Senate Banking Committee Chairman Tim Johnson announced on Tuesday that he would not seek reelection, an indication that if the Democrats retain control of the Senate in 2014, the chairmanship could fall to Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio).
An industry source said it was “very likely” that Brown, a staunch critic of Wall Street and megabanks, would gain control of the committee if Democrats hold control of the Senate next year, The Hill reports.
The seat held by Johnson, a South Dakota Democrat, will be difficult for the party to defend in the state that has traditionally been considered a Republican state.
While Sen. Jack Reed (D-R.I.) is set to take over after Johnson leaves the committee, many Washington pundits expect him to take over the Senate Armed Services Committee, according to The Hill.
Sen. Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.), the vice chairman of the Democratic caucus in the Senate, is next up in seniority. Schumer’s background and experience with the financial industry position him to take over the Senate Banking Committee’s chairmanship, but if he is unwilling to leave his position in top Democratic leadership, Sen. Robert Menendez (D-N.J.) would then be up for the position.
Menendez, however, recently assumed his position as chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee and may be unwilling to leave the position for the Senate Banking Committee, leaving Brown in line for the chairmanship, The Hill reports.
Brown has advocated for breaking up the nation’s largest banks and has been an advocate for the CFPB, pushing for the confirmation of Richard Cordray, the agency’s director. He has also introduced legislation that would limit bank size and eliminate “too big to fail” perks for the largest financial institutions.