The upcoming election could change the face of Congress and, along with it, shift leadership of committees important to financial advisors. Democrats currently are in control of the Senate with a 53-47 majority. Republicans have 242 seats in the House, but it only takes 218 to constitute a majority.
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Twenty-three Senate Democrats are up for reelection, compared with only 10 Republicans. In the House, all 435 seats are up for reelection. That could have a significant effect on the five House committees, even if Republicans maintain control.
Here are some committees to watch:
- The Senate Appropriations Committee can be a determining factor on whether bills are passed.
- The Senate Banking Committee could face a significant change if Elizabeth Warren defeats Scott Brown. Her influence could be significant since she has been a prominent voice against Wall Street.
- The Senate Budget Committee is obviously important, particularly in light of the upcoming fiscal cliff.
- The Senate Finance Committee is also critical in the upcoming fiscal cliff decision.
- The Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions Committee may begin focusing on the business of buying and selling pensions, noting the possible abuse that could occur from the selling of part of investors’ future pension income to satisfy immediate cash needs.
- The Senate Small Business and Entrepreneurship Committee currently leans toward extending the current tax laws as well as a permanent repeal of the estate tax.
In the House, there’s the House Appropriations Committee, the House Budget Committee (which vice presidential candidate Paul Ryan chairs), the House Energy and Commerce Committee, the House Small Business Committee, and the House Financial Services Committee.
The House Small Business Committee leadership is up for grabs and could become more or less favorable toward small business depending on who gets elected and the House Financial Services Committee is responsible for passing the JOBS Act (Jumpstart Our Business Startups).
Paying attention to the results may clue you in to strategies you can use to help your clients’ portfolios be better positioned for the coming economic and market environment.