Sen. Shelby Announces Banking Committee Priorities For Second Session Of 109th Congress

February 3, 2006

Washington, D. C. -- - U. S. Sen. Richard C. Shelby (R-Ala.), Chairman of the Senate Committee on Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs, today announced the Committee’s tentative agenda for 2006. Building on the accomplishments of his first three years as Chairman, Sen. Shelby today outlined the issues he expects to receive the Committee’s attention in the coming session.

Sen. Shelby said, “Over the course of my Chairmanship, I have been extremely pleased with the Committee’s commitment to operating in a bipartisan manner to address many of the key issues in the areas of financial services, housing and transit. I look forward to working with Ranking Member Sarbanes and the other members of the Committee to again press forward with an aggressive agenda.”

Key Committee priorities in 2006 include:

National Flood Insurance Program - Building on the Committee’s efforts from last year, the Banking Committee will continue to move ahead with reform of the National Flood Insurance Program. In light of the program’s bankruptcy and continuing obligations, the Committee’s consideration of legislation that will allow the program to remain viable will be a high priority.

Post Katrina Redevelopment - The Committee will review the federal response to Katrina and assess whether further assistance may be warranted to support long term redevelopment of the Gulf Coast region. A particular focus will be on flood insurance, economic stabilization and housing needs. Part of this review will include various proposals to rebuild the Gulf Coast Region.

Credit Ratings Agencies - The Committee intends to draft legislation to address potential conflict of interest and competition concerns that have been raised about Credit Rating Agencies.

Regulatory Relief - The Committee intends to consider Regulatory Relief legislation this year. Senator Crapo (R-Idaho) has been heading up the Committee’s work in this important effort.

Data Breach/Data Security - Continuing on last year’s efforts, the Committee is in the process of drafting a bill that would establish standards for notifying consumers of unauthorized disclosure of their financial information in certain circumstances. The bill will be designed to complement existing data security protections established in Gramm Leach Bliley and the Fair Credit Reporting Act.

Financial Products Sales Practices to Military Personnel - The Committee continues to work on bipartisan legislation to address financial product sales abuses to military personnel.

Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States (CFIUS) - The Committee will continue to examine CFIUS with a focus on improving the transparency of the process and ensuring adequate consideration of national security interests, including possible legislation to achieve these goals.

Export-Import Bank Reauthorization - The Export-Import Bank’s authorization expires as the end of September 2006. The Committee intends to hold hearings to consider issues surrounding reauthorization with the intention of considering legislation to reauthorize the Ex-Im.

Iran-Libya Sanctions Act Reauthorization - The Iran-Libya Sanctions Act (ILSA) expires in August 2006. Recognizing that ILSA has ceased to apply to Libya, the Committee will consider issues surrounding renewal.

Terror Finance and Money Laundering - The Committee will continue its thorough series of hearings on terror finance. As part of our country’s anti-terror efforts, the Committee will continue to conduct hearings and a review of our national money laundering strategy.

Insurance Regulation - The Committee will continue its examination of the insurance industry. The Committee intends to hold comprehensive hearings on the state of insurance regulation, including issues of solvency, consumer protection and optional federal charter.

International Accounting and Financial Reporting Convergence - The Committee will examine the International Accounting Standards Board and the Financial Accounting Standards Board’s efforts in addressing convergence of pension accounting standards.

State of the Securities Industry and Capital Market Oversight - The Committee will continue to be active in the oversight of the securities industry. Chairman Cox is expected before the Committee early in the session to testify on a wide range of issues.

GSE Regulatory Reform - Building on the success of the last year, the Committee will again consider regulatory reform of the housing GSEs. Efforts will continue to seek a consensus to move a strong GSE regulatory reform bill through the Senate.

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: Basel II implementation, financial literacy, housing issues, transit security and SAFETEA implementation, nominees to the Federal Reserve, Council of Economic Advisers and FDIC among others, as well as 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.

Source: Chairman of the Senate Committee on Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs,

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