Democrats added three freshman senators Tuesday to next year's Banking Committee. Sens.-elect Charles E. Schumer of New York, John Edwards of North Carolina, and Evan Bayh of Indiana were selected on the first day of party organizational meetings that end Thursday.
They will replace Sen. Carol Moseley-Braun of Illinois, who lost her re- election bid, and two members who will leave the committee, Sens. Barbara Boxer of California and Tim Johnson of South Dakota.
Sen.-elect Schumer, a current House member, defeated Senate Banking Committee Chairman Alfonse M. D'Amato in November. The Brooklyn lawmaker was considered entitled to join the 18-member panel because New York is a major financial center and because he was on the House Banking Committee for 17 years.
Mr. Edwards also was a favorite because he defeated Sen. Lauch Faircloth, chairman of the financial institutions subcommittee.
Who will fill the two Republican vacancies is harder to call.
Sen.-elect Jim Bunning of Kentucky made banking one of his top three committee choices and expects to get one of the slots, his spokesman said. Also, a spokeswoman for Sen.-elect Michael D. Crapo of Idaho said he is interested in the committee.
Two other freshmen, Peter Fitzgerald of Illinois or George V. Voinovich of Ohio, could end up on the committee, but they are trying to join other panels.
Many observers predicted an encore by past members, such as Sens. Christopher S. Bond, John H. Chafee, Pete V. Domenici, or Slade Gorton. But sources in the offices of all but Sen. Domenici dismissed such speculation.
Republican leaders may have to twist some arms for participation if more seats open up. Many sources expect Sen. Chuck Hagel to leave the committee, though his staff insisted he would stay.
In the House, seven Republican freshmen will join the Banking Committee in January. During party meetings in November, Republicans chose Mark Green and Paul Ryan of Wisconsin, Doug Ose of California, John Sweeney of New York, Judy Biggert of Illinois, Lee Terry of Nebraska, and Pat Toomey of Pennsylvania for the panel.
Four current GOP members are leaving: Robert L. Ehrlich Jr. of Maryland, Pete A. Sessions of Texas, Mark A. Foley of Florida, and Vito Fossella of New York.
Democrats will pick their new committee members this month. The party postponed its selections pending resolution of a fight with Republicans about whether Democratic gains in the November election merit more minority seats on committees. Republicans chose 32 members for the 60-member House Banking Committee.
Chairman Jim Leach and ranking Democrat John J. LaFalce were re-elected to their leadership posts by their parties last week.