ABA’s Nichols ‘Optimistic’ about Bipartisanship in 116th Congress

In an interview with Stuart Varney on Fox Business today, American Bankers Association President and CEO Rob Nichols said he’s optimistic about finding opportunities for bipartisan cooperation among members of the Democrat-controlled House Financial Services Committee.

“We’re not naive to the fact that there is partisanship in Washington,” Nichols said, acknowledging the recent appointment of several far-left Democrats to the powerful House committee. However, he pointed to several recent developments — including a bill by committee Chairwoman Maxine Waters (D-Calif.) and Ranking Member Patrick McHenry (R-N.C.) on insider trading that was passed just yesterday — as positive signs that there is an appetite for cooperation on banking policy. He added that several issues are ripe for bipartisan action this year, including data security, anti-money laundering/Bank Secrecy Act reform and housing finance reform.

With more oversight hearings likely during the 116th Congress, especially around financial regulation, Nichols said that bankers will continue to engage constructively with lawmakers from both parties. “We’re going to focus on facts, we’re going to focus on substance, we’re going to focus on all the things we’ve done to make the banking system more safe, secure [and] stable, and on all the consumer protections that have been brought to bear.”