The congressional banking and tax committees and the House Ways and Means Committee will be greatly changed in the 103rd Congress. developments with important implications for housing policy.
The Senate Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs Committee lost five members to election defeat or retirement and may suffer a defection of at least one member to another committee. The House Banking, Finance and Urban Affairs Committee lost 11 Democrats and three Republicans and still more members may leave the panel for other assignments. (See banking committee rosters on page 23
The House Ways and Means Committee lost nine Democrats and four Republicans. The Senate Finance Committee, however, lost only Steve Symms, R-Idaho, who retired.
Senate Democrats and Republicans will meet separately this week to choose leaders but Democratic committee assignments will not be made until after the Dec. 4 special election to choose a successor to the late Sen. Quentin Burdick. D-N.D. The Republicans' assignments will be made Tuesday.
The House party caucuses will begin meeting Dec. 7 to elect their leadership and appoint committee members. The Democrats will also consider a reform package that. among other things. would limit the number of subcommittees to six for all but the Ways and Means and Appropriations committees. The banking committee currently has eight subcommittees.
Two of the staunchest supporters of Chairman Henry B. Gonzalez. D-Texas--Reps. Esteban Edward Torres. D-Calff. and Joseph P. Kennedy H. D-Mass.-- are leaving the banking panel for the Appropriations Committee. moves that may embolden members dissatisfied with Gonzalez's leadership. The caucus will vote on all committee chairmen.
One of the most important decisions will be a replacement for retiring Frank Annunzio. D-Ill.. who was the chairman of the Financial Institutions Supervision. Regulation and Insurance Subcommittee. Rep. Stephen L. Neal. D-N.C., who is viewed as friendly to the banking industry. is expected to succeed Annunzio.
Republicans will lose three members due to retirement or defeat and a fourth. Rep. Dick Armey of Texas. is expected to seek another committee assignment.
The new ranking minority member will be Rep. Jim Leach of Iowa. who will succeed retiring Rep. Chalmers P. Wylie of Ohio.
The Senate Banking Committee is losing two Democratic members to defeat and two to retirement, but the biggest election event is the narrow win of Republican Alfonse D'Amato of New York.
D'Amato will take over from retiring Jake Garn of Utah as the ranking minority member. If D'Amato had lost. the post would have gone to Phil Gramm of Texas. As chairman of the National Republican Senatorial Committee. Gramm has made a major priority the defeat of the committee chairman. Donald W. Riegle. D-Mich., who is up for re-election in 1994. Gramm is an aggressive. partisan conservative. who has little regard for Riegle. D'Amato has worked cooperatively with committee Democrats. as did Garn.
The retirement of Sen. Alan Cranston. D-Calif., leaves open the chairmanship of the Housing and Urban Affairs Subcommittee. While Sen. Jim Sasser. D-Tenn., is in line to succeed Cranston. his duties as chairman of the Budget Committee are expected to cause him to step down in favor of Sen. Christopher Dodd. D-Conn.
The committee's work will be dominated in the early weeks by several key nominations. Among those will be candidates for the top positions at the Resolution Trust Corporation. the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency. the Office of Thrift Supervision. Treasury Department. the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation. the Department of Housing and Urban Development, the Federal Housing Finance Board and the new Office of Federal Housing Enterprise Oversight.