Posted on 05 Nov 2010
Republican U.S. Representative Ed Royce of California, elected to his 10th two-year term on November 2, said he will seek the chairmanship of the House Financial Services Committee, challenging Alabama Representative Spencer Bachus, the panel’s ranking Republican.
“I think we need a strong chairman in this position,” Royce said today in a telephone interview. “I discussed this earlier today with Spencer Bachus and I shared with him that this is nothing personal.”
According to interviews with lawmakers, aides and lobbyists, Bachus is still in line to take the Financial Services chairmanship from Representative Barney Frank, the Massachusetts Democrat, as Republicans take control of the House. Representatives Jeb Hensarling and Scott Garrett, who are positioned to head subcommittees under Republican leadership, have said they expect Bachus to lead the panel, which oversees the banking industry.
Frank, who has led the committee since 2007, has been House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s top deputy on the financial crisis and helped craft the financial-regulation law that bears his name. Bachus has served as the top Republican on the panel throughout Frank’s chairmanship.
“I’ve spoken to my colleagues on the steering committee and in leadership and am grateful for their expression of support and fully expect to serve as chairman,” Bachus said today in a statement referring to the panel that will select chairmen for the Republican-led House. “There is no lack of talent on our committee, and I look forward to implementing a new leadership style that will empower our strong bench of leaders to pass our legislative agenda.”
The winner will play a lead role overseeing implementation of the biggest overhaul of financial regulation since the Great Depression. The Dodd-Frank law, named for the outgoing Financial Services chairman and Senator Christopher Dodd, the Connecticut Democrat who leads the Senate Banking Committee, was designed as a response to a credit crisis that led to the bankruptcy of Lehman Brothers Holdings Inc. and bailouts for financial firms including New York-based American International Group Inc.
Royce and Bachus both opposed the bill, which was signed into law in July by President Barack Obama.