By Peter Schroeder - 02/12/13 06:17 PM EST
On housing, the committee will also have a busy slate. Johnson said the committee will keep a close eye on the troubled finances of the Federal Housing Administration. He also wants to search for "bipartisan consensus" on a way to reform the housing finance market, an issue that has bedeviled lawmakers ever since Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac collapsed and required billions in government assistance to stay afloat.
Other items on the agenda will include identifying ways to improve economic growth in rural areas and land occupied by Native Americans, as well as reauthorizing programs set to expire in the next two years, including the Export-Import Bank and the Native American Housing and Self-Determination Act.
Johnson also vowed that his committee will "expeditiously" weigh nominations sent to the panel by President Obama. Two are already in the pipeline, as the president has nominated Mary Jo White to head the Securities and Exchange Commission and Richard Cordray to stay on as director of the CFPB.
However, that latter nomination has already run into roadblocks, as Republican senators have vowed to block the pick until structural changes are made to the agency, which they believe is unaccountable to Congress.