wednesday morning, Packwood narrowly defeated Democratic challenger Les AuCoin.
Four other panel members up for re-election won easily: Sen. Bob Dole, R-Kan., Sen. John Breaux, D-La., Sen. Tom Daschle, D-S.D., and Sen. Charles Grassley, R-Iowa.
Only one member of the House Ways and Means Committee was defeated yesterday. Dem6brat Thomas Downey failed in his bid for re-election to New York's second congressional district seat, losing to Republican challenger Rick Lazio.
Otherwise, the elections produced no surprises for Ways and Means members. Winners included Committee Chairman Dan Rostenkowski, D-Ill., and Rep. Bill Archer, R-Tex., the committee's top-ranking Republican.
Other top Democrats on the panel who won re-election included Rep. Sam Gibbons, D-Fla., Rep. J.J. Pickle, D-Tex., and Rep. Charles Rangel, D-N.Y.
But the committee will still see the most turnover in recent history, said committee spokesman James Jaffe. In addition to Downey, a dozen other members of the 36-member panel will not return next year for various reasons.
Members defeated in earlier primaries include Rep. Beryl Anthony, D-Ark., Rep. Guy Vander Jagt, R-Mich., and Rep. Marty Russo, D-Ill.
Members who are retiring include Rep. Ed Jenkins, D-Ga., Rep. Frank Guarini, D-N.J., Rep. Don Pease, D-Ohio, and Rep. Brian Donnelly, D-Mass. Rep. Byron Dorgan, D-N.D., Rod Chandler, R-Wash., and Jim Moody, D-Wis., vacated their seats to run for other offices.
The Senate Finance Committee, meanwhile, is losing Sen. Steven Symms, R-Idaho, who is retiring.
The House Banking Committee will lose several members next year with the election defeats of Rep. Mary Rose Oakar, D-Ohio, Rep. Ben Erdreich, D-Ala., Rep. Elizabeth Patterson, D-S.C., and Rep. Frank Riggs, R-Calif.
But Rep. Steve Neal, D-N.C., who was in a tough re-election bid, took 54% of the vote in his victory over Republican challenger Richard Burr. Neal is expected to assume the chairmanship of the banking panel's financial institutions sub-committee, where most proposals to break down barriers between banks and securities firms typically originate.
Neal's likely ascension to the post is being cheered by bank lobbyists, who note Neal's past support for proposals to revamp the financial industry.
How such proposals will fare next year remains unclear. In addition to the four members of the banking committee who were defeated Tuesday, another eight earlier had announced their retirements, sought other offices, or lost primary elections. Moreover, a number of members who won re-election are seeking other committee assignments.
Consequently, the banking panel is expected to sport a new look in 1993 and may prove a poor breeding ground for legislation to revamp federal banking law. That is especially true since a number of those who will not be on the committee next year have championed bank reforms in the past. Rep. Doug Barnard, D-Ga., and Rep. Chalmers Wylie, R-Ohio, did not seek re-election, for example, and Rep. Thomas Carper, D-Del., sought and won the gubernatorial race in his state.
In addition to new personnel, the committee is expected to be structurally different next year. The panel currently has eight subcommittees, a number that is likely to be pared to about six when the committee caucuses to organize itself in December and January. In particular, the fate of the domestic monetary policy subcommittee, which currently is chaired by Neal, is unclear. The subcommittee could be merged with another, such as economic stabilization or international development, aides on Capitol Hill said.
The Senate Banking Committee also will have a different look in 1993. Sen. Terry Sanford, D-N.C., lost his re-election bid Tuesday. The panel also will lose Sen. Alan Dixon, D-Ill., who lost in his state's Democratic primary, and Sen. Timothy Wirth, D-Colo., and Sen. Jake Garn, R-Utah, both of whom did not seek re-election.
Next in line to succeed Garn as the panel's ranking Republican is Alfonse D'Amato, who narrowly beat the New York State attorney general, Democrat Robert Abrams, to retain his seat.
Meanwhile, Sen. Christopher Dodd, D-N.Y., chairman of the banking panel's subcommittee on securities, handily beat Connecticut businessman Brook Johnson to retain his slot.
On the House Energy and Commerce Committee, which oversees regulation of municipal and government securities in that chamber, panel chairman John Dingell, D-Mich., retained his seat.
Also re-elected was Rep. Edward Markey, D-mass., chairman of the panel's subcommittee on telecommunications and finance. Rep. Markey's panel is expected to hold oversight hearings next year on the municipal securities market.
Another winner was Rep. Carlos Moorhead, R-Calif., who is next in line as ranking Republican on the Energy and Commerce panel after the announcement earlier this year by Rep. Normal Lent, R-N.Y., that he will retire.
But the defeat of Rep. Don Ritter, R-Pa., who is next in line as ranking minority member of the telecommunications and finance panel, puts that subcommittee slot into play. Top contenders are Rep. Thomas Bliley Jr., R-Va., and Rep. Jack Fields, R-Tex. The current ranking Republican, Rep. Matthews Rindaldo, R-N.J., announced months ago that he is retiring from the House.
For the House Budget Committee, the elections produced no dramatic changes, said Barry Toiv, committee spokesman. Both chairman Leon Panetta, D-Calif., and ranking minority member Willis Gradison, R-Ohio, were re-elected.
In addition, while the committee will see six or seven new junior members due to election turnover, the balance between Democrats and Republicans should remain roughly the same, he said.
Panetta is expected to retain the chair in Democratic Caucus elections next month, Toiv said, but Gradison may relinquish his top spot on the committee if he succeeds his bid for a House Republican leadership position.
The Senate Budget Committee's top slots also were unaffected by the elections. Chairman James Sasser, D-Tenn., and ranking minority member Pete Domenici, R-N.M., were not up for re-election this year.