WASHINGTON -- Sen. Mike Crapo (R-Idaho) will likely assume the top Republican spot on the Senate Banking Committee next year.
Despite being in the minority, Crapo has some lofty goals. First, he wants to reform the Dodd-Frank Act of 2010 that, in response to the recession, made massive changes in American financial regulation. Crapo believes it went too far.
"It was marketed to the American public as an effort to restrain excesses on Wall Street," said the Senator. "But the large banks are the ones that benefitted from Dodd-Frank, because of the mountain of regulations that came out of it, that put the smaller companies at a competitive disadvantage."
Crapo also wants home ownership, and a reform of Fannie May and Freddie Mac, to be a major focus of the committee.
"My goal would be to reform them," said Crapo. "And have the primary source of mortgage credit, be the private sector."
Crapo knows he needs, and hopes that he will get, bipartisan support and cooperation to get any of that done.
Meanwhile, cooperation is something he says he's not seeing on the government's most pressing financial issue, the fiscal cliff. "The fiscal cliff is looming, and discouragingly, it appears increasingly like an agreement is not coming together."
Crapo recommends an approach that combines reforming the tax code, entitlement programs, and Congress's budgeting process. He says he's already seen some agreement from both sides in the Senate, and thinks a deal will eventually get done. "Though we face some pretty difficult times right now, I remain optimistic that we will ultimately be able to get the kind of bipartisan suppor to move forward," said Crapo.
Crapo has a history of bipartisan efforts on financial issues, working in the Gang of Six and the Bowles-Simpson Commission. Crapo believes he can help create a bipartisan solution in the Senate, and with the support of the American people, move that through the House and onto the President's desk for a signature.