WASHINGTON — Democrats are shuffling the deck chairs of the Senate Banking Committee and will have an additional seat on the panel when the 115th Congress convenes in January.
Sens. Brian Schatz, D-Hawaii, Chris Van Hollen, D-Md., and Catherine Corte Masto, D-Nev., will be on the panel, according to a press release from Senate Democratic Leader-elect Charles Schumer's office on Tuesday.
Schumer will no longer be on the banking committee, instead focusing on his responsibilities as the Democratic leader. Sen. Jeff Merkley, D-Ore., will also be getting off the panel.
The banking panel is considered a top appointment because the financial services industry has deep pockets and usually contributes to the panel members.
As expected, Sen. Sherrod Brown, D-Ohio, will be the top Democrat on the panel.
Six of the 12 Democrats on the committee will be up for re-election in 2018, including Brown. Four of the Democrats up for re-election in 2018 will also be defending seats in states that President-elect Donald Trump won in the November presidential election.
Schatz, Van Hollen and Masto were elected in 2016 and will be safe until their terms are up for re-election in 2022. Van Hollen will be a first-term senator but previously served in the House. Masto was previously the Nevada attorney general and helped secure a large mortgage-related settlement with Bank of America. Schatz was appointed as a senator in 2012.
The margins of Republican advantage on the committee will likely be slimmer as their Senate majority declined from a 54-44 advantage to 52-48 in November. Republicans have not yet announced their committee assignments.