Capital Markets Chair Ousted in Election

As part of the many high-profile ejections in the elections, Democratic Rep. Paul Kanjorski was ousted by Republican Lou Barletta in Pennsylvania's 11th District. Kanjorski, a House veteran of more than a quarter century, was an advocate of establishing a federal insurance office and authored significant parts of the Wall Street reform bill.

November 3, 2010
By Allison Landa, News Editor

There’s change at the top for the House Subcommittee on Capital Markets, Insurance and Government Sponsored Enterprises. As part of the many high-profile ejections in the elections, Democratic Rep. Paul Kanjorski was ousted by Republican Lou Barletta in Pennsylvania’s 11th District. Kanjorski, a House veteran of more than a quarter century, was an advocate of establishing a federal insurance office and authored significant parts of the Wall Street reform bill.

Barletta has tried for eight years to take control of the 11th Congressional District. This was his third try at ousting Kanjorski, who defeated him in 2002 and 2008.

Is the tide turning against the Democrats? With more than 60 House seats swept by Republicans, some might argue that this is the case.

This is obviously a huge blow to President Barack Obama’s economic policy, but what does it mean for capital markets? Since the subcommittee oversees government-sponsored entities Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, it could have a significant impact on mortgage financing. Congressional support is going to be essential in supporting Obama’s proposed overhaul of Fannie, Freddie and the entire mortgage-finance system – and with a Republican at the subcommittee’s helm, it will almost certainly prove more elusive.

The current mayor of the city of Hazleton, Barletta was first elected to the city council in 1998. He became mayor two years later and in September 2004 was appointed by the White House to serve as a member of the United Nations Advisory Committee of Local Authorities representing the United States. On his website, he points a finger at Obama: “Congress and the President are spending our country into servitude,” he asserts, “piling up a debt we may never be able to repay.” Only time will tell, but this does not portend well for cross-party cooperation.