Missouri congressman chosen to lead panel does not have extensive record on credit union issues.
Rep. Jason Smith, R-Mo., has been selected as chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee—the tax-writing panel that would be responsible for considering any changes to the credit union tax exemption.
Smith was selected by the Republican Steering Committee—an internal House GOP group that doles out committee assignments. His appointment must be ratified by the full House Republican Conference.
Smith and Credit Unions
A lawyer and a farmer first elected to the House in 2013, Smith does not have an extensive record on credit union issues. However, he joined House Republicans last year in voting against legislation that would have allowed all credit unions to extend their fields of membership to include underserved areas. The House ultimately passed that measure, but it was never considered by the Senate.
During the 2022 election cycle, CUNA’s Political Action Committee contributed $10,000 to Smith’s reelection effort, while NAFCU contributed $2,500.
“Ways and Means Republicans will build an economy that is strong by prioritizing our most valuable economic resource, the American worker,” Smith said, following the Steering Committee announcement. “We will build on the success of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act and examine how our policies can reward working families with a tax code that delivers better jobs, higher wages, and more investment in America.”
Further Appointments that Could Impact CUs
Rep. Patrick McHenry’s, R-N.C., selection as Chairman of the House Financial Services Committee already has been announced. McHenry served as the ranking Republican on the panel during the 117th Congress.
The Steering Committee will be meeting this week to finalize committee memberships and two possible appointments could be noteworthy.
Rep. Randy Feenstra, R-Iowa, is seeking a seat on the Ways and Means Committee. As a member of the state legislature, Feenstra pushed legislation that would have eliminated the state tax exemption for credit unions.
And earlier this year, Rep. George Santos, R-N.Y., who is under federal investigation for his financial dealings and who has admitted he fabricated part of his resume, expressed interest in a seat on the House Financial Services Committee.
“It’s a great committee, especially at the time that we’re living, to focus on bringing some resolve back to our country with good fiscal responsible policy coming out of Washington,” Santos was quoted as having told Bloomberg Government. “So, totally going for that committee.”
Republican leaders have been under pressure to deny Santos committee appointments while he is under investigation.