Congress announces financial commission members

Congressional leaders from both parties on Wednesday announced the 10 members who will form a high-profile commission to investigate the financial crisis.

Democrats named former California State Treasurer Phil Angelides to serve as chairman of the Financial Crisis Inquiry Commission. Republicans named former Ways and Means Committee Chairman Bill Thomas as vice chairman.

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Democrats named six members and Republicans nominated four to a panel that will have wide-ranging subpoena power to investigate the financial crisis and must release a report by Dec. 15, 2010. The panel is modeled on a similar commission that investigated the causes of the Great Depression, as well as the 9/11 Commission.

“The American people deserve nothing less than a full explanation of why so many people lost their homes, their life’s savings and their hard-earned pensions,” said House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.).

The committee’s work will come as President Obama and Congress work to revamp financial regulations in a major overhaul that could see new federal agencies established and others lose significant authorities.

Pelosi named two panelists: Brooksley Born, former chairman of the Commodities Futures Trading Commission (CFTC), and John Thompson, chairman of the board of directors of Symantec Corp.

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) named former Florida Sen. Bob Graham (D), Heather Murren, retired managing director at Merrill Lynch, and Byron Georgiou, president of Georgiou Enterprises, a company with a wide range of business interests that include real estate and carbon emission reduction projects.

House Minority Leader John Boehner (R-Ohio) named Peter Wallison, of the American Enterprise Institute. Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-K.y.) named former Congressional Budget Office Director Doug Holtz-Eakin, who also was an adviser to Sen. John McCain's (R-Ariz.) presidential campaign. McConnell also named former National Economic Council Director Keith Hennessey to serve on the commission.

“We in Congress must first understand the root cause of the problem before we act so we can be sure to enact policies that address the issue and strengthen our economy,” McConnell said in a statement.

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