Senate leaders last week added two seats to the Banking Committee, bringing the total to 18.

Three members are leaving the panel next year, and five freshmen will join it. Republicans will retain their two-seat edge.

Small Business Committee Chairman Christopher S. "Kit" Bond of Missouri lost his seat on the committee because he already sits on two other major committees - appropriations and environment.

Democrat Patty Murray of Washington chose to switch to the Labor and Human Resources Committee. Sen. Sheila Framm of Kansas was defeated in the Republican primary.

The panel's three new Republicans are Wayne Allard of Colorado, Chuck Hagel of Nebraska, and Michael Enzi of Wyoming. New Democrats are John Reed of Rhode Island and Tim Johnson of South Dakota.

In a surprise move, Sen. Richard Bryan of Nevada chose to remain on the committee, despite taking a seat on the Senate Finance Committee. Sen. Bryan, considered the banking panel's most pro-business Democrat, departed the Armed Services Committee instead.

Several industry lobbyists speculated that Sen. Bryan might leave the banking panel rather than serve on two economy-related committees.

The panel's leaders will be formally elected Jan. 7, but no challenge is expected to Chairman Alfonse M. D'Amato of New York or ranking Democrat Paul Sarbanes of Maryland.

Though the committee lost only one member to election defeat, seven senators on the panel will be up for reelection in 1998, including Sen. D'Amato.

Others up for reelection will be Robert Bennett, R-Utah; Barbara Boxer, D-Calif.; Christopher Dodd, D-Conn.; Lauch Faircloth, R-N.C.; Carol Moseley-Braun, D-Ill.; and Richard Shelby, R-Ala.

The banking panel is expected to tackle broad legislation next year to modernize the financial services industry. Also on Sen. D'Amato's agenda: investigating whether Swiss banks are concealing assets owned by descendants of Jews killed in the Holocaust.

Subscribe Now

Access to authoritative analysis and perspective and our data-driven report series.

14-Day Free Trial

No credit card required. Complete access to articles, breaking news and industry data.