Today on the Hill: Senate to Hold First Vote on Banking Bill; Cochran to Step Down Apr. 1

The Senate will hold a cloture vote on the motion to proceed to a bipartisan bill (S. 2155) that would provide financial reforms primarily designed to provide some regulatory relief to small and medium-sized banks. Today’s vote is expected to be successful, kicking off a floor process that will likely continue through the remainder of this week and could leak into next week. As constructed, the bill is likely to get between 60-70 votes on the strength of the Republican majority and a nearly a dozen moderate Democrats.

Action on the House floor today includes consideration of a measure that seeks to crack down on outdated or unnecessary regulations. The Comprehensive Regulatory Review Act (H.R. 4607) would require Federal Financial Institutions Examination Council (FFIEC) and each of the federal financial regulators to conduct a comprehensive review of all regulations prescribed by the council or the regulator every seven years. The lower chamber is also expected to consider eight bills under suspension of the rules.

Yesterday, Sen. Thad Cochran (R-MS), chairman of the powerful Senate Appropriations Committee, announced his resignation from the Senate effective April 1 due to ailing health. His resignation will allow Gov. Phil Bryant (R-MS) to appoint an interim senator, creating two Senate races in Mississippi this coming November. Sen. Richard Shelby (R-AL) is expected to claim the Appropriations gavel in the upper chamber after Cochran leaves office.