Sen. Shelby Announces Banking Committee Priorities Aggressive Schedule Planned Again for 2004

January 22, 2004

Washington, D.C. - - U. S. Sen. Richard C. Shelby (R-Ala.), Chairman of the Senate Committee on Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs, announced the Committee's tentative agenda for 2004. Building on the success of the first session of the 108th Congress, Sen. Shelby today outlined the issues he expects to receive the Committee's attention over the course of the coming year.

Sen. Shelby said, "I have been extremely pleased with the bipartisan and collaborative environment in which the Committee has been able to operate during my tenure as Chairman. The Committee's many accomplishments over the previous session, highlighted by the passage and enaction of the FACT Act and the American Dream Downpayment Act, were due in large part to the input of Sen. Sarbanes and my other colleagues on the Committee. I hope that this spirit of cooperation will continue as the Committee addresses such front-burner issues as regulatory overhaul of the GSEs, transit reauthorization and working to curb abuses in the mutual fund industry. I look forward to another productive year on the Banking Committee."

Key Committee priorities in 2004 include:

Mutual Funds - The Committee will continue its series of hearings on the ongoing revelations and investigations of abuses in the mutual fund industry. The Committee would intend to consider any necessary regulatory or legislative reforms.

GSE Reform - The Committee will continue its hearings on establishing a strong and credible regulator for the GSEs with the intent to consider legislation in March.

Transit Reauthorization - The extension of the program lapses on February 29th, and the Committee will move forward with consideration of reauthorization issues in late January.

Terror Finance - The Committee will continue its series of hearings on terror finance with the goal of developing a record for an initial report from the Committee by the end of the year.

Money Laundering - As part of our country's anti-terror efforts, the Committee will conduct hearings and a review of our national money laundering strategy.

Patriot Act - The Committee will initiate a consideration of implementation issues as well as the effectiveness of Title III of the U.S.A. Patriot Act.

State of the Banking Industry - The Committee intends to reschedule this hearing that was cancelled in November. The will be a comprehensive hearing designed to hear from all of the Banking regulators.

Gramm-Leach-Bliley - The Committee will hold a hearing on the post GLB competitive landscape, changes in the market, new issues and developments as well as safety and soundness review. Issues such as tying, insurance regulation and ILC growth would likely arise within the context of this hearing.

Sarbanes-Oxley - The Committee will continue its oversight of PCAOB and SEC actions, as well as broader corporate governance issues.

Flood Insurance - The current extension expires at the end of March. Reauthorization will be a high priority and will receive the attention of the Committee early in the session.

Regulatory Relief - Subcommittee action is expected on a comprehensive Regulatory Relief bill during this session. Proposals will receive attention within this hearing process with the intention to report legislation to the full Committee.

Other issues among the items the Committee would expect to address either at the full, subcommittee or staff level over the course of the year include: The OCC's Preemption rules, Harmonization of accounting standards between the FASB and IASB, Deposit Insurance Reform, RESPA Reform, Oversight of the Hedge Fund Industry, Internet Gambling Prohibition, the Basel Accords, Critical Infrastructure, Securities Fraud enforcement and coordination between state and federal efforts, and the periodic Exchange Rate and Monetary Policy Reports.

Note: This tentative schedule is meant to be a guide and may change to accommodate other issues which may arise.

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