By Peter Schroeder - 07/03/13 09:03 PM EDT
Lawmakers in both parties have contended that the nation's biggest banks, which have only grown larger since the financial crisis, still enjoy privileged status due to their size and influence, and that more needs to be done to address the matter. Sens. Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio) and David Vitter (R-La.), both members of the committee, have pushed legislation that would impose harsher regulations on the biggest banks, in an effort to further address the issue.
Meanwhile, the House Financial Services Committee rolled out its hearing slate for the first half of July on Wednesday. The highlight will be a July 17 full committee hearing with Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke, where he will deliver the central bank's semiannual report on monetary policy. Bernanke will likely face tough questioning from Republicans on the panel, who continue to be skeptical of the Fed's unprecedented efforts to boost the economy through novel monetary policy moves.
Bernanke roiled markets in June when he told reporters that the Fed was beginning to develop an exit strategy from its massive investments in the bond market. The indication that Fed stimulus could be wrapping up in the coming months led to the worst days on the stock market of the year, and several follow-up remarks from Fed officials in an effort to tamp down concerns.